While Will went to the Cheerios for performers, he goes to the football players for popular kids. Will asks his bff the drugged up, overweight gym teacher named Ken Tenaka if he can talk to the team. Ken agrees, provided that Will tells Emma that Ken is awesome. Just so we’re clear, Ken is in love with Emma, who’s in love with Will, who’s in love with his wife Terri. No one loves Ken though. Poor Ken.
Anyway, Will asks if any of the jocks want to join glee club, which goes about as well as you would expect. Will stares in despair at the sign up sheet he put up, which has only a few crass made up names. They didn’t even care enough to really deface it.
Then, from the distance, Will hears someone singing.
And by “from the distance,” I mean “in the shower room” and by “someone,” I mean “Finn,” the one who stood by while Kurt was dumpster tossed earlier.
Will creeps on Finn a little bit, listening to him sing “Can’t Fight This Feeling,” and the audience is treated Finn’s bare chest and a shot of his bare feet. That would probably be cooler if I found Finn in any way attractive, but whatever. I can’t win them all. Will, meanwhile, seems uncaring that Sandy got fired just earlier this episode for being inappropriate with a student, and that maybe hanging around the boy’s shower would earn him a similar firing. Will’s a rebel. A rebel with a sweater vest. Oh, yeah.
To really complete his rebel vibe, Will does a terrible thing.
He plants the pot Sandy gave him earlier in Finn’s locker and blackmails him into joining glee club.
And this, children, is why you should never trust your Spanish teacher.
During this scene there’s a shot where focus goes from Will to a poster on Will’s wall that read “Number on priority: help the kids.” It’s completely unsubtle, but I love it anyway.
At this point, we get a Finn voiceover explaining his backstory. His dad died in Iraq while George H.W. Bush was in office, so he never actually knew him. His mom wears a lot of denim, works a lot, but always tries to be there for Finn. They also spray paint their lawn. The guy who does the spray painting was named Darren, which I find amusing for my own reason, and apparently used to have a band. Really, Glee’s obsession with music by Journey is Darren’s fault. He and Finn are singing “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’” in the flashback.
So, yeah. Darren’s fault.
(My favorite character who doesn’t appear until season two is played by a Darren. This is why it’s so amusing to me. Everything is his fault.)
The next glee rehearsal has Finn and Rachel singing lead on “You’re the One That I Want” from Grease. Which is probably deeply significant in some way, possibly more so if I ever get around to watching Grease.
(Which my roommate actually got on DVD today, after being practically offended that I hadn’t seen it yet. So its time is coming.)
So they continue singing, with the others singing backup. Rachel gets really into it, feeling up the others and coming on pretty strong to Finn. Finn who mostly just looks freaked out. I personally can’t believe that Finn is the male lead that Rachel’s been looking for. Sure, he’s tall and some people would probably find him handsome, but I don’t think he can actually keep up with her vocally. Finn isn’t bad. But Rachel’s actress has been working on Broadway since she was six. It would take a lot of keep up with her.
Whatever, though. Rachel likes him. Mercedes isn’t too keen on him though. She stops the song to complain about being backup to Finn and Rachel. She’s told that it’s just one song, and that they’ll all have chances to get a solo.
This is a lie. No one else will ever get another solo.
Kurt: Besides, it’s the first time we’ve sounded kind of good.
Me: No. Bad Kurt. Don’t compromise your talent just because you think a boy is cute. Finn’s not worth it.
Later that night, Will and Terri are in the craft room putting a puzzle together. Because this is Will and Terri, this dissolves into an argument about their finances, and Will’s desire to reclaim his lost youth. Also, screw you Will, Terri doesn’t want to go to the rival Glee club’s invitational show-off performance.
Emma totally wants to go, though. She is all over that. After she disinfects it.
(No, really, she wipes down the pencil before she signs her name on the chaperone sign up sheet Will put in the teacher’s lounge. Glee thinks her OCD is hilarious.)
So Will and Emma take the kids over to Carmel high, which has a theater and a concession stand. I am often jealous of the things my school never had. While waiting in line for snacks, Rachel makes her move on Finn, which included the word ingenue, which I think was a mistake, because I’m not sure that Finn knows what an ingenue is. It was also a mistake because Finn has a girlfriend, who is also the head cheerleader. Her name is Quinn Fabray, she’s cheer captain, president of the celibacy club, and was also one of the one’s cyber bullying Rachel during “On My Own.” So Rachel’s move just crashed and burned.
Emma does much better on Will though. She manages to split her peanut butter and jelly sandwich with Will (which is something he can’t have with Terri because of her nut allergy, and I’m sure it’s not symbolic at all, no matter how important metaphors are). Alas, her move ultimately fails when they start discussing Will’s, you know, wife. Partial credit, though, because they do talk about how he’s been having a tough time with Terri recently.
Before they really get into the meat of it, though, they get called into the auditorium because the show’s about to start. Next time, Emma. Next time.
Will does this small spiel about how this glee club, Vocal Adrenaline, is apparently the best team around. But Will thinks that New Directions is totally more awesome than they are!
Sadly, Will is mistaken. Vocal Adrenaline comes out and totally rocks Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab.” The Glee club is left speechless. Except for Tina who nicely points out how very screwed they are.
