Leave it to Glee to follow up last week’s fantastic, heart-wrenching, tearjerker of an episode with something fun, light, and jam-packed with music. This felt like a classic episode – lots of singing, lots of high school romance melodrama, and lots of good ol’ fashioned competitive spirit.
Mr. Schue announced a duets contest for the glee clubbers this week, with dinner for two at Breadsticks as a prize. I like that there seems to be only one restaurant in town – the same place where Santana and Brittany tried to seduce Finn, and where Sue donned pearls for her date with Schue. Everyone started pairing up immediately, beginning with the obvious – Rachel and Finn.
Rachel and Finn had originally planned to perform a sickeningly cutesy version of “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart”, but aborted the plan when Rachel decided that what would really be best for New Directions was for the new kid, Sam, to win.
First though, Finn had to convince Kurt not to partner with Sam for a duet – it could bring unwanted attention and slurpy attacks Sam’s way and he’d be intimidated out of glee. Kurt took it personally, which lead to a pretty touching moment between Kurt and his recovering dad. Burt pointed out that the way Kurt acted around Finn, and now around Sam, wasn’t really fair. It could make a guy uncomfortable. It was a fair point, and Kurt took it well. Because as much as he wants to walk hand in hand with someone down the hallway at school, and as much as he wants to slow dance at his prom, he is going to have to wait until he finds a willing partner. So instead of performing a duet, Kurt performed Le Jazz Hot from Victor/Victoria.
Love triangles were rampant this episode – Kurt liked Sam, but Sam likes Quinn. Brittany likes Artie, or does she like Santana? But Artie likes Tina, and Tina likes Mike. And Santana likes Puck, but he was in prison, and she’d rather sing with Mercedes. I don’t know about you, but I came out of this feeling really bad for Brittany.
Brittany was involved in two major couplings this episode, and she also got to show a bit more range than she has in previous episodes. I like the way they’re playing Brittany as more of a naive little kid, rather than a classic stupid cheerleader. The scene where she’s laying in bed kissing Santana could have come across as more controversial, but instead it was just funny. Brittany is sweet and Santana is mean, and the chemistry between them is fantastic. But Santana chose Mercedes as her duet partner instead, because a killer duet between them would make them the top bitches at McKinley High. Or something.
Brittany partnered with Artie, and they were both in it to make someone else jealous – for Brittany it was Santana and for Artie it was Tina. In a shocking twist though, Artie ended up losing his virginity to Brittany! Apparently since he’s on the football team now it was going to happen at some point. Artie immediately regretted it (especially because Santana told him that Brittany was only using him for his voice) but Brittany seemed somewhat genuine in liking him. Sure, she said things like “For a while I thought you were a robot” and “I just really want to get you in a stroller” but she also planned on using their Breadsticks dinner to order a really long piece of spaghetti like in Lady and the Tramp. And then she was going to use her nose to roll a meatball toward him. Personally, I really wanted to see them sing a duet but Artie got all self-righteous and pulled out of the competition. I felt bad that Artie felt used, and that having sex meant a lot to him because there was a time when he wasn’t sure it would even be possible for him. But, Artie used Brittany too. He was only dating her to make Tina jealous. So he should get off that high horse.
Mercedes and Santana’s version of “River Deep, Mountain High” was amazing. Fantastic. Incredible. The energy, the dancing, the attitude, the singing – it was all there. These ladies can SING and their voices go great together. I would have voted for them. I like how Santana has now become the bitchiest person on the show, saying things like “Cuz weez be goin’ to Breadsticks.” She makes a better mean girl than Quinn.
Speaking of Quinn, I loved her this week. I’ve always liked Quinn, probably because I think Dianna Agron has a special sort of subtle sparkle that makes her stand out from the crowd. Her voice isn’t powerful, but it’s sweet and suits her. Not everyone was a fan of the pregnancy storyline, but I thought the depth it gave her character is one of the best parts of the show. Santana can handle the uber-bitch role because Quinn is a much better fit as someone who is just trying to do everything she can to get the hell out of that town. She’s got a quiet fierceness and a bit of a chip on her shoulder, which meant that her scenes with Sam were really interesting.
Sam and Quinn have great chemistry, so I hope they remain a couple for a really long time. I liked how hesitant Quinn was to fall for him. Santana summed up the relationship after they performed their duet with “So frickin’ charming.” I like where things are going with this Sam guy, too – he’s quiet, when he gave Kurt his word he planned on keeping it, he speaks Na’vi (the language from Avatar), he does a terrible Matthew McConaughey impression, and after a lot of teasing from Kurt he admitted to Quinn that he put lemon juice in his hair so people at his new school would think he was a cool surfer dude, like Patrick Swayze in Point Break. Basically, Sam and Quinn are all kinds of adorable.
OK, let’s talk about the rest of the duets. Tina and Mike’s performance of “Sing” was hilarious. I love that Mike Chang can’t sing! He was so animated and funny though, it was just an utterly enjoyable performance. Also enjoyable was Rachel and Finn’s attempt to throw the competition with “With You I’m Born Again”. The vocals were good, but they succeeded in making it totally creepy and offensive. Finally, the moment between Rachel and Kurt at the end was a beautiful way to end the episode. Rachel telling Kurt “I know you’re lonely, but you’re not alone” perfectly summed up how Kurt is feeling and how Rachel is changing. She’s not entirely narcissistic. I love when Rachel and Kurt sing together, and their mash-up of “Happy Days Are Here Again” and “Get Happy” brought me back to one of my favorite Glee performances, their duet/sing-off of Defying Gravity.
I’ve heard a lot of complaints on The Internets about how Glee isn’t as good as it once was, but I’m loving this season. Their first four episodes have been so varied and so entertaining. And might I remind you what the first four episodes of season one were? The Pilot was good, yes. But “Showmance” and “Acafellas” were not stand out episodes for me. It wasn’t until the fourth episode, “Preggers” that I really got hooked. So I’d argue that the first four episodes of season two stand up perfectly against the first four episodes last season.
Other moments from “Duets”:
- No Emma, Sue or Puck? I missed them, but leaving out a few characters allowed us to focus more on some others. I want to know what Puck will think of Quinn’s new relationship, though.
- They mentioned “scissoring”. It was brief, but…whoa.
- Rachel’s sailor outfit when singing with Kurt.
- Brittany thought a duet is a blanket.
- Brittany sitting alone at Breadsticks pushing a meatball with her nose.
What did you think of “Duets”? Are you also already imagining just how pretty Sam and Quinn’s children would be? And what was your favorite duet?