Glee is a unicorn. It started out as a show that was magical and knew it, but then in season 2 it started pooping cotton candy and lost its horn. Thankfully season 3 has rediscovered that magic and now the show is once again a magical, fabulous unicorn.

The second episode of season 3 is quintessential Glee, with tons of wonderful Brittany and Kurt moments (two characters who don’t interact nearly as much as they should), and emotional storylines that actually work. My problem with season 2 was all the dramatic stories were trying to address larger social issues like gay bullying. But now the more serious storylines aren’t about those generic social problems, they’re about the specific characters.

A Tale of Two Unicorns

According to Brittany, Kurt is a unicorn, a fabulous person who knows that he’s magical and isn’t afraid to show it, so she wants to run his presidential campaign. Unfortunately she goes overboard with pink unicorns until it’s too gay, even for Kurt. Eventually, with some help from his dad, Kurt learns to embrace his inner unicorn and support Brittany’s plans, but thanks to Santana, Brittany already realized she too is a unicorn and decided to run against Kurt for student council president. Yes, she’s dumber than a box of rocks, but Brittany’s earnest, good spirit makes her candidacy seem quite plausible. Plus, I already assume that their debate is going to be one of the single greatest moments in the history of Glee.

A Tale of Two Tonys

The school production of West Side Story begins with Coach Beiste, Emma and Artie as the co-directors. Rachel is the only girl we see audition for the role of Maria, so it’s probably hers. For Tony, however, we get two primary candidates: boyfriends Kurt and Blaine. Kurt really wants it, but his decision to audition with a Barbra Streisand song isn’t convincing anyone that he’s a strong male lead.

Blaine, however, nails his audition, but he’s a junior and feels bad about taking the lead away from a senior, so he’s not sure he even wants to go after the role of Tony despite the fact that it’s a role he was born to play. I’m just thankful he didn’t wear that idiotic giant pink bowtie during his audition. Seriously, what’s up with Blaine and awful bowties? McKinley needs to institute school uniforms because it’s the only way to avoid Blaine’s disastrous wardrobe choices.

Kurt’s feelings are hurt when he eavesdrops on the directors who question Kurt’s manliness. I feel a little bad for him, but did he really expect anything less after his baton-twirling ode to Babs? Luckily his dad puts everything in perspective by explaining that Kurt is who he is and if he wants to play a male lead, he needs to write his own musical and do it his way. Burt Hummel really is the best and the reason this story is so much better than all of Kurt’s gay bullying stuff last season is that he’s not becoming a martyr for some major cause, it’s just a specific storyline about this one character.

A Tale of Two Mommys

Idina Menzel returns as Rachel’s biological mom, Shelby Corcoran, and she’s so amazing that she can even make the dramatic storylines of Glee seem great. She’s a new teacher at McKinley because Sugar Motta’s rich dad bribed the principal to hire her to start a rival glee club with Sugar as the star. If both clubs need 12 members, I don’t see how they’ll get that many people, unless the jazz band that accompanies New Directions starts to sing and dance. But as long as Shelby recruits Santana to head up her rival club, I’ll be happy.

Shelby offers some motherly advice to Rachel about auditioning, but she’s really here to try and talk Quinn and Puck into getting involved in the life of Beth, the baby they gave to Shelby. Puck is gung-ho about being a dad, and he’s surprisingly sweet and good at it. Quinn, on the other hand, is still a pink-haired Skank, but Shelby eventually breaks through her hard outer shell and gets Quinn to dye her hair blonde and rejoin New Directions.

That’s good, right? Wrong, because Quinn is only acting normal because her new master plan is to get full custody of Beth. That’s some messed up baby mama drama, and as much as a custody battle doesn’t seem like good fodder for a comedy, I’m interested to see where this goes.

A Tale of Two Left Feet

Finally, Will institutes a “Booty Camp” for the subpar dancers in New Directions. Puck, Kurt and Mercedes are asked to join, but really it’s all for Finn. The clumsy football player succeeds, sort of, by getting through an entire routine without falling. I guess that counts as a win in his book. It’s kind of a pointless storyline, but any plot that lets Mike Chang dance is fine with me.

Next week on Glee: We meet Emma’s parents! And Mike Chang’s parents!

(Image courtesy of FOX)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.