by Melissa Albert
This episode reminds us why Klaine (RIP) was such an unstoppable force of awesome: because even on their own, Kurt and Blaine are the best characters on "Glee." This week, Kurt uses his skillz to deflate Rachel's overdrive ego, and Blaine, well...he had a bad cold. But he still manages to inspire Tina—who has played second fiddle for three and a half seasons—to finally access her inner diva.
Kurt, on the other hand, has to force Rachel's not-so-inner diva back into its box. Since her victory at the Winter Showcase, she’s been treating him like an assistant and surrounding herself with bitchy sycophants. Kurt approaches this problem as only an undergrad at a performing academy could: by challenging Rachel to step to him at Midnight Madness, a late-night sing-off where NYADA students settle their disputes.
Meanwhile, in another Schuester-inspired move, Finn rallies the troops for a glee club diva competition, kicked off with a performance of Beyoncé’s "Diva." Proving that sometimes divas are dudes, Blaine kills it with Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now," fully channeling Freddie Mercury in studded black leather. Then Finn brings special “guest” Santana in for an inspirational performance. (We can’t miss you if you won’t leave, Santana!) She amazes with Tina Turner’s "Nutbush City Limits," then turns on Brittany in front of everyone, pissed at her for keeping her relationship with Sam (a.k.a. Lipsy McChapstick) a secret.
It turns out there’s a reason Santana’s been hanging around: She dropped out of college a month ago. When Sue offers to anoint her as her successor, Santana envisions staying in Lima for good, living in a McMansion with Brittany by her side. She tries staking her claim, singing "Make No Mistake, She’s Mine," but Brit’s moved on to more...trouty-mouthed pursuits, and she wants Santana to move on, too.
Hey, remember when Blaine sang a Freddie Mercury song while decked out in full-on leather daddy gear? Just checking, because Tina apparently doesn’t. She continues to ignore the fact that he is now and has always been gay, plying his flu-ridden ass with homemade soup and Vick's VapoRub, girlfriend style. What are you thinking, Cohen-Chang?
In other inappropriate-feels news, Finn’s been spending an awful lot of time with Emma these days ("these days" = this episode). She serves as his co-judge on the diva contest when they’re not picking out floral arrangements for her upcoming wedding to Schue. But surely nothing will come of this, right? Because it’s an incredibly rushed subplot and next week is the much-delayed Schue/Emma wedding episode? And because Finn is at least 15 years her junior, and a doofus to boot?
Ah, nuts. Finn kisses Emma in the end, abruptly and ridiculously. What will this mean for the upcoming wedding?
More importantly, will Tina and Blaine share an ill-advised kiss of their own? When Blaine invites her over to plan her diva performance, things are looking dangerous. Blaine’s zonked on cold medicine and lies down in bed, as she sits beside him.
She tells him that the biggest thing about divas is that they’re brutally honest.
“Blaine,” she says. “I’m falling in love with you.”
Too shy to look at him, she unburdens her loving heart...but when she turns around, he’s fallen asleep. She then sadly unbuttons his shirt, straddles him, and slathers his chest in Vick's VapoRub while crying. Ya know, like friends do.
As Tina comes to terms with the futility of her love, Rachel has to deal with dashed hopes of her own. It’s Midnight Madness, and the rules go like this: two singers per song, popular vote decides. Her and Kurt’s competition song, chosen at random, is "Bring Him Home." It’s a close call, but "Les Miserables"–obsessed Kurt takes the competition.
But as Rachel’s star falls, Tina’s rises. Fed up with blameless Blaine, she’s unexpectedly possessed by the spirit of Madonna. With the help of a cadre of McKinley break dancers, she sings "Hung Up," emerging as the very unexpected frontrunner in the 2013 diva-off. She leaves the club speechless and strides away, just like a diva would. The next day, she collects her prize: both first place in the contest and a completely platonic invite to be Blaine’s wedding date. Cohen-Chang, you’re gonna be aaaall right.
Kurt’s less cold-blooded about his own victory over Rachel, who is acting like a wounded, brave little dove, going so far as to passive-aggressively suggest that Kurt try out for her own dream role: that of “Funny Girl” Fanny Brice. Finally, Kurt’s had enough. He books them both audition spots for "Funny Girl" (is that how Broadway works?) and gives her a pep talk. Then they make up, and she never acts like a diva again.
But Kurt and Rachel are about to have someone else to focus their energy on: Santana’s flown the coop, leaving Lima on the wings of Alicia Keys’ "Girl on Fire." Her fire carries her all the way to NYC—where she announces her intention to move in with our favorite Bushwick roomies. Cliffhanger!
Song of the episode: This ep was stuffed with incredible performances, but we want to give props to the always under-appreciated Tina. “Hung Up” FTW.
What did you think of last night's "Glee"? How will Santana fare in New York? Is the Schue/Emma wedding doomed? Tell us everything in the comments and on Twitter!