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“It means I’m very young, and it’s hard for you to stand close to me.”: Ballad (1×10) recap

November 19, 2009

Rachel has a hardcore crush on Will in "Ballad," and gives him a gift to show her (creepy) affection.

Hey there, Gleeksters, do you know what a ballad is? If you don’t, you will by the end of this episode, in which we see every type of ballad you could think of from love ballads, to friendship ballads, to “stay the hell away from me you creepy stalker girl” ballads.

When Mr. Schue learns that a new requirement for sectionals is that each glee club must perform a ballad, he makes the Gleeks divide into pairs to work on the genre. And, as “fate” would have it, one of the kids is sick, and thus Rachel gets paired with…Mr. Schue. To demonstrate a ballad, Rachel suggests that her and Will sing Diana Ross and Lionel Ritchie’s “Endless Love” for the rest of the group, and thus begins the inevitable “school girl crush” episode (inevitable when you have a teacher as gorgeous as Mr. Will Schuester, that is). Turns out that this isn’t the first time one of Will’s students has been hot for teacher, however, as we learn about Suzy Pepper, a girl that once crushed on Will so much that she ended up in a coma for three days after eating the hottest pepper in the world in a fit of rage. Terri makes a reappearance and takes advantage of Rachel’s love for Will by having her help cook dinner and clean the house, and when Will drives Rachel home, she tries to sing Jennifer Paige’s “Crush” to him, in order to express her feelings. In the end, Rachel (with the help of Suzy Pepper) realizes the foolishness of her infatuation, apologizes to Mr. Schue and the two move on so that she can later start back up her relationship with Puck. Or maybe that last part’s just in my head!

In other plotlines, the Finn/Quinn baby drama heats up as Finn’s mom finds out (and is awesome and supportive), Quinn’s parents find out (and kick her out of the house), and Mercedes finds out from Puck that he’s the real baby daddy. Oh, and Finn’s method of telling The Fabrays? Singing Paul Anka’s “You’re Having My Baby.” Effective, yes, but sensitive to the situation? Not so much. Plus, Kurt still has a massive crush on Finn and tries to help him with his girl troubles as a bonding tactic, with hopes that when things inevitably fall apart with Quinn, Finn will come crying into Kurt’s shoulder pads.

Favourite moments, scenes, and quotes:

  • Shaft got name-checked! Did everyone hear that Matt was sick? That’s Shaft, the Gleek boy that nobody had ever referred to by his proper name until now. Everyone meet Matt! Also, in that same scene where the kids were paired up, Mike Chang was once again referred to as “The Other Asian,” which amused me greatly.
  • The interior monologues of Kurt, Puck, and Finn while watching Rachel and Mr. Schue sing “Endless Love.” Kurt: “I could totally sing this song with Finn, but screw him if he thinks he’s taking the Diana Ross part from me.” Puck: “I love the days when I don’t wear underwear. Full commando.” Finn: “I never noticed how nice Rachel’s butt is. Oh, crap, I think Quinn knows I’m staring at it.” I also loved how Rachel begins to chase Mr. Schue around the piano. Poor Will looks terrified!
  • Quinn is going to chastity ball with her father in a big white gown. Oh, such delicious, delicious irony.
  • Emma to Will: “If we were ranking crush-worthy teachers at this school, you’d be number one with a bullet!”
  • Finn singing The Pretenders’ “I’ll Stand By You,” not to Quinn, but to his unborn baby girl, that, well, isn’t actually his baby girl. First he’s singing it on stage, but then it moves to him singing the song in his bedroom while gazing lovingly at the ultrasound video on his MacBook. Hilarious and endearing all at the same time.
  • All of the Kurt/Finn bonding moments. Sure, Kurt’s doing it all in an attempt to get in Finn’s pants, but they were absolutely adorable together this week.
  • Kurt (about Finn, and referring to Brittany): “I don’t know why I find his stupidity charming. He’s cheating off of a girl who thinks the square root of 4 is rainbows.”
  • Emma and Rachel both get googly-eyed while watching Will sing a mash-up of "Don't Stand So Close To Me" and "Young Girl." Oh, Rachel, you just don't get it, do you?

    Will singing a mash-up of The Police’s “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” and Gary Puckett & The Union Gap’s “Young Girl” as a means to explain to Rachel that her crush is inappropriate. The singing, dancing, and overall performance was fantastic (and displayed his Broadway skills very well, I think), and I loved how dreamy-eyed both Rachel and Emma were while watching. Also, Rachel’s analysis of the message Will was trying convey made me giggle: “It means I’m very young, and it’s hard for you to stand close to me.”

  • Finn calling Kurt from the Fabrays’ bathroom, freaking out about his upcoming song confession, and subsequently doing karate chops at the medicine cabinet mirror to psych himself up.
  • Quinn breaking down crying in telling her parents that she needs their support in her pregnancy, and her father showing absolutely no mercy and kicking her out of the house. Dianna Agron was amazing in this scene – so very powerful.
  • Suzy Pepper to Rachel: “Get that mildly attractive groove back.”
  • In the end, it's all about the Gleeks supporting Finn and Quinn. "Lean On Me," indeed.

    The Gleeks singing Bill Withers’ “Lean On Me” to Finn and Quinn. I always love the big group numbers, and this was no different than usual. It was so sweet, happy, and fun, and it totally made me teary-eyed while I grinned uncontrollably. Artie and Mercedes sing wonderfully together, and it was great to hear them take the leads on this. The whole scene was just totally adorable, especially when Mercedes got Finn and Quinn up to dance. Also, the “call me” bit at the end of the song with Kurt aiming it at Finn and Puck aiming it at Quinn? Very awesome touch.

I gotta say, Glee fans, that after last week’s amazing return to our television screens, I was a bit nervous that “Ballad” wouldn’t be able to follow it up. Fortunately, I was dead wrong. The amazing baby drama and fantastic songs totally won me over! The only major downside? There was no Sue! Fortunately, it seems she’s going to be a main feature in next week’s episode, and for my fellow Canadians who didn’t get an episode 11 preview on Global, check it below:

Next week: Sue’s leaking the glee club’s set list for sectionals to competing schools! There’s a glee club from a school for the deaf! And one from a school for criminals! Eve guest stars! And the kids wear crazy wigs!

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