Out on one of those external walkways no high school in the Northeast would ever bother installing, Emma catches up to Will and, in the interests of personal empowerment, informs him that foreplay will begin at 7:30 that evening at his apartment, with The Nasty to follow as soon as is convenient for them both. It's a date! It's also... a commercial!
"'Vogue,' Take One," Artie intones from somewhere off screen as the camera fades up on a glamorously backlit AV Club Clapper Nerd. The Clapper Nerd, uh, claps his clapper, and the camera pans left to take in the glamorously backlit AV Club Nerd Of Indeterminate Gender who's functioning as scriptperson for the shoot before landing on our wheelchair-bound auteur himself. "Sound speed," an intensely focused Artie continues, "and...action!" "Playback!" Artie calls out as the color bleeds from the shot, leaving us in glorious black and white for what follows. By the way, what follows is apparently being filmed in the cramped little McKinley High music room. Hee. It's exactly like all of those Byzantine musical numbers from Hollywood's Golden Age that are meant to be taking place on some dingy little nightclub's tiny stage, and that is fabulous. As for the shot-by-shot "Vogue" remake itself? There's nothing I can say about it by now that hasn't been said everywhere else a thousand times. Is it entertaining as all hell? Yes. Does Chris Colfer look shockingly fierce in ultraglam black-and-white? Indeed he does. Am I going to spend any more time on something that's been picked apart on the Internet for the past two weeks? Not a chance. Well, maybe I'll direct your attention to this performance of the song at 1990's Video Music Awards because, as I recall, it was met with as much astonishment at the time as the original video itself. Besides, it also inspired this atrocity, and I'll be damned if I'm the only person who still has that crap floating around in his head after all of these years.
"Vogue" ends with Sue looking positively ferocious and, in a brilliant cut, the camera smashes over immediately to a positively unferocious Rachel reflected in her bathroom mirror, fidgeting nervously with her hair. Her lilac-colored Deflowering Nightie features a cunning little matching capelet she's primly fastened around her neck. Hee. By the way, the lilac? Symbolizes first love. You go on with your nasty florigraphic self, Glee. From her chaste bedroom with its girlishly canopied bed, Jesse St. James calls out, "Are you ready?" Startled by the sound of his voice, Rachel darts her eyes over to the door and almost imperceptibly shakes her head "No" just as the shot cuts to Finn's Tawdry Red-Light Motel Room Of Teenage Debauchery, where Frankenteen stares uneasily at his reflection in a bathroom mirror of his own and stammers, "In a minute!" obviously answering a similar query from Santana Lopez. And finally, we land on Emma, bedecked in a lilac-colored Deflowering Nightie of her own in Will's bathroom, her bush-baby eyes wider than ever with unease as "Like A Virgin" synthesizes its insidious way onto the soundtrack, and when the intro hits its final three beats, each of our celibately afflicted protagonists pulls away from The Mirrors Of Anxiety-Laden Self-Awareness And/Or -Loathing to hurl themselves into the song proper, and what comes next is just stunning. It's the best marriage of character points with song choice yet on this show, and as far as the execution goes, well. Is "flawless" too strong a word? I'm sorry -- I'm gushing, and that is so unlike me. No, seriously. The choreography -- of shy teasing clashing with intense desire, and of sudden doubt collapsing into an equally sudden surrender -- is significantly the same across all three couples, which only serves to heighten the differences in their individual circumstances, which is brilliant, and in a refreshing change of pace from how this frankly boring issue is normally treated on television, the deflowerees are throwing themselves into it all with as much passion and joy as their deflowerers. Well, nobody else on the screen is matching Santana Lopez's levels of passion and joy, but that's because Santana Lopez is just way out of everybody else's league as far as all that's concerned. Atta girl. And then, best of all?