This was a weird episode. I think it’s objectively one of the best episodes Glee has ever done, but it’s pretty obviously upset people pretty hard for understandable reasons.
First off, in general, “shipping” always kind of puts you at odds with storytelling if you get too intense about it. But it’s also fun and sometimes very rewarding. It’s a careful balance. And Glee is a really tough show because how are fans supposed to stay fair and balanced when the show itself is so uneven? I mean, here’s the thing. Our ships should not rule our shows. No matter how much we love them, the writers should not have to keep characters together just because we want them to. These people are professionals, they have stories to tell and we ought to trust them to tell them. Which I normally do. For, like, Pretty Little Liars? The whole Spoby thing right now? It makes me sad but I’m excited about where they’ll take the story. You know, it was heartbreaking when Angel got all soulless in Season 2 of Buffy, but it kicked off an amazing story arch. The problem is, I don’t trust Glee to use this for any real good, so these breakups are probably just emotional manipulation like Quinn’s car accident last season. Which, again, was a really powerful episode, but as expected, they just brushed all the heavy stuff under the rug as soon as the episode ended and nothing was earned. If this episode really does set these characters on exciting new paths and stories, I will look back on it in amazement. But I doubt it. If shippers want to get all mad, I can’t really blame them; this show is really nothing but ships.
But, regardless, this was objectively a fantastic Glee episode. All of the songs were emotional and moved the plot, nothing was just thrown in there because it’s popular or they needed an upbeat track or anything. All of the acting was fantastic. And, although I obviously doubt they will capitalize on it, it sets us up for a really interesting season. Everybody is on their own. Anything could happen, which, I mean, probably nothing will happen but hey you never know.
Finchel: The return of Finn was unwelcome, but I am glad that he shot himself because, hey, somebody had to do it. His whole “woe is me” thing was I guess sad but mostly just horrible and self-pitying and pointless. Like, oh, you miss high school? Shocking. What a lump. But Rachel finally standing up for herself and pointing that out at the end was so satisfying. I honestly didn’t predict ever really hearing her voice that stuff. He had no right to be mad at her about anything, obviously, but he never really does and that doesn’t stop them usually from making him the hero. Go Rachel, is pretty much what I’m saying. I am fully expecting to have them get back together yet again, probably in the season finale since they seem to love doing that, but for real I honestly don’t see how anybody can root for them at this point. Every Rachel is better than Rachel-with-Finn Rachel. Choose you, Kelly Taylor. Or Santana. But, you know, obviously you’ll choose Brody for now until whatever his douchy secret is gets revealed. (Seriously, I am convinced dude has A SECRET.)
Klaine: Oddly, they totally got the shit end of the stick here. Cheating? Really? So out of character. They just had to do something to make the Klaine story different than the Brittana story, obviously. So dumb. Blaine just wouldn’t. And where did this dude Eli come from anyway? This was shitty to the fans and honestly just unreasonable. Having said that, I am glad they broke up. They don’t really have things in common. I think they got together in the classic “only two gay kids in town” way that happens to a lot of teenagers. And they are boring together. I just wish they hadn’t had to assassinate Blaine’s character to do it. It was just so stupid and I can totally see why Klaine shippers would be up in arms about it. Anyway, they’ll probably somehow get back together within the next few episodes, cheating be damned, because Ryan Murphy loves these crazy kids.
Brittana: I die. Seriously. I don’t ship Brittana in fics but for me they are just the beating heart of this show. The rare times they actually talk to one another are the most beautiful scenes, always. They are the reason I stumbled out of my apartment at 10pm last night to the bar and stayed until closing time. I didn’t even do my hair. I walked in and my friend handed me her card and was like “I am buying you a Manhattan. You clearly need one.” But guys? Their breakup was, like, the first completely reasonable and respectful breakup in the history of this show. Yeah, it sucks. And they were both super sad and I was super sad and I am still super sad and I don’t have any desire to see Santana macking on that chick who looks like a beat-down proxy of Paige from PLL, and I don’t want to see Brittany and Sam as anything other than bros, but here we are. Santana basically broke them up before they could become Klaine or Finchel. If they do get back together? Great. But if they don’t, they broke them up in a way that means we could still seem them linking pinkies and being best friends in the future. So I can’t hate it. Also, on a personal note, this was pretty much the exact way I broke up with my first girlfriend. Except I didn’t sing. For some reason. So it rang true to me, right down to how bitter it made me feel. It was a great scene.
And music-wise this episode was a slam dunk. I never listen to the songs before I see the episode because I like to hear them in context first. Thank god. If I had been listening to Mine all week I probably would have gotten my hopes up that they wouldn’t break up and then I would have been extra devastated. On the opposite end of things, I think if I had listened to the stripped down Teenage Dream before the episode it wouldn’t have packed as much punch as it did. I even downloaded The Scientist, and I have a heretofore strictly-adhered-to ban on Coldplay on my ipod, so damn. I was, like, weeping on the train this morning listening to those three tracks on repeat. How you really gonna have Naya Rivera sing Mine (which I had never heard before, being not of the Taylor Swift persuasion), which is like the perfect Brittana song, and then bust them up? You’re killing me!
Bits & Bobs:
Hearing Brittany talk about Left Behind was funny, but the actual plotline was a waste. Kitty is not a fun character. And New Puck really doesn’t belong on this show at all.
I don’t give a fuck about Will or Emma, but it was nice to see her act like a person and stand up for herself. Still don’t care though.
Finn is taking over New Directions, huh? Boring. I seriously hate New Directions now. I just don’t care about them at all. I say it every week: Send Brittany to New York and let’s forget the rest of these clowns.
Oddly scene-stealing line of the week from a character I could take or leave: “Unique wants to do Hedwiiiiig…”
In closing, I loved this episode. As a stand-alone, I think it will hold up really well. There’s no telling how it will wind up fitting with the rest of the season, but I remain naively optimistic. Just kidding. The writers will do whatever they want and I will watch anyway because singing. I hope Santana is back for good, though. Seeing her actually there and interacting with human beings and making fun of Kurt was a breath of fresh air. The show straight up just lacks without her. And now a one month hiatus because, seriously, they just do whatever they want.