November 8, 2012

Episode Review: GLEE, "The Role You Were Born to Play"

After a month off, Glee was back with a solid albeit a some what reserved (for this show at least) episode in "The Role You Were Born to Play."

A listless Finn was back at Burt's tire shop when Artie rolled up and asked him to co-direct the school musical with him. Of course, the mopey Hudson was hesitant because of his lack of confidence, but Artie did not take no for an answer. He eventually came on board, and with the help of Mike and Mercedes, they held rehearsals. Obviously, the two hotly contested roles were Danny and Sandy, and the four freshest faces were in contention. Marley had her heart set on Sandy, but a bitter Kitty had other plans. Meanwhile, newcomer Flynn Rider (or Ryder Lynn... I can't remember) went head-to-head with Jake to see who could fill out John Travolta's old T-Bird jacket. Elsewhere, Unique wanted to play Rizzo and was met with resistance from Sue, but Finn stood up for Wade assuming she could handle the backlash.

With Artie and Finn taking the lead with the musical, Will spent his time arguing with Emma about whether or not she'd accompany him to Washington. Both parties pleaded their cases to Coach Beiste, and Will admitted that he handled everything poorly so he asked Emma to join rather than insisted. She gave in, but Shannon could tell that she wasn't 100% into it. After a heart to heart, Emma confessed to Will that she'd rather be physically far from him and still emotionally close than vice versa. He agreed, and they realized that they were strong enough to spend a few months apart.

After such an earth-shattering episode, I appreciated how "The Role You Were Born to Play" was stripped down and only paid lip-service to what happened in New York. Focusing just on Finn and the musical was a smart move even though it was a risky one since the show spent so much time off the air and some fans probably wanted more relationship drama. And honestly, not going back and forth between NYC and Lima was a nice change of pace (much like splitting up the prison and Woodbury). I could have spent less time on the newbies and more time on Mike, Tina, Mercedes and Sam, but I get that we need to get to know them better if Glee wants to carry on. That said, I didn't hate the new love quadrangle as much as I should have.

My only gripe with the episode was the continual need to make Will and Finn into the most unlikable characters on the show. The scene between Will and Emma where he tried to justify his desire for her to join him was cringe worthy, and I couldn't help but scoff when she agreed to go. Thankfully, saner heads prevailed, and I was happy when Emma stood up for herself, but I didn't know why Will had to come off so badly.

As for Finn, he was having a fine episode until he stupidly dropped the r-word in reference to Sue's baby. Now, Finn's always been a reactive person who doesn't mean harm but says and does really moronic things, so in that regard it was somewhat in character, but this outburst was by far the most misguided. While I did not condone what he said to Kurt and Santana over the last couple of seasons, those moments were more understandable than what he did this time around. What was even more annoying was the fact that he didn't do anything to truly apologize in spite of his immediate regret. Yes, he was truly sorry and said as much, but he needed to do more. I just hope we're not done with Finn's road to redemption.

Other Odds and Ends:
  • Did any one else think Across the Universe when Blaine walked in the middle of a football practice while singing?
  • And we got a Julie Taymor name drop, so it couldn't have been coincidence.
  • Sam's reasons for playing Kenickie were brilliant.
  • I'm still happy that Blake Jenner won The Glee Project, but I hope he doesn't cut into Chord Overstreet's screen time since they're essentially playing the same character.
  • Good episode for Shannon the Cannon and all of her football analogies.
  • At least the show's acknowledging Sue's wishy-washiness. Only if they could stop writing the character that way.
  • Finn may have been mishandled this week, but his scene with Unique in the library was pretty great.
  • Sugar as Frenchy makes total sense.
  • As does Finn as the new director of New Directions... for now.
  • "I don't even gel on weekends."
  • "Wow, I've never seen Blaine so Masterpiece Theatre."
  • Kitty: "I don't understand, I prayed really hard about this."
    Joe: "Maybe, God didn't hear you because He was busy helping people with cancer."
So, "The Role You Were Born to Play" may not have been as pivotal as some past episodes, but I still liked its smallness and how it returned to its roots. Even though this world's filled with dramatic people doesn't mean it always has to be the same.


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