But, before I go on about tonight’s episode of Glee, I should say that I had a mostly unproductive day. I did work for a few hours… and while I was in the break room eating my granola bar, I saw my name posted on a sheet of paper on the wall. Evidently I was a top seller for the store during some period of time, and my name being on that list was kinda a big deal (even though I really could care less). So, even though I missed my last year’s sales goal by $600 and therefore didn’t get as big of a raise as I was supposed to get, I’m obviously doing something right this sales year. To be honest, though, I am just counting down the weeks until I don’t have to work there ever again. I’ll miss the people, but I will not miss that job. Not at all.
Glee – “Funeral”
So, I am confident when I write that this was one of the most serious and saddest episodes of Glee that I have ever seen (it’s tied with “Grilled Chesus” in my eyes).
The episode opened with Mr. Schue telling the Glee kids that Jesse St. James is their new show choir consultant and how there will be auditions to see who should be featured in a solo/duet at Nationals.
I hate Jesse St. James exactly the same amount that I love Jonathan Groff. And j’adore Jonathan Groff…
Jesse St. James was plotting to pit the glee kids against each other. He flat-out told Finn that he’s a bad dancer and singer, and then (because of his reality show judging class at UCLA), was all ready to cut each auditioning glee kid down to size. (well… all but one glee kid, but more on that later)
Before any of the auditions happened, however, Becky and her mom approached Mr. Schue and asked if there was any way that Becky could join the glee club. Turns out Sue Sylvester kicked her off the Cheerios without explanation.
This was the moment that confirmed for me that it was, in fact, Sue’s sister Jean, who was the Glee character that died this episode. (For the record, I did several Google searches, and from what I found online, the actress who plays Jean, Robin Trocki, is very much alive and well… So, the character died. *Not* the actress.)
See, many weeks ago, it was revealed that someone was going to die during tonight’s episode of Glee. The only hint we were given was that the deceased was a female. Jean was the only character that made sense, as there was no way the show was going to get rid of Terri, Quinn’s mom, Finn’s mom or any of the female leads.
So, when Will approached Sue about kicking Becky off of the Cheerios and Sue said she did it because Becky reminds her of her sister, and that her sister died the night before, my heart just broke right in half.
I loved Sue’s relationship with Jean – it was a way for the audience to see that Sue was not just pure evil. When she was with Jean (or even just talking about Jean), Sue was warm and caring (or uber-defensive, as a sister should be).
So, when Sue said that Jean was dead, I knew that we were going to be in for one hell of an emotional episode. (More on that in a bit.)
Meanwhile, Will and Emma were sorting through Will’s vests. Turns out, rehearsals for April Rhodes’ broadway show (which I believe is called “CrossRhodes: The April Rhodes Story) start two days after Nationals, and the show opens just three weeks later. Will thinks that the show will likely close the same night it opens, so he would be back in Lima in time for the start of the next school year. Will hasn’t told any of the kids, nor does he plan to. However, the promo for next week indicates that they do find out… of course. Anyway, I doubt Will will leave the show… so, I’m sure his Broadway dreams will come crashing down before they start, or it’ll be a bit of cliffhanger to see if Schue will be back at McKinley. I bet he’ll be back. Matt Morrison needs Glee. I know he just released his solo album and will I guess be touring with NKOTBSB this summer. But he needs to suckle the Glee teat as long as he can, if he knows what’s best for him.
Will and Jesse are in charge of auditioning the glee kids for the Nationals solo/duet spot. The only four kids to sign up are Santana, Kurt, Mercedes and Rachel:
Santana – “Back to Black” – Girl can SANG. This is not my favorite Amy Winehouse song, but I dug Naya’s vocal on this song. She is an amazing singer – her voice is really aurally pleasing. It’s kinda raspy and really soulful.
Kurt – “Some People” (I can’t find a performance video yet… I’ll post one as soon as I can… oh wait, Here It Is 🙂 ) – I was super excited to find out that Kurt was singing this, as he had already nailed “Rose’s Turn” from Gypsy (the musical that “Some People” is also from). And I like it when Kurt sings songs that are traditionally sung by women (I mean, women sing “male” songs all the time… why shouldn’t Kurt sing a lady song? Equal opportunity vocals, yo.) However, (Unpopular opinion time) this was one of my least favorite Kurt performances. Perhaps it was his pants (Really, Kurt? Skull pants?). Perhaps it was the choreography. (I know Chris choreographed this one himself… it wasn’t horrible. I just wasn’t feeling it.) His vocal was good, but I wasn’t wowed. Kurt is my favorite Glee character. And I think that Chris Colfer is the bees knees and one of the most talented young people around. But I just was not a huge fan of this 😦
Mercedes – “Try a Little Tenderness” (I can’t find a performance video yet… will post one soon) – Damn. That was amazing. I mean, this song is just epic in itself, but Amber Riley completely owned it. If I was Mr. Schue, I would have stopped the audition process and just handed any Nationals solo to Mercedes.
Rachel – “My Man” (I can’t find a performance video yet… will post one soon) – As much as Rachel has gotten on my nerves (though a lot less as of late), she surely can belt out a Barbra song with such power and control. (Well, vocal control… she was kinda crying a lot. She was totally thinking about Finn during that song. And I liked that Kurt cried too… he feels music like no other character. 🙂 ) This performance was really beautiful and powerful. I will be belting that song out in my car on my upcoming road trip, for sure.
