Glee Season 2 Episode 21: Funeral

Posted on May 18, 2011

Well, you can’t say the creators of Glee don’t know how to manipulate the audience’s emotions. So much so, that even cynical, critical bitches like us didn’t at first think to question the, shall we say, cheapness of spending a good portion of the episode mourning the death of a developmentally disabled character who only appeared in 2 or 3 scenes throughout the entire 2 seasons of the show. From a writing perspective, it’s an unearned emotion. That is to say, it has almost nothing to do with the main plot or even the main characters (since Sue can hardly be called a main character after her erratic appearances this season); it’s simply a ploy to wring tears out of the audience. And frankly, it’s a little gross how this show has a history of trotting out the developmentally or physically disabled in order to get the audience to cry.

Having said that, we cried. Oh, yes. But we defiantly maintain that the massive lumps in our throat were not due to superior writing, nor were they attributable to an affection toward the character of Jean. After all, like we said, she’s not a character we knew very well. She’s always been an occasional tool to remind the audience that despite her actions, Sue isn’t a monster, which, in itself is a pretty cheap writing ploy. Sue has done increasingly horrible things since the show started. She was originally a tough coach who morphed into something of a sociopath. Since her actions became more and more reprehensible, the writers trotted out a developmentally disabled sister once or twice just to remind the audience that Sue is human. No, our watery eyes were due to one thing only: the skill of Jane Lynch. What a shame this fine actress has been wasted so much this season. Imagine if they’d really given her something to do all season besides being a supervillain. Imagine if Sue had an arc where she grew and came to an understanding after her loss, rather than having her go from rage-filled howler monkey to tearful sister with one off-screen death.

And does anyone really believe her turnaround at the end of the episode? What’s the point of Sue if she’s kind and friendly to Will? Will they explain her inevitable sudden return to villainy when it comes? Probably not. At best, we’ll get a sarcastic “I changed my mind” and the entire point of this episode will be forgotten. Just bring on the finale, Glee. It’s time to wrap this season up and hope they can get the show back on track next season. Yes, we cried, but we felt a little dirty about it the next morning.

Most of the songs were afterthoughts, so we’re just giving them a quick rundown. The Jesse St. James sub-plot has been annoying as hell. Once again, Will, the supposed best teacher ever, turns the reins of the glee club over to a cruel jackass who turns the members against each other while he impotently rolls his eyes or looks concerned. Whatever.

They should just turn the entire Amy Winehouse catalog over to Santana. We could listen to her growl all day.

Ugh. Look, we’ll always defend the show for portraying a flamboyant gay kid, but it would be nice if Kurt occasionally showed any interest in singing a song written for a man. We originally liked that he challenged the gender conventions, but now it’s coming off a little odd that he only wants to sing songs written for female characters. Besides, Mama Rose requires a powerhouse, hence, Merman and Lupone, among others. Chris has a very sweet voice, but he can’t exactly project to the back row.

Love this song and love her rendition, but we miss the sassy Mercedes who killed it on “Bust ya Windows.” Writers: the black girl doesn’t always have to sing classic soul and R&B.

Y’know, if it were up to us, Mercedes would have won this little competition. Rachel is very good, but if you’re going to do a note-for-note Streisand impersonation, you’re only going to look weaker in comparison to the original. Still, we had to laugh at the look on Kurt’s face because we had the exact same look at the exact same time.

Very sweet.

[Video Credit: – Screencaps:]

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  • Anonymous

    I loved the episode, hell, I love every episode cause I’m a hardcore gleek like that, but I kept thinking they did this episode so Jane Lynch would have something to submit for the Emmys and next year Golden Globes, great acting

  •  yeah  not one of my favorite episodes – i liked the willy wonka song and inclusion in the funeral. not looking forward to quinn turning into a sue-like whackjob! and jesse needs to go – i barelly tolerated him when rachel was in love with him – now it’s just ridiculous and boring. and yes – i’m as tired of hearing barbara streisand songs from rachel as i am of show tunes from Kurt. 

  • Samantha Cella

    I miss when you did the “Best Lines of the Show” at the end of your recaps! Brittany asking Jesse to interview Lord Tubbington was amazing.

    • We want more Lord Tubbington! ^^

    • Amy Kalman

      Anytime they did that, they got a bunch of people complaining that they left out their favorite.   

    • The second I heard that I thought “that should go in as a Best Line!”

    • OMG me too

      “Poison darts?”

      “Honey badger, I am lactating with rage!”

      “Jeanie always stood up for you wen i told her how evil ur hair was”

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, I got teary eyed too, but it pissed me off because it was so blatantly manipulative. And the whole thing with Terri at the end? Let’s see how we’ll get the bad guys out of this one and at the same time get rid of the ex-wife. Bad writing. No, amend that – LAZY writing all around.

  •  I fast-forwarded through the funeral scene. It was cheaply manipulative and I don’t care enough about the characters at this point to bother.

  •  I don’t know if they will have to work around Sue’s change of heart next year– if she is running for office, she won’t be at McKinley anymore. At least, that’s how I read it.
    Also, for Jesse to kiss Rachel? If he is a school employee, he is held to the same standards as a teacher. It would be the same as Will kissing her, so yeah, that bit pf plot is icky.
    I liked the songs the kids picked. It made sense that the characters would pick those songs for an audition, whether or not they are the best choices for their voices. Thank you writers for giving Naya another solo, she is amazing!!

    • I agree. Jesse kissing Rachel made me feel sort of queasy, mostly for that very reason. Also because of the fact that he was previously abusive and manipulative to her. So gross. What would be sort of clever is if Finn got Jesse fired the same way that Rachel got the first music teacher fired: for sexual harassment of students.

      • APB

        I don’t think the writers are clever enough for that one. But it would definitely be poetic justice.

    •  He wouldn’t actually be held to the same standards as a teacher, though — not as a consultant.  It’d be like when I was in high school and a lot of alumni volunteered to assist with shows, many of whom were still dating their younger partners from the year before.

