‘Tina in the Sky with Diamonds’
As the title would suggest, the second part of The Beatles tribute is all about Miss Tina Cohen-Chang. Beginning with the big announcement of the Prom King and Queen nominees, Tina rejects Sam as her date, deciding instead to go stag with the other single, lonely girls in order to secure their votes.
Evidently lost on what to do with Sam as a result, the show decides it’s high time for another girlfriend; after all, it’s been what…a few months since Brittany left? Why deal with literally any other issue Sam could have – his family life, grades, plans for the future – when he could have yet another love interest. This one manifests itself as Penny, a student nurse hired to distribute the polio-meningitis shots at the high school. For Sam it’s love at first sight and after he sings Something about it in the corridor, you know it’s ‘real’ love.
Sam continues to make up excuses to visit her (including biting himself and attempting to play it off as a snake bite) and Penny tells him Sue is firing her because she’s an awful nurse. Instead of realising this is the best course of action if the students of McKinley intend to survive, Sam convinces her to give him a shot, and then proceeds to sing her praises to Sue to convince her to let Penny stay, which she does.
The prom is uneventful and dull, apart from the actual crowning of the Prom Queen. Dottie, who was previously Tina’s ‘assistant’, drops a bucket of red slushie on Tina as she’s crowned. Tina is devastated, naturally, sobbing in the choir room about how she’ll never be ‘that girl’. The group manages to convince her that she mustn’t let the bullies win and they march back into the prom together, with Tina at the front (having been cleaned up by the girls), to an oddly moving rendition of Hey Jude. She storms onto the stage, flowers in hand, and announces, ‘My name is Tina Cohen-Chang and I accept your crown!’
Once again, the more interesting part of the show is happening in New York. Rachel’s self-esteem has taken a knocking as she still hasn’t heard from the producers of Funny Girl, but Santana shows her the commercial she managed to get and it’s amazing. It’s for Yeast-a-Stat, an antibiotic for yeast infections… Honestly, one of the funniest moments of Glee in a long time.
Also in the Broadway diner is Dani, played by Demi Lovato, who Santana awkwardly asks if her parents purposely gave her a boy’s name because they knew she was going to be a lesbian. “I’m not a lesbian” Dani replies, squinting and glaring at Santana, who apologises before Dani drops the facade and smiles. She’s totally kidding – she loves “lady parts” and I love her. She makes Santana nervous and awkward, and in Rachel’s own words, “It’s so cute!”
It would be perfect if it weren’t for the sly digs at Brittany and her bisexuality. Once again, Glee gets so close to getting it right and then at the last minute chooses to hurl itself in the completely opposite direction. For a show that prides itself on being all about equality, it’s beyond disappointing and hypocritical to see it indulging in stereotypes like “bisexuals just can’t pick sides”.
Dani and Santana sit down together to duet Here Comes the Sun, a lovely acoustic and hopeful number – exactly what Santana needs right now. When they reach Dani’s doorstep, she gives Santana a quick peck on the lips. Santana’s face is a treat; she’s evidently as charmed by Dani as we are.
There’s another lovely moment in the diner later where Kurt reveals he too has a job there now. Rachel sees that she’s not the only one struggling to make it in the big city and she realises it’s going to be okay, even if she doesn’t get the part. Kurt, Rachel and Santana make a pact to stay in New York for at least two more years, no matter what. Not that it matters, because Peter Facinelli turns up at the diner to congratulate Rachel on being the new Fanny Brice. Rachel’s face could light up the whole of New York City and she immediately runs over to embrace her friends.
The episode ends with both the Lima and New York crews singing Let It Be to celebrate Tina and Rachel respectively. These are two of the only characters who still matter and it’s nice to see them being treated the way they should be.