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Demian: A | Grade It Now!
Light At The End Of The Tunnel

And in the middle of it all, Carmen Thibodeaux comes parading down one of the side aisles -- ever so fashionably late, of course -- to take her reserved seat all the way down front, which of course reenergizes Idiot Rachel, or something, and when it's all over, the audience rises as one to its feet to cheer and holler while Idiot Rachel darts off into the wings to hug Frankenteen. Yawn.

Those two can't spend very long in their touching embrace, though, because it's time for all of the children to retake the stage for the final third of the New Directions musical trio this evening, Meat Loaf's "Paradise By The Dashboard Light." And as several noted on the forum boards, there's an immense and immensely amusing disconnect between the song's actual lyrical content and the bright, peppy way the children have chosen to perform it. I especially enjoyed the bit where Frankenteen starts screaming for the end of time to hurry up and arrive because he can't stand spending another minute with Idiot Rachel, all while the audience in the auditorium cheers him on. I mean, I can't top that -- can you? That said, it's obvious they saved their best for last, and this sequence is one of the more entertaining of the season based simply on the flashy showmanship of it all. It's been a really long time, it seems, since we've seen a fully-developed razzle-dazzle jazz-hands take on a popular song everybody knows and most people love, and while Frankenteen and Idiot Rachel do assume control of a majority of the solo bits, they do make sure to throw occasional focus onto others like Santana, Brit-Brit, St. Gay Of Lima, Dreamboat Blaine and Mercedes, so it feels a little more balanced than it would have otherwise.

And when it's over, even the normally reserved Madame Thibodeaux can't resist openly cheering for the plucky little underdogs from McKinley High -- of course she can't -- and as Will and Emma get all huggy with each other, Jesse St. James quietly freaks while we scamper into this episode's second commercial break.

When we return, we join Mercedes and St. Gay Of Lima as they venture backstage to wish Not Really All That Unique well. Alas, Not Really All That Unique has chosen this very moment to throw an enormous last-minute screaming diva fit about her supposedly miserable lot in life, and I start snickering when Mercedes and St. Gay toss a couple of silent "Bitch crazy!" looks at each other. Well, I'm choosing to interpret them as silent "Bitch crazy!" looks, and that'll be the end of the discussion about that. In any event, St. Gay and Mercedes eventually talk Not Really All That Unique back from the edge, and then Not Really All That Unique makes me fear for the fourth season when she threatens to transfer to McKinley next year. Fortunately, however, we don't really have time to dwell on that fresh slice of horror at the moment because it's time for...

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