Glee recap/review: Girls (and Boys) on Film

I Do recap/review

When Glee last left us (and it’s always Glee leaving us in this most frustrating of on-off relationships), everything was in a state of transition.

Emma had left Will at the altar, Santana had moved to New York, Ryder had kissed Marley even though she’s with Jake, Kurt and Blaine were in some sort of friends with benefits situation, and Rachel thought she might be pregnant.

And everyone else was milling around filling the gaps.

When Glee returned from its hiatus with Girls (and Boys) on Film, there was a lot to resolve. And in true Glee style, what better way to resolve things than with a couple of mash-ups and some movies.

The show opened with Will and Emma in a black and white scene harking back to the golden days of Hollywood, singing You’re All the World to Me from Royal Wedding. It was sweet, romantic, playful, and reminded me that Matt Morrison is a great performer and that occasionally Will and Emma can seem very, very right for each other.

It was also all just a fantasy (something we would see later too). Having dreamt the encounter, Will decided to set New Directions the task of doing mash-ups from the movies, in their annual girls vs boys competition.

Taking a brief detour under the guise of all working together before competing but really so that Glee could make money from yet another song, the group sang Shout from Animal House through the hallways and classrooms of McKinley. It wasn’t one of my favourite Glee group performances, but it was fun, an okay pick as the show’s 500th number (although I would have preferred a song all the old New Directions still in the show could have been involved in), and, most importantly, it got the glee clubbers a great reaction from the rest of the school. We’ve not really seen too much about how New Directions is treated by the school this season, but if Shout is anything to go by, the club is no longer bottom of the totem pole.

And then to the boys vs girls performances, where, I have to say, the boys won for me with their mash-up of Danger Zone from Top Gun and Old Time Rock and Roll from Risky Business. It had fun, uniforms and some cool dance routines. The girls mash-up of Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend and Material Girl was cute, but didn’t really make me sit up and take notice. Unlike me, Will couldn’t choose and declared them all winners in a complete cop-out, which even the New Directioners are noticing.

To be fair Will was angsting a bit about Emma. After Artie and Finn concocted a scheme to pretend to be ginger and found out where Emma was living from her parents (genius), Will and New Directions serenaded her with In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel. Cute again, but nothing to write home about. Still, it did the job for Emma, and she and Will finally talked, and were honest with each other. Although at first he was unhappy, Will actually listened to Emma when she said that she felt like they needed to get to know each other again.

Their happy ending is far from assured though, as Finn finally confessed to Will that he kissed Emma. That’s what you get, Will Schuester, when a 19-year-old man boy becomes your best friend.

Also angsting at McKinley was Marley, who confided to Kitty (seriously, Kitty? Of all people) that Ryder had kissed her. Marley was torn between her feelings for the two, shown in a clever sequence where she kept imagining Ryder as Jake sang Unchained Melody from Ghost to her. Racked with guilt, she confessed to Jake, who walked away in an echo of Will walking away from Finn. Both Jake and Will ended the episode without confronting the other person in their separate little “love” triangles.

Over in New York, things were far, far more interesting than at McKinley. Snowed in, Kurt, Santana, Adam and Rachel decided on a movie marathon, but not before Kurt and Adam got in a few Downton Abbey impersonations and Santana let slip about Kurt and Blaine hooking up at the wedding. 

Having noticed that Rachel has been looking a bit bloated and has been throwing up, Santana picked three films with the word “baby” in the title, which Rachel rejected. Kurt hinted that he knew about Rachel’s pregnancy as well, putting much emphasis on having a baby when speaking about Santana’s choices.

Still facing rejection, Kurt settled on Moulin Rouge (“bitches!) and the foursome sat down to watch.

And so came the best scene of the episode. Blaine, dressed in a tux and bowtie, atop a roof which looked like a cross between the Elephant Love Medley set from Moulin Rouge and Kurt’s apartment, singing Come What May in a voice full of longing and love, and a little bit of regret. Flashbacks to key moments in the life of Kurt and Blaine were shown, tinged with that fuzziness that indicates memory. And then out came Kurt, dressed in a tux and a white bow tie, to join in.

The two walked around each other, dancing at one point, but frequently looking away from each other. Finally, finally, the pair wound up facing each other, at which point a close-up of their hands showed Kurt reaching out for Blaine, and the two wrapping themselves together in a hug. This was a hugely significant gesture, since physically we’ve not often seen Kurt reach out for Blaine.

As the song ended, we came back to Kurt, sitting on a couch in an apartment in New York, crying as he watched Moulin Rouge with Adam and Rachel. Although signs pointed at this being Blaine’s fantasy, it was actually Kurt’s. Trying to pass it off as his contacts acting up (and seriously, how are we supposed to believe Rachel is Kurt’s best friend if she believes that he wears contacts when she knows he doesn’t?), it’s Santana that calls Kurt out on his emotions, revealing to the group that Kurt and Blaine wanted this to be their wedding song and that Kurt thought singing Come What May was a more intimate act than sex. (Santana=better friend than Rachel.)

Santana didn’t dwell too long though, as she wanted to reveal her suspicions about Brody – that he’s a drug dealer. Having searched through everyone’s belongings (hilarious scenes of Santana making a huge mess going through people’s drawers), Santana found a wad of cash and a pager belonging to Brody, leading her to the conclusion that he’s a drug dealer. Rachel tried to laugh it off, calling Brody to make her point, but the seeds of suspicion were sown. And when Santana finally confronted Rachel about being pregnant (she found the test in the bin) Rachel broke down and cried in Santana’s arms.

Kurt too, was a little miserable, having hooked up with Blaine and then being reminded of his former boyfriend in New York while watching a film with the guy he’s currently sort-of dating. Kurt’s heart wants one thing – Blaine – but his head is still hurt that Blaine cheated on him, so Kurt is stuck not knowing what to do. I think it’s perfectly okay for him to take his time with this, and really figure out what he wants. That’s not Adam by the way, who is sweet, but who definitely is Kurt’s rebound, even if Kurt denied it. Contrast the way Kurt reached out for Blaine’s hand in Come What May, where Blaine met him halfway, to the way Adam reached out for Kurt’s hand at the end, where Adam had to complete the gesture and grab Kurt’s hand because it wasn’t forthcoming. When Glee wants to be, it can be very, very good with its imagery.

Best moments
I loved all the little meta comments, such as Emma’s dad puzzling over why the glee kids don’t think about college until the last moment and the New Directions commenting on how rubbish Will is at deciding things, but for me the best thing this episode was Santana, hands down. She might be a bitch, and she might search through all your stuff when you’re letting her live with you for free, but she’s a very, very good friend. She remembered stuff about Kurt and Blaine that Rachel didn’t, and she knew something was wrong with Rachel, and she knew how to draw it out of Rachel and be there for her when no one else is. And as well as the serious stuff, there was Santana’s great impression of someone taking coke while Rachel spoke to Brody, and her little exchange with Kurt about the aforementioned drug dealerness. You, Santana, rock, and are my kind of people.

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