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Glee turned its lens on Michael Jackson on Tuesday, paying tribute to the pop icon with an hour in which McKinley’s New Directions battled the Dalton Academy Warblers — well, mostly Sebastian — for the right to perform the King of Pop’s music at Regionals.
[Warning: Spoilers ahead from Tuesday’s “Michael” episode of Glee.]
Kurt and Rachel both took a step toward realizing their dreams, Sebastian made an enemy out of just about everybody and Rachel had an answer for Finn’s marriage proposal in the hour, appropriately titled “Michael.” Here are 11 shockers and scene stealers from the episode.
1. “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'” — Blaine kicks off the hour with a high-energy cover of the track, with Brittany, Santana, Kurt, Mercedes backing him. From the halls of McKinley to the well-lit stage the song, costumes and dancing stand out as one of the best performances of the season. Scene stealer: the show’s editors for sure. And that’s all before the opening credits.
2. In a confrontation between the formerly friendly glee clubs set to Jackson’s “Bad,” Sebastian gives Blaine the slushie treatment — sending the former Warbler to the hospital with a scratched cornia. You have to admire Sebastian’s guts to go from crush to slush in two episodes. Scene stealer: Sebastian. And Artie. Memo to Glee: Kevin McHale should front all MJ tunes.
3. Artie and Mike’s dream-like “Scream” rendition — in which Artie ditches his wheelchair — was a great (and organic) way to convey a character’s emotion through song and a perfect example of what the show looks like when it’s firing on all cylinders. Smart to get McHale out of the wheelchair and feature Harry Shum Jr.’s dancing in the bit. Scene stealer: the whole song.
4. Quinn is outta here. She’s Yale-bound via early admission thanks to a heartfelt essay about teen overcoming adversity and teen pregnancy. She offers Rachel advice on Finn’s marriage proposal, suggesting that Rachel decline the proposal and not drag an anchor from her past into her future. “If you want everything you’ve ever dreamed of, you have to break up with him,” she tells her. Dianna Agron (finally!) gets a solo for “Never Can Say Goodbye,” as she bids farewell to her past loves: Finn, Puck and Sam. Scene stealer: Quinn for no other reason than telling it like it is and being a voice of reason. And Beth, the locker pictures are adorable!
5. Realizing that she still has feelings for her former summer flame, Samcedes is back in full force when Sam and Mercedes sharing a sweet kiss after covering “Human Nature.” It’s a long overdue moment for the couple. Clear eyes, full hearts, Shane.
6. Kurt inches closer to his dreams of heading to the East Coast, learning that he’s a finalist for NYADA fate. “You are unstoppable Kurt,” Burt says. “They can never take this away from you. On this day, you won.” Another great Burt gem. Scene stealer: Duh, Burt.
7. Rachel interprets her lack of NYADA letter as bad news and practically makes Kurt feel guilty for advancing to the next stage with the New York-set arts school and breaks down thinking she wasn’t as lucky. When all is said and done, however, she joins Kurt as being a finalist at NYADA. You just can’t separate these two. Period.
8. You don’t piss off a girl who’s Lima Heights adjacent. Santana, furious that Blaine may need surgery after Sebastian’s slushie to the face, goes all toe-to-tie with the new Warbler captain for “Smooth Criminal.” After confessing he put rock salt in Blaine slushie, Sebastian douses Santana. You know there’s going to be payback for that. Scene stealer: Everyone. Did you catch the cello guys’ busted strings? Plus Naya Rivera’s attitude when she claims she was better?
9. Rachel finally has an answer to Finn’s marriage proposal. She wants him to go to New Yorkwith her no matter what she hears from NYADA. “I don’t’ need to marry you to keep from straying; you’re the only guy for me,” she tells him. After a Finn duet to “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” she has an answer — yes. “You’re the love of my life,” she tells him. Scene stealer: the piano guy who sits patiently watching the newly engaged couple smooch.
10. In the final confrontation, New Directions withdraws and opts to not perform Michael at Regionals. Tired of the fighting and drama between the clubs and in an effort to help the Warblers to better understand the King of Pop, New Directions sends the message of peace and tolerance and covers “Black or White.” The chorus with Santana leading charge and Artie’s rap are spot on and the Warblers joining them on stage is representative of what the show stands for. Scene stealer: the MJ-video inspired changing face montage — it will forever haunt us.
11. Sebastian ends up being left out in the cold as Santana reveals she has him on tape confessing to lacing the slushie with rock salt and showing what kind of character the new Warbler captain is made of. Scene stealer: Kurt for letting Sebastian sink himself. School’s out!
What did you think of the MJ tribute? Do you agree with Rachel’s decision? How do you think Finn will handle news of Rachel’s finalist status at NYADA? Glee airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on Fox.
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