Glee recap: 'Trio'
I apologize for the title of this recap, but Glee is all about teamwork (and also, the selfish tendencies of artists…and, occasionally, hot button social issues), so if I have to have the Three’s Company theme song in my head all day, then so do you!
Tonight’s episode has a sense that everyone is moving on from something: the McKinley seniors, from high school; Rachel and Santana from already fragile friendships; and the show itself, getting closer and closer to leaving Lima behind. Even though it’s one of Kitty’s lines (and Becca Tobin’s delivery) that makes me laugh the hardest right from the start – “Why does everything you say have to sound like that?” – there’s hardly a glimpse of Marley n’ the Gang the whole episode. In trios, someone almost always gets left behind, so it makes sense that, as the show begins shedding cast members and storylines for a fresh New York spring, it would call on the trio theme, even if it didn’t totally stick to the formula the whole time (because, ya know, three’s kind of a crowd when it comes to making babies).
Speaking of wildly inappropriate methods of making babies: This episode of Glee starts with Emma storming into Will’s classroom, saying, “It’s time, we have to do it right now,” and I think, Wow, that really sounds like she’s saying they need to go have sex. And then, that is exactly what she was saying. They – a teacher in the middle of explaining the Donner Party, and the guidance counselor – go into a McKinley High broom closet and begin audibly trying to procreate. Becky, now scarred for life, catches them in the act and turns them over to Principal Sue, who proceeds to not immediately fire them. You see, they’re trying to conceive a child (“Oh god, WHY?”) and Emma has a reproductive system like an atomic clock. And it all may not have been in vain because, as she tells her superior, they were able to “achieve a successful emission.” I think I speak for all of us when I say: AGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!
To kick off trio week, Blaine, Sam and Tina ironically sing one of Destiny’s Child’s last songs recorded as a quartet, but I don’t care, because it’s “Jumpin’ Jumpin,” a song that, by its very nature, won’t let the party stop (so let’s make it hot, hot). I know Tina is the Glee club’s official Michelle, but she really holds it down on the lead, while Blaine sings backup and Sam shows off his officially-full-blown-Carol-Brady haircut. B+ They knew the song wouldn’t work for Nationals, but as seniors they realize they’re running out of time to sing together as a trio, which Artie helpfully points out, is not as strong as a *cough* quartet of seniors might have been. Why all the Artie hate tonight?
In New York, Rachel is wearing a leather skort, having a low-key solo rehearsal with a full band, and writing herself into the role of “Elliot’s new roommate.” I must give Starchild all the props in the world for nipping that Best Gay stuff in the bud, but he still couldn’t resist letting Rachel move in with him, more due to his NYC rent than her being “like some[bed-stealing] heroine from a lost Tennessee Williams play.” Hey, why not cement this beautiful friendship (of necessity) with a song: Ooooh, “Barracuda.” No one makes the most of every speck of space in an empty room quite like Adam Lambert – is it because he’s so tall, or just because he knows how to ROCK? Rachel holds her own vocally, and Starchild shows her a thing or two about lunging your way into rock runs. A
In this week’s edition of What’s Eating Tina Cohen-Chang, Tina Cohen-Chang is super sad about graduating. And by super sad, I mean she’s completely off her emotional rocker. When she’s not singing a Destiny’s Child song, she’s weeping in a color blocked dress heap on the ground. Luckily, Blaine and Sam (still no Artie) start crafting a plan for “something so epic” that in 30 years, they’ll still be talking with each other about it. I was all in on Sam’s idea to sneak a cow into the school, but when Blaine suggests a lock-in (approved by the student council, because Blaine), my nostalgia synapses kick into full gear: Senior Class Lock-In to Save Tina’s Sanity!
Or not, because Sue is ruling no due to “budget cuts, safety concerns and, oh, I don’t know, let’s say Obamacare.” So those three crazy kids sneak into the school at night for their own damn lock-in. But can you really call it a lock-in if you have to provide your own snacks, and there’s no chance of making out with one of the seniors in your youth group? Eh, what do I know, I’ve never run through the halls of McKinley High singing “Don’t You (Forget About Me).” I don’t know if it’s that this iconic song might have been better served by more than three cast members, or that I get really uncomfortable with people messing around with fire extinguishers (it’s dangerous – that is not marshmallow fluff in there!), but, for me, this one doesn’t really go anywhere special. C+
Maybe that’s why Tina and Sam take it upon themselves to go to their own special place, in the form of feeling each other up in the science lab while Blaine plays Twister with a recently arrived Becky, hopped up on 11-hour Energies. When Blaine discovers the Makeout That Wine Coolers Built, he’s quite upset that Sam and Tina made their “friendly threesome” a duo and scampers off.
