Glee had a pretty solid return last night after its baseball hiatus, thanks in large part to Glee Project co-winner Damian McGinty's debut as foreign exchange student Rory Flanagan. The show was heavier on story than on song but having Burt Hummel mix it up with Sue added welcome spice, and watching the gelling of Mercedes and company's Troubletones was fun. But the Quinn/Puck/Shelby story line left me feeling all queasy. We'll get to that.
Sue hit the glee club hard on Sue's Corner by reading out loud the budget for the high school's production of West Side Story (a whopping $2.004 that I sincerely hope is not the actual annual salary of a math teacher in Lima). She then rallied her supporters to lobby McKinley High to change course and not spend that money on the play.
Turns out that Principal Figgins is not really the friend to the arts that Shuester thinks he is. (And why would he think that?) Figgins, caught between a rock and a different hard place, caved to public pressure and canceled the musical. I loved the cameo by General Hospital's Sonya Eddy as the angry mother who threw a brick through Figgins' car window and who was standing outside the office window with the "ANGRY" sign. I had to rewind that scene twice to savor it.
Burt Hummel came to the rescue by getting Lima's three funeral parlors (even the crematorium that has delicious brick-oven pizza... mmm, pizza) to completely fund the play. I couldn't help but smile at the glee with which Burt baited Sue and met her putdowns. Or the steely, Clint Eastwood-esque way in which he told her that "Bullies don't have a very good track record of messing with the Hummels." Go, Burt! Even better than that, Burt decided to run against Sue as a write-in candidate. Yes! Now, I might not want Shue and Kurt as my campaign managers but it's a start. Sue let it be known she'll be playing up her special education concerns, hammering that arts budgets should go to that instead. Though, Burt's point when he took his turn at airtime on the news (thanks to campaign regulations) seems to stand even with Sue's new strategy: She spends an obscene amount of money on the Cheerios and that could be reduced and used to pay for other things, like say special education. Okay, I won't let that niggling logic get in the way. Moving on.
Meanwhile, the very Irish Rory was staying with Brittany, who fully believed he was a leprechaun. He gladly played along, happily "granting wishes" in the hopes of losing his virginity to her. He made sure she got her box of Lucky Charms that only had the marshmallows and that her cat Lord Tubbington seemingly pooped candy bars. (BTW: Ewwww! to the fact that the two of them ate a candy bar that had been sitting in cat litter.) But by the time he tried to capitalize on the third wish, Brittany was thoroughly disillusioned.
I know it may have been a little heavy-handed to have Rory wearing green for most of the episode to really drive home the fact that he was an Irishman, an outsider, in this sea of red-wearing natives. But it also just worked, especially during his "Bein' Green" solo as we followed him around the school and felt his isolation. His eventual entrance to the glee club (now wearing red) has the potential for beautiful songs (and a possible rivalry with Kurt). I am anxious to see how he'll do in more upbeat, pop songs, too.
NEXT: While Quinn schemes, Puck gets closer to Shelby