From the moment the musical performance of McKinley High’s “Troubletones” singing Adele’s Rumour Has It/Someone Like You was released, there was quite a bit of anticipatory buildup to last night’s Glee episode, “Mash Off”. I admit that I watched the pre-show video no less than ten times. (Friends and family will try to tell you that I watched it more times, but they tend toward hyperbole and should not be trusted.) There is no denying there is genuine pain in this ingenious portrayal by Naya Rivera, and as a regular viewer of this often schizophrenic musical sideshow, I began to ponder the impetus of “Santana’s” obvious suffering and to anticipate the upcoming episode.
It is no great secret that I feel American television networks willingly stroke a sista’s curiosity, but ultimately satisfy the carnal needs of the sponsor when it comes to lesbian relationships, so my first reaction was Santana’s heart would broken when her bath-buddy, “Brittany”, goes back to her chair-bound boyfriend, Artie. After all, “Brittana” was not showcased in last week’s after-school special about sex, right? Then I thought, this IS Ryan Murphy and this IS Fox…most American networks may be pandering hacks, but Rupert Murdock will hack into anything for a buck, so I held out hope Brittany and Santana would soon be knocking pom-poms in public, and the angst I saw in the video would be from the populace.
Which one happened? Well, it seems Glee is actually going there as Santana was outed by Finn in the student-filled hallways of higher learning to the ears of half the student body and the niece of a fellow Congressional competitor of Sue Sylvester’s. The candidate uses the information to produce a negative, retaliatory campaign video to carpet bomb the tracksuited trash-talker…leaving Sue’s less than conservative family-valued head cheerleader the collateral damage. Now this being Glee, with about a hundred cast members and twenty-five storylines going at once, the viewer is not allowed to see the fallout, but the artistry of the mash-up performance allows us to fill in the blanks quite well. Just look at their faces: We all know.
Santana is PISSED, and she takes her hurt and her rage out on Finn. Some will say Finn deserves the wrath of his re-pay pawn, but I’m not so sure. Finn reacted as he has reacted historically, immaturely…like that of most sophomoric teens who lack the cognitive tools to constructively deal with overwhelming emotions. Just as an uncomfortable Finn reacted badly with a verbal slur toward Kurt when being pressured by his once-crushing classmate to decorate their newly shared bro-room like a Turkish bathhouse in Season 1, I believe he reacted in character as he lashed out at a venomous Santana verbally trashing him and those who he loves. An vengeful eye for an eye, yes, but fortunately hindsight does provide a little clarity.
Where will the story go from here? It’s Glee, so it’s anyone’s guess. At least now we know the root of some of Santana’s anger. It doesn’t take a psychiatrist to diagnose Santana’s Freudian emergence into this season’s Karofsky, who is now a confident, yet hibernating bear cub. I certainly remember the frustration, the ill temper, and the living-on-the-edge rebellion that came from a frightened inability to live my teenage truth. Not everyone has the same coming out experience that the character Kurt had, with an internal flair of confidence and an embracing, loving parent. In that regard, I’m pleased that Ryan Murphy is beginning (I think, but who knows) this brave new journey of personal ownership over paranoid displacement. Bring on abuela!
Huge accolades go out to Naya Rivera and her performance both in script and in song. From the moment I viewed the YouTube video of the Rumour Has It mash-up until Santana slaps the hell out of Finn, I was gleefully along for the ride.
I have to add that I have looked up the song and artist choices for the “I Kissed a Girl” episode in a couple of weeks. k.d. Lang, “Constant Craving”? Melissa Etheridge, “I’m the Only One”? I guess we have already established, “Yes I Am”. LMAO. Ok, I get it, but I better not see Santana and Brittany shopping the Home Depot sidewalk sale dressed in flannel and comfortable shoes…at least, not until the finale.
There is nothing quite like a woman dressed in a LBD and a nice pair of pumps.
To be continued…