September 6, 2012

Episode Review: GLEE, "Throwdown"

After a stretch of good to decent episodes, Glee once and for all made it clear that the adults were the show's weakness, and there was no better example of this blemish than "Throwdown."

Tensions were high after Sue finagled her way into the glee club as a co-director and divided up the kids into minorities and non-minorities as a way to build off of disenfranchisement among New Directions and to ruin Will's credibility. The constant in-fighting forced Will to take on Sue at her own game, so he did things like flunk her Cheerios so they wouldn't be eligible to compete. His new found stones accompanied him home where he demanded that he have more of a role in Terri's pregnancy, which of course panicked her and led to her blackmailing the doctor. All of the drama led to blow-up between the two teachers in front of their students who were tired of the non-sense.

Will was not the only one dealing with added stressors as Quinn, Finn and Rachel had to navigate the minefield that was created by Puck's wang. Apparently, Jacob Ben Israel got wind of Quinn's pregnancy and threatened to publish the story on his blog unless Rachel gave him a pair of her underwear. She tried to keep things under wraps, but all she did was create more angst between Quinn and Finn since it was clear that she only did it to get into Finn's good graces. As a way to get back at Rachel, Quinn helped Sue with her sabotaging of the glee club, but in the end it didn't matter because Sue found the panties in JBI's locker and forced the truth out of him. When she learned about her head cheerleader's state, she made Jacob run the story, thus proving Rachel's point that she did not have Quinn's best interests at heart.

While it was nice to see Will stop playing to lovable dope for a few minutes, "Throwdown" spent way too much time on the adults who have been becoming either unwatchable (Terri) or cartoonish (Sue). I get that this was Sue's big episode, and she was always a larger than life character, but it was hard to take her seriously as she plotted against Will. That being said, the way she reacted to the Quinn news was cold but also somewhat understandable which redeemed her a bit in my eyes.

As for the kids, it was actually a good episode for them. Quinn had some good moments as did Rachel, and I even thought that breaking the group into two groups was an effective way to shine a spotlight on some of the show's shortcomings. I still don't think Glee's figured out its diversity problem yet, but the fact that it realized that it had one was a tiny bit admirable.

On the music front: Pretty good songs during this one. I will always be a sucker for Quinn's "You Keep Me Hangin' On" and "Keep Holding On" was a good showstopper. "Ride Wit Me" will go down as one of the purest numbers ever produced while "Hate On Me" and "No Air" will be vaguely memorable.

Other Odds and Ends
  • Should Will really be taking Quinn and Finn to the doctor's office? See, asking Finn to be his best man was not the most inappropriate thing Will's ever done.
  • Sue's glee club: Santana, Wheels, Gay Kid, Asian, Other Asian, Aretha and Shaft.
  • Gwyneth Paltrow joke. One of the many times this show's made fun of a celebrity just to bring them in as a guest star.
  • Oh, Drizzle.
  • I'm guessing that verbal confrontation between Quinn and Rachel was what started the whole Faberry phenomenon.
  • "I can pop 'n lock."
  • "I just don't understand anything."
  • "Enough! I'm sorry, Mr. Schue, Miss Sylvester, but if wanted to hear mom and dad fight those of us who still have two parents would just stay home on payday."
For all intensive purposes, Glee started out as Will's show (along with Rachel and Finn), but "Throwdown" was the first time when I felt that it could do without him being center stage. Sure, his beef with Sue drove most of the action during the early part of Season 1, but it started to be cumbersome along with his personal problems. At this point, he was still someone I wanted to root for, but I would've preferred cheering on the teenagers more.


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