There's just one more week before Glee's season finale and their trip to NYC for Nationals, and things get more dramatic than anyone expected. There's a death that shakes up everyone and changes one character to the core, and the gang busily plans a funeral service despite the prep they still need to do before the big event.
Still, the show must go on, and Jesse St. James is there to pull everyone's thoughts away from funeral arrangements and back into cutthroat competition. His funny lines break up the otherwise somber episode, which I'm ready to discuss, spoilers and all, when you
- Jesse gets integrated into the glee club by consulting on how to win Nationals. He puts the kibosh on Finn's idea of a duet with Rachel and is generally hilariously mean to him (sample insult: "You kind of sing and dance like a zombie who has to poop."). Jesse's plan includes picking out a star performer to spotlight at Nationals, pitting the kids against each other.
- At the auditions, Jesse is brutal, giving feedback Simon Cowell-style. He rags on Santana's "Back to Black" (not emotional enough) and Kurt's show tune "Some People" (girl song). After Mercedes kills "Try a Little Tenderness, " Jesse accuses her of not wanting it bad enough (Are you kidding? She's amazing). But Rachel gets Jesse's vote when it's her turn with "My Man," during which she envisions Finn. Though it is truly brilliant, Mr. Schue decides to take a few days before deciding who gets center stage at Nationals.
- The Becky plotline is truly sad, but there's a reason for it. Becky asks to be a part of the glee club after Sue kicks her out of the Cheerios, and Will confronts Sue about being mean (even though he just refused to let her into the club since they're so close to Nationals). She reveals that her sister, Jean, has died, and Will is speechless. Finn and Kurt get wind of the death and bring Sue flowers, and she confides in them that she doesn't know what to do next. Finn and Kurt decide to host a memorial for Jean, which Jesse has no time or sympathy for (and gives us another one of his awesome one-liners: "Do you know what Vocal Adrenaline does when someone dies? They use them as a prop. Like Weekend at Bernie's.") In her grief, Sue agrees to let service take place — because she knows that the glee club will guarantee a packed house for her sister.
- At Jean's funeral, Sue gets up to talk and her voice cracks, so Will comes to her aid and finishes the speech for her. Then, the glee club sings "Pure Imagination" since Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory was Jean's favorite movie, and Sue is so moved she takes Will's hand and even manages a "thank you." I don't care if this scene is emotionally manipulative; it's beautiful. It all helps Sue recover a little bit, and she lets Becky back into the Cheerios. Then, in the least Sue-like action ever, she sits down with Will and tells him that she will no longer be trying to take down the glee club. Oh, because she's running for office to fight for the injustices her sister faced.
- Even though Sue's last act to wreck the club's shot at Nationals is to reroute the kids' flight to Libya, Terri shows up with the save: first-class tickets to New York for the kids. She says she's moving to Florida, and then watches bittersweetly as Will and Emma embrace. Emma's afraid she won't see Will for a while, because of his impending plans to go to Broadway‚ which the kids still don't know about yet.
- The emotional weight of the funeral also drives Finn to break up with Quinn. He realizes that his feelings aren't as deep for Quinn as they should be, and she first fights his decision but then flees his truck, sporting a single tear. Finn trains his eye on Rachel, who Quinn assumes Finn dumped her for anyway. But when Finn brings a flower for Rachel at school afterward, he spots her getting cozy with Jesse and hangs back. Oh well — a Big Apple reunion next week would be more romantic, anyway. As for Quinn, she hints to Finn that she has big plans for the trip to New York.
Ultimately, no one gets picked as the soloist, and Will goes back to the plan of them singing original songs as a group. So that's what we have to look forward to in next week's finale — that, hopefully a resolution between Finn and Rachel, and the answer to whether Will is really going to leave the kids for Broadway. But what did you think of this week? Were you moved by Jean's funeral? And what do you hope will happen at Nationals?
Photo courtesy of Fox