Glee Review: Give Your Heart a Break

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Where's my hankie? I need one or twelve after tonight's Glee. Seriously.

Finchel? Klaine? Britanna? And Wemma? I'm not even a fan of name mash-ups, but what is happening in my television universe?

"The Break Up" definitely shook things up for the future of season 4 and was perhaps one of the best episodes of Glee since some time in season 2. Even if my heart is kind of broken. There's a lot to say about tonight, so grab your tissues and settle in...

Emma and Will on Stage

Life as we know it for the couples of Glee is done. Except for maybe Will and Emma, but I can't be for sure. In order to break this down and adequately discuss everything this monster of an episode just gave us, let's break this down by couple, shall we?

Because it's the most confusing and we need to just get it out of the way, we'll start with Will and Emma.

First of all, did they actually break up? I'm really not sure.

Their discussion about the Blue Ribbon panel and going to Washington made me ask, out loud, "Why are you being a douche, Will Schuester?" I just don't understand. This is perhaps some of the most bizarre writing for Matthew Morrison's character. Will has carried a torch for Emma Pillsbury since Day 1, and we've pulled for him since then, even through her marriage to Uncle Jesse the Dentist, and now, on two completely random occasions, because it's convenient for the story, we see him say something completely hurtful and out of character.

It didn't make sense when he insulted her "issues" last season and it doesn't make sense that he'd be so butthurt that she doesn't want to go to Washington full time. She's an adult. She has a job. Emma's not on the panel. You can see her on the weekends. It's not the end of the world and your students, once again, are being more mature than you are.

Case in point, Santana and Brittany.

I'm trying hard to ignore the Kitty-bit about the rapture, mostly because it was clearly an attempt to throw something sort of funny into an otherwise incredibly heavy episode. I appreciate comedic relief. like her line about being a bad Carrie Underwood song which actually made me laugh out loud. This, however, was a ridiculous set-up solely meant to provide a backdrop for their break up.

Santana realizes that she and Brittany are young. They are going to be attracted to other people. So before either of them has a chance to hurt the other, Santana sings Taylor Swift's "Mine" as a way to say what she doesn't want to say and then delivers the moral of tonight's story:

Let's just do the mature thing here...let's just be honest that long distance relationships are almost impossible to maintain because both people are rarely getting what they need.

While it can sometimes feel like Glee drops anvils on our heads, I'm glad someone in an episode where everyone breaks up was mature about it. Someone had to be the voice of reason in the midst of all of this youthful idealism that first loves are forever loves. (Hey, I'm not saying it never works out. I'm just saying it's not the norm.)

Kurt and Blaine in NYC

The saddest breakup of the night award goes to Kurt and Blaine.

I didn't want this breakup to happen and I'm still kind of shocked and saddened by the way it went down.

Blaine cheated.

I didn't see that coming, particularly after the emotional infidelity arc from last season and everything with Sebastian. Or maybe because of that, I should've seen it coming. Blaine was lonely and succumbed to the flirtations of someone else and then flew to New York to sing a tearful rendition of "Teenage Dream" and tell Kurt in person. But something about it was wrong.

He's not the kind of guy to just hook up. Or at least he doesn't seem the type. But maybe in a fit of extreme loneliness? I just have a hard time picturing him as that type. And I have an even harder time being hurt for Kurt.

Just last week he was dodging Blaine's calls to hang out with his boss and other VIPs, so when he shouted back that he was just as lonely, it felt flat. Infidelity is never excusable, but really Kurt? It's hard to convince anyone that you're so lonely when you're partying it up and hanging out at the NYADA bar and living the New York life while your boyfriend is back home living life for you.

Since they never had a conversation and we only saw Kurt drop Blaine's note into the trashcan, I'm hopeful they'll reconcile, or at least have a discussion about everything. I want them to work out more than any other couple besides Damon and Elena. If this doesn't happen, it's the saddest break up for me because I love the couple so much.

And that brings us to the show's power-couple, Rachel and Finn.

Truthfully, Rachel and Finn needed to break up. The writing was on the wall for them when Finn proposed simply because he had no idea what else to do. And I'm happy (or just not sad?) about how real and natural their break up felt, like it was the way things had to happen but didn't signify that this is forever for the two of them.

Their break up made sense naturally within the story arc of these two characters. 

