Glee: 1.10 “Ballad”

Season 1 Episode 10
Airdate: November 18, 2009

Will’s Stupid Assignment of the Week: Ballads

“Ballads are stories set to music,” Will tells the glee kids, “blah blah blah…Pick a name out of a hat and sing a ballad to your partner.”

Will has to put his name in because that kid who will be dropped at the end of the season is not here. Rachel picks his name, so the two immediately sing a duet.

At the home of her over the top parody of a conservative WASP family, Quinn’s mom helps her fit into a dress for the upcoming chastity ball. Mommy notices that Quinn has put on a little weight in the tummy. Quinn’s dad steps into the room to say that Finn should come over for dinner, then goes to watch Glenn Beck. Quinn doesn’t want Finn here because her parents don’t know that she is pregnant and would not react well to the news. And she knows Finn is a dumbass who will no doubt let it slip.

Back at school, Rachel presents a gift for Will, a tie with a musical note and stars. Due to the duet, Rachel has developed a crush on Will.

Will has previous experience with students becoming smitten with him. He tells Emma the story of Suzy Pepper, a student who had a crush on him two years ago. She gave him a gift, clothes with peppers designs on them. “So you can wear them and think of me,” she said. Man, she really liked peppers. Suzy quickly developed into a creepy stalker who called his home in the middle of the night. Finally, Will had to tell Suzy that he did not like her in the same way. Suzy was so distraught that she swallowed “the world’s hottest pepper” which she kept in her locker. The pepper burnt a hole in her esophagus and put her in a coma for three days. Knowing that Rachel is also a crazy psycho, Will does not want to let her down the same way. “These girls are too fragile,” he says.

I do not find it surprising that so many girls in this school have developed infatuations towards Will. I am not saying he is an attractive man, far from it. But bear in mind that the male celebrities that are always marketed towards teen girls tend to be non-threatening and not terribly masculine. Think of N’SYNC-era Justin Timberlake, the Hanson brothers, or Justine Bieber.  You can even see it in pictures of John Travolta when he was a teen heart throb in the ‘70s. And Will is one of the most unmanly men in America. A girl would feel safe around him.

Finn and Kurt are ballad partners.  Finn is having a hard time with the idea of singing to another boy, which just adds to the stress of having a pregnant girlfriend. Kurt tells his friend that girls are the problem. “You need to be with someone who you don’t need to worry about getting pregnant.” This was the beginning of Ryan Murphy’s Kurt’s creepy attraction towards Finn.

Kurt plays the piano so Finn can express his feelings towards his unborn daughter by singing “I’ll Stand by You”. Finn’s mom, Carole, sees him singing to a video of a sonogram. Now she knows the truth. Maybe Carole can finally explain to him how babies are really made, because Finn has no idea.

To communicate to Rachel that her crush is inappropriate, Will sings a mash-up of “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” and “Young Girl” because singing to a girl is a good way make her no longer attracted to you. Emma is present because this was her suggestion as an incompetent guidance counselor.

And Emma gets turned on as well. Good job Will, now Emma and Rachel are up for a three way. Also, “Young Girl” is wildly inappropriate to sing in this context.

Will gets home to find that Rachel is there! Used to students with crushes on her husband, Terri takes advantage of the situation by making Rachel do all the chores around the house. Will drives Rachel home, but makes her sit in the back seat. Rachel sings “Crush” but Will cuts her off after only a few seconds. If this goes too far, Will risks being sent to Pedophile Island, Florida.

Puck admits to Mercedes that he is the real father of Quinn’s fetus. Mercedes tells him to back off because being a father is more than just making a baby. “That roles already been cast,” Mercedes says, “by the kid who has no money. Quinn picked him.” Mercedes doesn’t make any sense. Puck is actually better suited to fulfill the role of father than Finn, due to having a job. It’s not like Quinn can unilaterally remove Puck’s parental rights, either.

Finn has dinner with Quinn’s folks. But he has to duck out to the bathroom to call Kurt to ask how to handle the situation. Kurt’s advice is to sing to Quinn’s mom and dad. That’s the only idea any of these people ever have: sing about it. Finn does, despite the objection of Quinn. The song is “(You’re) Having my Baby” written by Canadian music mogul Paul Anka (Paul Anka is Canada’s Jay-Z). Quinn has been outed without her consent. It is good practice for Finn when he outs Santana two years from now.

Quinn’s father kicks her out of the house.

Suzy Peppers says something to Rachel about how it is a bad idea to crush on teachers.  Then, Will gives a speech to Rachel along the same lines. I wasn’t paying too much attention to what was said at this point. It’s 3am when I write this and I shouldn’t be up recapping Glee. I have a busy day tomorrow. I’m going to buy some milk and then watch an America’s Next Top Model marathon on Oxygen and then another Top Model marathon on Style Network.

The episode ends with the glee kids, led by Mercedes, singing “Lean on Me” to Finn and Quinn.

Grade: A-

Best Song: “I’ll Stand by You” – The Pretenders. Sung by Finn