If you track “Glee” stats — and if you have a fantasy show choir team, surely you do — then you know that Tuesday’s episode, “Prom-asaurus,” was the second prom episode in “Glee” history, following up on season two’s “Prom Queen.”
But it was the final high school prom for many of our Gleeks — for Rachel, Finn, Quinn, Santana, Kurt and maybe-or-maybe-not Puck. It also was the next-to-last episode of the third season, ahead of next week’s two-hour finale, which means that the New Directions, as we’ve known it up until now, is almost over, you guys.
I’d be feeling a little verklempt about the whole thing if a few of the details from “Prom-osaurus” weren’t distracting me from my grief. Details like the fact that Brittany insisted on giving the prom a dinosaur theme. (It’s shocking that this occurred, yet the song “Walk the Dinosaur” did not make a single appearance in this episode. Is there no longer appropriate respect for Was (Not Was)?)
Or that anti-prom king and queen Puck and Becky (welcome back, voice of Helen Mirren!) entered the dance wearing crowns made out of beer boxes. (Were any adults checking kids at the door? Any at all?) Or that Brittany’s completely illogical ban on hair gel forced Blaine to ditch his usual smoothed-down locks and sport a ridiculous bad ‘do to prom, which I am pretty sure was a nod to Blane’s bad prom hair in “Pretty in Pink.” (Fun fact: Andrew McCarthy was actually wearing a wig during that scene because reshoots happened after he had shaved his head for another role. The more you know...)
But let’s not dwell on these matters. In the words of Ren McCormack at the “Footloose” prom: “Let’s dance!” Or sing! Or possibly both!
Whatever, let’s just talk about the musical numbers.
“Big Girls Don’t Cry” — Rachel, Kurt and Blaine
The anti-prom party throwers banded together thanks to their performance of this Fergie song, designed to remind Rachel to buck up and move on after last week’s NYADA choke. The harmonizing sounded good, depending on your tolerance for Kurt’s ever-peaking high notes. It was nice, just nothing earth-shattering. Grade: C+.
“Dinosaur” — Brittany and a bunch of dinosaur-headed cheerleaders
So I’m kind of thinking that the reason Brittany “randomly” came up with dinosaurs as a prom theme was because someone got the rights to use this Ke$ha song and decided it should be tossed into the prom episode. As a result, we got to see Brittany dressed like Wilma Flintstone and shaking her thing, while a bunch of Cheerios wearing weird dinosaur masks joined her in the spirit of random prom choreography. Uh-oh. When I insult Brittany’s dinosaur prom dance number, does that count as bullying? Grade: C-
“Love You Like a Love Song” — Tina, Santana and Brittany
Good news: This rendition of the Selena Gomez and the Scene hit was more effective than the dinosaur number. Even better news: Brittany changed into more appropriate prom attire, an ensemble that clearly involved shopping at the same store where Ron Swanson also acquires impossibly tiny hats..
Anyhoo, this was an improvement over the previous two numbers, so ... grade: B-.
“What Makes You Beautiful” — Mike, Rory, Artie, Sam and Joe
Oh, boy. Phone the neighbors. Summon your preteen daughter. This is the part where “Glee” covers One Direction. And you know what? It was the best number of the night. As a matter of fact, I think these five members of New Directions did a more solid job with this generic piece of pop than One Direction did on “Saturday Night Live.” I’ll probably be stoned alive by a bunch of One Direction fans for saying that, but they were probably planning to stone me anyway, so what’s the difference? (Seriously, please don’t stone me, fellow colleague Caitlin Moore.) Grade: A.
“Take My Breath Away” — Quinn and Santana
So — spoiler alert — prom queen nominees and vote counters Santana and Quinn decided to give the crown to Rachel even though she wasn’t on the ballot. (Don’t ask, prom royalty election laws at McKinley are lax at best.) So Rachel and Finn got their prom dance in the spotlight, viewers got a montage of everyone mugging with fake dinosaurs and we heard Quinn and Santana croon the love theme from “Top Gun” while Quinn got her miraculous “I can stand again” moment onstage. A little cheesy but also kinda sweet, especially that Brittany/Santana wink. Grade: B..
Next week, it’s the big finale. Otherwise known as this episode: