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'Glee' commentary, Part II

This review follows the FOX show “Glee,” which airs at 8 PDT on Tuesdays. Check here regularly for a synopsis and commentary on each episode.

Author’s note: “Glee” is rated TV-14, so I recommend that each viewer discern for herself whether or not the show is appropriate to watch. For young audiences, parents should determine if the show is acceptable.

After the 10th episode, “Glee” went on its winter hiatus. Commentaries on episodes that aired after the break are available in this article. For summaries of the fall episodes, as well as recaps of past seasons, read ‘Glee’ commentary, Part I.

‘New York’ (Ep. 22)
Originally aired on May 24, 2011

New Directions’ spirits soar as they finally find themselves in New York City for the much anticipated Nationals competition. The kids plan to perform two original songs, so Mr. Schue orders them to stay in the hotel rooms until they manage to compose the verses.

After hours of fruitless attempts, Quinn and Puck point out that they are unable to think creatively in the hotel room due to the lack of inspiration, so the group sets out to explore the city, hoping that New York will ?write the songs for them.?

Meanwhile, Mr. Schue secretly heads off to April Rhodes’ show, “Crossrhodes,” to rehearse. While practicing, the director tells Will that he has a lot of talent and has the potential to make something of himself in this line of work.

Dustin Goolsby, Vocal Adrenaline’s coach, catches up with Will back at the hotel and tells him he knows about his Broadway plans. He recommends keeping this information from New Directions, because it will distract them and negatively affect their performance in the competition. Upon returning to the kids, Will discovers that Goolsby told them about his Broadway endeavor in an attempt to compromise their abilities. Seeing the incredibly disappointed reactions from the Glee Clubbers causes Will to quit trying to pursue a different career and put his focus back on teaching.

Finn’s recurring feelings for Rachel allow him to be persuaded by the other New Directions guys to ask her out on a date. They go out for a romantic dinner, however, as Finn leans in to kiss Rachel, she tells him ?she can’t? and walks away.

The next morning, Kurt and Rachel sneak out into the city to visit the theater where Wicked is performed. Rachel confides that, although she really wants to rekindle her relationship with Finn, she cannot decide between love and her musical career. After singing a duet with Kurt on a real Broadway stage, Rachel determines that she cannot let anyone get in the way of her dream, regardless of how she feels about them.

Quinn experiences a breakdown under the stress of her breakup with Finn and bursts into tears, telling Santana and Brittany that she just wants someone to love her. They suggest she take her mind off of her guy troubles by getting a great haircut, so Quinn returns later that day with an adorable bob.

The time for the big competition has finally arrived and Jesse makes a surprise appearance in the audience due to his irresistible desire to watch Rachel perform. As she and Finn prepare to sing their duet, she tells him that although she still has feelings for him, she is going to go after her dream and refuses to let anyone stop her. Her feelings evidently change during the number, as an unexpected onstage kiss from Finn causes her to realize that she still wants to be with him.

Jesse is annoyed by this new development and tries to convince her to stay away from Finn, but his pleas go unheeded. Unfortunately, this unprofessional display of emotion also costs New Directions their shot at Nationals and they end up in 12th place.

At first, this disappointing news is met with tears, and, in the case of Santana, physical violence, but after the club returns to Ohio their emotions settle down and they end the year on a happy note, with high hopes for their senior year.

Several steps are made in various relationships as Kurt and Blaine declare they love each other, Brittany tells Santana ?anything is possible? for them in the future, Sam and Mercedes secretly begin to date and Rachel and Finn decide to get back together.

I was exceptionally delighted by Sam, Puck, Artie and Mike’s rendition of ?Bella Notte.? Their harmonies were beautiful and provided an old fashioned, romantic touch to the big city setting.

Although I enjoyed New Directions original numbers at Nationals, I did not find the lyrics to be incredibly insightful or meaningful. They were a bit too generic for my taste. I anticipate that the group will win Nationals their senior year, since it will be their last chance to compete together and will provide a satisfying end to season three.

I am glad that Rachel and Finn are going to give their relationship a second chance. They have good chemistry together, plus they are vocal leaders for New Directions, so it is only fitting that they team up as a couple.

I appreciate the caution exercised by the writers when creating physical boundaries for Blaine and Kurt and Santannah and Brittany.

Overall, season two was excellent, despite some inappropriate and awkward moments throughout. The music — which is the main reason as to why I will continue to watch “Glee,” regardless of the plot — was exceptional and the cast never failed to impress me with their creative arrangements and fantastically executed choreography. I do not believe the second season of “Glee” quite measures up to the first, however I still enjoyed it and look forward to experiencing New Directions’ senior year.

‘Funeral’ (Ep. 21)
Originally aired on May 17, 2011

With Nationals only a week away, the Glee Club is working hard to create a performance that will showcase their talent to the highest degree. Jesse St. James is hired on as a consultant for New Directions, as his experience on Vocal Adrenaline, which has won Nationals four times, makes him a highly qualified show choir performer.

Jesse suggests they focus the routine around their most talented member, so Mr. Schue agrees to hold auditions to see who is best suited to be the soloist. Rachel encourages Finn to audition, however after Jesse insults Finn?s ability, his confidence is shaken and he decides not to try out.

Kurt, Santana, Mercedes and — of course — Rachel end up being the soloist candidates. After they each perform, Jesse, who is judging the auditions with Mr. Schue, provides all but Rachel with negative feedback. Mr. Schue insists he alone is responsible for making the final decision and requests a few days to mull over whom the soloist should be.

During a meeting to decide which student will lead the group at Nationals, Jesse tries to convince Mr. Schue to let Rachel have the position. Later, Jesse meets Rachel in the auditorium to tell her the good news and adds that he still has feelings for her. Finn, who had a similar plan to speak with Rachel, walks in just as Jesse kisses her.

The couple walks out into the hallway to see Kurt, Santana and Mercedes huddled around the bulletin board, presumably staring at the official note announcing Rachel as the soloist. They are all very surprised to see a request that all Glee Clubbers report after school for an urgent meeting.

