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Glee Review: Don't Stop Believin'

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While discussion about and reaction to Glee's school shooting episode continues to happen in the real world, in the fictional world of McKinley High School, the show must go on.

And go on it did. In about four different directions, some of which were dreams come true and some of which were sort of nightmares.

"Sweet Dreams" aren't exactly made of episodes like this one, where so much is going on it's hard to keep up.

Performing at Regionals

In the wake of last week's shooting, some of the McKinley students were left visibly shaken.

Tina has adopted a "steam punk" style. Unique is obsessed with growing breasts. Sam, back to being a caricature of himself, developed an...Australian twin?

I sit here in my living room watching this all unfold and I find myself trying to rationalize all of this.

Tina's always been a bit of a fringe fashion fan. Trying out what she thinks will be the next big thing isn't too off the mark. Wade identifies as a woman and Unique is the woman inside him. Women have breasts. Okay, cool. I can sort of understand that.

Sam? What have they done to Trouty Mouth? There's no part of his Evan Evans/Sam Evans split that made sense. At first, I thought it was a gag he was running to amuse Brittany. That would've made it slightly plausible. But when he continued to pretend his phone was ringing, answer it, dash off stage and change his outfit, and then return as his other part? I'm not even sure I can really form a thought coherent enough to explain my reaction. 

Suffice it to say that while Will Shue was channeling his inner Gordon Bombay something fierce and being a cocky jerk for the better portion of tonight, I kind of wanted to high five him when he told Sam to stop turning into Evan.

Finally, in the category of things I didn't like about tonight, I'm not sure exactly where the writers are going with Blaine figuring out that Sue was covering for Becky, but I don't think I like it. I hope they prove me wrong. 

The good news is that those bits and pieces are really the only bits and pieces I didn't like about tonight. The rest of this review should be much less ranty.

"Dreams" as a theme for Regionals, and as a broader theme for the episode, was a fitting one. 

The new students have dreams of following in the footsteps of their predecessors. The seniors have hopes of winning more trophies before graduating. 

Marley's reaction to the shooting was to let people hear her songs. When Will shot Blaine down, rudely, and blew up at the kids for daring to defy his almighty rule, she kept on with her dream of sharing her music with her friends. 

Watching Blaine, Sam, Unique, and Marley sing around the piano was a nice blend of old and new, even if these original songs are somewhat lacking lyrically. "Outcast" felt like a throwback to "Loser Like Me" from a Regionals competition past and the closing performance has become one of my favorite parts of the show this season. They're infused with so much fun it's hard to hate them. 

Another thing I will never hate is Puck. And as much as I love Puckerman with his mohawk, Puck with hair was pretty great, too. 

Ignoring the complete implausibility of the Finn Goes to College bit (Hello, we're nearing the end of semesters everywhere. And probably quarters, too. He cannot start college right now.) Finn and Puck on a college campus having fun and doing college things was just fun to watch. We got classic Puck quotes, Finn having fun, and the two of them jamming out to some 80s music.

It was like tiny bits of every college movie in existence complete with beer pong, improvised grilled cheese sandwiches, and the Harlem Shake. (To read some of Puck's quotes, check out the Glee quotes page!)

Puck's speech to Finn about this being their time to prove wrong all those who thought they would become Lima Losers was a nice little "rah rah" moment. Finn needed it since he wasn't in the right place to listen to Will when Will went to make amends. If Finn is going to fulfill his dream of becoming a teacher, and a great teacher at that, he can't be a mediocre student. If screenwriting doesn't pan out, Puck should become a life coach.

All of the New York scenes tonight were perfect. All of them. Rachel was totally being Rachel during her audition practice and Shelby swooped in with a save. I love when Lea Michele and Idina Menzel sing together. LOVE. I would lobby for an entire episode of duets with these two if I could.

Appearances by Shelby Corcoran are yet another thing about Glee that I will probably never be able to hate.

The phone call between Rachel and Finn was nice. He knows exactly what to say to her to make her see in herself what others are able to see. He gives her confidence like no one else can. 

The reprise of "Don't Stop Believin'" was amazing, and while I'm still partial to the original for the sentimental reason that it was the moment the glee club became the glee club, I loved this arrangement. After Shelby's advice that she choose a song the judges wouldn't expect and Finn's advice that she choose a song from an intimate and personal moment in her life, it was a flawless Glee moment. 

It paid off since Rachel got a callback for the coveted role of Fanny Brice in Funny Girl, the role she was born to play. 

What did you think of "Sweet Dreams?" Do you like Puck better with his mohawk or with hair? Did you like tonight's "Don't Stop Believin'" better than the original performance from Glee season 1?

Review

Editor Rating: 3.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (83 Votes)

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

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Great post, keep up with the hard work, you’re doing it right!
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I really really hate Marley songs they are very annoying; I would love to see more of Rachel life at NY, and Idina and Lea are perfect at singing together.

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@TV!Garth I don't get your comment. Finn has decided to go to college to become a teacher, he's helping out with the Glee club for credits and he made amens with Will. What do you mean he has "no direction in his life''.

Deann

The reviewer said "All of the New York scenes tonight were perfect. All of them. Rachel was totally being Rachel during her audition practice and Shelby swooped in with a save. I love when Lea Michele and Idina Menzel sing together. LOVE. I would lobby for an entire episode of duets with these two if I could." AMEN to that! I totally agree! I loved the duo of Rachel and her mom singing together, a much better song than Poker Face, btw, and I was thrilled when Rachel sang Don't Stop Believin' with her Glee Club originals.
What I didn't like were the Finn and Puck in college cliches scenes. Bleck. I also think that the new Glee kids aren't outcasts enough, as the originals were.And I missed Joe, Sugar and Sue Slyvester

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Where is Joe? And Sugar? I have't seen them in a while.. I hope they aren't gone!

Tvgarth

What's up with Finn? Who is he and who has he become? Shouldn't he have a little more "direction" in his life or is he only destined to be Rachel's puppy dog? Plus, a "mad" Finn is just not his style and I don't see him holding a grudge. This character is way out of focus...don't you think?

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Best part of the episode was Shelby and Rachel's reunion I will always love Idina Menzel and Lea Michele moments on glee please bring them back for the last episodes of the season and bring them back on the new season. And off course we can't leave out the Finchel phone call love that moment bring back Finchel please.

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@Miranda Thanks for clearing that up! Hopefully they'll surprise us with something a little different then. But I doubt it!

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The new students are just pale imitations of the original cast, Marley is the new Rachel but not as good, Jake is not quite Puck, Ryder is Finn but not, and the cheerleader not half as good (or bad)as Quinn or Santana. Glee needs to move to New york next season, pretty obvious Mr Shue does not want to be there any more, only person from the school you would miss is Sue.

Miranda wicker

@Amy Lynn--I think Blaine will find out the truth and help Sue get her job back, too, but it was the previews for next week that left me uneasy. If he just put it together and went to Figgins and said "hey, here's what I think..." or went to Sue first, it would be different. I just don't know if I like where it's going to go in his quest to get an answer.

Glee Season 4 Episode 19 Quotes

I've got the rest of my life to be a grown-up. And for now, it's okay to be young.

Finn

[to Finn] Dude, I'm just here for my bro, some brews, and the bountiful Bettys. I love college!

Puck

Glee Season 4 Episode 19 Music

  Song Artist
Glee cast next to me Next To Me Glee Cast iTunes
Glee cast fight for your right to party Fight For Your Right (To Party) Glee Cast iTunes
Glee cast you have more friends than you know You Have More Friends Than You Know Glee Cast iTunes