Tonight on Glee, everyone is actively trying to ruin their own lives. It is very weird! Glee has heard your cries of incredulity regarding Rachel’s meteoric rise to stardom, with little more than a polyester waitress uniform and partial fine arts school transcript as her stepping stones, and the show has committed itself to creating balanced storylines and characters. So if Rachel is going to achieve her dreams one week, then why not have her become bored of them and totally change her life’s purpose in the very next episode? And just to really hone in on this theme, let’s have Mercedes risk her album by forcing her record company to make her first single a duet with an amateur singer. Okay — and I know this isn’t dashing anyone’s lifelong dreams or anything, and will probably improve the character’s life drastically — but just to keep the tricks guessing, let’s have Santana change her whole personality. This kind of focus is what keeps the audience coming back for more!
All right. I’ll settle the hell down, because it’s not as though this was an unentertaining episode of Glee. I still enjoyed it: the performances were dynamic, I found only the scene where Blaine questions Kurt’s One Direction song choice (how dare you, Blaine) to be clunky, and I laughed out loud multiple times at the heavy dose of physical humor this episode, particularly with anything involving a certain sci-fi space opera. But I also spent the entire 42 minutes of the show scratching my head. And a lot of the commercial time, to,o because I think that I Wanna Marry Harry show is really happening. Like, they’re really going to air it.
Are the writers just having these characters make the irrational mistakes of any average 20-year-old? Kurt seems to be doling out logical advice, but everyone is uniformly refusing to take it. If the show had taken just a few more episodes to flush out Rachel’s disillusionment with playing Fanny Brice, I think it could have worked. But the catalyst for her flippancy is that after only a month of being on stage, a single person tells her she might not become a screen star? That was just too much too fast.
The episode begins with Rachel signing autographs outside of the stage door and floating through New York City like she owns the place. And she does! She’s getting rave reviews, there are rumors of a Tony nomination, and she’s fulfilling what she deems every homeless person’s dream by signing their newspapers while they sleep. She’s even gotten an agent who asks her about her aspirations . Suddenly, she’s aiming at spinning this Broadway thing into a movie career, or maybe a hit TV show. He informs her that’s not the way for her; she doesn’t have a face for the big screen, but she could probably play Fanny Brice for the next 15 years if she wanted to. And with that, the dream that Rachel has had for about 15 minutes is crushed, and she’s feeling stifled by the dream she’s harbored her whole life and has recently achieved.
NEXT: Rachel could stand to be a little wiser and maybe older too…