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Glee: On My Way

“I’m not going to lie to you, it isn’t gonna be easy, and there’ll be some days when life just sucks. But you’re gonna get through this, cause I’m gonna help you, and so’s everyone else who loves you and accepts you for who you are. And if they can’t accept that then screw ‘em. Right?”

Poor Dave Karofsky, no one should have to endure a campaign of hatred like that. While we haven’t seen much of him this season, the Dave scenes we have had have been highlights of their respective episodes, and after his first appearance this season, I had hopes that we would gradually see him grow into a confident, happy gay guy like Kurt and Blaine. While that may still happen, being publicly humiliated and then victimised was always going to affect Dave much more severely than it did Kurt or Santana. Those scenes during Cough Syrup were so well done. Hats off to Max Adler who was amazing in these scenes as well as the one with Kurt at the end. I was impressed that Glee would decide to do an episode focusing on the scary power that the internet and social media has in our lives and especially in the lives of school children. It’s a shame that idea was basically left hanging.

It is a bit frustrating that the best part of this episode was focused around a character who has had almost no screen time to develop, then they did that aspect so well that I expected the whole of the rest of the episode to be payoff for the rest of the characters we know and love (or love to hate, in Sebastian’s case). But despite the weird and unbelievable transformation of the hair-gel chipmunk into a guy who just wants to campaign for the Born This Way charity, the Regionals section didn’t really have anything to do with Dave’s suicide attempt which felt completely forgotten about. One tiny scene of Sebastian rudely rebuffing Dave who was presumably a complete stranger at the time, is supposed to explain his complete about face. Survivor guilt I suppose. You’d think he’d have been more contrite after accidentally almost blinding the guy who he had a big crush on.

Still, Dave’s suicide attempt was done believably, as were the follow-up scenes with the teachers talking about how to tell the kids, and flashing back to Dave’s dad finding him. Even Will’s cheesy story felt like it could have been part of a real powerful and poignant episode. The New Directions all talking about things they were looking forward to was sweet and touching with just the right notes of sadness and hope that it almost felt like the end of the episode right there. That feeling was also present in the scene where Kurt visited Dave in hospital. They better not forget about Dave for the next 5 episodes – I am treating that commitment by Kurt to look after Dave and be a friend to him as a commitment on the part of Glee to show us the rest of Dave’s story, of how it really Does Get Better.

Apart from that amazing scene with Kurt and Dave, the second half of the episode felt like it didn’t belong. It was just regular Glee, and was mostly made up of singing. That would have been alright if they’d taken Dave’s suicide attempt more seriously, and maybe had the New Directions do a song in tribute to him with Kurt as the lead soloist, instead of the Warblers who had a tenuous connection to Dave at best. But none of that was really paid off, instead we got New Directions’ least surprising competition win ever, and more of Rachel and Finn’s retardculous marriage plot. I felt sorry for Mike O’Malley – normally scenes with Burt Hummel are slightly elevated from the rest of Glee, he’s just that good. Unfortunately, Burt has been dragged into the Berry Dads’ ridiculous reverse psychology plot so it’s now a bit late to have a sit down with Finn and Rachel where Burt and the others explain to them the dangers of marrying so early on. I like that the show is committed to ‘Finchel’, I just don’t like them trying to be all educational in some respects, and then ignoring that for the sake of drama at other times.


- If it got online, I could easily see the populace of McKinley High ‘Re-tweeting’ and ‘Liking’ that photoshopped Finnella pic. It would have been easy to make something more of that plot-point what with Karofsky being tormented on Facebook, but sadly the show didn’t really make anything of it.

- Sebastian and Kurt’s insults get more amusing with each repeat viewing.

- Glee continues the trend of bizarre judges with a vampire. What’s next? Siamese triplets dressed as Cerberus? Did you know, that is actually Ian Brennan, one of Glee's co-creators!

- Wow, Mercedes really knows how to help Dave... with an Edible Arrangement?!

- Pregnant Sue is actually quite fun. I liked that they acknowledged the weirdness of her wanting to help New Directions win Nationals, thereby making it less weird.

Didn’t Love

- Karofsky’s suicide attempt, and Quinn’s car crash of course! While it makes a vague sense that Karofsky would be driven to that, Quinn’s crash was just unnecessary.

- While we’re talking about the crash – How Unnecessary Was That?! Of course she’s going to survive, it’s such a tired TV trope, and the episode was already about teen suicide and the power of the internet and teen marriage, did it really need to be about the dangers of texting while driving Too? Cheap Glee, cheap.

