Much of Glee‘s fourth season has been a series of unfortunate events. Every couple has broken up (in one way or another), and even after McKinley, Rachel continues to struggle with her self-esteem. There’s also the whole eating disorder issue, which reached new heights during last week’s episode when Marley fainted onstage. In “Swan Song,” the show took a turn for the better.

The Players:

Episode Title: “Swan Song”

Finn contemplates his future with the glee club. Back in New York, Rachel gets invited to perform at the Winter Showcase and Kurt gets a second chance to audition for NYADA.

The Good:

  • Kurt Catches a Break: Sometimes we’re a little hard on Kurt because he’s an intern at Vogue and is best friend’s with its editor. But the truth is, he’s had a rough season. Not only has he been cheated on, but he’s basically been tagging along Rachel’s journey to stardom. When’s the last time we heard him truly sing? Can you even remember? Last night, he finally caught a break when Carmen Tibideaux allowed him to audition for the role of ‘NYADA student.’ Kurt’s performance of “Being Alive” is chilling and emotional, and more importantly, gets him into to the school of his dreams. 
  • Rachel’s Confidence: Despite all the put downs she’s received from Cassandra July, Rachel has managed to keep it together — for the most part.Cassandra went after her again, but she came back at her with confidence. Rachel’s character is evolving. She came to New York all shriveled up, but now she’s blossoming into a powerful performer.
  • The Future of the Glee Club: The New Directions lost Sectionals. Now the future of the glee club is unknown. There’s a certain fascination in that. Ryan Murphy knows what he’s doing, and we trust him to do what’s right for the show. The original glee kids had to fight for their club, and maybe these newbies will have to do the same.

Best Lines:

  • “Most people don’t understand geniuses, like most people people didn’t appreciate Einstein or The Spice Girls until it was too late.”
  • “I joined the inter-faith paintball league where Christians, Jews and Muslims can shoot at each other safely.”

The Bad:

  • Sue Sylvester: We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, this show needs a new villain. Having Sue go after the glee club again and again is boring. One minute she loves them, the next she’s trying to destroy them. It’s confusing and infuriating. 
  • The Bully Slips By: Kitty is a bully. But she’s not totally responsible for Marley’s eating disorder. She pushed her to stick her fingers down her throat and take laxatives, yes, but ultimately, it was Marley’s choice to do so. Still, Kitty needs to own up to her crimes and be taught a lesson. She can’t just slip by.

The Music:

  • “Somethin’ Stupid,” Carson and Gaile – Sam and Brittany perform a duet together. 
  • “All That Jazz,” Chicago – Rachel and Cassandra face-off with impressive pyrotechnics. 
  • “Being Good Isn’t Good Enough,” Hallelujah Baby! – Rachel sings at the Winter Showcase. Her performance is filled with long, high notes. 
  • “O Holy Night,” Various – Rachel gets an encore, and follows it with a holiday song.
  • “Being Alive,” Company – Kurt gets a second chance at NYADA and performs a beautiful and emotional version of “Being Alive.”
  • “Don’t Dream It’s Over,” Crowded House – The glee club comes together to perform this upbeat number.


At this point, anything can happen at McKinley. The glee club could cease to exist – though that’s not likely to happen. “Swan Song” left a few questions unanswered, but there was a feeling of unity and peace. The New Directions are still passionate about performing, and Rachel and Kurt are finally at a good place in their lives.

Rating: 8.5/10

Glee airs Thursday nights at 9 p.m. on Fox.

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What did you think of last night’s episode?