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Gleeview: Pot O' Gold
mjacton
Spoiler Alert!

Note:  This has been edited to reflect Rory Flanagan's actual name.  I guess my ear isn't as tuned to the Irish accent as I'd like.

First of all, whoa, Puck just got really interesting!  We've known for awhile that he had a penchant for "cougars," but pursuing Shelby Corcoran, who is not just a random midwestern businessman's trophy wife but...well, it's all kinds of morally, ethically, and legally questionable to put it mildly.  Kudos to Glee for hinting at it at least.  I expect Shelby to run as far away from it as she can without leaving her job immediately, but this is definitely one of the most interesting and boldest twists I've ever seen on a comedy show.  We'll see how this develops because even if I'm right and Shelby rejects Puck, it certainly will affect all of the people who are involved in the Beth/Quinn/Shelby/Puck (there really should be a portmanteau for this) square of ambiguity.  That's not even considering Rachel, although this probably won't affect her much unless Shelby really is forced to leave Lima because of it.

I'll come back to what happened to lead up to that final (for me) jaw-dropping image.  But, first, my take on other things that happened in "Pot O' Gold."

Rory Flanagan
I liked Rory in this episode.  We'll see what his future holds.  He'll probably get an active storyline over the next several episodes, and it'll be interesting to see if he's the one who stirs the pot so to speak or if he simply reacts and takes his cues from other characters.  I thought he was perfect as one of Brittany's fantasies, and hopefully he'll be a fun character while he's around.  As The Glee Project's co-winner, Damian McGinty has seven episodes to make a splash.  I'm guessing it's more of a try-out for him and his co-winner than a "guest spot," so we'll see.

Brittany/Santana
Santana's protectiveness in this episode was really nice  This episode really solidified who Brittany is.  Up to this point, we've known, by what she said and how she acted, that she wasn't really dumb, just different.  But, now we know explicitly that it's not really an act but just a different way of thinking that results in her flights of fancy and lack of common sense in certain areas.

Oh, and Brittana/Santittany is officially official.  They are "dating" secretly, and I'm sure that there's celebration from many fans who have been waiting for this to happen for real basically from season 1 episode 2 when Brittany first appeared at Santana's side, first at Celibacy Club and, more importantly, making eyes at each other at their Glee Club audition.

New Directions/Troubletones
Mercedes', Santana's, and Brittany's defection from New Directions leaves them short of the number of members needed to qualify for competition.  Obviously, Shelby's rival all-girl group is also still well short.  So, something has to give there.  Rory's addition brings New Directions helps, but by my count they are still two short of the twelve needed members.  Assuming The Glee Project's other co-winner will fill one of those slots eventually, they will still need at least one more member by the time Sectionals rolls around.  So, there's more to come there, and the possibilities are numerous I think.  Clearly, Shelby's situation is tenuous at best, so there's the probability that she will be leaving eventually but not before Sectionals most likely.  This is one of the many things I love about Glee.  Some people see the high number of characters as unmanageable.  I see it mostly as a strength.  Sure, there are characters that fall through the proverbial cracks (Matt), but mostly it allows for more complicated and, thus, interesting storylines in my opinion.

Burt/Sue
Normally, I don't comment on storylines involving characters who aren't the teenagers that make the heart of the show, but Sue is one of those characters that is and always has been part of the backbone of the show.  For me, even when she wasn't at her most interesting, Sue has never been a weakness for the show.  And, that didn't change here.  The storyline with her running for Congress is still just a framework for the rest, but I like it.

Also, Burt's addition to the race makes it all the more interesting.  I've always liked Burt a lot.  He's what a salt-of-the-earth, working-class midwestern man should be.  He's simple-minded, but he's not bigoted or stupid.  He's independent without being overly conservative.  But, most importantly, he's a great parent.  He always seems to do the right thing, even if it's not in the smoothest or least awkward way.  He's actually one of the few uunambiguously moral characters on the show, and I like him a lot.

