Well, Glee is back.
I almost have a panic attack before every episode (especially episodes that air after a hiatus)… I think it’s because I love the show so much and completely hate it at the same time that my heart doesn’t quite know what to do. So, I start breathing real heavy and my heart starts racing.
And then an hour later the show is over and I’m left mostly disappointed.
Episode 4×5 – The Role You Were Born to Play was no exception.
The episode opened with Finn working at Hummel’s Tire Shop. (If only Burt were there, but alas…). Artie rolls in and listens to Finn lament about how his life is basically crap and how he hopes to get crushed by a car in the shop. Artie asks Finn to remember the song he sang to him before graduation last year (What’s that? Continuity… Such a strange concept for this show.), and then reminds him that he meant what he said – Finn is his friend and hero. So, Artie asks Finn to co-direct the musical. Finn initially balks, but Artie says Finn can do it because being a director is about having an idea and convincing everyone around you to make it happen. (As a former director, this is partially the case, but there’s a lot of other stuff that goes into the process too. Just saying…)
After Finn has a spark of “maybe I can do this” in his eye, we cut to the black and white title card (the one thing I can count on during each ridiculous episode).
My beloved Blam (Blaine and Sam) is in the hallway and Sam is signing up for the musical, saying how Blaine and him are Class President and Vice President, so they can have whatever roles they want. Sad!Blaine says he doesn’t feel like doing the musical. He doesn’t feel like much as of late since he and Kurt are broken up. He doesn’t sleep, nor does he gel on the weekends. The kid is sad. Blaine pours his heart out to Sam, saying he (Blaine) and Kurt were soulmates who planned out their future together. Married. Live in Massachusetts. Buy a lighthouse. Instead of listening like a good friend, Sam pats Blaine on the shoulder and basically tells him to get over it because breakups happen to everyone.
This is Blaine’s first breakup and he just isn’t going to get over it. Nope. Blaine launches into a very, very emotional version of “Hopelessly Devoted to You” which ends up being a cross between Across the Universe’s “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” and Blaine’s audition for Grease (during which Finn and Artie are impressed, of course). As soon as he’s done singing, Artie tells him “you are the Danny Zuko of our dreams,” but Blaine immediately tells them that he can’t do the role because he can’t play a romance because he ruined his own. Blaine cannot play the truth in Danny because he himself is a relationship ruiner. Artie asks if there is any role Blaine could play. Even though he’s a wreck, Blaine says he could maybe play Teen Angel because it’s just the one scene, but probably not. Blaine then runs off the stage, crying. Artie comments how he’s never seen Blaine be so “Masterpiece Theater.”
AND THAT IS BASICALLY THE LAST WE SEE/HEAR OF BLAINE THE WHOLE EPISODE.
Why am I shouting? Because I’m mad, that’s why.
YES, Blaine cheated on Kurt and is a majority of the reason why they broke up. But, Blaine’s obviously a mess and no one seems to care. He looked like he tried to talk to Finn near the end of 4×4, but was interrupted. He poured his little heart out to Sam, but his feelings were not addressed – he was merely told to shake it off.
But how can you shake something off when that was your entire world and now it’s gone?
Blaine has no friends at McKinley, or at least none who seem to care about how he is spiraling into the depths of misery. It’s no wonder (SPOILER ALERT) he considers going back to Dalton in 4×7… because no one at McKinley cares. And maybe no one at Dalton cares either. But it’s really sad that the only person who cared about Blaine was Kurt. And now Kurt’s not only gone from Ohio, but he’s gone from their relationship. (For now, at least.) (END SPOILER)
I wish Blaine had a friend. OR, I wish Blaine had an adult he could talk to. And I seriously wish that adult were Burt Hummel. It is canon that Burt Hummel cares about Blaine. A lot. Ever since the Prom episode Season 2, Blaine has been one of “the boys.” And then last year during the Michael episode, when Kurt finds out that he’s a NYADA finalist, Burt begs to be the one to tell Blaine. We know Blaine seems to have dad issues of his own, but it would be nice for him to get some sort of comfort from somewhere… and I think Burt Hummel would be the ideal candidate for this position.
