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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.

Review

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.

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Like, sorry, but why is everyone trying to find someone to blame? Things suck, things happen. Blaine did something wrong (we don´t even know what he really did, it could have been like a kiss) - but he is human. A kid, with too much love. It´s hard to be this in love at this age. Scary. I don´t think we need to excuse him - I may be sad, but I can sure as hell relate.
Kurt has always been amazing. Strong. And he was wrapped up in himself - not that we can blame him. Life happens, things change. But really "What am i supposed to do till then? Hold my breath?" - that is a cry for hepl if I´ve ever heard one. ("care about me. listen to me. love me.") - a part of being in a relationship is carring about stupid stuff like what bowtie you boyfried wears.
It´s not about blame. Noone is at fault - it´s just sad. I love them both more than ever, because I understand. We don´t need our rolemodels to be perfect, but to pull through in the end.

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All I'm sayin' is - Finn/Rachel break-up hopefully means more Brody!! He's a real eye magnet :)

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How can you blame Kurt for not taking ONE call at work? Jesus Fucking Christ.

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Why do the writers think they need to do all this in one episode? Do they need to prove they can follow a theme?
This would be a great series finale, maybe a lot of us should make it that by never watching again.

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I must be in the minority here, or all by myself. I cannot stand Blaine at all anymore. I have thought for ages that Kurt (whom I adore) could and should do much better. Blaine has much TOO much air time in my opinion.
I was actually suprised that Will and Emma didn't breakup completely as I thought that really would happen. Another person (Will) who has changed so much from the first season that I don't like much anymore. I was blown away by Santana's maturity and by Brittany's acting.
I am a fan of both Lea Michele and Cory Monteith and Rachel and Finn although
I was glad that Rachel finally stopped waiting for Finn to lead her and took
matters into her own hands.

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I've read only the Kurt/Blaine part of this review and it's enough. You're blaming the cheated. How lovely. Oooh yes, bad evil Kurt won't answer his phone because he's working, so mister adorable bowties Blaine is excused. Oh! Sorry! You don't mean that? Well when you wrote "Infidelity is never excusable, but really Kurt?" is a lovely way to put the blame on Kurt.

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I agree with everything apart from the Kurt thing.
SERIOUSLY! You can't say that Kurt ISN'T lonely because he has a communicative relationship with his boss! Blaine is at home surrounded by his friends and family - how the heck is HE lonely. He just got elected Student President and what not. He could easily have talked to anyone in that choir room. At the end of the day, Blaine is an ass!

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Rachel/Finn break-up is especially ironic in the the context of their off-screen relationship. Totally on-board with showing how hard it is to maintain a high-school relationship once the two halves of the couple are pursuing their post-high school lives. Emma/Will storyline is out of character, asinine, and contrived - perhaps added to give Morrison time for his stage tour?

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Major tearjerker episode! Haven't been this emotional for this show since they sang "Somewhere over the rainbow" (forgot what episode that was). Here's hoping for more solid episodes from Glee in the coming weeks!

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Finchel is forever.
No matter what they go through, no matter what happens, they'll always find their way back to each other.
They're tether and that's never going to change.
That episode was so heartbreaking but gave us all so much hope for these two.
They're it for each other.

Glee Season 4 Episode 4 Quotes

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

Kurt

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