A lot of good things happened this week:
Schu was determined for the Glee club to ride together to Sectionals. The problem: Artie is in a wheelchair so a wheelchair accessible bus is really accessible. The other students don’t understand that Artie feels left out a lot so he teaches them a lesson by having them spend three hours a day in a wheelchair for a week and has them do a song in wheelchairs. He also requires them to raise the money for a bus through a bake sale.
Tina and Artie start getting close. We find out that Artie was in a car crash when he was 8. At the end of a great date Tina reveals that she faked the stutter in sixth grade because she was shy and didn’t want to give a speech but she doesn’t want to push people away anymore so she intends to stop it. Artie is upset because they don’t share something that separates them. As though she couldn’t do some speech therapy and get rid of the stutter. Also, impressive scheming for a twelve year old.
Inspired by Schu’s wheelchair stunt, the principal requires Sue to hold open auditions for the Cheerios to fill Quinn’s spot. She chooses a mentally disabled girl who is clearly not able to keep up. We learn that Sue actually has a sister with the same condition that she is close to. (It’s a nice tender moment and was really important as another side of Sue.)
Meanwhile, Quinn is pressuring Finn to get a job to pay for hospital bills. But no one is hiring so he’s having a problem. Puck is desperate to be a part of his baby’s life and brings her money and says family comes first but when Rachel helps Finn get a job (pretending to be handicapped), Quinn chooses to stay with Finn.
Also happening, the Glee Club is doing Defying Gravity from Wicked. Awesome! Rachel is supposed to get the part but Kurt really wants to do it. Schu says no. When Kurt tells his dad, his dad fights for him to get a chance to try out. The Glee Club will be the judge. Kurt finally reaches the high note and all seems ready for him for the Diva Off. His dad gets an anonymous phone call from someone saying “your son is a fag” which upsets him. At the Diva Off both perform (slightly faster than the song usually is) and Kurt messes up the high note. Rachel gets the song even though Kurt is the more popular. Later Kurt reveals to his dad that he lost on purpose because though he’s proud of who he is, he is used to getting bullied while his dad is not. I feel the need to point out that while the idea for this storyline is a good one, there is one issue: Defying Gravity is a duet, sung by Idina Menzel (Elphaba) and Kristin Chenowith (Glinda the Good Witch).
Finally, the show is expanding to include the supporting characters. The Artie storyline was really well handled (though I wasn’t a huge fan of the somewhat corny performance at the end to “Big Wheels Keep On Turning”) as was Sue’s back story. And the Cheerios’ jump rope routine was quite cool. Quinn is just super annoying, making me not feel bad that she got kicked off the squad. Also, it’s not like she could have kept performing for health reasons. I liked Kurt’s storyline but the truth is, Rachel’s voice was infinitely better suited for the song, even without Kurt’s intentional screw up. Her voice sounds so much like Idina Menzel, it’s perfect. Rachel is obviously better for the part considering that the song was written specifically with Menzel in mind. They even kind of look alike…About whether or not a boy should be allowed to do it, I think that depends on what the performance itself will be. If it’s just singing then whatever. But, if they act out the play (somewhat of course) then I would not think it okay. I would love the show to revisit that song for the real performance. The one thing I would have liked to see more of: the resolution or continuation of the Tina-Artie story. But I’m sure we’ll get more in future weeks.