Call me cynical, but I’m not 100 percent certain that a group of kids who were only four years old when Whitney Houston released 1998’s My Love Is Your Love (aka the CD that spawned her last couple of iconic singles) would spend two months mourning the late, great diva at their locker-shrines.
That said, sometimes (or all times) one watches Glee, one needs to send one’s inner cynic out for a cocktail (or three), then sit back and enjoy the show. Which is exactly the approach I took to this week’s “Dance With Somebody,” a festive hour of fantastic musical numbers and occasionally dubious story arcs that actually included this doozy of a line of dialogue: “When I’m with you, I don’t care what God says about sins of the flesh.” (I’d insert an eye roll there, but like I said, my inner cynic is down the block and extending happy hour.)
Of course, if you were too busy trying to mentally will Blaine into unbuttoning his top button already, let me break down the episode’s key plot points:
* Kurt and Blaine have a blowout fight | See what happens when you let your boyfriend go to Twin Sheets on his own to look for sheet music for his NYADA audition? Kurt bumped into Chandler, a fellow senior from a different high school, who admired Porcelain’s hippo-head brooch at a time when Klaine was suffering from “Lesbian Bed Death” (aka no unscheduled makeout sessions for a month). Flirtatious texting ensued — loved Rachel’s assessment: “I guess it’s not that innocent” — including the so-punny-it’s-not-even-funny “I’m pretty sure you were Cleopatra in a past life. You’ve got a great asp.” (Ewww.) Cut to Blaine discovering the text thread. Cut to a long-overdue war of words. (Blaine: “I transfered schools to be with you!” Kurt: “You’re the Alpha gay! Even Rachel wanted to make out with you!”) And then some music therapy: Blaine working out his anger with “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay,” and Kurt asking for forgiveness with “I Have Nothing.” Good thing Emma slipped that “Saying Sorry With a Song” pamphlet back under her desk organizer, since Blaine got to express his fears that Kurt’s impending graduation means he’s about to lose “the love of his life.” I’m not one to say you should necessarily end up with your high-school sweetheart without considering a world of post-graduate alternatives, but maybe these crazy kids can make it after all?
* Schue and Emma hire a wedding planner | Well, actually, it was Will who hired Mr. Lavender (that’s Luh-VEN-der to you) and wanted to push the wedding date up to May — the better to make sure his New Directions kids wouldn’t have an excuse not to attend. And while I loved seeing Emma step up and bring a mature perspective to the situation — the joy of teaching means new students and new challenges and joys every year — I’m not sure her future hubby gets it. As Santana so bluntly put it, dude shouldn’t be putting his baggage on his students, y’know?
* Quinn and Joe work out | No, I’m not talking in the LMFAO sense of the term, but rather, I mean to say that Joe decided to help his Bible-loving friend as she attempted to overcome her paralysis. Lo and behold, though, all that stretching and table work brought a stiffness to parts of Joe’s anatomy, too. (Yikes!) Joe turned to Sam to try to figure out how to merge his carnal cravings with his religious upbringing, while Quinn was forced to set aside her idea that no one could find her attractive. Only a few future episodes will let us know how far this thing will go.
* In other news, Santana and Rachel decided to use their final 42 days of high school to be friends — and musical partners in crime (they do sound good together); Mike O’Malley (love him!) returned for a touching Kurt-Burt scene; and Beiste remained missing (boo!) as did Rory (yay!).
Anyhow, now that we’ve covered all the pertinent plot details, let’s review the best quotes from the episode:
“I’ll let you hold one of my dreads for luck.” –Joe, trying to get Quinn to let him accompany her to physical therapy
“Joe’s really pretty, but I heard she doesn’t shave her armpits.” –Brittany on Quinn’s new crush
“Cheetahs have the fastest land speed of any living animal.” –Brittany, responding to Blaine’s dedication that his song was for anyone who’d ever been “cheetah’d” on
“Green is for humidity-controlled storage to keep in mint condition and sell as memorabilia after I get famous.” –Kurt, labeling his various possessions for when he heads off to college
“You and me, we’ve been doing this dance for over a decade. You know, Starsky and gay Hutch.” –Burt, sharing a tender moment with his son
“I was 9. Who knew paella was gonna be so complicated?” –Kurt, looking back at an early cooking catastrophe
“I have OCD. I throw awat a broom after I’ve used it once, and you think I’m gonna get married at a campground?” –Emma, rejecting Schue’s latest idea for a wedding locale
And now, let’s get on to the grades for this week’s musical numbers:
“How Will I Know,” Mercedes, Santana, Kurt, and Rachel Four of New Directions’ most powerful voices stripped almost bare — with just some hand claps for coverage — breathing new life into a delectable slice of ’80s pop. Loved the harmonies and loved the glammed-up looks for the fab four once they hit the auditorium, too. One of the show’s best ever musical performances? Hell to the yes. Grade: A+
“I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me),” Brittany and Santana What can I say, I’m a sucker for a divalicious dance remix? Plus, the choreography was pretty stellar, no? Grade: B+
“Saving All My Love for You,” Quinn and Joe I’m not quite sure this song choice — about a single woman pining for a married man — would’ve been my first choice for this odd couple to explore their bubbling feelings. Then again, maybe it’s supposed to be about fighting their carnal cravings while staying true to God? Pretty enough vocal, though, I guess? Grade: B
“So Emotional,” Rachel and Santana I’m not sure this quite matched Whitney’s underrated original, but gosh darn it, the frenemies-turned-mutual admirers sure came close, no? (Bonus points for Rachel’s kicky red dress!) Grade: A-
“It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay,” Blaine Agree or disagree all you want, but I say Darren Criss is usually a pretty charismatic performer. That said, I’m not always completely sold on his acting, and the “pained/angry” faces through the duration of this Whtiney dancefloor classic kinda ruined things for me, as did the ridiculous dialogue leading into the performance. Kurt: “It’s okay!” Blaine: “It’s not right, but it’s okay.” Gack. Grade: C+
“I Have Nothing,” Kurt Oooh damn, those high notes were high. But there’s a reason Chris Colfer is Emmy nominated, and he drove it home with a potent, emotional vocal here. Grade: A-
“My Love Is Your Love,” Artie, Mercedes, and New Directions
Hey look, it’s all those cast members who haven’t really had story arcs for six months, performing alongside those who have, in a sweet if not entirely memorable non-mandatory rehearsal ditty! Grade: B+
And now it’s your turn, hit the comments with your thoughts on “Dance With Somebody.” And for all my TV recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!