Tuesday, October 9, 2012

GLEE 4x4: "The Break-Up"

You might forget that Glee is technically a comedy, after Ryan Murphy delivers his most brutal and emotional episode yet. Finchel, Klaine, Brittana, and Wemma all reach an impasse...is the golden age of Glee romance over?

McKinley| While watching future lovebirds Marley and Jake flirt about being poor in the cafeteria (another TV first?), Brittany and Blaine wallow in self-pity over their long-distance loves. Blaine is feeling neglected big time, since Kurt is otherwise engaged being the Jennifer Hudson to SJP's Carrie Bradshaw at Vogue.com. He doesn't even have time to say "I love you" back to Blaine before abruptly hanging up his 1997 office phone. Blaine's response to this is shocking but maybe not completely unwarranted: Since Mr. Anderson is a McKinley High student, he sings his way to the choir room so he can solicit a guy named "Eli C." for sex instead of going to class.

Santana is finally back in the flesh, and invites Brittany over to...help her do laundry. There's a palpable distance between them, which only increases after Brittany tells her about joining Kitty's Left Behind Club, preparing for the impending antichrist, and hanging out with Tina's assistant (Dottie Kazatori, my new favorite non-character). Which leads us to the least important subplot of the evening, where Kitty holds a rapture at Breadstix with the singular goal of emotionally scarring the aforementioned Dottie. Jake breaks up with Kitty for being a crazy (albeit hilarious) bitch, much to Marley's delight. Taking the long way around, Ryan Murphy connects these stories by having Brittany admit that she felt left behind when Santana went off to college.

Our favorite sapphic sweethearts have an emotional meeting in the choir room (they barely ever sing in here anymore), in which Santana decides that splitting up is the mature thing to do for them both. She had an "energy exchange" with a girl at school, but didn't act on it. It's tearful, it's honest, and it's probably some of the best work that Naya Rivera has ever done on this show. Also, it kills me a little inside every time we see Brittany cry. Rest in peace, Brittana.

Will has been accepted into the Blue Ribbon Panel to Improve Arts Education (you have to refer to it by its full name, lest the Arts Education gods become angered), and sees no problem in demanding that Emma go with him to Washington for a few months. You'd think that he'd remember how much she loves her job - she fought hard in that one episode to get tenure - but he only brings up this fact as an excuse for her to take a sabbatical. She's not feeling it, and we'll just have to wait and see what happens next for Wemma. Oh, and the New Directions have decided on Grease for this year's school musical. Because those lovable, singin' misfits are apparently the sole decision-makers at McKinley. Is Figgins still alive?

New York| The bulk of the story really takes place here, picking up the morning after the end of last week's episode. After spending the night not talking, Finn finally explains to Rachel what the hell he's been up to for the past 4 months. He got a semi-honorable discharge from Army after shooting himself through the thigh, felt ashamed, and backpacked through Georgia. Sidestepping any mention of Brody, Rachel jumps into Finn's lap and tells him that he'll simply attend ALL of her week's NYADA classes until he figures out a new, NYADA-shaped dream. It doesn't take Finn long to figure out how horrible this plan is, though.

At Hummel-Berry Manor, the Witches of Bushwick prepare for a night on the town at Callbacks, a piano bar haunt frequented by NYADA students. Just as Kurt is chastising Finn for wearing "dad jeans", a knock on the door presents...Blaine! He couldn't wait the two weeks until his planned visit, so he booked a la$t minute flight to the Big Apple. Kurt is overjoyed to see him, but this wears off quickly after Blaine sings a heartbreaking acoustic version of 'Teenage Dream' to him at the bar. After calling him "emotional" and "weirdly sad" (because Kurt is an ungrateful, heartless monster), the truth comes out: Blaine was with someone. It wasn't Sebastian (why not??), but it's a moot point. Kurt makes his devastating cry face, and despite flowers sent to Vogue.com...it seems as though Klaine is also dunzo.

Knowing for certain that he doesn't belong in New York, Finn finally forces Rachel to address the generically sexy elephant in the room. She admits that they kissed, but that she only did so because she hadn't heard from Finn in months and was confused. Finn makes a break for it the next morning before Rachel wakes up, and heads back to Lima. He cries in Mr. Schue's arms over being a failure, and then shows up in the choir room where he's "always welcome" to help the New Directions select Grease for their annual musical. Rachel hops a flight back to Lima as well to track him down, and they face off in the auditorium. Or as Rachel calls it, their "Jerusalem". The more confident Ms. Berry puts Finn on blast for his cowardly behavior, and though she loves him, she ends it. I've kinda never liked Rachel more, which is shocking. We end on a fantastic performance of Coldplay's "The Scientist", sung by all four of the main couples. Nobody said it was easy, indeed.

