Glee Review: Roaring Applause for Starchild

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Glee's return following the Cory Monteith tribute was sure to be a bumpy one. The right amount of pathos needed to be balanced with a healthy dose of moving forward.

In some ways, Glee Season 5 Episode 4 managed to do that, but in others, it fell far short of the mark for a good return after such a heavy-hitting episode. There were some nice moments, but overall, this felt like a filler episode where nothing important took place.

One excellent thing to come out of the evening, however, was Starchild. Anything that gets more Adam Lambert on my screen is okay by me.

Adam Lambert Guest Stars

Many of the characters felt a little too recovered from Finn's passing, and since there was no explanation of a time jump happening, it sort of feels like Glee's tendency to make tragedies into After School Specials has struck again.

The New Directions went from mourning their loss to choosing between Katy Perry or Lady Gaga songs and being completely freaked out by some bizarre show choir which seems more like a Gothic Cirque du Soleil. 

I'm sorry, but Throat Explosions? Really? That's not even something which can be taken even remotely seriously. And yes, I realize I'm talking about a show where kids get an assignment to come to school dressed like either Katy Perry or Lady Gaga and then get suspended from a voluntary club for refusing. 

That particular story bugged me. Schue suspended Marley for standing up for herself when that's kind of the shtick of both Gaga and Katy Perry and suddenly I realize I've put entirely too much stock in the capabilities of a TV teacher who constantly misses the point of his own assignments. 

Regarding assignments, part of what made tonight not work is the fact that Glee has already done Lady Gaga once before. They did it better the first time around. And whose idea was it to bill Katy Perry as this wholesome girl-next-door? This is the same girl who had a hit about graphic sex with an "alien," right?

Sure, compared to Gaga she's "nicer," but I didn't exactly understand the lesson. And Blaine looked like a cracked out My Little Pony.

The best thing to come out of that lesson was Artie's voice on "Applause." Can he get a solo every now and again? (Check out the rest of the Glee music from tonight's show. "Marry The Night" was also spectacular!)

I want to care about the high school students, but episodes like this make it nearly impossible. I want to care that Jake might have cheated on Marley because Marley wouldn't let him get to second base, but the whining and ridiculously over-the-top way some of the characters there have been written make that impossible. 

Tina is a drama queen prone to histrionics. Sam is just dumb, and he wasn't always. All of the Cheerios need to be forgotten. Give us Blaine and Artie, and maybe Baby Puckerman, if only for his abs, in which case throw in Ryder, too, and let's get the heck out of Ohio.

Let's go, perhaps, to New York.

The idea of Kurt starting a band is silly. Completely silly. The five of them are just going to get together and sing? That's not a band, Kurt. That's a group of people who get together and sing. 

But still, this band idea is giving us Starchild, AKA Elliott Gilbert, and I couldn't be more thrilled with Adam Lambert being on Glee. If ever there were a natural fit for this series, it's Lambert. If he were in every episode from here until the end of the series, there'd be no complaints from me. Give him a microphone and some eyeliner and let him sing.

Rachel's line about singing "My Man" at her Funny Girl rehearsals was another subtle reminder of Finn's absence, one of only two on the night. I don't think he needs to be mentioned frequently, but seeing Will, or at least Blaine, Artie, and Tina, struggling just a bit wouldn't be a bad thing.

What did you think of Glee Season 5 Episode 4? Were you hoping for more mention of Finn? Did Glee do Gaga better the first or second time around?


Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.4 / 5.0 (143 Votes)

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


Adam Lambert, what an incredible talent, glee should make him a regular cast member & put him front & center. He was amazing covering marry the night. He blew me. Away!


