Did you miss me last week? I know I left you in good hands when the lovely Kirsty Wallace took over the Glee premiere while I was on my school trip.
This week Glee continues to explore its roots, a theme for the final season. Two longstanding traditions of the show, mash-ups and tributes, are combined into, well something that will hopefully work. Alanis Morrisette and Carole King both are paid tribute to this week through a series of mash-ups.
So how are Carole King and Alanis represented this week on Glee? Well let’s get to it, Gleeks.
Jagged Little Relationships: Rachel and Kurt continue their glee club power struggle during the first assignment of the newly formed New Directions 3.0. After running into Blainofsky, Kurt pretty much wants to embrace Carole King’s seminal album Tapestry while Rachel wants to do the “modern” (for lack of a better word) Jagged Little Pill, so they compromise with a mash-up week. Rachel and Kurt, however, are both assertive in their beliefs and are having issues finding a balance in their partnership. Still Kurt’s emotional state due to the break-up makes him shaky in trying to lead the glee club. While critiquing Mason, Jane, and Rachel (singing and teaching style), Rachel says that he needs to go home. The next day, Kurt comes in and apologizes for being overly harsh because he didn’t leave his baggage at home. Rachel says that his criticism wasn’t totally unwarranted, that Jane and Mason appreciated it. Apparently, as a glee club, New Directions 3.0 want to be pushed to be the best as New Directions original recipe. Rachel says that she needs Kurt as a co-director to keep her honest and the club on track. Through this, Rachel declares New Directions 3.0 ready for “the road to Sectionals”.
Tapestry Of Lies: Becky has a boyfriend. She’s also lied like hell to him in order to impress him. She’s told him that she was the president of every club in school and was in the glee club. So in order to play off the lie, she goes to Quinn and Tina asking for their help. Sue, meanwhile, has her own concerns about it. Not the lying part, Sue is cool with that. Turns out that Becky’s new boyfriend doesn’t have Downs Syndrome. Darryl is just a regular guy, and you can tell that Sue doesn’t quite know how to deal with this. Neither do Tina and Quinn when they meet the young man. It culminates in Sue, Tina, Quinn, and Coach Roz (uh hi Nene Leakes?) sitting down Darryl for an interrogation. Darryl calls them all out on them judging their relationship because it makes them uncomfortable, that he called the National Association for Down Syndrome to make sure that he wasn’t taking advantage of Becky, and that he really cares about her before leaving. Becky runs out of her performance with Tina and Quinn when she realizes she cannot keep up the charade any longer. Santana, Brittany, Tina, and Quinn run out after her and tell Becky that a real relationship is built on honesty and that Darryl seems into her. So she needs to be honest with him about whom she is. She is honest to Darryl, who tells her that he will always have her back and that he likes Becky for Becky.
You Oughta Know I Will Still Love You: Santana and Brittany continued to be the most stable couple in glee club in the history of ever. Both of them are happy and content in their relationship. Santana asks Brittany to move to New York with her with plans of the both of them attending college together. Both of them are in the flush of young love, so in love that Santana proposes to Brittany after their mash-up. Brittany, naturally, says yes. Kurt, however, burned by his own failed engagement kind of objects. Santana releases a huge thing of vitriol at Kurt for this. While Brittany accepts his apology and offers words of comfort after telling Kurt that Blaine and Dave are moving in together. Brittany says that Kurt needs to stop holding onto Blaine and to find someone new for himself.
So Far Away: Coach Beiste hasn’t been at her best for awhile: missing practices and getting angry for no real reason. Sam has been taking control of a lot of practices as a result and the guys love him. In fact, Sam is so inspired that he wants to become the Head Football Coach one day. Beiste thinks that he has what it takes. Meanwhile Spencer thinks he has what it takes to go to quarterback, even though he plays receiver. After Beiste yells at him, Spencer becomes concerned and goes to see Sue saying that he doesn’t want her to be fired but that Beiste has been acting weird lately. Spencer even says he has seen Beiste taking pills. Sue, naturally, researches the pills and asks Beiste if it’s cancer that is distracting her. Beiste says that it is and Sue gives Beiste her support. Beiste has Sue summon Sam to her office where he comes out as a transgender man. He tells them that he has always felt different inside and has only recently realized what that means. Beiste says that he wants Sam to take over the football team when he begins his transition process. Sue, however, interrupts and says that Beiste will have his job waiting whenever he wants to come back. Sue and Sam have got his back.
“It’s Too Late” sung by Kurt Hummel and Blaine Anderson: Now everyone and their mother knows I’m not a Klaine fan. But I will give credit where credit’s due, Chris Colfer and Darren Criss do sound good. I love how they have shadows of their past together. This song is good for their voices and their register. I also like the cuts between them at the piano. Although geez Blaine, better hope Dave doesn’t find your phone. Pretty song though. B
“Hand In My Pocket/I Feel The Earth Movie” sung by Santana Lopez and Brittany Pierce: I kind of dig how Carole King’s mellowness is kind of pervasive this week. I do like the energy in this number, of which there is plenty. Naya Rivera and Heather Morris put a lot of energy and chemistry in their performance. It is always super sweet to see how cute this pair is together. It’s also always nice to see a sane couple sing together. Also both songs are represented well, which is a bonus. A
“Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow/Head Over Feet” sung by Jane Hayward and Mason McCarthy: Samantha Ware and Billy Lewis have a lot of natural chemistry together. Their voices are super complementary together. I kind of wished that they weren’t using the new kids as a vehicle for the Klaine angst/flashbacks, but whatever. I seriously dig these mellow mash-ups. Can they do another duet before the series ends? Please? B+
“So Far Away” sung by Quinn Fabray and Tina Cohen-Chang: Now here is a duet that I can get behind. Quinn and Tina sound really great together. Of course since this is a song that Tina is participating in, naturally it’s cut short. The full version of the song, available on the download, is actually really good. Jenna Ushkowitz and Dianna Agron blend their voices well together. I wish we had more interaction between them. B
“You Learn/You’ve Got A Friend” sung by New Directions 3.0 and New Directions Alumni: Another nice mellow ending number, it does feel like a passing of the torch to New Directions 3.0. Everyone sounds really good together. But after so many mellow songs? I kind of wish one was a bit more high energy? But I enjoyed that we saw the New Directions 3.0 actually do some performing. It felt like a passing of the torch. A-