Here's Finn who has no idea what to do with his future, so he joins the Army, puts his girlfriend on a train, and is then honorably discharged for shooting himself in the leg on accident while cleaning the gun he named "Rachel." And then he backpacks through the great state of Georgia for four months, returning no one's phone calls, apparently, (but finding time to email with Kurt), trying to "find" himself, only to end up on Rachel's doorstep in New York hoping for...well, I'm not sure exactly. Neither was he.

And not that we're keeping track, exactly, but he certainly didn't expect to hear that she'd kissed another guy, which makes twice for her now. But it's confusing because were they together after the train station? Apart? Just "on a break" like Ross and that other Rachel?

Regardless, it doesn't seem that the kiss itself factored into their break-up, at least not directly. It did, however, feed into Finn's sense of insecurity and uncertainty with his future, which was ultimately the reason this had to happen. They cannot be together while he doesn't know who he is and she does.

Their exchange in the auditorium was one of the most emotionally charged bits of dialogue we've seen on this show. Maybe it's because a part of me identifies with that "moon-eyed" girl Rachel was at the beginning of the series and the relatively confident woman she's becoming, but Lea Michele nailed it tonight. Rachel is starting to see herself as more than just a small town girl.

She's had no choice but to live, just like Finn wanted. She settled into her new life, quite comfortably. She made friends. She learned things about herself. She learned what she wants from the person she's going to be with. And all Finn has learned is that he still has no idea what to do with his life and has no idea how to figure it all out.

There was no way for the two of them to stay together forever. I'm not saying they won't be together again, but for now, they have to go their separate ways. While part of her will always love Finn, she needs to move in a different direction to live the life she's dreamed for herself, and until Finn can figure out his own path, he'd be dead weight holding her back.

And with that, I'm spent. I think I've said everything I can about tonight. I mean, I can always say more. I'm sure of it. (For example, I didn't even begin to discuss Jake and Marley! Or how awesome ALL of tonight's music was!)

But now I want to hear from YOU. What did you think of "The Break Up"? Are you happy? Sad? Indifferent? What do you see for these characters moving forward?

Look for a Round Table coming soon to discuss this week's episode, but until then, tell me what you thought in the comments.


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (294 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.


Wow Miranda, your Blaine bias is extremely apparent in your review. You certainly have a lot of sympathy to spare for someone who, after sending his boyfriend off to New York to chase his dreams, only lasts a couple of weeks before he is betraying him with another man. It would not matter if Kurt had ignored ALL Blaine's calls and given him the cold shoulder completely, it still does not excuse in any way what Blaine chose to do. Even if all Blaine did with the 'hook up' was a bit of heavy petting, the fact is, he actively and consciously made the decision to do it. He CHEATED on Kurt. If he was able to get out to NY so easily after he had cheated, then he could just have quickly and easily flown out to NY to confront Kurt and tell him how he felt, but instead, Blaine made the decision to cheat.


I can't remember the last time I said this, but I really actually enjoyed this Glee episode. Favorite songs: "Don't Speak" and "The Scientist".


The Kurt and Blaine break up was designed to throw Blaine under the bus so Kurt can freely date in New York. I have no faith that Glee will explore the issues that Blaine has properly. They ignored him for all of last season and only used him as a prop for Kurt's stories or to sing a pop song. I'm expecting the same to continue this season. Kurt and Rachel are the only two characters who get decent sympathetic stories written for them or their motivations searched. At least Rachel gets to be wrong sometimes while Kurt never is. They totally backtracked on Kurt doing anything to hurt the relationship between Blaine and him in this episode even if in the few previous ones they showed him ignoring Blaine.


This episode is this season's best so far. As much as I'vs missed the happy, fun, quirky, hilarious Glee of the past, I didn't watch this one because of how dramatic this 1 was going to be. But after reading some comments about it, I watched it and was surprised by how good it was, sad, but good. I really liked how Rachel responded to how Finn ran away from NY-how he always handles stress and problems-running away. Rachel just dropped Brody when Finn arrived-happy to see him. He needs this wake up call and she let him go to seek his dream. Well done. I didn't care for the episode being about all the couples breaking up or in limbo. But that was theme. As for Blaine cheating-really out of character for him. Loved that Finn and Santana were back. The show has been missing a spark to it-Finn and Santana are that spark. Music was really good.


