Glee: Funeral

“I miss my sister.”

Sue-neral

Poor Jean. Poor Sue. It’s completely believable that Jean could die, and yet it made for quite a shock. Sue was understandably angry and confused, but we got to see her more human side as she reached out to Will, Kurt and Finn. She also admirably focused on the inspiration that Jean gave her rather than wallowing completely in grief. At the same time, Sue’s suffering brought us closer to her and made her much easier to care about than the fairly deranged caricature she’s been for several of the recent episodes. While it was extremely sad, Jean’s death was the perfect catalyst for Sue to turn over a new, less diabolical leaf, which was about damn time since her anti-glee club antics this Season have been much less entertaining than in Season One. Sue’s hug with Becky was just lovely, and their reconciliation was the perfect way to begin healing the part of hole left by Jean’s passing.

St. Finchel

Just as Finn gets rid of his significant other, Rachel reunites with hers. I could roll my eyes at the constant obstacles keeping Finn and Rachel apart, but I am enjoying Jesse’s return too much to mind much. His plan to simultaneously pit the glee club against each other, while winning Rachel’s favour and schmooches by convincing New Directions to compete for Nationals solos was simple yet effective. It also gave Jesse a chance to become hated by most of the rest of the club, setting us up for some intense St. Berry vs Finchel action next week. Jesse has become one of those villains that are fun to watch and fun to hate, which are the kind of villains Glee should always be aiming for. I’d seen that potential with Honey Badger, but it seems she’s leaving quietly. I hope that Jesse will go out with a bang. After all, we don’t know for sure if he’s parted ways with Vocal Adrenaline do we?

Loved

- Will really is going to try out Broadway, but apparently only for the summer. Maybe he will land a starring role, thereby creating a cliffhanger about whether he will return for Season Three. I’m sure he will though!

- Becky getting more to do! We got to meet her mother too, which is not something you can say for most of New Directions.

- Apparently, this quote came just before an ad break. Clever.
Jesse: “Usually at this point the reality show would go to commercial and we would take a five-minute break to regroup and get touch-ups done on our makeup.”

- Original songs for Nationals! Do I love this? I don’t know, I think it depends on whether they can come up with something really impressive.

- In an already terk-jerking plot, Sue’s fear that Jean’s funeral wouldn’t be well attended, and the subsequent full house, oh I’m welling up again just writing about it!

- Will has a whole wardrobe of vests... of course he does.

Didn’t Love

- Given that New Directions are going to NYC, this was probably our last chance to see Bieste this Season. The writers have seemingly forgotten her, and dropped the possible plotline regarding her feelings for Will. Boo!

- Quinn has gotten a bum deal with her relationship, and now Finn’s woken the dragon. I don’t want to dislike Quinn, but she hasn’t been easy to like recently. What is she going to do in New York?

- Not a single mention of the Karofsky/Santana coming out plots this week. Well, Santana damn well better come out in NYC!

Glee Against the Music

Back To Black - Amy Winehouse (Santana):
After Santana referred to the pianist as furniture a couple of weeks ago, this week she was all over the musicians! Strange, still she did a great job with the song. Maybe it wasn’t quite as good as Valerie from Special Education, but Santana should definitely get first dibs on Winehouse songs in the future. At the same time, I felt Jesse’s criticism about the lack of emotion was slightly valid. Grade B

Some People from Gypsy (Kurt):
Strange how 3/4 of the contenders chose a song by an artist/from a show they’d already done songs from. Unfortunately for Kurt, this wasn’t quite as impressive as Rose’s Turn from Laryngitis. Grade B-

Try A Little Tenderness - Otis Redding (Mercedes):
Wow. If I had been the reality TV show judge, I would have awarded Mercedes top marks for that performance. In my opinion this was even better than Ain’t No Way from A Night of Neglect. Grade A-

My Man from Funny Girl (Rachel):
This was stellar, but it wasn’t Rachel’s best Barbra performance to date (that would be Don’t Rain on My Parade from Sectionals), and I don’t think she deserved to win the competition. My favourite part was the slow-mo Finn-grin that made it perfectly clear who Rachel was singing about. Grade B+

Pure Imagination from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (New Directions):
This was beautiful. I was both impressed by the performance and how with a little set-up, the writers managed to turn it into the absolute perfect song to eulogise Jean. The montage of clips of her with Sue and the cheerleading pom-poms got me quite choked up. Okay, I admit it, I’m a sap. But this was definitely beautiful. Grade A-

Quotes for Gleeks

Jesse: “I don’t think I need to do much tricking to get you to do something stupid, Finn.”

Jesse: “I thought we were in it to win the whole damn thing. And there’s only one way we can do that.”
Brittany: “Poison darts?”

Sue: “I'm allergic to pansies. And I don't mean that as a swipe to either of you.”

Will: “It just feels like I'm telling one of my children that they're my favorite.”
Jesse: “Well that's what my parents told me, in front of my siblings. Sure, some might say it led to my brother's whippet addiction, and my sister's bulimia, but my parents owed them the truth.”

Sue: “Oh William, I wouldn't dare lean on you. You have so much grease in your hair, I'd probably slide right off.”

Jesse: “I took a class at UCLA in Judging for Reality TV Shows, so I’m totally ready to give feedback that’s both blistering and unhelpful.

Jesse: “Do you know what happens in Vocal Adrenaline if someone dies during a number? They use them as a prop like Weekend at Bernie's.”

Kurt: “Jesse St. James totally Jesse St. Sucks!”

Sue: “Honey Badger, I am lactating with rage!”

Brittany: “Jesse, maybe you can come on Fondue for Two and judge my cat.”

So we have one funny Quote of the Week:

Kurt: “You had feelings for him; he made breakfast on your head.”

