After a note from someone whose opinion I value, I’d like to mention something about pleasure and dissent.
Mercedes sees a million romantic candles all over every surface of the apartment, and immediately thinks GOD DAMNIT BLAINE NOT AGAIN. [x]
This never gets old :)
- This is the first time the effects of the re-pilot in “New New York” have really hit home for me. In several ways, this is a fundamentally different show than what we were watching for the first hundred and one episodes. It’s still a good show, but different. A change would do you good.
All of this. ALL OF IT. This is just packed with YES.
Exactly, and the best description I’ve seen yet of American Beauty and the bag scene.
1. So yeah, remember when it was apparently absurd to think this episode might have something to do with STD or HIV testing? And Eli C. came up and Kurt and Blaine noted that testing is the reasonable adult thing to do?
The episode never mentioned AIDS by name, but Ryan Murphy did just tweet that people should get tested and know their status. “Know your status” is a specific to HIV coding, for anyone who is not aware of that.
But I thought it was super interesting how the episode did and did not go there. And much like the issue of Russ in 5.15, I want to know what the writers’ room discussion and the network notes were around that choice.
2. So wow, we found out some stuff about Blaine here. Some of his internal thoughts about Kurt were really pretty fucking ugly and fascinatingly heteronormative and in that “pathetic friends network” (the people you hang out with so you can feel less like shit about your own life) place.
But they also felt truthful in terms of how shifting power dynamics in relationships can be really difficult, and how there are toxic and non-toxic ways to engage them.
3. Does anyone want to tell me the food and the porn isn’t about self-injury (and trying to create drama with Kurt)? Because I think it’s pretty clear that Blaine has a habit of using things associated with pleasure to hurt himself. That Eli C. shit was pretty clearly telegraphed as self-injury as well.
4. Kurt does have a historical discomfort with porn, and it was interesting to watch him try to leap from that discomfort to, “Hey, this is fine, unless it’s a symptom of something not fine.” Nice struggle, still unresolved, in a quick scene.
5. The Mercedes stuff is incredibly well-handled, and didn’t feel like messaging. It felt like one person’s real choices for right now. And that was great. One of the conversations with her and Rachel I’ve had pretty much word for word. Really good ear for how real people talk in this episode.
6. The Rachel/Finn moment is heartbreaking and also exceptionally handled and helping the audience know what they are seeing and what to expect. I respect so much how these episodes are doing guided grieving especially now that that’s become a very small component of the episodes.
7. I assume they had doubles for the fencing stuff. If anyone would like me to discuss it in detail, let me know, but I will say the way Blaine got whipped across the thigh with that saber? IS AN INCREDIBLY PAINFUL MOTHERFUCKING THING. Also a valid strike in historical saber although they weren’t wearing the right gear for that type of strike.
8. Despite my assumption of a double at least for Colfer on the fencing, I will say his posture and form with the other combat-y stuff was pretty great. I’ve never seen him or Kurt look that physically settled before. Also wow, Kurt was icy to Blaine during all that. Like Kurt can be all “You were coming at me so agressively” but the way it was filmed made Kurt look positively spiteful on the floor. He did not need to throw that elbow in the position change, although one could argue it was a shoddy form of a traditional disarm (where you do use the elbow, but first you need to come in and grab the wrist, not just throw into someone’s fucking kidneys) and not just mean.
9. Basically, this episode did exactly what it needed to to set up what’s ahead and totally what it telegraphed to us it would do for its very title.
And I don’t have a lot to say because all I can think was how many things in this episode were often “Glee would never do that!” conversations here on Tumblr. Lots and lots of small details from the past woven in here extremely elegantly. And a surprisingly cohesive picture of Blaine that actually allows S2 -> S5 to make sense (and is consistent with much of the fannish math to do the same) is developing.
Which you know, suggests the show actually knows what the fuck it’s doing now that’s it’s gotten to come in from the woods.
I love that Kurt can be really into sex and still not like porn.
Point 6 is important and we should talk more about the guided grieving.
Also, all of point … um … 10.
Out of order, probably, because I threw multiple shoes at my livestream…
1. The number of times “safety first” is mentioned really leaped out at me.
2. Competition is how you’re tested. Sometimes you compete against yourself and you find yourself wanting, even if there’s nothing wrong. Blaine felt like he was competing against Kurt, but he’s really competing with the vision of himself he had pre-graduation - “why aren’t I that same guy?” - and then he feels insecure because how he feels like he’s doing now is nothing like how he felt about himself in Lima. I loved that Klaine conversation at the end, even if Kurt says, during the fight sequence, that they talk too much. (Also, Samcedes do a lot of talking…) But, you know, Blaine has been the Ace for always, and while he works for it (he’s a Gladwell fan and he knows you need to put in your 10K hours) and is incredibly talented to boot, he does love being told that he’s awesome, he loves being the clear front-runner in all things, and he loves that ideal of himself as the Ace.
3. I felt like there was a constant thematic push/pull of restraint vs. indulgence in this episode. Choosing not to have sex (Mercedes) and having lots of sex (Artie). Salad (Kurt) vs. cronuts (Blaine). Out at sea, feeling deprived, vs. on land (that weird STD video?). Eventually all those plots get “resolved”, and I put that in quotes because they aren’t resolved, not really. More like there’s a stabilized detente. Nothing’s ever settled for good in New York.
4. God, I loved LIAB.
5. Kurt’s line about “the outside is catching up with my inside” screamed Rachel in Makeover to me.
6. I love Julie. She can stay. And her calling Artie a creeper is much more harmful than his chlamydia diagnosis. He orders that giant sundae at the end, after all. Which totally looked like a set of genitals, and that made me laugh my ass off.
7. That being said, I appreciated how Artie was treated as a sexual being, even if he never learned anything from Holly Holliday’s sex ed class. And popularity goes to his head (both of them) quickly, just as Blaine’s newfound love of New York food catches up to him, too.
8. The Mercedes storyline was A++++ and it was so refreshing to see a conversation between girls that wasn’t, you know, heart-rending and incredibly toxic. Rachel mentions her first time with Finn, which was so touching and beautiful I just. Also, more bonding over food - food was all over this episode, and all over last week’s episode too.
9. Mercedes is much more deeply connected to people outside of that Lima circle than the others are. I do think Samcedes and race will come up again as an issue.
10. Artie’s Bag in the Wind video is a direct reference to American Beauty and now I’m going to look this up.
I bolded a bunch of great points, but this is all gold. I miss Julie already.
roricruegsegger I swear….if you don’t come back, im gonna hurt someone….It’s the glee version of “24” @jennaushkowitz …..just sayin #glee #setlife #Why? #abandonment issues #comeback
I wish I could take credit for that genius, but that was all missbeizy! I am merely your humble conduit to sexy AUs. That being said, I am so very sorry. How ever will I make it up to you?
"On your knees, Blaine. Now."
"Sir. Sir, I’m—sorry."
"Don’t make me say it twice, love. You know the rules."
Tonight, I have made vegan, Passover-friendly cookies that actually taste like cookies. And yes, that does mean that I am golden baking god.