Glee have bad words my sister watch it first time she heard b**** WORD glee show now she stop watch it.
Glee rating 2.5/5.0


I haven't cared much about Glee for a couple of seasons now. Either I got older or the show got dumber and lately, it feels like the show got dumber. Will Schuester has never been the model teacher I hoped him to be. I wanted him to be a Carpe Diem teacher, someone like Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society, giving out life lessons and advice. Obviously, a real teacher is flawed and I should not hope for perfection from a TV teacher. Except that Mr. Schue has proven time and again that he's full of contradictions and preferences. He's much more forgiving of male characters and quite harsher on female ones, specially teenage girls full of insecurities. And I'm a woman but in no way a hardcore feminist but the way he treats the women on the show and the way he teaches the younger boys to treat women make me feel sick. No, ONE episode about treating women right will not do. Honestly, it has come to a point where I don't know if all of the characters are badly written or if they are just following the lead of one bad teacher. It seems more and more to me that Finn Hudson was the character of reason in the show and he would have been the one to be a great teacher, not because he was perfect, but because Finn was the good guy, through and through. Which by the way, the lack of Finn mentions are just ridiculous. I know it's a show aimed at a younger audience and they can't make it too sad. But it seems a lot like it's two days later and they are back to business. Finn, who? I would have liked to see Rachel sing a song about moving on rather than see Kurt form a band where the only person who plays an instrument is Demi Lovato. 5 singers, really? That's not a band, that's almost a Glee Club, another one. It just feels like Ryan didn't want to be too inconvenienced by Cory's death to make it a plot line, so he probably just inserted the tribute episode where it would make at least some sense, wrote out all the Finn scenes and kept on going with the plan he made for season 5 all the way back in March. Yeah... so not working.


Loved the NY parts and Starchild. Adam gives Glee the lift it has needed. Dump Lima.


Adam was amazing. He is such a great performer. I loved his acting as well. Thank you Adam for what you give.


I saw Adams performance. Loved it!


This is the first episode of Glee I have ever watched. I had to see Adam perform. I have to say he slayed it yet again. He brought all his energy, charisma, sexy moves, theatrics and "into the stratosphere" voice to Marry the Night. That "writhing / humping" on the floor reminded me of a couple of Glam Nation Tour concerts in Europe I think. He did the same thing at the end of 20th Century Boy but it was a lot sexier. I believe you might find still find the video on youtube. Might even be in Munich. Take a look. Suz526 put a lot of the Glam Nation shows on youtube and there is even a slow motion version of the floor moves. You will love it.
I plan to tune in to any future episodes of Glee that include Adam...for that matter anything and everything he has planned in 2014 I will want to see!


Honestly this episode lacked a lot for me, it just seemed like it was just plain odd. Rachel was the only one who seem to have realised that Finn had passed away not long ago yet everyone else seemed to have moved on so fast.
The whole concept of the episode for me was just lacking, I honestly feel like since we lost Cory Monteith Glee just struggles for ideas now.

@ Jessica

I totally agree with you, Jessica. They have no strong male lead. Glee has been flailing badly since the middle of season 4. They backed themselves into a corner with the writing that since Cory's passing and Finn's ultimate character demise that Glee has no other avenue to go but choose Blaine and Sam as the leaders. But, Glee doesn't have the goals it once had. It is only for show, performances.


I am so with you : Please, give Adam Lambert the microphone and let him


I agree with the majority of this review. And I would LOVE to see Adam stick around for a while! Even though it's just a group of friends singing, it was still really nice to listen to. And I, personally, would love to have a band like that around here. All we have are your typical rock bands, which is fine. But that's not my number one choice of music. So I'd love to have a group like that performing songs I enjoy. I wasn't so sad about the Marley and Shue issue because I simply just can't stand Marley. I've never liked her character, she's super dull and boring. I wish we would just get rid of her. I wish Kitty could sing more, I love her voice. I agree though that I wish they would give Sam better storylines and more airtime... Same with Ryder. They're both too underused. This season is just really confusing me in that I have no idea what time of year it is! More New York scenes please!

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Glee Season 5 Episode 4 Quotes

[to Starchild] Would you mind just stepping outside for a moment while I bitch slap some sense into my friend.


Rachel, Finn wouldn't want you sitting on the sidelines while life passes you by.