Season 3, episode 2
I am a big Glee fan, and not ashamed of it. But even I was kind of dreading the latest episode - 'I Am Unicorn'? Really? Was Glee going to try and be all cutesy and glittery? Luckily, it was just a dodgy title - the actual instalment was solid and shows what Glee can do well.
We start with Brittany announcing that she wants to run Kurt's campaign for class president. This is where the whole unicorn thing comes in - Brittany's got frankly bizarre ideas about the magical creatures, but basically a unicorn turns out to be someone who knows they're magical and isn't afraid to show it.
Brittany thinks Kurt's one of those people as he never forgot he was special even with all his troubles last year, and though she's not smart enough to run herself, she wants to help Kurt. Kurt's flattered, and they agree to meet after school to work on campaign posters.
The only problem is that Kurt's a bit concerned about Brittany's bright pink unicorn-themed posters and the "Kurt's bulging pink fun sacks" she's planning to hand out. Basically, he doesn't want to be just known for being gay - he's got a black and white poster design he'd rather use. Brittany seems disappointed, but she appears to agree.
It's time for a bit of exposition in the choir room. Will announces that he doesn't want to direct West Side Story because he wants to put all his energies into the glee club. Instead, Beiste, Emma and Artie will work on the musical together.
Meanwhile, Will reveals that some of the glee clubbers - Finn, Puck, Kurt, Mercedes - will have to take part in extra dance practice, 'Booty Camp'. Oh no, please don't call it Booty Camp. Blaine wants to take part, too.
Quinn's naturally not involved in glee club - instead she's stealing money from a cute little defenceless student. Sue arrives though and explains that she blames the glee club for Quinn's recent downfall - she lost everything after joining them.
She wants to film a documentary about a girl who lost everything because of the arts, and Quinn agrees to be the subject on the condition that Sue arranges some couches under the bleachers because smoking makes her tired.
It's not long before they're making the film (with the help of Becky, naturally). The climax comes when Quinn storms into Will's office and yells at him, saying everything went to hell when she joined the glee club and she will never return.
Will, normally such a wimp, doesn't take this lying down. In fact, he properly shouts at Quinn that the glee club has always been there for her and she never even said thank you. "Now you're a train wreck?" he adds. "Well, congratulations. But you stride into my office and tell me it's my fault? Well then, I have something to say to you. Grow up." Oh my God! When did Will get awesome? I'm not the biggest Will fan, but this little shout almost justified his existence. It was ace.
The big news of the episode, though, is that Shelby's back in town! She's been hired by Figgins to start a second glee club (basically, Sugar's daddy - make your 'Sugardaddy' joke here - has made a sizeable donation to make sure his daughter gets to perform). While she's here, Shelby wants to make things right with Rachel, and with Puck and Quinn. Will's happy to co-exist with Shelby and the pair shake hands.
Shelby's clearly already seen Puck, and he brings Quinn to see her too. Quinn is naturally feeling all kinds of grumpy, but Shelby says she wants her to be a part of Beth's life - if she cleans up her act.
Dianna Agron's done a great job lately, and this scene is no exception - you can see the hurt and anger as she announces that Shelby isn't Beth's mum, she is, and no document will change that. Congratulations also to Mark Salling, whose Puck is clearly desperate to get to know his child and is devastated that Quinn isn't willing to change.
In fact, Puck pops over to Shelby's house because he's so keen to meet Beth. He proves that he's clean and reveals he's even done homework, but Shelby reminds him a baby is a long term commitment. Still, when Beth starts crying Puck gets to say hello to his daughter, and it's genuinely moving. He's too scared to hold her just yet, but promises to do anything to prove he can be in Beth's life. Puck grew up!
Afterwards, he finds Quinn and urges her to change. Quinn says they'll never be together, but in another great moment Puck tells her: "I don't care about you. I care about her." It seems to have started Quinn's mind whirring, anyway, because she goes to see Shelby. Shelby tries to do the maternal advice thing and says she went through the same thing as Quinn when she gave up Rachel.
Quinn refuses to go back to being Little Miss Blonde, but Shelby says she was never like that anyway. She says she knows pink-haired Quinn isn't really her and advises Quinn to find herself now. Quinn basically just wants to see Beth but Shelby isn't ready - instead, she shows her a photograph of Puck holding her (SO. CUTE.) She says she wants Quinn to be part of the family, but it's all up to her.
Is this enough to change Quinn? She shows up at booty camp (shudder) with her blonde hair back and asks if she can join in. Everyone's thrilled, of course, and Puck says he's proud of her. I was so disappointed at this point - I'd been enjoying Skank Quinn. Well, it looks like I'm in luck. Quinn stares at Puck and says that she just has to get Beth back. "If that takes dying my hair blonde and pretending I think I'm special, it's something I'm willing to do," she says. "I'm going to get full custody." Oh snap! Puck's face is also incredible - so conflicted.
Will doesn't know any of this, of course, and taunts Sue that Quinn's back in the glee club. Sue's never one to be unprepared, though, and says she's going to say that Quinn's got an addiction to the arts. Oh, and she's nine points up in the polls - in first place. Beiste suggests that they need to find someone credible to run against Sue - and Will gets a look on his face. Please tell me that he's thinking of someone who's not himself. The Quinn shouting awesomeness only goes so far.
Elsewhere, it's all about the West Side Story auditions. Blaine was thinking about auditioning for Tony, but as he's a junior he agrees to try out for a minor part so he's not in competition with Kurt.