So, evil Jesse ripped poor Santana, Kurt and Mercedes to shreds (even though he was visibly impressed by Mercedes’ performance). But, he had nothing but praise for Rachel. I still can’t figure out if he’s really trying to win her back, or if he still has ulterior motives like last season. Hmmmm….
(Audition results weren’t announced until the end of the show, so I’ll get back to those at the end of the Glee post for continuity purposes.)
The rest of the episode pretty much focused on Sue, Jean’s passing, and the funeral.
Kurt and Finn approached Sue to express their sadness for her loss (Kurt lost his mom, Finn lost his dad, so they both have experience with death of a loved one, even though Finn’s dad died when he was really little.). Sue asked them why her sister was the one who died and she was the one who was still alive.
Eventually, Sue let Kurt and Finn arrange the funeral as well as help her gather her sister’s belongings from where she was living. The boys sorted through everything, but Sue told them that they should just throw it all away because she has all the memories of her sister that she needs.
You could tell Sue just didn’t know how to handle what was going on. And because she always pushes everyone away, she didn’t really have anyone to lean on during this time. Will offered to be that person, but Sue shot him down (though later on this changes).
Sue eventually confesses that the only reason she allowed the Glee kids to be in charge of funeral arrangements was because she was worried that no one was going to attend the service. She figured, if the glee kids were there, at least some people would be there for Jean.
Turns out, a lot of people showed up for Jean’s funeral. This whole scene was just really, really moving. I believe Ryan Murphy wrote this episode – props to you, sir, for a really moving tribute to Jean.
Because Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was Jean’s favorite movie, the Glee kids decorated the area around her casket with colorful mushrooms and a chocolate fountain. It was really beautiful.
The pastor began the service and asked Sue to come up and say something. Sue prepared a speech about how she missed her sister. However, just a couple sentences in, she choked up too much. So, Will got up and Sue stepped aside while Will read her words. Sue stood there next to him, nodding her head along to her words that were coming about of Will’s mouth. It was a moving little speech and my eyes teared up a bit.
Said tears continued to build when the speech was over and the glee kids got up to perform “Pure Imagination” (I can’t find a performance video yet… will post one soon… oh wait, here it is) while a video of Sue and Jean played on a television screen. The performance was simple, but extremely moving. The pictures and video clips of Sue and Jean were heartbreaking. So many smiles… so many good times. During the performance, Sue reached over and took Will’s hand. She squeezed it as the kids sang and it was just an extremely moving television-watching experience.
I really appreciate when comedic shows take on serious topics (such as this year on HIMYM with Marshall’s dad…). When done well, these serious moments have a way of really stopping an audience member in his or her tracks and really making him/her identify with these characters. I mean, I know that Glee is fiction. But we’ve invested almost two seasons into the lives of these people… and not every moment can be a happy one, even on a comedy. It’s these moments of heartfelt drama that allow us to really connect with these characters and the show. This show brings people together. Sometimes we’re laughing together. But sometimes we’re crying together too.
(On a super personal note, this episode meant a lot to me. Tomorrow is the 4th anniversary of my grandfather’s passing, so I have been thinking about him more than usual lately. He never had a funeral – he opted for all of us to have a big party at a pub instead 🙂 – but I miss him so much and I think about him all the time. So, when Sue was saying that she missed her sister, I keep thinking about how much I miss my Pop Pop. I will likely expand more on this during tomorrow’s post, but I thought it would be appropriate to mention how much this Glee funeral really affected me because I am still very much affected by the passing of my grandfather.)
ANYWAY… After the funeral, Finn was crying in his truck. Quinn hopped in and asked why he was crying. He said it was because he was breaking up with Quinn (finally!). During Sue’s speech, Will mentioned how Sue felt like she was tethered to Jean. Finn told Quinn that he doesn’t feel that with her. Quinn asked if he felt that with Rachel. He didn’t answer yes or no to that, but it has been painfully obvious that Finn likes Rachel way more than he liked Quinn.
Back at school later on, Jesse meets up with Rachel in the auditorium to tell her that she got the solo for Nationals and that he has feelings for her (not his words). Jesse leans in and kisses Rachel just as Finn walks into the auditorium with a flower in his hand (awwww, poor Finn). So, I hope the Finn/Rachel story gets played out a bit more in the finale. I don’t think Jesse will be around next season, so I’m sure Jesse/Rachel won’t last. But, I’m interested in seeing what happens with Finn and Rachel.
In the hallway, Santana, Kurt and Mercedes are around the list Mr. Schue hung with the audition results. There wasn’t any name on the list – instead, it just said there was a meeting in the choir room. Turns out, no one gets the solo – Mr. Schue wants them to sing their original songs as a group. When people complain (esp. Jesse who completely supports the cutthroat competition and would gladly see the kids turn against each other to the point of wanting to kill each other), Schue shuts them up and says that they are all in this together. Either they all win, or they all don’t. I support that mentality 🙂
So, next week is Nationals. I’ll actually be in Ohio staying at my friends’ house since I have my thesis defense that day. Hopefully they’ll want to watch the Glee finale too 🙂 If not… I’ll have to watch it online that night. I don’t want it spoiled for me!!! Hahaha
I can’t believe Glee is over for the summer after next week. I mean, I’ll be going to see Glee Live on June 1st. But then what?
I’m gonna miss it so much! Even though I have access to all of the episodes, either on DVD, my iPod or online. But still… I love new Glee.
Oh well 🙂
I’m gonna wrap this up now and watch The Voice. I love Adam Levine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Have a good one