live through this and you won't look back (buffyx) wrote,
live through this and you won't look back
buffyx

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I've been looking for you forever.



OKAY. This post is going to be sort of a mess, because organizing my thoughts at 4am just never ends well, but whatever, I wanted to post this for ~posterity~. Because there was a lot about Original Song that surprised me with how beautifully full circle it was and how things foreshadowed earlier were fulfilled and how a lot of loose ends tied together. This is less how I feel about them as a couple and more just pointing out the more subtle (or not so subtle, since: Glee) writing that set the groundwork.

BASICALLY EXPECT A LOT OF RANDOM WORD VOMIT IN THIS POST. I've added a few pictures to make it worth your time.

First, let's start off with...

DUETS:


KURT: I am the only openly gay kid at school. Why can’t I walk hand-in-hand down the hall with a person that I like? Why can't I slow dance at my prom?
BURT: Until you find someone as open and as brave as you, you’re going to have to get used to going it alone.


This is the first episode that really kicked off Kurt's entire arc for the season. For the duets assignment, he wants to sing with Sam, the new kid, but receives a lot of outside pressure from Finn to back out because doing a duet would lead to Sam being bullied and harassed just by mere association. Finn is afraid that the fallout would lead to Sam quitting the glee club.

The conversation Kurt has with his father venting his frustrations is not only a great character moment that highlights the way Kurt deals with unique struggles no other kid on the show does, but it also gives a lot of foreshadowing for what's to come with Blaine. Kurt has a list of things he wants to be able to do in a relationship like everyone else, and Blaine's checked them off one by one.

Walking hand-in-hand down the hall with the person he likes?



It's the first thing they do when they meet.

Dueting with another boy?





They've done it multiple times, and the last time as boyfriends in front of hundreds of people.

Slow dancing at prom?



(SPOILER ALERT: They are, in fact, going to prom together!)

You also have Burt's words about Kurt having to wait until he finds someone "as open and brave" as he is, someone who is out of the closet, in order to get those things from life. Blaine's buzz word in Never Been Kissed, his first episode, is "courage." He texts it to Kurt at random intervals during the day, just to remind Kurt to keep his head up and know he's not alone. Kurt even tapes up Blaine's picture in his locker with the word "courage" spelled out underneath it for inspiration.

Next we have:

BLACKBIRD



When Kurt is first offered the chance to audition for a solo with the Warblers in Special Education, he leaps at the chance and performs Don't Cry For Me Argentina with his typical dramatic flair, trying hard to impress them. When he doesn't get the competition solo, Blaine tells him that he needs to relax and not concern himself so much with the attention being focused solely on him-- that being a Warbler is more about being a team player. The Warblers weren't going to respond well to someone that desperate for the spotlight (you could even say this makes sense with Original Song, where it's clear that Blaine doesn't work for solos, they are just handed to him on a silver platter). New Directions, on the other hand, often rewards that kind of tenacity/pushiness (and ultimately ND's system is clearly what works better for Kurt, despite the good things he was able to learn from the Warblers).

Then we have Blackbird. Kurt bursts through the doors dramatically, dressed in his own (fabulous) clothes, and sings a song in memory of Pavarotti, his dead bird. Unlike Don't Cry For Me Argentina, Kurt is not putting on airs-- he is very much himself, but not trying to impress anyone in that moment, just singing what he feels.

This positive change in Kurt is highlighted again when Blaine says he wants to sing the duet at Regionals with Kurt as his partner. Instead of jumping at the opportunity without a second thought, Kurt is the first to point out that everyone should have a shot, recognizing the talents of the others in the group. However, the Warblers all agree Kurt should be the one to sing-- to me this was not because they're Blaine's Yes Men (even if they pretty much are), but more because of Blackbird. They were impressed by Kurt, who wasn't doing it to show off or make a play for a solo, but just being himself.


you were only waiting for this moment to arise


There's also a parallel to Teenage Dream with Blackbird. With Teenage Dream, we got to see Kurt falling for Blaine in his reaction to him singing. Of course he didn't know Blaine then, and it was only the beginning of his feelings, but we still got to see it, and it was powerful on a character level because it was the first time any boy had ever sung to Kurt like that, and powerful on a broader level because how often do you see teenage boys serenading each other with flirty songs?

I liked this quote from Tom and Lorenzo summing up the scene:

We grew unexpectedly teary-eyed watching this number. Not because sappy teenage pop songs get us worked up, but because the sight of a sappy teenage pop song being sung by one cute teenage boy to another cute teenage boy is still, sad to say, an extreme rarity. All we could think while watching this number was, "My god. What would it have been like to see this at 14?" To have the media offer up a romantic fantasy that actually reflected what we secretly yearned for.


