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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!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (176 Votes)

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

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I FEEL LIKE ATTACKING KITTY, BUT LIKE HOW SANTANA WANTS TO ATTACK RACHEL. FINN,MR.SHUE, EVERYBOFY NEEDS TO KNOW THAT KITTY CAUSED THEM TO LOSE!! Btw, I'm screaming on the inside when I think that someone took SAM away from me...

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People are taking this angry lesbians comment way too seriously… that was clearly their fun little way of poking fun and saying hey Brittana shippers, this is for you! That's Brittany's character… those are the types of comments she's ALWAYS made. And Ryan Murphy is gay. Why would he be against centering on the gays on his show? All of season two was pretty much based on Kurt being gay and last year largely focused on him and Blaine. I think you're a little too over emotional if this stuff is really offending you.

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Hated the bits about Marleys eating disorder, I have from the start and it's not getting better. someone here mentioned that we do not have enough interaction between the new and the old glee members. This is exactly why i hate the New York scenes. As much as i love kurt and rachel, they are not part of gleeclub anymore, they just take away screentime which should be used to get more out of the members.

Amie

P.S. The pianist thanking Sue was HILARIOUS!

Amie

Also I think Sam and Brit are good together - he makes her smile and happy. Love is love no matter whom you love boy or girl - if it makes you happy - go with it.

Amie

I am pissed as I am pretty sure everyone else is that Kitty is still in the Glee club and did not get kicked out after it was revealed what she did to Marley - WTF, Glee don't you dare abandon this sl! Kitty should get kicked out! I am done with Ms July - nothing interesting there. Rachel was magnificent on that stage and so was Kurt. I loved the final scene because it reminded of the old Glee - hopefully it gets better for them, but they must write a new chapter in the history of that club and start acting like one.

Amie

I loved the episode, especially because the New Directions did not win - they weren't supposed to anyway because there on the stage they were not a team, they were just a part of the old Glee members mixed with the new ones at a competition. That was and still remains my biggest concern which was at least a little bit addressed in the last 4 mins - ever since the newbies entered Glee club - there was no club really, we never got to see them interact and they did not feel like they were one family. Rachel was spot on when she said what Glee was about - it was about people who loved music and that is why the New Directions used to win because they were ONE and performed as a WHOLE. Its good that now they are back to underdog status and that they have to fight for everything again - even if it is for a room to practice in. It will and should bond them together. Maybe they can start interacting more. I am pissed as I am pretty sure everyone else is that Kitty is still in the Glee club and did not get kicked out after it was revealed what she did to Marley - WTF, Glee don't you dare abandon this sl! Kitty should get kicked out! I am done with Ms July - nothing interesting there. Rachel was magnificent on that stage and so was Kurt. I loved the final scene because it reminded of the old Glee - hopefully it gets better for them, but they must write a new chapter in the history of that club and start acting like one.

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As for the 'lesbian' issues, meh. Anyone who judges, forms opinions, or even takes seriously societal issues based on the Glee characters are simply doing it wrong. This isn't a civics class, it's a TV show. Taking it seriously at all, about anything, is a complete waste of rage.
Rachael's singing was spot-on. Kurt's was spot-on, Ive said it before that's well and good, but never enough. That's why I loved the cereal trail, Carl's exit speech, the line about the movie 'Prometheus' The quirky humor between Sam and Britt and especially the Interfaith paintball league, where Jews, Christians and Muslims can shoot each other all they want but nobody gets hurt. (hugs)
Give us great singing, energetic dancing, but please, please don't ever slack off the comedy.

Deann

I mean the gal in the wheelchair from "The Glee Project" of course.Anyway, I also wanted to say that I loved Rachel's songs for the showcase, and I was so moved by her incredible talent, and Kurt's vulnerability during his song that I had to get out the tissues. That was beautifully done. I'm also with the reviewer in being tired of Kate Hudson's nasty dance teacher--she brings nothing to the show but her ridiculous jealousy of Rachel and her egotistical alcoholism.
BTW, I am glad that Sam and Brittany are getting together, and I think, from the comments here and on Facebook, that Brit was right about the militant lesbians getting their panties in a bunch over her no longer being in a gay relationship. When I was at an all-womens college, I saw a lot of lesbian relationships, and now, years later, over 75 percent of those gals have gone on to have relationships/marriages with men.

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After the end of this episode, I told my wife "They finally fixed it."
I was completely off-put by the 'Grease' and other earlier episodes this season, something was missing, the shows, even the musical performances seemed flat.
Something about this episode, however, proved to me that the show's creators still have it in them. Carl's (the piano guy) exit speech, the first time I recall him saying anything was perfect! 'Something Stupid' was excellent, I love it when the second tier gets to perform front and center. 'All that Jazz' mm, not so much. I agree, I've had enough of Cassie. (Cntd)