The next scene answers the question. In the gym, Rachel
walks up to a red-headbanded Kurt and nervously laughs, “This could be
deadly, facing our foes head-on without any adult supervision.”
Kurt sits on an exercise ball and ties his shoe, but doesn’t
“So,” Rachel goes on, still nervous. “You
know that our NYADA applications are due next week. I only need one more letter
of recommendation. I wrote to Patti
LuPone on her website, but I haven’t heard from her yet.”
Kurt is listening, and he sighs, but he doesn’t turn around
and he doesn’t say anything.
Rachel’s voice breaks. “I really… I really miss you,
Kurt. And I really want to be your friend again.”
Kurt’s face is full of emotion. “Well, maybe you should
have thought of that before you walked over me on your borderline-sociopathic
climb to the top.” And he walks off.
The two teams line up, and Rory says he’s never heard of
this game of dodging balls before. “What’s the rules?”
“Don’t die,” Puck tells him.
Now, here’s the thing. Up until the end, the dodgeball thing
is clearly meant to be cartoon violence. It’s fully choreographed to the songs
“Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and “One Way Or Another.” Several
of the students take blows to the head that would have knocked them out in real
flies and flips through the air in slow-motion, and tosses a ball before she
lands. She and Mike are laughing as they pelt each other with balls. It’s
funny, it’s clearly not meant to be realistic, and I was even enjoying it due
to the red-hot badness of Santana. Also, Brittany’s
And then it was so
not funny anymore, because when it was all over, the Troubletones started
pelting a fallen Rory with balls, relentlessly, until Kurt intervened and told
them to stop.
Rory’s nose was bleeding, and Kurt said, “Maybe that’s
how the others treat us around here, but we don’t do that to each other. We’re
better than this.”
“God, calm down, Grandma,” Santana says, rolling
Kurt just helps Rory up. “This game’s over.” And
it is. Because Kurt rules.
“We still won,” Sugar says as the Troubletones
leave. Rachel looks deeply troubled, and I feel her pain.
I am not sure if the transition from the sort of Glee-esque unrealistic dodgeball game to
real violence and bullying was brilliant or clumsy. It’s one of the problems of
doing these recaps the minute the episode ends, that I don’t get as much chance
to think about things as I wish I did. All I know is it left me feeling anxious
in a weird way.
The next day, the Troubletones are practicing, when Mercedes
comes in and suggests they do Adele
for their mash-up. “Oh, I love her!” Brittany enthuses. “She sounds like
what banana cream pie sounds like when it sings!”
Oh, Britt. Never change.