GleeHab Review: “On My Way”

Whoa.  I almost feel like that’s enough to sum up the whole episode.  Almost.

I’d just like to put this out there: this episode contained some seriously heavy material.  A lot of people are upset that Glee, a comedy, dug so deep into this but I have to say that I applaud them.  The only beef I have is that they did not put a major disclaimer before the episode warning the audience that some of the material could be triggering.  At the end of this review, I have posted the phone numbers for several support lines.  I beg of you, if you are suffering, please call them.  And I’m not even joking when I tell you that my inbox is always open.

Let’s continue…

Young Barbara Streisand & Old Betty White

Oooh Sebastian you are so easy to hate.  And I loathe you.  I love Grant though, super cool dude I’ve heard.

Sebastian crashes Kurt & Rachel’s bridal bliss to threaten New Directions, and more specifically Rachel, with some mega blackmail.  Finn Hudson naked…in heels…and Photoshopped.  That little brat threatened to upload that picture to the internet if Rachel didn’t drop out of Regionals all together.  He encourages her to come down with the Asian Bird Flu like Tina had (is that how they’re explaining her complete disappearance from one and half episodes?) and drop out of competition.

Rachel is of course horrified and is left in quite the conundrum.  She knows they’ll win if she sings but she knows Finn will be mortified if she doesn’t drop out.  Back in the choir room, Finn is livid and shocked that Rachel has decided to perform and Will tries to convince them all to take the high road.

Can’t say I blame Finn in this one and what Rachel said was a little harsh.  I know he doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing after he graduates but she didn’t need to kick him in his ego by telling him that their future depends on her.  It’s all just ugly.

Who Knocked Up Sue?

Quinn is summoned to Sue’s office to be the first to know that Sue is all sorts of pregnant.  Was she asking for advice?  Apparently not.  Quinn however, thought she’d seize the moment and ask for her spot on the Cherrios back.  Aaaaaand Sue shoots her down.  I guess her “nice” preggo hormones hadn’t kicked in yet.

Gird Your Loins

And no, I’m not talking about Dreamy Darren singing his beautiful heart out.  I’m talking about the sequence that goes on throughout his incredible performance of “Cough Syrup”.  I have to say, I have not been the biggest fan of Darren’s solos to date but this one was absolutely phenomenal.  I was literally shaking in my seat from the whole thing.  I would post the whole performance and the sequence that goes along with it but to be honest, it is still hard for me to watch.  The long and short of it is that Karofsky’s bullying hits its peak when his peers write “fag” on his locker.  He goes home and gets online and sees all of the horrible things people have posted about him.  He puts on his Sunday best, walks into the closet, and attempts to commit suicide.

I would like to stop right here and give major props to Max Adler who plays Dave Karofsky.  I can’t imagine what an emotionally taxing role this was for him.  He did a superb job and really needs his own shout out on this.  You could actually feel his pain.  Bravo, Max. Bravo.

Whose Job Was It?

Continuing with this heartbreaking plot, we now find ourselves in Figgins’ office where Bieste, Schue, Emma, and Sue are all talking about what happened.  Emma asks probably the most poignant question, “whose job was it?”  Something like this isn’t anyone’s fault.  Figgins was right to want to tell the student body of what happened.  The sick thing is, is that it takes something like this to make people understand the horrible repercussions bullying can have.

Cut to Kurt calling Quinn out on her bullshit.  Dave was not being selfish and her comparing herself to be anything close to what he was going through was asinine in my opinion.  I’m not discounting what Quinn went through but I didn’t agree with the reasoning behind her words.  Thank God Kurt stepped in and told it like it was.  We also learned that Kurt was holding himself responsible for what happened.

Let’s Get Married!

On to some lighter subject matter.  So Finn & Rachel are still being stupid in their quest for premature marriage.  Ugh I hate this storyline with the fire of a thousand suns.  Love Finchel, hate this plot.  So they agree to get married after they win Regionals…and blah blah blah.

Sebastian Has a Heart?

Sebby calls the gang to Lima Bean to institute a truce.  He destroyed the photos and tells them that he wants to win fair and square.  He then goes on to explain how he played a part in bullying Karofsky.  And then he utters a sentence that makes me so mad that I want to punch a wall, “It’s all fun and games, until it’s not.”  I have news for you, it is never fun and games.  Okay, I’ll step off my soapbox now…

Will Schuester.  Teacher of the Year.

THANK THE GLEE GODS that Will had a chance to redeem himself after that Spanish Teacher debacle.  Now this deserves a playback.

This was perfect.

