I convinced myself I wasn’t going to watch Glee this season. But then Cory Monteith died and all I heard about for months on end was the tribute episode. How it was going to be awful, how it was going to be amazing, how it was going to be a reductive after-school special, how it was going to hold Finn up on an undeserved pedestal, how one episode couldn’t possibly do him justice, etc.
So of course I had to watch it.
And it was all of those things. It was too self-indulgent at times, it was too heavy-handed at times, and it wasted too much time on Mr. Schue. But it was also full of heartbreaking performances, had a few genuinely funny lines, and was clearly a labor of love.
As Kurt said, I’m not going to be on my death bed one day regretting I was kind, so rather than harp on the things that irked me, I’ll focus on the stuff I loved:
I’m sure there were more great things that I’m not thinking of at the moment, but ultimately it was a fitting tribute to Finn/Cory and a life ended far too soon.
Santana … shimmies on over to some Kubrickian hotel and waits in the dark for Brody to come try to hook for her. He opens the door, all, ‘Honey, I’m ho—fuck. Is this the part where you kill me?’ Santana smiles sweetly and tells him it’s not her he needs to worry about tonight. The bathroom door opens, and out walks Rachel.
Oh, thank God. You know, I kind of thought Glee had soiled itself in my esteem in an irredeemable way last season when Finn had to dupe Rachel into getting on a train and move to New York. This is a show that built itself on the back of Rachel Berry’s ambition. It’s the thread that has always woven everything together, from the very beginning. It brought Glee (and glee club) together and held Glee (and glee club) together and despite all of the other stuff that found its way into the main narrative, Rachel’s talent and Rachel’s aspirations were the themes all the other themes were built on. So to have her lose herself in a boy so completely that she wouldn’t even follow her lifelong dream of moving to New York unless he coerced her into it? What a gross message. What an awful character assassination. And then to bring her to the city and trap her in another storyline where her whole self is built on the validation of another boy? It makes my breast ache with rage.
So it is such a relief to see her finally confronting Brody, both the character who is doing her dirty and the symbolism of the thing that is holding her down. To look that thing right in the eye and say, ‘I am better than this. I see it now. I am Rachel Motherfucking Berry’ is such a relief. Finally, her character can grow into the woman we were introduced to in the pilot.
Just kidding, you guys. It’s Finn in the bathroom. ‘Stay away from my future wife,’ is what he shouts while beating the shit out of Brody.
Not even Liz Lemon could roll her eyes hard enough to convey the correct emotion about that turn of events."
Heather Hogan, AfterEllen, Glee 4x16 recap
Grey’s Anatomy - “Hard Bargain” (9x15)
Scandal - “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” (2x14)
Glee - “I Do” (4x14)