Santana is helped out the closet, Rachel makes a big mistake, and Coach Beiste fights for her man

By Abby West
November 30, 2011 at 11:43 AM EST
Adam Rose/Fox
S3 E7
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So yes, this episode was pretty much about forcing Santana to hurry up and make peace with her sexuality before the attack ad outing her aired. I’m pretty sure that in the real world this wouldn’t fly, but in the Glee universe it somehow made sense.

Principal Figgins was prepared to suspend Santana for slapping Finn but that was neatly thwarted by the quarterback himself who lied and said it was actually a stage slap. No harm, no foul, no suspension for Santana, even though she continued to belittle Finn, calling him names like the Hamburglar and Fetus Face. Finn had master plan  for the Troubletones to join New Directions for that week’s lesson and he needed Santana there to do it.

See, Finn was firmly in the Hero Finn mode this episode, with a campaign to help Santana feel the love and support of the glee club members so she would feel comfortable coming out. No, he never apologizes for getting the ball rolling on the whole outing thing by talking to her in the hallway. But he did decide to stop bumping up against Santana’s vicious defense mechanism:  “I think you’re awesome. And when you hide who you are, I think you hide some of that awesomeness with it.” Turns out he was scared into action, citing the recent real-life suicide of a teen who’d made an “It’s Get Better” video. Finn was afraid that Santana would move from lashing out at others to hurting herself and maybe even dying. He earnestly let her know that he still felt very connected to her because of the fact that she was his first sexual partner and he needed to do everything he could to help her through this. Yes, more about him than Santana, but what can you do? He’s a teenager.

You could see the cracks starting to form in the bitchy-Santana facade at that time. But the walls really came tumbling down when Finn sang “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” to her. She even rewarded him with a genuine thanks and hug. She’d go on to tell her parents, who took the news well, and deal with the lascivious looks and come-ons from boys in the hallway. That was the perfect setup for the rest of the girls to back her up against a tool who wanted to make her a challenge. So they all sang “I Kissed a Girl” and pretended to be into each other.

When it came time to tell her grandmother that she liked girls the way she was supposed to like boys, she got rejection. The same grandmother who had warmly sat Sanana down in her kitchen and tried to get the girl to eat more cast the teen out and said she wanted nothing more to do with her. It was a good dose of reality to have at least one person in her family not take the news well because that is the sad fact for a lot of people coming out. And should anyone be surprised? Wasn’t this the same grandmother Santana said raised her on insults? Why would she expect comfort and acceptance in her arms?

NEXT: Coach Beiste takes a stand against Sue

Meanwhile, Kurt was headed for a certain loss to Brittany in the school-council elections (though he was ahead of Rick the Stick who was in the hospital in a medically induced coma, after a bad check in a game).  He was so hard-pressed to get this win on his NYATA application that he considered cheating by stuffing the ballot box with votes for himself. He didn’t, but Rachel did. She foolishly had him winning with more votes than there were voting seniors. And for that she was suspended for a week and banned from competing in sectionals. It would appear that was just the opening needed for Chord Overstreet’s return as Sam next week.

Coach Sue decided that the best way to counter her opponent’s attack ad that would imply that she was gay was to inject her campaign with a little man candy, for which she consulted her Booty Call book. (For the record, I think a leather notebook embossed with the words Booty Call is genius. It is vital that you keep that separate from your other contacts.) She bypassed Todd Bridges, Vladimir Putin, Dan Quayle (too needy), Stephen Baldwin (train wreck), Oliver North (biter), Matt Lauer (too much crying), the late Johnny Cochran (obvs) and David Boreanaz for Coach Beiste’s new love, Cooter Menkens. Apparently, he’s been Sue’s regular booty call since the late 1990s. And since his romantic overtures to the virginal Beiste have been met with things like weight lifting or a punch, he went back to Sue when she called. After Sue lost her congressional run to Burt Hummel (yes!), she was more determined than ever to hold on to Cooter. But Coach Beiste decided to make her big play for him, telling him she loved him and wouldn’t give him up without a fight.  I have to give Sue the edge on this one, what with her deviousness. But I don’t count out Coach Beiste with those baby blues of hers.

After making Shelby very nervous by pretty much directing his version of “I’m the Only One” to her in the middle of glee club room, Puck came through like gangbusters for the teacher after Beth fell and got her bottom tooth through her lip. Puck, who’s apparently had more stitches than Frankenstein due to his “active” lifestyle, insisted on a plastic surgeon doing the stitches instead of the attending ER doc. Shelby had called Puck, who left class to go to the hospital, because she had no one else. Her gratitude and fragility led them directly to bed. Despite Puck’s googly-eyed musings (“You’re very pretty”) and abundant energy (“I’ve still got four more rounds in me before I need a steak sandwich and a Coke Zero”), Shelby immediately knew it was a mistake and asked him to leave. The rejection made him angry enough to run back to Quinn, whose advances he’d earlier rejected, looking for anger sex. They never got that far as it became clear the Quinn was deliberately trying to get pregnant again, having given up hope of getting Beth back. Puck gave her a pep talk, affirming that he believed she’ll get out of Lima and make it somewhere else, without having a kid or a guy. But he ended up telling her about his interlude with Shelby and from the angry looks Quinn would later give Shelby, this can only end badly.