    • techieblgrl

      The Jesse/Rachel kiss made
      me uncomfortable too, very much so in fact! I’m glad Jesse is finally out of
      the picture the whole relationship struck me as unhealthy.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m completely addicted to
      Glee so it’s not like I’ll stop watching, it was just weird. I couldn’t handle missing my shows, especially if it was
      over something like this FOX/DirecTV dispute. If I didn’t already work for and
      have DISH, I’d switch just to avoid missing Glee.

  • I was guessing that Sue would find out Will had rejected Becky’s request to join the Glee Club (which seemed to show he’s more concerned about winning than about accepting), and that would be Sue’s reason to turn on him again.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve never seen an actress work harder at showing emotion while not actually having any than Lea Michel.  It’s the same as her singing.  Lots of wonderful technique, but it all comes across as paint-by-numbers.  It’s like someone is standing behind her whispering what next to do with her face.  I really dislike her, and can’t figure out whether she’s a bad good actress or a good bad one.

    •  Have you listened to the Spring Awakening soundtrack? It’s much darker than Glee, and Lea kills it. For me, it redeems most of her flaws on Glee.

      • Saw her on Broadway in the role, and she was phenomenal.  The big difference is that Spring Awakening allows its characters to express actual emotions, whereas on Glee the only passionate emotion they ever let play is anguish.  When Quinn yelled, “Are you happy now?!?” at Finn, it was the first time in any of the breakups in the history of the show that one of the characters was anywhere close to “pissed off.”  Glee is a show in dire need of one teenager saying to another teenager, “Fuck you, asshole!” 

      • Isadora Paiva

        True, whenever I’m annoyed at her “fake look of pain” singing – which has happened a LOT this season – and I start to wonder why I ever thought she was that good to begin with, I remember Spring Awakening. Her voice is naturally so crisp and beautiful, she doesn’t need to force it so much. Still, I think that’s part of her interpretation of the character, the whole “screwed up face while singing a Barbra classic so I gotta show all my emotion” is so very Rachel.

    • Michelle Falcetano

      She’s a stage actress – what works on stage often fails in close up.  See: The movie RENT, and Mr. Will Schuster himself.

      I also think that some of the ticks and flaws (oversinging, over-acting) are actually Lea’s take on Rachel.  I’ve *known* that girl in high school – the one who is talented and knows it, but does not have the wherewithall to know that belting is not the way to show it every time.  The girl who’s been so excessively trained in musical theatre that it affects her very personality – that’s something really real, the very fake seeming girl who is desperate for attention.  I think all of those things are concious choices on Lea’s part, because it’s exactly what Rachel is and should be – the girl who wants to copy Barbara note for note, and belt everything possible.

    • Anonymous

       Um, that’s Barbra in a nutshell. Will Friedwald once said “Sarah Vaughan uses technique to reveal emotion; Streisand uses technique to conceal it.”

  • Lori B

    I loved the parts of the episode having to do with Jean and the reason I don’t think it was unearned emotion is because we’ve had Becky as a constant reminder of Jean’s importance to Sue.   Hopefully they return to the Sue of season one, and Terri is gone for good.  As for Jesse and the audition process, and the Finn/Quinn/Rachel story, the whole thing was lame.  Except for the Wonka song the rest was a snooze.

  • Kathleen Morrison

    I’m wondering if you two would do a best and worst list at the end of the season for both episodes and songs? After such a wildly inconsistent season with highs and lows, I’d love to hear what you thought was the best and worst. I eagerly await your recaps every Wednesday morning, even if I don’t always agree with what you think – although I do 100% today!

  • Eliseo Martinez

    I had a feeling this episode would divide people. I actually really liked it. 

    This episode unexpectedly hit hard. Will taking over for Sue during Jean’s eulogy was so moving and sad. Another surprise from Ryan Murphy! Have to give credit where credit is due. The “Willy Wonka”-inspired funeral could have been really hokey but ended up being pretty sweet.
    The auditions for the lead solo at Nationals were great. Jesse’s brutal reality critiques aside, it was a great way to showcase the show’s best vocalists. Amber Riley with “Try a Little Tenderness,” Chris Colfer with “Some People,” Naya Rivera with “Back to Black” (hot), and Lea Michele with “My Man” (doing her best to get that “Funny Girl” revival gig—get that Tony, Lea!). More original songs it seems, and the finale looks like it could be a stunner with whatever Quinn is planning (that break-up scene between Quinn and Finn was excellent), and Will probably leaving for Broadway as a “cliffhanger.” Can’t wait to see what they come up with next week.

    • Glen Coleson

      didn’t Lea Michelle get boo’d at last years tonys? at the very least i know she got some scathing criticism afterwards.

      I personally would have much rather seen Jane Lynch finish the eulogy, Will reading it was ok –it worked for this weeks story— but she’s so much a better actress, it would have been great.

      • I thought it was very effective to have Will read it (it worked in the same way that the song “Landslide” was so effective for Brittany and Santana), but Will jumped up there WAY too fast.  It’s a nit-picky complaint, but it really jarred me.  Sue got choked up for a quarter of a second, and Will was out of his seat.  All I could think was, “What are you doing?  Give her a moment!  This is a funeral!” 

        • Kathleen Morrison

          I personally would have liked to see one of the former Cheerios step up and read for her. Despite having quit, they still have a deeper and longer connection to Sue. 

          • Anonymous

             Don’t you think it was odd that the whole Glee Club was in the front row when none of them had ever so much as laid eyes on Jean?

      • Judy Raddue

        She was booed at the Golden Globes.  Still, unless she move beyond being a Streisand clone, I can’t imagine her Funny Girl being well received by critics on Broadway.  Gleeks, though, will keep the tickets moving.

        Though I admire Michele’s belt and stamina, can she do anything else?  Someone needs to take away all her Streisand records and lock her up with nothing but Barbara Cook recordings.  She could learn a lot. I’ve never forgotten a piece on one of Cook’s master classes at Juilliard.  For a few years now, the opera department has her come in and work with their students.  For more than a few, it’s an eye-opener.  Cook teaches that the most important thing about a song is getting deep into the lyric, then delivering it simply and, most importantly, honestly.  

        • Isadora Paiva

          Though I agree with the sentiment behind your reply, I think you are confusing Lea with Rachel. Singing Streisand all the time and considering her an idol is a very “Rachel” thing to do. 