- Okay, sorry to go on, but haven’t they tortured Dianna Agron enough this season?

- There were a few rather unrealistic touches about the Regionals competition, such as everyone standing and clapping along for their rival glee clubs and the Golden Goblets cheering when they heard they’d gotten third place.

Glee Against The Music

Cough Syrup by Young The Giant performed by Blaine:
The first time I watched this I was too upset about Karofsky to really concentrate on the song. The second time round I thought Blaine’s performance was top notch. By the third watch I was trying to work out what cough syrup has to do with suicide. I think you’d have to drink several gallons in order to kill yourself! But the song is about finding a way to cope with depression, and life’s knocks. Clearly, Dave couldn’t cope. I thought that intercutting the scenes of Dave being outed and tormented was a great move, they somehow seemed to explain Blaine’s frenzied performance and give him something to sing for. Grade A-

Stand by Lenny Kravitz performed by the Dalton Academy Warblers:
Meh. I was probably slightly put off by Finn telling the Golden Goblets girl to stand up for the Warblers, but this really was mediocre compared to rest of their efforts. Of course, now that they’re headed up by Sebastian instead of Blaine, there’s not much hope for them. Grade C

Glad You Came by The Wanted performed by the Dalton Academy Warblers:
Ok, this is more like it. I really enjoyed the dancing – those boys can move! Probably the best choreography I’ve seen on Glee so far. I’m also a big fan of The Wanted, although I have to say the original is better than Glee’s. Ooh, I shouldn't say that should I? Sebastian has charisma, and when I’m not overwhelmed by wanting to smack him I find him quite sexy, but he just doesn’t have the voice to be the Warblers’ frontman. The “Hand you another drink” move reminded me a lot of last year’s Raise Your Glass, which was far better than this. Grade B-

She Walks In Beauty by Eric Barnum (composer) performed by the Golden Goblets of Our Lady of Perpetual Sorrow:
Even more bizarre than the geriatric choir!

Fly/I Believe I Can Fly by Nicki Minaj ft. Rihanna/R. Kelly performed by the New Directions:
Great mashup, Glee often pairs a recent hit with a classic, and in this case it improved both songs. I also liked Santana rapping. Blaine’s rap was adorable, I would’ve wanted to ruffle his hair if he didn’t have so much product in it. Grade B+

What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger) by Kelly Clarkson performed by The Troubletones as the New Directions:
I really hope this wasn’t supposedly a tribute to Dave, since it’s terribly condescending to sing this for someone actually did try to kill himself. Aside from that, another solid Troubletones effort. Great performance, and I especially liked that Brittany got to sing a bit alongside Mercedes and Santana. So, where did the rest of the girls come from? Presumably, they would have to be officially registered in New Directions in order to perform. Grade B+

Here's To Us by Halestorm performed by Rachel with the New Directions:
It was fun, but we’ve had better Rachel Berry one-woman-show performances, so the bar is higher for her. This also should have put the other New Directions performances in the shade, and it didn’t. Grade B

Quotes for Gleeks

Sebastian: “If it isn’t a young Barbra Streisand and an old Betty White. Where is Gay Cyclops?”

Sebastian: “You give the gay community cutting edge fashion that’s usually only seen on Puerto Rican pride floats.”

Sugar: “If someone posted a picture like that of me online I’d probably kill myself.”
Rory: “Twice, to be sure I was dead!”

Sue: “My doctors put me on bovine hormones that are making me extremely nauseous. They’ve also given me a near super human sense of smell. For instance, I can tell that within the last week you either enjoyed a delicious curry or a hug from Principal Figgins.”

Sugar: “I want to be there to see Sex and the City, Part 3.”

Brittany: “I want Lord Tubbington to kick his Ecstasy addiction.”

Sue: “I know you must be exhausted from singing all those oohs and background aahs.”

Like this season, this episode has had a lot of untapped potential. Some beautiful moments were overshadowed by weirdness or awkward plotting, and characters seem to pop up as and when they’re needed. So that’s two and a half out of four Edible Arrangements for me.

...and now we have seven weeks to wait for more Glee. Wait! Don’t hyperventilate, just yet, I am going to review the season so far and say just how I expect the rest of it to be improved to keep me proudly wearing my badge of Gleekdom. That will be posted in a few days. After that you can panic all you like!