Quotes & Commentary

"Okay everyone, listen up. Y'all are sinners and you'd better get right with God tout suite, because Jesus just logged onto Orbitz and booked himself a plane ticket back to Earth. See, he's got an awesome dad named God who's throwing him a bitchin' party called Armageddon, where he's gonna kick off his sandals, dance a little bit, and judge the crap out of everybody." - Kitty to the Left Behind Club's rapture at Breadstix

"You're half-Jewish, right? So does that mean that you'll float up to heaven at half-speed?" - Marley to Jake, asking valid questions about the rapture

"She smiled a little too long, which meant she was either crazy, or a lesbian." - Santana to Brittany, on her college energy exchange

"You do not want to break up with me, mmkay? I'm like a bad Carrie Underwood song once I get going." - Kitty to Jake, right before he breaks up with her

- Ryan Murphy stated in an interview that this was the best episode they've ever done. In many ways, I have to agree. These characters have never seemed more genuine than they do while facing the harsh truths of high school relationships after graduation, and it was all surprisingly believable.

- Wanna know what's less-than-believable? These crazy kids and their flight patterns. Unless there's a concord route from Lima directly to NYC and vice versa? That shit's expensive. I've always assumed that Blaine's family was rich based on his preppy wardrobe and WASP-y bedroom decor, but what do Rachel's gay dads do, exactly?

- Emma stood up for herself! WHAT?!

- Sue is absent from this episode entirely, but - once again - I'm not complaining. Her spirit lived on in Kitty, who is quickly becoming my favorite member of the new class. They haven't tried unbridled religious insanity 'til now, right? Unless you count Mercedes blathering on about the end times in last season's "Extraordinary Merry Christmas". Which no one does.

- Someone needs to remind Tina that Blaine won the coveted "New Rachel" title, because based on her Asian-centric suggestions for the musical...okay, maybe she had a psychotic break?

- After offering reaction shots last week, Sugar Motta has once again disappeared. My friend Josh suggests that the show probably can't afford to have Sugar and Joe in every episode, so they may have to start switching off. Unique was there, though - looking like a hot mess, asking to do Hedwig and the Angry Inch

- The Monteith has reached a level of hotness I didn't think was even possible, so good for him. Sure, he was the only one in Army without a buzzcut, but I'll let it slide. Lookin' good.

- Is Blaine going to be bow-tie-free from now on? Sam raised a good point last week, but I will miss them a little.

- I would be thrilled if all the couples actually stayed broken up, but something tells me there's more to the story for Wemma and (alas) Klaine. Finchel will probably be reunited, but not until the very end of the season. I do think Brittana is over for good, though. Let's see what these characters are like without significant others. 

Blaine Corner

Song Ranking

#1 "The Scientist"
Performed by Finn, Blaine, Santana, Rachel, Kurt, Brittany, Will & Emma
Originally performed by Coldplay

#2 "Give Your Heart a Break"
Performed by Rachel & Brody
Originally performed by Demi Lovato

#3 "Teenage Dream" (Acoustic Version)
Performed by Blaine
Originally performed by Katy Perry

#4 "Barely Breathing"
Performed by Blaine & Finn
Originally performed by Duncan Sheik

#5 "Mine"
Performed by Santana
Originally performed by Taylor Swift

#6 "Don't Speak"
Performed by Finn, Rachel, Blaine & Kurt
Originally performed by No Doubt


Coming up, on Glee:
It's that time, once again - mini hiatus! Glee will be back with new episodes starting November 8th.

Until then, check out @MissingOnGlee on Twitter to see what the characters are up to in the meantime!

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1 comment:

Sarah77 said...

I also loved Naya Rivera’s performance in this episode; I have really missed her presence on the show. I felt that her and Brittany’s breakup was the most heartbreaking, it does feel like it is truly the end for the two of them. A co-worker at DISH mentioned that now she has the freedom to go to New York like she initially intended. I hope this is true, because her talent is too big to ignore. It’s good that I have a lot of other shows to watch on my Hopper, it will make the wait for Glee to return a little more bearable. The 2,000 hours of recording space have been amazing with my late train ride interfering with a lot of premieres. I am really excited to see what the characters do now that they are single. I think it could be a great time for them all to grow and explore new opportunities that they hadn't previously considered.