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Glee: Theatricality Part 1
Spoiler Alert!



Last night's episode was a much-hyped one that I think delivered.  Those fans who thought it would be wall-to-wall Gaga were probably disappointed, but Ryan Murphy had been quoted as saying that this would not be another Madonna episode.  So, I was prepared for that; although, I must say that, again, I'm not a huge Lady Gaga fan so I'm not the person to ask on that issue, probably.  Anyway, there were only a couple of main plot lines last night, which I think makes for a better episode.  The one subplot teased the resolution of the story line that arguably bound the whole season together, though.  More about that later.

So, here's what happened on Glee.

Figgins' Office
Tina and Will are sitting in Principal Figgins' office, and Figgins is staring Tina down.  Tina looks over at Will and asks, "Am I in trouble?"  Will looks at her likes she's crazy and says it must be about her perfect attendance.  I mean, come on, Tina would never be in trouble.  Well, as it turns out she is in trouble but apparently for something someone else did.  "It has come to my attention that the look you sport is what is known as goth."  Apparently, Figgins has been living in a cave or under a rock, to paraphrase Will in the teaser to "Hello."  Well, he finds the symbolism in the goth clothing scary, and besides some vampire wannabes attacked Jacob Ben Israel in a misguided attempt to impress Robert Pattinson.  So, Figgins is imposing a dress code.  Never mind that Tina is about as menacing as a kitten, and she's not even aloud to watch Twilight.  Will tries to defend Tina's attempt at overcoming her shyness by dressing differently.  Figgins admits he dressed like Elvis when he was a young adult, but Elvis "was a Christian...and did not possess the ability to transfer [sic] into a bat."  Apparently, Figgins thinks vampires are real, and he's afraid of them.

Hummel Home
Finn's mother, Carole, is leading Finn, who has his eyes closed, down the stairs to Kurt's bedroom where a welcome home party is set up.  Burt has asked Carole to move in with them, and Kurt thought it would be a good idea to surprise Finn with a party in the room the two of them will be sharing.  This is the first of several missteps Kurt makes with Finn in this episode leading to a disproportinatetly cruel outburst by Finn later on.  He still has some left-over sentimentality for the house he grew up in, and he's not happy having to share a room with Kurt, who he's finally realized has a crush on him.  Burt promises to put an addition on the house so Finn can have his own room eventually, but in the mean time he pretty much bribes Finn to be happy.  Kurt grabs the $300 he offers to redecorate the room so Finn will be more comfortable.  That's not going to go well.

Practice Room
Tina is dressed in sweats, and she and the rest of the glee club is freaked out ("I feel like an Asian Branch Davidian.").  They offer suggestions for a new look:  biker chick (Santana), cow girl (Finn), hood rat (Mercedes), computer programmer (Quinn, being a comedian?), cross-country skier (Brittany), Catholic school girl (Puck, of course), Happy Meal, no onions, or a chicken (Brittany, of course).  Tina rejects them all.  She's already found who she is, and she can't show it.  "It's like Communism."

Rachel wasn't there, but she is now.  She storms in from doing some "deep background on Vocal Adrenaline," and she found out they're using Christmas lights and red Chantilly lace.  The girls and Kurt know immediately what's happening:  they're doing Gaga.  Will doesn't quite approve of Rachel's bending of the rules, but he decides to use the information anyway.  He wants to give Tina a way to find a new look and beat Vocal Adrenaline at their own game.  He charges them with coming up with their own Lady Gaga number.  The girls and Kurt go into a frenzy.  Rachel goes into a trance-like state of planning, and the others are equally stoked.

Carmel High School Auditorium
Vocal Adrenaline is practicing their Lady Gaga choreography (all dressed in
this costume from the 2009 VMAs).  In the balcony, we see Rachel, Quinn and Mercedes sneaking in to spy on them.  Now, before we get to the point of this scene, I'd like pause here and speculate.  It's not a surprise that Quinn and Mercedes would be doing something together, and maybe that's why they're in this scene.  But, I don't understand why they would do this with Rachel.  I think Quinn and Rachel's relationship is much more complicated than it appears.  Rachel has already proven that she cares about Quinn, but Quinn has never shown any direct signs of wanting to be friends with Rachel.  In her words, she's been "kind of a bitch" to her.  However, she's come a long way from being the mean head cheerleader, and she did help the glee club get the yearbook picture, something only Rachel wanted at first.  Plus, she decided to forgive Rachel for spilling the beans about Puck being the father of her baby.  Then, there's this from last week's episode:

Why are they sitting next to each other?  It doesn't seem like that would happen accidentally.  They're supposed to be enemies.  I think the writers are setting up at least a rocky friendship between the two former rivals.  And now, they put Quinn in a scene where Rachel finds out some life-changing information?  It's pure speculation and maybe over analyzing (sometimes things do happen incidentally on TV), but there it is.

