Sometimes I feel like Glee should be renamed The Rachel Berry Show, and this was one of those weeks.
I'm afraid this post starts with a bit of a rant, and I hope it's not too incoherent.
While Rachel wasn't actually the focus of Saturday Night Glee-ver, I did find myself wincing irrationally every time she was in a scene, and pretty much every comment from her, about her or to her annoyed me. Maybe I was just in a bad mood, or maybe I've really had enough of Rachel Berry.
Here's what I got from this week's episode:
-Rachel didn't want to talk to Finn because she felt he was being selfish by thinking about his own future and not giving enough thought to his future with RACHEL, and she was ticked off that he'd called her self-centred.
-Then Rachel decided she did want to talk to Finn, and that they would try to find his dream so they could work out how it could come true and fit with RACHEL'S dream.
-Rachel wanted Finn to be sure he wanted to go to New York for himself and not for her, because that would be too much pressure on RACHEL.
Goodness, can everything please stop being about Rachel? I like her as a character on her own, but I do find her unbearable when she becomes part of Rachel and Finn (Finchel), because I feel theirs is a relationship heavily balanced against Finn.
So let's talk about Finn. He's now going to act in New York, at what he calls In The Actor's Studio. I'm not American, but I'm pretty sure that's the name of the programme and not necessarily the school. Anyone care to tell me if I'm wrong or right?
He arrived at his conclusion after watching Saturday Night Fever, which was enough to persuade him to stop being scared of the future and realise he could be whatever he wanted to be. Really, if only it was that easy to discover exactly what you wanted in life when you were aged 18.
There was other Finchel stuff, but I can't even, otherwise I may end up doing myself damage by rolling my eyes too much.
The strongest of the main storylines this episode, in my opinion, belonged to Mercedes, because I felt hers was the most realistic transition from lost to found.
I liked that Mercedes knew what she wanted to do, but just didn't know how to do it. And when Mr Schuester proved completely useless at helping her, it was Sam who came to the rescue.
I liked that there was no miracle answer for Mercedes, that Sam didn't just turn up and say: "Look, I put your video on YouTube and now seven million people have watched it and 10 record producers have called me." Instead he showed her how talented she is and told her to just keep being herself, to go to LA and try to make her dreams come true.
I liked that Sam's answer was to go out and make it happen, and to believe in her talent. It was to keep being good, and to take the leap and try. Life is about trying, very few people get discovered on YouTube or appear on American Idol and just become famous. Believing was the best piece of advice for Sam to give Mercedes, and the best piece for Glee to give its viewers.
Unlike Mercedes, Santana's storyline proved a little unrealistic. Yes, I know Glee is fiction, but this week it seemed to be asking viewers to suspend all sense of reality quite a bit.
Santana's goal was fame, and Brittany decided to help her achieve that by releasing a sex tape of the two of them, interspersed with scenes of Lord Tubbington cleaning.
What happened to Glee? Last season Miss Holliday warned Puck and Lauren against the dangers of making a sex tape while they were talking about it. This season, not one teacher finds out or bats an eyelid. Here are my other questions about the Santana storyline:
-Where are the consequences for Santana and Brittany?
-For a high school that's supposedly so horrible, why are there no adverse reactions from the kids at McKinley?
-Why are there no outraged parents (hers or Britney's or other kids)?
-Did the sex video get taken down?
-How is it that you can get into university in America without actually applying yourself? Can cheerleading coaches really apply for you?
And most importantly of all:
-HOW IS IT THAT SUE KNEW ABOUT THE VIDEO AND DID NOTHING? YES, I KNOW SHE'S HORRID, BUT EVEN SHE CARES ENOUGH TO DO SOMETHING SHOULD ONE OF HER PUPILS BE CAUGHT IN A SEX TAPE SCANDAL.
There were too many questions for me with the Santana storyline, and while I'm glad she's happy, and while Brittany's final idea of getting Santana into college was sweet, I'm a little dissatisfied with Santana's narrative this week.
Of course, this episode's three major narrative threads were held together with disco, and also surrounded by some smaller, but no less important, storylines.
First, let's discuss Wade/Unique. I applaud Glee for bringing up gender identity, but this seemed like almost a throwaway mention, and I feel something like this deserves more prominence. Sure, Unique got to strut her stuff, but after Wade/Unique's initial talk with Mercedes and Kurt, the whole thing seemed too easily resolved - one chat with Mercedes and Kurt and Wade is comfortable showing off Unique, despite admitting to them that he's been nervous about showing Unique off for a long time.
It's such a big thing - partly because it's rarely been discussed in popular culture - that I felt a little more time and effort needed to be devoted to it. But then again, perhaps Glee is being really clever by just introducing the subject in this episode - easing viewers in to something they may not have seen addressed before - and will hopefully come back to it in the future.
While all the disco numbers were fun - it's disco, how can it not be fun - I felt some of them were a little lackluster. Perhaps this was because the concentration wasn't really on the meanings of the songs, but just about them being disco.
Overall, I didn't think this was one of Glee's best episodes. It certainly wasn't one of its worst, but I didn't find myself wanting to watch it immediately again as I do with the episodes of Glee I really enjoy. Perhaps time will change that, but for now Saturday Night Glee-ver was missing a little of the glitter that made disco fabulous.
Some great songs here, and I will acknowledge (because Glee didn't) that the Bee Gees are brilliant.
While I bopped along to most, I wasn't overly impressed with most of the numbers done by New Directions. They were just...nice.
The dance off during Saturday Night Fever was tame - I can't dance and I do better moves in my bedroom (apart from the flipping).
More Than A Woman made me smile, more for the spinning round than anything else.
Mercedes, being Mercedes, gave Disco Inferno just the right kind of attitude.
There was one standout though - Boogie Shoes. Unique really rocked it, and as usual Vocal Adrenaline were perfect. Boogie Shoes was sassy, superb and superior to what the New Directions managed to produce this week.
What Glee did well
Er, do I even need to say? Jesse St James is back. That's always a cause for celebration. I love him.
But seriously, I didn't love this episode, but I thought Glee hinted well at some upcoming issues - the impending graduation of its seniors first and foremost, and the problems and opportunities that will bring.
The Whitney tribute.
Glee recap/review masterpost