          I do agree that the actress, however, should try and break out of that Barbra thing, and doing the show on Broadway would be terrible for her career on the long run, since the comparisons would keep on coming, and you don’t wanna be compared to Barbra. ANYONE would pale in comparison to her, especially in that role – she won an Oscar for Christ’s sake! It’s not just her amazing singing, she was funny girl.

      • I agree.  Jane’s a much better actress, and I was really disappointed when he took over for her.  It would have been great see HER give the rest of the speech.  He was fine, but not HALF as interesting as she would have been. 

      • I agree.  Jane’s a much better actress, and I was really disappointed when he took over for her.  It would have been great see HER give the rest of the speech.  He was fine, but not HALF as interesting as she would have been. 

    • My only problem with the funeral was the chocolate fountain. The mushrooms and what not were super cute but the fountain seemed…weird. Like they were all gonna chow down on some chocolate dipped strawberries and cake right there in the funeral home.

  • Anonymous

    I missed seeing the show last night so I’ve only watched the clips you posted. And yes, Lea can’t really compare (note for note) to Barbra, but then again, the character of Rachel is a high schooler, and Fanny Brice was at least decade older and singing about a more mature relationship, so the more immature version works here. 

    Beyond that, I guess they were trying to recreate that show stopper when Rachel sang Don’t Rain on My Parade last year. Not an easy feat. Probably why this whole season has been disjointed. 


  • Lauen newman

     Is anyone else tired of Finn’s attitude? He was such an ass to Quinn during their breakup, and the only way anyone was routing for him was after they completely destroyed Jesse.

    • I wish they’d let him be single for five minutes. He needs to get himself together.

    • Anonymous

       So unintentionally hilarious hearing him talk about being an outcast. There are no high-school outcasts in that room.

  • Anonymous

     WHY YOU BE HATING ON JESSE? But really, Jonathan Groff is attractive, talented, and had be rolling on the floor laughing with every comment he made. 

    •  No one doubts that Groff is both talented and attractive. He’s excellent at portraying his character, and Jesse St. James is written to be a Grade A jerk. The audience is expected to hate him! The fact that most of the audience does is a testament to Groff’s talent and timing.

    • Anonymous

      Jonathon is good looking and talented.  THE CHARACTER and storyline are lame and off putting. 

  • Andra Ruscoe

    Stupid Jesse needs to just go away.  And yes, Mercedes won that sing-off hands down.  She is so underused!

  • Anonymous

     I miss the Best Lines comments too.  Sometimes (almost all the time) I find it hard to hear Brittney’s lines.  Her voice is soft and I guess my TV speakers are just not able to amplify her enough for me to hear.

  • Increasingly it become apparent why Streisand is great, and Michelle is a Sony tape recorder.  Streisand *created* these songs, made them up from whole cloth, from something within her being.  The baby wannabe diva is mimicking and that’s just sad.  How old was Streisand when she first appeared on Broadway, compared with how old is Lea Michelle — and don’t talk to me about Rachel being a green high school student.  When Mercedes did “Try a Little Tenderness” I was hearing Otis in my mind but it was just enough different

    •  Lea originated the lead role of Wendla from Spring Awakening (which won just about every Tony the year it debuted) on Broadway at the age of 20. Her vocal work on that production is divine; it really shows how talented Lea is when she isn’t working under television producers.

    • Let’s not criticize the actor for the character’s weakness. Well, the point of Rachel’s character is that she wants to be the next Streisand, and she’s been mimicking her idol since she started singing as a little kid. If you go to YouTube,you can find a video of Lea Michele singing “Don’t Rain on My Parade” at the Tonys that sounds VERY different from the version she did as Rachel. Seeing that made it obvious to me that Lea Michele is singing in character at all times on Glee. As she should.

  • Anonymous

     Hmm, i am thinking that i am in the minority here, but i was disappointed with all the solo’s except Rachel’s.  The Kurt solo sounded like it was in the wrong key (and I am not a musician, i just can’t find another way of describing it). Not his best work.  The Santana solo just made me miss Amy Winehouse.  This version sounded generic.  Mercedes’ sounded as if she was jut slightly under the weather.  To me, she always sounded like she was straining just a tiny bit.  and then Rachel  blew them all away.  I didn’t care if it was similar to Barbra’s, it was good.   

    I also wondered what was up with the plot if all the villains are going away, so to speak.  it sounded like a series wrap up, not a season one.  Maybe, this year will all be a dream, al la Dallas!

    • I totally agree- I kept waiting to be blown away by the four solos, but I just wasn’t.

      • I think the reason they didn’t blow you away was because they had no context in the show.  It was, quite literally, “Let’s hear this character sing a song.”  And they happened all four, right in a row.  Add to that the inevitability of Jesse’s critiques, and the whole thing seems pretty pointless.  It’s hard to be moved by the music when that’s the delivery system.  I liked “Pure Imagination” better than any of the others, just because it served a discernable purpose.  As I watched it, my immediate thought was, “He’s not going to pick a star.  The whole group will be the ‘star’.”

        • Anonymous

           I agree. I LIKE the numbers where they incorporate the song-and-dance into their daily lives. I LIKE the unreality of those, breaking into song in the school hallway or in the mall. These four were boring and predictable. Colfer looked like he didn’t know where he was supposed to stand.

          I’m going to go out on a limb, though, and say I liked Rachel’s Barbra better than Barbra’s Barbra.

          Agreed on all points about the terrible plot and script.

  • Eddie Commins

    It’s weird that they chose “Some People” for Chris because if you look at the majority of the women who sing it, they traditionally sing it lower than his version. I read somewhere someone commenting on how technically he was good with this song, but from an emotional standpoint he was not there. And I agree, part of the impact of a musical is the emotional background behind the song. 
    His choreography was an odd choice, did anybody explain this song to him before he started singing? Because between his movements and his general vocal choices, he really didn’t seem to “get” the song.
    And his voice is too young and clear to really bring across Mama Rose. He should have gone with “Little Lamb” if he needed to do something from Gypsy.

    • Glen Coleson

      I used to think that all Kurts songs were sung in falsetto because he wasn’t comfortable using his chest voice, or his voice broke too much in it or some such. But then he did Blackbird, one of my least favorite beatles songs, and made me love it. Now I find all his breathy screeching simply infuriating. Granted there isn’t nearly as vast a catalog of music suited to his apparent range, but I can deal with that.

