“Glee” aired the highly-anticipated return episode, “Sadie Hawkins,” on Jan. 24.
In this sweetly executed installment, Cupid’s Arrow strikes several beloved characters and brings some surprising new crushes for Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz), Blaine (Darren Criss), and Kurt (Chris Colfer). Plus, Rachel’s (Lea Michele) relationship with Brody (Dean Geyer) goes into high gear and we can’t help but wonder if she’s moving way too fast …
Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places
We’re really surprised when Tina asks Blaine to go to the Sadie Hawkins dance with her –because she’s harboring a huge crush on him. Okay, we’re not surprised why she’s got the crush. Frankly, we have a crush on Blaine too. He’s gorgeous, sings like an angel, he's kind, romantic and his eyes are just plain dreamy …
The big problem: Blaine is gay, so he could never return Tina’s affection in the same way.
Tina knows this, but it doesn’t matter. The heart wants what the heart wants – and unfortunately, it often wants what it can’t have.
The irony: Blaine turns her down because he has a crush on Sam.
Sam has helped Blaine through his break up with Kurt and it’s been great watching their friendship grow. But, we return to the same problem. Blaine is gay and Sam is straight. Sadly, Blaine is also wishing for something he can never have.
As hopeless as Tina and Blaine’s romantic plights may be, it’s actually great to see Ryan Murphy and the writing team highlight a very common high school problem. If we’re being honest, we can remember how high school crushes can change as fast as we change our clothes. It’s a very vulnerable time and often, if a certain boy or girl just smiles a certain way, our hearts race, our palms sweat, our BFF suddenly becomes the love of our lives …
Many of these crushes, however, are unrequited. It’s bittersweet that Tina masks her true feelings and is ecstatic to go with Blaine to the dance anyway. Jenna Ushkowitz brilliantly plays hopelessly smitten Tina as she sways in Blaine’s arms and savors the moment. Meanwhile, poor Blaine gazes longingly over her shoulder at Sam, who is dancing with Brittany (Heather Morris). Most of us have been there, at least once.
Overall, Darren Criss and Jenna Ushkowitz do an exquisite job reminding us what the rush and ultimate disappointment of a secret unrequited crush is like and our wise-with-age hearts can’t help but ache for Blaine and Tina.
On a brighter note, we love that Jake (Jacob Artist) and Marley (Melissa Benoist) commit to exclusively dating at the dance and it's fun to see Artie (Kevin McHale) get some floor time with Sugar (Vanessa Lengies)!
Kurt’s New Crush
Kurt finally starts NYADA and flounders a little at the new people, new pace and the fact that he and Rachel can’t see each other as much as he thought they would.
He checks out all kinds of extracurricular clubs and spies NYADA’s show choir, Adam’s Apples. Much to our surprise, someone else is checking Kurt out!
It turns out his Winter Showcase performance made a huge impression on Adam, the leader of the group. He introduces himself to Kurt and encourages him to join his choir.
Hello, Adam! Kurt’s instant attraction is written all over his face and who can blame him? Adam is a totally handsome, charismatic NYADA upperclassman and he’s got that lovely British accent …
While die-hard Klaine fans are still grieving Kurt and Blaine’s split, we have to admit Oliver Kieran-Jones is already proving himself to be some irresistible competition for Kurt’s affection. The same principle applies here: The heart wants what it wants.
Kurt has lots of trust issues, though, and the break up is still rather fresh. It takes some strong coaxing from Rachel before Kurt gets the nerve to ask Adam if he’d like to get some coffee some time. Who else is thrilled when Adam says yes? It’s okay to admit it, promise!
At this point, we don’t know a whole lot about Adam. So, we don’t know if there’s anything that Kurt needs to watch out for – other than the fact that he’s still in a vulnerable place and he’s relatively inexperienced when it comes to love. We do know Adam seems really nice and we can’t wait to see more of him!
Despite Rachel’s insistence that things happen fast in New York, Kurt needs to follow his own instincts and probably take it slow.
Is Rachel Moving Too Fast?
Speaking of Rachel, does anyone else get a bad vibe about Brody showing up late for dinner? He says the train was late and he says a lot of sweet things about how he’d wait the rest of his life to take a train to be with her. Then he drops a comment about getting an apartment by hers …
Something about this just feels like a setup on Brody’s part. There’s always been the hint of a player right from the start – and he did sleep with Cassie (Kate Hudson.)
Is Brody telling Rachel exactly what he knows she wants to hear? Is he fishing for Rachel to ask him to move in? Rachel just spews it out, while they dance and we wince. She was engaged to Finn. Kurt is wise enough to point this out to her. Yes, Rachel and Finn (Cory Monteith) are split up. But, to ask the first guy she dates afterward to move in with her just seems wrong.
We don’t know what Brody's answer is, yet. Maybe he’ll be a gentleman and point out that living together now would be too soon.
As previously reported, Ryan Murphy has teased some sort of fantastic Finchel Valentine’s Day, complete with pillow talk. He also tweeted a photo of Rachel and Finn together with the caption, “Reunited and it feels so good …”
In the photo, Rachel and Finn are both dressed up. He’s in a tux and she’s wearing a pretty dress, holding a bouquet. This is probably Will and Emma’s wedding. Will Rachel and Finn be drawn together in the romantic setting? Will they reunite only to realize they made a mistake? Or, will the night mark the beginning of a Finchel second chance?
“Glee” continues to capture the essence of youth with painstaking, beautiful and often heartbreaking accuracy in “Sadie Hawkins.”
High school, in itself, is such a journey of self-discovery. Our feelings for others change just as quickly as our feelings about ourselves. Our feelings about ourselves are helplessly tied to our peers’ acceptance of us. Hence, kids who are constantly bullied or shunned fear and loathe high school and often see it as a four year pit of misery.
High school is also where many of us first experience true love and romance. It's rare for high school sweethearts to stay together for life. But, sometimes they do, and it's a beautiful thing.
The college years, or those immediately following high school, give us our first taste of independence and our first attempt at spreading our wings to fly. Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of wisdom in our late teens and early twenties. So, as we explore our new found path to adulthood, we often make mistakes. Mistakes in relationships, mistakes in career paths, mistakes with finances – the list goes on.
This episode paints an excellent picture of how quickly life changes and how our hearts have no choice but to invest in the change.
Life, itself, isn't perfect. It’s a process. It’s a journey. It’s also a gift.
“Glee,” overall, continues to stand out in today’s television landscape in its testament to loving others and ourselves just as we are, to shooting for our dreams, to embracing life as a journey with all of its joy and pain.
Above all, “Glee” teaches us to cherish every moment – to celebrate the good and learn from the bad and listen to the song in our heart along the way and just live it out loud.
“Glee” airs Thursdays in Flint on WSMH FOX66 at 9 p.m. EST. Click here for a Flint area channel guide.