Mr. Schue uses this opportunity to tell New Directions that he cannot pick only one person to showcase during Nationals and, as such, they will be performing equal parts as a team.

When Becky Jackson, a student diagnosed with Down syndrome, is fired from the Cheerios, she appeals to Mr. Schue, requesting that she be allowed to join New Directions. He tells her that since the season is almost over, it is unfortunately too late for her to join, but encourages her to try out next year.

Mr. Schue confronts Sue about kicking a disabled student off of the Cheerios and she informs him that Becky reminds her of her sister Jean, who also had Down Syndrome and just passed away at the age of 50. Kurt and Finn offer to help a broken-hearted Sue clean out Jean?s room and make arrangements for the funeral. Jean?s favorite movie was Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, so the kids incorporate decorations and a song from the film to create an absolutely touching ceremony that focuses on the happiness of Jean?s life rather than the sadness of her death.

After Sue sees the generosity and kindness of Will and the rest of the club she tells him she is done trying to ruin their lives and destroy his career. She also confesses that she hacked into Principal Figgins email with the help of Terri and one of her fellow Sheets ?N Things employees and rerouted the club?s flight for Nationals to Libya. At this point, Terri steps in to ameliorate the situation by handing Will first class tickets straight to New York and to inform him of her decision to move to Miami to become the manager of Sheets ?N Things.

Finn?s residual feelings for Rachel cause him to break up with Quinn, who says that he thought they could make their work relationship despite the difficulties they encountered last year, but it isn?t working out and he doesn?t feel as if he belongs with her. Quinn storms away, however, the next day she mysteriously alerts Finn of a special ?plan? she has for their trip to Nationals.

Unbeknownst to his students, Will plans to participate in April Rhodes? Broadway play and rehearsals begin two days after the competition in New York. He tells Emma he is keeping it a secret because there is no need for them to worry about him the week before their big show. Also, since the musical will most likely close after one night, he will be back by the end of the summer, which will allow him to return to McKinley to teach the Glee Club next year.

I very much appreciated the fact that episode 21 was more vocally centered. I adore the Glee Club?s collective performances, but I especially love hearing the individual members sing.

Once again, Lea Michele delivered a very moving performance. She is able to capture the emotional aspect of a song and convey that through her voice, which makes her singing very relatable and personal.

While I am excited for Mr. Schue to finally have the chance to make something of himself in the music world, his removal from McKinley High would leave New Directions without a coach. He is the voice of reason and fairness that holds the club together and I am unconvinced that anyone else is capable of filling his shoes.

The season two finale promises scads of incredibly arranged musical numbers as well as more of the inevitable high school drama that occurs among New Directions at important competitions, which I, and other “Glee” fans are no doubt looking forward to.

‘Prom Queen’ (Ep. 20)
Originally aired on May 10, 2011

With junior prom less than a week away, McKinley kids are frantic to find the perfect date and ensemble for the evening. When the band Principal Figgins intended to reserve is unavailable, he informs Will that the Glee Club will be providing the musical entertainment.

Mercedes confides to Rachel that she is incredibly upset about not having a date for the big night and Rachel concocts a plan. She arranges for Sam to escort both her and Mercedes and, in the interest of saving Sam money, they agree to buy $5 dresses at thrift stores and make their corsages.

Their plans change abruptly when Jesse St. James (Jonathan Groff), Rachel?s ex-boyfriend and a former star of Vocal Adrenaline, makes an appearance. He tells Rachel that he flunked out of college and apologizes for hurting her last year. They agree to go to prom together and double date with Sam and Mercedes.

When Finn catches wind of Jesse?s return, he is immediately suspicious that Jesse has an ulterior motive and cautions Rachel to stay away from him. She tells Finn that he has no say in who she dates and requests his support since she has been supportive of his relationship with Quinn.

Kurt asks Blaine to be his date and unknowingly brings back a traumatizing memory of when Blaine attended a Sadie Hawkins dance with another boy and was beaten up by homophobic bullies. Santana offers the Bully Whips? services for Kurt and Blaine and he agrees to go. Santana hopes to get sympathy votes for Prom Queen when her peers see her desire to stand up for her friends.

As Karofsky walks with Kurt to his classes to ensure his safety, he breaks down and sincerely apologizes for the terrible way he treated Kurt. Kurt accepts his apology and tells Karofsky that he sees how miserable he is and suggests it might be easier for him to come out and stop hiding his feelings.

Puck?s bad boy reputation has been watered down due to his girlfriend Lauren, who is considered to wear the pants in their relationship. He asks Arty to help him spike the punch that will be served at prom as a way of reestablishing his rank as a rebel. At first, Arty refuses to get into trouble because he wants to win Brittany back so that she will accept his invitation to prom. He serenades Brittany during class, however she tells him that she was mortally offended when he called her stupid and prefers to go to prom alone. With nothing left to lose, Arty agrees to help spike the punch while Puck distracts Sue — who will be supervising the refreshment table — by asking her to dance.

Their plans are marred when Sue fails to be distracted by Puck?s invitation and catches Arty pouring what appears to be gin into the punchbowl. She marches him off to her office and holds him hostage, demanding that he reveal who put him up to the task. Arty covers for Puck, who would face expulsion if his participation in the prank were discovered, and says he only did it to impress Brittany. After hours of interrogation, Sue discovers that Arty merely poured non-alcoholic lemonade into the punch and allows him to rejoin the dance.

On the dance floor, Finn notices Jesse getting a bit too close to Rachel and he breaks the couple up by shoving Jesse away while shouting at him to ?keep things PG-rated.? Jesse pushes Finn back and a fight begins, despite protests from Rachel and Quinn. Finn punches Jesse just as Sue breaks up the fight and forces the guys to exit the premises. Quinn is especially distraught by this, as she and Finn are nominated for King and Queen and the results have yet to be announced.