Throughout the fandom, a lot of people speculate that Blaine suffers from depression. Maybe he does. We don’t know because we really don’t know much about him. We do know he’s sad and is (rightly) taking the blame for cheating on his boyfriend. Blaine has no avenue through which to share his feelings (except for music). Blaine even admitted that he knows how to emote in song (2×12), but not in real life. This is why his musical performances are overtly emotional… it appears this is the only way for him to get out his feelings sometimes. He might not be able to find the words on his own, but I’ll be damned if that kid doesn’t latch onto lyrics like they are a lifeline and sings them with every fiber of his being. (And ALL the credit goes to Darren Criss. Sure, I’m biased because I’m a fan and think he’s one of the most talented performers in his demographic, but that boy brings all the feels in a realistic – and therefore sometimes extremely vulnerable – way. I mean… do you remember “Teenage Dream” from The Break Up? Yeah, I thought so…)
I told my friends last night that Blaine is a sinking ship, but no one around him is willing to veer off their own path to rescue him.
(Also – WTF is up with him and Kurt wanting to buy a lighthouse… and then we all know Eli C’s facebook picture is a lighthouse. Does this mean anything? Is it just a freaky coincidence?! What is the deal with Blaine and lighthouses??)
BUT, enough about poor Blaine since he wasn’t really in the rest of the episode…
You know who was in the episode? Mike and Mercedes! (WHAT?! How did they get out of college/adult lives in Chicago and LA, respectively, to come back to Ohio to help cast the musical? Oh wait, it’s Glee. And Glee rarely makes sense.) So, Mike and Mercedes are there to help Artie and Finn. (Not gonna lie: I missed Mike Chang.)
Guess who else was back? COACH BEISTE!
Oh, how I missed her and her crazy-ass similes and metaphors. She was couples counseling Wemma because Will wanted Emma to go with him to DC and she wanted to stay in Ohio, though by the end of this scene, she agrees to go. Beiste (and the whole of the audience) could see it in Emma’s eyes that she was not pleased with her decision.
Back at McKinley (btw – I was super grateful there was no Kurt and Rachel in this episode. They were mentioned by name, but we never went to New York. I was grateful for this because I get tired of Glee being “The Rachel Berry Show.” Granted the guy who plays Brody is FINE, but I care about other characters too. Like Blaine… oh wait… Sigh.)
So, Artie, Finn, Mike and Mercedes are trying to figure out who can play Danny since Blaine is a no go for launch. They want Sam, but he’s determined to play Kenickie. Joe won’t cut his dreads and Jake isn’t signed up to audition. They turn to the football team, since that’s where Finn came from.
Finn walks onto the field and sees the team practicing. He talks to Beiste and she says he’s one of a kind but wishes he believed it. He asks Beiste if there is a male lead for the musical out on the field. This is where we are introduced to Ryder – a loner who jokes around and pulls some silly dance moves out on the field. Finn comments how the kid can move, and Beiste counters that Finn moves too – he moves people. So, we know Finn and Finn 2.0 will obviously talk later.
(And cut to commercial.)
When we get back from break, Marley is in the girl’s restroom and Unique walks in. They talk about what roles the want in the musical (Marley wants Sandy and Unique wants Rizzo). Sue walks out of a stall, having overheard their conversation. Sue tells Unique that he is a boy and can’t play the role. She insults him a lot and then turns to Marley to try to insult her, but she isn’t able to for some reason. (Probably because right now, Marley is the most pure/genuinely good character Glee has ever seen and there is no way to tear her down because she’s that moral.) I was busy FB messaging a friend, so I tuned out of Sue’s string of insults to Unique (I’m just so over Sue’s meanness), though I did hear Sue say something about having to watch TV with a dental dam over it. (Yikes.) Long story short, Sue will not allow Unique to play Rizzo. Marley stands up to Sue and we segue to Marley and Unique auditioning for the musical by singing a duet of Pink’s “Blow Me (One Last Kiss).”
