“Glee” really wanted to start something with its Michael Jackson tribute — and if you love song-and-dance numbers, this may be one of your favorite episodes Ryan Murphy and company has produced. The reproduction of “Scream” may be the greatest tribute video the show has ever done, and the arrangement for “Smooth Criminal” was a nice departure from everything the show typically producers (which is pretty by-the-book when compared to the original versions).
But how was the actual story this week? We’re actually pleased to say that the producers learned the lesson of the Britney Spears and Madonna tributes and actually tried to put a plot in here to make some sense. The only thing that didn’t learn? Trying to claim that the sole reason for the Jackson music was the feeling of isolation by some members of the Trouble Tones over not getting to perform with New Directions at Sectionals. (Then again, that was their own fault.)
Oftentimes here, we try to highlight the music that you hear during the episode, but this time we’re going to flip the script and focus instead on five story moments that were particularly notable in the midst of all the music.
Quinn gets into Yale! – Why is that every high-school show always has someone that gets into an Ivy League school? This is not something that happens all that much — but what really may be more notable here is how Quinn used this to try and tell Rachel that she wasn’t going to end up with Finn, and thanks to this she should end the engagement sooner rather than later.
Samcedes is on! – We’ve waited for a pair of episodes for Mercedes to finally give into Trouty Mouth’s advances, but it finally seemed as though these two have taken another step closer to being together. Their performances of “Human Nature” caused some serious hand-holding, loving glances, and a kiss at the end. As for how this impacts Mercedes’ relationship with Shane, that’s to be seen. (Personally, we’re predicting that Sam will be tossed into the nearest dumpster by the football team.)
NYADA – For quite some time, we’ve been waiting to check out the future of Kurt and Rachel in New York City … and for Kurt, he got some good news early! Unfortunately, the unveiling that Kurt was a finalist made Rachel even more nervous about her own future. Did she have any reason to be? Not really — she was a finalist, but she hasn’t bothered to tell Finn yet. (In going back to what we said earlier with Quinn, isn’t it shocking how many people get into their desired schools?)
The exit of Blaine – With Darren Criss going to be taking off to Broadway, we know that Blaine is going to be MIA for a few weeks. The show’s explanation? Blaine got hit with some sort of radioactive evil slushie from Sebastian, which was bad enough that he needed surgery on his eye. This was the set-up for Santana trying to get revenge via her “Smooth Criminal” performance at Dalton Academy — which we actually will remember just as much for the awesomely angry cellists rather than the actual song.
What we were rather horrified about with this episode is how New Directions so easily brushed off Sebastian throwing a slushie into Blaine’s face that had rock salt in it. We understand that they want to beat Sebastian at Regionals (and show him up in front of his fellow classmates) … but isn’t this a little bit sociopathic? It’s also strange that Karofsky felt more consequences here than Sebastian, and Sebastian actually did something that led to Blaine getting surgery.
Rachel said… – Really, the biggest question that most people wanted to know through this episode was whether or not Rachel said “yes” to Finn’s proposal — and despite some of Quinn’s warnings, a serenade from Finn to “I Can’t Stop Loving You” managed to seal the deal for the two of them. There were tears, smiles, and the piano kept playing even while the silent piano man just sat there and watched the two of them embrace.
Overall, we’re reasonably pleased that “Michael” managed to wipe away the cynicism we approached this episode with and turn it around. We have no problem being wrong, and the mixture of story with the music this week ended up feeling right. Could we have done with about two fewer songs? Sure, but we ask that of “Glee” just about every week — so we’re can’t single out just this episode.
Instead, we’re now just trying to figure out how Rachel will tell Finn about her future plans … and whether or not she will do it in song.