The contestants line up on stage and Principal Figgins announces that McKinley?s 2011 Prom King is Dave Karofsky. Total silence fills the auditorium as Figgins proceeds to name Kurt as Prom Queen. He runs out of the room in tears, despairing that no progress has been made in McKinley?s tolerance levels and the reason no one bothered him the past week was because they were busy making fun of him through the secret ballot. Blaine convinces Kurt to go back on stage and accept his crown proudly to show up the people mocking him. He does and, as Figgins declares the time has come for the King and Queen?s first dance, Kurt suggests now would be a good time for Karofsky to come out. He runs away, leaving Kurt to dance with Blaine.

Quinn and Santana are both in tears over not receiving the crown. Quinn yells at Rachel and slaps her, saying people didn?t vote for her and Finn because they knew he still had feelings for her. Immediately after this outburst, Quinn apologizes for hitting Rachel, and the latter assures Quinn that there is more to her than appearance and she will be able to make something of herself without the title of Prom Queen.

While I am not a particular fan of Jesse?s personality, Jonathan Groff?s voice is fantastic and I was glad to see him return to “Glee.” I am curious to see what his real motivation for coming back is. Last time, he pretended to love Rachel to take advantage of New Directions at a show choir competition and I doubt he has changed much since then.

I especially enjoyed Groff’s duets with Rachel. That, combined with my love for Adele?s music caused me to derive great joy from their stunning a capella rendition of ?Rolling in the Deep.?

?Jar of Hearts? holds a special place in my heart, so Rachel?s performance of this made it impossible for me to resist the desire to sing along.

I am glad that Karofsky realized the error of his ways and apologized to Kurt. It is terrible that homosexual teens experience so much bullying and ridicule. While I do not advocate homosexuality, it is very wrong for students to be punished for harmless self-expression and individuality.

With Nationals — and the season two finale — only two weeks away, Glee promises lots of drama and amazing music in the last episodes of this year. Hopefully, New Directions’ hard work will pay off in their performance at Nationals and they’ll take first place, which guarantees them another year of Glee Club at McKinley.

‘Rumours’ (Ep. 19)
Originally aired on May 3, 2011

The rumor mill is at work in McKinley thanks, in part, to Sue and Terri, who will stop at nothing to ruin the Glee Club and Will. Sue resurrects the school’s newspaper, ?The Muckraker,? and instructs her pupils to write the most ridiculous and untrue stories they can possibly come up with in an attempt to create discord among New Directions.

Brittany creates a new YouTube show, ?Fondue for Two? which is nothing more than a chance for her to spread rumors about her peers. She tells her guests, Mercedes and Tina, that Santana ?plays for the other team,? meaning she is currently part of New Directions and used to be a Cheerio. This proclamation is interpreted to mean that Santana is a lesbian, and the McKinley journalists plaster this shocking news on the front page of The Muckraker.

Arty finds out about Santana’s feelings for Brittany and breaks up with her because he doesn’t want to possess only a part of her heart. Brittany and Santana plan to announce their sexuality and arrange a date to prom on Fondue for Two, but, in an act of cowardice, Santana decides at the last minute not to show up for the interview.

April Rhodes returns to McKinley with the intention of borrowing the school auditorium to rehearse one of her original musicals. Mr. Schue suggests she center the musical around her emotional journey.

When Sue spreads a rumor that Will is planning to leave McKinley for a career on Broadway, April encourages him to actually do so by participating in her musical. He explains that as much as he would love the opportunity, he can’t leave the Glee kids. Emma tells Will that he inspired her to try to overcome her OCD and encourages him to follow his own dream of being an actor. He emotionally insists that the Glee Club and his friends on the McKinley staff are his priority because they helped him recover from his divorce, but admits that he really wants to pursue a Broadway career.

As rumors continue to spread, Rachel and Finn stakeout a motel they see Sam frequenting. They are shocked to see him meet up with Kurt and Quinn on two separate occasions and speculate that he must be secretly involved with one or both of them. The truth is finally revealed when an ashamed Sam confesses that Kurt was loaning him clothes and Quinn was babysitting his younger siblings because his dad lost his job and the bank repossessed their house, forcing them to move into a motel. When New Directions finds out that Sam sold his guitar in a desperate attempt to get money, they all pitch in to buy it back for him.

While Rachel and Finn are on the stakeout, sleazy journalist Jacob Israel photographs them and reports in The Muckraker that they are having an affair. Quinn thinks Rachel is trying to steal her boyfriend, and gives Finn an ultimatum: He must either break up with her or never sing a duet with Rachel again. This is problematic because Rachel and Finn were planning to sing together at Nationals.

Episode 19 provided viewers with a deeper look into Sam’s life. I enjoy becoming better acquainted with the characters by learning more about their struggles and personal lives. The Glee Club’s haste to encourage and support Sam in his time of trouble is an excellent example of the importance of friendship because, despite all their quirks and disagreements, they are a powerful team.

I’m glad the writers inserted a message about the detrimental effects of gossip. Stories that have absolutely no truth in them swirl around in most high schools and the social impact they carry has the potential to destroy the individuals rumors center around. I confess I am guilty of gossiping from time to time, however, I have never witnessed a rumor that reached as large a scale as the ones portrayed in the show.

Kristin Chenoweth is an incredible performer and I was happy to see her return to McKinley. Her character always has something droll to say and her mind-blowing vocal range never fails to amaze me.

I hope Mr. Schue decides to stay with the Glee Club rather than pursue a Broadway career. While I’m sure he is talented enough for the job, McKinley needs teachers like Will who invest in the students and positively influence them.

Next week’s show promises gobs of drama as the identity of the highly sought-after position of Prom Queen is revealed. I have high expectations for Episode 20 and I hope the writers keep the prom situations appropriate.

