“Glee” recap (5.11): Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

 
 

Hey, remember Marley and Jake and Ryder’s love triangle? Yeah, me neither, but instead of tossing it like the cliched garbage it is, the writers have decided to trot it out as the final hurrah for these characters they kept slapping us in the face with the last season and a half. Right? I mean, next week is it for Lima, isn’t it? And it’s the 100th episode, so surely that’s going to be 100 percent Dianna Agron and Heather Morris‘ faces, yeah? How sad (and true to form) for these New New Directioners that Glee resurrected the dumbest story to take it exactly nowhere and then leave it in the desert to die. It’s the ultimate irony that the writers spent all that time trying to make the audience sympathetic to these new characters, but the real reason the characters had our sympathy is because they had these writers writing for them.

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Anyway, whatever. Jake comes to Marley Rose’s hotel room and chides her for not listing “Singer/Songwriter” as the occupation on her Facebook page, and instead of telling him that she is 16 years old and so she doesn’t really have an occupation, she tells him this is her last dance because some of her songs got rejected from a songwriting competition and now she’s going to join accounting club. He’s like, “What do you mean, rejected? Did you not include enough puppies and rainbows?” Yes, though! She did! Puppies and kittens and sea otters and cupcakes and rainbows and unicorns and balloons filled with stardust lifting us higher and higher into the heavens where the angels are all gay and the streets are made of Laffy Taffy!

Well, Ryder simply cannot believe this bullshit. He goes back to his room and tells Jake, who’s just lounging around without a shirt, that they’ve got to concoct a plan to save Marley Rose.

New Directions break into the theater the night before the competition and creep around with flashlights and talk about destiny. Sam has brought along a surprise for them: The Finn Plaque Rachel gave them at the end of “The Quarterback,” so they can rest easy that he’s watching over them.

I’m actually getting more and more frustrated about this Finn thing the further away I get from the episode. I mean, yes, of course Finn’s death would hang over these kids for a long, long, long time. And of course they’re going to think about him in times like these. But for me, “The Quarterback” was the goodbye Cory Monteith deserved. It was surprisingly understated and classy, and it was organically heart-wrenching in the extreme. To this very day, it’s still jarring to me when a Glee song shuffles onto my iPod and I hear Monteith’s voice.  But, I dunno, this episode feels cheap the way it trots out Finn’s memory to anchor the emotion. It’s the last Nationals we’ll ever see and probably the last time the new kids will even get to speak; there’s enough stuff there to play the audience’s heartstrings however you want, without resorting to this kind of manipulation.

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But that’s just me. I saw a lot of people saying a lot of nice things about this episode, about how mourning is like this in real life, which is true. It comes in waves and gets you when you’re up and pulls you crashing to the ground. But it feels lazy and cheap to me.

Jean Baptiste interrupts New Directions’ moment to tell them they won’t be showing any mercy just because their leader died, and also he kicks them out so Throat Explosion can march around on the stage like the Von Trapp kids.

The day of the competition, Carole is doing some last minute tailoring on Tina’s dress while she and Sam chatter away about whatever teenage life stuff. Carole snaps that at least they get to have a life, a thing she regrets as soon as she hears it come out of her mouth. Sam’s like, “Sorry, man. Tina is always doing that.” After the kids leave, Carole confesses that watching these seniors compete in their last Nationals is like watching Finn die all over again. It’s very sad. I cried, I won’t lie. And Romy Rosemont is always a marvel. I just begrudge Glee the tears it manipulated me into crying, is all.

Burt and Carole decide to skip out before the competition because it’s just too hard. I hug you, Carole. I hug you, Burt. I love you both.

Sam flips out when they arrive at the theater because Finn’s plaque is missing because Jean Baptiste stole it because of course he did. But Leader Sam will not be thwarted in his mission to lead! He says he still feels Finn’s spirit with them! He’s holding their hands! He’s cheering them on! Why is this making me so mad! I don’t understand!

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