At Regionals, there are two losses and two major wins as New Directions takes on the Warblers

By Sandra Gonzalez
Updated March 16, 2011 at 12:55 PM EDT
Adam Rose/Fox

We knew it was going to happen eventually, but anticipation is not nearly as exciting as actually seeing a monumental moment. Now, I could be talking about two big moments here, and honestly, I’m talking about both — the kiss between Kurt and Blaine and the advancement of New Directions to Nationals.

Clearly, it was a big episode. So let’s just get right into it.

We opened the episode at Dalton Academy, where the gang were putting the final touches on their Regionals programming, which was a little Blaine-heavy for Kurt’s liking. But judging by Blaine’s not-so-favorable response, Kurt had lifted the Burberry birdcage cover on a sensitive issue.

Back at McKinley, Rachel found herself still struggling to write a personal song that had mass appeal — and she was finding little success, especially since she appeared to be the sole berry on her tree of ambition. In a shocking moment of wisdom, Finn suggested that she dig deeper because she was dealing only with the “easy pain.”

It was refreshing to get a peek at the old Finn we used to know — you know, before he becamewhatever he is this season. ‘Shipper pairs be damned, I just want him to end up with the girl who will make Finn likable again. Right now Rachel’s winning. That’s especially true considering we saw how prom-queen-obsessed Quinn is tiptoeing into Crazyville again (or, as Finn said, “scary Quinn”).

Meanwhile, both groups were dealing with major losses. The Warblers lost Pavarotti to a sudden stroke, and New Directions learned that they would be unable to perform My Chemical Romance for Regionals after Sue alerted the band. (We later found out that she forged the letter…and had slept with a member of Jimmy Eat World. Troubling.) So in the absence of better options, the group decided to do original songs for Regionals.

One great thing about the episode was that after last week’s plot-bomb-filled episode, the show didn’t completely abandon what we’d learned that week. I feel like sometimes major advancements are ignored for an episode or two, so I was pleased to see that they did address the frayed Brittany/Santana relationship. And it was rather heartbreaking to hear Santana say she was still planning on being with Sam, whom we all now know she has absolutely no feelings for. Not only is she setting up Sam for being hurt, but more importantly, it’s sad to see her retreating back into the closet in fear. Those were my thoughts, at least, before she sang “Trouty Mouth.” Then she was sort of just back to being Glee’s resident bi-atch. Goodbye, redeeming character traits.

There wasn’t much Lauren and Puck in this episode, which bummed me out because they’re one of my favorite pairs right now. I just love how they bring out the best in each other. Puck may have sung about Lauren’s “Big Ass Heart” in this episode, but until he started pursuing her, I didn’t know he had one too.

NEXT: Sealed with a kiss

Speaking of revealing moments…easily the week’s most buzzy and tender moment came from another of my favorite pairs — Kurt and Blaine. Sigh. As Kurt was working on a tiny birdie casket, Blaine walked in wanting to practice their Regionals duet, “Candles” by Hey Monday. (The group had voted to split the spotlight this time around as opposed to letting Blaine do his usual thing.) If I may overthink this scene a moment, I knew it was going to be big based on the expression on Blaine’s face when he walked in. And it was a big moment in every way. After Kurt asked Blaine why he’d picked him as a duet partner, Blaine wasted no time and put his feelings out on the table. “Kurt, there’s a moment when you say to yourself, ‘Oh, there you are. I’ve been looking for you forever,’” he said. “You move me, Kurt. And this duet would just be an excuse to spend more time with you.” Then they kissed.

I challenge you to show me a man, woman, or anyone who hasn’t wanted at least one time in their life to be so honest, so bold, when it comes to romance. That’s what makes me swoon about this pair. And based on how many times I’ve watched this part — and how long it took me to stop tearing up while watching it — I won’t be over this soon. Right down to the movement of Kurt’s left hand during the kiss — first it rose in shock, then he put it on Blaine’s face in passion — this was simply perfect.