They return to Mckinley, and Finn broods along while a steel drum band plays in the background. Just because. I don’t think we ever see that band again.
Finn’s brooding is interrupted by Puck and the rest of the football team, and they’re armed with paintball guns. You see, Finn didn’t tell them that he was going to a show choir performance. He told Puck that he had to miss football practice because his mom was having surgery to have her prostate removed. Because Puck is secretly a sweet and caring friend (the trick is becoming his friend), he actually went and looked it all up. Thus he found the obvious lie.
I’m not sure if this is how it actually works in normal high schools, but apparently stepping outside your prescribed role gets you shot by paintballs at short range without any sort of protection.
(I did read a book once about masculinity in high school which makes me think that maybe this sort of thing is not quite as outside of the norm as I would like.)
While Finn has to face the cruel reality of gender policing and hazing, Will comes home to Terri underneath a congratulations banner and couple of glasses of champagne. It turns out that Terri is pregnant! This actually makes Will incredibly happy. He really and truly wants a family.
Which is why he’s going to quit his teaching job and become an accountant.
Which apparently he is trained to do.
Possibly just like he can speak Spanish.
Which he can’t.
He breaks the news to the glee club, who think that maybe he’s doing this because Vocal Adrenaline is going to knock their punk asses down. Finn’s just kind of pleased because this means that he’s no longer being blackmailed into the club.
Will tells the club that “sometimes you have to give up the things that you love.” Which reminded me of shit that happens in season four. And I gave myself a sad.
So Will sings “Leaving on a Jet Plane” alone in the empty auditorium. Intercut with this are scenes of him filling out an application while not paying attention to the detention he’s supposed to be monitoring, and of Emma listening to gossip in the teacher’s lounge, and doodling hearts over Will’s picture in the year book (apparently he was teacher of the year. Good to know). The common thing there is that both Will and Emma are isolated. When Emma’s looking at the yearbook, she’s in what looks to be an outdoor cafeteria, but it has absolutely no people in it. Will’s playing to an empty theater. Neither Will nor Emma are talking to people in the room when they’re there (though Emma is still aware of the people, while Will’s paying attention to only his own problems).
After he’s done singing, Emma goes to Will and tells him that she’s made an appointment for him at the career center. He needs some guidance.
With Will leaving, Finn has quit glee club, and Rachel isn’t pleased about it. Before she can go on a full tirade about it, Finn’s girlfriend Quinn interrupts, does a drive-by bullying of Rachel (“Finn, RuPaul,”), and drags Finn away. There was also a woman of color standing by Quinn, also a Cheerio. She currently has no name and had no lines. But she will. I love her.
Finn goes off to the football field and is greeted by his teammates. He explains that Mr. Shuester was going to give him extra credit for Spanish if he were in Glee, but that doesn’t matter anymore, since Mr. Shue quit and all.
Puck accepts this and has gotten Finn a welcome back present!
It’s Artie locked in a port-a-potty!
Just what every boy dreams of getting!
Instead of taking the first roll, like Puck expects, Finn frees Artie. Glee club has changed Finn. He is no longer going to stand idly by while people get harassed, like he did with Kurt at the start. You can’t call him a loser because they’re all losers. They live in Lima, Ohio. Only a handful of them are even going to go to college. And if he’s going to be a loser, he might as well do something he enjoys.
Puck: So, what? You’re gonna quit and join Homo Explosion?
Finn: No, I’m gonna do both. You can’t win without me, and neither can they.
Me: Wow, think much of yourself Finn?
Finn wheels Artie off, and as they go, Finn sees Darren spray painting the football field. This time he’s singing “Don’t Stop Believing” and Finn is struck by a brilliant plan.
He brings Artie to where the rest of the glee club is arguing. Kurt and Rachel are having the first of many bitch-offs. They join together to glare at Finn, though. And to talk about all the terrible things he and the other jocks did to them. Apparently pee balloons were involved and ew.
But Finn talks them around, and assigns each member a job. Except for Kurt and Tina. They don’t get a job. Kurt doesn’t even get asked.
While the Glee club is self-governing, Emma has a chat with Will. Because apparently Emma is the career center. She sets up a laptop and plays a video for Will. It’s William McKinley High School Glee club, back in ‘93 while he was a student in it. They won the Nationals competition that year. It’s also the happiest moment Will remembers in his life, because he loved what he was doing.
The only other time he’s been as happy was when Will found out that he was gonna be a father. So Emma’s effort were kind of in vain.
As Will walks out of the school, he hears music playing. This time it doesn’t lead him to the boys’ shower. It take him to the auditorium, where the Glee club is performing to no one the number they put together on their own. They perform “Don’t Stop Believing,” not realizing that not only is Will watching them, but so is Puck, Sue, Quinn, and the currently nameless woman of color. They sing for the joy of it. They each have personalized costumes in matching colors (Kurt’s has ruffles in the front and oh sweetie). Artie brought in some band kids, who will never escape now.
They are, in that moment, incredibly happy.
They finish, and Will claps to announce his presence. He gives some feedback, and lets them know that he’s not leaving.
I suppose to moral of the story is to do what you love and what you’re passionate about, not because of anyone else, but because you love it. And fuck the haters.
And that’s what you missed on Glee.