This highly-hyped MJ episode opens in good old McKinley, where the kids are discussing their previous Michael performance. "Gee, I wish we could do more Michael," they opine. Blaine answers "I know what I'd sing!" And then he does. Sing it, that is: "Wanna Be Startin' Something." Besides the minor caveat that he has nothing to start with anyone, the song is pretty fun. Blaine sounds butch and throaty on the high notes, and certainly looks good. When the kids hit the stage in an homage to every Jackson ensemble ever (from military jackets to the white socks/loafers combo) the song really heats up (with an assist from Blaine's crotch grabbing).
Finn wants Rachel's answer to his proposal. "It's been three days!" he complains. "It's been TWO WEEKS" I scream from my seat (the suspense has been unbearable). Rachel wisely deflects. Well played, mini-Streisand.
Meanwhile, at the coffee shop, the kids are sharing their favorite Michael moments when the nefarious Sebastian arrives, spreading evil and ferrety sneers in his wake. Thanks to leaked intelligence, Sebastian has learned that Glee club will be performing Michael songs at Regionals, so the Warblers will follow suit. Santana makes a brief power play, but Sebastian talks her right down. More formidable than I thought, this meerkat.
Blaine and Santana decide the best way to settle their score is to meet the Warblers in a parking garage and do a bang-up rendition of "Bad," with lots of choreographed fighting. Arty keeps spinning in his wheelchair, but unless he attaches spikes to the hubcaps I think he should back off. Santana and Sebastian keep circling each other like singers in a knife fight, which is strangely arousing given their VERY incompatible sexualities.
The sing-off ends when Sebastian delivers a Slushee to Blaine's face, leaving him writhing on the floor and moaning. Was that an acid Slushee? Turns out Blaine has a scratched cornea and needs surgery, and those nasty Warblers threw more than just melted ice. When the Glee kids try to explain this to Mr. Schue, he warns: "Unless you have proof that they tampered with the Slushee, the police won't investigate." The case of the tampered Slushee: at the top of any officer's docket. Also, how come Blaine is so bad at reflexively shutting his eyes?
Arty argues they should stop turning the other cheek and take action. Then he STANDS UP, puts on his brass knuckles, stomps over to that prep school, and kicks some Warbler ass. No, he stands up and enters a great dream sequence with Mike Chang – a rendition of Michael and Janet's "Scream" which was really enjoyable, for two reason: 1.) we get to see Arty actually dance, with his legs, and 2.) Mike Chang looks all kinds of sexy in latex pants, edgy hair and eye make-up. All. kinds. of. sexy. Then we flash back to reality and Arty is still handicapped. He wheels away for a breather.
Because all meaningful girl talk happens in the ladies room, Rachel approaches Quinn and asks what she should do about Finn's proposal. She advises that Rachel say no (so do we), then pulls out a Yale acceptance letter. Apparently you just have to get straight As, write a bang-up admissions essay and get knocked up to have Yale licking your boots. Take note, aspiring Ivy Leaguers. "Rachel, I've dated Puck, and Finn, and Sam..." (damn, girl) "but by the time the snow falls in New Haven, I won't remember why." And then she delivers a line that tops Finn's cheeseball proposal: "I don't want to drag an anchor from my past into the bright lights of the future." Girl mixes metaphors like I mix drinks: recklessly.
Later on, Sam lures Mercedes into the auditorium so he can enchant her with "Human Nature." It was fun to hear Trouty Mouth deliver this with a rougher, country twang, but I expected a little more soul from Mercedes. Takeaway point here: they kiss.
Next, Kurt gets called out of class by his father just so he can open his NYADA letter. I wish I had that privelege in high school. I had to wait until after class just like everyone else in non-TV-land. He opens it, reads it, then he does one of those crying grimace/smiles and a slow turn that is the height of queeny suspense... He got it! Hugs all around, and Kurt's dad is the best ever. "You're unstoppable, Kurt," he says. "I am so proud to be your dad. They can never take this away from you." Which is more than we can say for Vassar.
Rachel hasn't gotten her NYADA letter yet, so she's pretty sure she's going to spend the rest of her life flipping burgers.
Then we see Blaine on his sickbed, sporting an eye-patch that only he could rock. Kurt is there, and Rachel and Finn stop by too. Blaine is just super bummed he's not involved in this episode's Jackson extravaganza (good thing he got in "Startin' Somethin'" early) so Rachel pulls out a pitch pipe and the trio sings to him.
They sing "Ben." Yeah, the one about the rat. This is hands down the creepiest song in Jackson's oeuvre, including "Thriller." Blaine doesn't seem to mind.
Santana, inveterate ball-buster that she is, has traveled all the way to the Warblers' school, where she demands Sebastian explain what he put in that lethal Slushee. He demures, and instead challenges her to a sing-off. Yes. My two favorite Glee villains go head to head on "Smooth Criminal," accompanied by two dudes on cello who became internet famous recently for their badass bowmanship. Sebastian garbles the fast lines like he just took a shot of Novocaine. Santana acquits herself better, and it's a nice/nasty little duet. At the end, Sebastian admits he put rock salt into the Slushee.
"But it's okay," he adds. "Why is it okay?" "Because there isn't any in this one..." and BAM! Santana takes a Slushee to the face. At least she kept her mouth open for it - no point in wasting any of that frozen cherry goodness.
Back in the choir room, Santana gleefully produces the recording she made (which was taped to her underboob) incriminating Sebastian. But Kurt is suddenly feeling really noble, and tells her he has a better idea. There is no better idea than seeing Sebastian expelled, though. In fact, he might have to transfer to McKinley! Then Santana and he could hiss and scratch at each other every day.
Finn corners vulnerable Rachel yet again, and before she can say much of anything, he stops her. “I always feel like you hear me better when I’m not talking,” he says – a statement best reserved for couples counselling. Then he goes ahead and sings “I Just Can’t Stop Lovin’ You,” which is boring at first, plus I can count all the veins in his neck every time he reaches for a high note. But then Rachel joins in, there’s some fun rhythmic stuff happening, and Rachel accepts his proposal at the coda. But only because NYADA didn’t propose to her first! They share a long kiss, and the backup band solidifies their position as the creepiest mouthbreathers around as they silently sit there and watch the engaged couple make out.
The Glee kids have assembled the Warblers in the auditorium, claiming they won’t be doing Michael for Regionals, and though they have a recording incriminating Sebastian, they decide to take the highroad. This involves returning the tape and singing more Michael Jackson, because unlike the Warblers, they really understand him.
They perform “Black or White,” which is way more uplifting than the (sexy, fun) confrontational stuff like “Bad” and “Criminal.” It’s all feel-good hoppin' and boppin', and eventually the Warblers see their mistake and join the Glee kids. A curtain rises, revealing a berobed gospel choir – every high school has one on call – and everybody gets down. Except Sebastian, who stews in his seat because apparently it is his lot to be evil. Always and forever. Is this Sue Sylvester’s replacement?
In the last scene, Rachel rushes toward Kurt because: surprise! She’s a finalist for NYADA too! It’s all squealing and crying and jumping until Kurt asks: “Have you told Finn yet?” Then Rachel makes the most crestfallen face we’ve ever seen. We love you Rach, but he already put on a ring on it.
Stay tuned for next week, featuring Santana's hot gay older brother, Ricky Martin.