And one not so funny but very memorable Quote of the Week:

Sue: “I miss my sister. Every night at 10 or so she used to call me on the phone and when I asked her why she told me that her body told her she wanted to hear my voice.”
Will: (reading) “I miss my sister. The smell of her shampoo, the way she could always convince me to read her another book. When you love someone like I loved her, they’re a part of you. It’s like you’re attached by this invisible tether and no matter how far away you are, you can always feel them. And now every time I reach for that tether, I know there’s no one on the other end and I feel like I’m falling into nothingness. Then I remember Jean, I remember a life led with no enemies, no resentments, no regrets and I’m inspired to get up out of bed and go on. I miss my sister so much. It feels like a piece of me has been ripped off. Just one more time I want to hold her. Ten more seconds, is that too much to ask? For 10 more seconds to hold her? But I can’t, and I won’t, and the only thing keeping me from being swallowed whole by sadness is that Jean would kill me if I did. So for now I’m just gonna miss her. I love you, Jeanie. Rest in peace.”

I was initially apprehensive about a Glee episode involving a funeral – Glee isn’t Glee unless it’s funny, and funerals shouldn’t be funny, unless it’s Friends and someone is falling into a grave. But the pieces fell into place and found myself giggling one minute and sniffling the next.

Four out of four much-loved and well-worn VHS copies of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

6 comments:

Billie Doux said...

It was an excellent episode. I cried through that funeral.

And I miss my sister.

Marieke said...

I liked the fact that the writers seemed to have realised that the Sue character needed to change. This was a good way to do it, and the funeral was beautifully done.

On the whole, however, the episode felt a bit like it was lacking. The 4 (!) numbers in done quick succession was boring, and didn't have any real relevance to the plot. A plot that was only focused on Sue and Finchel anyway. The breakup also felt random, even though I knew it was coming. And how insensitive is it to break up after a funeral? It just felt like that needed to break Quinn and Finn up so that they could have Finn and Rachel in the final episode. And I do not like it when writers do that :/

I agree that St. James was the best part of the episode - his oneliners were great and had me laughing out loud! I do missed Santana though...

Anonymous said...

Best show of the season.

I am so glad that Sue's character was softened....she can act her tush off.

Anonymous said...

Great episode, very touching but it also had some funny moments. I like Jesse's return and I hope it pays off. This episode did two helpful things: it changed Sue's character to something (hopefully) less annoying and stale, and it got rid of Terri, whom I'd never liked.

I appreciate the irony of Finn breaking up with Quinn for Rachel, only to find that Rachel is back with Jesse. He kind of deserves it, breaking up with Quinn right after an emotional funeral.

I hope we get to see Jesse judging Lord Tubbington on Fondue for Two at some point.

Marissa said...

Great review! I was also a little hesitant when I heard Glee was going to have a death but it was so well written that I didn't even miss the comedy aspect of the show. One thing I do disagree on is your rating for "My Man". It wasn't as theatrical as "Don't Rain On My Parade" but it was still absolutely amazing. I thought Rachel's vocals and emotions were completely flawless in this number. I was incredibly depressed during the Funeral and definitely shed a few tears, but I think it was a ploy to get Sue to reconcile with Will right before Nationals. They didn't have much reason to kill Jean off, although it was believable, I think they just wanted to give Sue a reason to be nice and give her blessing for their upcoming competition. After all, if New Directions ended up in Libya or wherever Sue was sending them, I would've been so mad! I also liked this episode for one other reason: FINCHEL. I'm very happy that Finn finally (almost) came to his senses and came to terms with his love for Rachel. It's something we have all seen coming and I'm happy he at least tried taking action on it. On that note, was I the only one screaming at my tv during the kiss? You could tell on Rachel's face that she didn't really want to kiss him, but let it happen anyways. Whether she was in complete shock or what, I don't know, but it seemed like she wasn't feeling the kiss at all. It's clear that she still loves Finn so I'm looking forward to where that takes us in the New York episode. Also, what are Quinn's plans?! I'm freaking out over here. I thought Glee did a great job ending on a partial cliffhanger. All in all this was an excellent episode, even though it was emotional, there were a few giggle-worthy scenes. Words cannot explain my excitement for next week's episode! Although it's the season finale, I'm SO excited to see New Directions finally in the big city. I'm also excited for Rachel to be so close to broadway; I wonder what will happen :)

ChrisB said...

With a title like this, I wasn't expecting sunshine, but this episode managed to make me both laugh and cry.

Sue's reactions throughout were spot on -- the misplaced anger, the overwhelming grief, the pulling away, the sense of unreality at the funeral were all so true to life and so beautifully played by Jane Lynch. When Sue reached for Will's hand, I completely lost it.

I loved the two scenes at the end -- hugging Becky and wishing Will luck. Using a family death to rise above and become a better person is a sign of strength. And, it was time to being the character back from the brink. I do hope she runs for office. That would be comedy gold.

There was one aspect of the show that really wound me up. I am livid that the writers allowed Rachael to kiss Jesse. He has been simply awful to her -- using her for her mother's ends, treating her friends with a complete lack of respect, let's not even go to the eggs. Why she would even speak to him, let alone kiss him, is beyond me. Really not sure that the message I want to be sending out to the young girls who watch this show is that kissing someone (anyone) is better than none. Yuck! If the writers were just trying to keep Finn and Rachael apart, there must be a better way to do it.

I was also interested in the juxtaposition of Will saying goodbye to both the women in his life simultaneously. I'm sorry to see Terri go, yet she wasn't used for much at all this year, so it makes sense. I'm a fan of Emma's. From the beginning, she's been the one to push Will and she does it even when it goes against what she wants.