|Sue and Becky|
I’d heard a lot of rumors and theories about who the “Funeral” would be for in the penultimate episode of Glee, but Sue’s sister Jean never crossed my mind. Some thought it might be Kurt’s dad, though I knew they wouldn’t off the brilliant Mike O’Malley and leave poor Kurt orphaned. I’d heard it might be Becky, which sounded plausible and wasn’t too far off. I thought it might be Karofsky – based on the whole prom episode and the timeliness of gay teen suicides, I thought Glee might go there.
I’m sad that Jean is gone, because it was through her character that we first got to see the softer side of Sue. But that said, I thought the storyline was done very well and I really hope the development will be a catalyst to provide Sue Sylvester with better material in the third season. As this second season has progressed, I grew tired of her constant plots to take down the glee club. She’s a great character, but she hasn’t been used well this season. This episode proved that she can be softer and still throw some barbs around – after all, she managed to insult Will’s hair while at her sister’s funeral. That’s quite something.
We learned of Jean’s death almost immediately in the episode, so we weren’t left hanging wondering who would be the one to die. But I didn’t really feel anything until the funeral scene.
We knew something was up immediately when Becky told Will that Sue had kicked her off the Cheerios. She wanted to join the glee club instead, but it would have been too difficult to incorporate her into the group only a week before Nationals. Will told her he’d be happy to have her audition in the fall, and then he went to tear Sue a new one.
Sue didn’t string Will along, she just told him the truth. Becky reminds Sue of her sister, and her sister had passed away. She’d been ill, she’d told Sue not to spend the night at the nursing home, and then in the middle of the night Sue got the call. You have to hand it to Jane Lynch – she played every scene in the episode with heart-wrenching guilt, sadness and broken emptiness. Even as she delivered some great one-liners, there was a depressed hollowness that echoed.
Kurt and Finn immediately stepped up to try and help Sue out because they both know what it feels like to lose someone so important. Finn might have been a baby when his father died, but he grew up with that emptiness. If it had been anyone else it would have felt insincere, and I felt like that was somewhat acknowledged when Santana said she didn’t want to put the “fun” in funeral for Sue Sylvester. The glee club had no reason to want to help Sue, and Kurt and Finn were the only kids with the life experience to look past that. They offered to have the glee club sing at the funeral, and Sue agreed – but only for two reasons. One, they would also help her collect Jean’s belongings from the nursing home, a necessary task that Sue found even the idea of to be unbearable. She was also worried that because Jean didn’t know many people, no one would come to the funeral. At least with the glee club there, people might show up.
Jerk St. James
Jesse was back again this week, this time acting as an adviser for New Directions. Unfortunately, I felt like we could all see right through his plot – he was back only to make things right with Rachel by manipulating Will into giving Rachel the role of soloist at Nationals.
|Battle of the Broadway Divas|
As much as I dislike Jesse, though, I did like the four auditions we got to see. It was a nice throwback to when we first met these kids, and how far they’ve come. Santana didn’t even audition back then, and now she’s one of the strongest vocalists in the group. I loved her on “Back to Black” – she has all of Amy Winehouse’s swagger and none of the gross drug problems. Kurt absolutely killed it with “Some People” from Gypsy, though his outfit left something to be desired. And Mercedes brought down the damn house with “Try a Little Tenderness”. But Jesse criticized them all. He said Santana wasn’t good enough, Kurt shouldn’t sing songs meant for women, and that Mercedes didn’t practice enough.
Then Rachel came out and, yes, was amazing on “My Man” from Funny Girl. I think it’s hard to compare Rachel and Mercedes because they’re such different singers – it’s like comparing Barbra Streisand and Aretha Franklin, you just don’t.
Jesse used the skills he’d learned from a course on being a reality TV show judge (apparently the one class he actually attended during his brief college career) to work and tried to convince Will that Rachel should have the solo. I knew Will wouldn’t be manipulated so easily, but I didn’t like the outcome. Instead of naming Rachel as the soloist, Will decided that the glee club should go back to what got them to Nationals and perform original songs. Ugh. I’m sorry, but I just can’t get on board with this original song stuff. They’re cheesy and lame and I don’t want to listen to them. Personally, I think Glee is at its best when everyone (or almost everyone) gets to sing a little. Not everything has to be a Finn/Rachel duet. That’s what “Don’t Stop Believin'” 2.0 is better than the first cover they did. I’ll try to reserve judgment until I see the songs performed during next week’s season finale, but my hopes are not high.
