Article first published as TV Review: Glee – “Special Education” on Blogcritics.
Lately, there seems to be a huge difference of opinion on the past few episodes of Glee. Some have felt that they have focused too much on Kurt’s character (which I don’t see as a bad thing) while others like myself have simply adored them. Was this week’s episode any different? Read on to find out!
Will walks into the teachers’ lounge and offers a Emma a ticket to sectionals, since she attended last year, and it sort of has become “their thing.” She accepts, but not before correctly predicting what Will has planned for the performance. She reminds him that he has a wealth of talent to pull from, which leads him to some restructuring. I know it’s not possible, but isn’t this
First order, Finn and Rachel will not sing the opening song; that honor goes to Sam and Quinn. Not only that, Mike and Brittany will get a dance number, and the biggest surprise of all, Rachel is not getting a solo (and neither is Mercedes, who naturally thought she was next in line. If I were Will, she would have been my choice.) This does not go over too well with the little diva, and even with Finn, who states that you don’t remove the star quarterback before the big game. Santana points out that it’s easy to say when you’re the quarterback, which leads to some heated words between her and Rachel. Naturally, Santana uses this as an opportunity to let it slip that her and Finn hooked up. First no solo, and now this? What is a star in the making to do?
Now for the moment I have been waiting for: Kurt’s first day at Dalton. We first see our other diva looking in the mirror, proudly putting on his uniform, and then going to his first Warbler practice. That is where the happiness stops. Kurt’s ideas are shot down on the spot by the upperclassmen. He is disappointed, but Blaine reminds him that they are a team, and offers him a chance to audition for a solo.
Meanwhile, Brittany is freaking out about the dance routine. Artie tries to convince her that she will be great, but she just doesn’t believe him. In one of the sweetest moments I have seen on the show, Artie pulls out a comb and hands it to Brittany, telling her that it is magic and if she has it, she won’t mess up. We know for a second Artie doesn’t actually believe in the magic comb, but it was great to see him do something to give Brittany piece of mind.
Tina, on the other hand, is convinced that Mike and Brittany are having an affair, and even resorts to dressing as a cheerleader (but still with some Tina flair) to keep him interested. Artie doesn’t believe her at first, but it does appear Brittany is avoiding him at all costs.
Rachel is alone and upset about not having a solo, but still helps Kurt come up with an idea for his. I enjoy when these two sing together, especially after last year’s “Defying Gravity,” and it was nice to see them belt out “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina,” in the same fashion. The interaction between Kurt and Rachel also provided some of the best moments of the episode. They may say they don’t like each other, but they have more in common than they think. For those wondering, Kurt didn’t get the solo.
It is the day of sectionals, and the Glee Club seems more broken than ever before. To make matters worse, Emma has decided not to go after having a fight with Carl over the issue, which ultimately led to their proclamation of love for each other. Will is hurt, but understands.
Now we finally get a look at The Hipsters, which look oddly like an older version of New Directions. Their rendition of Mike and the Mechanic’s “The Living Years,” was very nicely done. Now come the Warblers, who do a take on Train’s “Hey Soul Sister.” Is it me, or have they lost some of their spark? Darren Criss is still all kinds of awesome, and I can’t get “Teenage Dream” out of my head no matter how hard I try, but I really feel they were trying to drive the robotic aspect of a team home a little too hard. It is still a good song, even if Kurt seemed a bit awkward up there.
In the green room, the tension builds to a boiling point, and all heck breaks loose. Will has had enough, and lets them have it. He reminds them why they are here, and they go out to give the best that they can. They open with “I’ve Had the Time of My Life,” from Dirty Dancing,” which is good, but in the back of my mind I keep wondering what it would have been like with Finn and Rachel. Then comes Santana with a solo, The Zutons’ “Valerie,” which also showcases Mike and Brittany’s awesome dance moves. This was my favorite of the two performances.
The result: a tie with New Directions and The Warblers. That was the most predictable part of the episode.
Finn and Rachel make up, until she reveals that she cheated on Finn with Puck. She thinks the Santana thing cancels this out, but Finn won’t have it. They weren’t together when he was with Santana, unlike now. They go to Glee practice, where Will offers Rachel a chance to sing. She passes, and gives it to the unsung heroes Tina and Mercedes, who go on to totally rock “Dog Days Are Over” by Florence and the Machine.
Wow, there was a lot going on this time around, and even though not everyone got a chance to have some story (Mercedes, I know your day will come), the wealth was certainly spread. Many plots were thrust forward, and a lot more of the cast got a chance to shine. The thing I liked best was that Kurt’s transition was not as smooth as everyone probably thought it would be. That gave the episode a sense of realism, and also made him realize some stuff about his behavior.
Some other highlights:
-Brittany losing the magic comb at motocross practice.
– Puck refusing to hurt Finn twice.
– Lauren(the one who sneezed on the former principal) saving Finn from the port-o-potty, then only joining New Directions if they find her out of season Cadberry eggs.
– Emma’s revelation that her and Carl were married was truly heartbreaking, only because we know how much Will cares for her.
I honestly wasn’t wowed this time around, but I still enjoyed what I saw. The only thing I truly didn’t like was the opening Sectional number, which was too similar to what has already been done. Next week is the Christmas episode!