Glee Recap: S03E17: Dance With Somebody
Months after the passing of Whitney Houston, the glee club is still mourning her death. Perplexed, Will goes to Emma to ask for her expertise. She compares their reaction to her own when Princess Diana died. Diana’s death came at a time in Emma’s life when she was facing graduation and great change. Though she admired Diana, she was never that connected to her. But in essence, Emma explains, “She was just a physical representation of my pain… Diana dying represented the loss of my childhood.” Returning to glee club, Will encourages his students to use embrace their feelings about Whitney Houston’s death and use them to confront their own feelings of loss. The students scoff at his idea, claiming that they are only reacting to her death and not using it as an excuse to sort through deeper emotions.
Despite claiming that their mourning of Whitney is not a mourning of their impending graduation, the seniors and those who love them are well aware of the dwindling time they have left.
Rachel uses the remaining time to secure friendships that she should have had all along. After collaborating on a duet for Glee, Rachel approaches Santana, telling her that given how great their voices sound together, they should have paired together sooner. Despite how annoying she may find Rachel, Santana realizes that she will miss her diva ways. In her theatrical way, Rachel wants Santana to put her senior picture up in her locker. She wants to be friends. They actually hug. Why has this friendship taken so long to develop (and will it last)?
Puck goes out of his way to bid goodbye to “the dudes of glee 2012.” Stealing the idea of bachelorette party favors, he also steals a few small items from houses where he cleans pools. With an assortment of inappropriate shot glasses that Puck has gotten engraved (Blaine’s reads “Drink until she’s cute”) they toast their time together. In true Puck fashion, he also apologizes to Finn for just getting him a guitar pick: “Sorry Finn, I tried to get your balls back from Rachel, but she’s got those on lockdown.”
Even if the seniors are prepared to move on, their family members may not be. When Burt sees Kurt packing up his things, ruthlessly deciding to leave things behind (including his prom picture with Blaine, more on that later), Burt gets sentimental. He confesses that he has been avoiding Friday night dinners by staying in DC, all because he cannot handle that there soon will not be anymore Friday night dinners. How counter-intuitive. Having been so close to his soon since the death of his wife, he cannot imagine letting go of their time together as a kind of “Starsky and gay Hutch.” Will we get more Burt in the coming season (and how much of Kurt will we get exactly)?
A New Attraction
The seniors hold on to their last days at McKinley, but poor Quinn, who was so ready to leave Lima behind, is unable to get past her injury. The pain on her face is evident when Brittany wants to dance with everyone, and includes Quinn in her wishes: “And Quinn, you’re still dancing in my dreams. And you can fly and breathe fire.” Brittany clearly means well, but Quinn is still at the point where she cannot accept the offerings of such well-wishers.
Luckily, there is at least one person who will stand by her and offer practical support; Joe offers to go with Quinn to rehab. Their shared time in therapy gives them time to collaborate on a song for glee club, but the song choice raises a few questions. What happened during those sessions that would prompt them to sing “Saving All My Love For You”?
It seems that Quinn and Joe felt a connection during a session, and the feelings continue, which does not go unnoticed by the rest of the club during their song (Rachel in particular reacts to their apparent chemistry). But that doesn’t explain why Joe would back away before kissing her.
Quinn tells the glee girls that he obviously does not have feelings for her, which explains him turning away. But this could not be further from the truth. Joe reveals the real reason to Sam in the locker room when he asks how Sam deals with sexual urges while staying true to his religion. Apparently, Sam gave up on waiting for marriage when he worked at that strip club, so he can now act on those urges. Joe protests, claiming that that is against the teaching of the Bible. That is why he moved away from Quinn. But Sam points out that according to the Bible, getting tattoos is a sin, which means that Joe’s inked Bible verses are against the Bible’s teaching. Sam also warns that abstaining could lose him a chance at a relationship with Quinn, explaining, “Quinn’s a good girl, but you have to decide if you want to get closer to God or closer to her.”
