Another only so-so week for “Glee.” The group seems to be becoming unpopular onscreen and if it doesn’t get its act together possibly off screen. The first season may have been a blow up phenomenon but this season has left quite a bit to be desired. Though there definitely were some highlights to last nights show and of course another great Sue Sylvester moment.
Check out the good and the bad below…
- Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
- Written by: Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan
- Cast: Jane Lynch, Matthew Morrison, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Jayma Mays, Chris Colfer, Dianna Agron, Kevin McHale, Heather Morris, Amber Riley, Naya Rivera, Mark Salling, Jenna Ushkowitz
After Finn has a religious experience with a sandwich and Kurt’s dad lands in the hospital, the subject of religion is broached amongst New Directions. The glee club finds itself divided over the issues of faith and religion, but tries to work through it via song. Elsewhere, Finn and Rachel take their relationship to a new level, McKinley’s football seasons starts, and Sue opens up to Ms. Pillsbury.
- Classic tunes: After two pop-fueled and filled episodes, hearing Simon & Garfunkel, Billy Joel, and The Beatles was refreshing.
- Solid message: One great thing about “Glee” is that, with so many diverse characters, no opinion is left unheard. This was especially true of tonight’s episode. Mercedes, Quinn, and Finn held up the Christian side of the class, preaching the comfort of having God to turn to in times of trouble. Rachel made it clear to Finn that Jewish isn’t just important to her, its important to their future together. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Kurt defended his atheism and Sue made the argument against religious expression in public schools. No one was totally right and no one was totally wrong, which is an important message to send regarding religion.
- A softer Sue: Jane Lynch always manages to bring Sue Sylvester back from the brink of caricature without losing the character’s edge and this episode showcased this talent. When Sue opens up to Ms. Pillsbury about why she is trying to stop glee club from openly advertising religious fervor, its an honest and touching revelation that humanizes the often abrasive and ridiculous character.
- Awkward musical performances. So many choir room performances. Rachel lighting candles and singing at the stars. Rachel singing/screaming at a comatose Mr. Hummel in a hospital room. Finn stalking around school, creepily staring at Kurt in what was, I assume, intended to be a sign of empathy. It was all very uncomfortable (or unintentionally funny.)
- Major missed opportunity. Music and religion are both deeply personal and unique to each individual. “Glee” is most interesting when the characters express their emotions through songs that provide a glimpse into their personalities, ambitions, and fears. ‘Grilled Cheesus’ was an opportunity for “Glee” to dig a little deeper into these characters and emotions, and it utterly missed the mark by being excessively melodramatic instead of creating real drama.
- “Only the Good Die Young,” Billy Joel- Puck kicks off the episode by continuing his tradition of “only doing songs by Jewish artists” with Billy Joel’s famously controversial crowd-pleaser. It makes complete sense that Puck would choose this particular song, as its a plea to get a woman into bed, but the performance was no “Sweet Caroline.”
- “I Look to You,” Whitney Houston- After Kurt’s dad has a heart attack that puts him in a coma, the atheist Kurt refuses to compromise his beliefs in order to ease his pain. Mercedes tries to reach out to him through this song, but to no avail. Amber Riley’s voice is undeniable, but this rendition lacked passion.
- “Papa Can You Hear Me,” Barbara Streisand- Of all the awkward performances in this episode, this was by far the weirdest. Rachel tries to find God by emulating her idol Barbara, leading to a strange nighttime performance complete with candles, a confused Finn, and a visit to Mr. Hummel’s hospital room. Considering the grave subject matter, Lea Michele’s overly theatrical performance was utterly bizarre.
- “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” The Beatles- Kurt delivers the most honest and best performance of the night, which cuts between him performing in the choir room and flashbacks of his childhood and his mother’s funeral. Also- the boy playing young Kurt was a spot on casting call; they looked EXACTLY alike.
- “Losing My Religion,” R.E.M- Finn’s prayers to Grilled Cheesus to win the first football game, get to second base with Rachel, and regain his status as the quarterback are all answered. Unfortunately, the final wish is granted only because Sam (Chord Overstreet) lands in the hospital during the second game. Thus, Finn loses his faith, as he demonstrates with this song. Though Cory Monteith’s voice is not the best on this show, this was not his worst performance.
- “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” Simon & Garfunkel- In yet another attempt to console her friend, Mercedes brings Kurt, clad in a fabulously feathered hat, to church with her, where she leads her congregation in a rousing rendition of the S&G classic.
- “One of Us,” Joan Osborne- Tina gets a solo in the final group performance during which New Directions, clad in white, sings perhaps the most obvious song ever chosen to close an episode of “Glee.”
For an episode about a subject as divisive as religion, a lot of the emotions and conflict in this episode seemed forced and contrived, leading to awkward musical performances and an uneven tone throughout the episode. However, the open discussion of faith on a show like “Glee” was interesting to watch and the message of tolerance was appreciated.
“Glee” airs Tuesday nights on Fox at 8 pm
What did you think of last night’s episode of Glee?