“We’ll change the world one girl at a time.”: The Power of Madonna (1×15) Gleecap
Combine a girl power theme and a ton of awesome Madonna songs and you get an episode of Glee that was, as Kurt put it, “Madge-ical.” From the killer music to the hilarious one-liners, and from the unexpected plot twists to the amazing minor details (watch all the kids in the background of hallway scenes – tons of them are wearing different Madonna outfits!), I don’t know if I “deserve” an episode as an epic as “The Power of Madonna,” but thank you anyway, TV gods.
Using Madonna as a tool to empower women may not be a completely new idea, but it worked flawlessly in this episode. While Glee sometimes bluntly hits us over the head with its theme of the week (take “Ballad” and its “express your inner feelings” idea, for example), this episode’s “equality for all” theme was completely evident throughout the hour, yet it didn’t feel at all forced. In contrast to last week’s “Hell-O,” which sometimes felt both rushed and cramped, “The Power of Madonna” flowed smoothly in practically every way. For me, the theme was fantastic and well-placed. The girls of New Directions do tend to get a lot of crap from their male counterparts (look at how Finn treated Rachel just last week, for example), and it’s about time that somebody helps them stand up for themselves. To mix in a bunch of Madonna songs in the process? Well, that was just gravy.
But yes, let’s talk about the music. Admittedly there was a lot of it, and I did feel a bit thrown off when we jumped directly from musical number to musical number with Sue’s beyond fantastic “Vogue” video transitioning into the subtly genius “Like a Virgin” performance. If this were any other episode I would likely complain about there being too many songs, but none of these tracks deserved to hit the cutting room floor. Kicking the musical side of things off with “Express Yourself” was an awesome choice, and damn, did those girls ever rock it. They all sounded fabulous and completely in their element, while their outfits were the perfect mix of power (the suits) and sexiness (the bustiers). “Borderline/Open Your Heart” was a super fun and sexy number for Rachel and Finn, although I have to wonder why Rachel picked “Open Your Heart” for Finn to sing to her when she’s trying to not be with him. Not the smartest choice there, missy. I also loved how I was reminded of Rachel’s “Endless Love” ballad with Mr. Schue when her and Finn were chasing each other around the piano (although it was less creepy this time). “Vogue,” as we all already knew from watching the video ahead of time, was completely fantastic, and there are no words to properly praise Ms. Jane Lynch. “Like a Virgin” was done perfectly, from the coordinated purple lingerie on all three girls to the same movements and actions being mimicked between each couple. I knew ahead of time that they would be switching between all three couples during this number and I worried that it would come off a bit cheesy, but fortunately my fears were unwarranted. Both “4 Minutes” and “What It Feels Like For a Girl” were fun to watch, but neither were among my favourite songs of the night. It was great to see Kurt and Mercedes get a chance to shine, however, and the boy band groove of “What It Feels Like For a Girl” was hilarious. After all those awesome songs throughout the hour, the winner for me was definitely “Like a Prayer.” The glee club kids always rock the big group numbers and Rachel, Finn, Kurt and Mercedes all gave amazing solos. Add in the fabulous choir, and this number was the most “Madge-ical” of all for me.
The romantic developments were plentiful this week, and it was devastating to see that the couple who really had no connection at all was the one who actually went through with their sexy plan. And even though Jesse’s now a member of New Directions and Finn’s attempting to be the bigger man about their previous squabbles (which, admittedly, is surprising and wonderful of the usually crazy jealous Finn), you just know that things are still crazy complicated with Rachel and Finn. It’s interesting that both of them lied to each other about the end result of their dates: Rachel still wants to make Finn jealous even if she can’t bring herself to go all the way with Jesse, but Finn’s done with that tactic and wishes he could take back his actions with Santana.
All in all, thank goodness that the girls of McKinley are finally taking control of themselves and their actions. It took both Rachel and Emma a couple of tries to get that idea right this week, but good on them for properly realizing that they weren’t ready to have sex with their guys, and good on both Jesse and Will for fully understanding that, too. By Jesse transferring to McKinley and Will filing for divorce, both of these guys are working hard to prove that they’re truly worthy of their girls’ love, and it’s about damn time.
Favourite quote(s): “Mercedes is black, I’m gay. We make a culture.” – Kurt
“When I pulled my hamstring I went to a misogynist.” – Brittany
Favourite moment(s): The super fabulous “Like a Prayer” performance (seriously, I got chills), and all of the Tina/Artie parts, particularly her amazing freak-out in the hallway and Artie’s adorable apology…and their kiss! I’m a huge Tina/Artie fan, so I’m ridiculously happy to have them back together.
Next week: April’s back! Kristin Chenoweth reprises her role as April Rhodes next week, and you better believe she’s going to stir up more trouble between Will and Emma. Also, Kurt’s playing matchmaker…with his dad and Finn’s mom?!
Also, don’t forget our weekly Gleekdom chat from 7:30–9 p.m. this Thursday! Members of some of the hottest Glee blogs around want to chat with you about the show, so come on out! Full details will be available right here on Gleeks United on Thursday.