NEXT: We rate the performances and go through notable quotes

PERFORMANCES:

“F—in’ Perfect,” Pink: Kurt and Blaine sweetly sang a slowed down, less passionate version of the song. It was perfectly lovely, but as much as Santana was mesmerized by Blaine’s bow tie, I was obsessed with Kurt’s asymmetrical half-sweater thingy. B+

“I’m the Only One,” Melissa Etheridge: His voice and arrangement were pretty fun, but Puck gave one slightly uncomfortable performance full of mugging to Shelby, who was sitting in the back. Loved all the confused faces as people picked up on something odd about his direction, yet Schue sat next to her, blissfully ignorant. B

“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” Cyndi Lauper: Finn’s melancholy version of this ’80s hit was the best showcase for his voice in recent memory. It helped that it was the emotional turning point for Santana, but for me it really was the fact that he had a little bit of a gravelly Springsteen quality to it and more control than I’m used to with him. A

“Jolene,” Dolly Parton: Coach Beiste’s pain at watching her man on another woman’s arm was clear in Dot Marie Jones’ sad-hearted rendition. B+

“I Kissed a Girl,” Katy Perry: It was a fitting song for the scene in which the girls from both glee clubs came to Santana’s aid when a random wannabe stud started making noises about trying to make her “normal.” This kind of girl-power, strut-down-the-hallway song is fun and plays to the strengths of those without the powerhouse voices. (Loved watching poor Rory’s head look like it might explode as the girls pretended to be all over each other.)  B+

“Constant Craving,” k.d. lang: This cut, performed over the final montage, neatly blended Santana, Shelby, and Kurt’s voices. A-

QUOTABLES:

Santana: “When I get really pissed off, Santana gets taken over by my other evil personality. I call her Snix. Her wrath of words is called Snix juice.”

Brittany: “If elected, I’ll have sugary treats available at all times. Helps with concentration. That’s what George Washington said.”

Kurt about to explain the concept of stuffing the voting box: “I’m going to have to pull a JFK.”

Rachel: “You’re going to shoot Brittany?”

Kurt: “No…”

Kurt: “I have Kennedy’s impeccable hairline. Why can’t I have his ‘ends justify the means’ mentality?”

Santana: “While there’s nothing I’d love more than having two pretty ponies serenade me, I think we’d get further staging a gel-ervention for Blaine than singing lady music.”

Santana to Blaine when he asked her to be less defensive: “I’m trying, but your hideous bow ties are preventing me.”

Santana after Kurt and Blaine sang the Pink song: “Thank you, guys. Thanks, Finn. You know, with all the horrible things in my life, now I get to add that.”

Sue to her diary: “Why would someone assume I’m a friend of Ellen just because I’m mannish and highly aggressive and have short hair and I only wear track suits and I coach a girls’ sport and I married myself? It just doesn’t make sense.”

Sue: “Truth is, journal, I’m attracted to men. Sure, I can’t stand watching them eat or talk, but when it comes to getting sexy, this gal’s got a hole in her heart that only a fella can fill.”

Coach Beiste: “A turducken. It’s like a barnyard in a bite.”

Puck after singing “I’m the Only One”: “That was for you, Santana. Yeah, I know I was just part of a phase but whatever. Happy to oblige. Always.”

Puck to Quinn: “Look, I was into you a couple years ago because you were hot like a pixie and I thought you were pretty much cooler than every other girl in the school, but it turns out you’re kind of nuts. You’re higher maintenance than Berry and pretty much the most selfish person I ever met in my life. So, thanks for the offer but I’d rather raw-dog a beehive.”

Finn to Santana: “You deal with your anxiety about this stuff by attacking other people. Some day that’s not going to be enough and you might start attacking yourself.”

Santana: “Well, thanks, but that’s never gonna happen. I’d miss me too much. “

Finn: “You were my first. And that means something to me. You mean something to me. If something were to happen to you and I didn’t do everything I could to try to stop it, I’d never be able to live with myself.”

Sue to Coach Beiste: “Why don’t you hurry on to your next face-widening session at the John Travolta Institute for Head Thickening and Facial Weight Gain?”

Coach Beiste: “I’m so bummed out I feel like I’m living one of those tragic country music songs.”

Puck after he surprised everyone by properly answering a math question: “I’m like that beautiful mind guy, without all the crazy.”

Post-coital Puck to Shelby: “The advantage of a relationship with a younger dude is that I’ve still got four more rounds in me before I need a steak sandwich and a Coke Zero.”

Puck to Shelby: “Screw you. Sure you’ve got the boom and the pow, and your lips are cash money. But what really turned me on about you was how much of an asskicker you were, winning all those championships, going to New York, raising Beth on your own. All garbage. This was your chance to get in on the ground floor of something really special: me. But you’re too much of a coward to go for it. “

Puck to Quinn: “We just spent a whole week helping Santana with a secret everybody knows and not one person took 10 seconds to help you. And you’re a freakin’ mess.”

Artie to Finn: “Where’s Rachel? She never misses applause.”

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