NEXT: “The only work of art that belongs in here is the one we’re gonna make together.” – Will Schuester, poet
After Sue and Beiste take the time to explain to Will that encouraging Emma to pee on a stick in the school bathroom every time they have sex in a school broom closet is probably not the best way to keep her stress levels down, he makes a plan to woo her into calmly conceiving a child. It starts with shaking off the fear that they won’t be able to get pregnant by turning the craft room into a nursery, and naturally turns into Kenny Loggins’ “Danny’s Song.” They paint, they sing, they watch Ever After, and then they very casually – no pressure! – try to make a baby. B
Santana and Rachel might need to borrow that copy of Ever After because their feud is reaching a fever pitch at the diner where a performance of Laura Branigan’s “Gloria” has been specially requested. Santana offers to take the lead with Elliot backing her up and then Rachel exclaims Glee’s thesis statement to him: “Why don’t you back both of us up and then at the end you can decide which one of us is better!” And, well, Santana, Rachel and Starchild is a trio I’m just not ever going to turn down, especially with Rachel fighting so hard for the spotlight she almost throws a shoulder out. I would also like to request screen grabs of every single one of Kurt’s exasperated Jim faces. A
Elliot quits the band as long as Rachel and Santana are still fighting, so Kurt sits them down and calls them on their selfishness. Pamela Lansbury is going to three, meaning Santana’s girlfriend Dani (I didn’t realize it was Facebook official) is all on board with kicking her out of the band, and ready to rock out with Kurt and Elliot in newly formed trio One Three Hill. Kurt, Starchild and Dani (but really, Demi Lovato) have very different styles, and I was not expecting “The Happening” by The Supremes to erupt from their tuxedos; but it’s jazzy, it’s on theme (when you’ve got a love you take care of/then you better beware of/the happening) and it seems everything is just bigger in New York. A-
Santana finds Rachel digging through her panty drawer, formerly Rachel’s scented candle drawer, and the two have a frank discussion about their female friendships: In between the boyfriends and the solos, they haven’t really developed any. It’s a really nice moment where two very different people try to understand each other in ways they’ll probably never be able to. Santana seized an opportunity much like Rachel might have, and Rachel thinks a friend wouldn’t have handled it the way Santana did. But how much of a friendship had they every really built? I’m glad they didn’t immediately make up, or swear each other as mortal enemies, but will hopefully continue to develop this rift like normal humans…if normal humans were the lead and the lead’s understudy in a Broadway play.
Finally, after a bit of an overreaction to Sam and Tina’s getting-it-out-of-their-system lusting (but I agree, waaaay too much boob talk), Blaine apologizes for freaking out about things changing. They finally try to bring Artie into their exclusive trio, but he says it’s too little too late on the hate-orade train, and I’m all in on him giving them the side eye. But then they invite him to sing Wilson Phillips’ “Hold On” and I guess there’s just only so much a man can resist. The song flashes between the McKinley seniors, One Three Hill in the loft, and Santana and Rachel both looking regretful by windows. I know Demi is done, but is Adam Lambert on retainer for a while? The New York crew is really meshing.
“Trio” was, joke-for-joke, one of the funnier episodes this season, don’t you think? Let’s end on a few Best Lines:
– “I am aware that the pheromones emitted from your porous bird lady pelvis can cause an overwhelming urge to copulate in some emotionally stunted man-children with butt chins, who befriend teenagers who can’t rap…” – Sue being both insulting and shockingly understanding after finding out about Will and Emma’s “copulating”
– “Sounds dangerous, I’m in.” – Sam, former stripper, excited for a rebellious (student council approved) lock-in
– “When Michael Bolton impregnated me, he called in a favor from his old friend Kenny G, who serenaded us on a soprano sax…” – Sue, teaching a new generation about romance while giving Will pregnancy advice
– Will’s pick for a baby name: Gandharva (celestial musician)
– When Will tells the glee club the one thing they still need to get ready for Nationals, he very meaningfully says, “Don’t forget your sunblock,” and for one second my mind flashes back to 1997 and I think they’re going to perform “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen).” Oh, what could have been.
Jane Lynch, Lea Michele, and high school anxiety star in Fox’s campy musical.