  1. Yay1 I've been looking forward to your review, Harry!

    I'm glad they had Sebastian apologise to Blaine about the slushie incident, because from the looks of it, my (and tonnes more on Tumblr) hopes of a Sebastian x Blaine relationship isn't as dead as it was at the end of Michael. I really hope they bring him back.

    Also, Finn and Rachel, while still being completely cringe-worthy, seemed a lot less obnoxious this episode.

  2. There was definitely stuff about this episode that I liked (mostly Blaine) but I found some of it hard to take. The big one is that I find it hard to believe that Sebastian would turn around like that after being so unrepentantly evil for so long. We'll see about Quinn. It feels like dramatically, she should have died, but Glee seems to be hitting the reset button pretty hard lately.

    Great review, Harry. You made me laugh out loud twice. :)

  3. Another great review (again and again) Harry !

    Still think of one my colleagues at work who watches the show with his kids. What a mega challenge for a dad to explain what happens on the screen !

    Yes, please ! Poor Dianna. Will she have a break after this ?? (yes, they WON'T kill Quinn) (and I saw it coming ! same as Dave's descent to Hell; they promised us "twists" for this show...)

    This show is very good to stir both the best and worst in us !

    Oh heck, and no Fringe until late March...I guess it's time for a mild depression now LOL

  4. CrazyCris, I'm so sorry, but I had to delete your comment because it included a serious spoiler. I know it wasn't intentional. Please feel free to repost your comment without the spoiler.

  5. Oops! Sorry Billie, didn't quite realise that... nice catch!

    Great review Harry, and for the best episode this season so far!

    The Karofsky story was amazing (I hope we get to see more of him), but I'm right there with you on the "they didn't really just do that, did they?" with Quinn. Unnecessary! I kind of saw it coming each time she sent another text message, but still couldn't quite believe they did it.

    March is going to be soooooo boring in TV land! No Glee, no Fringe, no Vampire Diaries, no Nikita.... who else is off on holiday? ugh!

    I just want it to be April 1st already. After all, winter is coming! ;o)

  6. Parenthood is having its season finale next week.... Only 18 eps this season. Bummer

    Already hating March.....

  7. I was fully prepared to hate this episode once I realized they were asking me to feel sympathy for Karofsky. (My inner Catholic believes we should be horribly punished for all of our sins.) But by the end, when Karofsky and Kurt were talking in the hospital, there were tears. A lot of tears.

    March is going to suck. But Community returns March 15th!

  8. Quinn's car crash really came out of nowhere...even if it was predictable once we saw all the texting.

    But to me the car crash only makes sense if they intend to kill Quinn off. The poor girl who made it through all her troubles back to the top, only to cruelly lose that future. It's a shock story that'd mean nothing if she just came out of the hospital and shrugged it off.

    Either that, or we're going to get an episode revolving around texting and driving...really hope not though. (Glee doesn't always preach well)

    I totally agree that Cough Syrup was a fantastic performance (in fact to me it's possibly the best this season) and put alongside Karofsky's scenes it was so powerful. Great review!

  9. To be honest, I'd rather not see Sebastian redeemed and I don't buy it either to be honest.

    The Kurt and Karofsky stuff made for some powerful viewing though. max Adler was impressive.

    I don't think Quinn is dead but I'm willing to be proved wrong.

    Cough Syrup, Glad You Came and Stronger were the best ones musically here.

    Great review, Harry.

  10. But Community returns March 15th!

    Dear Josie,

    you've just made my day, my week and my February. half of my hiatus depression is just gone !

  11. I'm really quite disturbed what they're doing to/with Quinn: over and over again she's made to suffer and for no good dramatic reason. It's hard to switch off my angry feminist perspective and worry if they're doing it because she's smart, athletic and beautiful and such people must suffer horrendously.

    The Karofsky storyline is possibly the best one they done, mainly because they put in the work and laid down the backstory (hint, hint) over a long period. It made absolute sense that Dave, having bullied others, wouldn't be able to handle it himself. Pretty much every scene with him in it got to me but a particular mention to the scene where he and Kurt picture his future. That really set the tears going.

    After weeks(/months) of complaining about how unrealistic/dangerous the teachers' behaviour is, the writers stun me with an exceptionally well-observed scene where the teachers talked about Dave's suicide attempt. As a teacher I've been in meetings like that and the writers really nailed the sense of despair and lack of knowledge. It's the out-of-the-blue suicide attempts that keep you awake at night.

    More like this please with just the Quinn-possibly-misogyny removed please. Cheers Harry: Glee's much less fun without your reviews.


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