Early in this episode, Kurt describes the role he plays in his friend’s lives as that of a mother, just in place to praise others, but have no good things for herself. Later, when Sam wants to adopt the little dog, Mercedes says, “I’ve got my hands full taking care of you,” a sentence familiar to moms everywhere.
Those lines got me musing on mothers in Glee–and then further out to who takes on parental roles in the show, and mostly to the way Glee just models families formed from bonds of affection rather than blood.
It clearly is a theme of this episode, with echoes in all of the story lines. These are just some things I noted:
There is the story between Kurt and Maggie. He doesn’t ask her to be his friend, after all; instead he says, “Why don’t we become each other’s family?”
Kurt’s mom is present in her absence; I found myself picturing Kurt alone in the loft, watching Long Island Medium and wondering if he would dare try to talk to her, though he knows she can’t answer…
Peter Pan brings Wendy to Neverland to be the Lost Boys’ Mother, because they all need someone to tell them stories…and that’s what Peter thinks mothers do
Santana calls Kurt “Homocchio.” Pinocchio is a complicated tale of wrong starts and bad companions, but at heart, it is also the tale of an intentional family. Pinocchio wants to be a real boy because he wants his creator Gepetto to be his real dad.
Mercedes does probably feel like a den mother, coming home to the boys playing games, the chores not done…
But Sam correctly reminds us that he has been the breadwinner, he has been the one getting children off to school. He’s just taking some time for himself before he creates a family with Mercedes “someday”.
Finally, the story with the dogs is a story about animal “adoption.” People create families with their companion animals.