Glee returns this week with a truly shocking episode titled “Shooting Star”. The plot is ripped straight from the headlines. And I’m just going to say what happens, since it’s out already. The central plot point is a shooting a McKinley High. The incident itself is not what makes this episode so moving and harrowing. It’s the kid’s very candid and raw reactions as the drama unfolds.
I’m going to bullet a few spoilery tidbits. Don’t read if you don’t want to know.
- Two gunshots ring out at McKinley High. The school immediately goes into lockdown. Most of the kids, along with Mr. Shue and Coach Beiste are trapped in the choir room.
- There are NO New York scenes this week. No Kurt, Rachel or Santana. And no Finn. Sugar and Joe are also absent. The focus is wisely kept to key characters in this episode. There are only 3 musical numbers. Two in the first fifteen minutes and one at the very end.
- The episode is gut wrenching and difficult to watch NOT because you worry about whether the kids will come out unscathed. It’s watching them live through the terrifying experience that grabs you by the throat. The kids are so scared–aware they could possibly die and and never see their loved ones again. Anybody who has grown attached to these characters WILL be shedding tears at some point while watching the drama unfold.
- The kids step up to the plate big time. I remember dismissing Chord Oversteet in season two as a lightweight. I wrong. He’s incredible in this episode, as is Heather Morris, Melissa Benoist and holy cow. Becca Tobin. Heather and Becca play one dimensional characters. It’s amazing what they can do when given a meaty part. Tina Ushkowitz, Kevin McHale, Darren Criss, (Becky), Ryder, also deserve kudos.
- Some of Melissa Benoist’s finest moments occur as her character, Marley, attempts to make contact with her mom during the crisis.
- In an emotionally charged scene, Kitty makes amends with Marley.
- In the midst of the crisis, Artie turns auteur breaking out his cell phone camera to record “last messages” from the kids. Many tears are shed. Including mine.
- Even if you hate the Blaine/Tina friendship, there is a scene between them that is so heartbreaking and sweet, I defy you not to be touched.
- Ryder’s catfish story gets real. He finds his girl in the halls of McKinley, but then…Oy. Let’s just say there are moments in the episode where I really felt for the guy, even while I marveled at his naivete.
- Another plot point involving Will and Beiste is…well we’ve been down this road before. A season one character makes a cameo here in an unexpected way.
- We learn more about the shooting and the shooter and it’s a bit of a shocker. And very Ryan Murphy. I’ll have more on that after the episode airs. I won’t spoil it here.
- Becky and Brittany have a very sweet scene early on that figures majorly into the plot.
- The episode begins with Brittany announcing that an asteroid. Or a meteor. Or something is headed straight for Lima. Will comes up with a plan to sooth the kids while also teaching them to perform with all they have. Choose a “last chance” song as if it were either your last days on earth, or a regionals performance. Lets just say the kids learn their lesson, without the aid of music.
- We learn the names of the rival groups New Directions will face at Regionals. It’s hilarious. I wonder which has Jessica Sanchez as their lead diva?
- There are several I love yous in this episode.
- There is a scene between Sam and Brittany that is tooth-achingly sweet. Cute overload. Brittana shippers will not be happy with the turn of events in this episode.
- If you didn’t cry during the episode, the last few moments of the song, “Say”, that closes the show, should choke you up. Basically, the Glee club hugs it out in the auditorium. But there’s more.
- If you have any questions, I will try to answer them in comments.