This week’s episode of Glee more than made up for last week’s. Then again, I don’t think it’s possible for an episode named ‘I Am Unicorn’ to be bad.
The episode begins with Brittany offering up her services to Kurt as manager for his campaign to be class president. In one of her more lucid moments, Brittany tells Kurt she wants to support him because he is a unicorn, ‘someone who knows they are magical and isn’t afraid to show it’.
As part of his quest to amp up his extra-curriculars and get into NYADA (a made up school), Kurt is also trying out for the school musical, West Side Story. He and Rachel are determined to play Tony and Maria, the lead roles. However, Mr Schue has dropped out as director, leaving the interesting combo of Artie, Coach Beiste and Ms Pillsbury at the directorial helm, for this one.
In other news, Shelby (Idina Menzel) is back in town and has been hired by Al Motta, father of Sugar Motta (the girl who can’t sing from Episode 1) to start a rival show choir right here at McKinley High. This is potentially horrifying news for our Glee-clubbers until you realise that a show choir of one isn’t much of a choir. That being said, I am interested to see how Motta develops as a character. I feel like there may be a ‘Surprise! She CAN sing’ sub-plot waiting for us somewhere down the line.
Obviously, Shelby’s return raises some pretty sticky questions for some of our Glee cast members and it nice to see Glee’s writers finally addressing some of these. Will Rachel and her runaway mom ever make up? Is Shelby still taking care of Quinn and Puck’s baby? What will this mean for Quinn’s recent rebellion, or Puck’s general oafishness?
As the episode plays out, we learn that Quinn and Puck, despite having barely mentioned their baby through all of Season 2, actually care about Beth’s wellbeing and want to make up for their year apart. Unsurprisingly, this is what pulls Quinn back from the edge of her comedy rebellion and by the end of the episode she is back in her usual white dress and back in Glee club. Quinn does get some pretty good moments In this episode though, including a pretty cool showdown with Mr Schuester and a ‘we’re the same’ moment or two with Shelby.
Meanwhile, Kurt and Brittany are planning Kurt’s rise to power. As expected, Brittany’s attempt to encapsulate Kurt’s essence are pretty awesome ( see entirely pink and covered in glitter) and Kurt flips out, once again not comfortable enough with himself to believe that a flamboyant campaign could win him the election.
In a completely contrary move, Kurt chooses a Barbara Streisand song for his audition piece for Tony, leaving the judges wondering whether he is simply too delicate for the job.
Rachel’s audition piece is also a corker. She is challenged by Shelby to try out ‘Somewhere’, and Shelby comes in on backing vocals. Generally, I really like having Idina Menzel back on the show, but she always shows up Rachel when they sing together. If anyone in the world could make Lea Michele’s voice sound breathy and less powerful, it’s Idina Menzel. For a top notch example, see ‘I Dream A Dream’ below:
After eavesdropping on the musical directors, Kurt goes from hating on Brittany’s campaign attempts and tearing down her posters (where he is riding a unicorn), to embracing his, er, unicorn-ness and owning his amazing campaign angle.
Brittany, boosted by some nice words from Santana, decides to run for president too and be her own unicorn. The Brittany/Santana scenes really shine in this episode and leave us wanting to see more of them together as the season unfolds.
In the final scene, new guy Blaine auditions for West Side Story. Seeing as he is basically Tony, this is the best thing that happens in the whole episode. Singing ‘Something’s Coming’ from West Side Story, he knocks it out of the park and completely enamours the judges. They ask Blaine to read for Tony, and shock horror, Kurt is watching from the shadows and sees this!
All in all, this episode was solid. Some good songs, some key plot points introduced for the season as a whole and the added bonus of the writers not simply resetting everything as with previous seasons. Sure, Sue still hates the Glee club, and Santana and Brittany are Cheerios again, but Puck and Quinn are being made to face facts about their kid, and Rachel is confronting her mommy issues. Baby steps for Glee this week, and I’m excited to see what happens next!
What will happen?? Will Blaine take the offer? Will Kurt give up his dream for the sake of us getting to watch Blaine dance and generally be handsome?
What did you think??