OMGlee! Emma and Dr. Carl got married?! Rachel and Finn broke up?! You can actually tie for first place at sectionals?! Oh, what an episode of Glee we have here. Let’s dive right into “Special Education,” shall we? 

With what seems to be the long-silent voice of reason, Emma points out to Will that he might be ignoring some of the stars in New Directions because “they don’t burn as obviously bright” as others, inspiring him to mix up things and not give any solos to Rachel or Mercedes — which I totally get, in the spirit of inclusion and making everyone feel special, but seriously, shouldn’t you guys already have your sectionals lineup nailed down by now?

Rachel obvs doesn’t take too well to the news and goes all prima donna in front of the gang, inspiring Santana to tell the Hobbit Rachel that she deflowered Finn last year — forcing Finchel into couples’ counseling (i.e., a sit-down with guidance counselor Emma).

Meanwhile over at Dalton, Kurt’s learning that fitting in might not be all it’s cracked up to be as his suggestions for Sectionals songs and joke about taking his new pet warbler to work at the stray cat rescue in the bottom of a coal mine goes over like a lead balloon. But his peppy attitude wins him the chance to audition for a solo. Wee!

Back at McKinley, we find little Brittany in a corner.

Brittany-in-corner.JPGDespite learning from Britney Spears that she is in fact more talented than everyone else in Glee club, Brittany is petrified with fear about the weight of winning sectionals resting on her pretty little shoulders. So smart-man Artie produces his “magic” comb that will help her perform. Am I the only one that is totally loving Artie and Brittany together? (Artany?)

Happy-Brittany.JPGHappy Brittany with her new magic comb

Schue finally stands up to Pouty Pouterson Rachel, when she comes into rehearsal with duct tape over her mouth in protest of losing her solos, and also selects Puck as ambassador badassador to find a new 12th member of Glee — which one of the guys on the football team equates with trying to recruit his black cousins to join the klan (still furrowing my eyebrows at that one). Anywho, his recruiting attempt among the jocks lands him here: 

puckapotty.JPGWhere Lauren Zizes (aka the chick who had the monkey flu) finds him and becomes the new 12th member of Glee.

Oh, and elsewhere Tina plants the seed in Artie’s head that Brittany and Mike are having a torrid affair. Poor Artie.

Later, when Rachel agrees to help Kurt with his solo audition song, we learn that much like the rest of Glee club, Rachel often fantasizes about her own funeral. Unfortch, the pep talk doesn’t do the trick, and Kurt comes in last at his solo audition (?!).

Blaine (who I really liked until this moment when I must admit he lost some of his shine) gave Kurt the following advice: Don’t try so hard next time, it’s about being part of the team, and you’ll fit in soon enough. Noooooo! I don’t want Kurt to fit in! I don’t want him to grow a new coat of feathers! I then realized that’s what bugs me about the Warblers’ performances — they’re all far too in sync, too homogeneous. I like a little more ragtag in my ensembles. 

Speaking of being in sync, it’s Sectionals time! And suddenly, Will realizes that his new direction for New Directions may have been out of sync. As was his (presumably) ill-intentioned invite to Emma to attend Sectionals with him. She fessed up to Carl about the invite, and they got in a big fight that ultimately brought her and Uncle Jesse closer together.

In the green room at Sectionals, New Directions are all at odds with each other, but a little Schue pep talk gets them all polished up and pushed on stage. And we get to resolve at least one miscommunication: Brittany didn’t cheat on Artie — she just lost his magic comb. And she thought that adultery meant being stupid, like being a dolt. And she does motocross. I love Brittany. I want to keep her in my pocket. 

Then that brings us back to my action-packed introduction: The Warblers and New Directions tie for first place, sending both to Regionals (who knew that was possible?)! Rachel cheated on Finn with Puck because she was feeling blue and somehow thinks that’s the same as Finn hooking up with Santana when he and Rachel weren’t even together! And Emma married Carl in Vegas (really? Eating green and red grapes together is impulsive for this woman! Eloping in Vegas??)!

Married-Emma.JPGWha??? Did I fall asleep and wake up during sweeps month or something? And wasn’t Dustin Goolsby (Cheyenne Jackson) supposed to reemerge in this episode? (Seriously, did I fall asleep?)

And now for …

The Music

glee-train.jpgEvita‘s “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” sung by Rachel and Kurt 

I’m sure I’m probably in the minority, but I think I would have actually liked to hear Kurt sing his first choice, Celine Dion’s “My Hear Will Go On.” That said, in the words of Kurt, Rachel really is as talented as she is irritating. Man, that girl can sing; I just wish she didn’t always look like she’s crying while she’s singing. Also, really digging Kurt in a lower register.

Mike & The Mechanics’ “The Living Years” sung by the Hipsters 
I was briefly distracted by trying to figure out if the old lady singing was an actual old lady or a young lady in old lady disguise, so I missed out on some crucial critique time. But it was a dandy rendition, and I’ll say the old people have some pipes.

Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister” sung by Blaine and the Dalton Academy Warblers 
Loved this (and you can read how much here), but how exactly is Blaine taking his own “don’t stand out too much” advice here? It got a standing ovation, though, and I would have given it one too. But I will say that it’s not so much Glee‘s version of the song as it is Glee doing Train’s version.

Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes’ “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” sung by Sam, Quinn and New Directions
All I could think during this song was, “Do the lift! Do the lift!” Granted the vocals would have been stronger with Rachel or Mercedes out front, but it was still super-fun and feel-good. But did it sound like Sam had a dash of Auto-Tune? 

The Zutons’ “Valerie” sung by Santana and New Directions
Loved, loved, loved Brittany and Mike’s dancing, which totally made the song, despite the fact that Santana is a great singer and typically doesn’t get her moment in the Glee sun.

Florence and the Machine’s “Dog Days Are Over” sung by Mercedes, Tina and New Directions
This performance for me represents what I like about New Directions — and why Kurt needs to come back asap. Everyone got to do their own individual thing, yet they still work really well as a group. I give it best song of the night. 

What happened tonight?! No more Finchel?! Emma’s hitched?! Kurt’s conforming?! It’s all too much. Weigh in on the madness below. 

(Images courtesy of FOX)

Jen Harper

Editor, BuddyTV