Blaine's reaction to Blackbird is the bookend to that. At this point Blaine and Kurt are essentially best friends, support systems for each other, and know each other very well. So Blaine's epiphany is something even deeper and bigger than what Kurt's reaction to Teenage Dream was, because it's not just a surface-level crush, it's something very real being realized.

And I think it makes perfect sense that this was the moment to trigger that realization from Blaine. As Kurt said in Silly Love Songs, he and Blaine are always honest with each other, but Kurt has always been trying to impress Blaine in some way. He says as much in Blame It On the Alcohol. In Sexy he tries to make "sexy" faces and fails miserably, because he's trying too hard and going over the top in his efforts. But from the start of this episode, Kurt has dropped any pretense. He is not impressed by Blaine's performance of Misery, not even when Blaine is nuzzling his neck (the whole "oh my god! a boy is touching me! oh my god!" giddiness has worn off as this has become routine Blaine behavior); he calls Blaine out on being a solo hog and openly, unashamedly admits that he is jealous; he critiques the number as being boring and repetitive. In his preamble to Blackbird, he throws in a snarky aside about Blaine (which Blaine smiles at).

This ties back into the Pavarotti metaphor, too. Kurt and Blaine's last scene in Special Education completely spells out the metaphor, and yet people still misread it, thinking the "gilded cage" was the message when really the "molting" is much more significant. Kurt thinks the bird is sick, but Blaine explains that it's just going through a normal process of what is essentially recovering and at the end of it, Pav (ie: Kurt) will find his voice/be as good as new. Pav's death wasn't really symbolic of anything, except maybe that Kurt has grown and gleamed as much as he can from Dalton, and it is time to move on. But mostly it gives him a chance to shine as himself again via Blackbird. And it makes sense that with Kurt's "molting" complete, and he being so much himself again, that Blaine would see him in a new light.

And then we have:

THE KISS SCENE



Okay, there were a ton of touches/callbacks in this scene that I have to point out because I was so delighted by them:

--The top image is from Never Been Kissed, during the first conversation Kurt and Blaine have. It's sort of difficult to tell by the screencaps, but when Blaine walks in on Kurt decorating the bird casket and sits down, they are actually at the same exact table as where their first real interaction took place.

--After Blaine says, "You move me, Kurt," a score plays-- the same score that has been used a few times for Dalton scenes, but was first played over Kurt and Blaine running in slow motion down the hall holding hands as soon as they met. It's sort of "their" theme (and since this show doesn't use a whole lot of instrumental scores, I am fairly certain they are the only couple with their own "theme").

--Original Song was directed by Bradley Buecker. He also directed Never Been Kissed, where Blaine was introduced. As he has only directed one other Glee episode and is not one of the show's stable directors, I like to think he was purposefully tapped to direct Original Song and some of these little touches are due to him. (Yes I looked this up. Don't judge me.)

Some people thought Blaine's immediate admission to Kurt of his feelings was sudden, however, it lines up with their established dynamic. These two do not play games with each other. Kurt was upfront about his feelings in Silly Love Songs, and in return Blaine was equally upfront, saying he was bad at romance and did not want to risk screwing up their friendship. Which led to the When Harry Met Sally comparison:


KURT: So it's just like When Harry Met Sally, but I get to play Meg Ryan.
BLAINE: Deal... Don't they get together in the end?


The most memorable scene (well, aside from Meg Ryan faking an orgasm in the restaurant) is Billy Crystal's declaration of love:

"I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."


And that played out here. Blaine could've hidden his feelings, or played off Kurt's question about why he wanted him as the duet partner by saying it was due to Kurt's talent or because he was listening to Kurt's criticism from the beginning of the episode, both of which I think were true in Blaine's mind, but that wasn't at the heart of it. And that kind of coyness is not how they operate. So what he answers with is:

“And this duet would just be an excuse to spend more time with you.”

I love that Blaine says this. I think it was important to throw that line in there. Kurt has always been very secure in how talented he is; he doesn’t need anyone else to validate that for him. (Not to mention Blaine has already just finished telling him how moved he was by Blackbird anyway.)

For Blaine to say, “I just want to be close to you, as a person, in any way I can,” is something Kurt needed to hear way more. Because Kurt has never been the object of anyone’s affection. Kurt has been treated like he is toxic just for wanting to sing with another boy. Then here is one seeking him out as a duet partner. Not just because Kurt is an amazing singer, which we all know, which Kurt himself already knows, but because Blaine will make any excuse just to be around him, period. We all know that in Duets, Kurt was hoping against hope that Sam would be gay and by sharing a duet that it would be something more meaningful than just singing a song together-- and that didn't happen, but it does here. This was such a role reversal from Duets, and it was so completely perfect.

