In related news, yes I have read all the spoilers for the remainder of the season and have FEELINGS about them. No, I do not have room to talk about them here, but I will in the next post. 85% sure.
Glee, 4x18, Shooting Star
This got, um, longer than expected. (3000 words?) I had so much fun tag-hunting through Tumblr (unspoiled!) and clumsily coloring pictures I couldn't stop.
(hopefully temporary ETA: EIGHT .GIFS HAVE DISAPPEARED. THIS IS NOT OKAY, LIVEJOURNAL. Nightbird, handle this.)
-Why is Bieste even in this episode. So many wasted minutes.
(It would have been better if Schue were alone, but imagine if we had had Emma in the classroom, torn between being a teacher and having a meltdown? Epic. Don't tell me it's too hard to write Schue being scared for himself, scared for the kids and scared for her while holding it together all by himself. He would have stepped up.)
-Every second focusing on or letting Kitty, Jake or Unique speak was a waste of time. Jake was only slightly useful while Marley was tearfully huddling in closer to him. Even then, meh. When your ship can't move me under those circumstances, it is a bad ship.
-Who in literally the history of ever has uttered the phrase "on the real"?
-Sucks that Joe was not in this episode. I would have liked an injection of prayer and unshakable faith in God.
Ryder: I will transfer my allegiance right now. Katie's avatar (real name Marissa) is not only prettier in real life than her picture, she is apparently really sweet too. I SHIP IT. I WANT IT. PLEASE CALL HER. My new headcanon is that she's had a crush on him ever since "Grease" and saw the show 3 times (forget football; who pays attention to the people behind the helmets?). I mean, first she's too twitterpated by him approaching her to even remember how to introduce herself properly, and then it turns out he's a sucker for sweeping romantic gestures? Crush intensified. Now with a side of "poor baby, someone did you wrong, let me love you."
(side note: did Brad...give him a low five/fist bump when he entered the room? Is Ryder actually so great that he's the one kid Brad approves??)
Meanwhile, what's this, yet another instance of tears? I love that he makes zero attempt to control his emotions and just lets everything spill out at the slightest provocation. I'll just be over here with my gif of a kitten clasping its tiny paws while he rages and hurls Betrayal Voice at his friends. Mostly Marley. I'm going to invent a context where someone makes a viral post mocking his poor writing abilities with specific examples and he blames her because who else had the opportunity? Only in my version they get to make up.
I also really liked the focus on him getting frustrated and angry at the end during the closing song. RS approved. Not happy we apparently have to wait until the finale to find out who fake!Katie actually is, and also not here for Ryder still being "in love" with a personality unless Glee recognizes that physical appearance plays a role, especially when you are a teenager and especially when you have based your feelings of love around a specific attractive image, and that a disappointing reality can snap your feelings over from "love" to "hey I still like you, but maybe in more of a best-friends way."
#CAN KATIE PLEASE BE ONE OF THE GIRLS IN BAND #OR JUST A TEENAGE GIRL IN GENERAL #WHO WAS BORN WITH GIRL PARTS #because then I would melt over and identify with "[I'm] someone shy who didn't think u'd like me in person."
Almost-a-Goodbye-Sue: Couldn't care less except that when Sue clapped her hand over her heart, I was wishing she was covering a bullet hole. Sue Sylvester is like Captain Neville on Revolution, kill on sight or she'll escape and come back to wreak havoc another day.
(Although I wish she wouldn't act like such a martyr; her deliberate reign of terror is far worse than this accident, and despite that, I bet there are 20 schools happy to scoop her up for the national championships she can all but guarantee)
Sam/Brittany/Lord Tubbington: Part I: One, I love that cat and Brittany's magical-fantasy-way of loving him more every time he shows up (I still think there's a case for him being a wizard trapped in a cat's body, a la Salem). Two, I appreciate that despite what he says Sam is never actually a jerk about him at all, and goes out of his way to be supportive and understanding. Three, "More Than Words" was simple, but very pretty. Also it is not like I'm not going to mrr-ow at Sam playing acoustic guitar in a fetching fitted T-shirt with tousled hair.
Super Exciting Things:
What did they do? What didn't they do? They did so many things they never stopped. Oh, the things they did, my stars.
Voice: You don't know how to say what they did, do you?
