The theme this week was the loss of the glee club's voice -- both literally (Rachel has laryngitis) and figuratively (Puck gets a haircut, followed by a corresponding loss of mojo). Will asks everyone to solo in front of the whole group with a song that represents where they are in in their lives at the moment. Considering everyone is pretty much in the same state of romantic limbo as the last month, this should be pretty easy for all concerned.
Kurt has gotten so jealous of dad hanging out with Finn he decides to butch up via flannel and John Deere hats, even to the point of potentially making the sign of the two-humped whale with Brittany and singing *shudder* a John Cougar Mellencamp song. Though in all seriousness, one of the best parts of the whole show was Burt's (mostly correct) assessment that every Mellencamp song is about how tough the 80s were (though not "R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.", surely).
They also rightfully accentuated Rachel's annoyance factor by having her ream out the rest of the club for not pulling their weight then sing "The Climb" by Miley Cyrus song, only to have her voice finally give out. And it's a testament to the "quality" of Cyrus' music that it took me a good 20 seconds to realize Rachel was singing off-key.
The stress of the upcoming sectionals is obviously weighing on everyone, as oversensitivity was the order of the day. First was the Puck storyline, which found our newly shorn bad boy looking to regain his street cred by wooing Mercedes. Thus far in the second half of the season he's been a nonentity, but his Sammy Davis, Jr. showcase ("The Lady is a Tramp") was well executed, and even resulted in winning over Mercedes. Because what woman can't be brought to her knees by calling her easy? Unfortunately, the hinted-at catfight between Mercedes and Santana never materialized.
Finn's choice was "Jesse's Girl," and I can't be the only person who had the epiphany that his rival for Rachel's affections was given than name solely so they could eventually use this song. Cory Monteith's breathy vocal styling wasn't the best match, however. Then again, if there was any justice in the world Rick Springfield would've been eviscerated by a kangaroo 30 years ago.
Once again, however, Kurt was the centerpiece of the show. Once can't help notice the lucky coincidence between his hetero posturing and the Ryan Murphy-led boycott of Newsweek following the magazine's poorly written article about gay actors playing straight roles. Eventually, of course, Kurt is forced to confront reality ("Rose's Turn" from Gypsy), even as dad tries to reconcile with him.
Look, at some point Kurt is going to have to stop being such a bitch. I mean, how many blue collar, Midwestern fathers would tell their gay son to "be himself?" Too often it takes a tragedy to elicit that kind of sentiment.
At episode's end, Rachel does end up getting her voice back thanks to massive doses of antibiotics and a visit to a quadriplegic ex-football friend of Finn's who teaches her that singing isn't everything. So of course she offers to give the guy lessons (one of his biggest regrets was lacking the courage to join his glee club). She decides to start off with some "classic rock." And that's when the show took a horrible, horrible turn.
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When someone says "classic rock" to me, I think of Let It Bleed or the Kinks or bands from the Dazed and Confused soundtrack. It's what they play on The Arrow or the Eagle or the...Raccoon; the stuff your parents were listening to while they smoked harmless tobacco and hurriedly scrambled back under the sheets when you walked into their bedroom through the inadvertently unlocked door. What I don't think of is U2's "One," which they started singing last night.
"One?" Fucking "One"? Achtung, Baby just came out in 1991! I was still in college! Nirvana played Liberty Lunch! Uncle Tupelo played SXSW and the Texas Tavern! My hair was still mostly non-gray! This shit can't be "classic rock"...can it?
Fine, have it your way. Just remember...it'll happen to you, too (5:04).