‘Born This Way’ (Ep. 18)
Originally aired on April 26, 2011

With Nationals only a few weeks away, Mr. Schue suggests that the Glee kids improve their dance moves. While attempting this, Finn gets a bit overenthusiastic and accidentally delivers a painful punch to Rachel’s nose. Finn accompanies her to the doctor’s office, where she is pushed to get a nose job due to her deviated septum. Rachel is wary at first, however the prospect of having a perfect, Quinn-esque nose and possibly improving her voice for Nationals is too much for her to pass up. She asks Quinn to accompany her to the procedure for moral support, despite major protests from the rest of New Directions.

Rachel’s desire to change her appearance and Emma’s increasing struggles with her OCD prompt Mr. Schue to make New Directions’ weekly theme ?acceptance? and sing Lady Gaga’s ?Born This Way? to help the members of the club learn to love themselves. He enlists Emma’s assistance, and they tell the Glee kids to print the thing they dislike most about themselves on a white t-shirt and proclaim it to their peers, thus overcoming their insecurity. As an example, Emma prints ?Ginger? on her shirt. Will is disappointed by her unwillingness to admit she has a serious disorder, and begins to help her conquer it. Emma reluctantly visits a therapist who gives her a prescription to help her OCD, and she makes her first step in the right direction by admitting she has a medical problem.

Santana plots to gain Brittany’s affections by being crowned prom queen. To get votes, she decides to become a hero by bringing Kurt back to McKinley to help them win Nationals. However, Santana first needs to guarantee Kurt’s safety from bullies like Karofsky. Santana confronts him, telling him that she knows he is gay and that she will tell the entire school unless he agrees to be nice to Kurt. She admits she is bisexual, so Karofsky agrees to help her out, and the pair decide that they will pretend they are dating to cover up their real sexuality.

In addition to this, the pair starts a school club, The Bully Whips, to prevent on-campus bullying so that Kurt will feel safe. Karofsky apologizes to New Directions, Kurt and Mr. Hummel, assuring them he has experienced a change of heart. After learning of the real reason behind Karofsky’s personality alteration, Kurt stipulates that he will return to McKinley and keep his bully’s sexuality a secret if he agrees to co-found a ?friends of gays and lesbians? club with him.

Lauren confesses to Puck that, due to her weight, she hasn’t won any beauty or popularity contests since she was a toddler, and wants to run for prom queen. This causes her and Puck to dig up some dirt about Quinn’s past. Lauren discovers that ?Quinn? is actually the middle name of Lucy Quinn Fabray, who suffered from severe obesity and acne in middle school. Quinn admits that she lost weight, bleached her hair, got a nose job and changed her name due to traumatizing memories of a cruel, peer-created nickname: Lucy Caboosey. Quinn explains that she knows what it’s like to be the outcast no one wants to befriend, and vows that she will never go back to that life now that she has attained beauty and popularity.

Lauren tells Quinn no one will vote for her when they discover their beautiful role model is a complete fake. She plasters Quinn’s embarrassing middle school class picture on the bulletin board, causing her to become the laughing stock of McKinley High. Surprisingly enough, many girls begin to view Quinn as a hero for possessing relatable flaws and overcoming her insecurities. Finn encourages Quinn by assuring her that she is beautiful to him regardless of her physical appearance.

After a lot of persuasion from her fellow Glee Clubbers, Rachel decides not to get a nose job, and the club bonds as they admit their insecurities by printing them on shirts; however, Santana and Dave are not yet comfortable enough to reveal their sexual orientations.

I very much enjoyed episode 18’s message about self-acceptance. Too many people compare themselves to others they feel inferior to and inevitably beat themselves up by never measuring up to unrealistic standards. No one is perfect, and even beautiful, popular girls like Quinn have insecurities and other issues they constantly deal with. I thought the Lucy Caboosey story was a bit of a stretch, but it successfully conveyed the message that girls need to accept themselves for who they are on the inside.

Rachel and Quinn’s duet, “I Feel Pretty”, was my favorite part of the show. Their voices blended together beautifully, creating a medley that delighted listeners’ ears. I also enjoyed Daren Criss’s farewell song to Kurt. He has a fantastic voice and I hope Kurt’s return to McKinley will not make Blaine become a less important part of the show.

I recently participated in a Scarlet Letter-esque experiment that involved revealing our insecurities, so I definitely related to the Glee Club’s t-shirt project. I hope that, because of this episode, viewers are encouraged to love themselves for who they are and stop trying to imitate someone else they deem superior.

‘A Night of Neglect’ (Ep. 17)
Originally aired on April 19, 2011

In order to help raise money for the Glee Club?s trip to Nationals in New York, Mr. Schue instructs the group to sell pieces of salt water taffy to their classmates and neighbors.

When this tedious plan is met with complaints from New Directions, Mike tells the group they should appreciate that the school at least recognizes them as an official club. This is not the case for The Brainiacs, McKinley High?s Academic Decathlon team, which is comprised of Tina, Mike, Artie and Brittany. Ironically, Brittany turned out to be a secret weapon and led her team to victory in the competition, making them eligible for the final competition in Detroit. Unfortunately, the school is unwilling to pay for their travel expenses, so Mr. Schue offers to raise the money for their trip by selling even more taffy.

Holly suggests New Directions host a Night of Neglect — a fundraiser benefit concert — to raise money for their trip to New York. Will expands on her idea by informing the kids that in one week they will be performing songs by neglected artists.

Sue?s bitterness toward Will and the Glee kids after their win at Regionals leads her to call together a company of people who share her hatred. The group, nicknamed The League of Doom, is comprised of Vocal Adrenaline coach Dustin Goolsby (aka Sargent Handsome), ex-McKinley teacher Sandy Ryerson (aka The Pink Dagger) and Will?s ex-wife Terri (aka Honey Badger). Their goal is to destroy Will and New Directions.

Sue tells Sargent Handsome to focus on breaking up Will and Holly Holliday, who are now an official couple. The Sargent hits on her after class and, after Will walks in and views this, he threatens to punch him. A bit of a fight begins when Holly sees Will comforting Emma after she admits Carl annulled their marriage. Holly realizes Will and Emma still have feelings for each other, so she decides to bow out and accepts a job teaching French at another school.

