I’m not one to quote Blaine Anderson — our relationship’s been all downhill since “Teenage Dream” — but the bowtie-wearin’ teen definitely got it right in Glee‘s Season 5 premiere when he responded to feral Kitty’s crazy query, “Can anyone still relate to the Beatles?” I mean, who among us didn’t nod our heads at his dumbstruck retort? “Pretty much the entire world.” Preach, Mr. Anderson, preach!
Of course, the positive John-Paul-George-and-Ringo vibes were the perfect, airy amuse-bouche to a Season 5 main course that we all know is going to get soooo heavy. Indeed, the absence of Finn Hudson — and this summer’s tragic death of series star Cory Monteith — hung heavy over the hour, like a cluster of storm clouds on the horizon during the sunniest of days. (Tell me I’m not the only one who wanted to curl into a ball with a box of Kleenex at the sight of Rachel singing “why he had to go, I don’t know.”)
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Alas, though, we won’t need our proverbial umbrellas until the Oct. 10 tribute episode, “The Quarterback” — check out Fox’s first promotional photo here, if you haven’t seen it — so with that in mind, let’s focus on the story of how Beatlemania came to McKinley High.
Let’s break down the major plot points — and then jump into grading the week’s musical performances and recounting the best quotes. Here goes:
* Schue decided on giving New Directions a two-week assignment focused on the music of the Beatles. (I sure wish said assignment hadn’t included his perfunctory history lesson on the Fab Four though…those types of scenes make me a little sleepy, but maybe because I’m so old I’ve actually listened to vinyl Beatles records?)
* Blaine and Kurt got back together, but the former wasn’t satisfied with a facebook status update to “in a relationship.” He banded together all of the region’s competing show choirs for a massive song-and-dance proposal to “All You Need Is Love” — under the theory that the proposal should be “a cultural statement.” Burt drove Kurt to the event (Kurt already had figured out what was going down), though Papa Hummel noted his son didn’t look so thrilled as they got closer to the venue. “You look like I’m driving you to your execution,” were Burt’s exact words.) Kurt said yes — though his face looked a little less certain, no? Then again, with Rachel, Santana and a wordless Mercedes, plus almost everyone else from McKinley (and even Schue) in attendance, how could he have said “no”? This is why public proposals are a terrible idea — and, to be honest, kind of passive-aggressive (or maybe just aggressive-aggressive)! Also: Where was the supportive lesbian couple Blaine got so obsessed with last season? (That’s my burning question for the episode!)
* After a period of secrecy — and some stern words from Tina — Kitty and Artie went public with their love affair. But methinks that bitchy Cheerio Bree (flanked by neck-brace girl) means to cause trouble over her rival dating a dude with glasses, in a wheelchair, and sporting a different physique than Kitty’s uzh. (That said, I’m gonna say Artie’s new hair and stepped-up fashion had him looking hotter than in any prior season. GIT it, son!)
* Rachel stayed in contention for the Funny Girl role, but the director and leading man (Ringer‘s Ioan Gruffudd) questioned if she was seasoned enough for the gig. A sizzling performance at her place of work as a singing waitress, though, may have sealed the deal (even though, apparently, CLAIRE DANES is in the mix for the role, too — loved that detail!). We’ll have to wait and see.
* Sue snagged the role of McKinley principal from Figgins — through nefarious means, of course — then proceeded to torment her former boss while informing Will and Roz that their respective teams needed to win national championships if they didn’t want to incur her wrath. (Sue needs said teams to thrive to help turn her new interim post into a permanent one.)
* Sam, Ryder and Blaine offered their prom-date services to Tina as a way to curb her increasing rancorousness. (For the record, she chose Sam — for being the least gay and the least Asian, and therefore breaking any old habits of hers.)
Grades for This Week’s Musical Performances
Rachel, “Yesterday” | Grade: A+ (crikey, Lea Michele is SO FREAKIN TALENTED…and that fuchsia trenchcoat was SO FREAKIN GORGEOUS!)
Artie and Kitty, “Drive My Car” | Grade: C- (eh, seemed like just an excuse for a bumper-cars scene)
Kurt and Blaine, “Got to Get You Into My Life” | Grade: B+ (nice to hear Chris Colfer’s voice again, yes?)
Artie and Kitty, “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” | Grade: B+ (I didn’t think I’d dig these two, but suddenly…I do!)
Blaine & Almost Everyone, “Help” | Grade: B-
Rachel (with a little help from her friend Santana), “Hard Day’s Night” | Grade: A (the choreography on this one was fantastic…and slow cap for the camera operators and editors, too!)
Blaine, Sam, Ryder and Jake, “I Saw Her Standing There” | Grade: B
Blaine, “All You Need Is Love”/”He Loves You” | Grade: A- (really beautifully staged, even if the sentiment of a high-school student proposing marriage — only days after reuniting with his ex — gives me a serious case of the icks)
Week’s Best Quotes
“Tina broke up with you. So did Brittany and Sugar and the girl in the wheelchair with the disturbingly massive boobs.” –Kitty to Artie
“What if we go out, but do it on the down-low — you know, like secretly gay conservatives do?” –Kitty, lobbying Artie to keep their romance a secret
“I’m Goldie — of course.” –Kurt, responding to Blaine’s contention that their relationship could last like Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn
“Jesus said it best: The end justifies the means.” –Sue (who may need a refresher on the Bible), talking about her take-down of Figgins
“Oh, God. It’s those McKinley nerds.” –the head of the Haverbrook School for the Deaf show choir, reacting to New Directions showing up at their rehearsal
“You’ll be forced to build creepy relationships with teenagers on your own time.” –Sue, threatening Schue with unemployment if New Directions doesn’t win at Nationals
“Janitor Figgins, I think, has a quiet dignity to it.” –Sue, taunting the ousted former McKinley principal
“That’s just a five-gallon bucket of expired, Grade D meat slurry.” –Sue, describing the McKinley taco filling she was about to dump on Figgins’ freshly cleaned floor
And with that, I turn it over to you. What did you think of “Love, Love, Love”? Sound off in the comments, then vote in our poll!