Glee Review: A Very Special Episode

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There's no way to properly review this as an episode of television. "On My Way," the final new Glee episode until April 10, was really nothing more than a Public Service Announcement.

I don't even mean that term in the derogatory sense with which I've often used it. It was, truly, literally - okay, almost - a Public Service Announcement, replete with mentions of Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation and The Trevor Project.

And, look, if Glee in general, and this episode in particular, helps a single teen see his or her life in a more positive manner, then that's clearly more important than its value as a piece of entertainment. Bullying is a serious issue, so is depression, so is suicide and there's a part of me that's glad there's a show out there tackling the topics in a serious manner.

Rachel Out Front

Moreover - while I remain the type of viewer who wants to be entertained, not educated - I appreciate how the hour really did focus on that one topic and actually did take it seriously.

Any regular reader of my reviews knows that my biggest problem with Glee is how it jumps around from one storyline to another, scarcely touching on serious subject matters - such as last week's insulting way it burned through religion vs. homosexuality - before it churns out a new song to wrap everything up in a tidy, iTunes-ready bow.

I applaud the series for not doing that here, for giving such a prolonged platform to such a heady problem in society.

Was it emotionally manipulative up the wazoo? Of course. The show just drops Karofsky back into our lives last Tuesday, conjures up this entire struggle he's apparently had way, way, way off screen and then yanks as hard as possible at our heart strings by having him attempt suicide.

There's no consistent, thought-out structure or plan at work here by the writers. There's merely the goal of making a societal point and making fans cry.

But, again, for an episode that clearly wanted to send a message about the struggles many teenagers face with identity and acceptance, it was very well done. It's simply up to viewers to decide if that's what they want from a television show.

And no matter what your answer is to that question, we can all stop and give props to Max Adler as Karofsky. Terrific work by the actor here.

Meanwhile, it was hard to tell if New Directions actually earned its victory because we saw so many more of its performances than any other group. I did enjoy Rachel's "Here's to Us," though the reaction by her dads was a tad over the top. Had they never seen their daughter perform before?

I also must wonder: why does the third place team always act so happy when announced as finishing in third place? There are only three teams! (And why are there only three teams in Regionals?)

Elsewhere: Sue is somehow pregnant? Ridiculous. But whatever.

And Quinn is involved in a seemingly life-threatening car accident? This clearly works as a cliffhanger, in terms of making viewers anxious for the next episode, but it's the epitome of poor writing. A good television shows builds to its cliffhangers. You want to be able to go back and see how a story came together, how it led from point A to point B and then to - whoa! - the suspense or emotion-filled point C that leaves you dying for more.

You don't want to think the show just stuck a character inside a car, had her send a text message and then rammed her with a truck because, hey, that will get fans talking! It's just very lazy, and is also likely leading to a Don't Text While Driving episode this spring. And maybe you'll look forward to it, that's fine.

As I said above, it all comes down to what you expect or want from a show such as Glee. In tonight's case, I can't say I expected Karofsky to try and hang himself inside his closet. But once the message of the episode sunk in, and I accepted the PSA theme as it was intended, I could at least appreciate the effort.

What did everyone else think of the special episode? Sound off in the comments and in this poll:


Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (475 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


Glee is all about being gay!!!!the only acceptance it talks about it to accept being gay! it can be s plot for one or two episodes but it seems the writers have nothing else to write about


Ok I love glee and I think it had a great message but to kill off the one person who actually has had the most affect on me and how life comes at you is just wrong.... I really hope she doesn't die I couldn't even watch the show anymore. I mean i love Finn and Rachel but Quinn is the most real person they have on there..


I loved it and I can't wait until it returns


This episode was shocking and not in a good way. I found the Karofsky storyline heartbreaking but was the limited time in previous episodes and the fact that only part of the episode was dedicated, bad on the writers part. cramming all those scenes in one episode was not a good idea. Also didnt like the part where Kurt brushed Quinns issues aside, no matter how rash her words are, homophobic bullying isnt the only issue that leads to suicide and that made hum look judgemental. I personally love Rachel and have missed her voice in the last few episodes but putting her wedding in this episode was not a good idea. I though season three would be better than season2 but it has gotten worse


they should have built the Karofsky storyline in this episode by having him be bullied at school and him trying to call Kurt and his interactions with Sebastion and at the end along with the Quinn accident have him hang himself. that would have been more dramatic.


I've never eaten peanut butter either and never will, sounds gross. :P


I hope that quinn is not dead and if she lives and be in a wheelchair I hope that it is not forever.


the moment Quinn got hit by that car i screamed for the Second time this week at my laptop, OMG! (first time was Castle Cliffhanger) I love Glee and i Love there songs, the more the better. Here's to us was loving. I liked happy sebastian but give me evil back, what for Karofsky(do i write it correctly?) think it would be shockinger if he died, but hee, I just love drama.

Miranda wicker

I'm really conflicted on last night's episode. I feel like the Karofsky attempted suicide was only half built. Sure, we could have seen it coming if we wanted, but it deserved more, in my opinion, than being shoved into an episode that also included Regionals. Way more. (And I'm with you--how are there always only three groups performing at these things? And why did Rachel's dads act like they've never heard her before? That was more ludicrous than the thought that Rory had never tried peanut butter.) But, at least we didn't get more Sam and Mercedes. For once.


One thing I really wish I could change about the show is the way songs are worked into the show. Don't get me wrong there are plenty of times that songs were thrown in completely randomly and I loved the performance itself but for a musical show to really work they need to make the song insertions more fluid! You are supposed to have characters break out into songs that are directly involved with that moment. You obviously can have songs that are just thrown in still because the show is about a glee club but just because they start singing doesn't mean it has to turn into a performance (ie starting the song in a hallway then ending it performing infront of the rest of the glee club). I think if they just worked more at that fact it would improve the show so much.

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Glee Season 3 Episode 14 Quotes

In the last week, you either enjoyed a delicious curry or a hug from Principal Figgins.


You give the gay community cutting edge fashion that's usually only seen on Puerto Rican pride floats.