Rachel is highly motivated to lose her virginity to Finn, while Kurt and Blaine find their own reasons to take it to the next level. 

By Abby West
Updated November 09, 2011 at 10:54 AM EST
Adam Rose/Fox


S3 E5
  • TV Show
  • Fox

Okay, if this was supposed to be a controversial episode, I didn’t really see it. What I did see was a sweet little nugget of an episode (though glaringly devoid of Sue) that somehow made the big school play seem anticlimactic. (I’m just gonna put this out there: I would love to see all the actual West Side Story performances shown in their entirety. DVD extra, people?)

Yes, the sex talk was stepped up a bit but as far as what Glee‘s shown and done in the past, the montage of both Finn-Rachel and Kurt-Blaine’s first time was far from overly suggestive. It was romantic and loving, safe sex was stressed throughout the episode, as was the enormity of the decision. Although I get some of the concerns about portraying sex among teen characters, I think this was given enough weight to offset that, as well as to offset the previously cavalier sexual attitudes of characters like Puck, Brittany, and Santana.

Artie has found his calling as a director, turning out what Mr. Schue would later call McKinley High’s best musical ever. Artie’s newfound confidence heading into that opening night led him to weigh in on the sex lives of (or lack thereof) his virginal leading duo, and eventually even led him to dabble in a little matchmaking for Coach Beastie. We’ll get to the sensitive lady coach in a bit but first I need to take issue with Artie’s warning to Rachel and Blaine that without having had a sexual experience, they wouldn’t be able to tap into the sexuality and passion of the roles. It’s called ahk-ting, Artie! It’s the art of the make-believe. Sure, the more life experience you can bring to it to tap into the better, but to play a murderer, you don’t actually have to murder anyone. These are high school kids, who as Blaine would later say while he shimmied in front of Kurt, quite naturally have urges. They would absolutely get the concept of the physical desire to be together that Tony and Maria had, as well the driving passion of first true love. They didn’t actually have to have sex to do so.

That was a point that Rachel would eventually get, but not before she got poor Finn’s hopes up for their big night, only to let it slip that she wanted to “get it over with” before Friday’s performance. Unlike his far more experienced friend Puck (who always secretly hoped it’d be Finn and not himself who deflowered Rachel), Finn cared very much about Rachel’s motivation for offering to have sex with him now and not after she won an Oscar. He put the kibosh on it that night, which drove Rachel to hold an emergency meeting of her girls: Tina, Quinn, Brittany, and Santana (with Mercedes glaringly absent. All’s forgiven but not really?)

From this we learned that Tina and Mike had sex for the first time last summer. Though Quinn and Santana told Rachel she should wait to have sex (citing pregnancy, regret, and Finn’s general ineptitude in bed), Rachel was swayed by Tina’s description of her experience as “absolutely perfect.” She and Mike weighed it for a long time beforehand and she felt no regrets about it because he was her first love. (Speaking of Mike, the minor plotline of his dad finding out about his acting in the play and disowning him at first seemed a little random. But I do appreciate that the writers didn’t let the musical come and go without addressing that impending conflict between father and son that they’d alluded to previously. Harry Shum, Jr. played it well: that defiance and stand for his passion for dancing, as well as that hopefulness/disappointment that his father would be in the audience to see him, followed by his joy at seeing his mother’s appreciation for his performance. Good stuff.)

NEXT: Kurt and Blaine create some Scandals — not really

Rachel would go to Finn’s house after the show, and find him stewing in despair because a college recruiter pretty much killed any dreams he had of getting a football scholarship. He was spiraling in the self pity: “It means I suck. I’m gonna be stuck here forever. I’m not good enough…. It’s all over for me.” Rachel propped him up and told him that his dreams are not dead and he’d just grown out of them and would need new ones. Then she told him he was special because she was about to give him something no one else would ever have. I’m going to choose to believe that she did not give him her virginity just to make him feel better.

