The last episode of Glee season 4 left us with several BURNING questions. Will Blaine propose to Kurt? Will he accept? Will Rachel be cast as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl? Did Becky confess to Principal Figgins that it was she who brought a gun to school and accidently shot it off? If Becky confesses, will Sue’s name be cleared allowing her to return to McKinley? Can Ryder find it in his heart to forgive Unique for catfishing him? Will Ryder return to New Directions (he quit in the wake of the catfish controversy) in time for Nationals?
These questions and more will be answered in the Glee two part premiere beginning with tonight’s episode titled “Love Love Love.” The music of the Beatles will be featured in both parts, split up into early vs. experimental work.
The season promises to begin on a happy, optimistic note. Unfortunately, the warm fuzzies won’t last long. Episode 3 will turn to heartbreak as Glee says goodbye to the late Cory Monteith and Finn, the character he played, in “The Quarterback.” We can only imagine where we would have found Finn at the beginning of this new season. But in the wake of Cory’s tragic death to a drug overdose in July, it’s too sad to contemplate.
So let’s focus on tonight’s upbeat episode that will at long last bring Kurt and Blaine back together. Plus, expect a brand new coupling. Also, Rachel will delve further into the Funny Girl audition process. And, Sue Sylvester makes a triumphant return.
Recap after the episode. In the meantime…discuss.
Eight great Beatles songs were featured in this episode. I didn’t always love The Beatles getting the Glee treatment, but the writers did a great job incorporating the songs thematically into the script. A Glee treatment can will me over if it works in the context of the story.
- The episode begins with Rachel at a Funny Girl chemistry audition, reading lines with the actor who would be her lead (played by Ioan Gruffudd). He is clearly not impressed. After, Rachel overhears him and the director (Twilight’s Peter Facinelli) dismiss her as too green and not worth the risk. Just like Fanny Brice in Funny Girl! She wanders around NYC (filmed on location!) singing “Yesterday.” (ETA: There are parallels to the date Finn took Rachel when the Glee club hit NYC in season 2. when he took her on a date at Sardis, and gaver her flowers on the Central Park Bridge. Rachel stares at a photo of the old school Glee club on her phone. It’s a subtle, and only nod to the missing Finn. *tear*.) But then, what a coincidence! Later, the two stop by the diner where Rachel and Santana are working, for a bite to eat. It’s a touristy diner where the wait staff sings (Would Broadway types be even caught dead in a place like that?). Rachel serves them their lunch and a side dish of I’LL SHOW YOU as she and Santana perform a peppy version of “A Hard Days Night” (A little too peppy, if you ask me. But I get that the song fits thematically, as they are just two hard working actresses looking for their big break.) To be honest, would it be the end of the world if Rachel didn’t get the part? These Lima kids and their instant success. I’d rather see Rachel struggle a bit, and in Season 6, finally get some sort of break. That girl, she’s always getting second chances.
- Yes it happened. Blaine proposed to Kurt and Kurt said yes. I have a million problems with the proposal storyline. It was already done with Finn and Rachel. I just don’t get marrying off these kids. Realistically, young people graduate high school, go off to college, and their lives change. As well they should. Sure, there are couples who stay together (I know a few) but why not save the engagement for the series ending flash forward? Ryan Murphy loves taking his plots over the top. A proposal provides the opportunity for an extremely romantic, and emotional episode. It manipulates for a short term payoff. I hope Ryan has a clear idea of where he’s going to take the engagement going forward, but if the past is any indication, he probably doesn’t
- Having said all that. Congrats Ryan. YOU TOTALLY SUCKED ME IN. That episode-ending proposal was EPIC. Blaine sings the Beatles majestic “All You Need is Love” while Rachel leads Kurt by the hand through rooms of dancing and singing show choirs. There’s a brass band. Everyone is there–Santana, Mercedes, Tina, Artie, Sam, the new kiddos and Will. Kurt and Rachel descend the staircase where the couple met, and confetti hearts fall from the sky. Blaine is waiting for him at the bottom of the stairs. They stand in the exact spot where they spoke their first words. The proposal speech is glorious, “…it’s never really felt like I’ve been getting to know you. It’s always felt like I was remembering you from something. As if in every lifetime you and I have ever lived, we’ve chosen to come back and find each other and fall in love all over again. Over and Over. For all Eternity….all I want to do, all I’ve ever wanted to do is spend my life loving you.” At this point, Kurt is a trembling mess and who wouldn’t be? Blaine proposes on one knee, and Kurt tearfully says yes. They kiss passionately and then cling to each other as if they will never let each other go. OK I’LL ADMIT IT. I TEARED UP. Again. CONGRATS RYAN MURPHY. YOU GOT ME.
