In fact, Kurt’s world was turned upside down more than once last night. Already having trouble coping as an outsider, Kurt has to deal with the constant verbal and physical taunts from his classmates, particularly jock bully Dave (Max Adler). Fed up with being a punching bag, Kurt heads over to a rival school, the enviable Dalton Academy, which has a zero tolerance policy amongst students, and whose glee club (called The Warblers), will go up against New Directions.
But rather than find another enemy, Kurt meets Blaine (Darren) and the two have an immediate connection. After a swoon-worthy rendition of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream,” Blaine (who, like Kurt, is also out of the closet) takes Kurt under his wing and encourages him to be brave and stand up to those who pick on him. Back at school, Kurt finally confronts Dave in the locker room but rather than being met with more ignorant hostility, he kisses him. Like I said….”Gasp!” A stunned Kurt confides in Blaine that it was actually his first kiss with a boy, and Blaine being a good friend (and pretty please, Ryan Murphy, his soon-to-be boyfriend), takes him out to lunch.
Kurt and Dave weren’t the only ones to stun gleeks though. After word gets out that some members of the glee club are using football coach Shannon Beiste (Dot Jones) as a visual to “cool off” during hot and heavy make out sessions with their significant others, she quits, much to the delight of Sue Sylvester and the dismay of Mr. Schuester. But before all that drama unfolds, Shannon reveals to Will that at the age of 40, she has never been kissed. In a touching, if not surprising gesture, Will puts an end to all that. Gasp, you guys, gasp.
While I certainly admire what Ryan Murphy and co. did in this episode dealing with tolerance and combating bullying (especially in the wake of the tragic suicides associated with gay teens), there was also a little bit of hypocrisy going on here. While they eventually made things right with Shannon, they still made her a sight gag at the beginning of the episode. We were meant to laugh at her in decidedly unsexy situations, only to be told it was wrong of us to do so. Even her name (rhymes with “beast”!) is meant to make us think of her as something of a freak.
Do you agree with me gleeks, or should I be focusing more on the positive aspects of what this ep accomplished? And let it be said once again, there was a whole lot of good done. If “Never Been Kissed” inspires one kid to be brave in the face of discrimination or makes one kid think twice about bullying, no amount of awards or magazine covers could ever stack up to what the show accomplished.
In the meantime, let’s catch up with the rest of the gang! Puck, fresh out of juvenile hall, buddies up to Artie to take hours off of his community service sentence. The two become the unlikeliest of duos (between busking for money at school with an amazing rendition of Bob Marley’s “One Love/People Get Ready” and double dating with Santana and Brittany), but it all unravels when we learn that Puck may have to go back to juvie (which, despite all his bragging, he’s very afraid of.)
Puck may not be redeemed for his bad deeds yet, but the boys certainly made things right with their mash-up dedicated to Shannon. Balancing the hard and soft side of their football coach (who, as Sam so eloquently put it, is kind of like a chocolate turtle) they combine En Vogue’s “Free Your Mind” with the doo wop classic “Stop In The Name of Love” by The Supremes. No offense to the lovely ladies of New Directions, but their mash-up of Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On A Prayer” and The Rolling Stones’ iconic “Start Me Up” (which, was really 90 percent Jovi, no?) came in a distant second again, even without the aid of Vitamin D.
Don’t forget to check out Jim Cantiello’s musical “Glee”-cap!
What did you think of this episode, Gleeks? Did you fall in love with Blaine just as hard as we did (and Kurt, for that matter)? Will Artie and Brittany get back together? Do you agree with Sue that Sam looks like a “Macaulay Culkin clone”? Did the episode have an impact on you? Let us know!