There's a hilarious tragicomic subtext to this week's Glee
that is sadly undone by the feel-goodery of the final moments. For most
of the episode, New Directions languishes in defeat after losing
Sectionals for the first time ever. They're lost and directionless.
Meanwhile in NYC, Rachel and Kurt's lives reach all-time highs. I
appreciate the juxtaposition of these two wildly different emotions,
although it still bugs me that everything always comes up roses for
Rachel and Kurt.
Unfortunately the show tries to make everything happy by suggesting that winning doesn't matter, it's really all about friendship and music and other nonsense. That's a nice moral for the episode, but one that seems contradicted by the fact that Rachel wins something and it makes her life complete. It's a bit like when Mitt Romney tried relating to the average American.
New Directions Loses
We pick up right where we left off, with the glee club carting Marley off the stage after she collapsed at Sectionals. Artie exposits that no one has ever fainted in the history of show choir competitions, which is the most unbelievable thing anyone has ever said on this show. Santana, the only sane voice of reason, immediately accuses Kitty of making Marley give up food because she knows Kitty is a vicious bitch. No one ever follows up on this, even though it seems like kind of a big deal to me. Why is no one else concerned with the fact that Kitty almost killed Marley?
Sue enters to gloat that, per the rules, leaving the stage mid-performance is grounds for disqualification, so the New Directions lose and the Warblers win. Just like that, the season is over.
This begins the meta mystery: How does the show exist without a competition? Sue takes over the choir room for her production of Sue du Soleil. I can't help but feel the writers missed an opportunity at a better joke here. How about Cirque du Sue-leil?
Like a pregnant Mary, there's no room at the school for the kids to rehearse. Everyone is sad, except the piano player, who is happy to be free of those annoying kids who expect him to be able to play any song they want.
The kids are disappointed to learn they have no real purpose. Finn tries to get them excited about a holiday concert and preparing for next season. The only problem is there is no next season for seniors Sam, Blaine, Brittany, Artie and Tina. Congrats, Finn, you just ruined their senior year. Everyone then goes their own ways.
-Tina and Blaine join the Cheerios
-Artie joins the marching band
-Jake and Ryder join the basketball team
-Wade joins the floor hockey team
-Joe joins an interfaith paintball league (so different religions can shoot each other safely)
A Bram Love Story
In happier news, Sam leaves a trail of Cheerios cereal in the hallway to lure Brittany into a classroom, and it works. He confesses that he's sad he'll never get to sing a love song with Brittany, because he's into her. She likes him too because she thinks he's a genius.
Sam goes in for a kiss after a duet, but Brittany stops him. It seems crazy Brittana fans have invaded the fictional world of Glee, so Brittany knows that seeing two hot, popular teenage lesbians is very inspirational and if Brittany starts dating a guy, all those fans will try to hurt his pretty face.
She's right, those Brittana fans are insane, but I love the Brittany/Sam pairing. I know opposites attract, but there's something to be said for common interests. These two are both kind-hearted dumb blondes with boundless optimism. They both see the best in everyone and the world. They're basically twins, only it wouldn't be creepy if they hooked up.
Luckily Brittany comes around to this way of thinking as well and hopes the lesbian blogger community will understand that love is love. Yay, Bram! My two favorite characters on Glee in one relationship can only be good.
Rachel's Winter Showcase
Rachel gets invited to perform to NYADA's Winter Showcase after Carmen hand delivers her a golden ticket. The Showcase is the single most important event in all of human history.
Before it comes Rachel gets into another squabble with Cassandra July and they have a dance-off. When it's done Rachel realizes she might not be a better dancer, but she's a better singer, so she's just going to sing at the Showcase. In other words, Rachel finally reaches the same conclusion I did back in the season premiere: Dancing doesn't matter to Rachel at all and this entire Cassandra storyline has been a waste of everyone's time.
At the Winter Showcase Brody tells Rachel to break a leg, and she does. She sings a song and it's amazing. In case you didn't know, all the reaction shots of audience members with mouths agape might be a clue. It's so good they demand an encore, so Rachel gets two back-to-back solos. Luckily Tina isn't there or her head might explode with envy. She's on top the world, and while she sings we see Finn sadly packing up the choir room, emphasizing the dramatic difference in their two situations.
Kurt's Second Chance
After Rachel performs Carmen announces that she's giving Kurt a chance to sing to get into NYADA because, like the Glee writers themselves, she's allowed to change the rules and make stuff up whenever she wants. It also kind of undercuts the importance of the Winter Showcase if random applicants are allowed to audition.
Kurt is worried because he doesn't have props, but that's just what Carmen wants to see. He goes up and kills it, receiving a standing ovation. Later he gets an acceptance letter to NYADA. So does that mean he's quitting his Vogue.com internship?
The Glee Club Reunites
After Rachel wins the Winter Showcase she calls up Finn. She tries to tell him that glee club isn't about competition, it's about the friendships, romances and love of music. Really? That's easy for Little Miss Winter Showcase Winner to say, but we all know that if Rachel was in New Directions and they lost at Sectionals, it would have destroyed her.
Finn buys Rachel's load of feel-good crap and writes a Breakfast Club-style letter to the kids encouraging them to sing together. They all gather in the courtyard at night and New Directions lives again, only this time there's no actual goal or purpose for the club other than a group of kids singing together.
Somehow this is enough to make Finn feel good about himself in spite of the fact that he's a Lima Loser. He failed to get a college scholarship for football. He failed to get into the Actor's Studio. He failed at the Army. Now he's failed at leading a show choir team. I know I sound like a total Grinch, but the hard, cold truth is that, at this point, Finn is clearly destined to work in the Hummel Garage for the rest of his life, and the most he can hope for is manager, and that's only because his stepdad owns the place.
Next week on Glee: It's the Xmas episode where Sam and Brittany get married and we see what life would be like if New Directions never existed. Allegedly it's an homage to Love, Actually, but absolutely nothing in the promo led me to believe that's true.
(Image courtesy of FOX)