"If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make the change." - Michael Jackson.
After being bullied at school by Karfosky, Kurt gets advised by a new friend Blaine to stand up for himself. By standing up to the bully we learn that Karfosky is hiding something himself; his own confusion about his sexuality. Kurt and Blaine confront him in an attempt to help Karfosky understand his emotions but he retaliates with violent aggression.
I like what this episode is trying to say here. By taking a topical subject like teenage bullying, and putting it through the eyes of a couple of young people discovering themselves, we see, as Kurt and Blaine are finding out, how difficult it is for people to change. Change takes courage. Something Karfosky doesn't have yet. It's also damn near impossible to force change on someone who is unwilling to do so. Kurt and Blaine are learning at a young age that in order to gain acceptance, they cannot make everyone change to think like them. They can only become the best possible versions of themselves and let others accept them for who they are. Good people are drawn to other good people.
Easier said than done in real life of course. And it will be interesting to see where this story leads as it ends on an open ended note, leaving room for more development in future episodes. Taking the first step is always the hardest, but it looks like Karfosky is on the brink of his. He just needs to find the courage that Blaine helped Kurt find.
Chris Colfer (Kurt) is having a banner year this season on Glee. First came his heartfelt performance in the "Grilled Cheesus" episode where his father had a stroke. Now comes an intense and complex performance in this episode. In just a few episodes this season, he has really stood out from the rest of the cast and perhaps from under Lea Michele's shadow as season 2's breakout star. He's been given some great material to work with and it's exciting to see where Kurt's relationship with Blaine will lead.
The episode's other main story line involves another type of sexuality. In this case, the Glee kids are not confused about expression. They're pretty sure what they want. But just how do you cool yourself off when you can't get what you want? In this case, some of the boys dream up a crazy idea of picturing Coach Beiste in compromising positions as the arousal antidote.
Pretty funny stuff at first, until the 'beast' herself finds out what's going on and decides to quit on account of hurt feelings. That's right, we get a major emotional development involving Coach Beiste, as we find out that she's a real softie underneath that tough exterior.
In typical Glee fashion, questions about self esteem and body image are raised and very neatly tidied up in the end with a group song and dance number.
I wish I could have sung my anxieties away when I was an adolescent. How I wish I could have approached that girl in high school and asked, "Get out of my dreams and into my car!" Or told the guys in junior high who made fun of how skinny I was that "I'll stand my ground/ and I won't back down."
But that's okay, because that's all a part of growing up. Hindsight is 20/20 as they say. That's how we all learn. And "It's Amazing / With the blink of an eye you finally see the light /It's Amazing/ When the moment arrives that you know you'll be alright /It's Amazing /And I'm sayin' a prayer for the desperate hearts tonight"