Review of Glee ‘The Break Up’
This week’s episode of Glee is one of the saddest so far and for me one of the best episodes out of all four seasons. It centres around four of our couples breaking up – Finn and Rachel, Blaine and Kurt, Santana and Brittany, and Will and Emma.
It’s full of emotion and stretches the cast members to act beyond high school characters. It almost feels like a rite of passage, where Glee tackles adult issues about relationships and where the characters are pushed to their emotional limit.
The last episode saw Finn (Cory Monteith) turn up at Rachel’s (Lea Michele) apartment in the middle of her date with Brody (Dean Geyer). This week, she’s trying to make things right with Finn and get things back to how they used to be.
Blaine (Darren Criss) and Kurt, who have been on the rocks for a while also split up after Blaine cheats on Kurt with someone else. Elsewhere, Will (Matthew Morrison) gets the Blue Ribbon job in Washington and asks Emma (Jayma Mays) to join him. She’s upset at the notion that she is expected to drop everything for him – good on her for standing her ground!
The song choices were excellent and spot-on this week. Firstly, there was a cover of Duncan Sheik’s Barely Breathing, sung by Blaine and Finn – perhaps not well-known in the UK but it’s still a great cover version. Demi Lovato’s Give Your Heart A Break is another stand-out acoustic cover in this episode, sung by Brody and Rachel at a local karaoke bar. A few minutes afterwards, Blaine performs a powerful and emotional rendition of Teenage Dream. It’s moving and as viewer it felt difficult to watch as he struggled through tears to sing.
This then leads to a pretty fantastic sequence with Finn, Blaine, Rachel and Kurt singing No Doubt’s Don’t Speak. The editing in this sequence has been done really well, whereas usually it doesn’t stand out too much. We see the couples in famous spots in New York City singing together, then it shows split screens of them getting into bed (as Blaine and Finn have nowhere else to stay), showing how difficult it is to be in a long-term relationship.
Back in Ohio, Santana (Naya Rivera) realises that she and Brittany (Heather Morris) can’t be together because long distance relationships are too difficult and unfair on them both. She sings Taylor Swift’s Mine to her, and then breaks up with her.
Kitty (Becca Tobin) has convinced a group of students that the Rapture is coming and it’ll be the end of days. This originally aired in the US in October, a couple of months before the Mayan Apocalypse date, and a few months after there were panics about a Rapture – Glee often sneaks in references and take-offs of current affairs or cultural references, which are quite amusing.
However, it’s all about break-ups this week, so the episode nears the end with Rachel explaining to Finn how she feels. It’s interesting that we see her hold her own, get angry with Finn and well, grow up a lot in a short space of time. Glee is hardly feminist fodder but it’s nice to see the female characters occasionally hold their own (like Rachel and Emma) and refuse to back down or compromise for their partners.
The episode ends with a great version of The Scientist sung by all the couples on stage at McKinley High. Not the best song in the episode but still a fairly good one compared to other songs in this series so far.Tagged in: Blaine, Brittany, Brody, Chris Colfer, Dean Geyer, Finn, Glee, Kurt, Lea Michele, Santana
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