The Outhouse's resident Gleek, Erik Galston, reviews the latest episode of Glee, "Asian F".
Glee's third episode (and last episode before November due to the World Series) focused heavily on a few characters who haven't received much attention since last year. "Asian F" put the focus on Mike Chang, Mercedes Jones and Ms. Pillsbury, while also moving forward the storylines of Rachel and Kurt.
Last week's episode ended with both Kurt and Rachel getting extra competition in their respective goals. This week showed how far Rachel is willing to go to get into school.
The episode started off with Mercedes having some issues at Booty Camp. Cut to the next scene, Mercedes' boyfriend tells her she shouldn't be friendly with Rachel until she gets the part in the musical. He reminds her of the musical Dreamgirls, and that she can't let Rachel stand in her way. Mercedes' auditions with Jennifer Hudson's "Spotlight," and makes the decision on who gets Maria even harder for the directors.
Mike Chang's father, Mike Chang Sr., is in Principal Figgin's office because Mike got an A- in Chemistry. To Mike's father, and apparently all Asians, an A- is an Asian F. Mike's dad blames the grade on being in glee club or his relationship with Tina, which causes Principal Figgins to remember when Tina made him think she's a vampire in the first season.
Rachel and Kurt are handing out buttons for Kurt's campaign when Brittany and Santana walk up to them and try to get Rachel's vote. Brittany holds an flash mob pep rally, pretty much getting the entire female student body's vote, after performing Beyonce's "Run The World (Girls)."
Mike blows off his chemistry tutor to audition for the musical. Mike really wows the directors with his performance of "Cool" from West Side Story.
The musical directors decide to hold a call back audition for the role of Maria, between Rachel and Mercedes. Rather than let them choose what song they are singing, they decide that both will sing "Out Here On My Own" from Fame.
At the next Booty Camp, Mercedes blows up at Mr. Schuester after he tells her she needs to do better. She says that she's better than everyone in New Directions. Will tells her that if she walks out she's out of the club. This segues into the group doing "Its All Over" from Dreamgirls, with Mercedes taking the Effie role.
At the Diva Off, Rachel feels that Mercedes did better and she thinks she won't get the part. The next day Rachel tells Coach Bieste that she's gonna run for Senior Class President. When Kurt finds out, he confronts her, clearly upset since this was the one way he could hopefully get into the school in New York.
Mike Chang's mother finds Mike dancing at the school, and she tells him that it's her job to let him pursue his dreams. She tells him that when he finds out about the musical she will help him tell his father. Mike finds out that his mother gave up dance to live the life she did, so he teaches her how to dance.
Will decides to have Emma's parents over, as he finds it odd that she's thinking about marriage and he hasn't met her parents. When they come over, he realizes that they are not really good parents, as they are what caused Emma's OCD. Emma's parents being there really sets her off. All the progress she had made on her OCD is gone, and she has gone back to her old ways. Will comforts Emma when she breaks down crying.
In order to not upset either girl, the directors decide to double cast Maria, and let each actress play her for a week. When Mercedes asks if any other part was double cast, the directors are quiet. Mercedes asks Rachel to tell her she was better than her. Rachel doesn't say anything. Mercedes declines the role, allowing Rachel to be the lead. When Rachel tells Finn, she also asks if she has his vote, and he tells her he doesn't know.
At the end of the episode the cast list goes up: Mike got the part he auditioned for, Blaine got the role of Tony (and Kurt was happy for him), and Rachel obviously got the part of Maria. The last scene of the show was Mercedes joining Shelby's glee club.
This episode in my mind was good. Plot lines moved forward and Santana is back in the club. I enjoyed the music selections used in the episode. For the first time in a while Mercedes got three songs in an episode. I really enjoyed the comparisons with the musical Dreamgirls. Brittany's performance was probably my favorite performance she's done, and it really showed off Heather Morris's talents.
To me this episode had a lot of ups and downs emotionally. I teared up when Emma broke down at the end of the episode.
Tonight's episode is the last one until November as Fox has baseball in primetime. I look forward to the next episode, with Burt entering the race against Sue.
Written or Contributed by: Erik Galston