New York, New York!
Meanwhile, Will has his own plans for New York – he’s spending the summer there to star in April Rhodes’ musical with her. He says he’ll be back at the end of the summer, and I believe him. There’s no way they’re writing Matthew Morrison out of this show, and I think it’s time we got to see Will and Emma be an actual couple. As they packed up Will’s ample collection of vests you could just feel the chemistry between them. And I’ve always believed that Will is significantly less annoying when Emma is around.
Also? I loved how Emma came to school wearing Will’s ugliest vest, which apparently was the one he had on when he met her. So cute. Though she looked way better in her gorgeous green cardigan. If it weren’t for Emma, I don’t think I’d be on board with this whole Will goes to Broadway summer storyline. But watching her smile as she told him to go chase his dreams and then cry as she walked away, I like what it does for their storyline together. I just hope the writers actually follow through and put them together. There’s never been a better time – John Stamos is out of the picture and so is Terri.
|Honey Badger, Panda Express and Sue|
Yes, Terri is gone, at least for now. I like how this storyline was concluded. She was reeled into Sue’s evil plot to take down the glee club, but she never seemed as though her heart was really in it. So after she helped Sue mess with the club’s airline tickets to New York by re-routing them through Libya, she made things right by scoring them new, better tickets. And she took a manager job with Sheets ‘n’ Things in Miami. I’m glad Terri is getting the possibility of a happy ending out of all this. Yes, she was a villain. But there were also times you had to feel bad for Terri – she was desperately trying to hold onto her high school sweetheart, her husband, and he was in love with another woman. No wonder she was crazy. Now she can move on in a new, fun city.
The funeral that Kurt and Finn put together, which was an homage to Jean’s favorite movie Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory was beautiful. I loved seeing how touched Sue was by the fact that so many people had shown up for Jean’s funeral. That even though she’d been in a nursing home, she’d touched a lot of lives and meant something to a lot of people. Even the moment where Will read Sue’s eulogy because she was too overcome with emotion felt sweet rather than schmaltzy. You couldn’t help but get choked up.
The glee club’s rendition of “Pure Imagination” was gorgeous, and Sue was thankful for everything they did. She told Will she wasn’t going to mess with the glee club anymore, and I hope that’s for real. Sue Sylvester is a good supporting character and I think if they try they can find a new, better use for her. I loved that Sue reinstated Becky as captain of the Cheerios and blamed the whole episode on menopause, and I’m tentatively intrigued about her pledge to run for office. Normally I’d find that ludicrously far-fetched, but I liked the points the show made about poor funding.
After the funeral, Finn dumped Quinn. While I wasn’t a fan of this relationship, the timing of the breakup was atrocious. Finn seems like such a bi-polar character. One minute he’s doing nice things, like sticking up for Kurt or planning Jean’s funeral. The next, he’s being an insensitive jerk by hooking up with Quinn while she’s still with Sam or dumping someone right after a funeral. Is he a nice guy or a jerk? Choose!
Quinn says she has big plans for the trip to New York, so I’m dying to see what those will be. Will she try and move there to become a model/waitress? I, for one, am very excited about the glee club’s trip to New York even though I’m not thrilled about the promise of original songs. I even bought a pair of shoes that Rachel wears in the episode.
What did you think of “Funeral”? Did it tug at your heartstrings? Now, check out these highlights from the episode:
- “You kind of sing and dance like a zombie who has to poop.” – Jerk St. James
- Jesse: “I’m sorry, I didn’t know we were in this to win the “Good Try” ribbon at Nationals. We’re in it to win the whole damn thing, and there’s only one way we can do that.”
Brittany: “Poison darts?”
- “Honey badger, I am lactating with rage.” – Sue
- Sue: “Your nickname is Panda Express.”
Howard (is his name Howard?): “But I’m not Chinese.”
Sue: “Neither is the food at Panda Express.”
- “I’m allergic to pansies. And I don’t mean that as a swipe to either of you.” – Sue
- “Oh, Will. I wouldn’t dare lean on you. There’s so much grease in your hair I’d probably slide right off.” – Sue
- “I only agreed under the condition that Frankenteen and Lady Trousers help me clean out Jean’s room at the nursing home. They look like they could use the exercise and I like the idea of using your glee club as unpaid labor.” – Sue
- “Thank you for coming. Jean always stood up for you when I told her stories about how evil your hair was.” – Sue
- “So, Jesse, maybe you can come on Fondue for Two and judge my cat?” – Brittany