For starters, I don't see how this gorgeous man/boy could loose his "juice" by shaving off anything, but in last night's episode, Puck looses his social status when he is forced to shave off his signature Mohawk because his mother spies a mole on his head. This sets off a chain of events that show us what the Glee clubbers stand to gain when they loose something about themselves they value.
Puck looses his King Intimidator status, and sets out to re-gain his popularity by hooking up with McKinley High "it girl" of the moment, Mercedes. "Hey black girl, whose name I can't remember right now." Mercedes, who cannot believe Puck's proposal of a quick hook-up, delivers the blow to Puck by letting him know it would never work out, "You're top 40 and I'm rythm and blues."
Rachel looses her cherished voice and is diagnosed by a doctor with laryngitis, who then suggest a tonsillectomy. A fate worse than death, according to head Drama Queen Rachel. She also rats out her fellow Glee Clubbers for not pulling their weight in rehearsal by letting her carry the vocal load. Finn admits to Shue that he hasn't been singing because he is tired of the Rachel and Jesse show and Shue has been assigning all the male lead vocals to Jesse anyway. Shue explains that in order to be a show choir they must all be voices in unison, and he hands out the weekly assignment to find a solo song that demonstrates who they really are. Last night's episode was packed with many good musical numbers, it's going to be an expensive itunes week for me.
Finn rocks the house with the Rick Springfield classic, "Jesse's Girl" and I think it is the best of the night.(and not just because I'm Team Finn) Not only does it demonstrate that Rachel's relationship with Jesse is consuming his thoughts right now, it successfully showcases Finn's rock chops, which get better and better, and sets the stage for the romantic tension building between Rachel and Finn. Then Puck pulls a black rabbit out of his hat, so to speak, inspired by Rat Pack legend Sammy Davis Jr., and lays down a smooth version of "The Lady is a Tramp".
The Lady, in this case is Mercedes. She buys it, hook, line, and sinker and rounds out the song with her vocals. Mission accomplished. Mercedes buys into Puck. McKinley's new power couple leaves Quinn in the surprising position of wanting to protect Mercedes. Mercedes admits she is aware that Puck is using her, but that she is enjoying the ride for now. Quinn tells Mercedes that it is Santana she needs to beware of. "The Boy is Mine" is executed to perfection between Mercedes and Santana. Who knew that Santana (Naya Rivera) had those chops? This is what I love about this show. Mercedes later decides to loose her Cheerio status and delivers her uniform to a shocked Sue Sylvester, when she realizes that Cheerios is not who she really is and she then decides to loose Puck too.
Kurt decides to loose his gay to try to win back his father's attention, complete with a truckers cap, flannel shirt and a vest, and sings a surprisingly good, butch version of Mellencamp's "Pink Houses". Everyone is left a bit confused, except for Brittany who is turned on by Kurt's new hetero-status and offers herself up, "Let me know if you want to tap this." Kurt uses Brittany to get his father's attention away from Finn when he invites her over for a make-out session, so his dad can see he's just one of the guys. His dad isn't really buying this new Kurt, but he tells him he's good "either way". Kurt is then crushed when his dad chooses Finn over the new Kurt, and it sends him into a show-tune singing, scarf wearing, Broadway tizzy,who belts out "Rose's Turn" which is altered to be "Kurt's Turn" on McKinley's stage. Kurt's dad is in the audience and tells Kurt he cancelled with Finn because he realizes that he needs to spend some time with Kurt.
Rachel, depressed over loosing her voice, all that she is, confides tearily to Finn (since Jesse is away with his Vocal Adrenaline friends and isn't really talking to her anyway because of the "Run, Joey Run" debacle) that without her ability to sing for an audience, she is nothing. Finn takes her to meet a friend of his, a former football star who was recently left paralyzed in a football accident, and she sees how ridiculous she has been behaving. A humbled Rachel returns to his house alone, complete with her healed voice, to offer up singing lessons to this guy who wishes he had the nerve to try out for his Glee club when he had the chance. They sing the musical finale, U2's "One", as it segways into a full Glee Club stage version of the song and finishes sweetly with the boy and Rachel holding hands and a single tear streaming down her cheek.
So who are we really if we loose what we think makes us who we are? Hopefully, the message here is we find out we are so much more than we thought.