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Gleeview: Saturday Night Glee-ver
Spoiler Alert!

Three members of New Directions took big steps toward their dreams in last night's episode.  I liked the typical Glee way of dealing with substantive issues in the characters' lives.  It's not always realistic in the strictest sense because it seems to happen so fast, but there are two factors that many people might ignore when criticizing Glee for this "flaw."  The first is that from the very first episode of Glee, the viewer knew the story wasn't in real time.  This was never 24 or anything resembling a strictly linear drama.  Flashbacks and significant time jumps alternated to form a puzzle the viewer had to think about to put together.

Secondly, even more than the typical drama, even though Glee would obviously more appropriately fit in the dramedy category, the "resolution" at the end of an episode is not the resolution to the story.  There are almost always loose ends to be tied later (again, not necessarily in the next episode).  In this case, even though Santana, Mercedes and Finn took significant steps, there's a long way for them to go to make them happen.

So, I'll go through my thoughts on each of these characters' developments one-by-one.

We already knew Mercedes' dream was to "be Whitney."  She's wanted to be a star from the beginning.  Her problem has always been the disadvantages of living in Ohio.  It's not exactly the place to be discovered.  Rachel had the advantage of being a more versatile performer and, more importantly, the goal of going to New York.  She was always going to go to school first, in New York, then move on to Broadway.  Mercedes' road would always be tougher to map because she relied on someone else to help her.  Really, there was little doubt that if she found that person to help that she had a real shot at "making it," but she, nonetheless, needed help.  She got it in the form of Sam posting a YouTube video.  Today, that's as legitimate as sending in a demo tape to a record company, and it's possibly more likely to put you on your way.  There are many real life examples who exhibit varying degrees of talent.  Mercedes would be on the high end of that talent.

I thought the brief mention of Santana becoming a lawyer was interesting.  I think many Santana fans picture her in a high-power career, like an entertainment lawyer in Los Angeles, where Brittany can dance and they can be together.  Santana has always been a little shortsighted.  Part of that was the distraction of trying to project an image that was different from her real self.  So, she hasn't until now given much thought to her future, but her full cheerleading scholarship to the University of Louisville gives her the chance to figure out what she wants.  She's capable--she always has been--she just needs to look ahead more.

I'm happy Finn has found a goal to shoot for, mostly because Rachel still seems bent on being the giver in this relationship.  At least he tried really hard to say to Rachel that he didn't want to hold her back, even if it seemed a bit like he said it because he didn't want to lose Rachel over this.  Again, the "resolution" to this story line in this episode was significant, but there are still unanswered questions.  Can Finn hack it at the Actors Studio?  If so, is it really a ticket to success?  If Finn does make it and is as successful and/or famous as Rachel, will there be jealousy issues?

This doesn't even really touch the abstract nature of Rachel's love for Finn.  She rarely says she loves him, outside of song, and we all know the imprecision of song lyrics.  They can be impersonal or even downright ironic.  Rachel's head might be with Finn, but her heart is on the Broadway stage.  I think her speech to Finn represented her current belief that Finn gave her acceptance and love when she felt none outside of her home, and I really believe she cares deeply for him because of that.  But I'm not sure that he'll be "the one" once she finds out how many more options she has and that her love for him is closer to deep appreciation.  Will they get married before going of to New York?  That would definitely put a lot of pressure on both of them, and who knows what effects it'll have?

Oh...and a couple of details I liked:
  1. The return of Jesse St. James in a role I think he's uniquely suited for, coach of Vocal Adrenaline.
  2. The mini-montage of clips from past episodes.  It was great to see vintage Rachel Berry say "some mattresses!"

Favorite Lines

Will:  Honestly, I don't know what to do.  I feel like I'm out of ideas.
Sue:  Well, let's be honest, William, you've been out of ideas since Madonna week.  Why don't you embrace that lazy, horribly treacly style of teaching and assign them a famous album.
Will:  I did that last year.
Sue:  Yes, I remember, William, and your Rumours week was a resounding success in that it seemed to solve everyone's problems for about five minutes.

Musical Rundown
Some of the musicality of the numbers was altered so the actors could sound like the Bee Gees, specifically, so it was hard to judge performance on vocals alone.

"You Should Be Dancing" by the Bee Gees--My woman takes me higher/My woman keeps me warm definitely fall into the ironic category of song lyrics when sung by Blaine Anderson.  This was a rousing and fun way to introduce a disco theme.  Brittany and Mike's inclusion was appropriate, but I was kind of surprised by the simplicity of the choreography.

"That's the Way (I Like It)" by K.C. and the Sunshine Band--This was only a short clip, but it's always funny to see the past "glory days" of the McKinley High glee club through Will Schuester's rose-colored glasses.

"Night Fever" by the Bee Gees--This reminded me a lot of "Give Up the Funk" only with a little less energy.  I didn't mind that because the "kids" weren't exactly sure what they were doing or whether they liked it.  So, that was appropriate.

"Disco Inferno" by The Trammps--Mercedes, via Amber Riley, proved her talent with this number.  It was one of the few numbers in this episode that showed off the musical talent of the performer.

"If I Can't Have You" by Yvonne Elliman--Irony reigned again in this number...doubly because the message Santana was trying to convey didn't come through, but subconsciously they conveyed the message she really believed in.  Plus, she did a great job singing it.

"How Deep Is Your Love" by the Bee Gees--This is one of the few Bee Gees songs that Rachel Berry could sing and show of her talent.  Lea Michele knocked it out of the park and almost made me forget that Rachel Berry was once again making a valiant effort at giving away her dreams for Finn Hudson.

"Boogie Shoes" by K.C. and the Sunshine Band--This was an interesting performance because it included an actual instance of a male in female clothes, in contrast to when The Rocky Horror Show called for a "sweet transvestite" and Mercedes took the part.  This made a statement about gender identity, obviously, and the music was good.  Whether anyone was influenced or not, I think the statement was made well.

"More Than a Woman" by the Bee Gees--We haven't really seen Cory Monteith (Finn) showcased, musically, in awhile.  Yes, he's done duets with the occasional solo, but I think he's most memorable in songs like this, when it's not only his voice but his acting ability that's on display.  Musically, he's adequate, but he's a better actor than singer.  If he combines the two, he's pretty good.

"Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees--This nicely rounded out a creative themed episode.    As implied above, Santana and Mercedes were the stars, but they shined brightly.