This was Glee's Whitney tribute episode, and for an episode which was built around the songs, it worked really well. It's a contrast to the Michael Jackson episode, which was fabulous, but where the songs didn't really do much for the plot. In Dance With Somebody the songs really matched the emotions the glee club was going through.
Letting go is difficult, and that's what this episode was really about. What it wasn't about was leaving. There is a difference between letting go and leaving. The former involves knowing you have to move on, coming to terms with that, reconciling your present and your future and taking the best bits of one and bringing it to the other. Leaving is just that, going and not looking back. The kids in New Directions had to learn to let go, and learn that's what they were doing, not leaving.
Let's talk about Kurt and Blaine, who were the heart of this episode for me. Kurt is looking to his future in New York, while all Blaine can feel is a feeling of abandonment, and like typical teenagers neither of them decide to talk about the problem before it gets to a stage of everything blowing up in their faces.
Instead Blaine bottles it all up, while Kurt feels affronted and doesn't consider why Blaine might be acting the way he is.
The trigger for finally bringing the issue to the fore is Blaine discovering text messages on Kurt's phone - flirty text messages between Kurt and another guy (Chandler).
So are these text messages, as Blaine says, cheating? There's definitely an argument that they're not, but to be honest, I feel Kurt was cheating. No, not physically, and no, he wouldn't even consider doing anything with Chandler. But emotionally Kurt was definitely cheating. He even admitted it himself, even though he doesn't draw a line between cheating and what he's doing: "I like the way he makes me feel."
It's easy to see why Blaine's hurt. The boy he loves is flirting with another guy, and then almost blames Blaine for it, saying he isn't giving Kurt enough attention, implying that a guy Kurt has just met makes him feel more than Blaine does. And it takes Blaine reminding Kurt of his sacrifices ("I transferred schools to be with you. I changed my whole life. That doesn't make you feel loved?") for Kurt to realise something is wrong.
So, like a grown-up couple, Kurt and Blaine decide to talk about it. Despite Blaine being really upset at Kurt, he still goes with him to couples therapy with Kurt, because he loves him. And after some humourous accusations from Blaine to Kurt ("he clicks at the wait staff", "stop putting bronzer in my moisturiser") we finally get to the crux of it - New York.
Blaine is scared about Kurt leaving him. He has been so supportive of Kurt's desire to go to New York, but it's all become too much. It's all they ever talk about, and Blaine is feeling abandoned, so he's been pulling away to try and learn how to live without Kurt. Oh, the heartbreak here is just so painful.
And finally, Kurt gets it. You can see the realisation wash over his face, and then the steely determination to make sure that Blaine knows how much Kurt loves him, and that he will not leave him. These boys, they make my heart hurt.
One thing though, this scene ended a bit awkwardly. It looked like Blaine and Kurt would make up with a kiss, but after a few seconds it transitioned into a hug, which was sweet but didn't really seem to fit. If this had been Rachel and Finn, there would have been a kiss. Hmm.
The Kurt and Blaine plot this episode did end with a sweet exchange in the hallway, with the two showing they had listened to each other, and with Kurt pointing out that with so little time left he wanted to make sure he spent the time doing the things that would soon be ending, namely glee club.
Can I just take a few sentences to talk about what brilliant actors Colfer and Darren Criss are? Yes, I'm slightly biased because I'm a huge fan of them both, but seriously, these guys blew me away this episode, particularly Criss. You could see everyone emotion run across his face, and it was like he was feeling everything that Blaine was feeling. Right down to his eyes, you could see the pain and uncertainty.
Before I leave Kurt, let's talk about the lovely scene between him and his dad. Kurt and Burt scenes have always been incredible, and this was no exception. Just like Blaine, Burt had been pulling away slightly from his son in the hopes of getting used to being without him. It didn't work, but rather than let things stew they talked it out. Burt acknowledged that he didn't want Kurt to go, but that it was the best thing to do, and he was proud of him. And by cataloguing his belongings, Kurt started to let go, but learnt that you don't have to box everything away when you move on - it's okay to take some of your past with you. And there were some great lines here, including: "We made each other men."
Elsewhere Mr Schue moved his wedding to Emma forward. To be honest, I'd forgotten these two were engaged. Anyway, turns out the reason he wanted it in May was so the glee clubbers would attend. It seems Mr Schue is feeling like things are slipping away from him too, and it takes Emma to talk some sense into him. She may have OCD and seem ditzy, but she's actually the most sensible adult at McKinley.
Quinn is still in her wheelchair, and feeling the frustration. It takes the sweet Joe to help her realise she's still beautiful. They didn't get together straight away, which was good to see. Instead there was an acknowledgement of feelings, and Joe talked about what he was feeling with not just Quinn.
Puck provided a moment of sweetness by giving his "bros" goodie bags to remind them of each other. He is the one who really seems to understand letting go: "The clock's ticking. The time's coming when we're all going to have to say adios, some of us forever. Make sure you guys remember all the broments we had together, the great things we accomplished forever. I know I haven't always been the perfect friend or teammate, but you stuck by me, forgiven me for sleeping with your women. Not everyone in my life has done that...I'm only going to say this once, but I'm going to miss all of you. I love you guys."
I loved the music this episode. Whitney was brilliant, and I thought Glee picked just the right songs for New Directions.
The opening number, an acoustic version of How Will I Know, was just beautiful. It's Not Right, But It's Okay was a good fit for Blaine's emotions, despite the really awkward transition to the song - I really don't think Blaine needed to tell Kurt: "It's not right. But it's okay." We would have understood the song's context without that sentence.
Dance With Somebody and So Emotional were fun, and Saving All My Love for You, despite the true meaning behind the lyrics, was sweet (and funny because of glee clubbers' faces).
My Love Is Your Love (a song I'd forgotten) was a gorgeous ending, and one that really brought everyone together. It reminded me of the brilliant scene in season one where the New Directions do an impromptu rendition of Ride Wit' Me. Although more polished, just like that song the feel of My Love is Your Love was just pure joy (so much so that I've been watching that scene over and over), and My Love Is Your Love vocalised the realisation that letting go is okay. And the best lesson the glee club has learned is contained in the song: "It would take an eternity to break us."
What Glee did well
So much in this episode, this was definitely one of the good ones. I've already spoken about a lot of the stuff I loved, so I'm going to pick something small for this section.
What I loved this episode was all the little looks and interactions between the New Directions - including the looks between them when Blaine sang It's Not Right, the look Mike gave to Blaine during I Have Nothing, the glances exchanged during Saving All My Love for You - they all pointed to a group of people so close they can share entire sentences in just one look. The friendships have always been my favourite part of Glee, and they really shone through in just those few moments.
Glee recap/review masterpost