This week’s Glee, “Prom-asaurus,” is lame. There is no other way to say it. With only four hours left in the season, four hours left total for many of the major characters, one of those hours is wasted. This is pretty darn odd, coming just after a couple of fantastic installments. Hopefully, this is because much effort was put into making the final three totally amazing. Hopefully.
A huge part of the problem with “Prom-asaurus” is how casually senior prom is treated. Last year, junior prom is a huge event, with various couples putting much time and effort into selecting dates and campaigning for queen. This year, prom appears without warning, and no one has to scramble to find someone special to ask. Those who have significant others go with them, while those who don’t are present, but ignored. And the queen campaign sees very little screen time.
What’s more, “Prom-asaurus” skips over many things that make the Glee universe authentic. Which, admittedly, is realistic only when it chooses to be. For instance, while viewers are told over and over again just how unpopular the New Directions members are, four of the six nominees for king and queen come from this group. Admittedly, the New Direction have nominees last year, too, but the whole thing is just too casual this time around.
Another complaint is the way Brittany (Heather Morris) takes over the event at the last minute, and it still comes together wonderfully. Her run for class president is a major plot point earlier in the season that is ignored the rest of the year, until now. Tasked by Principal Figgins (Iqbal Theba) with making something of her position or risk being responsible for the permanent elimination of it, Brittany fires the prom committee and starts from scratch only a short time before the dance. Yet, music, costumes, food, and all go off without a hitch. Really?
The music at prom is very eh. Once more, the New Directions are asked to peform for their classmates. Why? No one likes them!
Brittany’s “Dinosaur” is weird, and seems to be the whole inspiration for her prom theme, because her claims of motivation earlier make little sense, even for a ditz like her. Despite its oddness, though, “Dinosaur” is at least interesting, which can’t be said for the other two numbers. “Love You Like a Love Song” is boring, probably owing to the fact that it’s a Selena Gomez number. “What Makes You Beautiful,” sung by what is essentially the guys’ B team, isn’t any more inspiring.
In fact, nearly the only thing about prom that comes off as awesome in “Prom-asaurus” is getting to see Blaine’s (Darren Criss) fuzzy head when Brittany demands he attend without hair gel. But that could have been accomplished without the lengths Glee goes to.
Rachel (Lea Michele) does get a decent story this week. She is downtrodden after her NYADA audition. Not being nominated for prom queen hurts, too. Then, seeing the king and queen posters campaigning for both Finn (Cory Monteith) and Quinn (Dianna Agron), who used to be the school’s power couple, sends her over the edge. She mentally flashes back to who she used to be. As a reaction to this, she plans an even lamer anti-prom, that is a poorly attended event in a hotel room.
Michele captures Rachel’s pain and depression without anything too over the top. Her “Cry” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” the latter sung with her gays, Blaine and Kurt (Chris Colfer), are moving. Rachel’s conversation with Quinn in the hall, while providing some awkward dialogue, effectively conveys her feelings, too, in a very sweet way.
However, this isn’t the Rachel of old. While Santana (Naya Rivera) is right in accusing Rachel’s anti-prom of being petty, when the seniors have so little time left to spend together, Rachel doesn’t argue or defend herself. She doesn’t throw a fit. As Finn comes to her, after a stupid misunderstanding that has little to do with Rachel, she admits her mistake, and leads her pals to the real prom. This is a Rachel that viewers have not seen that much of, and it really completes a nice growth arc for the character.
Santana, too, shows her maturation. She and Quinn come to an understanding while they are counting the ballots that neither of them needs the title of queen. They both have their runs at McKinley, staying popular despite their inclusion in the glee club, and they’ve got what they wanted out of high school. Instead, they rig the election to give the crown to someone who really needs something good right now: Rachel. It is a crowning moment, so to speak, for “Prom-asaurus,” nearly the only thing in the episode done right.
This week, Quinn is able to stand up again in front of her peers! Yet, somehow, it’s hard to care. Her character is interesting for some of Glee, but is once more forgettable at the end. Ah, well. Too bad, really.
Puck’s (Mark Salling) last minute friendship with Becky (Lauren Potter) seems off. Does Glee really expect the two to end up together? It certainly seems so. Hopefully, this is just a partnership of convenience, as each help the other get what they want. Puck crowns Becky queen of the anti-prom with a cut up beer box, which she actually wears to the real prom (!), and Becky distracts Sue (Jane Lynch) while Puck spikes the punch. Victory is theirs!
But, in spite of the fact that it would be nice to see both characters get happy endings, they don’t belong together any further than that. After all, Puck should be with Zizes (Ashley Fink), who had better (but probably won’t) make a return before graduation!
A final note, Will (Matthew Morrison) and Emma (Jayma Mays) seem tossed into the prom sequences. Were their bits quickly filmed in a half hour and cut into the larger scenes later? There is little reason to have them there, as they only provide reaction shots, and don’t interact with anyone. What’s more, why are they dancing all night like any other attendee instead of keeping an eye on the kids, as chaperones are supposed to do?
Overall, “Prom-asaurs” is a lackluster effort for Glee. Next week, Glee will be two hours long, beginning at 8 p.m. ET, the second hour finding the kids competing at “Nationals.” And in two weeks, the seniors say “Goodbye” in what will be a series wrap for many of the beloved characters. Watch Glee on FOX.