Glee: Mash-Up

A football player named Karofsky strolls through the hallway wielding a gigantic slushee. Mercedes and Rachel dodge out of his way in anticipation, but he beelines for Finn and Quinn. He tosses the contents of the cup on Finn and tells him, “Welcome to the New World Order” -- Finn and Quinn are no longer popular, now that Quinn’s pregnant and now that they’re both in the glee club.

Ken Tanaka and Emma approach Will about their upcoming wedding in Hawaii. For their first dance, they want Will to arrange a mash-up of their favorite songs. Emma’s favorite: “I Could Have Danced All Night.” Ken’s favorite: “The Thong Song.” In addition, they want dance lessons from Will: Ken doesn’t want Emma to step on his feet, as he had all his toenails removed from athlete’s foot. As someone who only has eight or nine toenails at any given time, I can sympathize with this. (Was that an overshare?)

Will tells the glee club there’s a lesson to be learned from a good mash-up: The differences between two wildly-disparate songs are what makes the combination great -- much like the glee club and football. Aaaaaaand I believe we have a theme. Will gives the class an assignment to come up with a mash-up for his favorite song, which happens to be “Bust a Move.” To demonstrate, he sings and raps and bops around and breakdances, and it’s genuinely great to see someone on this show having this much fun.

Quinn and Finn visit Emma under the whisper-thin plot pretense of needing her advice on regaining their lost popularity. ‘Cause Emma’s exactly the person who could help out with that. Emma sees Will, still in his peppy “Bust a Move” mode, bopping down the hallway outside her office while wearing shades. She suggests that Quinn and Finn wear sunglasses to be cool.

Emma shows up for dance rehearsal wearing a wedding dress borrowed from her cousin Betty. It’s a vast, puffy, Princess Di monstrosity with a billowing train. Will sings “The Thong Song” to her. We’re only ten minutes in, and already Will has sung as much in this episode as he has all season. When he accidentally stumbles against Emma, she’s unable to keep her balance in her gargantuan dress, and she somehow lands on top of him. They have a Moment, while Ken observes them grimly from the doorway, unseen.

During practice, the other football players get into a brawl with Finn over him spending so much time with the glee club. Ken breaks it up and bawls them out. To improve team morale, he’s scheduling an extra Thursday-afternoon practice… which, not coincidentally, is right during glee club rehearsal. When Finn complains, Ken tells him he’ll just have to choose between football and glee club.

In her bedroom, Rachel sings “What a Girl Wants” into a hairbrush. Ew. Puck lies sprawled on her bed strumming a guitar. He asks if she wants to make out. Rachel does. So they do. Which is very odd, but totally clears up the mystery of why “Rachel and Puck hook up” has been one of the leading Google keyword search results for this site for the past couple of weeks. Puck flashes back to how his relationship with Rachel began: He was eating Chinese food with his family while watching Schindler’s List, and his mother urged him to date a Jewish girl. Shortly thereafter, he had a dream where Rachel climbed through his window, wearing a Jewish star, which he interpreted as a message from God that he should hook up with her. And soon enough, Puck was bringing Rachel slushees instead of dumping them on her.

Rachel, for her part, has been imagining that Puck is Finn during their makeout sessions. She claims she won’t give herself to him if he’s not brave enough to sing a solo. So next rehearsal, Puck does a very plausible Neil Diamond imitation and warbles “Sweet Caroline” at Rachel.

Finn and Quinn wander through the halls, sunglasses on. The shades fail to work their magic, and soon enough they’re surrounded by a slushee-wielding gauntlet of popular kids, who scorn them for joining the glee club. (“Bros before hi-hos,” one of them says, and I have no idea what that means.) Finn and Quinn get drenched.

