Glee Review: Glee Side Story
It’s showtime! In more ways than one.
Artie’s discovered that his true passion is bossing everyone around, i.e. directing. And he’s got no boundaries whatsoever about it, because he just tells Rachel and Blaine that to play Tony and Maria convincingly, they’ve got to go at it like bunnies. As in, have sex (not with each other, with their boyfriends). But, as we know from that Madonna episode first season, Rachel is totally a virgin, and Blaine hasn’t exactly been around the block either.
But during a visit to Dalton Academy, where “Uptown Girl” is performed (the only non-West Side Story song performed) Blaine meets Sebastian Smythe, a major flirt who wholeheartedly comes on to him. Their flirtation plays out to Rachel and Santana singing “A Boy Like That,” which did not work for me (actually, none of the West Side Story tunes did, with one exception). Over coffee later, Sebastian invites Blaine and Kurt to Scandals, a gay bar, and Kurt accepts.
Meanwhile, while Rachel may be a virgin when it comes to her vagina, she’s a total whore when it comes to her career, so she decides that she’s got to do Finn to become better at playing Maria. So after a romantic dinner, they go at it. But when Finn realizes that she’s just bonking him for her performance, he pulls the breaks, leading Rachel to call a meeting between her and the rest of the female cast (minus the teachers and Mercedes) to discuss her sex life. We learn that Quinn thinks sex just makes everything more complicated; that according to Santana, Finn is awful in bed; that Brittany lost her virginity to an alien; and that Tina’s first sexual experience was amazing (recounted to Rachel and Santana singing “I Have Love”). How Glee managed to not make a small-Asian-penis joke here is quite surprising.
Speaking of Mike Chang, Mr. Mike Chang is not happy that Mike Chang did not quit the musical and plans on being a dancer. He is disowned. Mrs. Mike Chang still loves him, though. And a recruiter from Ohio State named Cooter (I wish I were making that up) who will be evaluating Finn’s performance totally loves Bieste, but Bieste is oblivious to it. Cooter ends up asking her out after Artie totally sticks his nose inappropriately into his teacher’s business (there’s that lack of boundaries again), and Bieste says yes. However, in this episode revolving around doin’ it, both Mike Chang and the Bieste storylines were totally forgettable.
Kurt and Blaine go to Scandals, where it happens to be Drag Queen Wednesdays, and features some of the saddest drag queens I’ve ever seen. There is dancing, and there is Karofsky, whom I totally forgot about but who was nice to see anyway. Karofsky is doing well; he’s out at his new school, and he is happy to be a bear cub. [I totally wanted to link to bear there, but I didn't feel safe clicking on most of the links that came up in the google search.] Blaine, having had at least one beer, gets frisky in the car, but Kurt is totally not turned on by drunken sex in the car in the Scandals parking lot. Blaine then accuses Kurt of not being spontaneous and fun. This is the least likeable Blaine has ever been, and Kurt’s right to call him out. Blaine ends up walking home.
On show night, Artie is applauded for all the work he’s done, and he gives a touching speech about how directing them is the first time he’s truly felt like a grown man in a life that consists of other people often doing things for him. We get a glimpse of the show on stage when much of Glee performs “America.” We also finally get a glance at Mercedes, who is smiling in the audience. Frankly, I wish the writers had given her more to do this episode; I think it would’ve been more interesting if she’d held on to some sour grapes over not being cast as Maria. I’m sure we’ll see it later, but it would have made more sense to drop the Bieste storyline and to start it now.
So, after the show, we find out that Finn failed to impress Cooter. But Rachel’s going to give him her cherry, so he’ll feel more like a man. Just writing that sentence made me gag a little, but that’s really what happened. But Blaine and Kurt also do the deed, after Blaine apologizes and reassures Kurt that Sebastian means nothing to him. Their (fully-clothed) love scene was very sweet, and it was interspersed with Rachel and Finn’s (also fully-clothed) scene, with “One Hand, One Heart” sung in the background by Rachel and Blaine, the only West Side Story song that worked.
I could also mention here how Blaine and Kurt’s scene was really pretty ground-breaking for network TV, them being gay and all, and teenagers to boot. But I really don’t have to, do I? I’ve long since forgotten that Blaine and Kurt are GAY. They’re just Blaine and Kurt, that cute TV couple I keep rooting for.
For more on this episode, check out Feels Like The First Time by Inisia Lewis.
Season 3, Episode 5: The First Time (originally aired November 8, 2011)
Glee airs Tuesdays at 8 ET/PT on Fox.
Images courtesy of Adam Rose, Mike Yarish, and Fox.