So as Rachel was angsting about what to do, so did Blaine. But his angst was heightened by the arrival of a new Warbler by the name of Sebastian Smythe (Grant Gustin), who made no bones about coming on to Blaine. The new guy’s worldly air (asking for Courvoisier in your coffee like you did all the time in Paris? really?) and directness was so off-putting to Blaine that it had him flustered. But our boy with the fondness for bowties and going sockless made sure Sebastian knew about his boyfriend Kurt. And that boyfriend knew he needed to keep his man close. But Kurt would get sucked into Blaine’s desire to be spontaneous and accepted Sebastian’s invitation to Lima’s gay bar Scandals. Set with new fake IDs (Hello, Chaz Donaldsworth from Hawaii!) they went on Drag Queen Wednesday to what could be viewed as a sad little bar but could be seen as godsend to patrons in a small town… like Dave Karofsky.

In the midst of dealing with Sebastian putting the moves on Blaine, Kurt ran into Karofsky at the bar and it was a perfect little nuanced scene. (Shout-out to the music in this club. Could it be more cliched gay? But I’ll take it for the pleasure of watching Darren Criss dance.) The scope of their journey together wasn’t lost as Kurt, who still regards Karofsky with a bit of guardedness, told his former bully that as long as he wasn’t beating up people, there’d be no judgment about the fact that he felt accepted at the gay club where he’s considered a bear cub. “I’m all for being whoever you have to be at your own speed,” said Kurt.

But out in the parking lot, Kurt did have to take a stand when a drunk Blaine tried to make their first time happen in the backseat of his car. He may not get it in a field on a bed of lilacs listening to Sting, but he would have it be special, even if Blaine stormed off to walk home. After his opening performance as Tony, for which he did tap into his love for Kurt, Blaine apologized. All was forgiven and they made plans to go back to Blaine’s house. Hands grasping, noses touching, staring into each other’s eyes. Side note: Chris Colfer made my tummy tingle with this one tremulous line as he had his arms around Blaine on the stage: “You take my breath away.” Yes, you sure did.

So Coach Beast confided that she’d never found the right guy (yes, she’s into guys), but she had thing for college football recruiter Cooter Menkins, the same guy who’d break Finn’s heart. Turns out that everyone but the coach could see that Menkins was totally into her. Dude noticed your new tube socks! Buy a clue, Coach! But with a nudge from Artie, Cooter brought her flowers, which moved her to tears. He had to explain to her that he found her beautiful despite whatever insecurities she had about her looks. They’d go to the play together and hold hands. Ah, young love.

My niggling point of the night: Did Brittany joke that her first sexual experience was a rape? That throwaway “alien invasion” line about someone sneaking into her tent really didn’t sit well with me.

NEXT: We grade the performance and list the best quotes


“Tonight, Tonight” I don’t agree with Artie’s take on why this song was lacking, but I do agree that that run of Rachel and Blaine’s was lacking something. B

“Uptown Girl” Even without Blaine the Warblers are pretty spectacular, though I didn’t care for the interloper’s voice. A-

“A Boy Like That” Stellar for Rachel’s fire in this one. B+

“In America” Santana was a dream as Anita. It was a wonderful artistic choice to weave in the Jets for a call-and-response in this set. It was the big piece of the show that totally deserved that standing ovation. A

“One Hand, One Heart” This was a the perfect soundtrack to the trio of first times. A


Blaine: “Roxy Music makes me want to build a time machine just so I can give Brian Ferry a high five.”

Santana: “Speaking from experience, Finn is terrible in bed…. If Rachel wants to have my sloppy seconds, she should know what she’s getting into. It was like being smothered by a sweaty out-of-breath sack of potatoes that someone soaked in body spray.”

Sebastian: “I don’t know who this Blaine guy is, but apparently he’s sex on a stick and sings like a dream.”

Cooter Menkins: “It’s not in the handicap stall, is it?”

Kurt to Karofsky after he said he was considered a bear cub a the club: “Because you look like Yogi?”

Kurt: “Yes, that’s why I don’t want to do it on a night that you spent dancing with another guy. And that you’re sober enough to remember the next day.”

Blaine: “Why are you yelling at me?”

Kurt: “Because I’ve never felt less like being intimate with someone and either you can’t tell or you don’t care.”

Rory: “You came with your mouth oh-en.”

Beastie: “Gotta work on this kid’s diction.”

Kurt: “Sure beats the last time you got drunk and made out with Rachel.”

Kurt: “I wanted to be your gay-bar superstar.”

Follow Abby on Twitter @EWAbbyWest


Episode Recaps


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