Glee 10/4: The Break-Up (open spoilers)


I hope I’m not stealing Loopus’s thunder by starting this thread, but I saw there wasn’t one up yet and I need to talk about this now.

More than ever I feel like the characters who graduated last year need to be on a different show. I was enjoying the drama of this episode much more than I’d expected to until the halfway point, when everything came to a screeching halt so we could have a “comedic” scene in which Quinn 2.0 orders everyone to play a prank on Tina 2.0 (I’m not sure this character even has a name) to make her think the Rapture has occurred and she’s the only one who’s been left behind. :smack: You know what would have been better than this scene? Another commercial break. I’m serious, I would rather have had a shorter episode than an episode that contained this scene.

Really everything with the new characters could have been cut and I wouldn’t have minded. Maybe the writers are heading somewhere good with them, but I’ve been burned by this show a lot and they’re not doing themselves any favors by cutting away from characters I already like and storylines that I’m interested in to spend time with characters I find boring or irritating and storylines I could not care less about.

As for the break-up storylines, I’ll be brief here and say I was surprised but pleased that Santana (!) behaved maturely and responsibly. I’m also glad that Rachel finally told Finn off and I hope they never get back together again because 1) she was right, Finn behaved very badly and really he’s been yanking her around ever since they met and 2) I have had enough of this couple and their constant breakups/makeups and I just want to to be over. As for Kurt and Blaine, well, after how whiny, self-absorbed, and unlikable Blaine became last season I found it all too plausible that he’d cheat on Kurt because Kurt didn’t call him enough while at work. The real surprise wasn’t that Blaine cheated, but that Finn didn’t kick his ass once they were back in Lima.

An exchange that I also would have liked to see in the episode would have been something like this:

KURT: Hey Finn, why are you so upset?
FINN: I’m really mad at Rachel because, a mere four months after I broke up with her and cut off all contact with her, she kissed another guy.
KURT: Oh. I’m mad at Blaine because, a mere three weeks after he encouraged me not to wait for him in Lima but to go to New York and follow my dreams, he had sex with another guy.
FINN: Okay, yours is worse.

Meh - I found this depressing.

Oh, I found it depressing too, but far less depressing than the fact that this is a show that has had TWO Britney Spears tribute episodes.

I’m not enjoying this season. I thought this episode was depressing (although I do think that the group numbers performed by Rachel, Kurt, Finn, and Blaine were good.)

I don’t like what they’re doing with Brittany — she’s the weakest singer and the weakest actress, so it doesn’t make sense to do episodes centered around her, particularly when she’s supposed to be acting depressed. All she can do is the blank face that makes her unattractive. Her strengths are her dancing, her cute smile, and the comic relief from her one-liners. Morose Brittany is the wrong way to go.

I absolutely loved this episode, it’s right up there with my very favorites in the entire show.

Anyone who’s ever gone through a painful young love breakup should find something in one of these couples to relate to. I loved the acting and the songs, including a truly impactful finale. I’m not going to say the show is back to its prime based on one episode, but if they churn out a classic like this every once in a while then Glee’s continued existence will be justified as far as I’m concerned. I’ve noticed around online that a lot of people felt similarly, including people who have been down on the show for a few years now.

Easily the best episode of the season so far (though that’s not saying a hell of a lot). I always thought that Glee was at its best when it focussed on relationships, and I think that’s in evidence here. The Rachel/Finn stuff and the Blaine/Kurt stuff was very strong, and I think that Blaine’s “Teenage Dream” was right up there with the best musical numbers the show has done, even if it was difficult to watch for its raw emotion. I thought Darren Criss really pulled it off.

I agree with Lamia that the “Left Behind” stuff was pointless. Because Brittany feels “left behind” by Santana? Come on, even Glee writers can do better than that.

I also agree that, up until this episode, I was getting to the point where I would have started thinking about giving up on the show, if it weren’t for the fact that I feel compelled to stick it out to the end for the sake of my silly blog. But I really did like this episode quite a bit.

The Will/Emma stuff felt more curtailed than pointless. You can’t leave them on the sidelines all season then act like we should know what’s going on with their relationship.

I expect they’ll have her bounce back and start dating Sam pretty quickly – they’ve made strong hints in that direction already.

I find it difficult to care what happens next at McKinley, though. I’d be interested in a slightly more adult Glee: New York (or perhaps Glee: Special Vocalists Unit), and I can at least imagine enjoying an original flavor Glee with a different cast of high school students, but alternating between the two within one show is just making me irritated with the latter.

I came into “The Break-Up” thinking that, since this season has been weak so far and the show is about to go on hiatus, I’d watch this one and if it wasn’t any good I’d just give up on the show altogether. But while this episode was much better than I expected – it wasn’t fun, but I thought it was good as a [melo]drama, one of the better “serious” episodes the show has done, and the musical numbers were mostly good as well – I think it’s made me even unhappier about the dual setting approach the show has taken this season.

On a somewhat lighter note, more than once something has happened on Glee where I thought “Well, that’s pretty implausible” and then realized “Wait, that is actually an only slightly exaggerated version of something that happened to me or someone I know.” I thought it was pretty contrived that Finn would wind up being too bad with guns to make it through basic training. Then I remembered that a high school boyfriend of my sister’s (a guy who was, like Finn, tall and handsome but not very bright) went into the Army a year or two after graduation due to a lack of other options/direction in his life. He turned out to be such a lousy shot that he was given the choice of either repeating basic training or just leaving. He chose to leave. This was a few years back and I wasn’t sure what had happened to him since then, but I managed to find his profile page on Facebook and he seems to be doing fine now.

Yes! I couldn’t take my eyes off that performance. The fact that it was also a throwback to a well received number from happier times just tears your heart out too.

Thinking of that number, early on I was thinking “It’s nice they let Darren Criss perform his own arrangement of this song, but someone should have told him to tone it down a little. This is getting uncomfortable, and I’m starting the feel embarrassed for him.” Then they showed Finn and Rachel in the audience looking uncomfortable, and I thought “Oh, we’re supposed to find this hard to watch. All right, I’m on board with that, then.” Incidentally, I have since read that the vocals for this number were recorded live, which may be a first for Glee.

I did have to look away several times though, not exactly because I felt sorry for the character but because I’d be so embarrassed if I were in that bar watching a stranger break down in public. I have witnessed less extreme (and less vocally talented) versions of this – I’ve been to enough karaoke bars to have seen people singing break-up songs while clearly both drunk and distraught – and it just makes me cringe.

I also couldn’t help thinking “Wait, is this song about a 13 year old getting molested?” I mean, “Teenage Dream” is basically about the joys of underage sex, and if the singer is crying then that takes things into a very dark place.

That explains why the sound quality sounded different. Not bad, but different. That was definitely a good decision for that number. It made it sound real, like it was, you know, actually happening in a karaoke bar. The raw sound contributed to the effect of Blaine’s exposed emotions.

It’s one of Glee’s greatest strengths that it’s capable of making very interesting/gutsy decisions like that. It’s one of its greatest weaknesses that such choices fail about as often as they succeed. But I thought they succeeded big time on this one.