Glee Recap: S03E07: I Kissed a Girl

Santana faces the hurdle of coming out to her family, and struggles to accept the glee club's well-meant lesson plan.
Santana faces the hurdle of coming out to her family, and struggles to accept the glee club's well-meant lesson plan.
Last time on Glee, Puck tried to get closer to Shelby while Quinn tried to get closer to Beth, campaign drama culminated in speeches that revealed where the candidates really stood, and tensions between the New Directions and the Trouble Tones were on the rise. But most importantly, Santana faced the prospect of being revealed to the world as a lesbian and took her fury out on Finn. “I Kissed a Girl” explores the aftermath of that revelation, particularly how Finn and the glee club rally to show Santana their acceptance.

Puck comforts Shelby when she is emotionally fragile.
Puck comforts Shelby when she is emotionally fragile.
Shelby sleeps with Puck and then asks him to leave.
Shelby sleeps with Puck and then asks him to leave.
Puck makes the mistake of telling Quinn about his relationship with Shelby.
Puck makes the mistake of telling Quinn about his relationship with Shelby.

Ridiculous Love Triangles

Quinn/Puck/Shelby

Finally someone is suspicious when it comes to Puck’s relationship with Shelby. Quinn notices that Puck is singing to Shelby rather than her or Santana when he chooses to croon Melissa Etheridge’s “I’m The Only One.” Because with the way he was focusing on something behind Quinn, how could she not? After the song, Quinn confronts Puck about singing the love song to their teacher. He tries to pass it off as getting into Shelby’s good graces so that they can be closer to Beth. “That song was mainly about babysitting for me,” he explains.

Despite the transparency of the lie, Quinn seems to accept it easily enough and continues on her mission: to get Puck in bed. Apparently she wants him now that he is not interested. Puck shows more than a little common sense and turns her down. Even though he thought she was hot once, her personality has permanently turned him off: “Turns out, you’re kind of nuts,” he tells her. “You’re higher maintenance than Berry, and pretty much the most selfish person I’ve met in my life.” Of course, even if he didn’t think she was crazy, he would not take her up on that offer, given his real interest in Shelby.

Puck continues his sensible, responsible behavior when Shelby calls him to the hospital. Beth fell and her tooth went through her lip, and Shelby needs someone to lean on. Puck, having learned from experience, demands a plastic surgeon. Apparently this action is impressive enough that Shelby, in her vulnerable, emotional state, makes a huge mistake and finally sleeps with Noah. She tells him to leave after the fact, but the damage is done.

An upset Puck takes Quinn up on her initial offer. Things are getting heated pretty quickly, and Puck wants to slow down because he forgot to bring condoms. But Quinn wants to keep going, happy that they could have another chance to make a “perfect baby.” With his instant denial, she goes off, claiming that she can just find someone else to give her a child. Puck tells her something she should have heard long before:

“I let you down. We all did. You just spent the whole week helping Santana with a secret everybody already knows, and not one person took two seconds to help you. And you’re a freaking mess. You have been for three years, ever since I knocked you up.”

Poor Quinn. She appears temporarily pacified and asks Puck to stay and simply hold her. All is well until, for some strange reason, Puck forgets that he is speaking to someone he just called a “freaking mess” and decides to confide in her about his relationship with Shelby, which is clearly a mistake. How long before Quinn decides to use this information in her mission to take Beth from Shelby? (Here’s a hint: not long).

Sue and Cooter play it up for the cameras.
Sue and Cooter play it up for the cameras.
Beiste warns Sue that she will not back down because she loves Cooter.
Beiste warns Sue that she will not back down because she loves Cooter.

Beiste/Cooter/Sue

Another unlikely love triangle has developed. In her quest for an election win, Sue decides to bring her heterosexuality into the spotlight and opens up her little black book to find a former booty call to date. Unfortunately for Shannon Beiste, the man Sue picks from that book is Cooter Menkins, Beiste’s current flame. When Beiste catches Cooter and Sue on a date at Breadstix, she is confused and asks Cooter what is going on. Apparently Shannon was still sending mixed messages; her inexperience in relationships led Cooter to think she was not interested when she was.

After the election results are announced and Sue is devastated to find that she came in third, Shannon wants to know if the end of the campaign means the end of Sue’s relationship. Given Sue’s usual behavior, this is what would be expected, but Sue truly cares for Cooter (I wish we had a bit more build up on that so I could really believe the emotion behind it). Cooter cares for both of them, so what is he to do? Beiste confesses her love and vows to put up a fight for her man. The election might not be the only thing Sue was set to lose.

