Glee Review: We Are The Champions

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Glee is the champion, my friends. The show kept on fighting until the almost-end. Glee is the... okay. Enough of that. You get the picture, right?

While I didn't love every single minute of tonight's two-hour smorgasbord of song, season 3 is certainly attempting to finish stronger than it started.

Puck as Blaine

Let's talk about what I didn't like from each of tonight's two episodes and go ahead and get that nastiness out of the way, shall we?

First, from "Props," I really wanted Tina's dream to last longer. It had the potential to be silly and fun and to liven the show up a bit. Imagine how funny it would be to see Puck-as-Blaine belting out a show tune. Instead, we got a literal "sing a solo in someone else's shoes" from Tina-as-Rachel and then Tina woke up and suddenly understood what it must be like to be Rachel Berry. Really? That's the best you can do?

I liked Tina challenging Rachel because Tina's right. She's an original member of Glee and she's been relegated to back-up dancer. Perhaps she'll have her time to shine next season, but I couldn't help but feel for the girl just a little bit. She deserves a standing ovation, too.

I was also a bit put-off with her pleading with Carmen Tibideaux on Rachel's behalf, and that's an irritation that carried over into Jesse St. James doing the same thing during "Nationals." We all know Rachel will get into NYADA, but the begging and the muffins and the voicemails and the downright stalker-like behavior was too much. Tibideaux was right. Every second she spends on Rachel's craziness is time she has to take away from another student who didn't choke at the audition. Rachel needed to hear and understand that, and while I think she did, it was still over-the-top annoying instead of over-the-top funny.

"Props" also helped me define what it was about Coach Beiste's domestic violence PSA that was so out of place, and I come at this from the place of someone who is a high school teacher and not only a casual viewer of the show. Mercedes, Santana and Brittany did not in any way, either now or two episodes ago, need to be involved as the impetus that made Beiste leave Cooter. Puck was enough for that.

Which is what happened to be my favorite part of tonight's first hour.

The Puck/Coach Beiste scenes tonight were amazing. Mark Salling and Dot Marie Jones nailed their performances and had me near tears. What worked about Puck's story line is that he didn't even know he was helping her. In reality, while a teacher may share parts of his or her personal life with the students in his or her classroom, he or she would almost never do so in the manner in which the domestic violence story line was carried out on Glee. To do so would border on a violation of professional ethics.

And yes, I realize that this is the same show where the Spanish teacher who speaks no Spanish wants to move his wedding up six months so that high school students can attend, but still.

It's not unlikely that in the course of helping a student like Puck, one who feels defeated and alone, realize his worth and value as a person, the teacher would also realize that the message she's sharing with him applies to herself. That's what happened tonight and that's what redeemed that story line for me. THAT was good story telling. And it gave us the short, sweet, masterfully delivered line:

Beiste: You are loved, punkin. You are not alone. | permalink

Perfect for the two of them, right? Listen up, writers. I need more Dot Marie next season, okay?

Other things I loved: The New Directions finally won Nationals!

Nationals or Bust!

I knew it would happen. I knew it had to happen. The progression of their competitions over the past three seasons has pointed toward this moment. And their set had been flawless, right? While judges Lindsay Lohan and Perez Hilton, as themselves, were debating which show choir would win, I'll admit there was a part of me, maybe the former choir member who now only sings in her car, who thought "Oh no! What if they don't win!? What if Wade "Unique" Adams and Vocal Adrenaline out-shined them up there." (Be sure to check out the Glee quotes page for LiLo's verbal gems.)

I may have held my breath while waiting for the announcement.

But, the New Directions were victorious, and they received a hero's welcome of streamers and confetti instead of slushee facials, even from the hockey players who'd beaten Puck up just a few days before.

The New Directions aren't the only ones who were victorious.

Sue got her Cheerios back and Will got Emma.

She was finally ready to have sex with him and told him so through a pamphlet left strategically on a desk where she knew he'd find it. How very quirky. And yet somehow perfect for the pair.

To make Will's year even better, he was crowned Teacher of the Year in a ceremony that finally gave us the gang singing "We Are the Champions." (Check out more songs on the Glee music page.)

But the best part of tonight was that it was a continuation of the circular trip the show has been taking over the course of the past few weeks. Rachel Berry said it best:

I mean, in a sea full of kids who are just desperately clinging to their own kind, we're different. We took the time to get to know each other and reach out and accept one another. That's our unique factor. And that's what I love about us.

Tonight, once again, the show reminded us that this is a series about misfits, underdogs who find their places with each other in the murky waters of high school. Once again, we were reminded of what it felt like to be in high school, maybe on the fringe of the mainstream, but swimming along with everyone else. We found our places, right? I know I did. And our characters did, too.

In these final episodes of the season, we've seen a return to the stories of the characters we fell in love with in season one. We've also seen how, when done well, new characters can be sewn into the fabric of this show in a way that makes us root for them, too. Something tells me we may be seeing more Unique next season.

Cheers, writers, for giving me characters I still want to see go from underdog to top dog, even after that messy middle of the season.

What did you think of "Props" and "Nationals"? Which musical performance was your favorite?


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (35 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.