At yet another rehabilitation session, Joe and Quinn have another moment. But this time, there is no doubt as to Joe’s emotions when Quinn feels Joe’s reaction to her. Though Joe cannot forsake his religious beliefs to be with her, he does confess that the feelings are there. Though they cannot put a label on what they are, they can admit that there is something there that could develop.
How Not to Flirt Via Text
“Are you an astronaut? Because your smile is out of this world.”
“I am pretty sure you were Cleopatra in another life. You’ve got a great asp!”
“When we go to New York, let’s go to the front of the plaza and reenact the end of The Way We Were.”
“Can you sing into my voicemail? I want to make your voice my ringtone.”
A Dangerous Flirtation
While one relationship may be blossoming, another may be hitting the rocks. Though usually the supportive boyfriend, Blaine seems dismissive when Kurt goes to him looking for feedback and help picking a song for glee club and his NYADA audition. So Kurt must search for the perfect song at “Between the Sheets” on his own. There he finds a new friend to help him: Chandler. He’s auditioning for NYU. He has all the enthusiasm that Blaine lacked and more. Chandler is clearly interested in Kurt. They exchange numbers. Danger!
When Rachel notices Kurt blushing over a text message, she naturally assumes it is from Blaine. But it isn’t. Chandler and Kurt have been texting for two days straight. Kurt claims it is innocent, despite the nature of the texts. He just likes the attention, because he and Blaine have been experiencing “lesbian bed death.” The passion is gone; they haven’t had an unscheduled makeout session in ages! But Rachel points out that if he would not show the texts to Blaine, they cannot be that innocent. How would Blaine react? He does not know what is going on, but he clearly notices that Kurt’s attention has been redirected.
Blaine discovers the reason for Kurt’s inattention when he innocently picks up Kurt’s phone, which has been going off like crazy. Upset, he confronts his boyfriend about the multitude of texts that have been exchanged, all of a flirtatious nature. Kurt gets mad, angry that Blaine would violate his privacy, but Blaine is not diverted. He cries, claiming that Kurt has cheated on him.
Kurt instantly denies this, protesting that the texts mean nothing. And besides, wasn’t Blaine doing the same thing with Sebastian? Blaine claims all texts between them were PG, so Kurt fesses up, saying he just needed the attention. Kurt was tired of being the boyfriend of the “alpha gay,” who got all of the attention.
In the most forced transition of the episode, Kurt tells Blaine that everything is okay, prompting Blaine to protest that “it’s not right, but it’s okay.” Cue Blaine calling Kurt out in glee club by singing said song.
It is not until Burt brings up all that he will miss that Kurt realizes that Blaine is too important to him to give up without a fight. To show the depth of his love for his boyfriend, Kurt belts out “I Have Nothing” in glee club. By the end of the song, Blaine is in tears.
Sadly, a song is not enough to heal what has been broken, so Kurt and Blaine end up in couples’ counseling with Emma (unfortunately her “Say Sorry with a Song” brochure will be of no use). Emma urges the two to be honest, but it is not until after Blaine lets loose with a long list of nothing complaints that he brings up the real problem: “And it’s like New York is the only thing you talk about now, Kurt, and it’s like you can’t even wait to get out of here.” Their looming separation has been weighing heavily on Blaine, causing him to distance himself. As he explains, “I’m just trying to practice what life’s going to be like without you. You are the love of my life, Kurt, and I am pissed off that I’m going to have to learn next year what being alone is like.” At this heartfelt omission, Kurt repeats his earlier assurance that he is not letting go of Blaine for anything. They hug it out. After all that, no Klaine kiss. Really??
Problems fall away when Blaine tries to compliment Kurt, and offers an unscheduled snog instead of glee practice, which is not mandatory anyway. But as Kurt has been made aware, the moments he has with everyone are quickly fading, so he insists they go anyway. Everyone else comes too. Whitney’s death is no longer a specter hanging over them, so they clean out the locker shrine to her memory and focus on their last moments together.
