Glee Review: When The Lights Go Out At McKinley

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McKinley. New York. McKinley. New York. Back to McKinley. Tonight's episode of Glee felt like two separate shows as we bounced from place to place and navigated our way through multiple story lines. 

"Lights Out" worked, but not always well. 

Questions for Becky

Because this felt like two separate episodes, I'm separating this out into two reviews, starting with McKinley and the things that completely confused me. Chief among these things is this little scene right up there in the picture. 

Where was it?

Blaine and Sam were supposed to interrogate Becky Jackson about what happened with the school shooting and Sue's departure. Except that didn't happen in the episode I just watched. Twice. Did it happen in the one you watched? Did they cut it so they could fit in an 8 minute production of "At The Ballet?"

Maybe it's coming next week? Or maybe Blaine at Sue's aerobics class and Becky's almost-confession is all we're going to get and Glee will be putting the school shooting story line to bed.

Another thing that confused me, or more like caused an unbelievable suspension of disbelief, was that power outage at McKinley. Had it only been a day, I would buy it. A week? No way. There's no way the power is off at a school for a week and classes are still taking place. I don't care how many mylar balloons get stuck into light sockets on accident. 

But the stretch of my imagination was worth it because that power outage gave us some incredible music. 

Sam on the guitar with "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'." Ryder singing one of my personal favorite songs, "Everybody Hurts." The whole gang making street music with trashcans and shovels and brooms on "We Will Rock You." 

It was all fantastic.  If nothing else, Glee is really winning with the music this season.

Ryder's revelation that he was molested made me feel like this kid can't catch a break. Dyslexia, now this, and he's being Catfished!

Aside from his song and him sharing his secret, that scene was so poorly written I'd like to shake Ryan Murphy myself. Having Sam and Artie cheer him on after he's just shared a traumatic moment from his childhood, because 11 is definitely still a child, and having no one actually explain to them why what happened to him was wrong was a slap in the face to abuse victims everywhere.

I get that their reaction might be to think that would be awesome, and I get that Tina, Will and Marley lashed out at the two of them in retaliation, but no one took the time to really explain anything to anyone. So Glee, which loves its lessons, missed out on a moment to teach.

I'm not sure how I feel about Kitty having a similar story and that being their common ground. I feel like she could've just as easily had a friend who experienced something similar or just been written to accept his story and want to be there for him without having experienced that firsthand herself. But it's pointing things in the direction of a Ryder-Kitty pairing and I'm okay with at least that much. 

The idea of Ryder and Kitty is a good one. It's not another tired triangle unless we count his Catfish who may or may not actually be Kitty. Time will tell.

Switching gears, everything about New York tonight was flawless. Even Sarah Jessica Parker. 

Kurt and Rachel trying to force Santana into making a decision about her future was so very Kurt and Rachel. And Santana basically telling the both of them to shove it was so very Santana.

Those three together are magical.

While their performance of "At The Ballet" was about 5 minutes too long, I like that it featured Santana, Kurt and Isabelle, with Rachel as backup. Going to the ballet also got Santana back in touch with her childhood and memories of her grandmother, a relationship that she lost when she came out but which meant so much to her. 

Where Santana will go from here is really anybody's guess, but I like that she got a little bit of a feature tonight. She's a character who has grown so much but still stayed so true to who she is so any night there's more Santana on my television is a good night for me.

What did you think of "Lights Out?" Were you surprised by the missing Becky/Blaine/Sam scene? What did you think of tonight's Glee music? Be sure to check out the Glee quotes page for even more Glee!


