November 1, 2011

Episode Review: GLEE, "Pot O' Gold"

After what seemed like an eternity, Glee finally came back with an episode that had me torn. On one hand, it had a lot of fun moments (mostly thanks to The Glee Project's Damian McGinty), but it also pushed forward some story lines that I'm not completely on board with.

The episode kicked off with the introduction of Rory Flanagan, a foreign exchange student from Ireland who's living with Brittany, and of course our favorite Cheerio thought that he was a leprechaun who could grant her three wishes (which included a box of all marshmallow Lucky Charms, edible cat poop, and one to be named later). If Rory could deliver, she'd let him in her pot of gold. Not a bad start for Rory except for the fact that all of the bullies have their sights on him. Finn noticed and decided to befriend him if he agreed to spy on Brittany since he had a feeling that she and Santana were about to defect from New Directions. In the end, Brittana ended up leaving the club, Rory didn't get to snog Brit, and he was still getting picked on. Thankfully, Finn realized that he should have just accepted Rory without any strings attached, and decided to right everything by introducing him to New Directions.

First off, I was a big fan of Damian's on The Glee Project (even though I still feel either Cameron or Lindsay should have won), so I was super excited for his debut, and I was thankful that it wasn't botched. People love to rag on Glee for having too many characters, which is true, but most of the time the newbies fall flat like Sugar. He was instantly charming, and pairing him with Brittany was genius, and I'm encouraged with where the character can go. I just hope Ryan & Co. don't drop the ball like they did with Chord. Speaking of people named Sam, Glee Project co-winner Sam Larsen better bring his A-game because Lindsay and Damian kicked some ass during their debuts.

While I loved pretty much every scene that Damian was in, he was also involved in one of the stories that I wasn't feeling. I get why Brittana has its fans, but I'm still not seeing the long-term benefits of the pairing because it still feels gimmicky. I'm glad that Santana has started to show her feelings more, but seeing the two of them together still feels off.

Another element that feels off: the new glee club. Maybe it's because I cannot figure out where they're going with this idea, but seeing Mercedes, Santana, and Brittany just up and leave New Directions was frustrating because it doesn't make sense, and we all know that it's temporary. Yes, Mercedes and Santana were tired of being overshadowed by Rachel, but it's bound to happen again  because one will pull ahead of the other. Even their performance of "Candy Man" didn't seem all that new, so what was the point. Right now, the Troubletones (worst name ever) seem like drama for the sake of drama, and that's rarely a good approach.

Santana and Brittany were not the only ones making poor decisions as Quinn continued her quest to get Beth back. She and Puck decided to convince Shelby to let them babysit and used their time with Kendra's kids as a reference (a Season 1 callback?!?!?). Once in Shelby's apartment, Quinn planted incriminating evidence that would cause Child Protective Services to take Beth away from her. Puck went along with it until his conscience and weakness for moms got the better of him.

At first, I wasn't against the Quinn/Puck/Shelby story arc because it gave Dianna Agron something to do, but I also realized that adoption is a sensitive subject matter. The actions that Quinn took were over the line, but hopefully Puck's intervention will put a quick end to the nonsense. Unfortunately, his chivalry led to another cringe-worthy moment as he ended up kissing Shelby. While, the teacher/student taboo is common source material for TV shows, it just felt icky, and I was actually upset that Glee went there. I'm mean have some standards!

Oddly enough, one of the season long stories that I wasn't a fan of early on was one of this episodes bright spots. Sue continued her quest to cut funding for the arts by promoting fear via the rhetoric that the money going towards those programs could be used to help students learn basic skills like reading and writing. She was even able to get McKinley's performance of West Side Story canceled until Burt Hummel rallied some local business owners to fund the musical. That act was the catalyst that led to Burt running against Sue for the vacant Congress seat.

By this point, I'm pretty sure Burt is everyone's favorite character, so I'm excited that he's getting an actual story line that doesn't revolve around Kurt's sexual orientation. I'm sure the writers will still be able to get those moments in there, but giving him an agenda and a role that could be bigger than what we've seen from him could have a lot of potential, and if anyone can give Sue a run for her money it's him. My only hesitation about this move: having Will be his campaign manager. That move could be problematic.

On the Music Front: We got two solos from Rory and none from Rachel. Who says she's a diva? Both numbers were good, but seeing him sing "Bein' Green" was pitch perfect and a great way to showcase Damian's talent. Puck's "Waiting for a Girl Like You" was nice, but I just wish it didn't lead to Shelby becoming a sexual predator. "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" should have been fun, but it was a waste of time and made me dislike Blaine for the first time ever. Finn just needs to punch him in the face already.

Other Odds and Ends:
  • Tina crying all of the time is getting kind of annoying.
  • Qunn's becoming more and more unlikable as time goes on which is a damn shame.
  • Kick him Finn! Kick him right in the warblers!
  • Is it too soon to start shipping Finn and Rory? Would it be Rinn? Fory? Hudagan?
  • What's up with Puck's mohawk?
  • I smell a spin-off...The Three Undertakers. FX would slurp that one up.
  • It bums me out that they insist of assassinating Finn's character. Ryan Murphy hates nice guys.
  • Santana's return to New Directions didn't last very long.
  • Arts Education vs. Special Education. Ouch!
  • We need more "Burt's Corners".
  • Damian has to be around for more than just 7 episodes.
  • "If you want to make it in this land, you really need to speak English."
  • "You're in luck. Lucky the Leprechaun happens to be my cousin. And he lives two toadstools down."
  • "A musical about a race war that glorifies gang violence. It still seems extraordinarily gay."
  • "Would you be my friend Finn? It would be an honor."
  • Rory: "Finn Hudson? That's Irish, right?'
    Finn: "Nah. My ma's from Toledo."
  • "What? That Sour Patch Kids are just Gummy Bears that turned to drugs?"
  • Santana: "Are we dating or what?"
    Brittany: "Wait, isn't this a date? Aren't you paying because I ordered shrimp. Wasn't last week when we were taking a bath together, wasn't that a date?"
  • Bully: "Say U2's overrated. Say it!"
    Rory: "Never."
With Glee, you have to take the good with the bad. If I had to make a call I'd say that "Pot O' Gold" was mostly a miss, but I'm such a Damian fanboy that Rory single-handedly swayed me towards liking the episode. Sure, I would've liked a strong episode after the break, but there was still enough there to keep me laughing and smiling, so I guess it wasn't all that bad.


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