Sunshine Corazon — the student who was temporarily involved in New Directions until Vocal Adrenaline snatched her up — returns to McKinley High with the desire to help raise money by performing in the benefit. As a member of her school?s Academic Decathalon team, she claims she knows what it feels like to be neglected and guarantees a ton of her Twitter followers will buy tickets to the show. Rachel believes she is a spy for Vocal Adrenaline, however, the others agree to let her join the concert because they haven?t been able to sell many tickets at McKinley.

As it turns out, Rachel is correct about Sunshine, and, when the Vocal Adrenaline coach discovers her plan, he pulls her out of the benefit, leaving New Directions with only six people attending. Kurt and Blaine support their friends by going to the Night of Neglect and, as Kurt gives Blaine a tour of McKinely, they run into Dave Karofsky who threatens and insults them. Santannah intercedes before a fight begins and orders Karofsky to leave lest she take him down.

Lauren and Mercedes strike up a friendship when the former tells the latter she is the most talented and least respected performer in New Directions. Lauren insists Mercedes must demand respect from people by becoming an incredibly high maintenance diva and offers to be her manager. When Mercedes?s ridiculous demands become too much for the other kids to handle, Rachel offers to take care of the situation. Mercedes confesses she feels overlooked and is resentful of Rachel always being in the spotlight, so Rachel tells her to take the closing solo of the benefit.

The Pink Dagger is to concentrate on ruining the benefit concert, which he attempts to do by creating a Heckler?s Club. They attend the benefit and shout rudely at Tina?s opening number, causing her to run off the stage in tears. The kids are discouraged and want to call the performance off, but Mr. Schue tells them to stand up for themselves and sing their best so that the Hecklers won?t have anything to criticize. Quinn passes out taffy to the Hecklers to shut them up and Holly offers to talk to them about their behavior. She explains their insensitivity is inappropriate and hurtful, which leads to the Hecklers leaving the concert.

After the benefit, Sandy is so moved by Mercedes?s solo that he donates all the money he?s made by selling medical marijuana to the Glee Club so they can afford to attend Nationals.

I appreciated that this episode steered clear of inappropriate topics. The music was excellent; Mercedes?s performance of Aretha Franklin?s ?Ain?t No Way? was flawless and heartfelt. I?m glad Mercedes was provided a chance to be in the spotlight and blow everyone away with her incredible talent. As much as I love Lea Michele?s voice, I always enjoy hearing the other Glee Clubbers’ solos.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Karofsky back down when Santannah confronted him. Evidently his desire to keep his sexuality a secret greatly trumps his compulsion to bully his homosexual peers. I hope his secret comes out soon; it’s not healthy for him to keep all his confusing emotions bottled up, especially since it causes him to lash out violently at others.

Holly and Will’s breakup was not unexpected for me. I like Holly but I think Will needs someone more solid and reliable to fall in love with. I’m glad Emma’s impulsive marriage has finally come to a close; hopefully now she and Will can finally give their relationship a second shot.

Overall, “A Night of Neglect” contained less excitement than previous episodes, however, I appreciate the writers’ tastefulness, as there also wasn’t any offensive material.

‘Original Song’ (Ep. 16)
Originally aired on March 15, 2011

Quinn plots to use her relationship with Finn to achieve one of her greatest aspirations: claiming the title of prom queen. She realizes that Rachel is the only obstacle in the way of their perfect relationship, so she decides to follow the advice of the old adage and keep her enemy (Rachel) very close to her. Thus, Rachel gains a new best friend.

As The Warblers and New Directions prepare for Regionals, the groups struggle to decide which songs to perform. Rachel suggests they write their own songs and after Quinn voices her support of this idea, Mr. Schue concurs.

Kurt mentions to Blaine that, although he has a fantastic voice, it is unfair for him to have the privilege of singing every solo The Warblers perform. During a Warblers meeting, Blaine tells the council that he is tired of hogging all the attention and wants to make their Regionals number a duet. After some initial hesitation, the council grants him permission, and Blaine announces he would like a very honored Kurt to be his singing partner.

Later, Kurt asks Blaine why he was selected as his duet partner. Blaine tells that Kurt he is the person he’s been looking for his entire life and that singing the duet with him is just an excuse to spend more time together.

Unfortunately, the event that had caused Blaine to become cognizant of his feelings for Kurt was when Kurt sang a mournful goodbye song to the recently deceased Warbler mascot bird, Pavaratti.

Brittany attempts to talk to Santana about their broken friendship, and the latter informs her that she is still going to date Sam and was out of her mind to think she loved Brittany. Santana composes an original song for New Directions dedicated to Sam, but when it turns out to be a rather offensive jingle about the size of Sam’s mouth, Mr. Schue puts a stop to the performance.

Puck also showcases a song written in honor of Lauren, and Mercedes belts out an original number that perfectly exemplifies her inner diva. However, Mr. Schue thinks their songs are not really Regionals material.

Rachel has had trouble channeling the personal pain and experience that will help her write a heartfelt song for Regionals, but when Quinn admits that she and Finn are dating again and that Rachel will never have a chance with him, a torrent of emotions is released. She pens a genuine song about heartbreak and “getting it right” in all her romantic endeavors.

This song leads New Directions to victory at Regionals, securing them a spot at Nationals. Once the group reconvenes at McKinley, Mr. Schue and the rest of the club name Rachel MVP of the week for helping them achieve first place.

Episode 16 contained many fantastic songs. I especially enjoyed the rendition of “Jesus Is a Friend of Mine,” as that song holds a special place in my heart. Rachel’s original song, “Get It Right,” was an excellent number. New Directions certainly deserved to win Regionals, although I very much appreciated Blaine’s and Kurt’s duet.

My favorite performance was Kurt’s emotional rendition of “Blackbird.” The amount of musical talent in this show is astounding. The cast’s flawless voices never cease to amaze me.

