Just like American Horror Story, however, I found 'Dance with Somebody' fun and somewhat emotional but also pretty inconsequential.
On the positive side, there was the opening. I thought we were going to get another boring reason to show off 'The Voice' that is Mercedes, but we ended up getting perhaps one of the most memorable song sequences in a long time for their cover of 'How Will I Know'.
The direction (by TV vet Paris Barclay) was inventive and interesting, the song production (or lack thereof) was supremely enjoyable and the pan down to the title card was sombre and strong. But like so many times before, there's nowhere for Glee to go but down.
Part of the episode's problem was that it was a tribute - a Whitney Houston tribute to be specific. What excuse did the writers invent for it? The kids just simply haven't got over her death, even though two months have passed. It's not like this was an episode that was bursting to be made or indeed had to be made. Something in music happened? Quick, stop the presses - let's see what the Glee crew can throw together!
For the most part, all of the scenes worked, but none of them fundamentally mattered either because they had no connection to previous episodes (I know, blaming Glee for continuity - I'm a fool) or because hardly anything developed at all.
The only overall story that I liked this week was the one involving Kurt and Blaine. The show has always got them, and this episode was no different. I would have loved for Kurt's beau to have been more developed or alternatively invisible, because until the scene with Rachel his character was irrelevant to the story at hand.
This was a story about Blaine through Kurt's eyes, though, and it worked. Blaine, for the most part, is 'the perfect human being', so it's always nice to see him get torn down a bit.
You see, Kurt met a friendly guy at the library. He was witty, cute and made Kurt feel loved. So they started texting each other (after, I assume, mentally exchanging phone numbers), and it boosted Kurt's confidence. When Blaine finds out, he accuses Kurt of cheating (in the most calm and perfect manner ever) and Kurt doesn't get it.
He hasn't done anything, but that's not the point. Kurt hasn't been thinking of someone else. The breaking of the news that Blaine isn't going to college and is worried about Kurt going to New York is a bit cheap, but I'll allow it because Darren Criss plays the heck out of it. I wish he gets to do dramatic acting more often.
Conversely, if that's the best story, Will and Emma's is far and away the worst. It has the same structure, the only difference being that where Kurt is generally a likeable character, Will hasn't been one for a long, long while.
Will wants to get married now (conveniently in time for the season finale). According to him, they have had three years of love (sorry, John Stamos) and might as well do it sooner rather than later. Emma disagrees. She thinks weddings need planning. They play this story for a while until the reveal that the actual reason for them to wed soon is so that the kids can be there. I groaned. How can you not? It's so awful and pathetic that it makes me weep.
... which brings Glee in general to an odd place. Many of these characters are leaving, Will and Emma are getting married, New Directions will surely win Nationals and somehow Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan need to reboot their show in their fourth season. I don't really know how they'll do it. With Sugar and maybe Sam? I guess they could hook up? We'll see.
- It was kind of horrible to return to the heavily-produced and autotuned world with 'Wanna Dance with Somebody' so soon after that opening. Poor Brit, she hasn't got great vocal chops.
- Brittany did get a good line though: "And Quinn, you're still dancing in my dreams. And you can fly and breathe fire."
- Quinn continues to have the worst stories.
- I love it when characters moan about not getting songs. It's as if Ryan Murphy isn't writing them!
- I like Kurt and Rachel being friends. Their scene together was lovely.
- "OK, but if this is another Rihanna song in the pool we have to take pictures."