Glee Review: Don't Dream It's Over

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A swan song is, by definition, a final public performance or a person's last performance before retirement. Why tonight's episode of Glee was titled "Swan Song" is anybody's guess.

Even if the New Directions did lose Sectionals, nothing about tonight said "the end." Tonight was about starting over. Regrouping. New beginnings.

Whoopi Goldberg as Carmen

We've debated in recent weeks what the point of Glee is exactly. Is this a show about high school? Or is it a show meant to follow its original cast into perpetuity?

It seemed like the writers were finally trying to tell us what they think Glee is all about.

Rachel: Finn, listen to me. You know, even if we, we never won our Sectionals, or Nationals had never happened, it still would have been worth it. I mean, glee, it's about the love of the music. It's about people like Puck and Artie not just singing together but actually being friends. It's about Brittany and Mike dancing just for fun when no one else is around. It's even about the romances. You know they come and go, but they're just as important. | permalink

Tonight Glee was about the characters. Which is why most of tonight's New York scenes didn't bug me. In fact, most of them reminded me what I love about Kurt and Rachel as individual characters and as friends.

I could have done without the Rachel-Cassie showdown of "All That Jazz." In fact, I'm getting to the point where I'm done with Cassie July altogether. I love Kate Hudson's chiseled abs and ascerbic remarks as much as the next person, but Rachel's not a dancer. (And truth be told, all of the "dance-offs" that have happened this season have sort of proven that point already, with tonight being no exception.)

She's never going to be a dancer and she knows it. Rachel Berry was born to belt out the ballads and belt she did.

Rachel Berry totally owned the NYADA Winter Showcase. I got chills while listening to her sing "O Holy Night."

But it was her speech to Brody beforehand that I loved the most about her performances tonight. Rachel, for all of her lack of confidence, has never lacked said confidence on stage. She has always known who she is when she's singing. That has always been clear.

Tonight felt like Rachel was reminded of that, or reminded herself of that. And using that confidence, she did what she does, which is blow everyone else out of the water.

She also loaned a little of that confidence to Kurt. He's always hidden behind his "careful assortment of bells and whistles" and tonight he showed his vulnerability at just the right moment. Doing so paid off as Kurt is now NYADA's newest student. Finally, something good for Kurt Hummel!

But not so much good happened for the New Directions back at McKinley. Unless you count Brittany and Sam.

They're a strange pair, really, and the set up has been only slightly more developed than that of Sam and Mercedes, but I don't hate it.

Their breaking of the fourth wall tonight to directly address the backlash the writers knew would come out of their pairing was well played. Love is love. And if anything, Brittany's character was always written as bisexual, so her decision to date Sam doesn't seem outside the scope of something her character would do. I can be Team Bam for as long as this lasts.

However, I'm irritated that the only mention we got of Marley's eating disorder came from Santana calling Kitty out and everyone ignoring it. Completely irritated. I don't know why I expected that more would happen with that, but I did. I hoped this would be the Big! Issue! that Glee got right.

I suppose there's still hope for the writers to revisit this in future episodes, but it bothers me that Kitty caused so much destruction and will see no repercussions. At this point, she's irredeemable for me.

After Marley's tumble at Sectionals, the New Directions lost when they fled the stage to take care of her as the judges declared the Warblers the winners. Better luck next year?

To be honest, I was kind of shocked by that turn of events. I expected one of the other girls to jump in, sing with Blaine and the New Directions would go on to a victory. It was interesting to me to see the possible collapse of the glee club thanks to a wonky set of rules and Sue's maneuvering.

But the glee club is kind of like The Goonies, and goonies never say die.

They'll regroup. They'll move forward from here. And Finn will help them do it.

What did you think of "Swan Song"? Are you Team Bam? Did Rachel blow you away with her ballad? Be sure to check out the rest of the Glee quotes (and the Glee music!) and I'll see you in the comments!


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (177 Votes)

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


The best part was the music and when the pianist spoke to Sue.


@Seriefreak you're not the only one who loves the NY scenes. I love the NY scenes as well. Glee's amazing because the old characters are still in it, the way that the show is going how it shifts from the old characters and the new characters lives make it more interesting. Watching the new characters alone would be absolutely boring without the original cast in it. If the original cast were to leave, I would stop watching in all honesty.