Meanwhile, Rachel's practising when Shelby shows up. Rachel is naturally not thrilled to see her, but promises to be civil - even though Shelby almost sent her to therapy. Still, Shelby advises Rachel to sing 'Somewhere' for her audition. Rachel isn't convinced as it's challenging and she's "amazing" at 'I Feel Pretty', but Shelby points out she won't get anywhere if she plays it safe. The pair duet on 'Somewhere', and Rachel's audition goes down well.
Next up to try out is Kurt, who sings 'I'm The Greatest Star', complete with spinning swords and everything (nice work, Chris Colfer). The only problem is that he then decides it would be a good idea to eavesdrop as the directors discuss his audition - they're not convinced he's manly enough for the role of Tony.
It doesn't help when Kurt discovers that Brittany and Santana have been putting the unicorn posters up everywhere. He ends up tearing them all down, even though Brittany tells him to embrace who he is. Kurt grabs Rachel for an emergency audition - and of course she loves the drama. Meanwhile, Santana reassures Brittany and says her campaign was brilliant. She adds that Brittany is a genius - she is the unicorn.
In the auditorium, Kurt attempts to prove his manliness by performing a scene from Romeo and Juliet with Rachel. This couldn't possibly be any more awful, and it's not long before all three directors are giggling. Even Rachel giggles when Kurt leans in for a kiss. Kurt's totally humiliated, and walks off as Rachel feels awful for laughing. This was really well done, too - it smacked of high school awkwardness.
At home, Finn's helping out in Burt's garage - in fact, he's thinking about staying there after graduation. Rachel's there, by the way, and in this fleeting moment they seemed more like a couple than they ever did last season. Really cute. Anyway, Rachel doesn't think Finn would be happy if he stayed in Lima and worked, but she agrees to support him in what makes him happy. I see conflict ahead, though...
Anyway, Kurt's feeling upset about not being masculine enough to take on the leading roles. Burt tells him that there's nothing wrong with who he is, and if he wants to get a leading role he should write one that fits him. Kurt sighs that he's tired of being a unicorn, but Burt reminds him that a unicorn without a horn is just "a frigging horse". I'm not entirely sure what this means, but Kurt seems reassured.
Back at school, he puts up the unicorn posters and apologises to Brittany, adding: "I am unicorn." She's proud of him, but when he asks whether she'd like to come over to do some campaign planning, she reveals that she's decided to run for class president herself (partly because the last 16 were guys, and now they're teetering on the edge of a recession. Amazing.) Oh, Kurt.
Looks like there'll be more hurt for him, too. He sneaks in to watch Blaine's audition - 'Something's Coming'. Blaine absolutely knocks it out of the park - Beiste is even all teary - but Artie's shocked to discover which roles he's trying out for. He asks if Blaine would mind reading for Tony. As Blaine stands conflicted on the stage, Kurt slips out...
This episode of Glee was really quite good, better than last week's premiere. And it's nice to see some proper storylines being set up which all have great potential. Bring on next week...
- "What's the capital of Ohio?" Brittany: "O."
- "I've slept with a lot of people and I'm really popular, so I think I could get you mega votes."
- "Next time you make a joke, nudge me in the ribs or honk a horn or something."
- Finn's resignation about his bad dancing is so cute.
- On the subject of dancing, 'Booty Camp'? NO, WILL. JUST NO.
- "I've based my whole persona around conflict avoidance."
- I love Quinn and the Skanks. Their whole lunch money theft was basically just a series of one liners. "We're hungry and need something to barf back up." "Don't test me - I was a foster kid. That means I'm used to stabbing people." "You're so mean" - "That's right. That's what passed for love in my house."
- Also still loving Quinn's mean-girl husky voice. Hot.
- Can we please discuss Will actually being worthwhile for once? His takedown of Quinn was amazing.
- I really, really, really didn't want to think about McKinley's toilet paper shortage. Thanks, Figgins.
- "Let the best glee club win." "We will."
- If you'd never seen Glee's first season, this episode would have been a series of WTFs. Wait, Shelby's Rachel's biological mother? Wait, Shelby adopted Puck and Quinn's baby? It's kind of funny that this whole storyline was hardly touched upon last season, but I'm really glad it's back this time around.
- "How do you know where I live?" "I have friends in law enforcement."
- Puck's Clownpig picture was all kinds of terrifying, but also devastatingly cute.
- Bit disappointed the show's still using the whole "Sugar has self-diagnosed Asperger's" angle, but then she complains about Shelby's "irritating nasal quality" and it's all OK.
- Speaking of Sugar - ouch. She does not need to do any more singing.
- "I got a Regis Philbin tattoo and Sinead O'Connor haircut." Time to start a campaign for a Shelby-centric flashback, right?
- Will and Emma still have their lunchboxes! Hurrah.
- "I'm more park and bark. I stand centre stage and sing the notes no-one else can while you dance around me."
- Will telling Kurt off for jazz hands was great.
- I absolutely love the idea of Rachel giving Kurt written permission to sing a Streisand song. Perfection.
- Mercedes still has to audition for the role of Maria. This could get dirty.
- "I want a Tony that excites my lady parts." Adored Artie's TMI face.
- "This is toned down. In the original, the unicorn was riding you."
- Beiste eats a whole chicken at every meal. That is all.
- "The arts are like crack, only much more addictive and not as glamorous."
- I've missed you, Burt. "Dude, you're gay. And not like Rock Hudson gay, you're really gay. You sing like Diana Ross and you dress like you own a magical chocolate factory."
What did you think of the episode? Leave your comments below!