Quinn/Puck/Beth/Shelby
Somebody will probably tell me if there's a portmanteau out there, but I still haven't found it.  Anyway, for me this obviously really boils down to Quinn and Beth.  Puck has never really been shy about what he wants.  His actions may not always be right, but he has always obviously loved Beth.  And, Shelby obviously loves Beth.  So, the question has always been how does Quinn think and feel about Beth?  I would argue it's been evident over time that she loved Beth and thought she had done the right thing by giving her up.  Unfortunately for her those two concepts are contradictory, and it's now coming to a head because of Shelby and Beth's reappearance in Lima.

I've always thought it was clear by Quinn's actions, comments, and attitudes that she has been trying to do the right things but really had a hard time knowing what the right thing was.  Obviously, she made a mistake having sex with Puck, but it was apparent that while she was carrying Beth that she wanted what was best for her.  She got sucked into Terri Schuester's scheme because she thought it was a way to give her baby to someone who could take care of her better than she could.  That was just the first time she did the wrong thing for a good reason.  She's been in that pattern ever since, whether it has been to give Beth or herself a future.  Quinn's mini-speech, I think, gets to the heart of who Quinn is:  "Everybody has their big plans...colleges, New York.  Even you have your stupid pool cleaning business.  I mean, what do I have?  Beth is perfect.  She's my perfect thing, something even I can't screw up.  Do you know how hard it is to do something perfectly?  I'll never get the chance again.  So, even if I never leave this town or accomplish anything, I'll have her to call mine."

This is why Quinn, in my book, is the most compelling character.  Not only is she not perfect--none of the characters are--but she knows it and she thinks she's the only one who screws up.  But, unlike any of the others, she feels like she has to be perfect, and so far she has only succeeded in screwing up more while trying to stop.

Finally, I think this episode had some really great acting in it, especially from Dianna Agron and Naya Rivera.  That's one of the underrated parts of the show, and I hope people noticed it.

Favorite Quote
There were lots of typically funny, outlandish, quirky lines in this episode.  But, my favorites were Santana's tributes to Brittany.

Santana (to Rory):  Do not even think about talking for the next 30 seconds, okay?  Nod so I know you understand me.  Good.  Here's the deal, pixie boy.  You've got a crush on my girl Brittany.  I understand.  She's beautiful.  She's innocent.  She's everything that's good in this miserable, stinking world.  Do you agree?  Nod.  Good.  Also, she thinks you're a sprightly, green mythological creature, but I know you're a potato-eatin' poser.  But, since Brittany likes having a pet Irish, I'm not gonna explode you.  Here's what's gonna go down:  Leprechaun, starring a young Jen Aniston, is my favorite movie.  I learned me two things.  One, leprechauns like fixing shoe buckles because they're gay.  And two, they grant wishes.  So, you're gonna grant me a wish.

Santana (turning down Mercedes' invitation to the Troubletones):  Somebody's gotta look out for Brittany.  I mean, that special place where she lives?  Yeah, it's beautiful, but someone's gotta help her cross the street.

Musical Rundown
The music in this episode, despite my less-than-enthusiastic opinion of Darren Criss's singing, continued to be what Glee music is supposed to be:  part of the story.

"Bein' Green" by Kermit the Frog--What can I say about this except that it just made me smile?  Damian McGinty can sing, obviously, and the song was a clear reference to the character's Irishness, but that was just a bonus.  This was just nice and fun...and actually better-executed than the similarly juvenile-but-profound "Pure Imagination" from last season.

"Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" by Katy Perry--Well, to be honest, Blaine's character is nice.  I'm glad he's there especially for Kurt, and Darren Criss can sing.  But, can he sing anything other than Katy Perry and other similar bubblegum pop?  You wouldn't know the answer from watching Glee (except for that one West Side Story number).  His character is less boring when he's not singing.  This was okay...pleasantly dull.

"Waiting for a Girl Like You" by Foreigner--Personally, I really liked this.  Mark Salling (Puck), in contrast to Darren Criss in my opinion, has an interesting voice.  Plus, as is typical Puck, he's best at expressing his softer side through song.  This was very touching.  I don't particularly the song musically, but this version was actually very nice.

"Candyman" by Christina Aguilera--This was kinda hot!  I guess I'm a sucker for swing style music, but I liked it.  The choreography/presentation was a copy of the original music video, but that's okay.  Glee has done that before; it's a tribute I think more than a copy.