Also oddly perfect was the confrontation between Rachel and Quinn. After what we saw in the previews last week, I thought we were going to once again watch Quinn send Rachel into an overemotional state for a rather trivial reason. (Oh, divas.) But that wasn’t the case. Yes, Quinn played bully once again, but this time, it came with a confession of mild jealousy. Quinn told Rachel that she knows she’s not meant to stay in town — but Quinn is. Quinn has modest dreams. She wants to be a real estate agent, wants Finn to take over Burt’s tire shop, and wants to start a family. In a way (at least, this is how I saw it) she was almost asking Rachel to let her have this one.

This obviously broke Rachel down (but also inspired her). Quinn said it quite a bit meaner than my breakdown, but in the end, I wasn’t sure if there was a side to pick. I felt bad for them both…and I couldn’t be happier about that. I don’t like it when there’s a clear emotional side we’re supposed to take. Gray areas make for much better drama.

[Note: For my official take on Kathy Griffin’s guest spot as a Sarah Palinesque judge, see Ken Tucker’s take. He took the words right out of my tout mouth. Also, Loretta Divine can do no wrong.]

In the end, Aural Intensity experienced a sharp fall from a once elite status. New Directions walked away the winner (even though their outfits were far less superior than last year), and the beloved Warblers lost out. But as Blaine said ever so eloquently to Kurt while consoling his disappointed friend, “You did win…so did I. We got each other out of this. That beats a lousy trophy, don’t you think?”

I’m inclined to agree. (But I like trophies, too.)

NEXT: Grading the performances and the week’s best lines

THE PERFORMANCES

“Misery”

I’m a sucker for a Warbler-ized pop song, especially when it makes Blaine dance and make his weird, animated faces. They’re simply adorable, and these Warblers are simply amazing. A

“Blackbird”

Who decided that Kurt was the only person who could sing Beatles solos in season 2? Because I want to hug them. A-

“Trouty Mouth”

If we’re taking this song as a joke, it gets a B- because Santana sounded great. But when I think about how bad I felt for Sam watching his utter mortification, D. Glee’s the anti-bully show, right?

“Big Ass Heart”

I loved the lyrics, I liked Puck’s voice, I adored watching Lauren groove to this song. B

“Hell to the No”

I would never throw sticks at this song. A-

“Jesus Is My Friend”

…no. C-

“Candles”

It’s really hard for this pair to live up to the awesomeness of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” I’m sure they could one day, but this one fell a bit short for me musically. (Did the harmonies sound a little off for anyone else?) In the context of the show, however, it was a great moment. B

“Raise Your Glass”

iPod, meet your new obsession. A

“Get It Right”

Y’all know by now that I’ve never met a power ballad that I didn’t like. This is no exception. Also, the message of the song is so incredibly worldly, whether you take it in the context of romance, ambition, or life in general. It’s sappy goodness. And if I’m being honest…yes, it made me cry the first time I heard it. Dork. A

“Loser Like Me”

This one took a little time to grow on me. I liked it better on the show than when I heard it by itself, which is weird because it’s exactly the same thing. Goes to show how much of a difference a good performance (with slushies!) makes. B

QUOTABLES

“The only Berry on my family treeeeeeeeeeeeeee.” – Rachel’s song

“Prom queens live on average five years longer than regular people because they smile a lot, and smiling has been proven to ward off diseases.” — Quinn

“Consider this the opening salvo of World War Sue.” – Sue

“All I know is that you blew me off with stubbles McCripple pants.” – Santana

“Kurt, there’s a moment when you say to yourself, ‘Oh, there you are. I’ve been looking for you forever.’” – Blaine

Schue: What’s your favorite song of all time?

Brittany: “My Headband.”

“That Dalton Academy, is it a gay school or is it just a school that appears gay?” – Sister Mary Constance

“Can I add a dash of Rod to this lady soup?” — Rod Remington

“The competition season is over, but we’ll still get to perform. We do nursing-home shows all the time, and do you know how many Gaps there are in Ohio? Tons.” — Blaine

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