Thanks to a spoiler-tweeting Glee extra and the fact that I pretty much read everything, I knew who was going to be crowned prom king and queen on Tuesday night’s episode of Glee. But while I may not have experienced the same shock as other readers (those who hadn’t read the spoiler seems pretty surprised on Twitter last night) I was still fully captivated by the plot. I knew Kurt would be crowned queen, but I wasn’t sure under what circumstances. Unfortunately, it was as a cruel joke. But more on that later – there was a lot going on in last night’s episode, so let’s chat.
They are the band
When Figgins’ favorite band, Air Supply, bailed on performing at the McKinley High prom, he asked his second favorite band, New Directions, to step in. Schue was hesitant since the kids have Nationals coming up, but he wasn’t nearly as opposed as one Sue Sylvester. Among the other songs she banned from the set list was – gasp! – “Run Joey Run”, which happened to be Rachel’s first suggestion when she heard about the gig.
The whole school was aflutter with prom related gossip because, as Quinn pointed out, you can get married as many times as you want but you only have one junior prom. (Unless you flunk out, or go as your cousin’s date at a different school, in which case you can probably attend more than one.) There were lots of things for the teenage mind to stress about – mostly not having a date, and the ridiculous expense of attending prom. Mercedes and Rachel were dateless, so they convinced Sam to be their shared Prom on a Budget date. They had twenty bucks for the whole affair, most of which seemed to go towards dinner at Breadstix, and their gowns, which were purchased for five bucks a pop at a thrift store…located in Narnia, because I know you aren’t getting dresses that gorgeous at the local thrift store. No, there you’ll find something more like these:
Mercedes and Rachel’s Big Love setup turned into more of a traditional double date, though, when Jesse St. James reappeared. I know a lot of people squealed with joy when he emerged in the auditorium to help Rachel turn “Rolling in the Deep” into the most soulless, vanilla rendition ever, but I’ve never been a fan of Jesse. I find him too smug, and I still don’t really understand why he egged Rachel. His appearance did bring out some nice shades of jealous in Finn, though.
Fashion Police, Bully Police
Meanwhile, other girls were still in a tizzy over what to wear – after all, it had to be cleared by one Kurt Hummel, the Joan and Melissa Rivers of Ohio. He helped Lauren escape the atrocity that was a giant yellow dress, gave a thumbs up to Santana’s smokin’ hot red number, and hopefully picked out Brittany’s completely delightful neon green frock. If I could do prom over again, I’d go dressed as Brittany. In fact, I think I just came up with the theme for my 26th birthday party.
Kurt wanted to attend the junior prom with Blaine, but Blaine was hesitant. It turned out that he’d gone to a dance with a boy once before, and he and that boy got the crap beat out of them by violent bullies afterward. It’s unclear if this was at Dalton, a different school, or if the bullies were passersby who didn’t go to Dalton…in any case, it was a harrowing story and no wonder Blaine wasn’t jazzed about attending another dance as one half of an out, gay, happy couple. Kurt himself was starting to feel more secure about his safety at McKinley High – no one had been bullying him, and he didn’t think it was just because of Santana and Karofsky’s escorts to and from class. He even received another apology from Karofsky – this time it was a genuine, heartfelt one.
There was one girl in school who was totally fine going to the prom alone, and her name was Brittany S. Pierce. I know I love Britt in every episode, but I really loved her in this one. Yeah, Britt might be a little behind in things like math, science and the alphabet. But when it comes to emotions and relationships, she’s often miles ahead of her classmates. Artie was desperate to win her back and serenaded her during Home Ec class with the other guys backing him up. (I loved the reminder that these kids actually go to classes, and Brittany’s confusion over whether there was a baby chick in the egg she was about to break, and Kurt’s request to graduate from high school knowing how to make some form of pate.) Mercedes basically said my thoughts out loud when she whispered “I though this song was about a baby?”, since Artie had decided to win Brittany back with Steve Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely?”.
Brittany’s reaction to the whole thing was perfect. Angry and dismissive, followed by embarrassed, followed by touched. But she wasn’t ready to forgive Artie for calling her stupid, and she wanted to go to the dance alone and have fun. You’ve got to hand it to the girl, she has one strong sense of self.