      • Anonymous

         If they want Curt to sing countertenor, then they should give him some Handel arias and have done with it. I’ve gone from really liking Chris Colfer’s voice on Glee to rolling my eyes each time he opens his mouth.

  • Anonymous

    While I felt totally manipulated by the writers, I did shed a few tears.  I love seeing Sue’s softer side.  But, of course, she’ll be back to being a monster in no time.  Didn’t she have a similar revelation before?  I seem to recall her apologizing to Will and pledging to be nicer previously.  Honestly, can’t the writers do “gray?”  Must everything with Sue be one extreme or the other?  And Finn’s flip-flopping between Rachel and Quinn is so tiresome.  And where was Blaine???

    •  I hear you on your comment about gray area — it would be nice if the characters hadn’t all been dumbed down to stereotypes this past season.

  • Anonymous

    Most.  Annoying. Episode. EVER.  For all the reasons you stated.  Personally, I find it offensive that they used the character of Jean (and Becky too) to pull a tearjerker and wackily careen the character of Sue all over the f’ing place.  It’s a train wreck.  Get Jane Lynch back to a place where her vast talent is utilized.  The Jesse character is the new Sue?  Whateves, he is one annoying closet case.  This storyline is just weird and unneccesary.  COMPLETELY agree that Kurt has just become a token caricature of a gay teenage boy.  Give this kid some depth, mix it up.  Really, MOST. ANNOYING. EPISODE. EVER.

  • Anonymous

    The entire season has felt more like nothing more than a series of after school specials: The One About Death, The One About Teenage Drinking, The One About Accepting yourself as you are, The One About Bullies, The One About the Crush. I haven’t been a teenager in a long time. Color me bored.

    • Mariah J

       My biggest complaint as well. Just make an entertaining show, stop trying to teach us “life lessons”

  • “Pure Imagination” was beautiful. Kudos on the unusual combination of singers.  They should definitely find excuses for Kurt/Tina and Artie/Tina duets.  Or more Tina in general.

    Speaking of which, did Artie and Tina ever get to sing together when they were dating?  What a waste, while we constantly have to put up with Finchel even if they’re broken up.

  • Anonymous

    I thought it was a little cheap and a missed opportunity for them to give Sue’s speech to Will to read. I kept thinking that was out of character for Sue to a.) not say them herself b.) let Will say the lines, and a waste of Jane’s talent. It was like, why reward Will with these lines and the emotional payoff when Sue’s character has been stunted all season and that really could have given her the chance to shine?

  • Mostly I hate the treatment of Jane Lynch on this show and I hate that she left “Party Down” for “Glee”, but I gotta say, she did a great job last night.  Yes, the writing is incredibly lazy and I hate being emotionally manipulated but suffice it to say, I was crying like a baby for a good bit of it.  While I liked this episode because it tied some things up, what are they going to do with Sue?  They aren’t going to let her remain humane and I really don’t want to see her become unreasonable again after this emotional ringer.  So the writers have set themselves up for something they seem ill equipped to do, make Sue believable.  Hate the Jesse part, I don’t know why they would bring back a teenager’s abusive boyfriend.  So he can abuse everyone? Makes no sense.  And I’m sorry this whole Quinn/Finn thing, you would thing that she would have grown a bit after having been tossed out by her family and having her reputation destroyed.  Why is she all of a sudden so superficial, I thought we were past this.  Ugh.  I’m looking forward to more brilliant Brittany moments.  

    •  I thought “Party Down” got cancelled and that Lynch had already said in interviews that she had planned to do both?

      • I hadn’t known that.  I’ve been hearing there may be a movie, how great would that be?

  •  And I kept comparing Rachel’s version of My Man to the Billie Holliday version, so I just tuned out especially when I saw the obligatory tear on the cheek.

  •  Hey, another thought– how about opening up TLounge for the season finale??

    • MilaXX

       I miss the TLounge

  • I agree that I felt manipulated as well.  I’m most curios to see what, if anything, they do with Sue next season based on this episode.  Sue doesn’t have to always rail against the Glee club does she? Maybe she finds a new target next year. She also doesn’t have to be nice all the time to Will. So I’m interested to see where this goes.

    However, I thought the writes did a good job for the most part this episode.  I wish Jesse St. James would go away as well. Really tired of him after two episodes this season.


    • APB

      I actually thought it made for good TV when Will and Sue had a common enemy — Coach Bieste. That could have lasted the entire season and would have been MUCH more entertaining than this super villian schtick she’s had going on during the second half of the season.

  • Terrible episode, I’m sorry. Yes, I teared up, but that is all because of Jane Lynch. And Pure Imagination? I really loved it. But the episode? Garbage. Finn loving Rachel loving Finn? Needs to be over and done with. Now please.

  • Glen Coleson

     Pretty much exactly my thoughts on this episode, every seen Jane Lynch was in I found myself wondering what kind of show Glee would be if the whole cast was anywhere near as talented as her. I could rant about how Will is a horrid human being for his refusal to allow Becky to participate in glee in direct contradiction to his stated rules for the club, or how it makes absolutely no sense that he would hire a 19 year old to teach him how to run a glee club. But i just can’t make myself care anymore… 
    Next weeks Glee will be my last, the show has clearly lost the plot.

  • Anonymous

    * Was anyone else at all surprised that there was NO mention of what happened at prom? (Or did I just miss it?) Huh.
    * I have to say… I _really_ dislike Jesse. (Not Jonathan, good actor.) I just want to reach through my TV and slap him around a bit. He’s, what, 19? Rachel is 17ish? Not sure what the laws are in their state (I’m in NV, so that’s an okay age difference), but him kissing her seems a bit skeevy. Especially as he hurt her so bad and he’s an “employee”. Okay, and really – WHY is Shue letting him be so darn mean??
    * I may not have a lot of folks in agreement with me… but I thought that Finn did the break up pretty well. Straight to the point.

    • Mariah J

       He did the right thing, most teens would be afraid to admit those emotions, especially after the funeral. He made a mistake by getting back with her when he was so confused over his feelings in the first place but that’s what teens do.

