While “Sectionals” was one of the better episodes of Glee last season, “Special Education” was a sub-par sequel. Kind of like Iron Man 2 with whiny teenagers.
Kurt is trying his best to fit in at Dalton, which turns out to not be the gay utopia he thought it was. Back at McKinley, the club is starting to fall apart again, for the twentieth time. It’s totally plausible that they would all hate each other, even though apparently when they all sing, they forget that they do. Preparing for this year’s Sectionals, Will tells Emma about his plans, which are the same plans he had the year before. Still trying to win her over and show her that he’s not the same old Will, he decides to let Sam and Quinn sing the big duet instead of Finn and Rachel. So first of all, when did Emma become such a…bitch? There was something charming about her OCD quirks, now that those are gone and she’s not as shy, she’s just running off at the mouth. Although she was right about Will needing to switch things up, her character has become so catty.
Even though Cory/Finn has the weakest voice of the guys, he is the lead male singer. He has become just as delusional as his girlfriend, thinking that he actually has the best vocal. There are times when Glee becomes a bit too meta and addresses things that they audience and fans have said. Rachel acts as if she has been told that she has to give up one of her children to the Nazis and has a full blown hissy fit. And this is what is my problem with Rachel. We’re supposed to feel sorry for her, and root for her because the other club members, and in this episode Will, are so “mean” to her, even though they’re all right. Nevermind the fact that Rachel is a burgeoning sociopath and a self-important loser. And those faces that she pulls while singing. To quote Mr. Shue, “ENOUGH!”.
Santana complicates matters by spilling the beans about she and Finn slept together. (Gurrrl.) Being her usual drastic self, Rachel decides that she and Finn need couples counseling. What?? Again, Emma gives some crappy advice. Kurt shows up out of nowhere to ask Rachel for advice on auditioning for the Dalton Warblers. So he’s been driving 3 hours back and forth between Wellsville and Lima, and he spends all that time talking to Rachel? As he pointed out, he didn’t even bother to talk to Finn, and we didn’t get any interaction between him and Mercedes.
After Will asks him to find another member for the glee club, Puck tries to get one of the other football players to join. They beat him up and lock him in a port-a-potty. After praying to God, Allah and Satan, he is rescued by Lauren, the wrestler who also happens to like Twilight. At this point, the Karofsky and the other black football player that slushes everyone will have full storylines before Mercedes, Tina or any of the other characters that have been on the show from the beginning do. Lauren agrees to join the glee club for out of season Cadbury eggs and 7 Minutes in Heaven with Puck. Which we assume she got because she, as he put it, “kind of rocked my world.”
Emma passes up being the club’s good luck charm to be with Dentist ,Carl. So everyone is miserable but they go anyways. In the green room it’s revealed that everyone knew about Finn and Santana except Rachel. The side story this episode was that because Brittany and Mike were paired together to come up with choreography, she thought they were cheating with each other. We didn’t get any explanation as to why Mike could have been ignoring Tina, but Brittany was simply avoiding Artie because she lost a magic comb. Oh Brittany, stay stupid.
New Directions was almost bested by their elderly doppelgangers, The Hipsters. The competition ended with a tie between New Directions and The Warblers, because they were both equally boring. Finn breaks up with Rachel after she reveals that she made out with Puck, again. Really though, who cares? He’s too stupid for her, and she’s just terrible.
While showing her their trophy, Emma tells Will that she married Carl in Las Vegas. This time she skipped the engagement and just went right to it. I wonder what happened to Coach Tanaka. But this is Uncle Jesse we’re talking about. There was no Sue, or Coach Bieste this episode. Next week is the Christmas episode, which is sure to be full of sickeningly sweet cheer.
The performances were forgettable, but at least they fit the episode:
“Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” sung by Kurt and Rachel. Again, I don’t know why they’re pushing this Kurchel friendship, as they have never gotten along. Rachel singing from the balcony as if she was Eva Peron was ridiculous. Kurt chose this as his audition song and didn’t get the lead as he was sure he would. Having both of them learn that they aren’t the special snowflakes they thought they were was great.
“The Living Years”was sung by The Hipsters. This must’ve been a weird look into their future for the New Directions kids. They even had a guy in a wheelchair! Loved the old lady with the cane hitting the glory notes at the end like Mercedes.
“Hey Soul Sister” sung by The Warblers. If you’re like me, you’re tired of hearing this song but it was perfect for the uptight Warblers. Kurt looked out of place, and behind the beat, dancing along with the other guys. Still don’t get the hype over Darren Criss, but he has a decent voice.
“(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” sung by Sam and Quinn. The most vanilla performance ever. These two are so obsessed with how “perfect” they are that they really didn’t try. Based on this song alone, New Directions should have gotten second place.
“Valerie” sung by Santana. An Amy Winehouse cover was bold, especially done by Santana. Naya Rivera doesn’t have the strongest voice either but she sounded good here. Brittany and Mike’s dancing was the highlight, as was Santana’s hat. (Editor’s Smutty Note: DivaJulia was hoping that by singing “Valerie” that Santana and Brittany would dance up on each other and kiss. Hey. Chicks are pervs, too! Oh. Wait.]
“Dog Days Are Over” sung by Tina and Mercedes. We were all supposed to applaud and forget that Rachel is awful because she LET Mercedes and Tina sing. Oh, how wonderful! This felt like Ryan Murphy speaking to the audience going “Here, see they get to sing too!” We know that Amber can belt, but Jenna really does have an underused voice.
Good cover, and seeing them dance their troubles and fears away was the only real happy moment of the episode. (Bummer we couldn’t find a clip to show y’all, but the “Valerie” performance kicks ass!)