So… I kind of love Marley. I dig her voice and I like that she wore pants and non-heals.
Their duet is great and I actually really like Marley and Unique singing together. I hope they can remain friends as they are both social outcasts and a friendship could be beneficial for them.
Later, Finn strolls into a study hall and tells the teacher that he has a phone call in the office (to get rid of him). He walks up to Ryder and finds him actually studying in study hall. Finn is surprised, but Ryder confesses that he has a lot on his plate and needs to study in order to pull the grades he needs but doesn’t have. Finn asks Ryder to try out for the show, but he says he can’t. We then see Ryder get back a bad grade. He’s upset and tells his teacher that he’s been working so hard that he hadn’t even seen The Dark Knight Rises. (The teacher had and her comments about Bane made me laugh.)
Later, Artie and Finn are on the stage in the auditorium talking direction choices for the show. There’s a jukebox on stage and Ryder walks in as Artie leaves. He says he wants to audition so long as there isn’t any singing. Then Finn, eloquent as never, says something like “singing is awesome, like a good poop.” They end up singing “Jukebox Hero” in some sort of fantasy sequence where they are playing with a band in front of a bunch of screaming girls.
I might be smitten with Ryder.
After they’re done singing, Ryder asks if he should audition, to which Finn replies, “You just did.”
After the break, Ryder walks up to Marley at her locker to introduce himself since they are probably going to play opposite of each other. She knows who he is because he’s a football player. She giggles and is nervous. But, Ryder is kinda awesome and one of the first things out of his mouth is that Marley’s mom rules because she sneaks him extra meatballs on spaghetti day.
If I wasn’t already smitten with Ryder, this scene sealed the deal. Marley’s mom has been the butt of numerous jokes and her comes popular jock Ryder and the first thing he says to Marley is that he likes her mom. This kid gets bonus points and then some.
Down the hallway, Jake and Kitty look on at Ryder and Marley talking. Jake is jealous of Ryder and Kitty is pissed that Ryder and Jake both appear to be interested in Marley. Kitty walks over to talk to Ryder and proceeds to be horrible to Marley in the process. Ryder doesn’t flinch as he calls her a bitch. Kitty continues to rag on Marley and finally Marley leaves. Ryder watches her go and you can tell he feels bad about her getting picked on.
Jake and Kitty sign up for the musical in an attempt to stop Marley and Ryder from being the leads together. They sing a duet of “Everybody Talks.” For some reason, his voice sounded super weird to me and I didn’t like this at all. I appreciated their dancing, but did not like the song at all.
After all the auditions are over, Artie, Finn, Mike and Mercedes discuss whom they want to play whom. Artie wants Kitty for Sandy, arguing you can’t have a brunette Sandy. (Um, did he not see the most recent revival of Grease when Sandy was played by brown-haired Laura Osnes??) Finn wants Unique to play Rizzo. This causes some issues…
Sue calls Finn into the principal’s office where we find that Figgins thinks Unique is a girl. She’s not, but Finn argues that she identifies as female and should be cast as such. Sue is against this. She is for progress but says that since they are in Ohio, she doesn’t want Unique put in danger because of the place they live.
Finn stands up to Sue and I was almost back on board the Finn train when he puts his giant foot in his mouth by calling Sue’s daughter a “retarded baby.” My jaw dropped. I mean, Finn has said some horrible and stupid stuff over the past four seasons, but this was probably tied for number one of the worst thing that ever came out of his mouth (tied with when he used the “F” word when talking to Kurt in Season 1). Though he immediately apologized, he still was in the wrong.
Meanwhile, Beiste goes to Emma’s office to confront her about how they left the faux counseling session the other day. She tells Emma that she knows Emma doesn’t want to go to D.C. Beiste doles out some tough love and tells Emma that if she goes to D.C., she’ll need to get excited about doing something that isn’t Will.
