Glee Season 3 Episode 12 The Spanish Teacher
Will Schuester‘s approach to teaching Spanish is out of touch; wearing a sombrero and serape, he gives a questionable rendition of “La Cucaracha” for Taco Tuesday, and it causes some complaints. Principal Figgins then offers some good news: a tenured teaching position has opened up at McKinley. It would serve Mr. Schue well as he’s planning a family with his fiancée. The bad news is that Will’s only one of the potential candidates.
Will needs to step up his teaching so he can get the tenured position. To improve his Spanish skills, Will takes an adult education class taught by David Martinez (Ricky Martin), whose perfectly white teeth prove distracting to the adult ed students. Will learns that David has had difficulty finding a teaching job at a high school because of hiring freezes. When David asks why Will’s brushing up on his Spanish, Will hesitates to talk about the job opening at McKinley.
David reveals that he’s a former top tooth model in the midst of a career change. By teaching kids, he’s trying to do something more permanently positive than just grinning. David envies Will’s position teaching glee club (he learned English by watching Solid Gold) and cites studies about better retention of new language skills when delivered through music. He thinks that getting students to sing in Spanish would get them to learn without even realizing it. Will decides to try to do the same thing with New Directions, in hopes of impressing Figgins.
Will finds Sue trying to convince the glee club boys to put their virile teen years to good use by donating to a sperm bank to help fertility-challenged women. Sue was dismayed by the quality of the donors she encountered at the sperm bank and chose to find her own sperm donor within McKinley because she decided to have a child. Will is surprised and somewhat skeptical, but Sue insists that she plans to put her family life before her career for a change before it’s too late, especially now that she has her sights set on the tenured position, to provide her with professional security. Sue believes that she’s first in line and, as a proven champion, has the job locked up. She tells Will to provide her with a sample to ensure that her offspring has a full head of hair.
Sue is called into Figgins’ office, where she learns that complaints were filed against her teaching skills. Sue thinks Figgins is possibly enamored of the school’s synchronized swimming team coach, Roz Washington, who has criticized the cheerleaders’ failure to capture the championship. Roz now wants a shot at Sue’s job.
Will tells New Directions that his latest lesson requires them to sing only Latin songs or songs by Latin performers. He introduces them to David, whom he invited to observe and to introduce the concept of duende, a Latin version of soul. David performs LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” and steams up the choir room with his moves and attitude.
Sam and Mercedes seek counseling advice from Emma as they try to deal with what’s going on between them without hurting anyone, including Mercedes’s boyfriend Shane. Emma shocks them with a pamphlet titled “So You’re a Two-Timing Ho” and suggests that they need to spend some time NOT talking about it. She thinks that all the modern-day distractions of communicating through technology have left teenagers with little time to quietly reflect. Emma wants them to spend a week not speaking, to get a clearer idea of their true feelings.
After charging up the Cheerios with a high-energy performance, Roz taunts Sue over her “stale, white-bread” approach. Sue tells Roz she has figured out that Roz plans to steal the coaching spot when Sue goes on maternity leave. Roz mocks Sue’s plans: “You’re gonna push and push, and a full-grown adult’s going to pop out with a briefcase and a job, talking on a cell phone.” Roz also says that she doesn’t need to steal Sue’s job, because Figgins is going to hand it to her; her Olympics bronze medal marks her as the face of the Cheerios’ future. Sue becomes even more determined to prove Roz wrong.
Rachel, Kurt, and Mercedes watch Twilight; Mercedes tries to find some sense in the story of a girl torn between two guys. When Kurt wants to know why the girls are being so serious, Rachel reveals that she accepted Finn‘s proposal. Mercedes thinks Rachel’s crazy, and Kurt’s seething. He wants to know how her acceptance affects her plans for NYADA. Rachel assures them that her and Finn’s struggles as a young married couple will become a charming part of her backstory when she becomes famous. She knows Finn is the man for her as surely as she knows she’ll be famous. Mercedes and Kurt reluctantly agree to keep her secret.
In glee club, Mercedes sings a bilingual version of Gloria Estefan’s “Don’t Want to Lose You” as a not-so-subtle message to Sam without actually speaking to him. The next performance has Sam taking the lead in a mash-up of the Gipsy Kings’ “Bamboleo” and Enrique Iglesias’ “Hero” as the rest of the glee club boys back him up while dancing in Mexican cowboy boots. Sam, too, aims his message at Mercedes.
Will learns that David suggested many of the Latin touches. Santana suggests that David is the best Spanish teacher ever and that she’s excited to see what Will has planned to defend his “Spanish-teacher honor.”
