Review of Glee ‘Lights Out’

Sophie Warnes

glee lights out 300x225 Review of Glee Lights OutSPOILERS: Do not read this if you have not seen episode 20 series 4 of ‘Glee’

This series blog is following the Sky 1 broadcast schedule of ‘Glee’ in the UK.

Lights Out begins with Will Schuster (Matthew Morrison) telling the New Directions about the competition for Regionals and explaining that they have to ‘go big’ – when the power goes out. Their week of rehearsing anthems and big songs is now off the table – but they can still do ‘unplugged week’.

It’s not often we see Principal Figgins (Iqbal Theba) in action but his dry announcement at the beginning (“classes will continue and your brains are to remain in the ‘on’ positions”) raised a giggle or two.

Sam (Chord Overstreet) kicks off the acoustic songs with You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ by the Righteous Brothers. It’s an ok performance, and Ryder (Blake Jenner) joins in in the audience, which makes sense as both Sam and Ryder are hugely into old songs of that style.

Back onto storylines, Ryder (Blake Jenner) talks to Jake (Jacob Artist) about the fact that he shared secrets with this ‘Katie’ catfisher. Jake rightly tells him he should share secrets with people he actually knows rather than someone he doesn’t know on the internet.

We don’t find out who the catfisher is, but Ryder decides to bare all in his unplugged session. He sings R.E.M’s Everybody Hurts, as the candles flicker behind him, and we see shots of members of the Glee club being slushied. Kitty (Becca Tobin) watches intently throughout the whole scene, and when he says that he was molested as a child, Kitty takes him out to dinner and tells him about her experience with her friend’s older brother.

They both bond over their pasts – I hope that this is the start of a really beautiful friendship or even a romantic relationship. This is a side of Kitty we’ve rarely seen – she is capable of compassion and understanding, and this is a step forward for her. It’s just a shame that he blew her off to chat to ‘Katie’ online.

Sam and Artie (Kevin McHale) respond really badly to this – “It’s every teen boy’s fantasy” – completely ignoring that a fantasy is something you control; that in a fantasy, consent would be involved. It’s quite shocking that Will doesn’t intervene more strongly and actually explain the concept of consent to the two boys – after all, if Ryder’s abuse is ‘fantasy’ how can they possibly go out into the world and make responsible decisions about consent when they don’t understand the basics?

Elsewhere, we learn that thankfully, Sue (Jane Lynch) has not completely left Glee. One of my worries when she left after the shooting was that Glee would lose one of its star characters. Sue, it turns out, is very happy having left McKinley – she’s now running classes in the gym, and Blaine (Darren Criss) implores her to come back because coach Roz (NeNe Leakes) is terrible.

Becky (Lauren Potter) also misses Sue, and asks her to come back because Roz treats her really badly. Sue imagines herself bursting into Annie’s Little Girls song in response. Jane Lynch rarely sings on Glee, but this proves she really can belt it out when she wants or needs to.

The New Directions’ ‘acoustic’ performance of Queen’s We Will Rock You is great – the use of household objects as percussion instruments a la Stomp is so great and done really well in the context of having no electricity. It’s great, but I wish it had gone on longer, as it really was a different performance – we’ve not seen anything else as raw on Glee so far.

In New York, Rachel (Lea Michele) and Kurt (Chris Colfer) tell Santana (Naya Rivera) that she’s throwing her life away. Which is ironic because really, out of all of them, she is the strongest character in New York. Kurt, who is still working as an intern at Vogue (I’d actually forgotten), is called in to help Isabel (Sarah Jessica-Parker) with the New York Ballet Gala.

Santana, Isabel, Kurt and Rachel all sing At The Ballet from A Chorus Line. I don’t know the original context of the song but as the four of them were all talking about their links to ballet and when they first started dancing, this makes perfect sense. The set up of the song is so lovely, with all four of them at the front of the stage and pairs of ballet dancers behind them. In fact, I think this is my favourite performance of the episode, even though the song itself is not really my cup of tea. This shared appreciation for the ballet is used as a way to remind Santana of how much she loved dancing as a child, and puts her back in touch with something she is good at and really enjoys.

The episode ends with Billy Joel’s The Longest Time. It’s an alright performance but it’s not as great as it could have been and as good as they’ve been before – two weeks from Regionals, it’s a bit worrying. How are they going to win Regionals when they are putting on performances this average?

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