Ten minutes into Glee‘s first episode since abandoning us to a month-long post-holiday hiatus, I was tentatively optimistic.
The Tumblrati had made it clear to me that we would not be seeing much of our darling queer little Brittana and Klaine in this episode (although I was hopeful about the all-girl rendition of “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”) so the bar for my expectations of homo-liciousness was set very, very low.
And although lately everything to do with Will Schuester has been boring me, I always liked him and Emma, and this seemed to be a Wemma-centric episode.
Minute eleven, however, crapped all over that. (Note: all time measurements in this recap are gross approximations. I don’t actually time-stamp the show. Really, capturing all this word-for-word dialogue is hard enough.) So let’s linger in the first ten minutes as long as possible.
They began with the scene that made me ship Sam and Mercedes: The New Directions performing an homage to Grease with their rendition of “Summer Nights” (which I always thought was called “Tell Me More”).
I have no idea what kind of deal Chord Overstreet made with Ryan Murphy to come back to Glee, but clearly it involved re-vamping his character. I used to find him cute and sincere but a little annoying, but now he’s just charming and funny and seriously, I really like him a lot. It reminds me of how he was in the very beginning, when he refused to back out on singing a duet with Kurt even when Finn told him it would ruin his reputation, only with a sense of humor. Me gusta.
Anyway, while Mercedes regales Kurt and the glee girls with her side of the “Summer Lovin’” story, Sam, up in the bleachers, shares his with the guys (you know, it just struck me Blaine is with the guys. For some reason that seems strange to me). But first, Puck kisses his hand. I don’t know why, but I stole this off Tumblr so you’d know I was not lying:
Anyway, I have never seen Grease so I’m sure there are all kinds of cute Grease tie-ins and inside jokes that I missed, so please feel free to post them in the comments. I’m also sure someone will scold me for not spending an hour on Wikipedia figuring it all out, but I made a vow not to stay up until 3 AM writing this recap ever again. Also, Wikipedia is closed right now because they are trying to take the Internet away from us.
Next, we see Becky Jackson striding down the hall of McKinley High in her Cheerios uniform, doing this episode’s voice over in the voice of Helen Mirren.
“I, Becky Faye Jackson am the hottest bitch at McKinley High School,” she thinks. “I’m not only co-captain of the Cheerios, I’m president of the perfect attendance club and I’ve won a participation award in rhythm gymnastics.
“You may be wondering why I sound like the Queen of England. It’s simple: In my mind I can sound like whomever I want, so lay off, haters.” (I could so hear Becky say this in her own voice.”)
She continues, “Okay, let’s get reals. I could easily snag any dude east of the Mississippi, but I’m extremely picky. For instance, Rory grins too much; he looks like an insane person. Is that a Mohawk, Puckerman, or did someone glue a squirrel to your head? No Chang-do; I’m no rice queen.” (Totally could have lived without that little bit of offensiveness.)\
Then she spots Artie, and thinks, “Now that’s more like it! Sweet, sexy and handicapable like me, with a voice as velvety as my favorite Sunday church dress. It’s decided: Artie Abrams, you’re my new boyfriend.”
I went back and forth about Helen Mirren being Becky’s internal voice. I mean, it’s Helen Mirren, and who could not love that? But I kind of like Becky’s own voice, and no one else has an alter-ego, so why does Becky, the girl who just wants to be like everyone else? Plus I always dreamed Helen Mirren would be on the show and now if she was, it would be really confusing. “Is she speaking? Or is Becky thinking?”