Editor Rating: 3.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.3 / 5.0 (100 Votes)

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


I agree that Artie and Sam's reactions were rude, but they are definitely common among boys and men in situations like this. I don't expect them to understand it the way a girl would (or a boy who had also been molested), but they could have at least noticed the effect the molestation had on Ryder. Maybe in a future episode their reactions will be revisited, like Brittany hearing about Sam's reaction and blasting him about it. I think Will, as the teacher, should have said more about it, if only in the 'cant you see this is hard for him?' way. I too was expecting a Becky-Blaine-Sam scene because the local affiliate advertised the show that way. Did anyone else see commercials like this??? Seing Blaine in shorts was pleasant, though. :)


I wanted someone to stand up and slap the h**l out of Sam and Artie. Their cat calls and lack of interest in understanding was insulting and even bullying. Ryder was clearly traumatized by the event, and had difficulty in expressing it. It sent a very obvious message to him (showing signs of how he retracted so quickly) that New Directions was not on his side nor were they a place he could express his hurt and anguish. It was disturbing and painful to watch. I lost so much respect for Sam Evans during this episode I am wondering if I will be able to continue enjoying the character.


Hm, I was kinda bored watching the episode, but this happens every now and then. What I'm confused about is the timeline - does this season only cover half of a schoolyear? Or did I miss something? Because they should be nearing nationals and making decisions about graduation, prom, college and so on by now, there are only two episodes to go! Don't get me wrong, I love Santana's storylines, and I get it's hard to keep up with everyone now that half of them have graduated and new characters have to grow on us so that we don't hate the show when the rest of the original Glee Club leave. But seriously, most of them will end up like Mercedes - buried in the background (except for ones like Blaine who will go join the NY section (BTW, spin-off, anyone?)) - so I'd think they deserve closure while they're still at the school.


I definitely think this was one of the worst episodes ever! The ballet song was boring and what about poor Sue Sylvester's bleacher number?? Good grief. I really didn't care for any of the songs-lately I've just been fast forwarding them. Will the real Glee please stand up?


Wow. At the ballet was SO boring and it took up way too much time in the episode. I was confused about the missing interrogation too, but I think they decided to cut it because Becky already confessed her "crime".


Only Sarah Jessica Parker can get Rachel and Kurt to sing only backup. Totally agree that the molestation storyline was poorly handled. Both Kitty and Ryder were molested once? Most victims of sexual abuse suffer repeated abuse over the course of months, sometimes years. A little bit of contrast between the stories would be stronger. Weak attempt at the double standard, but I don't think we've heard the last of this. This kind of trauma takes years to recover from and during your high school years, you don't heal quickly.


It was 1 of the worst ever of Glee.


Unfortunately, Artie and Sam's reactions were very realistic, but other than the fact that nobody explains to them how wrong it is, I'm surprised that Artie was the one who acted this way. He's usually the most mature. I would've expected something like this from Jake. Very disappointed in Murphy. This was the perfect opportunity to explain to the youth how messed up sexual abuse is.
And I'm glad that Kitty's storyline included sexual molestation because it is very, very, very common. That being said, it was handled horribly. (I don't mean I'm glad Kitty was molested...I meant the story.)

Miranda wicker

I feel like it didn't come across, or I said it but it was glossed over, but yes, Sam and Artie's reactions were common reactions to hearing a secret as shocking as Ryder's. That's sad but true. My larger point was that there was a chance to model responsible ADULT behavior by having Will do more than just throw out the "you know I have to report this" and calling it done. At best, the scene was dismissive. At worst, potentially offensive, damaging, and triggering to those who have been there and weren't expecting that secret.


the ballet song, i'm sorry if I offend anybody but that was just boring! The other songs were great, Sam with his guitar was just Hot. And the We Will Rock you number was a great performance. I actually expected them going zum zum zum zum (pitch perfect style) when they said they were going accapella

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Glee Season 4 Episode 20 Quotes

[to Ryder] How can you pick an online fantasy over an actual fantasy?


You're so talented, Santana. You're like the most talented person I know, obviously with the exception of me and Kurt, but your voice, it's electric!


Glee Season 4 Episode 20 Music

  Song Artist
Glee cast youve lost that lovin feelin You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' Glee Cast iTunes
Glee cast everybody hurts Everybody Hurts Glee Cast iTunes
Glee cast we will rock you We Will Rock You Glee Cast iTunes