'Glee' Virgins Lose It, Subtly, in 'First Time' Episode
'Glee' Virgins Lose It, Subtly, in 'First Time' Episode

Out of nowhere, we get a surprise serious hallway scene between Mike Chang and his father, last seen in the episode "Asian F." Mr. Chang has found out that Mike's been preparing for the school play behind his back, and tries to strong arm him into quitting and giving up his "childish" dreams for "adult" ones. Mike stands his ground, saying he'll never be a doctor and will pay his own way through college if he has to so he can become a professional dancer. Mr. Chang is just as stubborn, saying if he continues to hold onto this path he no longer has a son, and Mike counters that then he no longer has a father. It's a lot of emotional grit to spring up in the middle of these very unrelated plots, but kudos to "Glee" for sticking with Mike's story this season as he figures out his path. Hopefully Mr. Chang will come around.

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Rachel convenes the ladies of the club to discuss her impending virginity loss. Quinn and Santana advise she waits, so Rachel seems to be settled on avoiding sex until Tina starts talking about her first time, with Mike. As she describes how great it was because they are each other's first loves and waited until they were ready, the scene is cut with the "I Have A Love" half of "A Boy Like That." It's sweet, and reminds us, and Rachel, that her contrived rush to Finn's bed for a high school theater performance should take a back seat to her actual emotions.

Kurt and Blaine arrive at Scandals, the appropriately dingy gay club, with their fake Hawaiian IDs. They enter, noting that it's less-fabulous than they might have imagined, but utterly realistic for anyone who had their first gay bar experience outside a major city. The look is denim-chic, and while Blaine and Sebastian dance dorkily while 1982 ABC heartbreak tune "Poison Arrow" continues to play, Kurt sits at the bar and runs into his former bully, Dave Karofsky. Dave is at a new school now, and trying to avoid any whispers about his sexuality there, but finding a community at the bar where he's a well-liked bear cub. He thinks Kurt will look down on him for hiding, but they come to an understanding that as long as Karofsky isn't a bully anymore, Kurt is fine with him taking his time to live his life honestly. The background music has stealthily transitioned to Thelma Huston's disco club staple "Don't Leave Me This Way" and Kurt, who's kept and eye on his boyfriend the whole time, gets up to dance with all the confidence he can muster, putting himself in between with a sly little challenging look at Sebastian.

The two lovebirds exit, Blaine stumbling and silly drunk on one beer, talking nonsensically about his desires to live at that bar and make art and help people. Kurt laughs and shrugs off Blaine's attempts to make out by pushing him into the car, only to have Blaine tug him into the back seat on top of him and try to make out. There's awkward squirming and then Blaine says they should do it, that he wants Kurt and he knows Kurt wants it to be on a flower bed "or whatever," but they should just do it now because it's about them. Kurt agrees that it's about them, but Blaine isn't listening or caring that Kurt isn't interested right now, finally getting free of the car and yelling at Blaine, who storms off saying he'll walk home (where does he live!?)

The opening night of "West Side Story" arrives and before Rachel and Blaine can call the whole thing off for lack of losing their virginities, the cast circles up to thank a nervous Artie, who tells them all that the play made him feel grown up in spite of his limitations. We get a mysterious shot of a angry, showering Finn before "America" starts. Puck is used perfectly as Bernardo, the accents are so bad they're good, and Rory the Irish exchange student makes a giggle-worthy cameo. Santana leads as Anita, and for an episode where her character had zero to do with the plot, Naya Rivera had two stand out vocal performances from West Side to carry he through. It will be exciting when Santana's plot line continues next week. At the end of the scene we also find out that Mike's father has followed through on his threats and refused to see his son perform.

Rachel and Blaine get ready to go on for their big number, vowing to channel the fact that they both found their soul mates despite opposition in the stead of their sexual experience. We fade to post show, with Blaine dancing on stage, practicing a move he apparently bunked. Kurt shows up, and remarks, heavy with barely contained jealousy, that Sebastian and the Warblers came to see him. Blaine calls him over and puts Kurt's hand to Kurt's heart, palm over it, saying Sebastian means nothing, and he's sorry he was drunk and stupid. Kurt apologizes for trying to be something he's not by going to the bar instead of embracing his inner silly romantic. Blaine tells him he's not silly, leans in and kisses him just off-center. Kurt falls into it, sighing "you take my breath away" before elaborating that not just now, but in the show, in everything, expressing his pride in being with Blaine. At that Blaine tears up, wanting Kurt to have that pride in him always, and then invites him as his date to the after party. Kurt turns it down and confidently declares instead his interest in going back to Blaine's house.

Meanwhile, Rachel shows up at Finn's to reconcile, only to find out that Finn didn't impress the recruiter, dashing his dreams of college scholarships for football. He's a mess, but Rachel reminds him that he just has to make new dreams now, and that they can do that together. He's special because she's going to give him something no one else will ever get. They kiss, and Rachel admits she was stupid and lost in her ambition, but now she is just a girl with a boy who she loves. We go back to the auditorium where Blaine and Rachel sing the sugary "One Hand, One Heart" interspersed with a tame but touching montage of the two couples in bed, pretty well clothed and not really doing much beyond tenderly embracing and staring at each other.

There might be some outcry from fans who wanted more from the actual sex part of the sex episode, but the tenderness underscores the thrust of the episode. It's not about being something you are not, or trying to have an adventure or achieve some kind of goal, but instead about the intimacy between two people. We can imply all we want about what happens with each couple, but we don't have to see more than their connection to understand that whatever happened was important and meaningful for them. In an episode that kept bringing up themes of what it was to be a man, and in turn what it was to be a woman in relation to that, the Kurt and Blaine arc especially underscores the fallacy in the drive for such definitions. Is Finn more or less a man because he won't play football, is Artie more or less because he's disabled, is the football recruiter more or less because he sees Bieste differently? Kurt and Blaine are the only main men exempt from this struggle, the question of "manliness" never enters their union, only communication, faithfulness and love. It's refreshing, their ability to both be vulnerable in turn in the episode, and, unlike Rachel's openness to Finn that is marred by the gendered issues of her "giving" Finn something special about her and Finn's emotions being all about his own insecurities, not their relationship, Kurt and Blaine's moment is allowed to be equally special for them both. Still, the simple balance and equality between the presentations of the two couple's final moments leave you with little to complain about, and little for the censors as well.

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