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Gleeview: The First Time
mjacton
Spoiler Alert!

This was one of those episodes that, objectively, I loved.  I think all the characters were themselves, the story was coherent and the music was great.  Even the one thing I wish wouldn't have happened contributed to my opinion that it was a very good episode.

The way I see it, it is in-character for Finn to be so eager for sex, and for Rachel to embrace it on impulse as she did (it's not surprising she'd take the advice of Tina giving her permission to do it).  I don't think she'll regret it, but I don't think it'll be a regular thing for them.  The good news is they got it over with early in the season.  So, there's plenty of time for drama.  Finn still has to figure his life out, and Rachel still has her plans.  I still think they're essentially a "high school couple."  We'll see if they can change that.

Last night's episode was pretty much all about Kurt and Blaine (Klaine) and Finn and Rachel (Finchel).  Here's a rundown of the other developments that were touched on:

1.  Good for Coach Bieste getting to feel like a "girl," which she wanted.  I hope things work out with her and Cooter.
2.  Mike and his father officially disowned each other, but that's not unprecedented for Glee.  He still has his mother.
3.  Karofsky, obviously transferred to a different school, has at least accepted his sexuality for himself.  He's still not out, but as Kurt said, people have a right to be who they are at their own pace.

Finally, the best development was really just further confirmation.  To me, it's clear that Finn and Quinn did not have sex back in the first season.  Many people assumed they had but, obviously, Finn would not have asked Puck about condoms if he had used them with Quinn, and Quinn acted like she'd only had sex with Puck.  Santana would have provided protection (if she thought they needed it) his first time.  I'm pretty sure Quinn would have had Finn get them if necessary.  She would have made sure he had them, but she would have made him get them for himself because she wouldn't want to be seen buying them, for one thing.

Okay, now, as for the Klaine and Finchel, I think it would be appropriate to compare the two relationships and how they developed to this point.  For me, there's a clear difference, and it's the difference between a solid, potentially long-term relationship and a flawed, not broken but certainly not solid relationship.

Both Kurt and Blaine are teenagers, and so they have their insecurities and their doubts that affect their relationship.  But, for me, they're clearly compatible.  They're both performers.  They're both committed to their relationship.  Blaine transferred away from Dalton, a school where he was a big deal to McKinley where, even in Glee Club, he's just one of several leaders.  In the Warblers, he wasn't one of the official leaders, but he was clearly the most influential member and best singer.  He gave that up for Kurt.  That shows commitment to Kurt, and his rejection of Sebastian only confirmed that.  It was clear he wasn't interested in Sebastian romantically from the beginning.  It just took him a little while to be sure that that was what Sebastian was after.  Also, one of Blaine's past insecurities was taken care of last season when he finally confirmed that he's 100% gay after his experimentation with Rachel.

Kurt has always been a little more child-like than his fellow Glee Clubbers and Blaine.  In many ways, he's naive.  Most of that has been because he's been the only out gay kid in the school.  So, until Blaine came along he had no experience even kissing, never mind anything beyond that.  The bullying he received after coming out toughened him up to some extent, but Blaine still met an inexperienced boy with fantasies of New York but few practical experiences.  Kurt and Blaine came together, and once they realized their insecurities and doubts had nothing to do with each other, it seemed a natural continuation of their relationship.

As for Finn and Rachel, I don't question their feelings for each other.  They love each other in a very immature, high school way.  Rachel admires Finn's talent.  She thinks he's handsome, but it's his "leading man potential" that pulled her towards him.  These elements have merged together in her mind so that Rachel has developed genuine feelings for Finn, enough to give him her virginity, but I still think it's all dependent on whether Finn can keep up with her potential.  Finn isn't going to be happy being her arm candy, and she's not going to be happy with it either.  They may last past high school, but it doesn't seem like "destiny."  Rachel referring to Finn as her soul mate still feels like an immature assessment.  Based on everything else that was said and happened, it just seemed like Rachel making a typically over-the-top declaration influenced by performance adrenaline.  It may be wishful thinking, but there's four months to find out.  I have to acknowledge the fact that Kurt and Finn are family now, so assuming Rachel and Kurt patch things up eventually, there's more tying Rachel and Finn together than before.  But, still, I think there are still some relationship things to be worked through together.  For Finchel, the insecurities and doubts are about each other as much as themselves.

