↳ “People have been celebrating Valentine’s Day for centuries, and call me a hopeless romantic, but it’s my favorite holiday. I think there’s something really great about a day where you’re encouraged to just lay it all on the line and say to somebody: I’m in love with you!.”
1. What do we learn from the first minute or so of this show? Some things that remain true throughout, and others that we seemed to forget. A. That the woman with the bullhorn is TOUGH on those kids. That Mr. Shue is oblivious, and a bad Spanish teacher, and clearly plays favorites. B. That the gay kid, Kurt, is fierce and isn’t a victim, even as he’s being tossed into Dumpsters. That the football players and cheerleaders are at the top of the high school pyramid, although an attentive eye would note that the blonde at the top of the pyramid falls off immediately. That the tall kid wants to be liked and is conflicted about his role in this world. C. That Earth Wind and Fire is transcendent, but what year is this? And that Will–Mr. Shue–is living in a dream world.
2. Will and Terri’s marriage: Yikes! I’ve talked about this before, and will again, but these two are so unhappily yoked.
The first thing we learn about this marriage is that Will plans to hide the $60 a month Figgins is extorting from him. Later we learn that she is hiding her spending habits from him as well.
They just seem to have such different value systems. (And may I just say that Jessalyn Gilsig is a hoot. She delivers Terri’s awful lines with intensity that matches Lea Michele’s Rachel.) But man, is Terri a bully.
When they’re having their date night building an American Gothic puzzle, Will says, “You usually don’t let me into the craft room.He is not her equal in this marriage.
One of the first things Emma learns about Will is that he doesn’t eat nuts because Terri is allergic. She hears, “I respect my wife’s needs and sacrifice for her happiness.” But what he’s saying is, “She won’t let me.”
Finally, they both are using the pregnancy as an excuse to NOT fix the marriage and, in the case of Will, to deal with Emma honestly. That becomes more and more true later, but i was true from the start.
3. Finn’s true love is music.
That’s the story he tells us, with his flashback. I love Darren the Lawn Guy, and so does Finn. Though it’s a complicated memory, because Carole was hurt by it, to Finn that time was magic because it’s when he discovered music.
He’s far too warm. So is Blaine, but Blaine is always like that, always warm and cozy because Kurt married a furnace, and that’s okay because their little vintage apartment has radiators that work on a spotty basis at best, and–
“Kurt? You okay?”
Kurt sighs and presses his cheek against the side of Blaine’s face. Warm, warm, warm. “I’m okay,” he slurs, and though the sound of it (”Uhm-kay”) tells him exactly how drunk he is, he doesn’t care, because they’re at the threshold of their apartment and Blaine’s holding onto him just fine. He’s so hot, and a little sweaty, but that’s okay too, because they have the best times together when they’re hot and sweaty, and it’s Valentine’s Day, so–
“Are you sure?” Blaine pauses his attempt to get his keys out of his pocket and tightens his grip around Kurt’s waist. He reaches up and pushes Kurt’s bangs out of his face where his coif has finally fallen out of its hairspray.
1. Finn is a better man than Will
Schuester. This episode
is the first time this giant boy-child CLEARLY was a better man than his
teacher. Finn throughout acts like a leader, figuring out motivations,
strategizing, and most importantly, bridging the divide between Rachel and the
rest of the world. And the camera shows us that. When Rachel comes into the
choir room with her apology cookies, I was struck by the clear divide in the
room, the four originals sitting together, the 3 Cheerios, and Finn alone at
the piano. He focuses on her entirely in that conversation, ceding ownership of
the club to her. I’m not sure at this point that he’s quite aware of how drawn
he is to her, but Quinn sure is.
empathetic. He really cares about Mr. Schu. Why? I think I will always puzzle
over this. Maybe Finn just NEEDS a father figure. (I keep thinking about how he’s
dressed in this episode, not in a rugby shirt, but in a dress shirt, mirroring
Will a bit, especially in the scene where Will invites him to join the
Or maybe he
sees how fragile Will really is. Yes, it’s typical guy talk to say, “Of
course he’s not coming back since you kicked him in the ‘nads,” but Finn
is onto something. He is people smart. He correctly diagnoses Mr. Schue’s
issue. He shouldn’t lay all the responsibility at Rachel’s feet, but he’s not
wrong. Schue is retreating into this childish dream because he’s afraid to face
the awesome responsibility of fatherhood.
It’s the little
things with Finn–and with Cory’s portrayal of him. He is very intentionally
setting him up as an alternative to the “winning is everything” attitude of
McKinley, at least when it comes to music. Like his confused “Since when?”
reply to the insistence that Glee is about winning (at base, it really really
isn’t). Or his reminder to Will, who as usual, is projecting his insecurities
onto him, that he’s not quitting because he’s a failure, but because “It’s just
not fun anymore.” Glee is about
opening yourself to joy, after all.