  • I really want to see Sue use her powers for good. Imagine her manipulative, complex, and ridiculous plots working FOR the Glee club. Hilarious and consistent. But that’s too much to hope for…

  • Mariah J

    It was a very cheap ploy but at least they realized that they had to tame Sue somehow. The songs were each character playing to their stereotype so it was all pretty boring and annoying. This episode just felt like a set up for the finale: make Sue nice, break up Finn and Quinn, get Jessie back with Rachel etc.
    I did enjoy watching Jane Lynch get her acting on. She’s damn good.

  • I didn’t think any of the solos were that great. Technically they sounded fine, but it seemed as if each character was doing an impression of someone else’s interpretation, rather than making the song her own.

    I love Chris Colfer, but I’m getting a little annoyed with his vocal choices. We get it, the character is a flaming queen. That doesn’t mean he has to sing every song as if his balls have been cut off. Harvey Fierstein is one of the best queens out there and he sings lower than Bea Arthur. The whole number should have been at least two keys lower. It would have still been in his belt range (and still pretty freaking high).

     Yes, I cried and yes I felt dirty about it too, although the Willy Wonka number was amazeballs!

  • “They should just turn the entire Amy Winehouse catalog over to Santana. We could listen to her growl all day.” Puh-REACH. 

    This show has always been a farcical, caricature fueled soap opera to me, and I mean that in the most loving way.  I love the show.  But I’ve never understood the complaints because to me the show SHOULD be about shark jumping stereotypes.  There’s one to represent almost anyone, right?  Glee has always seemed like the kind of stories I would have daydreamed in study hall when I was in high school (except mine would not have been nearly as well versed in pop music and Gary Oldman would have appeared naked pretty often). 

    • That being said, no disrespect meant to T and Lo.  I love your reviews and read them religiously, and always learn a new perspective.

      And Jesse St James needs to GO.

  • Joyce VG

    I didn’t cry, and I cry at commercials.  Glee has lost me yet again.

  • Anonymous

    The only good part of last night was Jane Lynch. I’m with those who are saying the finale will be their last show–How can I love an excellently written, consistently plotted show like Mad Men and this foolishness at the same time? Did love the way the Glee kids showed forgiveness and kindness to Sue, however. And the Willy Wonka funeral WAS a smile through the tears. Finally, thanks for your comment on how often the writers use a disability to amp up the emotions–very manipulative, eh? Unfortunately I DID understand Shu’s denial for Becky joining the club at that moment–probably his only real adult decision for the episode. 

    • Glen Coleson

       Please explain it to me then. Glee already has members who can neither sing, nor dance, and its not as if he can’t simply do what Sue did and make her the assistant coach or whatever. Sure she can’t go to nationals, they already bought tickets, but i don’t understand why should couldn’t be involved in the club until then.

  • Anonymous

    Mercedes screams, Rachel sings. Best song of the series.

    •  Mercedes was fantastic (as always) but I’m sorry… that Rachel solo was emotionally affecting. I’ve never felt like that from a Glee performance before. It strikes you in the chest, I swear. 

  • MilaXX

     I didn’t feel manipulated by Sue’s sister dying. Sure she’s only been in 2-3 scenes, but it’s been a consistent thread for some time. Sue has talked about her on more than one occasion and it’s the reason she let Becky join the cheerios. It wasn’t just a one off like the kid Rachel & Finn went to see on that “very special episode” where Rachel lost her voice never to be seen again. Sure we rarely saw her sister, but in many ways she was a fully fleshed out character. Now that doesn’t excuse the way they have written Sue this season, but I cried the ugly cry last night and the only song I really loved was the one the glee club sang at the memorial.

    Jesse St. James  can bite me.

  • I agree word for word with your review of this episode, especially on the song choices for the characters. It’s telling that the only audition song I didn’t fast forward through was Santana’s.

  • Anjarae Washington

     Still missing the quote recap 🙁

    Loved the show, but I like any show where people that are good singers sing.  I am kind of sick of Rachel and Finn missing each other though…

  • Brad Watson

    A hands-over-eyes, I-can’t-believe-they’re-doing-that episode. So now, not only doesn’t the glee club rehearse, they justify it by claiming they’re being “in the moment”. It’s a lazy-ass rationale for not showing the rehearsal process – apparently, there ISN’T one.  This stuff really does fly out of their butts on command!

    It’s seriously lazy-ass writing – to always go for the unbelievable because it writes quicker than stuff that might actually make sense.  Sounds like me like the writers are the high schoolers, writing for performers who really need to stop imagining they can pull off the 17 thing.

  •  you know that look that you and kurt had after rachel sang? i had that too. and she made me cry. but i would still give it to mercedes. she was AWESOME and my heart a-racing!

  •  Maybe a little random, but can any one explain to me why some of the kids weren’t dressed in traditional black for the wedding? I was really confused by Tina’s white dress and Quinn’s red-orange. I was under the impression muted, cool colors were acceptable and even then only as an accent color :/

    •  I suppose you mean the funeral, not the wedding. I think given the Willy Wonka theme, it wasn’t your typical traditional funeral. Besides, I think the color rules for both funerals and weddings are outdated. I’ve told my friends and family that if they come to my funeral in black, I will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

  • When will Glee stop being Lea Michelle’s personal audition for the Funny Girl revival?  Yes dear, we know you performed on Broadway.  Yes dear, we know you can sing and have perfect pitch.  Yes dear, we know you can squeeze out a tear if you close your eyes really hard.  We. Get. It.  I did appreciate that the try outs did allow for other performers to shine.  I must admit that I did shed a tear during the funeral scene.  Jane Lynch is genius and I wish they would give her more to do than to be monsterous to the Glee club.

    • THANK YOU. And yes dear, we know you think it looks like emotions when you make your face like that. But dear? It just looks like you’re trying to pass a passenger van.

      • THANK YOU!  She takes the emote in emotion to the extreme.  Yes dear, we can see you back here in the cheap seats. 

    • Anonymous

      That’s a really unfair assumption/judgment to make. Lea has said she had never even seen Funny Girl until Ryan Murphy introduced her to it when they began working on the show together, because he had decided to make it a Rachel Berry characteristic. The same way Kurt is all about Gypsy but no one is accusing Chris of wanting in on the next revival.

