'Glee' Recap: Things Get Real with Hate Crimes and Interracial Dating
'Glee' Recap: Things Get Real with Hate Crimes and Interracial Dating
Christine Petralia
Christine Petralia
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
The 15th episode of Glee takes a very serious turn this week, tackling some real world issues. The music is from some Broadway shows and also features an original by Amber Riley, who plays Mercedes. The episode centers around the mid-winter critiques at NYADA, but focuses mainly on interracial dating and hate crimes.

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Things Get Real Pretty Fast

The show opens with "No One is Alone" from Into the Woods as Kurt, Rachel, Sam and Blaine attend a vigil for a victim of a hate crime. As the gang gathers for their potluck dinner, they are in shock that hate crimes and gay bashings exist in the city of diversity.

As the episode moves along, Rachel finds herself struggling to balance college life and Broadway. She chooses to sing a duet with Blaine, "Broadway Baby" from Follies, for their critique, and Madame Tibideaux (Whoopi Goldberg) is not happy. At first, she flunks them, but gives them another chance to redeem themselves by doing a solo song later in the week. Rachel speaks with Tibideaux, who informs her that she's not doing well in her classes. After getting all high and mighty, Rachel quits NYADA.

When she and Kurt have dinner, he already knows about her quitting and he's not happy with her. They, of course, have a fight and she storms off. On his way home, he witnesses another hate crime and tries to intervene. The victim runs away, and he gets beaten pretty badly. Everyone rushes to his bedside, including his father.

Blaine sings "Not When I'm Around" from Sweeney Todd to Kurt at the hospital -- and for his critique. Once Kurt heals, and after a lecture and another heart-to-heart with Rachel, he performs his choice, "I'm Still Here" from Follies, and nails it!

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The On-Again, Off-Again Saga of Sam and Mercedes

Meanwhile, Sam asks Mercedes once again if she'll consider dating him again. After she insists she doesn't want to, they hook up. Uneasy about starting things up again, she takes some time and sings "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" by Aretha Franklin to express how he makes her feel. However, after he meets her friends and backup singers, they point out that he's white and she's black, and that won't really be good for her career. She ends things shortly after, explaining that she's not sure she wants to make 'that' statement and asks him to move out.

After Kurt's incident, though, Mercedes starts thinking, yet again, and apologizes to Sam. She sings the original Amber Riley song "Colour Blind" to explain how she feels. They later announce to the group that they are together ... again.

I have to say, though I wasn't in love with the songs this week, I surprisingly enjoyed the episode. They tackled some pretty tough issues and didn't make light of them, as in year's past. It's unfortunate that interracial dating and hate crimes still exist in this world, but it's a fact that they do. Glee didn't try to skirt around the issues, and faced them head-on. Though, in the real world, things wouldn't be resolved so quickly, but hey, I can't hope for everything.

I had a feeling Rachel would quit NYADA, as her head is getting way too big. I hope that Santana comes back soon to knock her down a peg -- because Kurt isn't doing enough to deflate her huge ego.

I wonder if the last few episodes will just focus on this group of characters. I have to say, I really like that Mercedes is back. And I like the interracial dating storyline. I'm curious to see it play out in a real way.

It's nice that Glee is finally taking a new direction (no pun intended) and growing up.

Glee airs Tuesdays at 8pm on FOX.

(Image courtesy of FOX)