Published on May 16th, 2012 | by Mackenzie Bronk1
Glee recap: No Time for Losers
This week’s long-awaited two-part episode of Glee completely lived up to its hype. This first half of the episode centered on Tina, which is something that has never been done before, and also focused on the preparation for Nationals. The second half featured the whole team traveling to Chicago for Nationals and competing against Vocal Adrenaline and other teams from around the country. These two back-to-back episodes were absolutely jam-packed full of plot development and wonderful songs. As a person who is not usually inclined to like this show, I found these two episodes to be really heart-felt and moving. The strange gap that often comes with watching this show is that the characters care so much about what they are doing, but as an audience we don’t really care about their struggles. These episodes really made the audience empathize with the members of the Glee Club, and I found myself routing for the kids more than I ever have. It also goes without saying that the talent displayed in this episode was unparalleled.
The first episode dealt mostly with Tina and her struggles to stand out in the Glee Club. She’s a junior and has therefore not been given the spotlight at all, in comparison to Rachel who’s given the stage everyday. She’s once again delegated to costume duty for Nationals and while struggling to carry all of her materials at the mall, she falls into a fountain and hits her head. She then has a ridiculous dream where everyone in the Glee Club is the victim of a body swap. She becomes Rachel and vice versa and she is finally able to get her turn in the spotlight. The actors in this show absolutely gave 110% in these scenes pretending to be other people, and it was honestly some of the funniest scenes this show has ever given us. When Tina comes to her senses in the fountain, she realizes that being Rachel wasn’t that easy and that people like Rachel need people like her to support her behind the scenes. This all proved what an amazing person Tina is, to sacrifice herself so often for the likes of Rachel. She even drove Rachel to Cleveland to see the judge that denied Rachel entry into NYADA.
The Coach Beiste domestic abuse plotline resurfaced in this episode as some of the students confront her after seeing her with Cooter out in public. Coach Beiste says that its too complicated and that she can’t leave him. Later in the episode she bonds with Puck after he gets bullied and beaten up. In what is Mark Salling’s best performance, he cried into her shoulder, completely dejected emotionally and physically. His parents have never supported him and he’s always felt like complete garbage. With the help of Coach Beiste, he realizes that he can be more than what is expected of him.
The second part of this episode was chock full of song as New Directions and Vocal Adrenaline performed at Nationals in Chicago. The judges for Nationals were non other than Lindsay Lohan, Perez Hilton, and a third judge played by Rex Lee of Entourage fame. While I thought it was pretty hysterical that Lindsay Lohan was there, Perez Hilton felt very forced and not really funny at all. Despite this ridiculousness, New Directions absolutely blew me out of the water with their performances. Vocal Adrenaline focused much more on dancing and props that the songs themselves. Unique, their secret weapon, was fabulous as usual and gave hints that he might transfer to McKinley High School next year. Despite his fabulous vocals, which won him the MVP award, New Directions won Nationals! Equally as important was that the judge from NYADA came to watch Rachel in her shining moment, which means there’s still a chance she can get in.
After Nationals, New Directions triumphantly travels back to Lima, Ohio with their massive trophy in hand. They parade down the halls, finally the center of attention instead of the losers and the outcasts. The episode ended with another mini ceremony as the teacher of the year award was given out at McKinley. Although Sue thought that she deserved it (and I agreed), it was given to Mr. Schuster, despite the fact that he spends 110% of his time with the Glee Club and hardly any time focusing on his Spanish Teacher duties. New Directions tearfully presented him with the accolade and of course did a Queen number to top everything off.
There were many small elements in this episode that also contributed to making it one of the best in a long time. Little things like the fact that we saw them rehearsing (which never happens) and that previous storylines were addressed. The domestic abuse storyline felt out of place because it didn’t apply to the Glee Club in the previous episodes, but making Coach Beiste relate to Puck and his problems really grounded the situation and made it much more poignant. I also appreciated the Tina plotline, which made viewers completely empathize with her and personally made her rise in the ranks of my favorite characters on this show. I wasn’t a fan of how she completely idolized Rachel, but her selflessness with extremely admirable. All in all, this was an excellent episode and I’m not sure how the Graduation episode next week will top it.
Songs from this episode:
“I Won’t Give Up” – Rachel really made this different in her own way and it was a very fitting song for her situation.
“Because You Loved Me” – Although I think Tina’s talents could have been better suited to a more interesting song, this proved that her vocals stack up there with Rachel’s.
“Mean” – Who knew this combination of vocals could go so right? I found that this rendition was really heartfelt and probably was more poignant that Taylor Swift ever meant it to be.
“Flashdance-What a Feeling” – This was a super fun song and you could tell how much fun they had performing it. Lea Michele and Jenna don’t get enough screen time together.
“The Edge of Glory” – The Troubletones continue to prove their talents and that boys are not necessary for a song to sound amazing. Santana was fabulous with the vocals in this song.
“It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” – Can this girl stop being so amazing? I want to hate her, but this song gave me huge chills.
“Paradise by the Dashboard Light” – This song could have gone very wrong, but I found myself with tears in my eyes by the end of it. The amount of effort that was put into this number was staggering and no props or gimmicks were needed to make it amazing.
“Starships” – This really did not showcase Unique’s voice very well, considering its mostly a rap song, but the dancing was flawless.
“Pinball Wizard” – This was a super fun use of props and clearly shows what happens when you rehearse a song all year instead of a few weeks beforehand like Mr. Schue. However, it was a bit too flashy for my taste.
“Tongue Tied” – This was a really interesting take on the song, and I would have appreciate seeing them sing it as well as hearing it. Maybe it could have been saved for another episode.
“We Are the Champions” – As always, their Queen covers are perfection.