      Lea sounded amazing and it was emotionally affecting, and she performed it brilliantly AS Rachel Berry (she has sung the song on other ocassions as herself and it’s noticeably different).

      • Anonymous

        Leah Michele said she had never seen “Funny Girl?” And you believed that?

  • Anonymous

    Lost my dad about three weeks ago. The funeral scene just ripped me apart. It saved an otherwise bland show. Ratings continue to drop on this show…I expect them to jump the shark at “nationals.”

    First class tickets for the glee club. Please. That whole subplot was very hollow.

    As for Kurt: why just put him in a dress because he is all drag queen now. Stupid lines. Queer outfits. He is a dumb sterotype.

    Agree with other comments that this show was written so Jane Lynch had a reel to submit for the Golden Globes.

  • Because Nationals was all the club had left for the year, and Nationals was a week away.  At that point, it becomes a yes or no question.  Yes, we’ll have you for this one final gig, or no, we won’t have you for this one final gig.

    You’re not supposed to like that he turned Becky away (you mentioned wanting to rant about this earlier).  It’s a decision that is supposed to make you feel uncomfortable.  Everything about it is supposed to make you feel like a heel, from the child being the one to ask, to the pleading eyes and polite understanding of the mother, to Schu’s grimmace.  He said no because he wants his kids to win (which is the same reason he bites his tongue with Jesse), and he feels terrible for compromising his morals.  That’s why he storms into Sue’s office in a rage, blaming her for his bad feelings.  I thought that whole scene was extremely well done.

  • Anonymous

    You guys hit the nail on the head a few weeks ago.  This is no longer an adult comedy.  This show writers now seem to pander to the teens.  The writing team seem to fall over themselves to be politically correct.  This show was great when it was a laugh-a-minute and every group was mocked. My college kids always said this is a show about high schoolers that is over most high schoolers’ heads.  I hope it doesn’t sink to Disney levels.

  • RyzandShyn

    I’ve read through the comments and feel a bit confused. When Rachel mimics Barbara, it’s supposed to be funny, right? 
    When she and Kurt did the Barbara/Judy duet last season (?), they dressed the part, sat like the original, gestures and all were spot-on. The singing was perfect, but the scene was funny.  Each time Rachel does Barbara, I’m impressed with the mimicry, but laugh at the scene. It’s like when Tina Fey does Sarah Palin and it’s brillant yet funny.
    Rachel as Barbara is supposed to be funny, right? All these comments about it being Lea’s bid for a revival of Funny Girl has me confused. If that is what it is, then I’m laughing even harder.

    • Anonymous

      I felt the same way…Rachel’s song was almost a parody of Barbra, her enunciation/diction (sorry, not sure of the correct term) was so exaggerated.  

  • manipulative? yeah, but I still sobbed.

    • Lisa

      I’m glad I’m not the only one, Joanna.  I really don’t care how manipulative this one was – it still hit hard.  

      I know everyone has experienced loss at some point in their lives, but I lost a brother almost eight years ago, so it resonated with me.  It was one of those things where he’s been gone long enough that I’ve accepted the loss, dealt with it and gone on with my life.  But I also have my moments where, maybe a couple times a year, you see or hear something that just makes you hurt all over again.  So as soon as Sue said “Why would God take an incredibly sweet, kind person like her and leave me?”, I just started sobbing.  I felt for Sue – I remembered back to that absolute fresh loss when you just can’t grasp it yet, and it never ever feels like it’ll stop hurting.  

      Anyhow…with all that being said, and on a much lighter note, if Jane Lynch doesn’t get an Emmy, then I just don’t know what to say.

      • Lisa, it doesn’t ever really go away, does it? I’m sorry. The show takes risks in reaching for these serious moments as well as the laughs. This was definitely one of them.

        • Lisa

          Very true – and I guess the best way to look at it is that the show did it’s job.  If their risk is that they leave some of us as complete sobbing messes, then they did what they set out to do.  Nothing wrong with that.

  • Jean has been in four episodes:  “Wheels,” “Bad Reputation,” “Grilled Cheesus,” and “Furt.”  I’m not sure last night’s counts since she only appeared in images.

  • I tuned in late and missed the first ~8 minutes – during which time my friends who saw the beginning told me “nothing really happened”, thanks guys, I’m now realizing I missed a lot! So maybe that dulled my emotions but the funeral scene did not make me cry; it made me uncomfortable. It felt cheap and as TLo said it felt like more manipulation of “special” people for emotional purposes. While they’ve done some good things with Artie (he gets to have a girlfriend, he gets to be a jerk to her, he’s not St. Wheelchair), that’s about all I can say. Do the writers of Glee actually know any disabled people? Or is their entire idea of people with developmental and/or physical disabilities crafted from watching the kind of show that they are currently writing?

  • I agree with the Santana comment, Amy Whinehouse is PERFECT for her. And, I turned on the episode in the middle of this preformance and I don’t know any of the words to it, I instantly knew it was Amy Whinehouse.  

  • melissa sarno

    I thought this episode was ridiculous because of all the reasons you stated.  Of course I cried but, that was, like you said, manipulative. I miss the dark humor of the earlier seasons.  And I wish that the writers didn’t create such terrible character arcs.  They wrap every storyline up within one episode, which I also find a strange convention.  Imagine if they strung out a storyline and let it develop over several episodes?  What an idea!  
    I’m not really interested in Sue trying to take down Glee Club anymore…so I’m very intrigued by this House of Representatives idea.  Sue getting into politics has SO MUCH potential for insanity and going back to that dark humor next season.  I’m hopeful 🙂

  • Anonymous

     Ugh, they didn’t even give the developmentally disabled character an actual death scene or so much as a flashback. Just bam, gone, invisible.

    I cried, too, largely because of Jane Lynch and because I do feel Sue is a key character to whom the audience is emotionally attached. Just…ew. Give Jean a little dignity. 

    •  Well that’s the point, eh?  Bam, Gone.  That’s how it almost always works.  How many of us have had a relative that we left in <100% condition, thinking that you'd be able to see them tomorrow, and found out by a phone call that they had snuffed it without you being there.  