IAN BRENNAN

I’ll discuss the Regionals performances in a second but let’s all pause right here:

Yup, that’s none other that Glee co-creator, Ian Brennan.  This made me giddy.

So, now on to Regionals.  AMAZING!  PERFECT!  INCREDIBLE!  And a much-needed lift after such a depressing first half.  Whew.

I loved the Warblers’ performances but I have such a soft spot for the New Directions in competitions.  I ALWAYS cry when they perform.  Ugh it just destroys me in the best possible way.  How cute was Finn making everyone get up?  AND YAY!!! They won and they deserved it.  Duh.

P.S. Long live the Troubletones

After all is said and done, Quinn gets her cheer leading cred back, Rachel gets her buddy at her wedding, and it looks like the wedding is on.

It Gets Better

Kurt brings this heart wrenching storyline to an emotional head when he visits Karofsky in the hospital.  He apologized for not returning his calls and Dave apologized for making his life miserable.  The saddest part about all of this is that this is not a storyline created by Ryan, Ian, and Brad.  This is real life and every day people suffer like Karofsky did.  What people don’t always see though, is that it really does get better and Kurt painted that picture for Dave.  It was beautiful.

Going to the Chapel

Hold the phone…when I was pregnant I was never nice.  But kudos to Sue for using her hormones for good and being genuinely happy for Will and New Directions.  I always love it when they humanize Sue but I’m hoping we’re not seeing the last of her nasty ways.  She’s the perfect villain and I’d love to see a balance of the two.  My guess is that as she gets further along in her pregnancy (it’s going to be so weird to see this play out), she’ll resume her normal bitch behavior.  Lord knows I did.

I’m asking this question again, can Rachel’s dads just stay on the show forever?  I can’t even tell you how much I love these two.  Add Burt and Carole to the mix and it is like an epic foursome of awesome.  I love their plotting to stop the wedding.  I was giggling so hard.  They need a spin-off.

Soon we cut to Finn seeing Rachel in her wedding dress for the first time.  He’s awestruck (she was gorg) and they seemed genuinely happy.  I will say this about them, they are in loooooooove.  I still don’t think they should get married though.

And perhaps they won’t because something HUGE happens that may indefinitely postpone the nuptials.

Cliffhanger, meet Cliffhanger

Quinn is rushing back to make it time for the wedding after picking up her bridesmaid dress.  Rachel is bugging her to hurry and Quinn dutifully ignores the first text as while she’s driving.  But it is the second one that causes the biggest cliffhanger in Glee history.  She goes to answer is and is broadsided by a truck.  And then it’s over.  Fade to black.  To be continued.

WHAAAAAAT???  We don’t know if Quinn is OK and we don’t know if Rachel & Finn got married.  It’s like the biggest double whammy ever.  And SO RUDE!!  Now we have to wait seven freaking weeks to find out what happened.  Ugh damn you Glee and your constant and painful hiatuses (is that the plural of hiatus?)

Well, there you have it.  This episode emotionally drained me.  I thought Glee was about opening yourself up to joy.  I can’t say I’m particularly joyful after that but it was an incredible episode.

Tell me, what did you think?  Hit the comments and let me know!

And for your information:

Depression Hotline: 1-630-482-9696

Suicide Hotline: 1-800-784-8433

LifeLine: 1-800-273-8255

Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386

Sexuality Support: 1-800-246-7743

Eating Disorders Hotline: 1-847-831-3438

Rape and Sexual Assault: 1-800-656-4673

Grief Support: 1-650-321-5272

Runaway: 1-800-843-5200, 1-800-843-5678, 1-800-621-4000

Exhale: After Abortion Hotline/Pro-Voice: 1-866-4394253

Posted on February 22, 2012, in All Posts and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. If Glee wants to convey a valuable message, I wish it would do so in the context of what Glee is – namely a comedy with music – rather than in the guise of a soap opera or afterschool special. This episode was so message heavy and had so many major plots (suicide attempt, pregnancy announcement, near wedding, and car crash in one episode!) that it was entertainment light. For the first time, none of the sectionals performances were particularly awe inspiring (though I did like Stronger) and the number of truly funny lines could be counted on about two fingers. BUT that was not my biggest problem with this episode.
    My biggest problem with the episode is that in trying to convey the message that everyone’s life is valuable and worth living, the show actually had a scene where the exact opposite was conveyed. Perhaps this was foreshadowing for the eventual resolution of the Quinn cliffhanger but Kurt’s whole speech to Quinn during the God Squad meeting is potentially dangerous if taken to heart by a young viewer out there. Depression is a very real thing for many, many people and one does not have to have a major life event occur, be it bullying over sexual orientation or teenager pregnancy, to be so down as to attempt or commit suicide. The actual stats sadly bear this out. Kurt’s belittling statements to Quinn could wrongly convey that the only issues worth getting upset about are bullying and that she could not possibly understand how bad things were for Dave. This is absurd. People can and do get upset about seemingly small things and can and do take drastic measures sometimes. (I mean seriously – Will’s cheating on a test hardly seems like a major issue!) The message should have consistently been that one should always reach out to someone to talk to, that there is always hope and another way, and that what keeps you up at night, regardless of what it is, is important. There shouldn’t have been dialogue that essentially made one’s pain a competition of who has it worse. The person who really has it worse could seemingly have everything going on for them and never have anything horrible happen to them – right up into the minute they kill themselves.
    I do agree, however, that Max Adler was fantastic in his scenes.

