Glee 2x21 "Funeral"

As my excitement is revving up for the upcoming Glee Live! Tour, lest we forget that they are still running new episodes. As for this past week’s episode…

Hard to articulate, but I was mostly apathetic upon the first viewing. Oh sure, the music performances were something to cheer about – in fact, this is one of a handful of episodes that was near-flawless on the music portion – but everything else? Hmmm….

It was not until a second viewing that I realized this episode had a lot of things going for it. What it had working against it…

Other then the hilarious lines about Vocal Adrenaline’s 24-hour practices and using dead bodies as props, Jesse managed to be extremely intolerable and obnoxious. Admittedly, that was the point, but my line was crossed and now I am hoping Mercedes or Santana go and cut him. Jonathan Groff needs to get off his period.

As for the other minor developments…
Okay, so Terri, who has basically been incongruous since her false pregnancy days, is leaving Lima, Ohio. Fine, enjoy Miami Terri!
This was a better Emma, crazy outfits and all. Sweet, charming and adorably obsessive-compulsive as we saw from the packing scene. Welcome back!

The major development in question…

My initial reaction to Jean’s death? Whatever. My next reaction? Cop out number two.

Sorry. As sweet as Jean is, she has had maybe fifteen minutes of total screen time in 43 episodes of the show. What made me very cynical of revolving an episode around her (even more then usual) was that this is the second “death” on the show and instead of Kurt’s bird, we had a character that was CLEARLY a device for Sue. C’mon Glee folk, like we were going to fall for that. Kill off a character that means something, if you really want to go there.
But, cynicism aside, it turned out to be fine. As divisive a scenario it was, Sue returned to better form and Jane Lynch delivered like we knew she would. She had me laughing from her (refined) one-liners, while simultaneously delivering believable drama and heartbreak from mourning her sister’s death. Without her, the episode would have been a hot mess. Lynch was always up to task for handily the weightier material and molding it to her comedic deliveries. It was nice that her plot this go-around was not some drastic, implausible form of terrorizing messing with New Directions. That closing scene with Becky? Amazing.

It is the second-to-last-episode, so Glee will naturally deliver just as another hiatus approaches. I plan on wrapping up the season with some final thoughts – and maybe a rundown or two – but as I reflect now, it was a season that was inferior to the first season, if only slightly. Maybe the finale episode will sway me other wise, but Glee misstepped far too often for me to think they could top last season. How disappointing.

But let’s not dwell on that now…let’s talk numbers. It was a showcase for four of the show’s most promising talents by letting them perform what they do, better then they have ever done it before. As pedestrian as the staging was, why complain?

Brought it! Was I the only one excited when we found out she was auditioning? She does not wear her “I want to be a diva” patch as much as the other three auditioning performers; she is usually too busy being bitchy. This performance seals the deal; girl is a star. I have had this song on loop the last week; it is her best solo since “Valerie.”

Also brought it. Colfer’s unique voice and charismatic performance style will always entertain me. He also happens to be one of the show’s go-to opportunities for a Broadway number, which I heavily ship.

Competent. Amber Riley always nails it, this number is no exception. Personally, I would love to see the producers give her a different genre to work with; stating the obvious, her solos are now in Warbler-territory of  repetition no matter how well-executed they are.

I would criticize Rachel for mimicking another one of Barbra’s classic performances, but she NAILED it. Yes, imitating Barbra is not what Glee should be about; in fact, the Glee-folk should know by now that when they step outside the box completely is when they usually hit a homerun. But like I said, she nailed it and this number felt different enough then her past solos when compared to Mercede’s never-ending R&B/Soul solos.

How sweet was that number? Loved that the solos were passed around; loved even more that Tina’s was not cut off again. To me, Jenna’s voice was well-suited to the number in a “True Colors” way and carried most of the song. In fact, her solo here reminded me how well her voice was pre-autotuned versions of “Dog Days are Over,” “I Will Follow” and “Born This Way.”

And that is that. Awkward Glee? Take us on home.

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