Drea xoxo

I for one was disappointed in this episode!!! no one said a word to marley about how did her disorder start nor did anyone attack kitty!!!!! i too agree with other reviewers about her character could really care less! don't like how they handled the mum story or how quick they were to brush the bullemia aside! it is a serious issue and needs to be handled delicately and with the right attention. the other gleerers were right to shone her because she did cost them it with her self centred self. moving on, episode was meh. there's no development. hudson is wasted on show and sue needs to accept ND now its becoming tedious. disappointed in writers not having balls to finish what they begun either


Then it's a good thing the kids who graduated are being shown in college and not perpetually in high school. Fans wanted a spin off. It didn't happen. They can't lose their biggest stars on the show, especially to such a dull new cast, minus rider. He's the only one worth watching. I can't stand marley and am not invested in any of the other new kids at all. But to say lea Michele can't sing? That's just nuts. She's never sounded better than she did in this past episode. Many said they had goosebumps. And really people, I'm pretty sure Brittany wasn't saying every single person who was pissed about her and Santana were lesbians… just that the actual lesbians who are fans of them were mad. People are reading way too much into this.


Poorest episode this year. The show should be about the kids at McKinley High, in the glee club NOW, not about who has graduated, and what they are doing. I am sick of Rachel Berry plot lines. I am so tired of her voice, I muted while she sang not one, but TWO songs. She belts. She does not sing. Enough, already. Kurt's character was brave and intersting. He has moved on. So should we. Let's develop the new characters! Let's have intersting interactions between old students and new students. And when students graduate, let them come back for a special eposiode (very rarely) and not foever. High school is about 4 years, not perpetuity.


As someone who doesn't watch Glee for the story lines, the music is what I DVR Glee for. I stopped watching last season, tried this season but it did nothing for me. So, Glee is a place where they appreciate music and what it says. Rachel sung like never before. Her voice is like an angel's. Kurt had a solo. The group number was spectacular. When people say that Finn cannot sing, this just showed Finn's ability to transend all the emotion of the song's lyrics. I'm not a fan of Marley's singing and agree with Tina's comment that she will never be a replacement for Rachel. For the record, the last 2 episodes have been pretty good for stories to be told. And I don't like the direction the writer's have taken Glee. I miss Santana desperately. Glee needs her. So does NY. NY til Swan Song has been dull.


I liked the episode-loved it also when the pianist came in and thanked Sue!
Did anyone else not really like the first song rachel sang in the competition? Where did that song come from?
Also, I thought it was interesting that Rachel is Jewish and her favorite "holiday" song, as she put it, was "Oh Holy Night?" Does she not know the song is about Jesus's birth?
I did really enjoy the last number- Cory Monteith, as usual, puts so much humanity and sensitivity in everything he does.


@Miranda Wicker, I don't mind the little comedy it adds when Ryan wants to directly address the crowd through a speech in the show, as long as it's about something funny. But calling every single Brittana fan an "angry lesbian" is just offensive.
I'm a little upset they broke up, but I like Brit and Sam together, they're cute. And I understand that the networks have some kind of quota about homosexual scenes involving kissing and stuff, but Ryan Murphy offended me by calling me an "angry lesbian" and then later by having Brittany say that Brittana fans will just have to deal with it instead of saying just that they love each other and their gender shouldn't matter.


Am I the only one around here that LOVES the NY scenes? McKinley just bores me now. It's the same old story again with Sue Sylvester. Really I've had enough of that. And I just don't like the new characters.


That angry lesbians comment was offensive! They insulted an entire fandom! I love Brittana, but I am a STRAIGHT woman! And it's not about the fact that Brittany is bisexual. We all know that she is. It's just that when she's in a relationship with a man vs her relationship with Santana, Brittany actually has a voice. They don't stick her in the background, becoming mute! It took how long for Brittana to get ONE kiss when Finchel was getting them every time they were on screen? But Brittany and Sam automatically gets a kiss right after they get together. And the same goes for Sam and Mercedes. All that build up last season and they pretend as if Samcedes didn't even exist! The double standards on Glee are just preposterous! And that's why, ironically, this my "Swan Song" for Glee!

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Glee Season 4 Episode 9 Quotes

Brittany: Did you lay out the line of cereal for me?
Sam: Well, it's Tuesday, and I know how you forget to eat breakfast on Tuesday because the first few days of the week tend to confuse you.

This is all Marley's fault. New Rachel, my butt. I knew Rachel Berry. I was friends with Rachel Berry. And you, Marley, are not Rachel Berry.


Glee Season 4 Episode 9 Music

  Song Artist
Glee cast something stupid Something Stupid Glee Cast iTunes
Song All That Jazz (feat. Kate Hudson) Glee Cast iTunes
Glee cast being good isnt good enough Being Good Isn't Good Enough Glee Cast iTunes