RS: Not as such no.
*2 hours of rewatching last 25 minutes/Tumbling later, decides to make a list*
STUFF I LIKED ABOUT THE LOCKDOWN:
- How everyone freezes like startled rabbits at the first shot, waiting for a reasonable explanation, then panics at the second.
- Seeing Mr. Schue go into action, locking doors and directing kids as calmly as possible
- Blaine helping Artie out of his wheelchair
- Super effective...cinematography? Director work? The haunting shots of hastily abandoned locations, wide and closeup views
- Ryder making a dash for Marley's side, because next to Unique and Kitty is not the optimal place to die. (arguably he just wanted to be near his closest friends, Jake included, but lol no that's not how my brain works since he sat next to the girl) And crying again.
- "Tina isn't here either."
- Watching Blaine slowly become unglued, from a very rational "are we even sure those were gunshots?" to finally breaking at the moment they're safe. In the middle, it's fascinating to watch him shut down and curl in on himself, trying to will this all not to be happening. Him mouthing "turn off the phone, please" is extra heartbreaking. The fact that he doesn't even have anything left to comfort Sam really stood out to me.
- [Fic Rec: jakia - What's Most Important: the three people Blaine texts during 4.18]
- SAM. SAM SAM SAM, MVP OF THE EPISODE
- Basically: I guess that answers the question of which Blond Bombshells ship I like more. Fabrevans 'tis but a distant memory; when in doubt, I want the one with desperate hugs. Sam/Brittany still isn't meant for the long haul, but it is one of the strongest midgame ships I have ever seen, possibly the best representation of a real life high school relationship that may not have "soulmates bonded for life" written all over it, but still has very real and very strong emotions attached.
- The fact that the teachers have to physically wrestle him away from the door twice because he's so hell bent on saving her
- That he doesn't stop until someone gets it through his head that he's putting all his other friends at risk - and that still doesn't make it better; he looks as miserable as a person can look
- Mr. Schue sliding down next to him with a hand on his shoulder
- (meanwhile, Blaine just stares straight ahead like a bleak garden statue and cannot. deal.)
- I am still kind of laughing at how these gifs looks like he is being dragged into an unmarked white van, possibly with the threat of harming his family if he doesn't cooperate. (lesson of the day: I can ALWAYS make this more crime drama)
- Brittany crouched and crying in the bathroom was a nice sucker punch. She reminded me of a rodent deep in a burrow, one whose back exit is blocked and not knowing how it happened, but very aware of the present threat to her life.
- Even better: her reaction as footsteps came close and stopped in front of her.
- If I were in Brittany's place, I might retain a small worry that Mr. Schue is the shooter, having snapped and now using my trust to lure me out, because why else would he be roaming the halls during a lockdown, especially after that much time has passed?
- That said, I broke into little melty/flaily pieces at her relief and this hug, because he has never been as much of a white knight hero as he is right now.
- Hm, needs more hugging.
- (shh who cares if it doesn't make sense, he got to be a hero)
- The other Cheerio and the random boy (I've decided he's her secret boyfriend that she can't tell anyone about because he's too dweeby for a popular girl to be linked with romantically, even though he's also the nicest person she's ever met) slinking out of the stalls, and Mr. Schue rolling with it and leading the ragtag team to choir room safety
- Ryder's message for his dad. Awwww.
- Tina continuing to play the role of The Fandom freaking out outside, and aww, who wants to play AU Where The Glee Club Is The Target? Now showing in Tina's Brain! Because I think that might result in a full break with sanity.
- Mr. Schue repeatedly reminding his kids that he loves them all. (He really does. Because of that, he can never completely lose my respect.)
- REUNION HUG, GOOD LORD. A good peril episode always has at least one couple in fear together, and one desperate reunion. One of those was better than the other in this case.
- "Mr. Schue releases Brittany into the safety of the choir room. In tears, she heads straight for Sam with arms open. He literally throws himself into them and buries his face in her shoulder, clinging tight."
- Sam sneak-hugging Mr. Schue in gratitude (and maybe relief at seeing him back too). Bonus hand touch!
- That done, Sam and Blaine just holding onto each other for a really long time.