And, how much does Finn really love Rachel?  He fed her meat!  Come on!  He knew what he had done as soon as she pointed it out.  He was just much more focused on the sex than her.  He loves her, but he's more interested himself.

Favorite Lines:
There wasn't a lot of comedy happening here, so my favorite line is a short, comedic one from Bieste and an important one from Rachel.

Bieste:  Man, I love to weld!

Rachel (to Finn):  To four full months of no fighting, or threats of us breaking up...nothing but love, love, love.

Musical Rundown:
Lea Michele singing show tunes!

"Tonight" from West Side Story--I'm so glad they let Lea Michele (Rachel) shine in this episode.  She was supposed to lack "passion."  Well, she may have dialed it down for this number a bit, but I don't think she did much.  And, that's okay in this case, because it wasn't hard to suspend disbelief for the purposes of the story.

"Uptown Girl" by Billy Joel--This was actually very good.  I've always thought the Warblers were boring, but they were considerably less boring here.  The song was more exciting than their usual fare, but it wasn't so different that they had to change the arrangement much to fit their style.  The end result was quite enjoyable.

"A Boy Like That" from West Side Story--Lea Michele is an underrated actor.  Yes, she's been nominated for awards, but she deserved to win.  This and other numbers, but especially this one, were an opportunity to combine her talents for acting and singing.  I think it has been her obviously extraordinary singing talent that has overshadowed her acting skills.  Maybe seeing them both on display at the same time will open some eyes.  Also, Naya Rivera (Santana) was a nice complement in their duets.  I'll even concede that for this number at least, it had nothing to do with Lea Michele.

"I Have a Love" from West Side Story--Simply beautiful!  Naya Rivera did herself proud here.  She can belt, but she did well in a restrained part here.  Lea Michele actually doesn't often take the melody/soprano part in duets, and so this episode was unusual in that she had several duets where she sang the lead.  Is it a surprise that she nailed it?

"America" from West Side Story--Now, here's where Naya Rivera was at her best, singing.  And, it was kind of funny that hers was the only believable accent.  Rory's bad accent was intentional, but was Puck's?  I don't know.

"One Hand, One Heart" from West Side Story--Again, Darren Criss got a chance to show he can sing something besides bubble gum pop, and he's proving adequate.  The trouble for him here is that he had to share the stage with Lea Michele.

I make no apologies.  I think my praise of Ms. Michele is warranted.

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This was one of those episodes that, objectively, I loved. I think all the characters were themselves, the story was coherent and the music was great. But, as with any show that I care a lot about, one very disappointing thing happened.

You have no idea how big my smile got when I read this. :D

I guess we'll just talk about it in detail over chat. But this is what I posted on Tumblr:

For the record: I enjoyed watching “The First Time.” whew :)

—except for that 38-40min mark. That ruined it for me. It’s ALL kinds of wrong. You know what I’m talking about. I don’t even need to talk about it because it has been the subject of countless critiques. And I agree with every single one.

I also didn’t like the direction by Bradley Buecker very much. The intercut for “A Boy Like That” didn’t work for me as well as other editing choices.

But I was pleasantly surprised. I liked it way better than the previous episode.

And for several times, I caught myself holding my breath.

Overall, I thought it was a very decent Glee episode.

If only that 2-minute series of frames hit the cutting room floor…

*sigh*


Okay, will now read the rest of your post. I have a feeling we're on the same page. Hee :D

I'm glad we agree on this. In the interest of full disclosure, though, I did change the wording to my original assessment. It doesn't change it essentially, but I think it does reflect my thoughts more. And, really, my change of heart has a lot to do with that 2 minute stretch that I would call a typical mistake for Rachel.

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