Because drama was a focal point of this week’s “Glee,” I present to you “Hummel’s Tale: The Betrayal of the Unicorn,” a tragedy in three acts.
Act One: Ambitious young Kurt Hummel sets out to become both student body president and the leading man in the school musical, aided by a lovable ditz-turned-campaign-manager and his doting-yet-often-spotlight-hogging boyfriend.
Act Two: Kurt struggles to find his identity within the campaign and in the role he’s seeking, while the pea-brained manager and scenery-chewing boyfriend are encouraged by others to embrace their own potential.
Act Three: Kurt’s decent shot at reaching at least one of his goals is epically ruined as the manager and the boyfriend savagely overtake him in the election and auditions, driving Kurt to finish out high school under the bleachers as part of girl gang The Skanks, who accept him in order to see if unicorn tears hold any magical properties they could profit from.
This is a mere prediction, obviously, as my repeated attempts to bug the “Glee” writers’ room have been thwarted. But it seems like the only direction the storyline could possibly take.
Not likely, you say? Consider the evidence. When campaign manager Brittany made those posters (and later posted them against Kurt’s wishes), she used silver glitter to highlight his eyes, when it is painfully clear that gold would be more flattering on him. Sabotage. And if you’re not convinced, notice that she called herself a bicorn when she told Kurt she was running against him. That means she can stab him in the back… twice.
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The situation with boyfriend Blaine is even more distressing. Blaine wanted to be in West Side Story too? Fine. He claimed to only be considering the roles of Bernardo or Officer Krupke? Great. Yet he auditioned with a Tony song? “Oh hi, directors. I figure the best way for you to picture me as the characters I want is for me to perform this number by a different character who you must absolutely not consider me for.” Riiiight.
Of course I hope I’m wrong, for the sake of Blurt fans (Blurties?) like me.
Before I get away from Kurt’s storyline completely, props must go out to Mike O’Malley for once again playing Kurt’s dad simply and yet movingly. (Thanks also to the writers for making his character a great dad but not in like an icky “Full House” saccharine kind of way.) He pulled off the line, “You sing like Diana Ross and you dress like you own a magic chocolate factory,” in a way that seemed genuinely caring.
Meanwhile, in other plot news, Idina Menzel’s Shelby was back with an exceptional amount of screen time, which allowed her to disrupt all sorts of lives in a single episode.
Her appointment as leader of a second glee club at WMHS didn’t immediately upset Schue. But if she starts getting vaguely tolerable notes out of Sugar Motta (a big “if”), and if she lures in other undiscovered talent in the school, something tells me Schue’s Kumbaya spirit will fade away.
But Shelby’s return stirred up Intense Adolescent Emotions for her bio-daughter Rachel, as well as for her adopted baby’s bio-parents, Puck and Quinn.
With Rachel, there was more of their usual tug-o-war, which was all, “I’m your mom, but I’m not your mom, and just to make sure the lines are good and blurred let’s spontaneously harmonize while we sing a famous tragic ballad together about connecting with those we love, only this time from West Side Story instead of Les Miz.” And they did.
It must be pointed out (somewhat cattily) that it’s quite ludicrous that Rachel would consider auditioning with anything BUT “Somewhere,” since Babs snagged a Grammy with her 1986 recording of it. Are we supposed to think she doesn’t have every inflection of “The Broadway Album” memorized?
Shelby’s involvement in Puck and Quinn’s lives is about to get really tense, but she doesn’t know it yet. At first she and Puck had a good thing going (a thing that I was momentarily terrified would turn into a Mrs. Robinson situation), where she got Puck to clean up his act with the promise of being in daughter Beth’s life.
She offered the same deal to Q, who incidentally lost a verbal sparring match with the Schue over her Trainwreck Barbie routine. Quinn, ever the schemer, ended the episode by pretending to rejoin the path to goodness and truth that is glee club, while revealing to Puck that it’s an act to get full custody of Beth. We’ll have to wait and see which side Puck will come down on, but it won’t be pretty either way.
The decision to include fewer musical numbers and more story served this episode really well. Hopefully the format will stick around in the weeks to come.
Best Sue-ism: Four words. “Weepy the Vest Clown.”
Runner-up came from Sue’s minion, Becky, who witnessed Schue’s tirade against Quinn and remarked, “That was really sexy.”
Best Brittany line: “… And black unicorns, they become zebras.” What you missed in AP Biology.
Best musical number: “Somewhere.” Come on. I want that in my earholes 24/7. The snarkier version of me would say you can tell who the Tony winner is because she doesn’t pull so many faces but simply radiates the song’s meaning through an open, natural performance. But the regular me is sometimes secretly okay with a little face pulling and thinks Tonys are in everyone’s future.
And Some Lows:
Worst musical number: Not easy since there were only three and they were all solid. “Something’s Coming” was surprisingly not as awesome as I was expecting. Maybe Darren Criss’s voice is better for pop.
Most awkward teacher comment ever: Beiste saying she wanted a Tony that excited her lady parts. Artie’s near-vomit reaction was appropriate.