      Lynch did a great job here from the survivor's guilt to the make nice but sticking it to Will with the news that they had rerouted the plane through Libya.  Personally if the hatchet is officially buried, I'd love to see Sue be a friend to Will (Bieste and other too?) as only classic Sue can (from back handed complements to shocking inappropriate and misinterpreted acts of being nice), preferably with a new universal nemesis where she can still be bad but funny as hell.

      • Anonymous

        I think you may be missing my point. I’m not talking about “bam, gone” from the fictional lives of these characters. I’m pretty familiar with the basic concept of death. The fact that the developmentally disabled character that this whole episode is ostensibly about never appears in said episode is an example of developmentally disabled people being made invisible in entertainment and other media. There wasn’t even so much as a shot of her dying alone shown over Sue’s monologue. She was totally absent from her own story.

        • Anonymous

          I agree with Kevin, but they could at least acknowledged the character by including her somewhere in the past few episodes. When was the last time we even saw her?

  • Anonymous

    Loved everything Jane Lynch last night, what a waste of a very talented actor. Worst part of the episode for me was not the emotional manipulation but Kurt/Colfer’s attempt at Some People. It’s one of my favorite B’way classics (Fav Mama Rose: Lansbury!) but Chris Colfer’s voice was totally unsuited for the song. Shouldn’t it be 2 or 3 keys lower? I thought most (if not all) of the “famous” Mama Rose’s were altos or mezzos? Love me some Santana though!!

  • I loved this episode and I loved the episodes with Jean and remember them and her well.  They were great moments in the show and she was a wonderful character.  Santana was awesome!

  • As a concrete character,  Jean may have only appeared a small handful of times, but she had a pretty constant presence as Sue’s occasional signs of humanity. Sue got every bit of that from her relationship with her sister. It kept her from being a one dimensional snarky monster. I hope that her relationship with Becky continues that influence.

  • Sadly, my expectations have fallen so far that an episode in which the four best singers in the club each get to kick ass on a great song smack dab in their wheelhouse (plus we get a charming underproduced group reinvention of a childhood classic) qualifies for me as a great episode of Glee, regardless of the cheap manipulations of the plot and characters. But I agree, those songs were a little too “on the nose.” How much more awesome would it have been if Kurt and Rachel had switched songs? Kurt purring “My man I love him so” with a reaction shot or two of Blaine in the audience? Dying! And it would have made more sense for Jesse to point out that this might make some judges uncomfortable. And Rachel pulling out her Merman belt to blow the roof off the house? Awesome

  • Anonymous

    If they really have her run for congress it would be not only high-sterical (to borrow a phrase from T-Lo) but it would also give them an outlet for Sue’s crazy, but re-direct it away from the Glee club. She can’t go back to ripping on them now. She just can’t. It would be stupid and nonsensical. Or rather more stupid and nonsensical than usual. Keep her on the show but give her something else to do and that something else can be something as over-the-top as running for office. Perfect!

    And so were Mercedes and Leah’s solos. Wow!

  • “Pure Imagination” was the only song I didn’t fastfwd.  Praise Jesus for the DVR, I can’t say that enough.  I liked the ep.  Didn’t feel as manipulated.  But I totally agree with your assessment of Jane Linch and her talents needing to be used more. 

  • Ugh, Rachel’s solo. I would be really happy in general if they stopped doing note-for-note “adaptations” of songs, because my interest in cover songs does not extend to near-identical-but-for-the-autotuning copies of the original. Rachel’s Barbara covers are kind of the worst offenders there, though, because her voice isn’t even different enough to make them interesting. 🙁

  • Loved the Otis cover!

    • Anonymous

      She is truly an incredible singer, isn’t she?

  • Anonymous

     “Manipulative” is the best word for this episode. This show used to be able to make me cry because it offered real emotion. Now it offers sleight-of-hand dramatic tricks, After-School-Special “Valuable Lessons About Life,” and singers who have snuggled neatly into single genres and show no sign of leaving. It was always absurd when it knew that about itself; now it thinks it has Something Serious To Say and really, it turns out, no it doesn’t.

    • Lattis

      I’d like to “like” your comment about 100 times. You said it. 

  • Anonymous

    “Manipulative” is the best word for this episode. This show used to be able to make me cry because it offered real emotion. Now it offers sleight-of-hand dramatic tricks, After-School-Special “Valuable Lessons About Life,” and singers who have snuggled neatly into single genres and show no sign of leaving. What the writers have done to Sue Sylvester since the first season is unforgiveable. The show was always absurd when it knew that about itself and I loved it for reveling in the good-natured purity of that; now it thinks it has Something Serious To Say and really, it turns out, no it doesn’t.

  • Alloy Jane

    I stopped watching Glee after the Britney Spears episode because it became very clear to me that the show no longer had the integrity it began with and was quickly heading down the toilet.  Considering this show is on Fox, I’m inclined to believe that the blockhead execs are forcing the writers to churn out trite, easily mass-consumable garbage for the sake of ratings and dollars.  And now they’re sick of it and and aren’t bothering to try making a decent episode.  

  •  im soo sick of rachels crying/singing

    • Anonymous

       I 100% agree, yet I totally loved her solo this week.

  • If nothing else, I’m incredibly tired of the “Rachel’s Perfect Voice” thread.  The other characters have stronger voices in different genres of music, and while Lea can nail the Broadway Baby numbers, Amber Riley and Naya Rivera bring a lot more depth than Lea does to just about any other genre of music you can name, listening to Lea do pop music makes me cringe.  But worse, this is the exact same narrative that’s existed since the beginning of the series.  No single character has had a complete arc, and those that come close (Quinn, Kurt, Santana) all end up back at the same square.  There’s just no damn growth on this show.  Characters are brought back to repeat old story lines (hello Jesse, Emma, even Coach Beiste is a rehash of Ken Tanaka’s “unattractive coach, can’t find love”).  Despite having 40 or so episodes under it’s belt, aside from some plot issues, you could scramble all of these up into the first half of the first season and lose nothing in terms of character growth.

