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 usually just read the reviews here and some of the comments on this site. But I do want to speak up on this issue because people's responses on the sexual harassment issue are just... aggravating. You do not ever get the response you need when telling someone you were molested. I was molested when I was nine years old. When my parents found out I was forced to go to a priest and confess my sins because according to them I broke the sixth commandment of adultery (which now that I'm older I know that's bullshit). When I told a friend this year about it, being a college student he discredited it ever happened. You don't talk about it, barely ever, if you've been through it....because more often than not you get whip lashed emotionally all over again. The responses were accurate. I think people have ideals on how people SHOULD respond since in a story, you give that hope instead of the reality. That's my two cents on it.


Unfortunately, I have to disagree with the reviewer about the sexual abuse situation and how it was handled. I think that Murphy hit the nail on the head with the reaction of the Glee clubbers. Remember--this is a show about high schoolers. This is how high schoolers respond. People (especially children/teens) are uncomfortable with anything that is not "normal".... this was a portrayal of a real and common response. Murphy should take it a step further and have Will make sure that Ryder gets into some counseling. I loved Sue singing "Little Girls"---best sequence of the night next to "We Will Rock You". Santana is always a plus on the TV--I really wish we had more Kurt singing though. Missing Brittany and Joe also. Glee is a fun show that I enjoy with my kids. The topics recently have opened discussions with my pre-teen girls in a way that is helpful to explain things to them.


The music in this episode was brilliant! The handling of Ryder's secret was very poorly handled. I didn't have a problem with Kitty reaching out with a similar situation. 1 in 4 are victims of molestation. So 2 in glee club would be about right.


You say Glee loves its lessons but all season they do not teach anything. I agree completely that Glee missed a great opportunity to deal with victims of sexual abuse. One reason why victims do not come forward is because of the way they believe they will be viewed by peers and that is exactly what happen in this episode. Why not have a scene where Sam and Artie were not that they were insensitive and wrong and tell the young audience of Glee that rejecting and teasing victims of sexual abuse is not right. But I am not shocked; looked how they dealt with bulimia or Wade taking birth control pills or the shooting... or didn't deal with. Glee needs to decide to either deal with major issues like those the right way or just not do it! It is so easy to not have a story line like that and its disheartening that they do it wrong. And I agree, Santana has been the best character this season and Naya Rivera is knocking her portrayal of Santana out of the park! Great review!


This is how good shows become great shows: take a character near the bottom of the cast and build an episode around his dark secret. Obviously that seen could have taken many routes. What if Jake had reacted as Sam did and lost Marley in the process, for example? Consider other possibilities:
If it was Blaine, that made him gay.
If it was Unique, that made him traumatized and confused.
If it was Santana, that made her a bitch. That might work for Kitty too.


I feel like Glee has totally lost its way. The songs are great, but the storylines are badly handled and this episode seemed to be an attempt to break a record for the most "issues" crammed unconvincingly into one episode. New York perfect? For real? The idea that Kurt lands a highly competitive internship at VOGUE of all places (without trying) barely shows up for work and gets rewarded with free stuff and a sing song... I LOVE Glee, I'm so disappointed with the way it's going, especially the inconsistency with the cast, the serious issues they try to tackle and blow off within a week but something as dumb as catfishing (whatever that is) gets an entire season... I think it's a case of the writers feeling the show is untouchable and they have become totally complacent. Just feels like someone has vomited teen issue juice all over the show.


Never mind Joe was missing, what about Brittany???


Thanks for the review!
Ok if I have to render a guess on who Ryder's Catfish is...
my money would be on Wade/"Unique".
Highly doubt it was Kitty as that texting scene was definitely a red herring.


I myself was molested as a child and Glee handled this very poorly. I understand why Artie and Sam's reactions were what they were. However, it was still cringe inducing and the fact that barely any effort was made to correct them or explain why it was wrong is upsetting. Not to mention, the portrayal of a stereotypical sex crazy male- to the point where they cannot recognize how deeply inappropriate an 11 year old and 17 year old are- is equally offensive. Christ.


really loved the NY segment of the ep only wish that Rachel's voice would have been more audible but i get why they did it the way they did.
i too think that Shue should have handled the situation with Ryder way better and explain to them that this is no laughing matter and i don't get why he didn't. on the other hand, does anybody else wonder where the heck did our resident teen Jesus has disappeared to? where is Joe?

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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