Sue's Journal

My campaign is in crisis. Polls have me neck and neck with Reggie “The Sauce” Salazar, and his ad is set to run any day now. Why would someone assume I’m a friend of Ellen just because I’m manish, and highly aggressive, and have short hair, and I only wear track suits, and I coach a girl’s sport, and I married myself? It just doesn’t make sense. The truth is, journal, I’m attracted to men! Sure I can’t stand watching them eat or talking to them, but when it comes to getting sexy, this gal’s got a hole in her heart only a fella can fill. Salazar’s ad will put my campaign on life support. If I want to win this race, I need twenty cc’s of man-candy, stat!

Jacob Ben Israel interviews the presidential front-runner and her first lady.
Jacob Ben Israel interviews the presidential front-runner and her first lady.
Rachel, fearing Kurt will lose the race, stuffs the ballot box with extra votes.
Rachel, fearing Kurt will lose the race, stuffs the ballot box with extra votes.
Blaine supports Kurt as he sends in his application to NYADA.
Blaine supports Kurt as he sends in his application to NYADA.

The Lengths To Which One Must Go

National elections coincide with the student elections at McKinley, and just like at the national stage, people are getting desperate to win. Rachel laments the fact that Brittany is bribing people with pixie sticks and tries to get Figgins to put a stop to it. Unfortunately, he too has succumbed to their sugary goodness.

Why is Rachel so upset? She is concerned that Kurt will lose the election and his chance at getting into NYADA. If that were to happen, Rachel imagines, “I would have to move to New York without my best gay! What if I need an emergency makeover or a last minute soufflé?” Of course, it is Rachel who will most be affected by Kurt’s campaign success. As always, she takes someone’s problems and makes them about her, but you have to love her for it.

Kurt too despairs of winning. But while Rachel has plans for a rousing duet in the cafeteria to drum up votes, Kurt is turning his thoughts to cheating. Kurt seems willing to do anything to get into NYADA. “It’s not fair,” he muses will casting his vote, “The difference between my dreams coming true and managing a Sonic Burger depends on how many people check a stupid box.

Later, both Kurt and his father are called into Figgins’ office. It appears that both Hummels won their elections. But it was Kurt who truly destroyed the competition, and by a suspicious margin. In fact, there were more ballots cast for Kurt than possible voters. He admits to thinking about cheating, but claims he didn’t actually do it. But how to prove it? On top of losing the election, he now faces suspension.

In a Glee-worthy twist, Rachel confesses to Finn that she stuffed the ballot box full of fake votes. Now she is faced with the decision of whether to turn herself in and suffer the consequences or let Kurt take the blame. In the end, she decides to face the music and the consequences. Meanwhile, Kurt must send in his NYADA application without the extra padding to his resúmé.

Finn confronts Santana and lets her know he cares about her emotional well-being.
Finn confronts Santana and lets her know he cares about her emotional well-being.
Finn finally breaks through to Santana with his song.
Finn finally breaks through to Santana with his song.

Simply Santana

And now we come to the girl of the hour: Santana. After slapping Finn at the end of the last episode for mistakenly outing her to the world, Santana must defend herself to Figgins. She claims she has a split personality named “Snix,” and she cannot be held responsible for anything Snix does. Really Santana? She is on the verge of being suspended when Finn steps in to save the day; he claims Santana didn’t hit him. It was just a stage slap. Clearly! This gets Santana off the hook, but she wants to know why Finn would lie for her. Finn gets insightful. Essentially, he is playing nice so that the Trouble Tones will join New Directions in the lesson plan he has laid out for the week: “Lady Music Week,” a week all about ladies singing about ladies.

Why did Finn decide to do this? Finn is trying to keep Santana from killing herself. “You deal with your anxiety surrounding this stuff by attacking other people,” he reasons, “Someday that’s not going to be enough and you’re going to start attacking yourself.” Santana insists that she “would miss me too much,” and would never take that last resort. Despite Finn’s well-meant intentions, she is still putting up that front. But Finn is just as determined, because Santana is more than just a friend: “Look, you’re my first. That means something to me. You mean something to me. And if something were to ever happen to you and I didn’t do everything that I could to try and stop it, I’d never be able to live with myself.”

This speech is enough to convince me, but it is not until Finn sings his slowed-down version of Cindi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” that she hears his message. Tears begin to show in her eyes when he sits and sings directly to her. After his performance, she gives him a hug, suggesting that their animosity can be put behind them.

The girls band together to help one of their own.
The girls band together to help one of their own.

