Seemingly inspired by the Four Loko drama a few months back, “Blame It On the Alcohol” finds Figgins panicking over an increase in public intoxication — from students at McKinley High. He implements an Alcohol Awareness week, and asks New Directions to sing an appropriate song at the event. In the meantime, Rachel attempts to write her own music after a little imbibing of her own; Mr. Schuester and Coach Beiste have a wild night out in Lima; Santana manages to beat Brittany for this episode’s tally of awesmazing one-liners; and somehow, Finn winds up proving himself the smartest of the bunch. Naturally, the whole thing is soundtracked by drink-appropriate tunes. Here’s how they sounded.
Rachel’s first attempt at an original tune is inspired by what she knows — her headband. Despite a fine melody in the vein of her new inspirations, Carole King and Gerry Goffin, the song lacks any kind of depth, and an astute Finn tells her writing what she knows may not work out for her — so she decides to take Puck’s suggestion and throw a house party (purely to gain life experiences, of course) while her two gay dads are out of town on the Rosie O’Donnell cruise.
“Don’t You Want Me”
“The Rachel Berry house-party trainwreck extravaganza is a go,” decrees Mercedes after a conference between Puck and the (Santana-coined) Santittany and Artcedes. Sadly, Rachel’s floaty nightgown dress and a few wine coolers do not a party make, so she lets Puck break into her two dads’ liquor cabinet in their Oscar party room. Cut to everyone getting trashed, and Finn brilliantly breaking down the five drunk girl archetypes, as demonstrated by the glee girls: “the weepy, hysterical drunk” (Santana); “the angry-girl drunks” (Lauren and Quinn); “the girl who turns into a stripper drunk” (Brittany); “the happy girl drunk” (Mercedes and Tina); and “the needy girl drunk” (Rachel).
After a game of spin the bottle leads to unexpected chemistry between Rachel and Blaine, the two duet on a surprisingly sober-sounding take on Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me.” It’s fun, it’s flirty, it’s great to hear them do something that’s not a musical (Rachel) or a recent Top 40 hit (Blaine) and it pits Glee‘s most well-rounded pop vocalists against each other. Added bonus: Lea Michele’s well-played boozy Rachel managed to avoid the annoying pitfalls of sober Rachel. Though a sober kiss from Rachel later confirms to Blaine that he’s gay (thus fizzling out the much-hyped bisexual plotline), we hope there’s another duet in their future.
“One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer”
Will realizes he needs some stress relief, so Beiste takes him out for a wild night at the country bar. Several shots later, they have their own drunken duet in the form of George Thorogood’s homage to drowning your sorrows in alcohol. There was something unsettling about Beiste hitting the lower notes more comfortably than Schuester, and the song lacked the charm of the drunken karaoke rendition of “Alone” by Schue and Kristin Chenoweth’s April Rhodes. The night ends with Schue drunk-dialing who he thought was Ms. Pillsbury, but turns out to be Sue.
Artie and his Monday-morning Bloody Marys come to the rescue of a (still, 48 hours later) very hungover glee club, and the group performs a very informed rendition of Jamie Foxx’s “Blame It” for Mr. Schuester in the auditorium. Artie turns off his pop star and returns to his hip-hop alter-ego for the lead vocals, and the New Directions stage the club scenes of the music video under red lights. Schue praises their acting abilities without realizing his prized gleeks had joined the ranks of McKinkley’s intoxicated students. We agree that their acting was on point, but the song was too clean-scrubbed to pass for a dirty club hit.
New Directions are moments away from performing what Figgins introduces as “Tik and also Tok” by “Key Dollar Sign Ha.” To calm their nerves, Rachel presents the ultimate mixed drink: a hodge podge of everything left over from their party, from vermouth to Oreo bits. With some help from the cocktail, Auto-Tune and major hair extensions, Brittany leads the glee club in a dance-centric performance. Love Brittany as we do, we wish Rachel or Mercedes stepped up to the mic. The performance is less risqué than their Pep Rally “Push It” but winds up causing more controversy when Brittany pukes on Rachel and Santana also vomits up grey slush. It’s a fitting end to the song, and the episode.
Bottom Line: Schuester gets angry at the New Directions, who, while they fear Figgins will suspend them, don’t think Schue is in a place to criticize after Sue plays his drunk dial over the P.A. (Santana: “How about you crack a Four Loko, Count Boozy von Drunketon?”) But Figgins praises their “special effects,” and Schue makes everyone sign a pledge to stay sober until nationals. With this, Glee continues along its newfound trend of solid episodes that pair music loosely based around a theme with just enough plot to keep momentum going. There were great moments that didn’t revolve around music, too: Kurt and his dad working to find a middle ground in their relationship and Becky and Sue’s homage to Rydell High’s Principal McGee and Blanche was on point.
In Two Weeks: Gwyneth Paltrow’s Holly Holiday returns as a substitute Sex Ed teacher, and will duet with Mr. Schuester on a seductive version of Prince’s “Kiss.”