'Glee' recap: Prom dates, dresses and drama!
Hopes are always high for prom: the dates, the dresses, the dances, the drama. ("You can get married as many times as you want. You only get one shot at your junior prom," Quinn noted early in Tuesday night's episode.) Unlike some of our own high school dances, "Glee's" prom night did not disappoint, braiding together a fistful of story lines that rose and crested like a retro special-occasion up-do.
And speaking of the questionable tastes of other eras, the '70s and '80s -– periods that some viewers may associate most strongly with prom –- got a bit of gentle ribbing in this episode. The "Glee" writers incorporated evocative references ranging from Australian soft-rockers Air Supply and David Geddes' 1975 hit song "Run Joey Run" to products like "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" (which debuted in 1979; I looked it up) to '70s showman Tony Orlando's sartorial style. (When Kurt's dad describes the powder-blue, ruffle-shirted tux he wore to his prom as making him look like Tony Orlando, Blaine asks, "Was that a designer?" Tie a yellow ribbon 'round that one!)
So who went with whom to the big dance? What did they wear? Who got punched, who spiked the punch and whose grandma drowned in a punchbowl? And who got crowned Prom King and Queen?
Finn went with Quinn. Watching her descend the stairs of her stately home in an ice-blue dress that would make Cinderella green with envy, Finn gasped, "You're the most beautiful girl I've ever seen in my life." But his eyes kept wandering over to Rachel, who brought remorseful egg-hurler Jesse St. James as her date. (He's strolled back into her life after flunking out of college and now plans to start a show-choir consultancy.) Rachel added Jesse to her "prom on a budget" group, making a foursome with Mercedes and Sam. Sam sweetly fulfilled Mercedes' prom dreams by telling her she looked "beautiful" under the crepe paper decorations and asking her to dance. (Awwww!)
Puck went with Lauren Zizes, who opted to wear blue, at Kurt's suggestion, rather than a yellow dress she correctly noted made her look like a "lemon meringue pie." (Brittany objected that she looked "delicious!") Despite Artie's attempt to woo Brittany with Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely" in the middle of her home-ec class, and admitting that he was a "jerk" to her by calling her "stupid," Brittany refused to cave in and be his prom date. "I'm going to go to prom by myself and really work on me and dance with other people's dates," she said.
After getting a reluctant Blaine to agree to accompany him to prom (turns out Blaine was once beaten up at a high school dance), Kurt decided to wear a fancy kilt ensemble he said was an homage to the royal wedding and to late British designer Alexander McQueen (whose fashion house provided Kate Middleton's wedding garb). Finn approved, saying Kurt looked like a "gay Braveheart," but Kurt's dad and Blaine were both concerned that Kurt's unconventional outfit, which he made himself, would stir up trouble. "I want you to be yourself, but I want you to be practical," Burt Hummel told his son.
And speaking of stirring up trouble, Kurt, for his part, was trying to get Dave Karofsky, who was going to the prom with his fellow "beard," Santana (dressed in a devilish red gown -– and possibly smelling like a golf course), to come out. Karofsky wept and apologized for bullying Kurt, allowing us to forgive him and, like Kurt, focus on Karofsky's pain.
And at the prom? The glee club had been tapped to provide the music. Rachel sang Christina Perri's "Jar of Hearts," focused on Finn, who was impervious to her pain, but ticked off when he saw her looking happy and laughing with Jesse. (Men!) Jesse and Finn got into a fight, and then got kicked out, dashing Quinn's Prom Queen and King hopes, prompting her to slap Rachel and then confess her fears about the future.
Artie tried to help Puck get his street cred back by spiking the punch (with lemonade, as it turned out), but Coach Sylvester nabbed him and interrogated him with dental equipment. (She threatened that she was going to get "all HMO up in your glee hole" and then complained, "You're the worst POW ever. John McCain is rolling over in his grave!")
And Prom King and Queen were … Dave Karofsky and, due to what Principal Figgins said was an "overwhelming number of write-in votes," Kurt.
At first, Kurt was crushed, running from the room and crying, a moment that rang somewhat false. When has Kurt ever given a rip about what people think of him? He left McKinley because he felt threatened (by Karofsky), not insulted. But anyhow, he soon regained his essential Kurtness and returned to accept his crown. "Eat your heart out, Kate Middleton," he said, earning applause from at least some of the crowd. Would Karofsky dance with him? For a moment, as Kurt and his former tormentor descended onto the dance floor, it almost seemed as if he would. Kurt suggested that this might be just the moment for Karofsky to come out, but Karofsky buckled. "I can't," he said, and bolted.
Blaine came to Kurt's rescue: Cue ABBA's "Dancing Queen."
Oh, there were some other songs in there (Adele's "Rolling in the Deep," on which Jesse joined Rachel, and Rebecca Black's "Friday," sung by Puck, Artie and Sam, among them) and some more great lines from Sue, who was just the right blend of evil and funny in this episode.
But here's the thing. I'm actually a little worried about Karofsky. Do you think he'll be OK? And what do you think Jesse St. James' real motives are? (He showed he's still a snake when he sneered that poor Sam's sartorial salute to Springsteen was dated. What a jerk!) Will Finn leave Quinn for Rachel now? And if so, am I the only one who suddenly thinks that might actually make me feel sorry for Quinn? Should Britney have forgiven Artie? Or do you want to see her get together with Santana? Please weigh in!
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-- Amy Reiter
Photo: From left, Puck (Mark Salling), Artie (Kevin McHale) and Sam (guest star, Chord Overstreet) perform in the "Prom Queen" episode of "Glee" on Tuesday. Credit: Adam Rose / FOX.