Beiste's character doesn't seem to have a huge level of self-esteem and (from what we know of) friends outside of the school so the fact that she'd disclose what she did to the girls, perhaps viewing them as daughters, sisters or friends, seems completely likely also. Again, I don't find it professional but realistically, does happen. It was way too much information to tell a student in my opinion.


@sandrakim - sorry but ??? In the pilot? Yes they did. Yes the rest of the cast of characters make up the show as well but from the very first episode the central characters were Rachel and Finn with Will and Sue in supporting roles. Watch it again :) Along the way of course other characters have been focused on but it will, not to my huge liking, and until either actor leaves the series, be about Rachel and Finn. I wish it was ALL about Santana. She's my favourite but sadly it's not.
@ Miranda - I hear what you're saying but I still found that the portrayal of Beiste was realistic. Even with the fact that WHILE she was going through her trauma she informed the girls. Many, many teachers really cling to their students as if they were their friends, family or children and thus disclose trivial information to them as it is happening. I'll agree that I personally think it isn't right but still must point out that I don't find it a stretch from what a given, real, teacher would do. Beiste's character doesn't seem to have a huge deal of self esteem and (that we know of) friends outside of McKinley High so in particular the fact that she may view those girls as her younger sisters, daughters or friends is then completely founded in why she is so open with them. If I was one of the girls however I would of totally told her or the principal, TMI :)


LOL! Tvfanatic i hope you know there's one episode to go .. cause like at the end of the review i don't know haha you're review was like final episode-ish type review . okay anyways back to the topic loooveed the episode! Puck and Beiste were incredible .. loved the whole group national performance .. loved everything


I've been griping since day one that Finn's voice was thin/tinny/pinched and not deserving of a lead singer role, better suited for a harmony part in a boy band. Then in this episode he channels Meatloaf. OMG! Awesome job!
I'm rather a Meatloaf purist, I usually can't stand it when less talented performers butcher his songs, but I'll give the Glee kids a pass, they did an outstanding job! Altogether, for this and a few other things already mentioned, an excellent pair of episodes.


Whoopie did an excellent job playing a hard-arsed director, yet she reminded me of Maya Angelou...I hope to see more of her in the next season.BTW, my son's second grade (!) teacher used to complain to her students about her divorce and ask their advice all the time, and she talked to them about having been pregnant and miscarriage, and all sorts of other personal things, and no, she was not fired and still works at the same elementary school.So it does happen that teachers tell students about their personal lives.


I LOVED both episodes of Glee, though I have to say I was actually glad that they didn't have the "Freaky Friday" character switch go beyond the first third of the episode, because it was just a bit too creepy and cheesy watching the actors play one another, especially Puck and Finn as Blaine and Kurt...ewww. I adored the fact that Tina got some much deserved solo music and screen time, though, and I thought Coach Bieste and Puck totally KILLED their scene together, and I think we do need more of Dot Marie next season...that woman can SING, ya'all! I loved, loved, loved Nationals and the way ND won, Rachel's solo, loved Will and Emma getting together, Wills much deserved teacher of the year award (Come ON people, he inspired those misfit kids to dream big, to honor their talent, to care for each other and to become champions! That is worth a huge award, because he was helping them learn to become confident adults) and Rachel's NYADA audition via Nationals. Whoopie did an excellent job playing a hard-arsed director, yet she reminded me of Maya Angelou...I hope to see more of her in the next season.BTW, my son's second grade (!) teacher used to complain to her students about her divorce and ask their advice all the time, and she talked to them about having been pregnant and miscarriage, and all sorts of other personal things, and no, she was not fired and still works at the same elementary school.So it does happen that teachers tell students about their personal lives.


You forgot to mention the new rachel berry skipping down the hall, thought that as a great scene


Loved everything about it. One of the best ever of Glee. Performances/acting/music. Everything. Not one disappointment. No PSA's. Acceptance fullfilled by the ND and Mr Shuester.


Slightly off-topic, but TV Fanatic, could you somehow give us a choice on your comment threads between reading oldest to newest vs. newest to oldest? I'm someone who likes to read oldest first, so I can follow people's remarks to other comments. To do that, I have to go to the end of the thread and read backwards [up]. Most other sites I visit give the reader a choice -- just toggle. Could you do that for us?


Beside commenting on anything else... I just want to say that I adore Rachel Berry. I get that many are actually annoyed by this girl because of the extra spotlight she gets and the whining and begging and everybody seems to support her... I used to have the same opinion but honestly, her solo on "It's All Coming Back To Me Now" punched me so hard that I cried half of the song.. She gets all the spotlight because she earns it, and she's gifted, and she works ten times harder than anybody else... I agree there are more talented members than Rachel, but Rachel tops all of them with her strong drive and commitment. So cheers for Ms. Berry...

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Glee Season 3 Episode 20 Quotes

Tina: My name is Tina. Tina Cohen Chang.
Sue: Isn't she the one who used to stutter?

You only have yourselves to blame. And the liberal media.


Glee Season 3 Episode 20 Music

  Song Artist
Glee cast because you loved me Because You Loved Me Glee Cast iTunes
Glee cast i wont give up I Won't Give Up Glee Cast iTunes
Glee cast flashdance what a feeling Flashdance... What A Feeling Glee Cast iTunes