So, you know how we all thought this was going to be the West Side Story episode, which would mean big drama? It turns out that the show has finally produced an episode full of tenderly wrought emotion, intimate scenes, and genuine subtlety. I know, right? Did someone drug the writers? Or take their drugs away?
Anyway, it really is time for the musical, so we spend a fair amount of time watching rehearsals, and finish with some actual performance moments. Artie is convinced that Blaine and Rachel can't convey passion on the stage because they've never experience passion in their own lives. Rachel, ever ambitious, decides this means she should finally have sex with Finn. But he realizes that she's doing it for the stage, not for him, and gets mad at her. So then she puts it to a committee made up of Quinn, Santana, Brit-Brit, and Tina to help her decide if she should go for the sex or keep waiting. Quinn, Santana, and Brit all make her think that she would regret it, so she decides to wait. And then Tina tells a lovely, completely sex-positive story about her first time. So at the end of the episode, after the show and after he learns that he won't be recruited by Ohio State, she and Finn finally have sex.
Blaine doesn't take Artie's acting tips to heart, deciding that he's content to keep waiting with Kurt. Kurt, however, seems a little more eager to move things along. But stuff doesn't really happen until Blaine pays a visit to the Warblers, where a new transfer student wastes no time in pursuing our favorite dreamboat. Blaine's clearly intrigued, but tells Sebastian (the vicious interloper's name) that he has a boyfriend. Sebastian doesn't seem to mind, and he even invites Kurt and Blaine to join him at Scandals, West Lima's only gay bar. The show really captures the small-town gay bar feel, as well as the combination of fear and exhilaration that comes with a kid's first visit to the local gay bar. While Blaine gets drunk (on one beer) and dances with Sebastian, Kurt hangs at the bar and runs into... Max Karofsky! Karofsky has apparently transferred to a new school for his senior year, and seems genuinely happy living a closeted life at school while spending the occasional evening at the gay watering hole. And Kurt seems, if not happy, at least content to see Karofsky and put the bullying behind him. Blaine drunkenly tries to get Kurt to have sex with him in the back seat of Kurt's car, causing Kurt to get pretty pissed off. But at the end of the episode, after the show, Kurt invites himself over to Blaine's house, where they make sweet love.
Speaking of sweet love, Coach Beiste finally gets herself a beau. He's the self-same recruiter from Ohio State who shoots down Finn's dreams, but he's clearly got eyes for the Panther from the moment he appears on screen. It takes a while for him to actually make her see that, but after a truly beautiful bit of acting from Dot Jones, she agrees to go out with him.
Also, Artie learns that his true passion is to direct, while Mike Chang has a confrontation with his father, in which they kind of declare each other dead.
Featuring... you know what? Almost all the songs are from West Side Story, and if you don't know them, then you are already dead to me. And if you don't know the only other song (Billy Joel's Uptown Girl, performed by the Warblers), then you are dead to the world. So no links this week.
Check out which musical numbers are the favorites of each Glee star and producer.
We open on a shot of Artie, strutting down the hallway. I mean, strutting to the extent you can strut in a wheelchair. Which, surprisingly, is quite a bit, based on the amount of swagger Artie's working. His voice-over tells us that he's feeling enlightened, because he's discovered what his passion is. He throws a high-five to Puck, who obliviously walks right past him. Artie's passion is not being ignored by punks with really bad fake mohawks. It's directing (or, as Artie terms it, "bossing everyone around"), which he's realized since he was put in charge of West Side Story. The key is just making decisions, even if you have no idea what you're talking about. Did Artie go to the same leadership seminar as my boss? Artie's point is illustrated with a flashback of him reviewing wardrobe for Maria (modeled by Rachel), randomly selecting the ugliest option possible. His V.O. informs us that the musical is just days away.
Cut to the auditorium, where Artie and his two co-directors, Emma and Coach Beiste, are listening to Rachel and Blaine rehearse "Tonight." But they're still reading off of sheet music. And there don't really seem to be any sets assembled. And Rachel and Blaine are just standing at the piano, not doing any kind of blocking at all. This is not what I recall "a few days before the show" looking like. And yet we get to hear them singing much of the song, in the most boring way possible. Beiste is moved to tears (which is apparently her reaction to every song), and Emma is also thrilled. But Artie thinks they lack any kind of chemistry or passion. He is not getting the vibe of "sexual awakening" off of Rachel and Blaine. At the sound of the word "sexual," Emma and Beiste both freeze like terrified bunnies. Artie asks Rachel and Blaine if either of them have ever done it, leading Emma and Beiste to make up excuses to flee the room. Artie tells Rachel and Blaine how exciting it was the first time he had sex with Brit-Brit ("even though she called me the wrong name like four times"), and asks them what their first time was like. Except that they've each been holding out for that special moment. Artie: "As you friend, I support your strange aversion to fun. But as your director, I'm concerned." And then Artie basically tells them that he doesn't think they can do a good job in their roles unless they've had sex. I hear Tim Burton gave similar advice to Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter prior to filming Sweeney Todd. The sudden rash of rich gentlemen disappearing on days they had appointments with their barber is completely unrelated.