I’m used to Fox’s “Viewer Discretion Advised” warning because of all the guts and things on “Bones,” but I have to admit that seeing it in front of “Glee” this week got me a little excited. Maybe if “Glee” can keep its TV-MA status, clueless haters will finally realize it’s not “High School Musical” but with a gay guy. An out gay guy.
Well, I wasn’t sufficiently scandalized by anything in the episode, including the scenes at Scandals (which was a carbon copy, right down to Drag Queen Wednesdays, of a gay bar called “Decisions” that I may or may not have frequented in small-town Texas circa 1999). It seems, based on pure speculation, that the networks will slap an advisory on a show if it depicts teenage characters using the words “condom” or “masturbation.”
But let’s get down to business. What should have contained a warning for delicate eyes were my expletive-laced notes for all the Sebastian scenes, which included the sentence, “I’m serious, this guy is really pissing me off,” and the word “slut” a bunch of times.
Sebastian is a new Warbler whom Blaine met while visiting Dalton. He’s a boozehound and an aspiring boyfriend thief. My furious “who is this jerk?” online search revealed that the actor playing Sebastian is Grant Gustin, who was in a national touring company of “West Side Story,” and who can be seen in loads of YouTube clips being likable and talented. He even has a fan base called the Runaways.
So Grant is kind of great, but I vow to hate Sebastian forever.
Sebastian lured Kurt and Blaine out to Scandals in order to mock Kurt for not drinking and shake his groove thang at Blaine, which culminated in Blaine getting drunk and trying to get Kurt to venture beyond their usual above-the-waist activities in the backseat of his car. They fought because Kurt wanted them to lose their virginity when they were both sober enough to remember it and not after they’d been dancing with other dudes all night.
While I’d love to just blame Sebastian, Artie is at fault here as well. Sort of.
Artie’s position as director of the musical made him feel self-sufficient and grown up. But he also believed that the job came with permission to manipulate other people’s private situations and steamroll right over completely appropriate emotional boundaries.
Artie’s nosy questions about Blaine and Rachel’s sexual experiences led them to doubt the authenticity of their performances as lovers, making them both desperate for some action before opening night. Not only did Blaine’s tipsy advances get him nowhere, but Rachel’s self-centered ambition caused her to strike out with Finn as well.
Finn provided a romantic setup, and his heart was in the right place. If only he hadn’t questioned why Rachel was suddenly changing her not-until-I-get-a-Tony rule. And if only she hadn’t actually said, “Because I love you and so I can act better.”
So Rachel and Blaine had to fake it as Maria and Tony, but after the curtain call, their sweeties forgave their misguided behavior and each couple fell blissfully into bed.
Artie’s meddling also ultimately created a romantic encounter for Coach Beiste. He discovered the Ohio State football recruiter she’d been crushing on felt the same way about her, despite her utter lack of charm in his presence. Artie encouraged Cooter the Recruiter (seriously) to be super direct with Beiste, who mistakenly believed a catch like him wouldn’t go for her type.
By the by, while Cooter was busy winning Beiste’s heart, he was breaking Finn’s. The WMHS quarterback thought he had a shot at an Ohio State scholarship, but Cooter quashed his hopes of ever playing college ball.
Finally, I can’t go with barely a mention of a little show called “West Side Story.” The auditions episode featured three of the beloved songs from the musical, and this episode took it a step further by presenting five more, four of which were fully staged.
Lea Michele’s often hyper-earnest facial expressions continue to fluctuate between distracting from and enhancing her songs; understated does not seem to be in her wheelhouse. But regardless of her face, Maria allowed her to lay off the belting a bit and float through that lovely upper register she has, which served the music very well. But there was another performer who was impossible to ignore, which leads me to…
The week’s highlights:
Best musical number: “America.” Yes, some of the accent choices were questionable. But the dancing was fun, and most of all, Naya Rivera killed. While she didn’t have Rita Moreno’s spunk, her playful and seductive Santana spin on the number was a treat.
Best Brittany line: “I lost my virginity at cheerleading camp. He just climbed into my tent – alien invasion.”
Most welcome return: Karofsky is the favorite bear cub at Scandals. He and Kurt were able to get some closure and work on their all-important gay vocab. ‘Cause it’s NOT because he looks like Yogi.
Cutest clueless moment: Beiste sees Cooter with flowers and says, “What are you going to a graveyard?” When he says they’re for her: “I’m not sick.”
And the week’s lowlights:
Worst musical number: “Uptown Girl.” Why? Do people really miss loooong Warbler numbers?
Confusing alteration of romantic history: It’s fine if Tina waited for her first time with Mike and that they’re super in love. But didn’t she fall for Artie first?
Lamest over-reaction: Mike Chang’s dad disowned him for being in the musical! Whatajerk. He is the opposite of Kurt’s dad, which is to say he is completely unsupportive, devoid of joy, and has an abundance of hair.
Catch Up On Last Week’s Episode Of “Glee”: