Glee Review: Gleek’s Burning Questions Answered
Another season has come and went, Gleeks, and what an uneven season Glee has been. The finale gave us no indication that the back and forth between Lima and NYC will change, so it’s up to the writers to continue to find ways to bridge that great divide. The problems will continue to be too many characters and not enough character development until they do so. So let’s jump right in to where the season four finale left us.
Who is catfishing Ryder?
I appreciated the fake out since my choices were down to Unique and Marley, but I just couldn’t get past justifying how Marley could be so mean knowing that Ryder had feelings for her at some point. When confronted with a nuclear Ryder not taking it anymore, Marley stepped up and acknowledged that it had all been some horrible trick that went too far. Ryder was hurt, and I still couldn’t get past the why factor. But it was nicely unveiled that at some time in the recent past, Unique confessed to Marley her feelings and current catfishing. Marley was just taking a beating for a friend. So Marley! And it all made sense. Ryder still had a right to be angry and shifted that over to Unique, who opened up about her fear that unveiling her true identity would ruin the relationship that had developed between them. She was right, and Ryder quickly quit glee club right before Regionals, before realizing in the nick of time, that he was only angry with one person and wouldn’t let the club down. He was still earnest about leaving the club behind for good after the competition, though. I did like the little twist in this storyline, and how it opens up the possibility to tread into new territory next season with the Unique-Ryder storyline.
Did Rachel get the part?
Unfortunately we didn’t really get an answer to this question, but we did get a kickass Rachel audition where she tackled Celine Dion like no other. We didn’t get to see her competition, but that panel is a bunch of idiots if they weren’t moved by her emotion during that performance. With Kurt and Santana in Lima, Rachel seemed awfully alone back in Brooklyn, another example of the odd feelings splitting up the central story locations can drum up. And actor Cory Monteith (Finn) heading to rehab during the end of the season’s filming just didn’t allow me to have my Rachel-Finn re-connected moment, which I think a lot of folks were hoping for. It also left Mr. Schue flailing out there in support of a club that he’s not really connected to and having to force that fake feeling upon the viewers. Still, everything is up in the air on whether Rachel’s life may change forever, or things are going right back to NYADA and dance classes for a little while longer.
Will Klaine live again?
Out of all the couples on the show, I think I’m the saddest about what has been done to Klaine. Somewhere along the lines things just flipped upside down, and Darren Criss’s move to a series regular somehow signaled to the writers that they had to completely alter his character development. He went from Kurt’s mentor and friend turned man to being completed obsessed and blinded by love. And don’t get me started on how out of character his cheating on Kurt was. The writers are so close to ruining this coupling for me, but the fantastic acting on Criss and Chris Colfer’s parts really continue to endear the lovers to me. They have that spark on camera that’s hard to find. After last week’s failed proposal attempt, I thought Blaine and Kurt might be headed down the path of Finchel, establishing a relationship where they are still friends and will always be there for each other but knowing that they have to explore life on their own for a little bit. A relationship would naturally start to rekindle when Blaine was in NYC with Kurt… But now Blaine’s totally off the reservation and picking out rings, even when his bestie Sam tries to reason with him. The ring store lady Jan (Patty Duke), who turns out to be a lesbian, connects with Blaine and it was as if the two were destined to meet. Jan and her partner Liz (Meredith Baxter) meet up with Kurt and Blaine at Breadstix, and the two youngins are awed by the older couple’s love and how they managed to let it thrive during a time when homosexuality wasn’t even close to accepted. They also talked about their long, and up and down, love story, but they finally made their way to happiness and have been living in it for a while. With states legalizing gay marriage left and right, Jan finally proposed to Liz. Again, I was hoping this conversation would show Blaine that rushing to marriage wasn’t necessary, but it seemed to egg him on even further. Though we didn’t see a proposal in the finale, we did see Blaine with a ring box. Just another cliff hanger left for us viewers.
What the heck will they do with a preggo Heather Morris?
Well, now we know. Sort of. I was definitely sad over the increasing marginalization of Brittany these last few episodes, but it’s clear that writers had to do something to bring other characters to the forefront since I didn’t see another teen pregnancy being written into the series. We finally learned that Brittany would be heading to MIT early admission immediately after some administrator there found an intriguing mathematical sequence she’d written down on the back of a test that she so clearly failed. Dubbed the Brittany code, they had no idea what it meant, but thought she could be the next greatest mind since Albert Einstein. Not knowing what to do with the fact that her life would be uprooted, Brittany went all diva on the glee club, insulting her friends and reviving Fondue for Two. It took Sam stepping in and calling Santana for help to finally snap Brittany back to reality, and she apologized to the club, thanking all her friends for everything thing they’ve given her. It was sweet, and I really hope that post-baby Brittany will be back in our lives. Ryan Murphy surely will do his best to have her involved as much as possible in next season.
