The Moth Chase

Elevating the Art of Procrastanalysis – Academics wasting time on pop culture

You’re Gonna Love Me

with 3 comments

OK, so I know I’ve griped about aspects of this show off and on all season. I’ve worried that the show’s schizophrenic desires to be a straight serial plot-drive show and a quirky musical parody-comedy have kept it from doing either well, or consistently. But last night, during the fall finale, I feel in love all over again. The show finally seemed to grab both parts of its identity in its choreographed jazz hands and create a quirky, feel good, plot driven musical comedy-drama. And that makes for a good hour of broadcast television.

The episode also had all the good markers of a fantastic finale, even if it is just a mid-season finale (digression: does anyone else think this might be the wave of the future – mid-season finales followed by glorious spring returns?): it tied up lingering plot points, brought the main plot to a kind of climax, but left us hanging with tantalizing teasers of what’s to come. Best of all, it made me love all the misfit characters that form this geeky ensemble and it made me believe again in the power of a feel good come-back tale. As their ensemble number told us, you can’t always get what you want….

If one theme of the series so far is believing in oneself against the pressures of high school conformity, the finale gave us the ultimate test: the kids left to unite together around their common purpose and to prove that they have not only the talent, but the gumption, will and camaraderie to take the competition. Of course, not without some serious internal drama. Finn knows about Quinn’s deception, and his anger toward both her and Puck was far more compelling than Shu’s anger toward Terri last week. That said, I still a hard time with the mix of serious emotional drama and quirky musical comedy – not with the idea of their mixture, but with the execution of the former in this particular instance (having finally started watching “Friday Night Lights” on DVD – I know, way behind the times – I can’t help but wonder if there is a riff/parody going on here: football captain betrayed by girlfriend trying to be the bigger man). We also got the plot line that apparently many fans have been dying to see: the promise of romance between Shu and Emma. I know a lot of readers will disagree, but the whole revelation of Terri’s deception and her final rejection by Shu (including his “I just don’t love you anymore” speech last night) happened a little too fast and a little too conveniently for my tastes. But I am excited to see what they will do with this story, now that they are giving it free reign in the coming season. I have great hope that it won’t be an easy happily-ever-after for those two, with Terri just dumped to the side.

Perhaps the best moment, and the one we’ve been waiting for all season, was the recognition of Mercedes as Rachel’s equal on the singing stage and the prospect of giving her the ballad solo. When she sang for the club in rehearsal and they all broke into spontaneous dancing, smiling, and applause, I was right there with them. At first, I was pretty pissed that she didn’t actually get the spotlight at sectionals, but I have to admit, along with Kurt, if anyone is going to belt it on the fly, give the mic to the girl whose been singing into her hairbrush since she was four. Perfectly annoying as she is, it was actually very gratifying to see Rachel basking in the applause she’s been dreaming of her whole life. I very much hope that in whatever comes next we see more acknowledgment of Mercedes as a force to be reckoned with.

A favorite minor moment: in the judges chambers. That is, I imagine, exactly what it is like inside the judges room for most high school arts competitions. Oh for all the hopes and dreams of high school divas across America pinned on the state’s assistant comptroller!

I don’t have a lot of predictions for the spring return, but I have a lot of hope that the show has found its stride and will be back with a bang sometime in March or April. As the cast closed the episode with Kelly Clarkson’s “My Life Would Suck Without You” (including moments from almost all their routines: hairiography anyone?) I couldn’t help but think I knew what they were singing about.

Posted by Kathryn.

Natalie is traveling this week, so please join the conversation with your comments and thoughts.

Read the full Glee conversation from start to finish.

Written by themothchase

December 10, 2009 at 10:04 am

3 Responses

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  1. It was a heart-warmer at the end for sure- some of the loose ends tied up. Finn finally learning the truth was a relief, along with Ken being truthful with himself that Emma just didn’t love him. The musical numbers were PERFECT, and it makes you wonder if this episode wasn’t song driven.
    The judges chambers were a surprise and probably not too far from what could really happen. That Rod (newscaster) is something else…but they did get it right by choosing McKinley as the winners! I loved the look on the Jane Adams instructor when McKinley was performing (I am doomed) that’ll teach ya to team up with Sue Sylvester, sister!
    I think Will still left the door open to Terri, even if it was just a crack…if Terri teamed up with Sue in the future it could get uglier! I do feel for Terri, but her betrayal of her husband was close to unforgivable. It did seem awful fast for Will to run into Emmas arms so we’ll see what happens there. I loved Emma standing up to the other teachers, and even Principle Figgins didn’t disappoint. He has the best inflections when he speaks, and did you catch his little wink to Will after he removed Sue from the Cheerios? I love Glee, there are always surprises and hilarious moments like the Jheri Curls comment, Sue’s fascination with Wills hair, Hoochie Ho’s, and a hockey player ice sculpture at a wedding reception.
    Until we meet again in April…

    Iheartglee

    December 10, 2009 at 11:22 am

  2. I see what you’re saying about Shu’s realization happening seemingly quickly. Though many folks I’ve talked to who are on the fence or not fans of the show thought it took him far too long to figure out the deception in the first place. (Personally, I’m a big fan of delayed gratification and wish more people were, too.)

    The scene with the judges was perfect, and unexpected. Something about calling themselves (and the audience) out just in case we start taking the competition too seriously.

    My roommate pointed me to this performance, what Mercedes’ aspired to be. If you dug that one, this might blow your mind: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kC_u_q-iND0

    Jenius

    December 10, 2009 at 2:20 pm

  3. Natalie here – so I just watched the finale of Glee…finally! I’ve been traveling and, wow, am I ever sad now that I missed getting to blog about this episode with Kathryn!

    So, for what it’s worth, let me just say – I love this Dreamgirls song! I’ve never seen Dreamgirls – play or movie – and I don’t know the rest of the soundtrack, but I actually have this one song on my ipod to listen to when I need a little pick me up (um, by ‘listen to’, please feel free to read, embarrassingly sing along with at the top of my lungs while driving down the highway).

    As one who has wanted Mercedes to get her break all season long, what a perfect moment. Goosebumps and teary eyes – I was right there with her, so proud of her, and wishing she could perform it at sectionals (but knowing full well she wouldn’t have sang the whole thing at school if she were going to do so). But i’m just thankful she got her moment to shine and be truly acknowledged as the star she is!

    Kurt’s right, Kathryn’s right – Rachel is the one to sing the ballad when it needs to be done on the fly, though, and I found myself weepy all over again when she also got her moment to shine…her moment in the spotlight. I feel like the songs she’s sang recently haven’t fully showcased her talent, but this Streisand number was perfect (btw – Jewish friends and gay friends I’ve chatted with all week long took that moment as a gift to their ongoing fandom of the show as Streisand has a particular loved position in both communities. I was proud of Glee for giving that gift! For all the ways we’ve wondered if they know what they’re up to with their various decisions, I think they absolutely knew on that call!)

    As for the Teri/Will scene – this was the chance where we actually got to see their acting chops, not with that nightmare scene from last week. I felt for Teri. I felt for Will. I felt the tragedy of the whole broken situation and it was good!

    In sum – I’m back on the Glee fan-club bus. And I can’t wait to watch next season with y’all!! Thanks for the comments all season long – we’ve loved getting your feedback!

    ox,
    Natalie

    themothchase

    December 16, 2009 at 2:22 pm


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