    And that’s just bad writing.  Mercedes is no more appreciated and has no more place than before.  Rachel has no humility and automatically assumes (and gets) the lead vocals no matter what.  Will is going to hem and haw and cave into the same decisions over and over again.  This show i getting so maudlin I find myself skipping through all the plot to get to the music.

    • Lattis

      Well said. Character Growth. What they have done with Sue Sylvester is a crime. Jane Lynch is really talented and can, like she did in this episode, make me cry, but the yo yo-ing of her character is idiotic. The writers of MASH managed to allow Hot Lips Houlihan, for instance, to grow, but she still was someone who had a radically different POV than the Alda character. And could still be a villain. I wish they’d have done something similar with Sue’s character.

  • Anonymous

     What has happened to Coach Beiste? It’s getting hard to keep her in mind as part of the show. 

    • Lisa

      I know, I miss her – she’s awesome!

    • Anonymous

      I asked myself the same thing after this episode.

  • Anonymous

    I thought Rachel’s song was killa!  As Kurt said – that girl can sing.  I also loved Mercedes this week too.  But, when Rachel sings those ballads I tear up.  But that being said – I don’t watch every week because the script is too “out there” for me.  I’ll watch the finale of course. 

  • Anonymous

    I thought Rachel’s song was killa!  As Kurt said – that girl can sing.  I also loved Mercedes this week too.  But, when Rachel sings those ballads I tear up.  But that being said – I don’t watch every week because the script is too “out there” for me.  I’ll watch the finale of course. 

  • I had mixed emotions on this episode.  Jean may not have been a fleshed out character with a lot of screen time, but she made an impression on me in her brief appearances, so I did mourn her sudden death.  But I also got the feeling the writers had put Sue in a corner, making her into such a one dimensional cartoon villain that they needed a dramatic ploy to humanize her again and this was it.  I agree with TLo, if it weren’t for JL’s amazing acting range, it all would have fell flat.

    As for the musical numbers, the only one I liked at all was Pure Imagination.  The solos all felt very stereotypical.  Santana is sultry, Kurt is a big queen, Mercedes belts R&B, and Rachel mimics Barbra – Yawn!  Also, I think Chris Colfer often sings outside his range and it just sounds bad, he needs to drop the register a little bit.

    They need to shake it up a little and let these performers go outside the box if they want the show to stay fresh. 

    And I totally agree that next season, Sue will go back to being Snidely Whiplash and they’ll explain it away in one line.  The writers of Glee really put the “b” in subtle.  

  • I had mixed emotions on this episode.  Jean may not have been a fleshed out character with a lot of screen time, but she made an impression on me in her brief appearances, so I did mourn her sudden death.  But I also got the feeling the writers had put Sue in a corner, making her into such a one dimensional cartoon villain that they needed a dramatic ploy to humanize her again and this was it.  I agree with TLo, if it weren’t for JL’s amazing acting range, it all would have fell flat.

    As for the musical numbers, the only one I liked at all was Pure Imagination.  The solos all felt very stereotypical.  Santana is sultry, Kurt is a big queen, Mercedes belts R&B, and Rachel mimics Barbra – Yawn!  Also, I think Chris Colfer often sings outside his range and it just sounds bad, he needs to drop the register a little bit.

    They need to shake it up a little and let these performers go outside the box if they want the show to stay fresh. 

    And I totally agree that next season, Sue will go back to being Snidely Whiplash and they’ll explain it away in one line.  The writers of Glee really put the “b” in subtle.  

  • I knew a guy like Kurt in high school, and he did the same thing with vocal performances:  always went for the female parts and always wanted to be one of the girls.  He explained it once as he was never going to be considered a “man” by anyone around him so he might as well go all the way. 

    For a lot of young gay men, being gay isn’t a part of who they are, it’s the totality of it, because that’s all anyone ever sees them as.  No one thought of my friend as a musician or bitingly funny — he was always just that gay guy.  After enough time of everyone seeing you that way, that’s how you begin to see yourself.  So choosing female parts makes sense because it comes to represent you since that’s the only thing you’re allowed to be

  • Anonymous

    I actually found Santana’s solo to be a bit of a snooze. Yes she sounded fine (drop the needles and give me another album Winehouse!!!), but she was just kind of singing the words and that’s it. Now that I know how good Chris Colfer’s lower range sounds, it’s doubly infuriating when they give him a song unsuited for him that also forces him up into his higher range for no discernible reason. Don’t most women sing the song lower anyway? And Mercedes sounded amazing singing one of my fave songs. But Rachel just absolutely brought the house down on all levels.

    This episode was little more than an excuse to get Jane her Emmy, and I knew that within the first ten minutes of the show, and I still fell for it. Completely. To the tune of, where are my tissues, how could you take away Jean from me and Sue (despite the fact that I tend to forget about her existence)– *snivel* *wail*– completely.  Give the woman her Emmy. To make it even better, yes she was sad and dramatic this episode, but she was also bloody hilarious (“I’m lactating with rage!” and the panda express dialogue was just priceless). Really, just give it to her. Also, if they drop the ‘Sue runs for public office’ story line with all of its potential hilarity next season, I may really have to be done with Glee.

    Jesse is the absolute worst. But he’s basically the male version of Santana so I condemn him for being a cruel dick, just like I condemn Santana for being a cruel bitch, but still find a lot of the things that come out of his mouth hilarious.

    •  I agree.  Jane Lynch is in a league of her own, the way she can slide from hilarious to heartbreaking without ever missing a beat is amazing!  She deserves an Emmy.

  •  This isn’t related to this episode, but… what happened to Beiste?

  • I think people are way too harsh on Glee. Has everyone forgotten that Glee is not real life? I watch Glee because it makes me laugh, it makes me cry and I get to hear amazingly talented singers do amazingly choreographed numbers. The story line has always been fun yet serious. Upbeat yet dramatic. Unreal yet so true. I have never seen another show deal with so many issues and take on such topics and be so successful! This show is not about following rules or conforming to the way people think a TV show is supposed to work. Glee has broken that mold and personally that is one of the reasons why I love it so much. I take Glee for what it is. I enjoy it for what it does. Cut Glee some slack and just sit back and enjoy. 

  • Anonymous

    I found Season 2 of Glee tv show is more interesting than season 1.