Kurt, dramatic as always, decided to sew his own Alexander McQueen and Royal Wedding inspired outfit for the prom – a suit with a kilt. Kurt looked fabulous as always, but what was more interesting was the conversation it sparked. Mike O’Malley, as per usual, absolutely killed his scene.
Burt Hummel worried that Kurt was just trying to stir the pot with his outfit, and that an openly gay kid wearing a skirt to prom would give some bad, violent people a reason to cause trouble. Blaine agreed, most likely based on his own history with school dances. Finn was the only one who thought Kurt looked great, and that was that. It was an interesting conversation that, much like all the other conversations Kurt and his dad have had about his sexuality, is not strictly black and white. Is there a line between being yourself and putting yourself in danger? Was Kurt at that line?
I will be the first to say that how someone dresses should have nothing to do with how someone is treated. The whole “women shouldn’t dress in a provocative way because they’re asking to be raped thing” infuriates me, and I think it is a similar sentiment to this storyline. But at the same time, Burt and Blaine are only worried for Kurt’s safety. And they weren’t wrong – there are terrible, angry, poorly raised people out there who would see a gay kid in a skirt and seriously hurt him. So is the answer to not wear the kilt? No, not really. Then nothing will change. But no one wants to see their kid get the living daylights beat out of him on principle, you know?
The Main Event
Everyone, of course, was at Breadstix before the dance. I loved the Glee prom because everyone looked so pretty and was dressed perfectly for their characters. Rachel was pretty in pink, Mercedes was fun and bright, Santana was sexy, Quinn looked stunning. The real action, though, was the tension between Finn and Jesse. Finn, I think, acted with equal parts protectiveness and jealousy. There’s obviously still something between him and Rachel, you can’t deny that. But I think he also has a right to question Jesse – he egged Rachel! But then at the dance things escalated thanks to Rachel’s song choice, and the two guys got in a fight. Both Rachel and Quinn were left without prom dates, as the boys got kicked out by the Prom Police – Sue Sylvester.
Speaking of Sue, one thing that didn’t really work for me in this episode was her material. Threatening Artie with violence? Really? Not even Sue would do that, especially to a kid in a wheelchair. Puck had convinced Artie to help him spike the punch at prom so that he could get his street cred back, and Artie agreed to do it because he was heartbroken over Brittany and had “nothing to live for.” (Teenagers, so melodramatic!) Sue caught them, and Artie spent most of the dance stuck in Sue’s office as she threatened to pull out his teeth. But it was all for nothing! Artie and chickened out and filled the gin bottle with lemonade.
The other thing that didn’t work for me was Quinn’s reaction to the whole Finn and Jesse fighting thing – a swift slap to Rachel’s face. It seemed unlike Quinn, and a weird thing for Glee to do considering their pretty strong anti-bullying message. Remember when no one could expel Karofsky because he hadn’t actually laid a hand on Kurt? Will Quinn get expelled now? Probably not, since Rachel took the slap with a grain of salt and said she could “appreciate the drama of it.” The whole scene just felt off.
One scene that didn’t feel off? Sam telling Mercedes she looked beautiful and asking her to dance. The writers have a somewhat annoying tendency to flip-flop between Insecure Mercedes and Uber-Dive Mercedes, but I think even under the diva act, she does have low self-esteem. It was nice to see her prom dream come true, especially with a guy as nice as Sam. I’d love to see Mercedes get a real love interest next season. In fact, I’d even settle for a real storyline of any sort.
The Votes Are In
When Figgins prepared to announce the votes for prom king and queen, it was unclear (to those who hadn’t accidentally read spoilers) who would win. First? David Karofsky as prom king. He was over the moon, and so was Santana…until Figgins read the next vote – Kurt Hummel as prom queen. It was a horrifying moment for everyone. Kurt ran out of the room, humiliated. Karofsky panicked, and so did Santana. She fled into an empty room and cried, asking Brittany if no one voted for her because they can tell she’s a lesbian.
