So, yeah. Tonight's installment of your favorite musically inclined social satire and mine came complete with a theme, and let me tell you this right now: I hate themes.
"Confidence," or (far more often, as it turns out) the staggering lack thereof, runs through each of the disparate storylines this evening, primarily with Will, who experiences a personal crisis of faith in himself when Quinn and Things One and Two quite rightly point out that, as a choreographer, he pretty much sucks. Striving to feel better about himself, he enlists football coach Ken, Sheets And Things drudge Howard, the uniquely attired Sandy Ryerson, and McKinley High's thumbless shop teacher to form Acafellas, and the quintet of middle-aged boy band wannabes quickly finds unlikely success playing to the inebriated in Lima's local watering holes. Needless to say, Will immediately begins neglecting his Glee Club duties as a result, and Operation Just Cause veteran Sue Sylvester comes perilously close to realizing her goal of destroying the club once and for all. Fortunately, Will realizes the error of his ways after a contrived epiphany or two, and returns to McKinley's music room with a reinvigorated zeal and fresh sense of purpose. Or some such bullshit.
Meanwhile, in Will's absence, the glee team hires Dakota Stanley -- erstwhile understudy to the candle in Beauty And The Beast on Broadway and current overpriced show choir choreographer extraordinaire -- to whip them into shape, but after the wee little runt of a Sparky Polastri insults their overall appearance and axes Artie from the lineup for -- get this -- not trying hard enough to walk, Rachel and the others reach an epiphany of their own, and boot the Napoleonic terror in favor of welcoming Mr. Schue back with open arms.
In other news, Mercedes has been whacked upside the head with a potentially fatal case of fruit blindness (potentially fatal for Kurt, that is), my husband Mr. Puckerton gives me at least eight new reasons to love him, Emma wears a number of delightful outfits, and Debra Monk makes it through the entire hour without having to show any of us her bosoms.
Previously on Glee: SQUEEEEEEE!!!
The camera fades up on the sickly looking noodle-and-meat dish currently taking up valuable space on the dinner table Chez Schue, and lingers on the unappetizing mess for one very long moment before panning up to take in renowned Tony-award-winning actress Debra Monk, here playing Will's darling mama, as she slugs back a mouthful of what I'm sure is some desperately needed palate-cleansing cabernet while politely inquiring, "When'd you start cooking, Terri?" "It's just hamburger casserole!" Terri perkily pshaws, before adding, "Look out for bones." And what the hell kind of Sweeney Todd nightmare is in that serving bowl, anyway? Ew! Hee! Ew! Hee! Will's Mother looks as ill as all of you feel right now while her son, typically oblivious, gazes adoringly at his wife before impulsively rising to his feet to announce, "Mom? Dad? Terri's pregnant! It's a boy!" Terri immediately drops her fork in a mad panic while Will's Mother shrieks with joy and Will's Father -- Tony award nominee Victor Garber, don't you know -- squeals something very close to "Yope!" Ma and Pa Schuester are of course overjoyed at the news and rise to hug their son and daughter-in-law, respectively, while Terri's eyes pretty much bug out of her head in horror as she hisses, "Sweetheart! I thought we weren't gonna tell anybody yet!" Will's Father assures her their secret's safe with him, as he spent six months in the Hanoi Hilton and never said a word, and you can insert a tasteless John McCain joke here by yourselves, because I've got to follow along as Terri whisks Will's Mother out of the room to examine the renovations they've completed thus far on the nonexistent impending stranger's new nursery, thereby leaving Will alone with his dad for what I'm sure will be a touching man-to-man heart-to-heart regarding the joys of paternal responsibility, especially after Will's confession last week that his father once burned the family home down after a drunken fight with his mother. Sure enough, Will's Father apologizes for his failings as a parent, but it's just an excuse to give Will his cue to unleash tonight's Secret Word upon the unsuspecting audience's collective behind. "You're not instilling me with a great deal of confidence, here, Dad," Will half-jokes, before admitting to the sleepless nights he's already enduring over the nonexistent impending stranger's non-imminent arrival, and don't feel left out if you missed the screaming this time around, because nearly every single character on this show repeatedly busts out that word or one of its variants during tonight's presentation, so not only will you get many, many more opportunities to participate in the fun, you're also sure to be hoarse by the first goddamned commercial break.