Glee: Prom Queen Race Ends With A Slap In The Face

This week on Glee, Kurt learned that despite the creation of Santana's Bully Whips squad, the students at McKinley are still discriminating against homosexuals. Tonight we finally saw an end to the inane chatter about who would win Prom Queen, and though the results were leaked by an extra (who was told she'd "never work in this town again," in an overly-dramatic fashion) the scene was far more poignant than it sounded in breathless E! gossip updates.

When Mercedes declared that she wasn't going to the prom because no one asked her, I thought I'd spoken too soon about her lack of a boyfriend. But then she went in a platonic group with Rachel and Sam because none of them had dates. That is pretty realistic, but it doesn't advance the campaign for Mercedes to get her own plot line. She tells Rachel:

I know I talk a good game about not needing a man and I don't. I just really wanted to take a date to the prom. I want the dress. And the guy ... I just wanted to be Cinderella. Just for one night. One night where a guy would look at me under those corney crepe paper streamers and say "You look so beautiful."

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Sam winds up telling her she's pretty and asking her to dance, but it seems he does this out of friendship/pity. Once again, it looks like her possible desire for a boyfriend will be forgotten by next week.

Illustration for article titled Glee: Prom Queen Race Ends With A Slap In The Face

After Air Supply cancels, Figgins asks New Directions to perform at the Junior Prom (naturally). While preparing Adele's "Rolling In The Deep," who should stumble into a duet but JESSE ST. JAMES. He reveals that he's flunked out of college and admits that egging Rachel after telling her he loved her made absolutely no sense. He explains, "I traded love for a fourth consecutive national championship. It was a bum deal. For a first maybe, but for a fourth no way."

Meanwhile, Blaine says he's hesitant about going to the prom with Kurt because at his old school he and a gay friend were beat up when they tried to go to a Sadie Hawkins dance together. Kurt reassures Blaine that this will be an opportunity for him to face the bullies.

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Kurt makes himself a tux with a kilt as an homage to the royal wedding and Alexander McQueen and Finn dubs it "Gay Braveheart." But, Burt and Baine worry that it will attract negative attention. Kurt says he's wearing it anyway because, "Prom is about joy, not fear."

While Karofsky is escorting Kurt to class as part of his Bully Whip duties, he tells him that the student body isn't as homophobic as it once was, and he should think about coming out. In a humanizing moment, Karofsky breaks down and tells Kurt, "I'm so freaking sorry for what I did to you."

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At the prom, Blaine is in the middle of a delightful performance of "I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You," when Finn spots Jesse kissing Rachel's neck on the dance floor and tells him to "keep it PG." Jesse rightly, but obnoxiously, points out, "Dude, it's none of YB — your business." They get into a shoving match and are ejected from the prom, dashing Quinn's hopes of being crowned Prom King and Queen.

Figgins announces the winners: Karofsky for Prom King and Kurt for Prom Queen. There's silence in the auditorium and Kurt runs out. In the bathroom, Quinn slaps Rachel for ruining her night, then immediately apologizes. Rachel comforts Quinn as she explains that it's hard to be pretty.

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Out in the hallway where people have real problems, Kurt cries to Blaine, "We thought that because no one was teasing us or beating us up that no one cared. Like some kind of progress had been made. But it's still the same ... All that hate, they were just afraid to say it out loud, so they did it by secret ballot." He calms down and tells Blaine he's going back to be coronated to show the other kids that "they can't touch me — they can't touch us or what we have."

After Kurt accepts his crown, he takes the floor for his dance with Karofsky. Kurt tells him it's the perfect time to come out (that's arguable), but he chickens out. Blaine steps up and they end the night dancing to Abba's "Dancing Queen."

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Earlier: Why Won't Glee Give Mercedes A Boyfriend?

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DISCUSSION

I’m a bit surprised that no one mentioned this, but I was fairly disappointed about the initial Puck interview. The entire episode seemed to somewhat tap the idea of toxic masculinity and fear of male femininity, and while Kurt’s incident of being crowned ‘Queen’ was somewhat dealt with, Puck’s seemed to have no conclusion (other than him wanting to increase his badass reputation which is given as a somewhat acceptable option – how dare she wear the pants! How dare he be belittled to the status of a girl!)

Even though Kurt somewhat reclaimed the crown as something, I honestly expected him to march up and claim the title as something of great honour. Kurt has always seemed to take great pride and flaunt his femininity (he’s wearing a skirt in that scene ffs), and while I get the motives, the scene seemed out of place especially with the beginning. Perhaps it’s just this writer but the whole masculine-feminine relation seemed poorly handled. I’m all for approaching the topic of toxic masculinity, but it just seemed to rub me the wrong way in both situations. Such as femininity is so horrible for a man that even the flamboyant gay character refuses it, and the woman of a relationship is taking the more dominate traditionally male –role, let’s make sure to include a scene of shaming him and not address why doing this is wrong…actually let’s make it look like a logical consequence to his actions! Puck should have known better! Now he can earn back his badass points.

(I’m pretty sure half of this doesn’t make sense as it is late and I’m slightly drunk, but this episode was enough to pissoff sleepydrunk Colesore, maybe I’ll see it in a different light tomorrow…)