Rachel and Finn take a back seat as New Directions heads to Sectionals, while Kurt tries to fit in at Dalton

By Tim Stack
December 01, 2010 at 12:27 PM EST
Justin Lubin/Fox
S2 E9
  • TV Show

It’s beginning to look a lot like Sectionals on Glee!!! How did this annual holiday come so fast? I mean I know that it’s not long after Thanksgiving, but it seems like it’s occurring earlier and earlier every year. I haven’t even gotten my shopping done yet…and by shopping I mean purchasing some wine at my liquor store to imbibe while recapping this show. (Said beverage also pairs nicely with watching Glee in the privacy of my apartment and weeping).

So clearly tonight’s episode was all about New Directions going back to Sectionals and attempting to reclaim victory. First of all, the Glee writers were once again being self-referential—which I totally enjoy: Basically, Emma called out Will for ignoring some of the team’s major players, which definitely parallels what’s happening on the show. (In defense of Glee’s creative team, though, with such a huge and talented ensemble, it must be hard to give all of these folks major storylines). So, Will decided to buck the trend and pass over favorites Rachel and Finn for solos and give the major songs to underdogs Quinn, Sam, and Santana. Obvs this brought out jealousy amongst the group, particularly with Rachel. Well, Santana then chose this inappropriate moment to announce she and Finn had sex. Whoops. Not the best timing. Still, it gave a reason to have Lea Michele in more scenes, which I appreciated. She’s been underused this season, and I miss Rachel’s aggressive arrogance.

In Will’s defense, Mike and Brittany are incredibly talented dancers and it definitely does make the numbers come alive when they’re busting moves. But I kinda feel like Mercedes and Tina were totes undervalued too and they didn’t really get any love until the very end…and that wasn’t even part of the big showcase. Oh well. There’s still the second half of the season, I guess.

One fun development of the Finn/Rachel estrangement was her return to the land of Puck. Yes, Puckleberry made a brief but welcome comeback. Why can’t these crazy kids just start dating? Probably because they’re both kinda delusional and self-absorbed, but whatever.

Despite Kurt moving over to Dalton Academy, he and Rachel had some really lovely moments in this episode. I’ve always really enjoyed their relationship—they’re both outcasts, but for different reasons, and they still share the same love for singing. Also, I love that Rachel fantasizes about her own funeral, but for purely egotistical reasons. Perfect. Much like their duet on “Defying Gravity” last year, the pair did a really beautiful cover of “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina.” Their voices are so oddly complimentary. One of the best moments was when Blaine subtly motioned to Kurt to stop being so theatrical during his tryout for the Warblers. Loved.

NEXT: Hey, Mr. Schu! Get a new love interest!

Okay, I love Blaine but I also wanted to punch him after Kurt’s audition. You can’t really tell someone to audition for a solo and then tell them they have to act more like a team player. Um no. Blaine, bite me. The dude is a total scenery-chewer when he’s performing but then he’s preaching teamwork behind the scenes? I think he’s just trying to keep his own lead role safe. That being said, Blaine is still my faux boyfriend and this is simply a rough patch in our faux relationship.

One of my favorite moments was Rachel and Kurt seeing each other at sectionals and sort of coming to terms with their new places in their respective teams. Lea Michele and Chris Colfer are so cute together. It gave me a warm feeling when Rachel gestured to Kurt to smile during the Warblers performance. I like that the New Directions crew aren’t turning on Kurt just because he switched schools; that would have been an easy decision.

Speaking of Kurt, I know Dalton is supposed to be like gay heaven and all, but I feel safe in saying that NO ONE gives high-fives anymore. Just an observation, and I apologize if there has been a high-five renaissance I wasn’t aware of. I just caught at least two instances in this episode and, for me, it’s the equivalent of the thumbs up.

Artie and Brittany are surprising me as becoming one of the more compelling couples on the show. I love that in a way she’s the handicapped person and he’s the one helping her. It’s such an interesting pairing and is quickly becoming quite sweet.

Poor Will really needs a love interest. His infatuation with Emma is starting to border on the pathetic. Like, dude, ring up Holly Holliday and call it a day. That gurl was hot and can sing Cee-Lo about as well as Cee-Lo! Why are we fawning over some guidance counselor with OCD? I mean Emma’s way cute (her cowl-neck winter coat was j’adorable) but is she all there is in the town? Plus, now she’s married to Carl (John Stamos)…speaking of Carl, where the hell has that dude been?

Not sure if the new New Directions member, Laura, is gonna stay around, but I like her style. If I were to blackmail Puck after saving him from a locked port-a-potty, Cadbury eggs and a make-out session would definitely be a solid list of demands.

No Sue, which made me sad, but she’ll be back in next week’s Christmas episode.

NEXT: Grading this week’s musical numbers and recounting the episode’s best lines.


“Don’t Cry for Me Argentina”

Totally beautiful. I love when Rachel and Kurt get a chance to sing together, and this did not disappoint. I only wish there more moments of harmony, but still fantastic. A-

“The Living Years”

The Hipsters kinda freaked me out but did a nice little cover of this tune, an appropriate choice given their ages. B

“Hey Soul Sister”

I sorta hate the original version of this song just from sheer overexposure. But dreamboat Darren Criss sold it for me with his choreography and acting. B+

“I’ve Had the Time of My Life”

Sam and Quinn have had some fantastic numbers so far this season, but this one fell a little flat, probably because their predecessors (Finn/Rachel on “Faithfully”) were sooo strong. Dianna Agron’s vocals can just come off a little too breathy but the duo have great physical chemistry. B+


Great song choice for Santana, and I love that she got a little hat to wear while singing it. Bonus points for the phenomenal Mike/Brittany choreography. A-

“Dog Days Are Over”

Have we seen a Mercedes/Tina duet yet? I don’t think so. Ryan Murphy used this Florence + the Machine song in the trailer for Eat Pray Love, so clearly he enjoys the tune. He chose the perfect gals to pull off this cover. A


“Aren’t there some great songs about betrayal or something? I’m pretty sure there are some Eagles songs.” –Emma to Finn and Rachel on releasing their pain in song

“More like it’s Am-BAD-ASS-ador.” –Puck on Will anointing him the Glee ambassador

“You are as brilliant and talented as you are irritating.” –Kurt to Rachel

“I thought it meant being stupid, like being adult a dolt” –Brittany, confused at the term “adultery”

Jane Lynch, Lea Michele, and high school anxiety star in Fox’s campy musical.
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