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Glee - Episode 4.04 - The Break Up - Review


Are you okay? Are there dried tear stains on your face? It's okay to come out now. Last nights epic episode of Glee might have been its biggest yet. No there were not fancy guest stars, no crazy dance routines and no one died, it's worse everyone broke up! Well almost everyone.

Ryan Murphy called 'The Break Up', "the best episode we've ever done." Those are big words coming from the man who has trouble ever finishing a thought and doesn't seem to understand the meaning of continuity. And yet we were inclined to believe him because this time he wasn't wrong.

Last nights episode embraced that horrifying thought of what do you do when love isn't enough? In Ryan Murphy's case you break everyone up and then watch as hundreds of thousands of fans crumble to the floor in a sobbing heap.

All those bench mark relationships that made Glee glee were pushed to their brink last night in what is easily Glee's most emotional charged episode to date. But lets be clear, it wasn't emotional and heartbreaking just to be....it was because it's what had to be. Confused?

FinchelForever!: For the past month every Friday all the Finchel fans came out to show their support on Twitter and Tumblr for their favourite TV couple, no it didn't help Finn and Rachel from breaking up but it defiantly showed just how beloved this couple is. 

After Finn shows up in New York we learn that he was discharged from the Army because he shot himself in the leg by accident. He then decided to back pack through Georgia instead of contacting Rachel. Finn is unfortunately back to feeling like a 'Lima loser' a failure because he wasn't able to redeem his father. Rachel who doesn't believe this is true wants to help him find his path and suggests that he shadow her in all her classes this week and maybe that will help Finn find his dream at NYADA. From last season we know this wasn't going to happen, he's lost and confused and he can't be forced into someone else's life. I have to admit I was kind of bummed at how quickly they dismissed Finn in the Army. It could have been really great character growth for Finn, instead the writers completely shot that storyline in the leg.

They seem to find themselves slipping into their relationship like no time has passed, unfortunately its not that easy to ignore the real world. A night out doesn't prove to be much better when Finn suggests that Rachel sing a duet with Brody, although she had wanted to sing it with him, he hasn't sung since Nationals. All too quickly Finn realizes that it wasn't a great idea because he can sense that something is up between Brody and Rachel. (Side note: why was Brody just lurking around? Doesn't he have any other ingénues to harass!)

Finn finally confronts Rachel about her relationship with Brody and she admits that she did kiss him but it didn't mean anything. I have to give the writers props during this scene because I was so worried that they would have Finn accuse Rachel of cheating on him, even though she didn't. (side rant: you can't cheat on someone who put you on a train, told you to surrender and that if we're meant to be one day we will be, and then not talk to them for four months. End rant) instead Finn realizes what a mistake he made by leaving her the way he did. They go to bed without speaking and the next day he leaves without saying goodbye. There's a nice moment between Finn and Kurt and it was nice to see the evolution of their relationship as brothers progress.

Finn wanders back to Lima and once again finds himself crying on the shoulders of Mr. Schue. While Finn's journey from High School Hero to real life zero, seems to ping pong back and forth its not an unrealistic one. I'm 2 years out of University and have never felt more unsure of my future, Finn being lost and unsure is not at all uncommon or at all stretched. Cory plays it with such honesty that as a viewer you can't help but scream at the TV, I get it! I'm lost too!  Cory is never given enough credit for his role on Glee, sure Finn is almost always aloof and confused but he's the Everyman he's the guy who doesn't need big dreams and unrealistic ideals to be content. He just needs a path to follow that doesn't deviate when things get tough. In some ways Finn's dream, what ever it may be, will be much harder to achieve then say, Rachel's of being on Broadway which is an inevitability. 

The past two episodes have been setting up a storyline and maybe a path for Finn that involves him taking over the Glee club once Mr. Schue is gone. It's not a bad idea but also completely predictable. While I have no doubt Finn will realize that teaching may be his path in life I wished for something more, something that won't hold him to Lima. It's Finn who suggest Grease for the glee club musical so it's no doubt he'll be running that show, let's hope its not for too long.