Emma confronts Sue about the inappropriateness of asking for Will’s sperm. Sue responds with insults, but Emma tries to understand why, if Sue hates Will so much, she’d want him to father her child. Sue describes how her heart typically pulsates with irrational rage; she never wants her offspring to feel that. Will has always met Sue’s challenges with kindness and optimism, and if those qualities are genetic, she wants them for her child. Sue doubts that Will would accept, and Emma leaves it to him to give Sue an answer. Emma also tells Sue she thinks having a child would be good for her.
As Finn lifts weights, Kurt presents him with a pile of college brochures and hints that Finn might find a school in New York. Finn realizes that Kurt knows about the proposal, and Kurt tells him off for not confiding in him; they’re supposed to be brothers. Finn wants to keep the proposal from his father Burt for the time being, but Kurt counters with “Don’t you think something you have to keep from everyone you love might not be the best idea in the first place?” Finn is upset, and he says Rachel is the only good thing in his life right now.
Kurt understands that Finn’s had a rough year but thinks that Finn has the same star potential as Rachel does but just doesn’t believe in himself. Kurt thinks Finn should plan on marrying Rachel someday, but he shouldn’t give up on himself yet. Kurt’s words seem to get through to Finn.
Believing that Santana was the student who filed a complaint against her, Sue confronts her. Santana insists she didn’t do it, and Will tries to intervene, but Sue is aggrieved at Santana for putting her “family” at risk. Sue then tells Will that she’s found a better sperm donor.
Emma admires her prolific output creating new pamphlets, while Will crams to learn more Spanish. She tries to ease his stress by jokingly showing him the pamphlets. He snaps at her; doesn’t she realize he’s doing this so he can take care of her? Because he takes his frustrations out on her, she storms off.
Onstage in the auditorium, Santana sings a bilingual cover of Madonna’s “La Isla Bonita” with David in front of the student audience. After some more taunts from Santana, Will goes onstage dressed as a matador, with a mariachi band, to sing a Latin-flavored version of Elvis Presley’s “A Little Less Conversation” with complicated Spanish lyrics in it. When he finishes the song, Will tells Santana he has realized she was the student who complained to Figgins about his teaching. Santana points out that his adoption of cultural stereotypes may be acceptable to students who don’t know any better, but it offends her as a Latina. She gets Will to admit that he became a Spanish teacher merely because it was the only position open at the time. She tells him that an amazing teacher once taught her that without passion, you can’t succeed, and he is that teacher.
In the teachers’ lounge, Coach Beiste praises Emma’s pamphlets, which finally awakened the football team to the dangers of jock itch. The pamphlet was so successful that Coach Beiste’s husband ordered thousands of it for his college team and teams across the Big Ten. The coach tells Will that he should be proud of Emma. He agrees that he is.
In adult ed class, David gives awards to his students, presenting Will with the “Most Improved” trophy. Will says it isn’t exactly the honor an actual Spanish teacher should receive. He tells David that he and the glee club students recommended David to Figgins, and the job is his. David is overjoyed; his parents were immigrants who had to lie about their citizenship to go to school, and now he’ll be the one teaching Spanish.
Will is taking an opening in the history department; he hopes to find his duende there. David tells him that when Will’s teaching glee club, he’s got duende coming out of his orejas (ears).
Becky gives Sue a fertility injection. When Becky confesses to Sue that she filed the complaint against her, Sue tells Becky she already knew, thanks to spying her way through Figgins’ files. Becky says she was just worried Sue isn’t as focused on the Cheerios as she once was, and Sue forgives her because she’s being honest. Impending motherhood has given Sue perspective and reignited all her passions. Becky assures Sue that she’ll be a great mom.
Mercedes and Sam encounter each other wordlessly in the halls. They’re interrupted by Shane, who’s meeting Mercedes for lunch. She walks off with him, but clearly, her heart is still with Sam.
Will presents Emma with an elaborate dinner and a pamphlet that he made himself: “So You Were a Jerk to Your Fiancée.” He made a second pamphlet to congratulate her since she was the one granted tenure. Will’s first marriage ended because his wife didn’t believe in him. He made the same mistake with Emma, and he wants to stop the cycle by making sure Emma realizes that she’s as special as he knows she is.
Song Title Original Artist
La Cucaracha Traditional
Sexy and I Know It LMFAO
Don’t Wanna Lose You Gloria Estefan
Bamboleo / Hero Gipsy Kings / Enrique Iglesias
La Isla Bonita Madonna
A Little Less Conversation Elvis Presley