  2. I’m lucky enough to have never suffered from depression or been bullied heavily but I know people who have. All I’ll say is that this episode is lodged firmly in my head now from the impact it’s had on me. Max Adler was phenomenal and that whole scene had me squirming because I had a horrible feeling I knew what was about to happen and it was painful to watch – I dread to think what a tiny amount of pain that is compared to those who feel they have no other alternative available to them in reality.

    Whoa indeed.

    And on a lighter note – ‘epic foursome of awesome’ is now my new favourite phrase

  3. So obviously tonight’s episode was a huge and dramatic, and I am still trying to let it all sink in. So far though, I think they did a great job with it all, and wow did Max Adler do a good job. I would however like to recognize some small positive stuff that made me smile in this episode, mainly because so much of it was pretty depressing! Hopefully this may cheer others up too! First of all, Lord Tubbington has an ecstasy addiction (I wonder how his smoking habits have been?)! Rory trying peanut butter for the first time. Mercedes wanting to meet Rachel’s children. I loved every song in the entire episode, and I think this was the best competition performance yet from the New Directions. Fly/ I believe I can Fly was fantastic, and featured so many awesome voices. Santana rapping and Brittany having a solo. Kurt’s scene with Dave in the hospital was pretty cool too, even though it made me cry at least it was a good cry.

  4. I applaud Glee for taking on the issue but I wish they hadn’t tried to shove so many different things into the hour. It felt rushed and the way they did it meant some very important things that needed to be addressed weren’t. Victim blaming, Kurt’s EXTREMELY misplaced guilt, the complete absolution of Dave’s past bullying (we were all worried about Kurt…uh yeah, cause he was the one getting DEATH THREATS thrown at him…and what about all the OTHER kids Dave bullied or was violent with? Kurt was NOT the only one), there were some really troubling aspects to the episode. I think Max Adler was fabulous and Chris Colfer was flawless as usual but this should have been a story arc or at the very least a “special episode” because it’s just too serious of an issue to resolve in between musical numbers.

    And, I hope I don’t seem rude but I COMPLETELY disagree with you. Kurt did not “call Quinn out on her bullshit”. What he did was belittle, marginalize and disregard the very REAL struggles that she’s gone through…much like you just did and the writers continue to do.

    I hate, hate, hate how Quinn’s struggles are somehow less valid than everyone else’s. Quinn gets pregnant and when her parents find out, and she’s looking at them at tears, BEGGING for them to be there for her and help her and tell her that everything is going is going to be ok…did they comfort her? No, no they did NOT. She was told she was a disappointment and a failure and Quinn was THROWN OUT OF HER HOUSE. She was completely abandoned by the two people she was supposed to be able to count on no matter what at the time when she needed them the most. And her mother ONLY sought her out to repair their relationship after she found out her husband had cheated on her And to this day Quinn STILL does have a relationship with her father. How do you think that affects her?

    Think about it for a second. She went through a teen pregnancy in a public school. I guess Kurt and everyone else has forgotten that she was gossiped about, abandoned by her so-called friends on the Cheerios, abandoned by Sue, manipulated by Terri, and also-oh yeah-bullied. Quinn was ridiculed, laughed at, made fun of and slushied as well while she was pregnant. (Slushied by Dave, in addition to being verbally bullied by him numerous times when she was with Finn. Which I wish she would have reminded Kurt about since apparently Quinn doesn’t have the right to have any sort of opinion on Dave.)

    She has her daughter and gives her up for adoption-a decision that she STILL struggles to make peace with. She acts out and everyone dismisses it as her being a bitch or “rich white girl problems”.

