Glee Season 1 Episode 10: Ballad
Plus there was a cute and funny subplot about Rachel crushing on Will and Terri suffering years of hormonal high school girls going after her husband. In typical Terri style, she figured out a way to make it work for her: by treating the girls as household slaves. And believe it or not, the last girl who had a crush on Will, Suzy Pepper, is played by the same actress who plays Sal Romano’s wife Kitty on Mad Men, Sarah Drew. Go look it up. That girl is a chameleon. She was completely unrecognizable last night. The only reason we knew who she was is because Lorenzo has always loved her since her appearance on the late lamented Wonderfalls.
Except for the final highly emotional number, the songs were a little flat this week. “Endless Love” was great but they talked all through it and Cory’s “I’ll Stand By You” was sweet, but he definitely doesn’t have the voice for solos. And while they finally figured out what a mash-up is (not a medley), we didn’t think Will’s mash-up of “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” and “Young Girl” actually worked. Of course, the second the words “You’re having my baby” came out of Finn’s mouth at the Fabrays’ dinner table, we groaned and covered our eyes. One thing that’s notable about the song choices (and to be fair, we didn’t notice this until someone – oh, okay: Laura – called us up and pointed it out): they weren’t exactly subtle. “Endless Love” leads to a crush, which leads to Rachel wanting to sing “Crush.” Finn needs to get the baby out in the open so he sings “Having My Baby.” Will is concerned about Rachel’s crush so he sings a mash-up of “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” and “Young Girl.” Not so much a criticism, just something that we hadn’t noticed until it was pointed out to us. Thank god we didn’t have to suffer through Kurt’s proposed rendition of “I Honestly Love You.”
So yeah, we were nearing the close of the hour a little disappointed with the musical numbers until the glee club offered up a song that’s appeared in one too many movies and phone company commercials to have any sort of emotional impact and yet, there we were, tearing up listening to it. Manipulative? You bet. But isn’t that what music is supposed to do, manipulate your emotions?
Once again we have to single out Artie. That kid really does have a fantastic, soulful voice. We loved his version of “Dancing with Myself” last week, but this performance was his best yet. It’s just funny to see this skinny white kid open his mouth and have a big soul voice come out. And we can’t imagine ever getting tired of Mercedes’ crystal clear voice.
Finn and Kurt bonding over their dead parents was sweet and believable, a bond that makes sense for the characters. Unfortunately, Kurt’s growing crush is a little painful for us to watch. It’s something any gay boy can relate to but most of us didn’t take it so far as to try and convince the captain of the football team to give up girls permanently.
Anyway, it was kind of an uneven episode but we didn’t care. It was still fun. Let’s wrap this up with our favorite quotes along with the rest of the numbers.
“It’s a male duck.”
“I could totally sing this song with Finn, but screw him if he thinks he’s taking the Diana Ross part from me.”
“Listen, you little psycho, this is Will’s wife, and if I don’t get enough sleep my antidepressants won’t work and then I’ll go crazy and I’ll kill you.”
“He’s cheating off a girl who thinks the square root of 4 is rainbows.”
“He’ll be crying into my shoulder pads.”
“Hey, Barbra Streisand. We need to have a little talk.”