Gleecap: Whitney Houston Tribute ‘So Emotional’

Santana (Naya Rivera) and Rachel (Lea Michele) perform on Glee (Adam Rose/FOX))

For the second week in a row, “Glee” began with a song before a word of facetious teen dialogue had been uttered.

Last week’s opening number established the profound flimsy storyline of “Hey, what if we did songs like this?” So at the top of “Dance With Somebody,” I braced myself for the equally complex theme of, “You guys, what if we sang a bunch of Whitney Houston songs but super sad because we miss her?”

No matter how amazing her voice and songs were (freaking amazing), this hour of television really needed to be built around more than “Whitney was awesome.” And—thank the Glee gods—it was!

Considering they fit seven musical numbers into the show, the writers did an impressive job of squeezing in meaningful plot points and character arcs to push the story forward.

What they presented to us, via esteemed practitioner of pamphlet psychoanalysis Emma Pillsbury, was the theory that the glee kids were avoiding coping with the realities of graduating by focusing their emotions on the passing of a beloved superstar. Emma recognizes this because she went through the same thing her senior year when Princess Diana died.

Once Schue encouraged New Directions to focus on the life changes they were facing (while still singing Whit’s hits, naturally), some of the gang got downright sappy.

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Puck doled out parting gifts to help remind the fellas of all their bro-ness. Rachel and Santana realized they could have repeatedly turned out ultra-fierce numbers together if they hadn’t been tossing so much Haterade back and forth for three years. Rachel mended things by offering a wallet-size school portrait of herself for Santana’s locker, which is apparently the universal gesture of platonic lady love in school’s everywhere.

Quinn was having a rougher go of things after multiple physical therapy sessions yielded no significant results. Because Teen Jesus is into being a show-don’t-tell Christian, he offered to accompany Q to PT, where he was so gifted he was able to completely take over her rehab after one visit.

Only that proved to be a little too physical for him. He had to consult Bible buddy Sam (he helps when you’re specific!) about resisting temptation. The Trouty Mouth take on Christianity is that some rules are okay to break because they were written before short skirts were a thing. No wonder those ancient dudes were abstinence champs.

Unfortunately for Teen Jesus, Q is adorbs even in sweatpants, which created a rather stiff problem for him down below. When Q noticed, she felt not at all violated but merely flattered, and I dare say relieved. What followed was an awkward conversation in which a romantic relationship was negotiated to include faith and maybe touching…?

All I know is Samuel Larsen is lucky Dianna Agron’s face is expressive enough for the both of them.

Darren Criss’s facial muscles were also working overtime since Blaine discovered Kurt was a filthy, rotten text cheater. Granted, Blaine wasn’t very warm to Kurt in the beginning when Kurt was blabbing about NYADA, and Blaine had a history of communicating with Scumbag Sebastian.

But regardless of Blaine’s behavior, Kurt’s tech flirtation made no sense because NO WAY was that Chandler guy a real person whom Kurt or anyone other than Robin Williams in “The Birdcage” would find attractive. He was obviously an actor (hired by a yet-to-be-revealed nemesis of Blurt) whose job was to embody the most obnoxious, one-dimensional caricature of a gay boy imaginable.

So Kurt felt like Blaine’s interest in him had fizzled, and his solution was to exchange dozens of cliché propositions with Fake Hypergay to feel loved. Blaine called him on it via Whitney’s “It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay,” backed by the whole club.

Cut to an honest chat with Burt “Best TV Dad EVAR” Hummel, who plainly stated that none of the comforts of love and home last, and that once Kurt left for NY, “Everything’s gonna change. And it won’t change back.” Kurt was moved to sing “I Have Nothing” to the group for his redemption.

But it wasn’t until a session with Emma that Blaine and Kurt were able to really communicate. Blaine was upset about how excited Kurt seemed to be to leave him in the Ohio-flavored dust. Kurt reassured Blaine of his love and their devotion was renewed.

Oh, and Schue was so busy lecturing his students about exploring their upcoming transitions that he conveniently avoided his own issues with the kids graduating. He kept trying to make E marry him before the grads skipped town, but she got him to realize the kids would come back for the wedding because he’s important to them too. This was confirmed by everyone showing up for an optional rehearsal and singing a very huggy “My Love Is Your Love.”

What else was a hit?

Best musical number: I agree with Rachel that she and Santana are a dream team, and their up-tempo “So Emotional” was killer.

Best Brit lines: “Joe’s really pretty, but I heard she doesn’t shave her armpits,” and “Cheetahs have the fastest land speed of any living animal.” Because she’s got cat knowledge like whoa.

Best left-out number: Thank you for not following through with a Rachel-as-Whitney national anthem. That one is untouchable.

Most simultaneously optimistic and laughable declaration: Rachel said they have 42 days of glee club left, half of which will be spent prepping for Nationals. Twenty-one days is way more than the one night they spent last year, so huzzah! But is that really enough compared to the whole year other teams have likely put in? And who are they kidding? I give them a generous 5 days of prep, max.

And what was a dud?

Worst musical number: “I Have Nothing” had minimal flailing hands, no dramatic belting, and too much poised falsetto. If you’re not almost crashing your car while singing along with this, you’re doing it wrong. I speak from personal experience.

Most inappropriately aged band member: Who was the old guy playing keyboard in the choir room backup band?

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.


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