Rachel’s What You’d Call a Controlist: Ha! I love it, Finn. And that Rachel corrects him!
Pool-Cleaning Money: It’s made light of but the fact that Puck, (at what? 16?) gets a vasectomy and is dealing with such intense depression is really sobering and sad.
How Has Your Life Changed: Jacob Ben Israel, your language is terrible and derogatory. And Quinn’s trying so hard to be okay, but she’s still so emotional.
My Eyes Are Up HERE/Lost In The Sewers: Yay, Santana and Brittany!
Because We’re Both Asian: I wish Tina and Mike had more of a storyline than their being Asian… Mike’s on the football team like Finn. Tina’s in glee like Rachel, and yet we get so much less of them.
Say What You Have To Say TO MY FACE: This is the beginning of fiercely strong, standing-in-his-own-power, Kurt Hummel, and I love it.
Shannon Beiste: YES, Shannon! So happy to see her joining the cast! And her one-liners are already fantastic. (“All coffee and no omelet.”/“A steer with six teets and no oink!”) What.
We’re Family. None of That Is Gonna Break Us: Yes! United, glee stands!
Empire State of Mind: Holy God. There are .2 seconds of what looks like some kind of glorious dance improv going on between Brittany and Quinn and I am so into it (a.k.a. the on-screen proof that it was Dianna Agron who taught Chord Overstreet how to body roll.) I’ve never been a fan of the costumes or the song itself, but the dancing is amazing. Plus, I love seeing Sunshine and Sam looking on.
Every Rose Has Its Thorn: I never really liked how Season 2 had a blatant reusing of the way Finn was discovered (singing in the shower) with Sam, especially since Chord has a stronger voice than Cory. Why not cut the gratuitous shower scene and let him legitimately audition? PS Finn’s posters are pretty great, though.
Telephone: Sunshine is totally adorable with her Hello Kitty backpack. Rachel assuming she doesn’t speak English is just rude (and out of character! The girl comes from a biracial family, why would she blatantly insult someone like this?) I kind of hate how Finn hearing Sam sing is portrayed as this really positive thing, but Rachel hearing Sunshine sing is really catty and competitive. I do love the two of them singing together, though, and Sue coming in at the end, always makes me laugh.
The Panther: So strange how Coach Beiste starts out referring to herself as a panther. Glad this particular character quirk was dropped pretty fast.
Humiliated and Devastated: Will and Sue are SO immature and out of line here. I wouldn’t expect less of either of them, sadly.
Being Gay Isn’t a Handicap, Artie: How offensive and narrow-minded ARE you, Finn? Plus, MORE total ridiculousness with the characterization of Mike and Tina? Really? WHY are they so one-dimensional? And why can’t Artie want things for himself, outside of wanting to impress a girl? I have so many questions… (a.k.a. “Okay, you just said, like, TEN offensive things.”)
My Name Is Sam Evans: Yay, Sam is here! I love how Chord doesn’t play into the “dumb blonde” stereotype as much as he plays Sam really guileless. I still remember seeing him for the first time and really taking the hints that were dropped about how he could (and was meant to be) Kurt’s boyfriend originally. (Sam even went to an all-boys boarding school prior to transferring to McKinley.) How different would the show be today if we had Kurt and Sam, instead of Kurt and Blaine, I wonder? How different would it be if Chord hadn’t had such great chemistry with Dianna (lets face it, who WOULDN’T have great chemistry with either one of those actors?)
Billiionaire: God, Sam’s voice is fantastic. He’s always reminded me of a young John Travolta, which is a big compliment. I love the dynamic with all the guys in on Sam’s audition. Puck backing Sam up on guitar. Finn on the drums. Mike breaking down some dance moves and Artie rapping. So good! As usual, I always love the kids taking responsibility and stepping up/singing on their own without Will.
Fashion Has No Gender: Kurt and Mercedes at the piano is adorable. And I love that Mercedes doesn’t judge the sweater, just wonders what kind it is.
Ladies: Ugh, MORE of this, Rachel? What happened to her character over the summer? Now, she’s calling Kurt a lady and freaking out about Sunshine joining the club? She obviously feels threatened by her, but why wouldn’t she welcome someone else with a strong voice, because that would better their chances at a stronger finish? (I do love, “She’s also shorter than me, which I didn’t think was possible, and is very unnerving.”)
Operation Mean Girl: I can’t take this bullying and immaturity by Sue and Will.
I Want My Girlfriend Back and I Want Abs: I hate that Artie and Finn picked entirely the wrong moment to present this tryout to Coach. (But weird! If their director wasn’t busy acting like a jerk, Shannon maybe would have had something different to say to them.)
Dude: The first time “dude” (Finn to Shannon) as an exclamation is taken as a pejorative. (Fast-forward to Season 4, to see Ryder say the same to Unique with similar results.)
Rehabilitate: I’m vaguely offended that Quinn uses the word rehabilitate (to restore to good health or useful life…) when speaking of her pregnancy. Add to that, Finn doing a “really embarrassing” audition for the Cheerios because he’s not the quarterback anymore “which means” apparently, that “he’s nothing.” These kids seriously need some parenting. And some perspective.
Handicapable Friend: Rawwwwrrr! God, Will. You’re so angering. That language is SO demeaning. Stop. It.
I Wanted People To Notice Me More: And here we go, with another example of a kid with zero perspective. Sue’s one redeeming moment in the episode so far is this talk with Santana about her surgery. I still can’t justify in my mind how her parents would ALLOW that? I love Sue’s comment about Santana’s surgery translating to the fact that she has low self esteem. As someone who has had so many non-elective surgeries as a child, I’ve lost count, I’ll never be able to understand why someone would voluntarily subject themselves to that level of pain.
You Did This To Me: Oh, my God. This fight is brutal. The shoving, the slapping, the hair-pulling and the insults. And poor Brittany standing back telling them to “stop the violence.” Both Santana and Quinn are so angry. (Quinn keeps fighting even after Will intervenes, raging about how Santana should “tighten up her high pony before she gets to CLASS!”.) Who would have ever thought that these two would end up together for a hot second in Season 4?
Here and Here: Not funny. Never will be funny.
Really Important: And more still more with Mike and Tina being nothing more than the two Asian characters. (I do like how they aren’t afraid to do the right thing by confronting Rachel and telling Will about what she did to Sunshine. And Tina’s “ambitious little freak who will do anything to hold onto her power,” line about Rachel, oh my God. Use that sass, Tina Cohen-Chang!
Listen: Sunshine can sing! I love Mercedes and Artie’s initial reactions and Santana’s little head tilt. All of Sunshine’s sharp, choreography somehow works, and I love that everybody is so impressed. This is me just wishing that Rachel were less shallow. Can we imagine how much more awesome glee club would be with Sunshine in it?
Outside Looking In: Sam’s so reluctant to tell Finn anything about not showing up for auditions, and making quarterback.
Glee Loser: Finn’s pretty much saying that if he were still on the football team, he WOULD break up with Rachel. I DID like him insisting that Rachel admit that she sabotaged Sunshine’s audition for glee club for herself, not for the team.
What I Did For Love: I seriously have no memory of this performance, but her vocals are flawless and I love the dress. I also like that it’s kind of left hanging, and we don’t actually see Rachel apologizing at this point.