I am not going to delve too deeply into the controversy that no doubt surrounds the kiss between Blaine and Kurt, but I hope the show will regain its sense of tastefulness regarding those types of situations. I am glad that Kurt and Blaine are in an environment that allows them to freely express themselves without fear of being persecuted, but I personally do not enjoy watching those types of displays.

‘Sexy’ (Ep. 15)
Originally aired on March 8, 2011

Rachel and Quinn rejoin the Celibacy Club, which is now overseen by Emma. She suggests the girls wear “chastity charms” to promote abstinence. When Brittany thinks she is pregnant because a stork makes a nest on her garage, Holly Holiday (Gwenyth Paltrow) returns to teach a sex-ed class because she thinks it is unrealistic to expect modern teenagers to stay pure. Mr. Schuester asks her to help him teach the clueless Glee kids about these important life issues by incorporating a subtle sex-ed message into her lesson plan.

Emma, however, is completely opposed to a sex-ed course because she feels it will steal the kids’ innocence and give them too much unnecessary information. Mr. Schue suggests the Celibacy Club sing a song about abstinence as a counterargument to Holly’s new class. Emma’s husband Carl sings with them, and after the performance, he pulls Holly aside and makes an appointment for him and Emma to discuss their marriage.

Holly asks Emma if she is still in love with Mr. Schue. In response, Emma says she is very confused and uncertain as to what she feels. Carl tells her he understands and will stay at a hotel until she makes up her mind about their relationship.

Sue runs into Kurt and Blaine at a coffeehouse and warns them that New Directions is going to perform a sexy number at Regionals next week. This will be to their advantage because the judges are looking for something fresh from the contestants.

When Kurt has trouble being sexy during a Warblers’ rehearsal, Blaine offers to help him practice his “sexy faces.” Kurt becomes incredibly uncomfortable and asks Blaine to leave. Shortly afterward, Blaine goes to Mr. Hummel and asks him to take advantage of the good relationship he has with Kurt to talk to his son about sex. Mr. Hummel reluctantly agrees, and the two have a rather awkward conversation about personal value and how it relates to the physical expression of love.

Brittany and Santana confide in Holly about their complicated romantic relationship, and she suggests they find a song to sing for New Directions that perfectly expresses their feelings. They perform a song, and although they do not want to put a label on themselves, Santana appears to be more willing to discuss their relationship.

Santana confesses that she is in love with Brittany and begs her to say she loves her back. She tells Brittany she is afraid of what people will say behind her back if she reveals she is bisexual. Brittany apologizes and says she is also in love with Artie and it would be wrong to break up with him. As a result, Santana runs away heartbroken.

The entire Glee Club joins the Celibacy Club; however, unbeknownst to the other members, Finn and Quinn have secretly rekindled their relationship.

During an after-school rehearsal, Will kisses Holly and asks her out, but she turns him down because she thinks she is “damaged goods” and therefore not right for him. At the end of the episode, she tells him she changed her mind and decided that it is time for her to learn more about romance and love.

Episode 15 was quite inappropriate and rather awkward at times. The bisexual aspect was unnecessary, in my opinion. While I do not condone that behavior, I still believe “Glee” accurately portrays a modern public high school.

Holly’s cynicism regarding the sexual activity of teenagers disappointed me, although I agree that the state of morality is rapidly declining among young people. I am more on par with Emma’s point of view. However, I think it is necessary for kids to be provided with some information so they don’t find out the hard way.

I definitely enjoyed the musical aspect of this episode. My favorite part of the show was when The Warblers performed their “sexy” number. The voices of Brittany, Santana and Holly blended beautifully, although, as I said, I do not approve of the message that song communicated.

Since same-sex relationships are inevitable in this show, I hope “Glee” remains tasteful while displaying them.

I am eagerly awaiting next week’s episode, for it promises original songs from New Directions as they compete at Regionals.

‘Blame It On the Alcohol’ (Ep. 14)
Originally aired on Feb. 22, 2011

After dealing with six suspensions due to on-campus alcoholism, Principal Figgins enlists the help of Will and the Glee Club to make the students cognizant of Alcohol Awareness Week by singing a song during an assembly.

Ironically, Rachel’s parents are out of town; after some encouragement from Puck and Finn (who suggest she get more life experience before trying to write her own songs), she agrees to host a party for the Glee Club at her house. All the students get incredibly drunk. While playing “spin the bottle,” Blaine kisses Rachel longer than necessary, insinuating that he may not actually be gay.

The next morning, however, Mr. Hummel is shocked to find Blaine asleep in Kurt’s bedroom. He confronts Kurt about the inappropriateness of this situation and insists that he not allow his homosexual friends to spend the night again without permission.

A few days later, Rachel asks Blaine out on a date and he accepts, much to Kurt?s annoyance. Blaine explains that he isn’t sure if he is gay or not and is simply trying to figure out who he is. After their date, Kurt visits Rachel and tells her she shouldn’t get her hopes up too high about having a relationship with someone who is incapable of sharing her feelings, saying they don’t have chemistry. Rachel responds by saying that she will kiss Blaine soberly, and if they have chemistry, Kurt is welcome to enjoy a large serving of “humble pie.”

Rachel and Blaine meet at a coffeehouse, and after she kisses him, he tells her that he is definitely gay and thanks her for helping him sort out his sexuality. Kurt is worried that Rachel will have to endure no small amount of heartbreak, but she surprises him by seeing this as an opportunity that broadened her life experience and will help her write songs.

When Will confides to Coach Beiste that he is having trouble getting over his divorce with Terri and his love for Emma, Beiste takes him to a honky-tonk, open-mic bar to help him get rid of his stress. He goes with her and accidentally makes a drunken phone call to Sue Sylvester, although he was actually trying to contact Emma. Sue broadcast the message to the entire school over the PA system to publicly humiliate Will.

An intoxicated New Directions tries to perform a Ke$ha song for the Alchohol Awareness Assembly, but Brittany and Santana throw up midway through the song. Mr. Schue and the rest of the club fear they are in serious trouble when Principal Figgins calls them into his office later that day.