And it's also important because in that moment, by not playing games or being evasive or making excuses, Blaine is exemplifying the qualities that they both share and what I love about their relationship: honesty, openness, and courage.

Also, to end this on a shallow note, the kiss was super hot. (Both of them were. The second one even more so.)




OKAY I THINK I'M OUT OF WORDS NOW. If you read all of that... I don't even know. I bow down to you.
Tags: tv: glee
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  • 24 comments
AND IT HAS PICTURES.
I KNOW MY AUDIENCE. I GIVE YOU WHAT YOU WANT.
I will leave this for last to read in my catching-up-on-the-internet-now-that-I'm-home-from-work and be back later with a proper comment.
Sooooooo. I'll be honest, I never thought about the molting metaphor before now, and I like it better than the gilded cage one. Also, a friend of mine recently put forth the possibility that Pav was a metaphor for Blaine, not Kurt, and I like that better than anything except for the fact that Blaine's not leaving his cage just yet.

....k so I seriously can't articulate well at this time of night. BASICALLY YEAH, BRAVA.
Yay, you posted!!!! Ngl given today I thought I was gonna get trolled, and instead find some sort of Kum manifesto, but NO! You finally posted your Klaine tl;dr. \o/ I am always fond of your word vomit. :DDD
SAM AND KURT ARE ENDGAME, MASTER PLAN, ETC ETC, DEALWITHIT.GIF
That was excellent. Esp. for a three am post! But very good. I love Klane. Ugh. I think I prefer Kurt/Blaine. =)
Thank you! (And yes, ship portmanteaus are almost always embarrassing. :P)
Buffy. You are a goddess. Jsyk. Letmedie.jpg
I LOVE EVERYONE IN THIS BAR
"somebody as brave and open as you" kills me every time I think about it. Like, you already know perfectly well just how many FEELINGS!!!!!!!!!! I have about these two, but knowing everything that happens after that (frankly heartbreaking) convo - asldfkja;lsdfjk I can't, I just can't, because it's all happening, it HAPPENED, and Kurt and Blaine really are the bravest and the most open, in so many ways, in all the important ways.

it makes sense that with Kurt's "molting" complete, and he being so much himself again, that Blaine would see him in a new light

I love everyone in this bar. I love Darren's face. I love that we spent weeks thinking that Blackbird was going to be about Kurt and Dalton vs. McKinley and then it was about Blaine and his gorgeous heart instead. If for nothing else, I will forever and ever be grateful to Ryan Murphy and to this stupid show for giving us that moment - "you move me", Blaine said, and we actually SAW IT HAPPEN. It was all laid out for us, such glorious perfection, and it was well and truly earned on both sides. That speech, their faces, that kiss (especially the second one, omfg), the piano theme, the fact that THEY WERE SITTING AT THE EXACT SAME TABLE, I can'ttttt.

This episode was such a gift. I am never going to get over it. (Also, I love your words, but that goes without saying. <33333)
Patmeal I just want to squeeze you until your head pops off.

I feel like I've run out of words, but I LOVE YOURS. <33333333

Deleted comment

I loved that line because it was a way of being like, "No, Kurt, you're not reading too much into things for once, this is really why I'm doing this, I am blatantly pursuing you," which I loved.

I LOVE EVERYTHING KURT AND BLAINE CHOOSE TO BE.

bglbayley

April 1 2011, 16:38:25 UTC 6 years ago Edited:  April 1 2011, 16:39:31 UTC

Buffy! I always love your words, and you've said everything here so perfectly that I would quote the entire thing if I could. :D

The parallels are beautiful and amazing. I squealed with delight when I realized, on the 2nd viewing, that they were in the same room where they first interacted, and didn't even think about it being the exact same table. My heart <33333333

The scenes were so well done, and Kurt is getting ALL THE THINGS, and I'm excited and happy to witness it and will always be grateful for this storyline. remind me I said this when the obvious twists and turns of this type of show impact them, okay? Hee!

Oh, and, as usual - you're awesome and I love you and I'm glad you're one of the people I'm getting to flail with in this fandom. <3
I can't help it, I'm judging you...judging you to be amazing! I'm honestly not sure if the writers/director put as much thought into the arc as you did, but as long as you're here to break it down for us, that's all I care about.

You make Glee want to be a better show, BuffyX. Oh yes, you do.
I don't actually watch Glee, simply because I don't really watch tv, but I've watched quite a bit of their interaction on youtube and just love it.

