‘Glee’ Recap (Season 2, Episode 5): Hey Everybody, We’re All Gonna Get Laid!

As I mentioned in my Dancing With the Stars recap, I got hit with a huge snowstorm two Saturdays ago that took out my heat and power for the better part of a week, which meant I didn’t get to recap “Pot O’ Gold” in proper. I will say this much, though, in hindsight: I didn’t hate it like I saw a bunch of other recappers did. You could kind of tell it wasn’t written by Murphy, Falchuk or Brennan and I found that to be a bit of a mixed bag — good because the show was a lot more subtle, bad because it seemed a bit lifeless at times — Jane Lynch had a great night, I’m a big fan of the Burt-for-Congress storyline because it’s a fan-pleaser that also Sue a good out to get back to her usual shtick. Decent songs, not a fan of how Sugar Motta’s getting bullied about on a show that supposedly glorifies outcasts and promotes their successes, nor am I a huge fan of Puck banging Shelby (now’s an especially iffy time to be starting a teacher-bangs-student storyline). I liked the McGinty kid, though, and although I understand he’s about as Irish as the glens of fucking Kerry I do wish the writers would have afforded him a slightly more dignified character than “singing Irishman with a leprechaun storyline who wears green constantly and spends the better part of the episode fucking about with a box of Lucky Charms.” Seems like cheap stereotyping, and while I can’t say I found it offensive, it was a bit juvenile to me. Oh well, I take what I can get with this show nowadays. In any case, it was much better than “Asian F,” which, if you’ll recall, I loathed.

In any case, tonight’s the much ballyhooed everyone-gets-laid episode, which wouldn’t be such a big deal, I don’t think, if Kurt and Blaine weren’t among the couples slated to knock boots. In fact, the only straight character actually losing her virginity tonight is Rachel, which is frankly kind of a non-event because, for all of her jailbait-y sex appeal, the writers have gone out of their way to desexualize her almost entirely as a way of promoting her vicious competitiveness; the few times we’ve seen her actually get busy have largely — and appropriately, given her character — been kind of awkward and unmemorable. I’m actually on the fence as to this episode as a whole; on the one hand, Kurt having sex has to happen sometime. On the other hand, unrolling it with a full media blitz and turning it into An Event (unlike the Karofsky kiss, or Finn swiping his V-card, which weren’t advertised and thus, great moments that singlehandedly swung their episodes) reeks of either a shameless November sweeps stunt, a ratings ploy, or a shark-jumper.

Thankfully, the episode is really fucking good. It’s emotional and a bit cheesy, yes (I could have done without Artie’s big speech at the end) but the writing is tight, the storytelling is efficient, the new villain is instantly loathsome, and they even go out of their way to wrap up a loose end or two. I don’t like that this success will probably give Murphy and Co. license to use similar promotion for lesser gimmick episodes down the line, but as for now, “The First Time is” great, a game-changer for sure as far as plot and (I hope) the way this show chooses to tell its stories going forward.

So here’s the impetus for the whole thing: As one of the directing triumvirate for West Side Story, Artie has seemingly gone drunk with whatever minimal power he now possesses, and takes it upon himself to tell Rachel and Blaine, in so many words, that if they’re gonna sell the sexual nature of the show properly, they have to have had sex themselves. Which seems awfully presumptuous on the part of a guy whose deepest musical connection comes to club-raps that he white-boy-ifies at every goddamn turn. But whatever, proper development for background characters has always been a weak point; let’s just accept that Artie has become Tennessee Williams in a wheelchair and leave it at that.

Anyway: it’s kind of convenient because evidently there’s been this lingering sexual tension on both Finn and Kurt’s part where they’re kind of chomping at the bit to do the nasty. Yes, I know we’ve never seen or heard anything of the sort before. Go with it. Rachel, spurred on by the indication that getting it in might actually make her a better actress, takes it upon herself to suggestively mack on her man in the hallways until he invites her over on the night his parents are set to be out canvassing for votes (Finn hits up Puck for condom recommendations, but that’s a wash since he never uses them). Their big night goes to hell, however, when Rachel accidentally blurts out that she’s just using the no-pants-dance as a way to act better and Finn bolts. Rachel seeks out the wisdom of the lady Gleeks and gets zero help since they’re all either crazy (Quinn) or hos (Santana and Brittany), but a shining testimonial from Tina about how she only slept with Mike when she knew she was in love flips the switch in Rachel’s head and she gets all goofy and lovestruck then and there.

Blaine, hilariously, deals with his sexual tension (and Kurt’s oddly chaste inquiries as to why they haven’t smushed yet) by just explaining he rubs one out when his cup runneth over. Now that‘s a high school man for you. In any case, Blaine, thrown into an existential funk over the virginity thing, takes a day trip back to Dalton to sort out his emotions. He meets his heir apparent, a twiggy douche named Sebastian Smythe (Grant Gustin), who’s also totally fabulous and is looking to honor/replicate the meteoric rise of this Blaine dude who “sucks on the stick and sings like a dream.” Yes, that is the line. I swear to God. And this is why the show takes heat. Oh, Sebastian Smythe also totally wants to bang Blaine.