- Also, I mysteriously suck at identifying everyone's crying sounds while the camera is jumping around, but after several double takes on this .gif, countless minutes of scrutiny, one validation from another Tumblr user, and finally rewatching the episode to hear soft sobs that do not particularly sound like a girl, I feel like that's what's happening right here. Would fit with how, now that they can finally breathe, it's hitting him full force.
Anderson Family Reference: Headcanon validated - I've never understood fandom's need to villainize Blaine's parents or paint them as neglectful absentees based on thin conclusions from 2x15 and 3x05. I've always thought he'd be really close to his mother (because all that perfect-gentleman sweetness and general kindness has to be learned somewhere) and that he and his father only grew apart in adolescence/after he came out, where there's still love and no animosity/disapproval, they just don't connect much - kind of like Ryder.
ANYWAY. Very pleased with the Anderson family staying up all night talking and crying and hugging. Also, filed away for later in the "Blaine doesn't like to talk about being afraid" file: "It was the most scared I think I've ever been in my life," and nothing else.
Blaine/Tina: in which everything I have wanted since 4x11 comes true, from pulling her into a hug where they're crying and laughing at the same time, followed by a hair kiss (HOLY GRAIL) and "I love you" and then they walk off holding hands.
Blaine now has his very own Rachel, and I couldn't be happier. As Barney Stinson might beam, "Just the best!"
Meanwhile, Lady Tubbington is already dearer to me than the majority of the glee club and I hope to see her again.
But what's interesting now is how everyone should react. On the one hand, how can you compare it to living through an actual mass casualty event? You were never in danger. I keep waiting for people to make tacky gifsets out of the Friends episode where Ross has an obnoxious existential crisis and new lease on life after diving for cover from a car backfire. Are your feelings still valid, do you still need to "recover"? Should you feel guilty if you do, and does that make it harder to deal with?
On the other hand, they thought they were in danger, had every reason to think so, and went through the same psychological trauma. So what makes it any different than being a survivor of a school shooting where you never saw the attacker and none of your friends were hurt? (...I guess the part where you would probably still know of the people who got hurt; help I'm ruining this)
In conclusion: Needed less Sue/sophomores-who-are-not-Ryder and more lockdown time, but otherwise phenomenal. I literally could not count the number of teary breakdowns/hugs/kisses/cuddles/handholds/I love you's going on. Over 20 if you put them all together. That's like, up in Numb3rs territory. I haven't even searched for canon compliant Kurt/Blaine post-eps, that's how satisfied I am.
Up next: I am actually not that excited about anything except Blaine and Marley and Sam singing together on one song (sadly also with some redundant peasant), so I hope it pleasantly surprises me.
Fic Rec #2 from jakia: Anew - based on early spoilers for the episode, thoroughly jossed but just as satisfying. Klaine reunion fic, but only after they have a very painful (by which I mean awesomely satisfying) fight about all the issues they bottled up.
[Meta Rec: Because this is apparently a Very jakia Kudos Post, there was some seriously awesome spec from even earlier spoilers about how this could have been a Les Mis tribute episode. First version, followed by updated/expanded version.]
Bonus Unrelated Fic Rec: All We Can Do Is Keep Breathing by the aptly titled Blamstina - heartwarming Sam/Blaine/Tina bonding set in the near future, three friends lying under the stars after Brittany breaks up with Sam. G-rated cuddling and assurances of love fly everywhere. Headcanon accepted!
[update: this author changes her tumblr like a girl changes clothes, so it's getting pasted into my LJ review scrapbooking for safekeeping and efficiency]
[PASTED FROM TUMBLR ABOVE]
Sam lets out a breath. It seems like the wind exhales with him.
Tina shifts against his right side. She sniffles a little, then breathes out with him. He runs his fingertips along her back, knowing it tickles her. She smiles a little. Her eyes are closed. She is peaceful.
Just like the wind. Just like their breath.
Blaine is more restless on his right. His eyes are open, his ear pressed against Sam’s heart. His fingers are entwined with Tina’s, resting on Sam’s abdomen, but he can’t stop his thumb from tapping against her hand. It’s rhythmic; persistent. His eyes roam the skies, trying to pick out the different constellations. Sam will teach him some night.
But not tonight. There are words to penetrate the resounding quiet settled over them, but they do not form an astronomy lesson.