Ummmmm, Wemma please!
And finally, the question that began this season, turned into the answer that closed it. After season three, I wondered what a Will-Emma wedding would be like, and after the horror that occurred earlier this season, we finally got to see it. Emma realized that she couldn’t handle the pressure of a big wedding, and all that she and Will wanted was a small ceremony surrounded by people they care about. Sure, it was strange that the only people they really cared about were at least 19 and under, but the picture it created brought a smile to my face. There was no big, over-the-top, glee song and dance. Just some simple humming and tossed rose petals. It felt silly but also right.
So that’s where we left off, Poptimal readers. I didn’t spend much time on Regionals because this was the first competition that didn’t feel very exciting to me. Jessica Sanchez did make a fun appearance with The Hoosierdaddies, an opposing team. New Directions won – which was also anticlimactic. Yet overall, I enjoyed a lot of the song choices and performance numbers that were treated to over the course of 22 episodes, but I also disliked the storyline discontinuity and the feeling that most people just didn’t really grow or change and if they did, it felt disjointed and abrupt. Will I continue to watch Glee? Of course! As long as they’re churning out songs and putting on a show, I’m there. And I champion their understanding that embracing more of the absurd will only help to carve out Glee’s true niche in television outside of being just a TV musical. But of course, all the questions answered during this finale only brought up more questions! What are you waiting to see in season five? Sound off below!
“To Love You More,” by Celine Dion. Sung by Rachel. A+
“Rainbow Connections,” by Kermit the Frog. Sung by The Waffletoots. B
“Clarity,” by Zedd feat. Foxes. Sung by Frida Romero and The Hoosierdaddies. B+
“Wings,” by Little Mix. Sung by Frida and The Hoosierdaddies. B+
“Hall of Fame,” by The Script feat. will.i.am. Sung by Jake, Ryder, Sam, Joe and Artie with New Directions. A-
“I Love It,” by Icona Pop feat. Charli XCX. Sung by Tina, Kitty, Marley, Unique, Sugar and Brittany with New Directions. A-
“All or Nothing,” an original song. Sung by Marley and Blaine with New Directions. B
- Sugar and Joe were back, and just in time! Otherwise they would have had to make the band stand in for those kidnapped teenagers.
- “You lack a basic understanding of even the simplest arithmetic. I don’t know why you couldn’t have used a #2 pencil like we asked. Filling out the ovals in crayon broke our Scantron machine.” – Dr. Leonard Haputman to Brittany
- “Because of a sexting scandal at Our Lady of Perpetual Loneliness, their glee club, the Nuntouchables, has been excommunicated by the new Pope.” – Will
- “Joe, you look like a Yucatan spider monkey.” – Brittany to Joe
- “As fascinated as I am by your down-filled pillow-soft lips that are 10 times too big for your face, I really miss my sweet, sweet lady kisses.” – Brittany to Sam
- “Number one. It is true that members of the Cheerios receive illegal salaries and kickbacks. Last year alone, I earned $5,000.” – Brittany on quitting the Cheerios
- “He wants to do me, but we’re just friends.” – Sam to Jan about Blaine
- “Tonight’s guests are two sworn enemies who became friends, then became enemies again, then became friends again, then enemies, and then everybody stopped caring.” – Brittany introducing Sue and Will on Fondue for Two
- “Do you plan on having children, or just continue to have weirdly intimate relationships with high school students instead of children?” –Brittany to Will
- Sue’s baby Robin’s father being Michael Bolton
- “Lord Tubbington’s a stickler for continuity in editorial.” – Brittany to Santana
- “No wonder you’re nervous, you’re wearing white. That’s not exactly your lucky color.” – Santana to Emma
- “My entire life people have always told me that I was stupid. And after a while I started to believe them. And it wasn’t until I walked in this room and I joined this club that I really started believing in myself. And as soon as I did that, as soon I started believing that maybe I was smart after all, I think the whole world did, too.” – Brittany to New Directions
- “Artie, you’re like the boy next door who builds robots in his basement and who I’d take his virginity.” – Brittany
- “Jake and Marley and Ryder and Kitty, you guys are all like the foster kids who come to live with us when the orphanage closes and who we don’t trust at first, but we grow to love just like we do our pets.” – Brittany
- “Are you guys seriously throwing a surprise wedding, just like Brooke Burke and David Charvet?” – Kurt
Season 4, Episode 22: All or Nothing (originally aired May 9, 2013).
Image courtesy of Adam Rose/Jennifer Clasen/Mike Yarish/FOX