For the latest installment of “Sue’s Corner”, Sue’s odious local news segment, Sue rhapsodizes about how it’s totally okay with her if people want to marry their dogs: “I for one think intimacy has no place in a marriage.” When news anchorman Rod invites Sue over for fondue at his condo, she unexpectedly agrees. Smash cut to a newly mellow and pleasant-natured Sue energetically swing-dancing with Will (at one point Will does a front handspring, and why on earth has it taken seven episodes to learn that Will can do that?). It turns out Sue asked him for dance lessons because, after an idyllic first date with Rod, he invited her to participate in a Swing Dance-A-Thon. I like this episode a lot. In lieu of a plot, we’re just getting a bunch of musical numbers tied together with non-sequiturs.

After Sue tells Will about Ken forcing the kids to choose between glee club and football, Will confronts Ken. He initially assumes it’s because Ken got his feelings hurt when Will scorned “The Thong Song,” but Ken sets him straight: It’s because Emma secretly loves Will, and Ken knows he’s the consolation prize. So he’s making the football players choose: If they stay with team, the glee club won’t have enough members to compete at Sectionals, and thus the club will be disbanded.

Rachel and Puck stroll the hallway. While she happily picks apart Puck’s performance of “Sweet Caroline,” one of the cool kids approaches and throws a slushee on him. Rachel washes it out of his hair in the bathroom sink. He apologizes for ever dumping soda on her, because it feels terrible: “I feel like I could burst into tears at any moment.” He tells her he’s going to choose football over glee club -- and over her. Rachel kisses him on the forehead and tells him she understands.

Emma and Will shop for a better wedding dress. Emma sings “I Could Have Danced All Night” and dances around the bridal boutique with Will, and it’s lovely and romantic. This is a really good episode.

The glee club kids wait to see if any of the football players will show up to rehearsal (Quinn is still wearing her shades, which is oddly hilarious). Cute Mike Chang and the cute other football guy whose name I don’t know walk in… followed by Puck. Rachel and Puck embrace. Finn, however, opted to stay with the football team.

Finn, armed with a slushee, approaches Kurt in the hallway. He doesn’t want to throw it at him, but if he doesn’t, the football team will kick the crap out of him. Kurt tells him to go ahead and do it. Finn hesitates, so Kurt takes the slushee and dumps it over himself, telling Finn he’s taking one for the team. Kind of like when I had to wear raw frozen turkeys on my feet for a Talk Soup sketch. Good times.

Puck watches football practice from the bleachers. Rachel plops down beside him and tells him she doesn’t think the relationship will work out. This is totally okay with Puck, since he was going to break up with her anyway. He knows she secretly loves Finn; Rachel knows Puck secretly loves Quinn. Rachel wonders if they can still be friends, and Puck rightly points out that they’ve never been friends. Too bad. They were kind of cute together.

Finn stammers out a garbled explanation to Ken about how he sees a future where it’s okay to be in glee club and play football at the same time. Ken tells him he’s canceled the Thursday afternoon practices, so Finn and the others can once again do both.

When Sue, garbed in a zoot suit for the swing dancing competition, comes across Rod making out with his co-anchor Andrea, she’s heartbroken. The brusque and merciless version of Sue returns. She orders Quinn to take off the sunglasses and boots her from the Cheerios due to her pregnancy.

Will knocks on Emma’s office door and tells her he won’t be able to do her wedding mash-up. She thanks him for the dance lessons, and Will slumps off. And somehow it all ends with Will getting hit by a dozen slushees hurled by the members of the glee club, including Finn and a now out-of-uniform Quinn.

Comments

Jason Gilman said…
Pretty awesome episode (and much appreciated Terri break), it seemed like they actually squeezed in more musical scenes than usual and it worked well. I enjoyed the Puck developments- and it appeared to me that Quinn was actually starting to look at him in a new light as he sang Sweet Caroline to Rachel and the rest of the class. I'm looking forward to all the drama to come when his role in Quinn's pregnancy finally gets revealed. What would be the worst possible time for that to happen? Right before regionals?
Morgan Richter said…
Fun episode. Great musical numbers (even Emma got to sing!), nice focus on Puck (I thought Puck and Rachel made a cute, sexy, strange couple), and the tone was just right. They're on a hot streak -- I hope they keep up the momentum.

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