- Still, beforehand, in the car as papa Burt is driving him to Dalton (Kurt’s all “I know you are driving me to my surprise proposal. Hee) Kurt says that Blaine makes him feel connected and safe. Except the two spent the entirety of Season 4 apart. Blaine cheated on Kurt. Kurt stopped trusting him. Blaine spent the entire back half of the season pining for Kurt (and crushing on Sam). Kurt spent it dating other guys and swearing he’d moved on. The two needed to spend the season truly finding their way back to each other. And that quick roll in the hay at Will’s aborted wedding didn’t count! Kurt behaved as if it were just a little wedding madness. Connected is not a word that comes to mind when I think of Klaine season 4. When exactly did Kurt begin to feel safe with Blaine again? Oh well. Onward and upward.
- Kurt and Blaine at least reunited before the proposal. It happens in the McKinley courtyard, during a romantic goodbye picnic lunch set up by Blaine, who wants to know “What’s the story with this New York guy.” Kurt says he was nice, but it never got serious. And…that’s the end of Adam! Which is too bad, because I was looking forward to a meaty mid-game for Kurt, one that would have truly helped him to realize that he belonged to Blaine. Kurt reminds Blaine that he cheated. Blaine promises to never ever EVER cheat again. Kurt hesitates, but then he’s all “OH ALRIGHT WE’LL TRY THIS AGAIN.” And just like that, they’re together again (and about to get engaged). Blaine says he prepared a song. Kurt says no. I prepared a song. I guess that’s to show Kurt has some agency in the situation. He hasn’t had much. They sing “Got to Get You Into My Life” accompanied by a marching band. They dance. They kiss. And in front of all of McKinley! Gay PDA for the win!
- The Sue Sylvester plotline is just recycled season 2 crap. That’s why Glee writers are paid the big bucks…to dredge up plot points that didn’t make sense the first time around. The horrifying school shooting incident is wrapped up with a snarky little bow. Becky cops to bringing the gun to school. She’s suspended for a month. In the meantime, Sue plots to overthrow Figgins by planting porn, white supremacy literature, gambling receipts–anything she can think of to throw Figgins under the bus. It’s totally over the top. She colludes with the school superintendent to once again become interim principal. She informs Will and Roz (Ne Ne Leakes is back) that if their respective groups don’t win national championships, they will be fired. Zzzzzz. As wonderful as Jane Lynch is, Sue Sylvester, the character, is way past her sell date.
- New couple alert: Last season, after Kitty helped Artie face his fears about leaving Lima to attend film school in New York City, he falls for her. He successfully woos her, as the Lima kids play at a local carnival singing “Drive My Car” complete with a ride in an old fashioned bumper car. Kitty wants to keep her romantic relationship with the wheelchair bound and not-so-cool, Artie, a secret after the new mean Cheerio, Bree, tries to humiliate her. They sing “Hide Your Love Away” in the science lab (remember Sam wooing Quinn there back in season 1?) After an angry Tina outs them in front of the Glee club, Kitty admits she didn’t want to risk her social standing…and her heart, until she was convinced Artie was the real deal. She decides that he is, and the two officially become an item. Bonus: Kitty hilariously calls Tina “diary of a lame geisha” after the outing! The brand new Cheerio, Bree, should fill in the mean girl role nicely. And hooray neck brace girl!