A chilly breeze flies by, faster than breath, and both of his best friends curl closer into him for warmth. He wraps his arms around them tighter, because they’re his, and he’ll protect them, even if it’s just from the wind.
Blaine has given up on the stars, and instead is looking up at Sam, or trying to. His nose is brushing Sam’s chin delicately, sporadically, as if Blaine keeps trying to move away so Sam won’t be uncomfortable. As if their bodies aren’t already pressed flush together. But Blaine knows Sam, and he knows that Sam didn’t just appear at their houses and ask them to come to an undisclosed place at random. He knows that Sam has something on his mind. But he’s not going to ask, at least not with his words.
Sam breathes in. Breathes out.
Tina follows suit and presses her face into his neck.
“Do you think-“
Sam clears his throat. It seems like he’s so loud that the trees, twenty, thirty feet away from them, can hear him.
“-think that I’ll-“
And he pauses. He doesn’t know how to form the words of the question that’s weighed heavy on his mind since earlier that day, when yet another person he loved decided something was better, and he had no right to stop her.
In. In. Sigh.
Blaine’s thumb has stopped tapping on Tina’s hand and has started rubbing against Sam’s stomach instead. Sam can’t see, because he’s looking up at the stars, but Tina has opened her eyes.
“-find someone who loves me…like…”
He doesn’t finish his sentence. He leaves it in the air, burning in a small red cloud over the three bodies. Their breath didn’t blow it away. Sam almost wishes it had.
He can feel Tina’s breath against his neck. “Maybe…maybe you’re just looking for the wrong kind of love. Or maybe the kind of love you’re looking for and the people you find are two different kinds of love.”
Sam can feel Tina squeeze Blaine’s hand. “I think that might be true for all of us.”
Both he and Blaine are silent for a moment, then nod slowly, which leads to an interesting knocking of heads. Blaine’s laughter isn’t enough to fill the field, but it does destroy the red cloud.
When Blaine settles, he’s more relaxed than before, head sinking completely so his nose is against Sam’s neck. Sam realizes he can feel Blaine’s heartbeat.
“I know it’s not the kind of love you want, but I do love you.” Blaine looks back and forth between Sam and Tina. “Both of you. You two are so incredibly important to me. I would do anything for you, but I also know that you wouldn’t ask.” Sam knows, with the experience that Blaine’s had, that that is important. Blaine unlinks his and Tina’s hands for one second and scoots back, guiding Sam’s face to look at his. “I love you.” He reaches for Tina’s hand again. “I love you.”
“I love you,” Tina whispers. She tilts her head up, and Sam can feel lips at his ear. “I love you.”
The red has seeped into Sam’s body, warming him from his chest outwards. He could stay here, warm and red and wrapped up and breathing peacefully, forever.
Maybe Tina is right. Maybe this is the kind of love he needs.
He kisses Tina’s hair. “I love you.”
He kisses Blaine’s forehead. “I love you.”
And it feels like relief. Blaine is smiling, not looking at either of them, but Sam knows that Blaine is as happy as he is right now.
Tina is frowning.
“I’m scared about next year.”
Sam doesn’t want to think about next year, or the looming possibility that he’ll physically lose two of the most important people in his life.
“We’ll just run away. Be hippies. Have that weird three-way relationship that no one questions because they’re too high.” Tina is giggling. Blaine is too. The vibrations feel amazing. “You down?” he asks, looking at Tina. She’s laughing too hard, but she nods.
“You down?” he asks Blaine.
“That sounds awesome. No one to care about proper relationships.”
“Or…I really don’t know what to add, except no one there would care about marijuana, and that’s always a plus.”
Sam and Blaine laugh. The stars can hear. “So it’s settled,” Sam decides. “As soon as we graduate, we’ll join a hippie colony.” He kisses both of them on the forehead once more. The silence settles back over them.
It is possible I have also been poking my way into the world of non-platonic Sam/Blaine while I've been away, which I'm still too afraid to rec here. Even more bizarrely, it seems to work best for me in a casual hookup/experimentation way, as long as it's not terribly explicit, rather than a particularly romantic way. It's literally the first time in my life I have understood the point of friends with benefits and not wanting a relationship out of it. I think this means Kurt should probably get his ass back here ASAP.