Glee Recap: S03E02: I Am Unicorn
"The point is, is that a unicorn is somebody who knows they're magical and isn't afraid to show it."
This episode of Glee was devoted to finding the magic in each individual and rejoicing in it. I usually love every Glee episode, and there were many parts I enjoyed tonight (in particular some awesome Puck and Mr. Schue moments). That being said, as a Kurt Hummel/Chris Colfer fan, my heart cried many times. Because as others discovered their magic, the original unicorn, Kurt, lost faith in his own.
Mr. Schue devotes himself to Glee and an after school booty camp for the rhythmically challenged:
- Blaine (self-volunteered)
Extra props to the underused Harry Shum Jr. for his comedic rendition of Kurt's signature shimmy (and the fact that he finds it distracting).
Shelby Corcoran, also known as Rachel's biological mother and the woman who adopted Quinn and Puck's baby, returns to McKinley as a teacher. She was hired to start a second glee club to star the tone-deaf Sugar Mata (her father loves to throw money at things). Mr. Schue rightfully points out that her being at McKinley could cause problems for Rachel, Quinn, and Puck. Way to tell it like it is, Mr. Schue!
Things get even more serious (and hot, thank you, Becky) later when Mr. Schue tells off Quinn for siding with Sue yet again against the Glee club:
Ms. Fabray. Wait. You know there's only one person in this world that you care about. And that's yourself... I'm not finished! You're not a little girl anymore, Quinn. How long do you plan on playing the victim card? You know, since day one you've done nothing but sabotage the same Glee club that has been there for you over and over again. When you got pregnant. When your parents kicked you out. Mercedes even let you live at her house, and I don't recall ever hearing so much as a "thank you." So know you're a train wreck, well, congratulations. But you strut into my office and tell me that it's my fault? Well then, I've something to say to you. Grow up.
While there really is no situation in which yelling at a student is a good idea, Mr. Schue delivers a message that Quinn needs to hear. He also brings up a point on which the fandom has fixated: Quinn and Mercedes used to be friends.
With Shelby back in town with adopted baby Beth in tow, emotions will definitely be stirred up in Beth's biological parents: Puck and Quinn. Puck, being the loveable tough guy that he is, actually shows up on Shelby's doorstep unannounced to spend time with his daughter. When Puck sees his daughter in Shelby's arms and is afraid to hold her himself, I almost cried. He has always been a "bad boy" character, but Puck also has a lot of heart.
With Quinn, things are more difficult. Shelby wants her to be a part of Beth's life, but she refuses to let Beth see new skank Quinn. Quinn argues that this is who she is and she should not have to change that. She can no longer be good girl Quinn. Shelby counters that Quinn was never that girl either. Shelby and Mr. Schue make some good points about Quinn; she is obviously lost and needs to clean her act up. And perhaps Shelby can provide a reason for this to happen. Quinn tearfully begs to see a picture of her daughter at the very least, and she and the viewer are treated to the sweetest picture of Puck holding Beth. That picture would make me want to change my life around if necessary!
Ultimately, Quinn decides to do just that. She shows up booty camp practice with hair freshly dyed and piercings removed. Part of her rehabilitation will be returning to Glee. But since this is Glee, nothing can be that simple. We quickly learn that Quinn not only wants to be a part of Beth's life but also wants to have full custody. If there was ever a reason to dislike her character, it would be now...
Burt: Dude, you're gay.
Kurt: Excuse me?
Burt: You're gay. And you're not like Rock Hudson gay. You're really gay. You sing like Diana Ross and you dress like you own a magic chocolate factory.
Kurt: Okay, why are you being so mean to me?
Burt: What is wrong with any of that? It's who you are.
Kurt: And I'm not saying that I'm ashamed of it. The problem is, that if I want to be an actor, I have to pass as straight to get the great romantic roles. And I want those roles. Every actor does. But to not get a shot at it? It kills me. I don't know if you've noticed, but no one is looking for a Kurt Hummel type to play opposite Kate Hudson in a romcom.
Burt: Kurt, I say, if they're not writing movies and plays for performers like you, then you've got to start writing your own. C'mon man, you're awesome. Write your own history.
Kurt: I'm just tired of being a unicorn, dad.
Burt: Do you know what they call a unicorn without a horn? A freaking horse.
Tony, Tony, Tony
Kurt Hummel has two goals that will help him get into NYADA: landing the lead in West Side Story and becoming Class President. Landing the lead should be no problem. He was born to be on Broadway, after all. He just needs the perfect audition song: "I'm the Greatest Star" as performed by Ms. Barbra Streisand.
Cue awesomeness: “I know what you're thinking, but don't worry, I got written permission from the woman herself: Miss Rachel Berry."
Kurt puts on a showstopper, and the judges - directors Beiste, Pillsbury, and Abrams - are impressed. But when Kurt secretly listens in to their deliberations, he finds out that though they were impressed, they have doubts as to whether he can convincingly play a tough, street-wise, straight character like Tony. Kurt decides to prove them wrong by re-auditioning for the role with a dramatic scene from "Romeo and Juliet" with Rachel Berry at his side. The plan backfires, as everyone, Rachel included, laughs when they see him trying to be more masculine. Naturally, this is upsetting. Kurt begins to despair of ever getting the romantic lead roles that can be the highlight of an actor's career.
