Welcome to the first edition of Gleefully Yours with Chelsea & Sahar! When I persuaded fellow Blogcritics writer Sahar to try out this excellent musical dramedy, she got so enamored with it that she suggested we do a feature together on the subject. I'll be handling the recaps while she focuses more on the music and what it adds/detracts from the show regularly. So let's get started on the episode "Laryngitis," where Rachel learns a valuable lesson thanks to an anvil in the head, and Kurt sings Mellencamp. Even typing that hurts.
Rachel is having a problem: she lost her voice! Apparently all of the other New Directions members have been coasting along after her, but she's the only one still working in the group. When she points this out, Will suggests that they all present a song that expresses how they truly feel inside. We can always count on Will to be so very touchy-feely.
Puck is feeling panicked because his mother shaved off his mohawk, and now no one at school is afraid of him. Really? It was that simple? He even gets thrown into a trash can, which seems ridiculous considering he's still twice the size of the people who toss him in. Anyway, he decides to hook up with Mercedes because now she's the most popular girl in school. Really? Was it because of her "Beautiful" rendition a few weeks ago? That's actually nice. Good for Mercedes, but that probably won't last the episode (foreshadowing!). She agrees to date him because he sings a smoking hot version of "The Lady is a Tramp." Who would've thought that Puck knew Sammy Davis Jr. so well? Or that he had an excellent set of Rat Pack clothing hiding out somewhere in his closet? Needless to say it works. Come on ladies, who wouldn't that work on?
Quinn warns Mercedes that he's just using her, but Mercedes doesn't seem to mind. He's being relatively sweet to her and she enjoys his attention. Quinn and Puck apparently are not actually dating as everyone thought they were, although she is living with him until the baby comes. Ooookay. The real problem is that Santana gets obsessively jealous over Puck. Only she never showed that jealousy with Quinn in the past few weeks, but okay, fine. The two sing "The Boy Is Mine." Oh the late 90's, how I've missed you. They also sing it in front of the whole Glee club, which is so awkward that even Will goes WTF?
In the A Special Subject on Glee section of this episode, Rachel is convinced without her voice she is nothing. Finn takes her to meet an old football buddy of his who is paralyzed from the waist down. He felt the same away about football, but he's learned to find a reason to live without it and is in relatively good spirits all things considered. Rachel realizes how very small her problems are in comparison, and when she gets her voice back she offers to give him singing lessons. It's sweet, but a little too After School Special. Glee does that regularly so it can be forgiven, but this show is at its best when it is witty and biting. Not all emotional subjects have to feel like you're being hit over the head with an anvil.
Take the other emotional story: Kurt and his father. Yes, they've gone over this many times on the show, but believe it or not this isn't just a quick fix. His father doesn't tell him once that he's cool with him being gay and they never talk about it again. Kurt is furious and heart broken his father keeps taking Finn to sports games, so he tries to go "straight." He sings a Mellencamp song (groooooan) and makes out with Brittany. His father takes all of this in stride at first, but when Kurt going "straight" doesn't work on getting him invited anywhere, he has a hissy fit. He sings "Rose's Turn" from the incredible play Gypsy and just slays it. His father was listening all along, and they rehash everything again. As always this subject is handled sweetly and with grace, and Kurt Hummel's father is one of the best parents portrayed on television right now. Between him and Finn's mother, the show doesn't fall into the typical high school drama show where the parents are always clueless.
Mercedes decides to quit the Cheerios and be herself again since she can't stand Puck's attitude. He's got his mojo back, so he doesn't really care. One thing that was missing this episode was Jesse St. James, who they said was off with Vocal Adrenaline having fun. Finn still wants Rachel back, and even though everyone thought Jesse broke up with her, it seems she's still holding onto him. If only he could stay on the show. We'll miss your perfect pitch, Jonathan Graff.
Next week: NEIL PATRICK HARRIS! Episode directed by Joss Whedon! Squee!