Glee Recap: Go West (Side Story), Young Men!

Glee channeled its inner Broadway baby this week, as Kurt, Rachel, and Blaine all auditioned for roles in a drama club production of West Side Story. But it was a baby of a different kind [SPOILERS AHEAD, West-coast readers!] — namely, the little girl born to Quinn and Puck who was adopted by Rachel’s birth mother Shelby Corcoran — that created the biggest drama. If you somehow got yourself caught in Kurt’s web of scaffolding Tuesday night, please allow me to catch you up — in the classic “here’s what you missed on Glee” format:

Kurt agreed to let Brittany run his campaign for class president, but flinched when her hot pink, “I Am Unicorn”-themed posters and gift bags painted him as Gay with a Capital G — and not much else. By the time he got hip to the glitter (and the Tinky Winky swag), it was too late: Brittany had decided to run for office herself. Mr. Schue, meanwhile, instituted “booty camp” for New Directions’ choreography-challenged members, but it was mostly an excuse for slow-mo swoosh-swoosh montages outlining Mike Chang’s dance-floor dominance, and Mr. Schue’s relative mediocrity. Oh, and Emma, Beiste, and Artie were named co-musical directors for the McKinley Drama Club production of West Side Story, but Kurt’s sensational/fey audition for the role of Tony didn’t excite Beiste’s “ladyparts” and proved “a little delicate” for Artie’s tastes. When Kurt overheard the critiques, he called on Rachel to help him act out a scene from Romeo and Juliet, but his leading-man attempt sent everyone into fits of laughter. (I honestly didn’t think he was all that bad, but why it didn’t occur to Kurt to audition with one of Tony’s songs or scenes is utterly beyond comprehension.) At episode’s end, Kurt spied on Blaine trying out for the role of Bernardo or Officer Krupke, but when the directors asked him if he’d consider playing Tony, an uncomfortable silence — and the specter of a tense cliffhanger — hung heavy in the air.

In other news, Shelby Corcoran (former Vocal Adrenaline coach/Rachel’s birth mom/the adoptive mom of Quinn and Puck’s baby) returned to Lima after Principal Figgins offered her a high-paying job — funded personally by Sugar Motta’s dad — to launch a second glee club to compete with New Directions. Shelby blithely invited Puck and Quinn to be a part of Baby Beth’s life, without any solid plan for how to structure the arrangement. She allowed Puck a visitation, but insisted Quinn leave behind The Skanks if she wanted to spend time with Beth. Quinn — solidifying her status as the most selfish character in the Glee universe — washed the pink and the cigarette smoke out of her hair, but revealed to Puck it was just a ruse for a larger end game: “I have to get [Beth] back. If that means having to dye my hair blonde and pretending that I think I’m special, that’s something I’m willing to do. We’re gonna get full custody.” Yikes! And that’s what you missed on Glee.

Now, before we get to the week’s musical numbers, let’s run through a couple of the episode’s memorable bits of dialogue.

* “You lost your child, your boyfriend, your rep, and worst of all, your high pony.” –Sue Sylvester, lamenting Quinn’s fall from Cheerio (and hairstyle) grace

* “Will Schuester never did appreciate the gentle tremble of your thin, forgettable alto.” –Sue to Quinn

* “You look like a Real Housewife of Reno.” –Puck to Skank-ified Quinn

* “You’re gay. And you’re not like Rock Hudson gay. You’re really gay. You sing like Diana Ross and you dress like you own a magic chocolate factory.” –Burt helping son Kurt to embrace — and revel in — his inner (and outer) queen

* “Hello, She-Hulk. Hello, Weepy the Vest-Clown. Hello, Little Miss Golden Marmoset.” –Sue greeting Beiste, Schue, and Emma

* “The last six senior-class presidents, they’ve all been guys — and look what that’s got us: Y’know, teetering in a double-dip recession.” –Brittany explaining part of the reason she’s running against Kurt

* I know they spoiled it in last week’s preview, but still, this exchange between Brittany and her history teacher was one of the funniest and best-delivered zingers of the TV season:
Teacher: What’s the capital of Ohio?
Brittany: O.

And now, let’s talk about the music…

“Somewhere,” Rachel and Shelby
If there are two more powerful, evocative voices on television right now, then please let me know what network and show my cable company is denying me. Still, I can’t lie and say I fully bought Rachel warming up to Shelby’s advice only seconds after her arrival, or the estranged birth mom and daughter linking hands mid-song — even if the lyrics called for it. Heck, even if Rachel was willing, what kind of mind game is it for Shelby to interact with the kid so intimately without any discussion of how their relationship might evolve? Musical grade: A- Relevance to the plot: B

“I’m the Greatest Star,” Kurt
One of Chris Colfer’s most vocally complicated numbers — especially when you factor in the death-defying cage-match choreography. But forgive me for questioning Kurt’s decision to try out for the male romantic lead with a song that requires him to imitate the high notes of a flute and deliver lines like, “I’m a natural Camille.” Kid is way too savvy, and way too hungry for the role, for that kind of misstep. Musical grade: A Relevance to the plot: B-

“Something’s Coming,” Blaine
I love the way Darren Criss enunciates his lyrics, and the breathless charm and boyish enthusiasm he brings to his numbers. It’s exactly the way a talented high-schooler would do it. If only his character would put on some socks! I’m dying to know, though, if Blaine takes the role of Tony from his boyfriend, or if he denies his dreams in the name of love. Interesting conundrum! Musical grade: B+ Relevance to the plot: A

What did you think of this week’s Glee? Which plot points made you happy, and which had you looking for a rewrite? What was your favorite musical number? Sound off below, and for all my Glee recaps and commentary, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

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