    So no, Kurt did not “call her out”. He basically told his friend that all her struggles, her pain, her very real issues don’t count as much as someone else’s and that’s not cool because everyone’s pain is valid and everyone’s struggles count. Quinn’s life hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows either and she’s worked HARD to heal and put herself back together and as someone who had a front row seat for a lot of the very ugly and dark times she’s had, I feel like Kurt should have remembered and respected that.

    *And I’m the biggest Kurt fan that has ever lived and don’t even really like Quinn so, yeah lol*

  5. I definitely don’t agree with Quinn and what she said about Dave, but I don’t like that what she went through while she was pregnant and after was discounted as not the same thing. That’s the problem I have with Kurt’s response. Discounting people’s experiences as unimportant is a problem, sure Quinn didn’t attempt suicide and we don’t know if she contemplated it, but she did go through some serious things at times with little support.

    When Will explained the time he almost killed himself, most people would think that this situation was hardly a reason to act so destructively, but it’s another person’s experience. To toss away Quinn’s feelings about what happened while she was pregnant and after, shows that people tend to only be able to relate to their own experiences.

  6. Naya Rivera…I adore you. But, if they ever make you rap Nikki Minaj again I’ll smack someone.

    • Naya should rap man songs as she likes. I adore her. Can’t Wait to hear “Kelis’s Milshake”, “Missy Elliott’s Work it” or another Nikki Minaj songs.

  7. About the episode, it was great, We know the sectionals and regionals episodes the new directions should win, but when they shook the storylines with situations like happened in this episode, as a viewer, it’s a pleasure to watch.

    It was a rollercoaster, I cried with Karofsky, I laughed with Ian Brennan, I shooked with Quinn and I pissed off with Finchel.

    I don’t believe in Sue’s pregnancy. I think that she has a surogate mother or maybe she found a pregnant woman who wants to give her child to adoption.

    Do you notice that Rory has more importance than Joe Hart? Damian McGinty is the true winner of the Glee Project, I don’t want to see Joe in the Glee Club. Maybe the producers doesn’t write a entire Joe Hart’s theme episode like they did with Rory.

    I would love if Karofsky goes to Dalton after these events.

    I don’t think Quinn is dead. If this happens it would be a terrible ending for her character, maybe this will be another obstacle that she should deal in the next episodes and this will be the perfect excuse for ending Finchel marriage storyline

    Can’t wait to April 10th.

  8. GLEE was into their “message to youth” mode with the Karofsky arc here. As art imitates life, they couldn’t afford to segue to the George Washington Bridge (which is playing out now in a NJ court). I might have added one PSA to the peanut butter scene – “Rory, you are not allergic to peanuts, are you?” (While teens should know this answer by now, many viewers are pre-teens, so tacit may not have been the best treatment.)
    Darren’s song was absolutely enjoyable. And the Troubletones (to me) won it for ND at Regionals. I loved hearing them find a few solo bars for Heather, too.
    Many of the other revelations are merely set-ups for after the hiatus.

    Now we come to Quinn, who is such a dichotomy (and I think, wonderfully portrayed by Dianna) having been painted by the writing as devious, duplicitous, vain, and obtuse; yet when she’s dancing (best exemplified this year during “pot of Gold’s” Last Friday Night), she has been allowed to show an unfettered release of pure joy, it reminds me of the cheerleader “back when” that I could never date in ‘ancient’ times when I attended HS (the 60s!).

    Texting while driving … tick … tick …tick … Boom! And that’s how fast it happens. (My late father taught me to start breaking when you see the bouncing ball, before the kid chasing it is too late to avoid.)

    Heart wrenching to me is that the full speed at which Quinn was broadsided is universally fatal, and I will never forgive RM & BF if they killed her off, either now or after lingering until Spring. What I’m holding out hope for is that Dr. Rivera makes his debut (he was mentioned in S2). That would create an entire arc involving the three cheerleaders.

    Lastly, I’m reading a lot of contrary opinions about what does NOT belong in a comedy show.
    Teens of America, ask your parents about it. “All in The Family”, a 1970s Emmy winning comedy about racism was hilarious at times and poignant at times, especially when Edith Bunker died.

    And (IMO) the greatest TV series in history (M*A*S*H) was an Emmy Awarded 1970s comedy that ran the emotional gamut, treating war, anti-war, medicine, sex, violence of course, suicide, mental illness, and host of other subjects, many times leaving you LYAO or crying!

    Jane Lynch won an Emmy in comedy, but she is a proven scene stealer (a compliment). See her take over an episode of “Psych”!

    From the same series, Chris Colfer won a GG in comedy, but he did so with pathos, which enhanced his performance, something not yet written into Dianna’s or Naya’s story arcs yet.