To their astonishment, Figgins misinterprets their drunkenness as an act to show the students the consequences of drinking, and congratulates them for their outstanding performance. Thanks to them, for the first time in a month, no one has been suspended for on-campus drinking.

Due to their close call, Mr. Schue tells the Glee Club that he is going to permanently abstain from drinking, and hands out pledges for them to sign if they are willing to follow his example. He provides his cell phone number and encourages them to call him any time so he can help them get back on track if they “fall off the wagon.”

Episode 14 came with a very heavy moral attached. I appreciate the show’s endeavor to exemplify the dangers of underage drinking (or drinking in general), and I encourage other students to make a similar commitment to abstaining from alcohol. We live in an age that promotes alcoholism through music, movies and celebrity lifestyles, so it was refreshing to see the “fun” aspects of drinking debunked. Everyone needs a reality check in this area.

Besides this lesson, Rachel’s and Blaine’s voices blended together beautifully. They are incredibly talented, and I cannot wait for them to sing another duet.

‘Comeback’ (Ep. 13)
Originally aired on Feb. 15, 2011

New Directions’ assignment for the week is to perform an anthem for the rest of the club. However, before Mr. Schuester has a chance to explain this to the class, he’s called out due to an emergency. Sue’s journal is found with a note saying she is going to commit “sue-icide,” and Emma and Will rush to her house.

They find her surrounded by empty gummy bear vitamin bottles, but otherwise perfectly fine. Sue wails that because of her epic failure to place in the regional cheerio competition, she has nothing to live for. Emma suggests that Sue join the Glee Club to cheer herself up. After some initial hesitation, Sue decides to sit in on New Directions for a week in an attempt to rid herself of depression.

Unbeknownst to Will, Sue has an ulterior motive to destroy the Glee Club from the inside and tells Rachel and Mercedes that each girl has been saying rude things about the other. They have a “diva-off” in class, which involves them singing a Broadway duet. Instead of turning against each other, the girls become better friends through their incredible performance, and Sue’s plot fails.

Rachel’s breakup with Finn causes her to shift her focus from boys to her career. She wants to set fashion trends at McKinley High, so she asks Brittany to wear her signature legwarmers to make them popular among the girls. When anyone asks where Brittany’s inspiration comes from, she is supposed to say, “I just copy Rachel Berry.”

Rachel’s plan backfires when Brittany mistakenly wears the legwarmers on her arms and every other girl at McKinley follows suit. After a second explanation as to how she should dress, Brittany successfully promotes Rachel’s “sexy schoolgirl/librarian chic” style, causing Quinn, Santana, Tina and most of the other girls to dress like her. Unfortunately for Rachel, Brittany takes all the credit for this new trend, leaving Rachel without any headway in her endeavor to jumpstart her fashion career.

When Sam asks Quinn how she contracted mono from Finn, she fabricates a story about saving his life by performing CPR after Finn swallowed a gumball and nearly died. Sam believes her, but at least manages to pick up on the fact that he and Quinn are drifting apart. To win her back, Sam creates his one-man band called “The Bieber Experience.” He combs his hair like Justin Bieber and woos Quinn and the rest of the Glee girls with his new look.

Artie, Puck and Mike see how much the girls love him, so they ask to be part of the band in order to rekindle their relationships with their girlfriends.

Initially, Finn thinks his friends’ desire to be like Justin Bieber is stupid, but when he sees Quinn gravitating back toward Sam as a result of his new persona, he abandons his feelings about the matter and goes along with the new style.

Santana tells Sam that Quinn cheated on him and urges him to show her he does not have to put up with her unfaithfulness. As a result, Sam breaks up with Quinn and starts dating Santana.

This week’s episode was not my favorite, due to the focus on Justin Bieber. Ironically, Glee’s renditions of “Baby” and “Somebody to Love” were vocally much better than the originals. I am perfectly aware of Justin Bieber’s absurd amount of popularity, so I feel that “Glee” incorporated his songs to get more viewers rather than to develop the plot.

I appreciated Rachel’s emphasis on fashion, as that is something I am also interested in. Many a stupid trend has been set by a popular person, and often the real fashion instigators are overlooked in real life.

With Quinn back on the dating market, Finn may be eager to snatch her back up. I hope he gives the matter a good deal of thought before dating a girl who cheated on him, broke his heart and then cheated on her next boyfriend with him. Their relationship is toxic and needs to be put to an end.

‘Silly Love Songs’ (Ep. 12)
Originally aired on Feb. 8, 2011

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, love is in the air at McKinley High. In honor of this holiday, Mr. Schuester assigns the Glee Club the task of choosing their favorite love song with which to serenade their special someone.

Finn’s out-of-ontrol ego due to his win at the football championship leads him to believe that every girl attending his school, except for Quinn, wants to kiss him. He sets up a kissing booth as a charity for New Directions; however, his real motivation is his desire to trick Quinn into kissing him, since he knows she won’t be willing to cheat on Sam with him again.

Sam learns of Finn’s plot to lock lips with his girlfriend and immediately becomes suspicious that the two exes still have romantic feelings for each other. Quinn kisses Finn at his booth in front of Sam to prove that there is nothing between them. Unbeknownst to a blissfully ignorant Sam, the couple’s plan inevitably backfires. Quinn tells Finn to rendezvous with her in the auditorium, where she kisses him a third time and admits that she thinks she is in love with Sam and Finn, and does not know how to choose between them.

Puck’s budding love for Lauren sends Santana into a jealous rage. She tries unsuccessfully to win back Puck’s affections by insulting Lauren and, much to her surprise, receives a harsh reprimand from the Glee Clubbers about her attitude problems. Burning with envy and humiliation, Santana gets into a fist fight with Lauren, who easily takes her down.

In an attempt to convince Lauren to date him, Puck sings her a love song, gives her a ring pop and repeatedly asks her out until she finally agrees to meet him for dinner at Bread Sticks. His hopes are dashed, however, when she stands him up.

