Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Glee-cap: 'Funeral' Filler Before Finals

"Glee" last night felt like Fox told Ryan Murphy, "Dude, you're an episode short!" So Ryan Murphy said, "Ummm, OK, let's figure out something. It's gotta be good!"

And it was good. But hardly anything happened in the overarching plot.

"Funeral" started out same as usual - Jesse St. James was back to be the glee club's consultant, and he announced that members would have to audition for the featured solo and they would build the show around them. Meanwhile, Sue is working with Will's evil ex-wife Terri, code named "Honey Badger," to reroute New Directions' plane to Libya so that they would be killed, or kidnapped and killed. Glee club drama plus Sue being evil? Same shit, different day.

But then the episode took a dark turn. When Becky, the Cheerio with Down's Syndrome, asks Mr. Schue if she can join the "Glee" club because Sue kicked her out, we find out that Sue's sister, Jean (who also has Down's Syndrome), just died and Sue is majorly grieving.

So this sets up our two plotlines. Glee club auditions, which is where the bulk of the music came from, and Sue's grief, which is where the bulk of the emotion came from.

Let's take the auditions first. In quick succession, Santana sang Amy Winehouse's Back to Black, Kurt sang Some People from Gypsy, Mercedes sang Try a Little Tenderness and Rachel sang My Man from Funny Girl. They all sounded great, but I would have given the solo to Santana in a heartbeat. I loved her Winehouseian growl! I also loved Kurt singing a song from Gypsy, but I am a slut for showtunes, especially songs that were once performed by Ethel Merman. (Kel agrees - she loves all things "Gypsy.") Mercedes was fierce, too, although I would love to hear her sing something other than R&B diva goodness. She's good at it, but she can do other things, dammit! And of course, I liked Rachel's song because, hello, slut for showtunes. Jesse chose Rachel, of course, since he wants to get into her panties. But at the end Schue decided that they'd be an ensemble after all.

The really interesting, realistic, sweet and OMG tearjerking part of the episode, though, was Sue. I realize that it's a big contrived to have an episode revolving around a character we barely know who is disabled and everything, but it's nice to see that Sue has a heart after all. I was touched by the glee club's offer to help Sue, spearheaded by Finn and Kurt - who have lost people very close to them too. Sue wondering why she wasn't dead instead of her sister, Sue not being able to face cleaning her sister's room at the nursing home, Sue not being able to finish her eulogy, Sue letting Becky back into the Cheerios as captain and giving her a hug - I have to say that I really feel Sue. She is ridiculous in her evilness, and yet she really is a good person at times. The glee club put together the funeral for Jean, and sang a very sweet rendition of "Pure Imagination" from "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory."

The only other bits of crap that happened in this episode:
  • Will is going to New York to be in April's show this summer. Is Matthew Morrison doing some contract negotiating?
  • Will's evil ex-wife is moving to Miami. We'll never see her again! Yay!
  • Sue is running for U.S. House of Representatives. If Jane Lynch leaves the show I will cry.
  • Finn broke up with Quinn. Also, Quinn has plans for New York City. Can they just go away? I am tired of their romance drama.
Overall, it was a nice episode of "Glee," in the sense that it kept me mostly interested and had some good music. I also liked having Jesse St. James back, because he is hot and funny and delightfully evil. But it had kind of a strange flow, because four of the five songs were bunched together in the middle of the episode. It was also a bit contrived to make everyone cry, but the emotions were realistic enough that it wasn't annoying like watching a movie based on a Nicholas Sparks novel or anything.

I'll leave you with some great quotes from the episode that made me laugh:

Sue calling Kurt & Finn "Eddie Munster and Herman Munster."

"You kind of sing and dance like a zombie that has to poop." - Jesse about Finn

"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.'" - Jesse

Jesse took class at USC on reality TV show judging, "so I am ready to give feedback that is both blistering and unhelpful."

"Maybe you can come on Fondue for Two and judge my cat." - Brittany to Jesse

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