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“And that, fellow glee clubbers, is how we say ‘hello!'”: Hell-O (1×14) Gleecap

April 14, 2010

I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello...

A note to my readers: With Glee back on the air, it’s time for my weekly Gleecaps to return as well! Over the hiatus I decided to mix things up, and am now writing from a more reactionary angle, focusing on the parts of the episode that I found most interesting, rather than summarizing all of the main points. You’ve watched the episode already anyway! My Gleecaps will always be up at 9 a.m. on Wednesday following the episode. Hope you enjoy them!

Hello, Glee! I missed you – did you miss me? “Hell-O” was the perfect title for the spring premiere episode of Glee, as it let us say hello again to our favourite glee clubbers, while the running theme of re-introductions and the use of the word “hello” (or just the first syllable of it, ahem) in all of the songs was a bit corny yet ultimately adorable.

With a focus on Rachel, Finn, Will, Emma, and Sue, along with newcomers Jesse St. James (played fantastically by Jonathan Groff) and Shelby Corcoran (played okay by Idina Menzel), this episode had a lot to pack in, and overall I think it succeeded. I was definitely disappointed by the lack of minor character action, but after coming back after such a long hiatus, this episode was almost like a mini-pilot. Sure, I would’ve loved to see more exposition on Quinn and Puck’s relationship and had Artie, Tina, Mercedes, and Kurt get more than two lines each, but the focus was, I think, exactly where it needed to be. And with that said, let’s run down the main points, shall we?

The opening scene kicked things off perfectly: our diva, Miss Rachel Berry, waltzing through the halls of McKinley, Mercedes and Kurt flanking her on either side. An instrumental version of “Don’t Rain on My Parade” playing in the background was pure genius. I love how the gleeks think that the tides have changed, that their time at the bottom of the high school food chain has finally ended. Through the first few scenes, from the gleeks getting slushied, to Will arguing with Figgins on behalf of his club, to Sue being back at the school and throwing continual insults at Will’s hair, we immediately see that New Directions may have won Sectionals, but they’re still losers.

When you see my face, hope it gives you hell, hope it gives you hell...

And, also, winning Sectionals really isn’t enough anyway. As Will’s quick to point out, New Directions still has to go up against Vocal Adrenaline, the evil powerhouse of the show choir world (as we saw through their kick-ass “Highway to Hell” performance).  So, to help prep them, Will comes up with a new glee club assignment, focusing on the word “hello” and re-introductions. When I first heard of the premise for this episode, I thought that this idea sounded awfully gimmicky for a spring premiere. Way too cliché. In the end, however, I’m pleased to say that I was wrong. The re-introductions theme that ran throughout the entire episode was genius. From Will and Emma getting to know each other away from the school and away from their old partners, to Finn re-discovering himself after the fallout of the baby drama and loss of his partner, to Will re-discovering himself after the fallout of the baby drama and loss of his partner (oh yes, Finn and Will are totally the same person in this episode), and to Jesse and Rachel getting to know each other as more than just each other’s competition, I really loved the idea of these character’s seeing each other (or themselves) in new ways.

For me, the most interesting use of this motif was through both Will and Finn as they realized that they both needed to rediscover themselves more than they did anyone else. I mean, let’s face it: these two guys are pretty damn screwed up at this point. Both are still recovering from big baby drama fallout and the loss of their partner and neither seem like they’re the kind of person who’s good with change. We’ve seen time and again how Finn will do anything to hang onto his popularity, and Will? Well, he’s been with the same woman since he was fifteen. It’s funny how Will instructs Finn to rediscover himself and connect with his inner rock star, but Mr. Schue himself needs both Shelby and Emma to tell him the same thing before he seems to get the point. It’s so true for both men though. Neither should be tied down to a woman right now (not that I think that means Will should be getting it on with so many women…), but instead need to focus on themselves. While I love the idea of Finn and Rachel together and Will and Emma together, I really don’t think either men are ready to pursue their women and, more importantly, hold on to them, just yet.

"Are you gay? 'Cause most of the show choir directors I make out with are gay." – Shelby

The other big highlight of this episode was the introduction of Jesse and Shelby, and as I alluded to earlier in this post, I absolutely loved Jesse, but wasn’t very intrigued by Shelby. Whether or not Jesse will turn out to be nothing more than a scheming spy or not remains to be seen (but I loved the scene with the gleeks confronting Rachel about it!), but I really can’t blame Rachel for falling for him. Their duet was a standout number in the episode and their chemistry was electric. I can’t wait to see more performances from these two. Shelby, on the other hand, was rather mediocre for me. While I like the idea of Will hooking up with a strong woman who’s as obsessed (if not more so!) with her glee club as he is with his, I didn’t sense much of a connection between the two. I’m hoping this will change as we see more of them together though.

This week’s musical numbers were spot-on awesome, with the super lovely “Hello,” the completely fantastic “Hello, Goodbye,” and the snarkily hilarious “Gives You Hell” sticking with me the longest and strongest. I love when Rachel steps out of her ballad box and performs something rockin’, and she totally delivered with “Gives You Hell.” And Mike Chang’s smooth dance moves? The cherry on top of a very fun number.

Favourite quote: “This is one of my favorite haunts. I like to come and flip through the celebrity biographies, pick up some lifestyle tips.” – Jesse

Favourite moment(s): It’s a toss-up between Rachel and Jesse’s amazing chemistry during “Hello” and Rachel’s kick-ass attitude in “Gives You Hell.” OH, and the Terri/Emma scene. The tension in that room was phenomenal.

Next week: Strike a pose – it’s Madonna time! I have a strong feeling that “The Power of Madonna” is going to be totally epic and even more amazing than the spring premiere! Get ready for the Material Girl, gleeks!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Kendra permalink
    April 14, 2010 11:43 am

    I agree with you about the two new characters: Jessie is totally awesome and I want to see more; whereas Shelby, she kind of left me cold. She and Mr. Shue did not seem to have any chemistry at all!

    Great gleecap Suzie!

  2. Guy permalink
    April 14, 2010 4:32 pm

    This was such a great episode. I am so glad Glee is back in action! I thought Brittany’s lines were so great in last nights episode. “Did you know that dolphins are just gay sharks?” LOL! I just read an article that Brittany is finally going to be in the spotlight. http://bit.ly/aVlutG

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