While sitting in Glee Club, Santana notices slyly exchanged looks between Quinn and Finn, and concludes that they are fooling around. She purposefully contracts mono before utilizing Finn’s kissing booth, causing Finn and Quinn to catch the sickness as well. The entire Glee Club takes note of this odd coincidence, and a few moments later the couple’s secret relationship is revealed.

Rachel visits Finn in the nurse’s office and tells him that this incident can actually help her get over him, so she leaves with a brighter outlook about her state of singleness.

Blaine tells a very hopeful Kurt that he plans to woo his secret crush on Valentine’s Day by singing him a love song at The Gap. Kurt initially assumes Blaine is referring to him, so his dreams are crushed when Blaine points out a sales clerk named Jeremiah whom he is secretly in love with.

Blaine convinces the rest of the Dalton Warblers to help him musically declare his love to Jeremiah. His romantic endeavor backfires terribly when the disruptive singing gets Jeremiah fired. Blaine faces great disappointment when Jeremiah tells him that his feelings are not mutual, and he was embarrassed by the song since his coworkers aren’t aware of his sexual orientation.

After that event, Kurt confesses his feelings for Blaine. Although no real relationship is formed, Blaine implies that while he is surprised by this revelation, he isn’t entirely against their becoming a couple.

I very much enjoyed the atmosphere of Episode 12. I am not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day, but I definitely appreciated the corny pink-and-red decorations and cliched love songs.

Darren Criss, who plays Blaine, is an incredibly valuable addition to the show; his infectious excitement while performing never fails to draw me in and make me want to sing along. And I love Kurt, but I hope the show remains tasteful as it elaborates on his romantic relationship with Blaine.

‘The Sue Sylvester Shuffle’ (Ep. 11)
Originally aired on Feb. 6, 2011

Tension fills McKinley High as fights continually break out between the football team and Glee Club. Coach Beiste and Mr. Schuester join forces to make the jocks and show choir build a sense of mutual respect by requiring the football team to join Glee Club during the week before their big game.

The Cheerios’ Regional Championship is approaching, and, as such, Sue is willing to pull out all the stops to ensure that her team wins. She receives inspiration from a cartoon show and purchases a canon out of which to shoot Brittany.

Despite the incredibly high amount of risk involved in participating in such a dangerous stunt, Sue tries to coerce Brittany into taking one for the team by signing a release waiver that allows her to be shot out of the canon. The Cheerios take their troubles to Mr. Schue, who passes the information along to Principal Figgins. Figgins and Mr. Schuester confront Sue and demand that she consider the safety of her students over the perks of incorporating a nifty stunt into her show.

Sue becomes enraged and spitefully reschedules the Regional Competition so that it conflicts with the championship game. She gives Quinn, Santana and Brittany an ultimatum: they can participate in the Glee Club’s halftime show and cheer for the game, or they can go to Regionals.

The girls choose cheer over show choir, forcing the Glee kids (football players included) to choreograph and perform a routine during the halftime show. Finn catches up with the trio just as they are about to leave and begs them to put aside the popular status that being a Cheerio ensures and to think about which club genuinely brings them joy. They quit the cheer team, causing McKinley High to lose Regionals for the first time in seven years. As a result, Sue?s cheerleading budget is given to New Directions.

The Titans are initially very reluctant to be associated with lowly New Directions. However, after performing a number for the female members of the class, a very short-lived sense of unity is created. Finn and Puck decide to reestablish their alliance as best friends and leaders of New Directions and the football team.

As the group strides down the hallway, the hockey team informs them that the football team’s position at the very top of the social ladder no longer exists due to their involvement in such a lame club. Karofsky convinces the rest of the Titans to quit being in Glee Club or risk being made fun of for the rest of their high school career. An irate Coach Beiste kicks them off the team, which leaves McKinley?s football team short four players. As such, they are no longer eligible to compete at the championship game.

Desperate for players, Beiste posts a sign-up list; after discovering that no one wants to join, Rachel, Tina, Mercedes and Lauren volunteer. The first three plan to stay out of the way by lying down on the field while the game is played, and Lauren intends to put her extensive wrestling experience to good use. Despite their best efforts, the Titans are losing when the halftime whistle is blown. Puck locates Karofsky and the rest of the ex-players and explains that since they are entirely too consumed with labels and popularity, they will never have the courage to try anything new.

After no small amount of convincing, they agree to perform in the halftime show. Karofsky initially refuses to participate, but once he notices how much the crowd enjoys the phenomenal show, he joins his teammates on the field. Coach Beiste decides to allow the guys back on the team as a reward for coming together at the last minute, and with only 10 seconds remaining in the game, the Titans claim the championship.

The next day at school, Finn encourages Karofsky to patch things up with Kurt so he can officially join the Glee Club. Karofsky scoffs at the notion, declaring that New Directions is as lame as it always has been and that after winning the football Championships, he won’t do anything to mess up his high level of popularity.

As Quinn passes Finn on her way to class, she thanks him for helping her make the right decision regarding the Cheerios’ competition. She kisses him and tells him his encouragement reminded her of why she used to love him.

This week’s episode primarily focused on the importance of social status. I applaud Quinn, Santana and Brittany for their decision to quit the cheer team in order to pursue something they truly love being involved with, regardless of any popularity issues they will no doubt face as a result.

Popularity is incredibly overrated; instead of attempting to fit in with a shallow, joyless group, high school students should focus on taking part in activities they are passionate about, even if doing so makes them uncool. The truly courageous aren’t afraid to show off their individuality.

Quinn and Finn appear to harbor feelings for each other, even though she is currently dating Sam. I doubt they will ever fully suppress these emotions due to the seriousness of their past relationship, but it isn’t fair that Sam unknowingly only has half of Quinn’s heart. Karofsky’s “homophobic” condition is ironic, because of his secret about his sexuality. I am eager to see how this aspect of the plot unfolds.

For summaries of the fall episodes, as well as recaps of the past season, read ‘Glee’ commentary, Part I.

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