So Blaine, feeling slightly threatened by Sebastian’s whole dangerous/sexual aura or whatever the fuck, kind of starts nudging Kurt towards the bedroom. Sweet Porcelain, however, is reticent up until the moment he meets Sebastian and sees what he’s up against. Eager to recast himself as an adventurous hellcat, Kurt takes up Sebastian’s invitation to join him at some seedy-ass gay bar where he runs into…MOTHERFUCKING KAROFSKY THANK GOD ABOVE. And here’s what the writers for this episode (neither Murphy, nor Brennan, nor Falchuck…remember how the best Star Wars movie — Empire – was neither written nor directed by George Lucas? I think that’s what we’ve got going on here) did so amazingly well I had to double-check and make sure it was the same show: they let Kurt and Karofsky have this nice, not-at-all-hostile conversation where Karofsky — who transferred out of McKinley in the season interim — seems to have come to terms with who he is (“a bear cub”) but is still as lost and confused as any high schooler before him. It’s great, and subtle, and kind of moving in its own way: a home run.

Not a home run? Teetotaling Blaine, who gets all of one beer deep before his sloppy sex drive kicks in and he tries to jump Kurt in the backseat on the way home. He’s shot down because, you know, that’s kind of a seedy, Fast Times At Ridgemont High way to lose your V-card. Blaine gets all in a huff because he’s just trying to be fun, man, and Kurt’s just being a wet blanket and bringing him down.

It all comes to a head at the show, where Artie has a last-minute panic attack but is soothed when the Gleeks present him with flowers. It leads into a kind of cheesy but actually appropriate speech where Artie emotes that directing the play, without being coddled, is THE FIRST TIME he’s felt like a man. See what he did there? Also, Rory Flanagan’s (he has one line on the night; one less than Schuester, BTW) Puerto Rican accent is evidently a work in progress; homeboy has some serious Mickey Blue Eyes-caliber diction issues there. Other than that, the show kills, and it takes about five seconds afterwards for Kurt to abscond with Blaine and consummate the union. Finn, on the other hand, is laid low by a potential Ohio State recruiter’s (character actor Eric Bruskotter) indifference towards his own athletic prowess (Tinker from Friday Night Lights gets the look), and Rachel does a wonderfully girlfriend-ly job of building his ego back up before they sleep together, too, this time for the right reason. No skin is shown, no cheesy sex scene, just lots of post-coital cuddling to let us know the job is done. And it works one thousand percent. Well fucking done.

B-plots: Coach Beast and the Ohio State recruiter are totally into each other, only she’s such a fucking meathead she keeps missing the signals. Artie intervenes (as someone must always in a Beast-in-love storyline), and we have to go through the whole she-looks-like-a-man thing again before they go on a date, which I’d feel more inclined to rag on if this story didn’t emotionally play me like a damn fiddle. I’ll admit it: I’m a sap.

Also, Mike Chang’s dad accosts him at school and disowns the fucker when our boy refuses to give up his dancing dreams. Damn. Cold as ice. Maybe he’s not getting laid enough? Mrs. Chang is kind of hot, but he doesn’t seem the frisky type. Oh well. Story for the spinoff, maybe.

The songs:

West Side Story; “Tonight”: A Rachel/Blaine duet for the school play. They could sing this in their sleep; it’s hardly challenging or revelatory on either of their parts (and this show really needs to lay off the showtunes; it’s actually a turn-off for people who expect Top 40), but it is pretty wonderful all the same. A-

Billy Joel; “Uptown Girl”: Holy shit, a Warblers number! It’s kind of the same thing they did with “Teenage Dream” and “Hey, Soul Sister,” but with less innovation in how the acapella gimmick is used, and Grant Gustin is, all things considered, nowhere near as good as Darren Criss. They do nicely though, and the barbershop-quartet finish is actually pretty good. B+

West Side Story: “A Boy Like That”: I like how this song was used in terms of plot development (it’s intercut with Sebastian Smythe’s come-ons to Blaine) more than I liked the actual song: yes, Lea Michele and Naya Rivera have great voices. But enough with the showtunes. B+

West Side Goddamn Story: “I Have a Love”: Again, nice use of the song here; it’s the moment when Rachel realizes she wants to sleep with Finn because she loves him. But: SHOWTUNES!??!?!? B+
No video. Sorry guys.

Motherfucking West Side Story: “America”: I loved it, but whatever. Nothing new here. A

Sigh…West Side Story: “One Hand, One Heart”: Wonderful, but I’m beyond being excited by the showtunes. These people can do songs like this at the drop of the dime: they need to be challenged better; mercurial scriptwriting is one thing but if the songs go to hell this show really doesn’t stand a chance. A

READ: More Faster Glee recaps:

Season 3:
-3×1 “The Purple Piano Project”: Glitterbomb
-3×2 “I Am Unicorn”: I’ll Make a Man Out of You
-3×3 “Asian F”: A For Effort?
-3×4 “Pot O’ Gold”: I Had No Power For Four Days And Didn’t Get To Write a Recap

Season 2:
-2×22: “New York”: New York City Serenade
-2×21: “Funeral”: Putting the F-U in Funeral
-2×20: “Prom”: Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya
-2×19: “Rumours”: Rumour Has It
-2×18: “Born This Way”: Corny This Way
-2×17: “A Night of Neglect”: Nobody Likes You, Either.
-2×16: “Original Song”: Everyone Loses
-2×15: “Sexy”: Sexy Time, Very Nice
-2×14: “Blame It On the Alcohol”: They Be Actin’ Like They Drunk
-2×13: “Comeback”: Biebermania
-2×12: “Silly Love Songs”: A Friggin’ Ohio Lovefest
-2×11: “The Sue Syvester Shuffle”: The Championship Game


  • basil


  • http://twitter.com/djmyers3 Dan Myers

    threw out the weed and rechecked a bag that still wreaked of it while acting suspiciously..


    and the tsa guy following you is still laughing at you, baked on the weed he pulled out that trash can.

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