There is sadness in Lima, Ohio, today, everyone. And possibly also in the sketchy New York neighborhood where Rachel and Kurt live.
I am not sure if it counts as a spoiler alert when discussing a “Glee” episode called “The Break-Up” to say that almost everyone in this episode broke up. If it does, well ...
Blaine and Kurt? Looking pretty done. Santana and Brittany? So over. Will and Emma? Well, not over per se, but having some issues. Rachel and Finn, though? Oh, guys, wow. The end. The end of Finchel. It was sad because Lea Michele is such a good cryer, and cried in a most upsetting fashion during their relationship-culminating scene. But on one level not sad at all because — I’m sorry, Gleeks — I never cared for the word Finchel. It gives me the willies. Kind of like the word webinar.
But I’m getting off-message here. Back to the message, as expressed by this clearly distraught “Glee” fan.
Tonight's #glee episode was the saddest thing I've ever watched— Chandler Young (@chan_yo10) October 5, 2012
Okay, clearly this nice person still hasn’t watched the behind-the-scenes clip from “Les Miserables.” But still, “Glee” was sad and also in its best form of the season so far.
Of the four splits we witnessed in this week’s episode — all right, fine, 3.5 since Mr. Schu and Ms. Pillsbury will probably be fine — which was the most upsetting? Let’s rank them from most distressing to least.
4. Will and Emma
The affianced couple hasn’t called off their wedding or anything. But Will decided to serve on the Blue Ribbon Committee for Arts Education or some blabbidy bloo that means he has to come to Washington, D.C., for a few months and Emma did not seem up for joining him. So they may be temporarily separated. Which: big whoop. If their relatioship managed to survive Emma’s OCD issues and her involvement with John Stamos, surely it can withstand a brief separation. Everyone should refuse to be sad about this because there are other, more important things to be sad about. Like...
Good ol’ sassypants Santana may have gone off to college in Kentucky but she still came home to do laundry and see Brittany, then stick around for an inexplicably long period of time and randomly hang out in the McKinley High choral room. In that choral room, Santana decided to express to Brittany that the whole long-distance thing wasn’t working. And she expressed it the only way she knew how: by singing a Taylor Swift song just as musicans who could provide instrumental accompaniment happened to enter the scene. The whole thing was a little cheesy but when Naya Rivera started crying and then so did Heather Morris, it became unexpectedly moving.
2. Blaine and Kurt
This one was rough.
Blaine’s been feeling neglected so he cheated on Kurt, then dashed unexpectedly to New York to see Kurt, where he felt extra-guilty and consequently sang the most emotional version of “Teenage Dream” ever performed at a karoke piano bar. A reference to skin-tight jeans has never sounded so intense, thanks to Darren Criss.
Then Blaine confessed his transgression and Kurt burst into tears , and the way Darren Criss and Chris Colfer both lost it was beautifully played. But then the scene got ruined a little when both Klaine and Finchel (shudder) were forced to start singing “Don’t Speak.” Actually, ”Don’t Sing” would have been more apt because I really wanted Kurt and Blaine to keep talking it out and sobbing and being emotionally raw without having to bring Gwen Stefani into the whole situation.
To be clear, Kurt and Blaine did not definitely, officially break up. But the long-distance thing is clearly not working for them either. But even that wasn’t the saddest split of the night. That honor goes to...
1. Rachel and Finn
Yes, Finn returned, having been semi-honorably discharged from the Army for shooting himself in the thigh with a rifle named Rachel. Really, though, I think we all know he got out of the Army on the frequently granted Coldplay Discharge, which allows young military members to ditch their units so they can do a cover of “The Scientist.”
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Finn finally came to New York to reconnect with his best girl after leaving the Army and ... backpacking through Georgia? Is backpacking through Georgia a thing people do now? Like, is this what kids are doing post-recession in lieu of scrounging up money for a Eurorail pass?
Anyway, bottom line, quick summary: Finn felt like he didn’t fit into Rachel’s NYADA, sing-saucy-duets-with-Brody lifestyle, so he took off, which prompted Rachel to head straight to the McKinley High auditorium, find him and initiate the dumping, which then segued into the aforementioned full “Glee” Break-up Company number set to the tune of “The Scientist,” accompanied by a flashback montage.
Maybe it was the montage, or possibly, as previously stated, the fact that Lea Michele works at an extremely advanced level when it comes to onscreen crying. (The quivering lips, the shaky voice, the snot — she really fires on all weep-cylinders.) In any case, this was the most heartbreaking relationship rupture of the night, because it truly took the audience “back to the start” where “Glee” began. As goofy and Dieter-like as everyone looked while wearing all black and somberly singing about how nobody said it was easy, the scene still made a striking visual and emotional impact.
Do these break-up rankings seem accurate? Or did you already break up with “Glee” so long ago that you no longer care what “Glee” does as long as “Glee” is happy and doesn’t act all jealous when you start flipping over to NBC to see what’s happening on “Parks and Rec”? Or, option three: are you already so annoyed that “Glee” will be on hiatus until Nov. 8 that you can’t process any of this?
Comments, as always, are encouraged.