Glee Season 2 Episode 21: Funeral
Well, you can’t say the creators of Glee don’t know how to manipulate the audience’s emotions. So much so, that even cynical, critical bitches like us didn’t at first think to question the, shall we say, cheapness of spending a good portion of the episode mourning the death of a developmentally disabled character who only appeared in 2 or 3 scenes throughout the entire 2 seasons of the show. From a writing perspective, it’s an unearned emotion. That is to say, it has almost nothing to do with the main plot or even the main characters (since Sue can hardly be called a main character after her erratic appearances this season); it’s simply a ploy to wring tears out of the audience. And frankly, it’s a little gross how this show has a history of trotting out the developmentally or physically disabled in order to get the audience to cry.
Having said that, we cried. Oh, yes. But we defiantly maintain that the massive lumps in our throat were not due to superior writing, nor were they attributable to an affection toward the character of Jean. After all, like we said, she’s not a character we knew very well. She’s always been an occasional tool to remind the audience that despite her actions, Sue isn’t a monster, which, in itself is a pretty cheap writing ploy. Sue has done increasingly horrible things since the show started. She was originally a tough coach who morphed into something of a sociopath. Since her actions became more and more reprehensible, the writers trotted out a developmentally disabled sister once or twice just to remind the audience that Sue is human. No, our watery eyes were due to one thing only: the skill of Jane Lynch. What a shame this fine actress has been wasted so much this season. Imagine if they’d really given her something to do all season besides being a supervillain. Imagine if Sue had an arc where she grew and came to an understanding after her loss, rather than having her go from rage-filled howler monkey to tearful sister with one off-screen death.
And does anyone really believe her turnaround at the end of the episode? What’s the point of Sue if she’s kind and friendly to Will? Will they explain her inevitable sudden return to villainy when it comes? Probably not. At best, we’ll get a sarcastic “I changed my mind” and the entire point of this episode will be forgotten. Just bring on the finale, Glee. It’s time to wrap this season up and hope they can get the show back on track next season. Yes, we cried, but we felt a little dirty about it the next morning.
Most of the songs were afterthoughts, so we’re just giving them a quick rundown. The Jesse St. James sub-plot has been annoying as hell. Once again, Will, the supposed best teacher ever, turns the reins of the glee club over to a cruel jackass who turns the members against each other while he impotently rolls his eyes or looks concerned. Whatever.
They should just turn the entire Amy Winehouse catalog over to Santana. We could listen to her growl all day.
Ugh. Look, we’ll always defend the show for portraying a flamboyant gay kid, but it would be nice if Kurt occasionally showed any interest in singing a song written for a man. We originally liked that he challenged the gender conventions, but now it’s coming off a little odd that he only wants to sing songs written for female characters. Besides, Mama Rose requires a powerhouse, hence, Merman and Lupone, among others. Chris has a very sweet voice, but he can’t exactly project to the back row.
Love this song and love her rendition, but we miss the sassy Mercedes who killed it on “Bust ya Windows.” Writers: the black girl doesn’t always have to sing classic soul and R&B.
Y’know, if it were up to us, Mercedes would have won this little competition. Rachel is very good, but if you’re going to do a note-for-note Streisand impersonation, you’re only going to look weaker in comparison to the original. Still, we had to laugh at the look on Kurt’s face because we had the exact same look at the exact same time.
[Video Credit: hulu.com - Screencaps: tomandlorenzo.com]