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Gleeview: Mash Off
mjacton
Spoiler Alert!

This is one of my favorite times of the year for Glee.  It's time to start gearing up for competition, and usually the episodes are lighter and funnier around this time (and also usually between Sectionals and Regionals).  And, even though the ending of this episode was really very heavy and ominous, I enjoyed the general lightheartedness of the rest of the episode.  I personally like it when an episode deals with fairly important issues (bullying, friendships, and in this case inappropriate relationships) with humor.  I like the power too, but it's better when it doesn't weigh the episode down completely.

It seems the Troubletones and New Directions have been put up against each other for Sectionals, and while that seems fairly unrealistic, I don't really mind it.  I'm guessing there will be a combining of the show choirs at some point before the end of the season, but I don't see that happening for a little while still.  For now, I'm liking the Troubletones.  Their numbers have been fun and sexy, and I'm all for that.

There wasn't a lot of resolution to story lines here, but there was quite a bit of progress.  Again, though, the progress was in the middle of quite a bit of fun.  So, there wasn't too much weighing the episode down.  Here's a quick rundown of the storylines.

The one resolved storyline was the Rachel/Kurt falling out.  I like this friendship.  It makes sense.  Obviously Kurt and Rachel are a lot alike, especially in their ambitions, and that can breed conflict.  And, it did, but it also can lead to healthy competition and driving each other to excel.  I think that this is how the relationship works best, when they sing together and, more importantly, dream of New York together.  I look forward to more of that...and it'll be interesting, at least, to see how Finn fits in.  I have my opinion, but I'll not go into it again right now.

The Puck/Shelby "affair" wasn't resolved.  At least I don't think it was.  Of course, Shelby told Puck that they couldn't be together, but she didn't run away.  And, Puck is persistent.  I don't think he's gotten the message yet, and there's a moment in the teaser for next episode when Puck is telling Quinn something important.  I don't know if that's going to be him telling her he pursued Shelby unsuccessfully or if he's telling her that he's in love with Shelby and is going to try to get her.  Or, maybe it's something in between.  We'll see.

Related to that, Quinn's plot to take Beth away from Shelby seems to be in big trouble.  Puck told Shelby about Quinn's planting of the evidence, and Shelby shut Quinn out of Beth's life because of it.  Again, Shelby and Beth are still around, Quinn might try again.  Or, there's a chance Quinn will change her mind and agree to be a part of Beth's life without taking her from Shelby.  I actually think the latter is a likely outcome.  I don't know how it's going to happen, but I think it will.

It wasn't long, but there was a nice scene with Rachel and Shelby.  I've always thought that, whatever Shelby's faults are, whether she's the best mother for Beth, whether she had the right motives for seeking Rachel out and then leaving her again, whether it was the right decision to move back to Lima...Shelby has always recognized Rachel's talent and been one of her biggest cheerleaders.  I think that Rachel needs that amongst all the "tough love" she gets from other people.

Finally, Santana seems to have been outed...or at least there's the threat of it.  There was a sweet little moment between her and Brittany in the Troubletones meeting, and I think that it's true that everyone can see that Santana isn't just Brittany's best friend.  It's just a matter of her being open about being a bona fide lesbian, but this is not the way Santana or any of the people who support her would have liked it to happen.  Finn let his temper get the better of him, so even if he didn't deserve the slap in the face for what he said to Rachel, he does deserve his part of the blame for airing what is essentially glee club business--they know from last year's "Landslide" number that Santana and Brittany have a real relationship now--in public.

Favorite Lines
Santana had some nice zingers, but I can't include everything.

Sue:  Burt Hummel...he's running for Congress.  Last year he had a heart attack.  He might have had a heart transplant, and he might have got it from a baboon...If Burt Hummel thinks what Washington needs is more baboon parts, then he needs a brain transplant.  Watch out, baboons!

[On-screen at the end of Sue's campaign ads]:  Paid for by Angry White People to Elect Sue Sylvester.

Brittany:  And, also, listen.  Rachel Berry's still on MySpace and thus unfit to lead.

Brittany:  Is this what having a stroke feels like?  Because I like it.

Mercedes:  ...I was up half the night thinking about our mash-up for the mash off, and it came to me:  Adele!
Sugar:  I sound just like her.

Mercedes:  I nominate myself as president of the Troubletones.  All in favor? [Everyone but Brittany and Santana raises her hand]
Brittany:  I'm not impressed by your campaign...didn't put any posters up.

Musical Rundown:

"Hot for Teacher" by Van Halen--This was the first really hard-driving rock song of the season, and Mark Salling (Puck) did a great job.  I also thought Darren Criss (Blaine), in a supporting role, showed he can sing loud and not so sweet.  This was the only number in the episode that wasn't a mash-up.

"You and I"/"You and I" by Lady Gaga/Eddie Rabbitt & Crystal Gale--I really liked this.  Idina Menzel (Shelby) has a deep tone to her voice for a Broadway performer (she has recorded pop music also, of course), and I think it lends itself to the pop/country style of this music.  Matthew Morrison hasn't had a really suitable vocal opportunity for awhile--"Fix You" from "Asian F" really wasn't his best style in my opinion--but this was better for him as well.

"Hit Me With Your Best Shot"/"One Way or Another" by Pat Benetar/Blondie--This was definitely fun.  I like the music, and Cory Monteith (Finn) and Naya Rivera (Santana) did fairly well with their lead vocals.  I can't deny that dodge ball with dancing is interesting.

"I Can't Go for that (No Can Do)"/"You Make My Dreams" by Hall & Oates--Again, Finn did a decent job with the vocals here, and Dianna Agron stood out with a short solo.  But, the best part was the hotness of the girls with their (19)80's hair and short, puffy skirts.

"Rumour Has It"/"Someone Like You" by Adele--This was easily the best musical number of the episode.  Naya Rivera did an excellent job with the emotional quality in her singing, and Amber Riley (Mercedes) gave a typically strong performance.  It was really a powerful way to end the episode (even though it didn't technically).  I think it was the best choice to close an episode musically in a long while...rivaling "Somebody to Love" from "The Rhodes Not Taken" (I think this is better), "Total Eclipse of the Heart," and several others from season 1.  I don't know if that's really important, but I think combining music and an ambiguous ending helps get people excited for the next episode.