- Didn’t Ryder announce he was leaving New Directions after the catfish debacle blew up in his face? Here he is, back in the choir room, behaving as if nothing happened. Did that plot line just get dropped? Will Ryder and Unique behave as if nothing happened? Oh Glee.
- Tina Cohen Chang continues to get the crazy bitch edit. Blaine gathers Sam, Ryder and Jake together for a Tina-vention of sorts. After Blaine recites her sorry high school story, which involves getting dumped by various men, you kinda understand why she might be psycho and the only member of the “Too Young To Be Bitter” club. But still. Why the writers got to be so mean? The plan is really just a plot device to get the guys in the auditorium, awesomely recreating the Beatles performance on the Ed Sullivan Show. They sing “I Saw Her Standing There.” Blaine’s Paul McCartney head shakes are awesome. They also break out the Liverpudllian accents and it’s pretty adorable. Blaine is the cute one, Paul. Jake is the angry one, John. Sam is the quiet one, George (well, that doesn’t quite fit) and Ryder is Ringo. Kitty, Unique and Marley race down the aisles in their vintage 60’s dresses and butterfly glasses to scream and swoon. The piece also nods at the Beatles black and white movie masterpiece, A Hard Days Night, as Artie mans the vintage monitors in the “directors’ booth.” (Remember the director of the fictional variety show the boys appear on in A Hard Days Night nearly losing his mind?) The film switches to black and white and it’s all very GROOVY. After the number, the guys who are single (sans Jake) offer themselves up as prom dates to Tina. She chooses Sam because he’s the “least gay and/or Asian.” Ya’ll just know this is a prelude to some epic Tina Cray Cray in next week’s episode.
- After Blaine and Kurt officially get back together, Blaine puts his proposal plan in motion. His idea is for all the rival Glee clubs to put aside their differences and come together to make a cultural statement! We aren’t all that different! And never mind that Kurt and Blaine STILL can’t get married in Ohio (and back in the spring, when this all takes place, DOMA and Prop 8 had yet to be repealed). Let Ryan Murphy make his big political statement, Damn it! Heh. Actually, it’s kind of a genius throwback idea to gather all of New Direction’s enemies in one room for a big celebration. What ensues, is another little Beatle homage–this time to the band’s second movie, Help. Blaine sings the title cut, as he brings the forces together, like a gathering storm. High jinks, of course, ensue! There’s running, and jumping, and phone booth camouflage. The deaf choir sign “Oh my God, it’s those McKinley nerds.” The entire mad cap group end up at Dalton where Sebastian, of all people, blesses the idea, with a group vote and a hug.
- Will Shuster continues to be a non-entity.
Cory Monteith’s absence is glaring in every single respect. He should be standing beside Will while he’s handing out assignments to the Glee club. He should be on the phone with Rachel, supporting her as she wends her way through the scary process of auditioning for “Funny Girl,” her first Broadway show. And OMG, he should have been present for his beloved step-brother’s proposal. The heart of Glee has a giant sized hole in it that I’m not sure can ever be filled. The premiere had some wonderful moments, but overall it felt disjointed and empty.
Without Cory, the season is off to a really odd start. Having Finn disappear into thin air with nary a mention is like the elephant in the room. It doesn’t feel comfortable. After Finn dies and is memorialized in the 3rd episode, I hope his presence continues to reverberate in the plot lines–that the writers don’t erase him out as if he never existed. Maybe then, it will be possible to move on.
Yesterday – Rachel
Drive My Car – Artie and Kitty with Blaine, Ryder, Sam and Jake
Got to Get You Into My Life – Kurt and Blaine
You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away – Kitty and Artie
Help – Sam and Blaine
A Hard Days Night – Rachel and Santana
I Saw Her Standing There – Blaine, Sam, Jake, Ryder
All You Need is Love – Blaine, The Warblers, New Directions, The Deaf Choir, Vocal Adrenaline