I am a proud Pirate, and I can freely admit that Dave’s behavior in the three-episode arc from NBK to Furt reached completely unacceptable levels. (Pirates don’t claim that Dave was innocent: we know he was way out of line, we just don’t choose to write him off because of it.)
But there are things about Dave’s behavior in this arc that make me wonder.
The first is to wonder why Dave chose to handle things the way he did. After all, after NBK Kurt knew this huge secret about Dave. If someone has something on you that you don’t want them telling, why would you treat them worse and do all you can to make them hate you? How does that protect you?
The kneejerk answer seems to be that Dave thought it would scare Kurt into silence. The trouble with that theory is that during their talk in Figgins’ office in BTW, Dave asks him flat out, with real curiosity, why Kurt never made his life easier by telling people about Dave. So Dave knew not only that Kurt could have told, but that it was the easy way to stop the problems Dave was causing him.
And this ties into my second big question about Dave’s behavior in that three-episode arc: Why did every confrontation with Kurt after the kiss happen in public, with other people around?
Every single time Dave approached Kurt there were witnesses around. The cake topper scene - which I’m sure most people will agree is the pinnacle of his creepy, scary behavior - took place with Will Schuester ten feet away and watching. Dave never tried to get Kurt alone. He never waited around in some dark corner or shoved him into an empty classroom with no witnesses around.
Why did he say flat out in the principal’s office that maybe Kurt was making things up because he liked Dave? Why would he open the door so wide for Kurt to retaliate by telling the truth? He silently looked to Kurt every chance that Kurt was given to tell people the truth. And he looked to Kurt not in threat, but…just waiting. Wide-eyed, nervous, but not attempting to stop him from answering.
Here’s the obvious conclusion that these questions lead me to: Dave wants his secret to be revealed.
He is desperate to get it out. He’s working towards it every chance he gets, it seems. Whenever he is asked about Kurt he instantly brings up Kurt’s sexuality, focuses on it, obsesses, even though Finn has already pointed out that for a guy who’s never had a girlfriend his obsession with Kurt being gay seems to hint at something. In fact, he’s terrified for people to find out he’s gay but his first and only ‘relationship’ with a girl was playing beards with Santana, and he had to be blackmailed into that. That means he didn’t try to hide himself to the point of actually living a lie. (And he’s a football player, Prom King, Duke Stud, he could have snapped his finger and had a dozen girls wanting to play queen to his king. He could have had girlfriends, he just didn’t.)
The more I think about the whole arc, the more obvious it seems: Dave is doing everything he possibly can to get the truth out there, short of actually saying the words himself. He’s scared, yeah, we know that. He’s too scared to take that final step himself. Instead he does everything he can to make Kurt say it for him, or make people put it together themselves.
I love Kurt - he’s got flaws but he’s an amazingly strong kid. He doesn’t believe in outing people, and he stands by what he believes to the point of leaving school rather than calling Dave out for what he is. I think that Dave realized that eventually. He accepted sometime around BTW that Kurt wasn’t going to be his scapegoat, and I think a lot of his real remorse came from realizing just how badly he crossed a line hoping for Kurt to do his dirty work for him.
It makes me want Dave to figure himself out in season three. I hope he finds the courage to come out on his own, without waiting for someone else to out him. I may want to see Kurtofsky, or Blainofsky, or Happinessofsky, but you know what I want more? I want to meet the kid that Dave’s father talked about during BTW. I want to know who Dave is when he’s not drowning under his secret and the extreme ways he chose to deal with it.
Judging by his actions in the episodes after BTW, I get the feeling that’s what Dave wants, too.