Meanwhile, his boyfriend, Blaine, is also auditioning for the musical. Singing "Something's Coming," he blows away the judges. Kurt watches his audition from the upper seats, and you can see the pride on his face. Thepair had talked about them both auditioning and Blaine had decided not to go out for the lead role, so Blaine's audition would not be a threat to Kurt's goals. That is, until: "Would you mind reading for Tony?" When Artie asked Blaine that, my heart about broke. The confused look on Blaine's face was awful, as was the now disappointed look on Kurt's. You could see Blaine struggling between the desire to get the role he really wanted and paving the way for his boyfriend to get the same role. And... cliffhanger. We will see how this plays out next week.
Kurt's other plan is to become Class President. Luckily, he has one person who wants to help him with his campaign: Brittany S. Pierce. She sees that Kurt is special and can represent a large proportion of the school population. She wants to be a part of bringing a "unicorn" into power at McKinley.
Of course, Brittany takes a very Brittany-esque approach to the campaign, preparing pink and rainbow posters and a goody bag for voters. "We're gonna call it 'Kurt Hummel's bulging pink fun sack," she explains. It is complete with rainbow flags and little ruby slippers. I want one!! Kurt understandably scoffs at the ideas she presents and shows her his tasteful mock-up poster. Classic black and white with him in a tuxedo inspired by the old Blackglama fur ads. He then proceeds to tell the story of how Judy Garland supposedly failed to return her mink coat after her shoot, and Brittany encourages him to tell it in his speech because it is "so unicorn."
When Kurt arrives at school to find Brittany and Santana putting up the wrong posters, he flips out. With his insecurities about his acting as a gay man coming to the forefront, the last thing he wants is to have her sexuality plastered across the school. He yells at poor, misguided Brittany and storms off. Luckily, Santana is there to pick up the pieces. She tells Brittany that Kurt is stupid if he does not see how amazing she is. Brittany is her own kind of unicorn.
I feel for Brittany, and Kurt obviously took out his hurt feelings on her, but what comes next makes me hurt even more for my favorite character. Kurt apologizes to Brittany and tells her they can use her posters, but she has already moved on to a new campaign: her own. Enbolded by Santana's advice, Brittany realizes that she would make a good class president as well, which means that the all of popular vote she would bring his campaign is now gone.
The Episode As a Whole
For me, it was difficult to rewatch this episode, which is a rare occurrence when it comes to Glee. Usually I will want to see the performances again at the very least. With this episode, as I stated previously, there was a lot of heartbreak for my favorite character: Kurt. I can understand where some people would have a problem with his actions and what could possibly be his reaction to Blaine's being cast as Tony. That being said, I feel that this entire episode was about Kurt watching plans that are essential to his desired future fall to dust. It was painful to watch. It is especially painful when the thing that supposedly stands in the way to your success is something that is essential to your sense of self. I hope some good will come of what Kurt faced in this episode. Unfortunately, all I foresee is trouble down the line for my favorite couple (especially now that it has been decided that Blaine is a junior and will not be graduating with Kurt at the end of the year).
As the continuation of the Beth story line, the only bright light I see is Puck stepping up to the plate as a father. Quinn may have turned her act around on the surface, but she is still making selfish, childish decisions. And while Shelby may have had good intentions with trying to incorporate Puck and Quinn into her daughter's life, she went about it the wrong way. We shall have to wait and see how Quinn's plans play out in the future.
Now that I have poored my heart out about Kurt abuse, let's get on to something more pleasant: the music.
Rating the Songs
Broadway, Broadway, Broadway! I love when Glee covers Broadway, but even I was left wondering why there wasn't at least one pop song to cling to. According to spoilers, there will be more variety in song choice after episode three.
Buy the Song on iTunes
Somewhere - A
A beautiful mother and daughter duet on a beautiful song. Not much to say beyond that. Menzel and Michele have sung duets on the show before, so I see little new here. Obviously, this is the perfect song choice for an episode focused on casting for West Side Story and it is an impressive vocal. Seeing the acting that goes with the vocal does make it more meaningful. For some reason, I am underwhelmed, despite the pitch perfect notes from both actresses.
I’m the Greatest Star - A
Kurt Hummel tackles Barbra for his audition. Beautifully sung. While it may be odd for a male to sing a song traditionally sung by a female when auditioning for a male part, I think this song does an amazing job highlighting the highs and lows of the character’s voice. I love how you can hear his movement and facial expressions in his voice as well. The performance is as moving as the vocal, with Colfer flinging himself around that scaffolding before bringing out his sai swords to demonstrate his skills (which should have all Chris Colfer fans screaming in delight).
Buy the Song on iTunes
Something’s Coming - A
Darren Criss strikes again. Very well sung. My initial impression was good, but again, underwhelmed. But then I listened to it again. And again. And then I saw the performance which had the perfect amount of energy and restraint. I will most likely be playing this on repeat for obscene amount of time, as I do with all of his songs. Can anyone tell me why I am not going to see this guy on Broadway in January? Anyone?