Brittany, quite the voice of wisdom in this episode, told Santana that she’d voted for her, and that Kurt needed their support right now since the night was a lot more difficult for him that for Santana. She was right. When I heard that Kurt was going to be prom queen, I had kind of expected that he’d own the moment. I hadn’t considered the cruel joke aspect of things. But eventually Kurt did return to the dance with his head held high, ready to be crowned and deliver a timely “Eat your heart out, Kate Middleton”. My only complaint? There’s no way the same jerks who voted for Kurt wouldn’t have been heckling him as all that went down. Were they afraid of showing themselves and facing Karofsky, Santana, or someone from the faculty? I think it needed to be explained a little further, why the bullies who cast a secret ballot for Kurt wouldn’t be inclined to mock him as he accepted his crown.
Karofsky wasn’t ready to dance with Kurt, and I would have found it too ridiculous if he had. A guy like Karofsky, who is terrified of being outed, wouldn’t just suck it up and dance with another guy. If that was going to happen, someone like Finn or Sam would have had to win. Karofsky is nowhere near there. So instead, Blaine stepped up and the two shared a dance as Mercedes and Santana performed “Dancing Queen”.
Some other thoughts: I loved Brittany’s dress, but most of all I loved her tiny top hat. I thought I’d hate that Glee covered the Rebecca Black atrocity “Friday”, but it was actually kind of fun…I know, I know, it was still horrible. I’m not saying I’ll download it. It was just, you know, kind of fun. So sue me. Also, I was really impressed with Lauren’s prom dress. Totes gorgeous, and definitely the best she’s ever looked on the show. No mismatched patterns or skulls! Good job, Kurt. If only he’d prevented Artie from attending prom as Austin Powers.
Another, somewhat unrelated thought? I miss Coach Bieste, can we get her back in a few scenes before the finale? Also, I’m really bummed that Emma wasn’t chaperoning the prom, I wanted to see what she’d wear.
There are only two episodes left, and next week’s episode is called “Funeral”. I honestly have no idea who it’ll be referring to, and I really don’t want to read any spoilers. I’m a little worried the funeral will be for Karofsky, but I truly have no idea.
Now, check out a list of my favorite quotes from “Prom Queen”, and don’t forget to head to the comments section and tell me what you thought about the episode.
- Puck: “Our campaign strategy is to close the gap by using a combination of intimidation and fear.”
Jacob: “Awesome and classy.”
- “Each year I honor the prom with a bowl of my family’s secret punch recipe, made all the more meaningful to me because it’s made in the punchbowl my grandmother drowned in.” – Sue
- “William, I have in my Spanx at all times, a list of the worst songs ever performed by the glee club. And I would appreciate if you would not reprise any of the following songs. Number one, “Run Joey Run”. You should literally apologize to America for that one.” – Sue
- “So? I don’t have a date. I’m just going to dance. Then all your dates are going to ignore you and come dance with me. So your dates are really my dates.” – Brittany
- Sam: “Is this a surprise party or something? Because my birthday was last week”
Rachel: “It was?
- Lauren: “I look like a lemon meringue pie.”
Brittany: “I think you look delicious.”
- “I just assumed it would be like at Carmel, where the school would find some Asian kid to take math, English, and scientific for me.” – Jesse
- “Okay, that’s really confusing because this is a baby chicken’s house.” – Brittany
- Burt: “I looked like Tony Orlando”
Blaine: “Was that a designer?”
- “Dude, that rocks. It’s like gay Braveheart!” – Finn
- “There is simply nothing off the rack that is suitable for the young, fashionable man in Ohio.” – Kurt
- Jesse: “They say that the best time to start any business is during a recession. I don’t know why or even what a recession is, but it’s my understanding that we’re in one.”
Rachel: “He’s so smart, I can’t believe he flunked out of college.”
- “John McCain is rolling over in his grave!” – Sue
- Santana: “Just because I hate everyone doesn’t mean they have to hate me too!”
Brittany: “It’s just a stupid crown. You can buy it at the Party Store.”
- “As soon as we get to New York I’m bailing to live in a lesbian colony, or Tribeca.” – Santana