ALL THINGS GLEE
Duet Season in Gleeville
In the beginning of "Duets," we find out that Puck got thrown in juvey, so right off the bat because he drove his mom's volvo into a convenience store and drove off with the ATM. With that stunning news, the group realizes they need another voice. Newcomer/dreamboat Sam (played by Chord Overstreet), takes his place and Quinn has eyes for him instantly. Will sets up the episode with a lesson on what a duet is. He waxes poetic a little, comparing them to marriage, where two people must push each other to be better. And of course, he sets it up as a competition, so everyone must face off against each other. Mercedes asks Kurt who he's gonna sing with, but in the next scene he introduces himself to Sam, obviously smitten, and says that he'd do well pairing up with someone with a voice as good as his. Kurt's other qualifications? He can detect when men dye their own hair, and he totally calls Sam, with almost perfectly bleach-blonde locks, out on it. Kurt implores Sam. Dinner at Breadsticks!
Interesting turn of events here, as the next scene finds Brittany and Santana in bed together. Santana reveals that she's like a lizard, and only there because Puck's been in jail for like 12 hours and she needs something warm to lie on. Brit's offended. Santana, meanwhile talks to Mercedes about how well their voices go together, and they plan a song. At the lunch counter, Finn confronts Kurt, telling him that if he and Sam do a duet he runs the risk of Sam quitting New Directions, because of the abuse he'll get from people.
The episode then got down to the music, as Finn and Rachel get down with Elton John and Kiki Dee's "Don't Go Breaking My Heart." They kill it and realize they'll win the contest. Hands down. Rachel then realizes how selfish she is. "I'm only really generous, if there's something in it for me," she tells Finn. She's so inspired by Finn's goodness, that she convinces him to throw the competition with her. The goal is for Sam to win so he'll stick around and help the team get to Nationals.
Tina hangs out in the library with her new crush Mike, but their relationship is strained. She complains about how they're always just eating dim sum with his mom. Brittany, looking for a duet partner, tells Artie she's really into him. Like REALLY into him. She's got the eyes and is staring him down hard. Her daffy attitude masks her sexy side well, and Artie is floored. Though he still has some feeling for Tina, she's trying to hash out her Asian anger with Mike over weird soup with chicken heads.
Finn talks to Sam in the locker room, and compares glee club to walking down the double middle lines of the highway. (Side bar- The ladies must have gone nuts at this scene, since Sam is getting dressed and looking very concerned and pouty) Sam maintains that he's going to duet with Kurt because he gave him his word. Sam, feeling real good about himself, walks out and surprise! gets splashed with a tray full of slushees. Tough break, but after that he's consoled by Quinn in a bathroom. She cleans him up and - Hey, since when do they let kids hang out together in the bathroom? Anyway, Sam seizes upon an opportunity after hearing that she dug Avatar, and starts talking in N'avi to her.
Next we see Kurt back at home, where his dad is recuperating. He tells his dad about liking Sam, but poppa just says that he's pushing it too hard - the same way Finn advised him earlier. Kurt is clearly growing tired of all the unaccepting types surrounding him in high school. Chris Colfer does a great job showing how rough it is as a young member of the gay community. Hang in there, Kurt - It Gets Better! Kurt definitely seems engrossed in some sticky situations in this episode.
Mercedes and Santana do their song, Ike and Tina Turner's "River Deep - Mountain High." They really do a bangup job, and their harmonies are awesome. After a quick commercial break, Kurt busts in on Sam in the shower, telling him that he's setting him free, and won't pursue him anymore. Next, Tina approaches Artie and tells him that if they duet and win the competition, they can go to Breadsticks and have a nice dinner alone together... as friends. Yeah right, Artie disses her and waves to Brittany.
Next, Kurt tells the group he's doing his duet with the best member of the group: himself. Rachel, who had perked up- looks deflated all of a sudden. It looks like she's finally gaining some much needed introspection after really being painted as selfish for so long. Kurt then delivers "Jazz" from Victor/Victoria. He kicks it off in a costume split down the center, like Two-Face in Batman, and really gets into it. With a chorus line of dancing girls, he gallavants about stage, strutting with enough charisma for two dancers, and ends with a crescendoing wail reminiscent of Freddie Mercury. A sensitive Sam seems amused.
Sam and Quinn have a tender moment alone in practice and he gets her to do a duet with him. He starts showing her how to play the guitar and they're about to start smooching when she turns away abruptly. She tells him she made a mistake and doesn't want to sing with him.
Tina and Mike do their version of "Sing!" and I gotta say I wasn't really into it. It sounded somewhat flat, but I think it could have been that way on purpose. Afterward, Rachel and Finn confront Quinn and Sam in separate situations, and encourage them to sing with each other. Quinn is suspicious, demanding to know what's in it for Rachel? However, Sam apologizes to Quinn and tells her he won't try any funny stuff again, and she's like, "Yeah, cause we're gonna have to practice together a lot if we want to win that dinner at Breadsticks- Jeez, these kids are really crazy for this restaurant.
Meanwhile, Artie and Brittany are hanging out and she seduces him hard, carrying him to the bed and laying him down. He's like, "Am I about to lose my virginity?" Brittany answers, "Before we duet, we're gonna do it." Wow, she is such a freak.
Next Rachel and Finn do a hilariously inappropriate song called "With You I'm Born Again," dressed as a priest and a nun. They perform it totally seriously, which makes it even funnier at the end when the class is simply stunned. Rachel and Finn act surprised and take their seats. That leads to Quinn and Sam, who get up and do a totally swooning "Lucky," by Jack Johnson and Colbie Caillat. These two definitely have a lot of chemistry.
Then, Santana tells Artie that Brittany only slept with him for his voice. He's real hurt. The winner of the duet competition turns out to be Sam and Quinn by two votes, of course supplanted by Rachel and Finn. Rachel sees Kurt seething at the results, and later befriends him in the hall, telling him that she can't imagine how it must feel to be in a place where you can't act upon your feelings for fear of retribution. While he's suspicious of her at first, she basically tells him that there are people that love him in glee club and they are going to win nationals this year because they have him. She invites him to a duet with her, even though the contest is over.
Over at the famous eatery Breadsticks (which is apparently so great because of unlimited breadsticks), Sam uses some more corny jokes and impressions on Quinn. She gets him to knock it off, and he finally admits that no, he is not gay but yes, he does dye his hair. She admits to liking it, and all of a sudden takes the meal vouchers they won and puts them away. "What are you doing?" Sam asks. "We're not using that." She says. "A gentlemen always pays on the first date." And with that, their relationship takes shape as the camera pans away, one booth over where Brittany silently noses a lone meatball across a plate of pasta, like she hoped to do with Artie a la Lady and The Tramp. She's taking his hurt feelings harder after he told her that she trampled on his virginity and hurt his feelings.
Rachel and Kurt do their duet, a powerful but relatively subdued "Happy Days Are Here Again / Get Happy." and the episode ends.
Next week: Glee gets in the Halloween mood with their version of Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Justin Starling @CitadelNow for Citadel Digital © 2010
Image used with permission by Michael Yarish / FOX
Image used with permission by Miranda Penn Turin / FOX