Glee Review: Hopelessly Devoted to Glee

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There's nothing I love more than to watch a good hour of Glee on Thursday nights. Tonight's episode, however, was more than just good.

"The Role You Were Born to Play" was excellent! Fantastic! Stellar! Outstanding! And a million other exclamations I'm probably forgetting! Seriously, Glee, that's how you do it.

Praise for Mercedes

I hope I'm not alone when I say that I really, really loved it all. If I seem to swing like a pendulum in my Glee reviews, it's because the show kind of does the same thing. I'm happy to report that the pendulum swung its way back to the positive side tonight. Now how do we get it to just stay put?

The episode centered around casting for the upcoming McKinley High production of Grease with Finn at the helm as director. Artie, who sensed Finn's hesitation, called in Mike and Mercedes to help with vocals and choreography.

Watching those two walk down the hallway was thrilling. I don't think I knew quite how much I'd missed them until they appeared!

But even as much of the old cast came back together, tonight still allowed the newbies to shine. In fact, the newest members of the glee club were thrust into the spotlight in a way that helped us get to know them better and root for their success.

And Ryder Lynn? Totally nice to meet you!

Sue's attempts to block Wade/Unique from playing the role of Rizzo were classic Sue. She's mean and hyper-critical, but she's expressing the concern she expects everyone to have. That is, will the town riot when they find that a boy, one who happens to identify as female, might play the role of Rizzo, a female character?

Finn, however, after going toe-to-toe with Sue Sylvester and having a moving conversation with Wade/Unique, cast him in the role anyway. Sue will likely be right regarding the backlash of this decision, and I'm interested to see how Glee will handle this.

This is a real concern for some teens these days, gender roles and fitting in, and Wade/Unique, summarized the issue for his character well.

I don't feel right in the men's locker room, but I can't go into the girls'. And I don't feel right in men's clothing, but I can't wear dresses every day. It sucks to never know your place. It's just nice, for once, to feel like I've found one. | permalink

While we often castigate Glee for its "lesson of the week," this is one that's timely and relevant. My hope is that going forward it's treated with the same level of poignancy as it was tonight.

The Jake/Ryder/Marley/Kitty square was even interesting to me. Marley is the quiet, unassuming girl next door. Will she choose the bad boy or the seemingly nice one? Will Kitty constantly get in Marley's way? These are but a smattering of the questions I found myself, myself....while watching. For the first time, I feel genuinely invested in these new characters we've been getting to know over the past five episodes.

It's always a good night when Coach Beiste is on my TV, even if her role tonight was to serve as Will and Emma's relationship therapist when last season proved that she has issues of her own to work through. One couple from "The Break Up" is safe:

Will and Emma are still together.

After agreeing to go to Washington, Emma finally explained to Will why she doesn't want to. (To read what Emma had to say to Will, and more, check out the Glee quotes page!)

If the writers didn't feel compelled to make Will such a thick-headed nincompoop sometimes, then they could've just had this conversation in the previous episode. Seriously, is it too much to ask that Will just be written as evenly reasonable all the time instead of just when there's a resolution at stake?

And speaking of break-ups, we learned that Kurt and Blaine have definitely broken up, though Kurt is refusing all of Blaine's attempts at communication. Seeing Blaine so emotional was both sad and humorous, as it was intended to be, I'm sure.

Do you know what I think facilitated the relative ease with which I was able to engage with tonight's story lines?

There was no New York in tonight's episode.

If I'm being completely honest, it was really refreshing. Dare I say it, but this might have been the best episode thus far this season because it felt like each character was given adequate screen time without rushing from one plot to the next and then back again like some kind of storytelling tennis match.

I love Kurt and Rachel as much as everyone else, but tonight proved that while they may have been the heart and soul of Glee in the beginning, it's possible for the show to evolve without them. Or rather, beyond them.

And that's the thing about high school that makes high school shows work. There will always be the mean girls, the jocks, the socially awkward ones and the weird kids who just want to fit in. That's what makes a show like Glee the kind of show people want to watch. There's something, or someone, in it for everybody.

What did you think of "The Role You Were Born to Play"? Did you miss Kurt and Rachel in New York or did you find that the entire hour passed before you realized you hadn't seen them? What do you think of the new characters after this episode?

And remember to visit our updated section of Glee music to download your new favorites!


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (186 Votes)

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


I didn't miss Kurt or Rachel at all. "Out of sight, out of mind." It did seem rather creepy that so many of last year's grads were willing to hang around high school. Glad Jane Lynch is regaining her form and I think some of the new Glee members will be a good addition. The mean girl is such a caricature though that she is hard to take. I think a little subtlety would help.


I really liked the episode. And although Glee is something i download to watch to fill my free time i ve come to realization that i ve missed it these weeks it hadn;t shown a new episode. Last year i was a big fan of the Chinese couple- Mike and Tina (among others of course since they had barely 1 storyline) and i was looking forward for Mike's re appearance. But only to this i felt let down caz they had one short scene together. What's up with Tina anyway? Why is she being so neglected from the writers? It's a pity. Also,for a first i wasn't annoyed with the gay-racism-antiracism race- since it was put from a diferrent aspect than Kurt's. Love the new guy! he is hot!And love Kitty-she so mean! She is everything Quinn never got to be. She is a Sylvester Sue-miniature!


Super boring episode for people who stopped caring about what happens at Mckinley. None of the new characters offer anything interesting and are just better off singing only. Bringing old characters back to the club isn't working either as they should be moving on with their own new lives. As for Finn taking over Glee club, I really just want him gone forever.

Drea xoxo

i liked the episode for the fact K/R weren't in it. they don't need to be present in everyone now that they are living their lives in NY.
i am not liking the trolling going on atm about unique and i guess it just shows how we are not keeping up with the times let alone knowing the history of the arts. it wasn't until recent that women were allowed to perform on stage alongside men. i applaud glee for raising this issue but i too am scared as to how they are going to portray it in the end... either way unique has my backing and it should always be about TALENT not the person


Loved this ep, thought the music was fabulous, but I also felt that some of the scenes seemed a bit forced, especially the ones with Unique in the bathroom and the Hand Jive one. I also really dislike Kitty, the blond cheerleader replacement for Quinn. She's just an itty-bitty nasty B, and her character has no depth, other than meanness. At least Quinn had some facets to her character.


Unique needs to go!!!!!!!! I hate it


as sad as I'm to say this, I didn't missed the NY storyline in fact it was kinda refreshing no to see the whole "grown up" scenario in this episode...I didn't realise how much I missed the old gang back in McKinley but I just want more of them and the journey of self discovery that Finn is going throw


I didnt really care if lea and Chris was in this episode or not they are not my favorite anyway they are not the show they just make everything boring to me I like the new charcters marley, kitty, jake, and even ryder.


My god, what a booooring episode! Probably the worst so far! There's nothing about any of the new characters that's interesting. :-(

Miranda wicker

@MrWrite--You're right! Brittany will be playing Cha-Cha! And TV!Garth, YES. Exactly that!

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Glee Season 4 Episode 5 Quotes

Wow. I've never seen Blaine so...Masterpiece Theatre.


Since Kurt and I broke up I haven't slept, I've lost my appetite, and I don't even gel on weekends.


Glee Season 4 Episode 5 Music

  Song Artist
Glee cast hopelessly devoted Hopelessly Devoted Glee Cast iTunes
Glee cast blow me one last kiss Blow Me (One Last Kiss) Glee Cast iTunes
Song JukeBox Hero Glee Cast