Despite what certain websites may-or-may-not have you believe, Tuesday’s much-buzzed-about episode of GLEE that revolves around the question as to whether or not Rachel/Finn and Kurt/Blaine will go — in the parlance of our grade school days — “all the way” is not among the hit FOX show’s finest hours. But, before you shoot the messenger, or worse, click away from this page in disgust pledging never to return, allow us to explain.
We wanted to love it, we really did. Unfortunately, the episode, appropriately titled “First Time” suffers from the one thing (well, aside from massive overhype) that has become far too commonplace when it comes to all things GLEE: Plot Contrivances. You see, the impetus for Rachel and Blaine’s sudden interest in “living outside their safe little world” comes from their West Side Story director Artie, who, after witnessing a somewhat lacklustre rehearsal between his talented two stars questions how they expect to convey the human experience to an audience when they “haven’t opened themselves up to one of humanity’s most basic and primal needs.” And herein lies the crux of our problem.
Note to Artie, it’s called “acting” for a reason. Ellen Pompeo hasn’t actually had to perform open-heart surgery to successfully portray Meredith Grey on GREY”S ANATOMY, openly gay actor Neil Patrick Harris doesn’t really need to be a womanizing lothario in real life to belly up to the bar and be Barney Stintson on HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, while Rachel and Blaine certainly don’t need to have — in the parlance of our middle school days — “gotten it on” with their respective partners to properly connect with their West Side Story audience. Oh, and don’t even get us started on Artie’s insanely inappropriate conversation with Coach Beiste as to her level of experience! But we digress.
Specifically by moving on from our nitpicking and ending this post by focusing on the three things we did enjoy with regards to the episode. (1) Kurt and Karofsky (who hasn’t just come to grips with his sexuality, but proudly proclaims his status as “Bear Cub”) share a memorable mending of the fences in the town’s surprisingly populated gay bar Scandal. (2) Newest Dalton Academy Warbler Sebastian (Grant Gustin) knows how to make the most of a first impression on both us as a viewer and Blaine, the latter of whom drops by his old stomping ground to invite his friends to see him perform. And (3) Much to the chagrin of his Tiger Dad, Mike Chang makes a life-altering decision about his future.
GLEE returns with new episodes this Tuesday September 20th at 8PM FOX (Global TV in Canada) and stars Dianna Agron, Chris Colfer, Jane Lynch, Jayma Mays, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Matthew Morrison, Amber Riley, Mark Salling, Jenna Ushkowitz, Naya Rivera, Heather Morris, Harry Shum Jr. and Darren Criss. Catch up with past episodes you may have missed for free online at clicktowatch.tv