congratulations on your everything sir

All the awards for Harry Shum Jr. in this episode, though.

The ghost of a smile Harry gives us when Figgins praises Mike for his football and dancing skills tells us volumes about Mike as a person; this is the characterization we’ve missed for Mike for the last two years, and all it took for us to get it was the camera focusing on Harry for one second.

And then in the next instant after that, when Mike’s father threatens to take him out of glee club? Harry’s eyes fill with tears and his voice cracks. He shows us how Mike wants to be in glee so badly, but he’s so afraid to tell his father that dancing and singing are what he loves most. He’s so scared he’ll lose the best part of his day; he’ll pay for it himself, on top of all his other responsibilities and things he has to do.

And the scene where he dances alone in the studio? Do I even need to mention that? Not many actors can carry a solo scene with no background music in that way, but Harry totally broke my heart here. He also made me believe that a substantial Tike romance exists, even though RIB have never done us the pleasure of exploring it onscreen. You can tell that Tina is Mike’s whole world; just a word of reassurance from her and a touch is enough to make him believe in his dreams. He can do anything because he has her.

And, on a different note, dear Cheesus! Can that boy ever sing. His “Born This Way” shirt? Forever invalid. Also, his speech to Beiste about how dancing will never be a waste of his time because it’s what he loves to do totally reminded me of why I ultimately–deep down under all my frustration–love Glee.

Of course, my favorite Harry scene in this episode has to be the exchange between Mike and his mother. Harry Shum Jr. shows us that Michael Chang Jr. has a beautiful soul; he loves his family and wants to make them happy, but he also has dreams of his own. That brief moment wherein Mike dances his mother around the studio has to be one of my favorite Glee moments to date. It’s so beautiful and intimate; both actors executed it flawlessly.

Harry portrayed Mike with vulnerability, honesty, charisma, and total transparency in this episode. Not only has Mike grown as a character, but Harry has grown as an actor.

All the awards for Harry.

Bravo, sir, bravo.

I’m glad we finally got to hear your voice after two full years.