In their own ways, the glee club kids come to terms with the present and the future through the songs of Whitney. But they were not the only ones with exciting and scary futures to face. While the glee kids deal with their impending departure, Will focuses on his future with Emma. He wants to make it happen sooner. He contracts a wedding planner because he wants to move the wedding up to May.
But when wedding planner Mr. Lavender (pronounced Lavinder), claims that nothing can be accomplished in that time and suggests September instead, Mr. Schue gets mad. He fires Mr. Lavender impulsively and decides to plan the wedding himself. Poor Emma now must deal with the fact that her driven fiancé has chosen a campground as their wedding site. It’s the only area available in their time frame that can accommodate a dance floor! Even when Emma incredulously asks why he would expect her, someone with OCD, to get married outside, Will sticks to his guns and tries to convince her everything will be okay.
Emma, being the insightful guidance counselor that she is, gets to the root of Will’s need to move the wedding up. Will is afraid the glee club seniors will not come back for a wedding in the fall. That is why everything is so urgent. He too has to deal with his mourning; he is about to lose touch with the students who changed his life. Of course, his bride-to-be assures him that the kids will come back (reunion already planned!). It is good to see an emphasis on Mr. Schue’s relationship with this special group of singers, even if it is sad to see them parting ways.
Grading the Songs
Whitney Houston’s catalog is large. Personally, I am a fan of her music from The Bodyguard soundtrack and before. Her newer songs are not to my liking. For this reason, some of the songs that Glee picked to cover were not my favorite, but a few standouts more than made up for it, including an intro number that stands up to the best covers of the season.
How Will I Know - A+
A true standout of the season. Everything about this song was perfect. The outfits, the lighting, and certainly the vocals. I adore when Chris Colfer gets to sing with the girls. His vocals perfectly compliment those of Lea, Naya, and Amber. And don’t get me started on the choreography. Every movement was small but impactful. The mood the entire production set was hauntingly beautiful. Love, love, love. Better than the original by far.
Buy it on iTunes
I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) - B+
This number is totally cute, but it cannot stand up to the opener. Nonetheless, Heather Morris kills the choreography, as if there was any doubt, and she and Naya look great in the costumes. This does not improve upon the original, but it is still an enjoyable addition for your iPod.
Saving All My Love For You - B
Samuel Larsen’s voice sounds great on this song. And actually, Dianna Agron sounds good too. Their voices blend well together, but the overall piece is a bit plodding. And the performance adds nothing. And why does Quinn need a potential love interest so close to the end of theyear?No extra points for relevance.
So Emotional - A
As the episode points out, Rachel and Santana should have done a duet long ago. Naya and Lea sound amazing together, and their chemistry during the performance is reminiscent of Naya and Amber on “Ain’t No Mountain High.” Would watch and listen to this on repeat (and have… many times).
Buy it on iTunes
It's Not Right, But It's Okay - A-
When I saw that Blaine would sing “It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay,” I was not too excited to see the cover. Nonetheless, Darren Criss sounds great on this track, and the show faithfully recreated the original music video. Still there was more room for improvement, as the original was not the greatest to begin with. This could have benefited from a Glee overhaul.
I Have Nothing - A/A+
Though “I Will Always Love You” may be the most famous track from The Bodyguard, “I Have Nothing” is my personal favorite. It is a beautiful song with so much power that you cannot help but be swept away by the emotion behind it. And what does Chris Colfer do better than put emotion into his singing? The end result is stunning, as I know of no man who can hit those notes so flawlessly (notes that are the bane of many a reality show contestant).
My Love is Your Love - A-
I do love a good group song! This little number was nothing particularly special beyond what it represented to the club. Vocally it was good, but not outstanding, especially when compared to the vocal masterpieces that were “How Will I Know” and “I Have Nothing,” and the joyful romp that was “So Emotional.”