In the hallway, Mile approaches Tina (Tike – how I’m missed you so!). Tina is upset because Mike didn’t tell her he was going to be there and she is weirded out because neither of them are handling it well. Mike wants Tina in the musical, but she won’t audition. (Which is a TRAGEDY. Tina Cohen-Chang has been a background player since season one, and now it’s her senior year and the writers basically keep writing her out of opportunities to shine. I love Jenna’s voice and think she is severely underused on the show.)
So, there are Sandy and Danny callbacks since Artie, Finn, Mercedes and Mike want to see who has chemistry and can dance. They all sing “Born to Hand Jive” and both Jake and Ryder keep eyeballing Marley. Kitty is jealous and mad and tries to hone in on the boys. Marley and Ryder fit well together, which further pisses off Kitty.
After the break, Finn approaches Unique in the library and offers her the part of Rizzo. He tells Unique that he will worry about Coach Sue. Unique breaks down and confides in Finn that she doesn’t feel right in the men’s locker room or wearing men’s clothes. She cries, glad to have found a place in the glee club that accepts her. Finn looked a bit uncomfortable but took it in stride. As Finn leaves, he tells Unique that he has to know that she’s okay with everything because there will be a lot of heat on her. She acknowledges that dreams come with a price. It’s disheartening, but one of the better scenes between two very different characters. It’s nice seeing Finn stick up for Unique the way he should have stuck up for Kurt during Season one. Finn is getting a lot of second chances this year… let’s hope he takes advantage of them.
I liked how they edited the scene where the cast list was put up and everyone went and saw which part they got… the font used was perfect, as were the freeze frames. Blaine cast a grateful, albeit sad, look at Finn and Co. when he finds that he has been cast as Teen Angel. The best reaction was Kitty’s, though… “Who the hell is Patty Simcox?” Well Kitty, she was basically the role you were born to play. (Is THAT why the episode is called what it is? Probably not… but that’s what I’m going with.) Kitty is pissed about this and is super mean to Marley again.
I kind of wish Marley would punch Kitty. But Marley is too good of a person. Speaking of Marley, I hope Jarley never happens because I like her and Ryder too much together.
After the last commercial break, we are at the Wemma household. She is stress cooking like whoa and Will comes home to assume that since she made so much food, he must have missed one of their many anniversaries. (He didn’t.) Will asks Emma to just tell him what is wrong and she finally confesses she doesn’t want to go to D.C. She asks him to sit and hear her out as she explains that she loves him, but she loves her job and the kids and that though she is excited for him, she doesn’t want to go and resent him. Will is not upset, but he gets it. They have a nice moment where they talk about what is important to them in their relationship. He says trust and honesty. She says acceptance and adoration. Both agree that while they love each other, they do not need to be with each other every moment of every day.
The next day, Will checks in on Finn in the choir room. Finn (dumbly) asks how they are supposed to have a flying car (oh, Grease!). They get into a discussion about how Finn likes helping other people’s dreams come true. Will tells him, “It’s called being a teacher” and then says how he is leaving for a few months. He asks Finn to be in charge of the glee club. Finn says that that’s an adult’s job and Will tells him that Finn is an adult and it’s about time he called him Will instead of Mr. Schue. Will then gives Finn a sappy speech about how Finn is a man and blah blah blah (Finn is not really that mature, so I’m left to assume Will isn’t either if he thinks Finn is. So there…). The episode ends with Will asking Finn to accept a three-month commitment as glee club instructor. (Yikes.)
And then there’s the promo…
Next week is Grease. (It is the word, you know.) Will leaves (Thank God.). They sing more Grease songs (“Greased Lightning”, “Beauty School Dropout” and “You’re the One That I Want” will be in the episode). So, yeah… That’s about it.
I hope they give Blaine a little more story (or perhaps an outlet to express his feelings). I can’t wait to see Ryder and Marley as Danny and Sandy. And, yeah. Glee is back. I’m not doing cartwheels, but it’s nice to see Darren Criss on my television again.