Back to the scene:  The New Directions girls are impressed by the costumes (theoretically, Jesse St. James is probably in one of those costumes), but Miss Corcoran is not.  She tells them to take a break while she shows them how it's done.  They need a lesson in theatricality so she decides to give them one.  She sings "Funny Girl," (Rachel:  "Exactly what I would've done.  Barbra.  I can do it in my sleep."), and as soon as she starts singing, Rachel knows.  Shelby Corcoran is her mother.  While she's still singing, Rachel starts going down to the stage to confront her.  When the song is over, makes herself known.  "Miss Corcoran?  I'm Rachel Berry.  I'm your daughter."

Commercial break

Carmel High Auditorium
Rachel is sitting in a seat a few rows ahead of Miss Corcoran with an anxious look on her face.  They have the typical teenage-girl-meets-mother conversation.  Shelby tells Rachel her feelings looking back were complicated.  She tells Rachel that she decided to meet her when she saw her sing at Sectionals.  Not becoming a star "felt like a broken promise" to Shelby, and the implication is she wants Rachel to know they are a lot alike.  Shelby asks how Rachel feels.  "Thirsty" is the answer because whenever Rachel would feel sad as a child because she didn't have a mother, her fathers would give her water.  So, she's been conditioned to be thirsty whenever she thinks of her.  It's at this point that Shelby realizes she may have made a mistake.  She hurries away but promises to call Rachel.  Rachel is obviously disappointed, but she doesn't lose hope that she can have a relationship with her mother.

Will's Office
Finn knocks on the door, and Will enthusiastically welcomes him wanting to tell him of his ideas for the Lady Gaga number.  Finn says that that's actually what he wants to talk about also.  He doesn't want to do Lady Gaga.  Finn says they're always having to do what the girls want, and Will understands.  He says he'll try to come up with a solution to the problem.  Finn says they already have a solution.

Quinn's Locker
Puck is trying to convince Quinn to name the baby Jack Daniels.  When Quinn points out that the baby is a girl, he suggests Jackie Daniels.  Quinn reminds Puck, vehemently, that the name is not the point.  She's giving the baby up because she doesn't want to have to be a parent with Puck.  That way, Puck can be a rock star.  Puck is stung by her brush off.

Kurt and Tina are walking in their new Lady Gaga costumes, Kurt in something like
this and Tina in champagne bubbles.  Tina likes her new look because "even though I'm painfully shy and obsessed with death, I'm a really effervescent person."  Just as she's finished declaring her look a success, Kurt is pushed hard up against the lockers.  It's Karofsky and Azimio, the leaders of the jocks.  They're not happy with new costumes, and they've decided slushies aren't enough of a punishment for this offense.  They have to get violent.  They say that they don't want to look at the freak costumes all day.  When Kurt points out that they're just expressing who they are and that the jocks express themselves by wearing their jerseys at school, it doesn't help.  The oafs threaten worse violence next time Kurt wears an outlandish costume in public.  They leave with a zinger that baffles Tina and Kurt:  "You don't need an appointment at Supercuts.  They love walk-ins."

Practice Room
The girl gleeks (and Kurt) are in their
costumes.  Again, Rachel is not there, and Puck asks why.  Mercedes and Quinn tell the story (interrupted once for Will to yell at them to stop spying on Vocal Adrenaline and then ask what they found out).   Puck says they're screwed because she's going to jump ship to Vocal Adrenaline.  At this point, Rachel enters wearing a ridiculous version of this costume
.  Instead of the Kermit dolls, her fathers had stapled all of her stuffed animals onto a dress.  She's distraught (her fathers are moving her therapist into their spare room), but she's not going anywhere but has chosen a look that expresses her "longing for a childhood [she] was deprived of."  Will says they need to focus on the song, and Rachel agrees.  Cue "Bad Romance."  I don't know what real Lady Gaga fans thought of this, but if you liked this, you'll love the Glee Live version, embedded in part 2.