This was one of the very few episodes of Glee that I have not loved, because everyone was breaking up, crying and it was all so bloody SAD. I just felt traumatized by the end of the night, and I seriously hope that Kurt and Blaine get back together, and that Emma and Will get back together, because otherwise my heart will hurt for them every time I see them on the screen. The music seemed strident to me because it was so emotionally laden, and I could not watch Blaine do "Teenage Dream" in the way that he did it at the bar because it was just too painful. But I, too, thought that Brittany and Santana's breakup was very mature and certainly much better than anyone elses. And I am glad that Rachel and Finn have broken up because Finn has just become a whiny, wimpy loser for some reason, I hope he gets it together soon!


But the way they dealt with Klaine was just not fair and stupid. Because even though Kurt was distant in both senses, he did not deserved to be cheated on by Blaine, who knows how painful it is..remember last season's issue of Kurt texting some guy? So no, Glee, that was not nice. Britanna had the most mature break up ever. But the thing with Wilma confused me in a sense because ok, while Will was being a douche, so was Emma, because just take a moment to think about this...Did she even think about what their life would be like if Will got the position? Didn't it even cross her mind that their life as a COUPLE would change? But overall, great episode, thank you Glee! "Don't Speak" was amazing!


Loved,loved,loved this episode. I loved the fact that so many old Glee characters were together in many scenes. Loved the songs, loved the scenes the shot when the couples were in NY and love the last scene where all four couples stood on the stage, sang and we saw flashbacks from previous seasons...and the best part is not even the scenes with the new Gleeks could ruin anything about this episode! I am a hard-core Finchel fan, but I really want to thank the writers for breaking them up in the way they did. As in it wasn't about the shower dude, it was about a real issue - Finn has no idea what to do with his life and Rachel does, and until Finn figures his life out, their couples can't fully commit to each other. But these two will be together again, they love each other too much. But the way they dealt with Klaine was just not fair and stupid. Because even though Kurt was distant in both senses, he did not deserved to be cheated on by Blaine, who knows how painful it is..remember last season's issue of Kurt texting some guy? So no, Glee, that was not nice. Britanna had the most mature break up ever. But the thing with Wilma confused me in a sense because ok, while Will was being a douche, so was Emma, because just take a moment to think about this...Did she even think about what their life would be like if Will got the position? Didn't it even cross her mind that their life as a COUPLE would change? But overall, great episode, thank you Glee! "Don't Speak" was amazing!


I thought Blaine and Kurt needed to break up. Blaine has always been a bit of a horny boy, as both instances of him getting drunk led to weird situations with sex: 1st time kissing Rachel and second almost forcing Kurt into sex in the back of a car. He's a good person, but he's a guy and unlike Kurt, is not sexually frigid. I thought they were too convenient anyway.


What would i have done if not for ANCIENT BENIN SHRINE,my name is dogma, I am 28 years old and i have a son. Unfortunately almost a year ago his father broke up with me because of a mistake I made and I just really want him back. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I want our family to be complete again, I want to spend the rest of my life with him. I read online that you helped a girl in this situation and I contact him for help. I grew up with my parents divorced and I don't want that for my son and I miss my husband so much and just want our family to be whole again I want the love of my life back and I can honestly say that because he is the only man I have ever truly loved with all my heart.So i seek help from and he responded to me and he cast a love spell for me which i use in getting back my husband and i am happy and grateful to him for helping me. the only through spell caster i have ever known.


and Rachel's breaking up-speech was so spot on and about time. Great!
About Britanny and Santana, didn't do much for me but I think it's sad if this means we get to see even less of Santana from now on. 
Hate that I have to wait until november to see what happens next. I really miss Klaine, and this episode didn't really make me feel better...

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Glee Season 4 Episode 4 Quotes

I'm gonna take this down to the park and watch drug deals go down.


Brittany: Ah, young love.
Blaine: Do you remember when you started dating Santana and I started dating Kurt back before everyone was so busy and far away and things were so much simpler? We had so much more hope and innocence. Every day was just like Valentine's Day.
Brittany: We're still young. Shouldn't we still be experiencing those things?

Glee Season 4 Episode 4 Music

  Song Artist
Teenage dream 1 Teenage Dream Glee Cast iTunes
Glee cast barely breathing Barely Breathing Glee Cast iTunes
Glee cast give your heart a break Give Your Heart A Break Glee Cast iTunes