Glee ‘Wonder-Ful’ – Season 4, episode 21
This series blog is following the Sky 1 broadcast schedule of ‘Glee’ in the UK.
Ahh, just what we need – another themed week! This week it’s – well, you may have guessed from the title – Stevie Wonder week.
Rachel (Lea Michele) rings Will (Matthew Morrison) to tell him that she got her second callback for the Funny Girl audition, thus cementing his reputation as one of the creepiest, most inappropriate, overly-attached-to-his-students teachers on TV. He’s supportive, but I just wonder whether his relationship with them is more of a friendship than a professional student-teacher relationship as it should be.
In quick succession, Will announces to the Glee Club that he and Emma (Jayma Mays) are engaged and due to be married soon, and Brittany (Heather Morris) is touring the MIT campus as she’s got an early acceptance.
Kurt (Chris Colfer) is back in Lima to see how his dad is doing, and Mercedes (Amber Riley) and Mike (Harry Shum Jr) have been called back to be vocal coach and choreographer respectively. It’s not that I don’t like the McKinley High alumni – I really do. I love Mercedes and Mike, but it’s frustrating that they are perpetually just on the edge of starting their new lives and they keep getting called back to their high school. It’s just strange – don’t they have any better things to do? The excuses for them being there are flimsy – Mercedes is filming the video for her upcoming single, and Mike is just there helping to choreograph. In other words, he’s not doing anything better.
Kurt’s You Are The Sunshine of My Life is far from Chris Colfer’s best song. It’s more about the sentimental meaning behind it. Burt (Mike O’Malley) is in remission, which is positive news all round, but it feels like a strange time to suddenly bring back what was a big event back around Christmas time, when no one has mentioned anything about it since.
Kitty’s (Becca Tobin) performance of Signed, Sealed Delivered, is perhaps her best performance this season, but her voice is still apparently naturally squeaky and irritating. It’s a good performance in other ways, though – the choreography is sparky and energetic which is just what we needed to perk the show up a bit. Her announcing his Film Academy news to the group is pretty unfair, but it’s quite a Santana-esque (Naya Rivera) thing to do. She does things no one will like, but she does it with a good heart.
With Kitty, I’m never sure if this is part of her psychological war with everyone in the group – whenever people have trusted her, she has trampled all over that trust and in any real situation, she would have burned her bridges long ago. Her concern for Artie not living out his dream – to the extent that she would go to his house and speak to his mother – is unsettling, precisely because she has never shown any such care over any other member of the Glee club other than Ryder (Blake Jenner) last week. The Ryder-Kitty confessional was a one-off, though. I’m not sure if I buy that Kitty is suddenly a good confidante or indeed a good friend to anyone in that room.
Mercedes shakes up the New Directions with a group performance of Superstition where she encourages Marley (Melissa Benoist) to do some running with her notes. The song is an obvious choice but it works really well in this instance. Mercedes and Mike ask Jake (Jacob Artist) to take part in her music video because he’s a great dancer. Not sure it’ll be a life-changing moment that she promises. His performance of I Wish isn’t bad but it’s not ground-shaking or as interesting in the way that Superstition was. He is a very good dancer, though!
Mercedes runs into trouble with her producer, in a harsh wake-up call to what it’s like to work in the music industry. She has to ‘show more skin’ on the CD cover, otherwise they won’t release it. In the end, she says no, risking the chance that she won’t actually be able to make it as an artist. I find it hard to believe that faced with the opportunity she would just throw it away like that, but then this ‘lesson’ is all about retaining artistic integrity. She takes the ‘Higher Ground’ as Mr Schue points out, and they duly start singing. The performance is quite good, but again it’s another obvious Wonder song to go for, and I would have liked to see something that isn’t as well-known.
Evil NYADA dance tutor Cassandra July (Kate Hudson) finds out about Rachel’s callback audition and brings her midterm test forward. However, instead of actually forcing her to do the midterm, she brings Rachel into the dance room and asks her classmates to celebrate her first big Broadway callback, with a performance of Uptight (Everything’s Alright). It turns out that all along, Cassandra was actually on Rachel’s side and just wanted her to do well. It’s a bit of a cop-out ending to what was a great storyline – the whole point was that Cassandra was supposed to hate Rachel and do everything in her power to stop her succeeding.
Blaine (Darren Criss) asks Burt for Kurt’s hand, and Burt rightly dismisses his dreams of being married to Kurt. He even points out Rachel and Finn (Cory Monteith) as an example of why it’s a terrible idea. Marriage, he points out, is “a big deal”. I love how Burt is always the voice of reason in Glee. It’s refreshing to find some logic and sensibility in a world where the most ridiculous things are apparently acceptable. Like wanting to get married to someone you aren’t even dating.
The last song, For Once In My Life, is led by Artie. Kevin McHale is a good singer but too often relegated to the background, so it’s good to see him sing lead vocals. It’s quite a saccharine performance, with candy colours and unending cheerfulness, but it’s a great upbeat Stevie Wonder song to end the episode on.
It feels like a themed episode was really shoehorned in this week, and I’m not sure why – Stevie Wonder is a great artist, no doubt, but I’m not sure if people their age would really fully appreciate him. No mention of the catfish tonight, and I imagine we’ll find out their identity by the end of the season. Who is it? Why is Kitty so lovely all of a sudden? What will happen at Rachel’s callback? What are you expecting will happen in the season finale next week?Tagged in: catfishing, cover, Glee, Stevie Wonder, wonder-ful
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