Rachel eventually catches up with Finn in Lima. If you ask Finn fans or Finchel fans they will almost always tell you that Finn is the heart of Glee, he's kind of the glue that holds it all together - he has his feet in both worlds. It's true he does, but the representation of Glee, what Glee is, what makes it tangible is completely on Lea Michele's shoulders. Last seasons aptly named, car scene was one of Glee's most emotional scenes to date, that is until the writers told Lea Michele to break our hearts!

Rachel confronts Finn in the auditorium where she states it's kind of their Jerusalem, all paths lead back to this place. This is where Finn proposed to her, where they shared their first kiss its also the place where they first sang together. All of that just makes it harder for her, she admits that she hated Finn for putting her on that train and letting her go, but realized that he did it because he loved her and that's what a man does, that's what a man looks like. We were told in the beginning of the season that we'd see a stronger Rachel a more grown up person and we did. I was happy to see Rachel fight back, to be mad that he left her for four months without a single call or text. He says he did it for her own good but Rachel is quick to fire back that she's grown woman and he needs to stop deciding what's best for her. 

Rachel then takes you to a whole new place when Finn admits that he doesn't fit into her life, that this new her is better off with someone like Brody. She makes it so heartbreakingly clear that she is always going to be that girl that freaked him out during their first glee club rehearsal , that he was the first person to ever make her feel loved, sexy and visible   He's her first love and she wants more than anything for him to be her last. But for now they have to go their separate ways.

There was a lot of hype about this episode but more importantly this scene and there is no question that Lea Michele stole the show. All she needs is five minutes and you'll be a mess in her hands. She possess such a unique quality that pushers her above and beyond what a simple musical Comedy should be. When that's paired with the quality of acting that Cory brings these two are untouchable and I have no doubt Lea just won her way to her first big award and Cory's likely to get his first nomination. This was easily her best scene to date and I don't doubt she has more to give.

Klaine's Teenage Dream: Blaine and Kurt can't seem to catch each other at the same time, an obvious strain on their relationship. Blaine doesn't feel loved or wanted and Kurt's struggling to balance work and having a long distance relationship. Things don't end well, after serenading Kurt with a stripped down version of Teenage Dream (sung and arranged by Darren Criss),  things that were already uncomfortable got a whole lot worse when Blaine admits he cheated. It's a shocking revelation and one that absolutely breaks your heart. I will admit that Blaine has been getting on my nerve ever since last season, I find him to be so whinny and needy and this episode was no different. But Darren Criss is a performer and if him singing that live version of Teenage Dream wasn't enough to break your heart in half, then his guilt of what he did sure will.

Kurt is almost as overly emotional as Rachel, but Chris Colfer sets a beautiful pace in the moment he finds out about Blaine cheating. You can read it on his face how unforgivable that act is and if there was ever a doubt that Klaine would be done for good its absolutely made possible in this scene. Their relationship is left up in the air, Blaine's unsure if Kurt broke up with him, as viewers we're unsure. But I'll say this it doesn't look good.

Brittana: Santana is back....to do her laundry. She's devised a system that has her coming back home every few weeks to do laundry and see Brittany. Santana is loving college but like everyone else is struggling with not seeing her girlfriend. The effects of that have rubbed harder for Brittany who makes it very known that Santana left Brittany behind. It's hard to take this relationship seriously when the writers refuse to give Heather Morris any real acting moments, thankfully this episode they did. 

While Naya is more known to carry the emotion of the relationship it was actually watching Heather Morris watching Santana sing that broke my heart. There is an innocence to Brittany that people can't tap into, which almost always means she's likely to see things we don't. She knows her relationship with Santana isn't working and like Santana says they need to do the mature thing. We don't know what that Mature thing is, it appears that they are going to go back to their friends with Benefits arrangement, sex isn't dating. I have to admit this was kind of a let down, the writers completely flacked with these two and instead are writing off the relationship. It was emotional and heartbreaking but I am still left unsure.