    Overall, the music and comedy took a back seat to the drama, but the reasoning is clear – always leave em’ hanging…

    I love this series. Apparently, is it not what we’re all giving up for Lent? (except reruns)

  9. Frankly, I need to get some of this out before I explode. While I hear those that say, “Wait a minute, isn’t Glee a comedy?” it is important to recognize that it isn’t at its core a “situational” comedy – it is a dramatic comedy. Many of our modern day comedies rely on tragedy (small and large) as comic devices. In the “cliffhanger” episode, we witnessed story telling that was pulled from the headlines and took a stand. For those that say it was too preachy or too much of an “After School Special”, I would simply say no it wasn’t. While it may seem simplistic to say that actions have consequences, it is still true. We are bombarded by messaging and sadly it has become harder and harder to cut through the clutter. I congratulate the creative team for championing the issues that they have throughout the series – this is in part why many of us have become so connected to the characters and their stories.

    I have to also comment on the interchange between Kurt and Quinn as well as Kurt and David. They both were flawed, but in a good way (if that is possible). Kurt in a way marginalizes Quinn’s feelings in favor of his own which in turn allows us to see the perspectives of both characters and question them. Kurt’s talk with David is in part his desire for redemption – an absolution of sorts because of his personal guilt. David’s bullying of Kurt led to, in part, Kurt’s eventual pull back from David’s advances and not carrying through on his pledge to be “friends”. Actions have consequences. I cannot leave this thought without paying tribute to Chris Colfer, Max Adler and Diana Agron. Their performances were complicated and rich – wow! (I think that those lucky enough to have tickets to see Chris Colfer play Ryan Kendall in Dustin Lance Black’s play, “8”, on March 3 are going to get a real treat).

    I hate to wait until April to see what happens next. Nonetheless, April is solidly in the spring. I can’t wait to see what grows from the seeds that were planted with this “epic” episode.

    • I think you make a really good point with this, and thank you for bringing that perspective to the Kurt/Quinn conversation. Even though I could do without the God Squad, it was an interesting scene to me at least, and seemed to address issues that always come up when it comes to suicide. I think both characters were being insensitive, but wow were you right giving them credit to that performance. I can’t believe we have to wait till April!!

  10. Lena, thank you for writing out my concerns about Kurt’s speech to Quinn in a much clearer way than I was able to do last night. People’s “bullshit” is what leads people to commit suicide. if everything that Quinn went through is bullshit, then what on earth is a Will’s seemingly silly issue of being worried about getting caught cheating on a math test? Suicide, contrary to common and apparently the show’s producer’s belief, does not have to be triggered by a major life altering event. Kids have and do commit suicide because their boyfriend broke up with them or their mom didn’t let them go to a party. None of us truly are in another person’s shoes, and we don’t know what really is important, what really is the last straw. I hated that Kurt via the writers completely trivialized what she has been through.
    Brad, I get that it’s not a situational comedy. The thing is, though, other so-called dramatic comedies like Modern Family seem to manage to tackle serious issues and still remain funny. Glee didn’t accomplish that at all with this episode IMO and thus didn’t convey its message within the context of what it is purportedly to be. Presenting serious issues and messages are fine, but I still expect some glee in my Glee.
    On a much lighter note, Sirena, I agree with you 100%. Naya is an awesome singer, but her overly imitative Minaj rapping seemed forced. If she had rapped in her own natural voice, however, I think it would have been fine.

  11. ZD, you are absolutely correct … comedy and drama aren’t mutually exclusive. I do think that comedies like Modern Family do benefit from being driven by the situations that the characters find themselves in and how they play out. I will admit that I enjoy Modern Family, but am not a regular watcher. They may tackle heavy themes from time to time, but I haven’t seen them. Glee, for better or worse, is probably more like Desperate Housewives. Regardless, your point was that Glee wasn’t very funny last night and you are right. My point is that I think I can live with that and still enjoy the story telling regardless of the flaws. There is a world out there debating these issues today that weren’t last week – I am OK with that. I guess this is entertainment activism.

  12. Gotta say, I’m with those commenters here who were anti Kurt’s speech to Quinn. Sometimes this show seems to think that coming to terms with being gay is the only real difficulty people face (and I write this as a gay person myself) – I wish they’d recognise that other issues are difficult too.

    (But, y’know, fab review as always!)

    As soon as we saw Quinn driving, I thought we’d have a car accident… to be honest, I’m hoping that she’ll have been killed. Not because I dislike the actor or even the character, but because they don’t seem to know how to write Quinn – she’s had dreadful and inconsistent storylines ever since the first half of series one, and it’s time she went – at least this way she goes out with a bang.

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