Thursday, May 26, 2011

Glee 2.21: "Funeral"

Since I was going crazy with finals and such recently, Sarah was nice enough to do the write-up for the penultimate episode of this season of "Glee," called "Funeral."


“In the history of our relationship, I have said many things to you. But there is one thing I’ve never said. Good luck. You have something that Jean had that I do not have. A pure heart.”
- Sue

So I have to say right up front that this was not one of my favorite episodes of “Glee”. There really was very little to move the overall plot forward (not that there’s really been much of a cohesive season-long arc). But we begin with Will announcing that Jesse is going to be the New Directions show choir consultant. Finn is not pleased with this at all. He and Jesse get into it (not to the extent at prom of course), and Jesse thoroughly insults Finn. At Jesse’s suggestion, Will is holding auditions to see who will sing lead at Nationals (everyone else will just sing/dance behind them). Finn is really pissed and tells Rachel he’s not auditioning. This storyline is rather pathetic, so I’m getting it out of the way now. We get Rachel, Mercedes, Santana and Kurt trying out to sing lead. Jesse summarily tells everyone but Rachel they suck. He says he’s practicing to be a reality show judge and has to be mean and demeaning. I really just wanted to smack him in the face with a large book (and trust me I’ve got plenty). Will is pretty against the whole thing at this point, and I’m glad he isn’t just letting Jesse string him along. I mean yes, Jesse is pretty to look at, but he’s dumber than Finn in some respects. I mean come on! Did he really think he wouldn’t have to attend non-show choir classes in college to pass? Is he really that stupid? Apparently he is. Rachel is really not bright in the men she chooses. At least Finn was sort of dopey and sweet early on.

We next find Sue, Terri and one of the guys who was in Acafellas with Will hacking Figgins’ e-mail account. They’re going to divert the Glee club’s flight to New York for Nationals through Libya so that they’ll either just be killed or kidnapped and killed. Terri remarks that Sue really woke up on the wrong side of the bed that morning. No kidding. We learn why soon enough. Becky approaches Will with her mom about joining the Glee club because Sue kicked her off the Cheerios. Will says he’d love to have her in the fall, but he couldn’t let her join right then and there since they were only a short time away from Nationals. He then rounds on Sue rather angrily for kicking Becky out. And thus begin the big storyline of the episode. We learn that Sue’ sister, Jean, died that morning from pneumonia. Sue is extremely pissed off and wants to be left alone. Now I normally hate Sue being a complete and utter terror to Will and the Glee kids, but I have to say, I was at least glad they made her human. More on that in a minute.

Next we kind of randomly see Emma helping Will pack up his apartment so he can hit the road right after Nationals for April’s play on Broadway. Guess he really did decide he’s going. He hasn’t told the kids yet though. His reasoning appears to be that since he’ll be back before summer’s over (come on, it’s April Rhodes- she’s bound to fail), they don’t need to know. It’s a cute scene, but a bit on the random side. Meanwhile, news has now spread about Sue’s sister because Kurt and Finn show up with flowers and sympathies. Kurt really understands about losing someone you love. Sue kind of freaks out on them and yells at them that she doesn’t want to feel how she does any more and how exactly are they going to make it all better? A perfectly human response with just the tiniest hint of Sue thrown in. Much better than how she normally is. She says she can’t go back to Jean’s room at the nursing home to pack up her things, sand she won’t plan a funeral. So Finn and Kurt go back to the Glee club and Finn says they should do a service for Jean. The kids are a little apprehensive (Jesse completely shoots it down), but Finn, taking charge, says they’re doing it (and Will is behind them). Sue has agreed to let the kids hold the service because Kurt and Finn agreed to help Sue clean out Jean’s room.

So we find Kurt and Finn helping Sue sort through all of Jean’s things. They’ve sorted into piles the things that Sue doesn’t need to keep, like old newspapers and magazines, things she’ll definitely want to keep (photos and such), and a pile of thing they weren’t sure of. I’ve got to hand it to them, they’re at least smart about how they’re approaching it. Sue tells them to toss it all (except a stuffed elephant that Jean had since she was six). When the boys try to tell her that the things she wants them to toss have memories of Jean, she snaps at them that she’s got plenty of memories of her sister. And she’s expecting the kids to ruin Jean’s funeral. Kurt asks why Sue is letting them plan the service if she thinks they’re just going to screw it up, and she says that Jean didn’t have many friends, and she thought with the glee kids, at least it would be a full house. That’s really quite sad now that I think about it.

The funeral is lovely. A lot of people from the nursing home are there, plus the kids. Sue gets up to read the eulogy, but she breaks down. In a move of great kindness, Will gets up and reads it for her. She doesn’t snap at him or anything. In fact, she really seems grateful for his help. Kurt and Finn have decorated in front of Jean’s casket with cartoon mushrooms and other things that remind them of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (her favorite film). The kids then get up and sing “Pure Imagination” (which I think is from the original film). It was sweet and we heard some solos from different people like Kurt and Tina and Artie. Very nice. After the funeral, it looks Finn is giving Quinn a ride home when he breaks up with her. She’s really pissed (she’s such the drama queen), and Finn stares at Rachel as she leaves the funeral parlor longingly. But it looks like she’s not quitting Glee club. She tells Finn the next day during rehearsal that it would mess up her New York plans if she quit now.

So after thinking on the auditions over the weekend, Will nixes the whole idea of having only one person sing lead, so they are back to writing original songs as a group. They’ll do a group number and a duet, and they’ve only got the week to write the songs (again, it’s nearly impossible to write really good songs in a week if you aren’t doing it on a regular basis!). Additionally, Sue tells Will she’s calling off her hatred of the Glee club. She’s quite thankful for them and Will in helping with Jean’s funeral. She tells him that he has a pure heart, something Jean had too. Sue’s going to focus her attention now on government (she felt the pain of rising healthcare costs). And she’s let Becky back on the Cheerios and promoted her to head of the squad for the new season. Maybe we’ll get some actual good use out of the character now. Additionally, it seems we are losing Terri (thankfully) as well. She managed to score first class tickets to New York for the kids to make up for the ticket fiasco earlier, and she’ going back to Miami to be manager of a Sheets N’ Things (which if you knew she was on Nip/Tuck before, is really funny). Overall, a somewhat decent episode. I still don’t 100% trust Sue’s intentions to leave the Glee kids alone, but we’ll see how Nationals turns out.

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