This was an awesome post for loving them even more!! <33
Read and loved <3
i just...i love everything this post chooses to be. your tl;dr <333

now if only there was a gif of that kiss...
You almost make me want to watch this show again. This is such a thorough and engaging summary of this relationship! They definitely sound like the best part of Glee. How great that there is this example of a gay teenage relationship out there. It sounds better than previous attempts like Dawson's Creek. Thanks for the link to that reaction article, also. It was a good read.

P.S., on a shallow note, yes, totally hot kisses.
BUFFYX YOU COMPLETE ME.

"as open and brave"

YES, this is exactly the reason that I was never that worried that Blaine wasn't going to end up being a boyfriend, if not THE boyfriend, or at the least a stable character in Kurt's life. Like, Burt says that and two episodes later we get Blaine, the most earnest and open dude to ever earnest on this show and we also immediately check 'handholding' off Kurt's wishlist. Plus, like you said: they got a fucking love theme.

Arrrrrggh I am honestly so impressed with the character consistency in all of this in a lot of ways, and like WHUT how is that possible, this is Glee. The bird metaphors and how Kurt is always brave and honest and straightforward with Blaine, but he's also really internal and guarded: like, he never comes out and asks Blaine out or directly tells him he likes him, which is I think ridiculously consistent with the Kurt we know. And Blaine is the one to dive into things totally and completely headfirst (might be bisexual, let's check it out! have crush, serenade random dudes at the gap! confront closeted bullies in public, i got this!) so his confession worked perfectly for me. And oh my god, you are so right about the Harry Met Sally line. I'd completely forgotten about that!

But from the start of this episode, Kurt has dropped any pretense. He is not impressed by Blaine's performance of Misery, not even when Blaine is nuzzling his neck (the whole "oh my god! a boy is touching me! oh my god!" giddiness has worn off as this has become routine Blaine behavior); he calls Blaine out on being a solo hog and openly, unashamedly admits that he is jealous; he critiques the number as being boring and repetitive. In his preamble to Blackbird, he throws in a snarky aside about Blaine (which Blaine smiles at).

YES YES YES this everythinggggggggggggggggg. I can't deal with how much I love that it's KURT, ACTUAL KURT, who throws that realization switch for him. And I love the relationship dynamic this whole episode set up/continued from BIOTA and Sexy, where they can (and do) call each other on their shit without damaging their friendship.

And it's also important because in that moment, by not playing games or being evasive or making excuses, Blaine is exemplifying the qualities that they both share and what I love about their relationship: honesty, openness, and courage.

<3333333333333333333333333333333333333333333

God, I wish school was less insane right now because like, I have never wanted to write tons and tons of fic for a pairing more. It's like, these are all of my relationship kinks. MAN, STILL NOT OVER IT.

Oh god, I seriously can't even deal with all the feelings these two give me, they are quickly becoming my OTPiest of OTPs.

I can't deal with how much I love that it's KURT, ACTUAL KURT, who throws that realization switch for him.

I loved that too. I really feel like they did it to drive home the point that just as Kurt has come to see Blaine clearly, Blaine saw Kurt exactly for who he is-- and that is the Kurt he's fallen for. I felt like Blaine was not only okay with but actually APPRECIATED Kurt calling him out on his shit at the start of the episode. It showed that Blaine isn't looking for someone just to fawn over him or validate him unquestioningly.

And I love the relationship dynamic this whole episode set up/continued from BIOTA and Sexy, where they can (and do) call each other on their shit without damaging their friendship.

Yes!!! I was talking to someone today about how I think Kurt has a mean streak (which I actually love about him-- mostly because of how he wields it/the place it's coming from), and how Blaine really doesn't (which I also love about him). In a way I don't think Blaine is capable of purposefully hurting Kurt, or anyone; that's just not in his nature-- whereas Kurt has that ability to be cruel to other people and to make them hurt (something he almost only does in retaliation/as a defense mechanism).

So I think Kurt and Blaine actually balance each other out in that respect. The difference compared to, say, Finn and Rachel is that Blaine is sharp enough to know how Kurt operates and call him out on it. Also I think Blaine's earnestness sort of forces Kurt to be more open with him in return, whereas he's usually so emotionally guarded with others. They have this understanding between them that when it comes to the important things, they are always honest, even if it's not what the other wants to hear, but they trust each other enough to know that they won't hold that type of honesty against one another.
Also, we are totally getting the Glee version of this and I'm so excited:

OMG, I DIDN'T EVEN MAKE THE CONNECTION. CRYINGGGGGGGGGGGG.