If Glee has taught us anything over the years, it’s that change is inevitable. Embracing change allows us to grow and experience life in new and exciting ways. On the other hand, if we fear change, all too often our lives become stagnant or bogged down by the status quo. The idea of nothing staying the same forever paralyzes us, and we lose our voice in a sea of uninhibited crowds of people telling us where we should go, what we should do, and who we should be.
The writers of Glee tackled this age-old problem head-on through various storylines. Whether it’s a relationship revision, career transition, or physical transformation, one major theme emerged by the end of the night—this is who I am, and this is where I belong.
Will Schuester is all about change, as well as paper money. Carmel ISD pays him extremely well for being the Vocal Adrenaline coach, and he’s having a hard time balancing his new resources with the desire to inspire these kids like he did with New Directions. It doesn’t help that his team eggs Blaine and Rachel, keeping with pre-competition tradition. I personally thought it was a lovely throwback to season 1. It was mean, but nostalgic.
In true Schuester fashion, he adjusts his sweater vest, grabs a microphone, and begins rapping “Same Love” with an assist from Unique Adams (Alex Newell). The lesson on tolerance is wasted on the Vocal Adrenaline. They just want to dance and let that one kid sing! Is that too much to ask?
Back at McKinley, Coach Sheldon Beiste returns to school after taking some time off to let his outsides catch up with his insides. He is greeted by an energetic Sam, who has a list of pronouns he would like to review. Sue assures Coach Beiste that she will be with him every step of the way, declaring WMHS as a gender fluid high school. When she rushes away to shame a “fatty” in the hallway, Coach Beiste looks relieved. He’s where he belongs.
When he reaches his car at the end of the day, the words “Coach Tranny” stop him in his tracks. A car full of Carmel High students speeds off, and Will is called into Sue’s office. He’s devastated to learn that his kids are behind the offensive remark. He lays down the law with his team, and when Clint adamantly disrespects his coach in front of everyone, Will kicks him out of the club. The Vocal Adrenaline boosters are not going to like this.
Will isn’t the only one who is fired up. Sam and Spencer want to throw down with those “rock lobsters” for messing with Coach. They are ready to destroy Vocal Adrenaline, but Coach Beiste reminds them not to stoop to their level. In a sweet moment, he tells the boys that he’s proud that they have come together as a team to help a friend. This violation has actually become a gift. Coach Beiste’s hair may be a hot mess, but he’s really tugging on the old heartstrings in this moment!
Meanwhile, Will confides in Emma (Look! It’s Jayma Mays!) about how he is not happy at his job. I don’t see how Emma is happy wearing her 1960s nightgown, because there’s no way that thing is comfortable to sleep in, but that’s another story for another time. Will also admits that he likes all the material stuff that goes along with being Vocal Adrenaline’s coach, but he feels like he’s working for a place that stands against everything he believes. You’d have to be completely out in left field not to assume that a change is coming with Will’s career.
Another thing that is changing is Rachel’s address. Her childhood home has been sold, and Sam has taken it upon himself to throw her one last bash before she has to move. The high school kids drink non-alcoholic beverages (allegedly) with festive umbrellas. Roderick and Mercedes duet “All About That Bass,” and once again I’m floored at how Noah Guthrie pretty much nails any song that is thrown his way.
When Mercedes brings booty back, Rachel and Sam sneak upstairs to her room. Everything is packed, excluding her “dream” wall. Rachel admits that when she was growing up, the wall was covered with idols, such as Barbara, Patti, and Bernadette. Now the wall is full of real friends. Sam encourages her to never forget her Broadway dream. The wall will get bigger and higher. Then he leans in for a sweet, gentle kiss. Just as I was about to say, “Awwwwww,” Rachel grabs him by the neck and REALLY lays one on him! Gold star for Rachel!
And how do show choirs celebrate budding romances? By singing a little ditty of course. Before Rachel and Sam bust out a nice rendition of “Time After Time,” Kurt and Blaine take the stage. The entire room sings and dances along with them, but Blaine only has eyes for Kurt. He also only has a tongue for Kurt, so he sticks it down his throat. In case you’re wondering, Karofsky is still in the picture, but Kurt is definitely in the foreground at this point.
NEXT: Unique brings the house down