Wemma: He's leaving, he wants her to go with him, she doesn't want to leave her job. I don't have time for their issues!

Kitty, Jake and Marley: There wasn't much time spent on them for obvious reasons but some good stuff did come out of this. Kitty is borderline crazy and has been reading Left Behind for far to long. She said so many offensive things in the span of 5 seconds I wasn't actually able to catch them all but I know I was offended. Marley and Jake clearly like each other enough for him to share two secrets about himself, he uses free food coupons and he's a dancer. Jake stands up to Kitty when she offends Marley and then breaks up with her, it won't end well.


The music this week was easily the best so far. Each song was emotional driven by storyline and actor.

Barely Breathing - Finn and Blaine: Finn's shadowing Rachel and Blaine can't get a hold of Kurt. They're both running in a never ending circle of uncertainty. It's enough for Finn to realize that he can't be forced into someone else's life and dreams, he needs to figure them out on him own. Download/Pass, it's not a great song but both Cory and Darren sound good. It was good for the montage. (Side note: it was written by Duncan Shiek who wrote the music and lyrics for Spring Awakening Lea's big Broadway show)

Give Your Heart a Break - Rachel and Brody: I loved the atmosphere of the song and I hope the writers continue to use Callbacks for impromptu performances. Lea sounded great, she lacked the emotion that Demi Lovato brings to the song for obvious reasons but she was great. Dean sounded good as well, he doesn't have a strong voice and you can tell Lea had to hold back just a little. Download, it's a good song regardless of the fact that I wish it were a Finchel duet. 

Teenage Dream - Blaine/Darren Criss: It's split because the writers actually allowed Darren to use his own arrangement for the song. As you can tell it was live and I would suggest that Glee does this more often, singing live brings in all new emotions. It was painful to watch Blaine fall apart on top that Piano but the message was there and it was beautiful. Download/Pass. Katy Perry music gets over played almost more than anyone but this is a new arrangement so it is worth the download. The version released is studio quality but there is the live version floating around Tumblr some where.

Don't Speak - Finchel and Klaine: One of my all time favourite songs ever! It's so much more heartbreaking when you can put faces to it. Finn's at a loss about where he stands in Rachel's life and Kurt's about to lose the love of his life. The lyrics match the emotion. Perfect fit. Download

Mine - Santana: Naya is a hell of a ballad-ire  My emotions were in check until she started to sing this, then I broke. The emotion is intense but spot on. My only issue was I wish they'd give Brittana different scenery  why is it always in the choir room, it's almost like they're still hiding. Download. It's Taylor Swift just sung better. Naya kills it, vocally she sounds flawless.

The Scientist - Finchel, Klaine, Wemma and Brittana: The lyrics alone are enough to tell you that its going to hurt watching this. Vocally everyone sounded spot on. It's Cory's opening lines, "come up to meet you, tell you I'm sorry," and Lea's belting at the end that do me in. The nail in the coffin was the flashbacks of each couple. Nice touch Glee, nice touch.  Download. This will forever be on repeat and I imagine it will make its way up that iTunes chart. When Glee does it right you can feel it.

Over all this episode is 4.5/5 there are small character details with Brittana and Klaine that I wish were different and clearer but overall it was spot on. My heart is broken for Finchel but I think the writers absolutely captured their relationship and the hardship of it all. I have no doubt that they will be together again. I have faith for all the couples.

Scene of the night: Rachel setting Finn free. Lea Michele was so spot on that it's impossible to not feel everything she is saying. But there was also hope that one day they will be together again.

Song of the Night: The Scientist I really don't need to explain why, you all get it.

What did you guys think? What scene made you cry? What break up hurt the most? Let me know!

Reminder Glee is now officially on Hiatus until November 8th because of the Presidental Elections.







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