Damian McGinty, winner of The Glee Project, finally appeared on the show this week in the episode “Pot O’ Gold,” and there is one thing about him that is made abundantly clear: he is Irish. His character’s name is Rory Flanagan, and he is a foreign exchange student from Ireland. He goes to mass every week, loves U2, and his first song is “Bein’ Green.” Oh, and he only wears green and Brittany thinks he is a leprechaun. He is very, very Irish.
Because he is so absurdly Irish, Rory is quite unpopular among the students of McKinley High. He is constantly harassed, acquiring creative nicknames like “Irish,” and being shoved into lockers. (In fact, Ryan Murphy said McGinty was shoved into a locker 25 times on his first day of shooting.) The only person he talks to is Brittany, partly because her family is hosting him, but mostly because she thinks he is a leprechaun.
Throughout the episode, Rory goes to extreme measures to grant Brittany’s wishes, and he develops a massive crush on her. He asks her out to dinner but she already has plans with Santana, who she is now officially dating. (But not yet publicly). When Brittany concludes that leprechauns aren’t real and abandons him, he finds a home with glee club.
And indeed, glee club is quite desperate for new members. This week, New Directions lost 2 more members in addition to Mercedes. Mercedes recruits Santana and Brittany for Shelby’s new, all-girl singing group. The three of them shove Sugar Motta out of the spotlight, reducing her to a mere backup dancer. I feel like this is a bit harsh, considering that Sugar’s father funds them. I’m certainly not promoting nepotism, but they ought to be careful — Mr. Motta could pull the plug on the group at any moment.
Outside of Glee club, Burt stands up to Sue, who had attempted to cut funding for the school musical. Burt collaborated with 3 funeral homes to raise the $2000 necessary to support it. This inspires him to start a write-in campaign against Sue for Congress (because apparently absolutely anyone can run for Congress). He is campaigning to keep the arts in schools, while Sue, obviously, wants them gone.
She’s also decided to approach the issue from a new angle: if too much money goes to the arts, funding will be cut for special education. She clearly has very little personal attachment to this stance. I can’t help but feel that she’s exploiting the death of her sister, who had Down Syndrome.
Quinn and Finn continue their plot to gain custody of Beth. Quinn plants incriminating evidence, like hot sauce and books about baby sacrifices, in Shelby’s house, and then calls Child Protective Services. Quinn obviously suffered some intense psychological damage between seasons 2 and 3, because this is borderline sociopathic behavior.
Luckily for Shelby, Puck goes to her house and removes all the evidence Quinn planted, and then whips out a guitar and sings Beth to sleep. Shelby confesses that she is having trouble managing her single, working mom lifestyle, and he declares, “I am here for you. Always.” And then they kiss.
Now, I’m not usually one to dismiss potential relationships, because on Glee, almost anything is fair game. But let’s keep in mind here that Shelby is old enough to have given birth to a now 18-year-old daughter. So we can assume that she is at least 35, probably closer to 40. Puck, on the other hand, has not yet graduated high school and may still be underage. And, Shelby is a teacher at his school. I’m not saying that this will become a full-out relationship (I would hope that the producers wouldn’t do this, especially considering the Will/Rachel fiasco from season 1), but if it did, it would be all kinds of illegal.
The episode ends with the creepy kiss, leaving us with a major cliffhanger. Next week’s episode is called “The First Time,” which just adds to the creepy. We’ll see where they go with this, although the promo confirmed that it would involve Kurt/Blaine and Rachel/Finn. The episode will air next Tuesday at Glee’s regular time of 8 p.m., on FOX 43. Prepare yourselves.