Things are getting pretty tense in Lima, Ohio. In the Glee Season 6 premiere Friday night, the series tackled issues of gender stigma and stereotypical traditions in a real and interesting way when a new character named Jane attempted to join the Warblers at Dalton but was turned down thanks to a centuries old, sexist tradition. The Jane vs. Warblers storyline began when Blaine explained to the audience that he had returned to his hometown to coach his alma mater's Glee club. Jane came to him and asked to join the club as her father went to Dalton and was a member of the Warblers as well.
While Blaine started out being slightly opposed to the idea of Jane joining his old choir, Mr. Schue talked him into the idea by telling him, "Don't you want to be on the right side of history?" It was one of his best pieces of advice to date. (Overall, Mr. Schue was pretty great in this episode, mostly thanks to his lack of rapping but that's another matter completely) As coach of the Warblers and not a voting members, all Blaine could do was give his advice to the panel of leaders in the club and help them also be on the right side of history.
The Warblers were split on the matter — some believed Jane should be included while others worried about the "inevitable sexual tension" — so they decided to first find out if Jane could sing before they discussed if the tradition of having an all-male choir should be amended. So Blaine had to convince Jane to audition with a rather insulting strategy: He told her to swallow her pride and just do it. While obviously every member of a choir should have to audition to join (because if they suck, that's not really a good sign for the future of the choir), Jane was right to at first believe that it was insulting that she had to audition just to be considered for consideration in the group. And no, that's not a typo.
Nevertheless Jane completely killed it in her audition with a rendition of Janelle Monae's "Tightrope" and it seemed, at the time, the Warblers were finally ready to change their dumb ways and usher in an awesome new era to their already awesomely talented group. But alas, they were stuck in their ways and they voted against Jane's inclusion. Blaine said he would fight for Jane to join the Warblers but she wasn't too happy with the idea of joining a group where she wasn't wanted and no one would like her.
So what is a talented musician to do? She joined a different group! Her father allowed for her to transfer to McKinley, thanks to Sue Sylvester whipping the school's academics into shape, and she joined the new New Directions. Blaine was not amused and blamed Rachel for poaching Jane away from him since he was fighting so hard for her inclusion into the Warblers. But what was Jane to do? She was in the right to want to go where she was both needed and wanted. And the New Directions is clearly where Jane would shine the brightest. The only problem is that her conflict has now brought too much tension between music directors and friends. It's now Blaine vs. Rachel and Kurt, and I couldn't be more excited to see what happens next between them and with Jane in general. Even though she couldn't buck the sexist tradition of the Warblers, she — and Glee —showed a lot of balls in Friday night's episode, and that's the direction we hope they continue with as the show gets closer to its final episode.
Images: Tyler Golden/FOX