Glee E5 Ep15 – “Bash”

Mercedes is having dinner with her back-up singers (Tesla and Shanice) and trying to explain her past not-exactly relationship with Sam and now her potential relationship with Sam – they’re not exactly supportive of her seeing a high school fling. Things don’t go much better when Sam comes upon them and settles in to a) try too hard, b) fail spectacularly to impress the ladies and c) induce so much embarrassment squick I had to stick my fingers in my ears and go la la la.

At the post-dinner breakdown, the ladies both compliment Sam. He’s nice! His Cosby Show cast impressions? Spot on! So what, asks Mercedes, is the problem.

“Mercedes, you’re black. And he’s white,” Tesla declares. Shanice points out he’s not just white – he’s almost Albino! And given her career choices, is that what Mercedes wants for her personal life? To alienate her listeners because her boyfriend is white? To only sell records to Albinos? Mercedes says she doesn’t care but her friends think she should.

Mercedes sings her feelings for Sam - and brings along back up singers to boot.

Mercedes sings her feelings for Sam – and brings along back up singers to boot.

Mercedes does care – because when she enters the Brooklyn Brownstone of Awkward Roommate Conversations, she tells Sam she can’t date him. She isn’t sure she wants to make a statement – as a black artist – by dating a white man. This isn’t Glee Club, this is the real adult world. And people make judgments. Sam is upset and Mercedes tells him he should probably move out.

Side bar: Given that Sam used to actually be homeless, I wish his friends would stop kicking him out of their apartments!

Later, after seeing Kurt in the hospital, Mercedes seems to come to a decision. Mercedes invites Sam to the studio where she has clearly been thinking over everything that’s unfolded. Ditching a potentially great relationship because Sam is white isn’t who she is either. She sings him an original song (written specifically for Amber Reilly) called “Colourblind” that sums up her feelings.

It’s a lovely song and it works as a gateway to a resolution – they kiss and it seems they are officially on! (They even seal the deal by making out at the next Annual Monday Dinner of Resolutions Revealed! It’s officially official.)

Side bar: Amber Reilly, put out an album so people can pay you money!

At the end of the day, this was an interesting story that got rushed into four scenes. It might’ve been nicer to extend over two episodes, to get the feeling of Mercedes weighing a very serious decision. Does she consider the realities of her choices as a burgeoning singer? Does she chuck it all for love?

Samcedes is on, however, and I hope Sam has enough Cosby impersonations to keep her friends content.

Rachel and NYADA: The Winter Critique is upon students, and Rachel must convince Sidney the Producer to give her a night off to attend. He isn’t thrilled – they’re two weeks until opening and it’s tech week! – but he finally agrees to just one night off. The theme is the works of Stephen Sondheim, and the performances will be in front of faculty, students and her royal turban-ness, Carmen.

Who seems pleased when a gowned Rachel begins with “Broadway Baby” – but whose face falls a bit when a tuxedoed Blaine joins in. Why, it’s a jaunty duet! The two charismatic charmers display their chops with their song and dance routine and end to a ton of applause – surely that merits an A! (Props to actual Broadway performers Lea Michele and Darren Criss – they sound great, they look great and the world surely needs more numbers from these two.)

Except Carmen looks quite irritated. The assignment was for solos – not duets and she’s pissed. So pissed she flunks them both! Rachel is shocked and Blaine clearly doesn’t know what “flunked” means. After a second though, Carmen admits it was great so she’s given them a chance to redo the assignment. Properly. They must reschedule for later in the week.

Of course, nods Blaine. But Rachel has a problem – she’s about to open on Broadway and doesn’t really have the time to come back for a better grade. She goes to see Carmen at her office but while pleading charm worked with Sidney the Producer, Carmen is having none of it. Carmen thinks Rachel needs a foundation and should be giving more effort to her NYADA studies. Rachel thinks she should get a bit of credit of being a full-time student, working at a diner and about to open on Broadway in the leading role. Carmen disagrees – and thinks she might have to make a decision. Which Rachel does.

She quits NYADA.

Side bar: What? I don’t understand this. NYADA is a theatre school, training people to be performers in hopes of one day being on Broadway. Has no one ever gotten a role without graduating? Do they not have leave or deferment? No special arrangements for a student who hits it big time as a sophomore? Carmen would at least ask for opening night tickets.

The NYADA grapevine informs Kurt of Rachel’s decision. Over dinner, he is so not on board with that decision. This pisses Rachel off and everything collapses into a fight with pointed barbs. Rachel storms off.

Kurt’s attack resets Rachel’s anger; after he’s released from the hospital, the friends gather once more in the Bushwick Loft of Revelations and Recaps for yet another meal. Sam and Mercedes are dating, Rachel apologizes to Kurt and they reaffirm their friendship and everyone raises a glass to their bad ass friend.

The NYADA Winter Critique has one more performer – Kurt shakes off his bruises and delivers a rousing version of “I’m Still Here” from Follies, in front of Carmen, his dad, Blaine and all their friends. Clearly those jerks in the alley way didn’t win, because Kurt’s full of life as he sings, winding up atop the piano to a standing ovation.

Chris Colfer delivers a big performance and puts a punctuation mark on Kurt’s rough few days. He’s still here and he’s doing fine.

At the end of the day, this was a rough episode. The subject matter of gay bashing deserved a little more focus during the hour, and should have tied a bit more to the emotional narrative. It felt a little manipulative and so therefore fell flat. Still, compelling performances and good music go a long way. Let’s see how the consequences play out (or even if they do).

One thing can never be broken - these friends stick together.

One thing can never be broken – these friends stick together.

Tere’s Episode Round-up:

What made me laugh: This wasn’t an overly chuckle worthy episode. I do think we should have more “Blaine reads Sam Star Wars fanfic” scenes, however.

What made me sniffle: Blaine singing to his unconscious boyfriend, Rachel apologizing to Kurt. 

What made me side-eye: So so much. Are we making up for last week?

What I’m listening to on repeat: This was another good week for songs – everything is getting a listen! But “Not While I’m Around” and “Broadway Baby” get an extra round.

What I’m looking forward to next week: Stage combat? Love is a Battlefield?!

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