Finn is not the only one to stand up for Santana. The Glee girls stick up for her as well once the campaign ad airs and her fellow students start to treat her differently. I love when Glee highlights the bonds these kids have formed over the years. It’s easy to forget sometimes with the fights and scheming dramas. Even Quinn is supportive. After a rousing rendition of “I Kissed a Girl,” Santana shares with the club that her parents took the news of her sexuality well.

Next stop is to tell her abuela, the most important woman in her life. And in a single heart-felt speech, the true Santana, without walls of sarcasm and insults, becomes apparent:

“I love girls the way I’m supposed to feel about boys. It’s just something that’s always been inside of me, and I really want to share it with you because I love you so much. I want you to know me. Who I really am. When I’m with Brittany, I finally understand what people are talking about when they talk about love. And I’ve tried so hard to push this feeling away and keep it locked inside, but every day just feels like a war. And I walk around so mad at the world, but I’m really just fighting with myself. I don’t want to fight anymore. I’m just too tired. I have to just be me.”

Santana's heart breaks at her abuela's rejection.
Santana's heart breaks at her abuela's rejection.

Unfortunately, the confession does not go the way Santana plans. Her abuela kicks her out, saying that “the sin isn’t in the thing; it’s in the scandal when people talk about it out loud.” Whatever the reason for her dismissal, it hurts the usually stoic Santana, causing her to break down. She puts this emotion into her offering for the lesson of the week: “Constant Craving.”

Hummel Wins!
Hummel Wins!
Rachel reveals her punishment: no sectionals.
Rachel reveals her punishment: no sectionals.

Things to Come

This episode brings many story lines to a close. The election drama is over, ending in success and heartbreak, and Santana has come to terms with the publication of her sexuality, also with success and heartbreak.

  1. Burt has won his Congress seat, so there will be many changes for the Hudson-Hummels in the future.
  2. President Brittany! What mayhem will she cause now?
  3. College applications are sent in, so where will our favorite characters be going next year?
  4. Puck and Shelby have progressed in their relationship, and now that Quinn knows this, she has additional ammunition to use to get her daughter back.
  5. With Rachel's suspension also comes a ban from sectionals. How will the New Directions be able to compete now that they are two people short? And how will Rachel be able to handle watching her team perform without her?

Grading the Songs

Every song in this episode follows Finn's plan; they are all originally sung by women. Musically, this is a strong episode, with the music itself suffering only from the simple presentation of being sung in the choir room and only in the choir room.

Perfect – A-

Ever since the Warblers covered P!nk’s “Raise Your Glass,” I knew Darren Criss would sound great on her other songs; especially this one, given that it perfectly describes his character. That it would be turned into a duet with Chris Colfer taking the majority of the song was a nice surprise. Colfer’s lower registers sound beautiful on this song, and the result is just… too adorable!

I’m The Only One – B

I am all for more excuses to hear Mark Salling sing. While his voice does not have the urgency present in Melissa Etheridge's original, Salling sounds great on this love anthem. Unfortunately, the way in which this song is turned into an ode to Shelby makes the delivery creepy.

Girls Just Want to Have Fun – A

Cyndi Lauper's classic girl anthem is not a song that I would ever expect to be played as a ballad. But in a touching display of solidarity, Cory Monteith's Finn does exactly that to show his support for Santana. Monteith's voice is beautiful on this song, and the simple, straightforward delivery is exactly what the song needs to shine.

Jolene – B

The last time we heard Shannon Beiste sing, it was as accompaniment on the rowdy drinking song, "One Bourbon, One Shot, One Beer." This time, we get another country song, this time from the catalog of Dolly Parton. The song fits Beiste's situation perfectly and sits nicely within Dot Jones' vocal range. Overall, however, there are many songs better than this one in the episode.

I Kissed a Girl – A

A Katy Perry song on Glee? Who could have predicted that? No matter how often Perry is covered by the Glee Cast, each cover is better than the last (with the exception of the first, "Teenage Dream," which will always remain my favorite). "I Kissed a Girl" is a fun girl-on-girl romp in which the girls get to show their support for each other in a flirtatious manner that makes their boyfriends pay attention (Rory's face in particular is hilarious). Naya Rivera and Lea Michele trade off on the lead vocal, and the interaction between their characters is a welcome change. The song is as infectious as the original and will be placed on repeat on my ipod.

Constant Craving – A

As always, Glee must end with an emotional number. "Constant Craving" fits the bill and is the perfect song to highlight Rivera's voice in addition to her character's journey throughout the episode. I also have to applaud the inclusion of Idina Menzel (which could have been predicted) and Chris Colfer (not so expected) to highlight their character's emotion and desires as well. The craving is there throughout the vocals and the delivery for all three (Colfer always brings emotion to his solos), making this the perfect way to highlight what remains unfulfilled.

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