The last episode of Glee was a proposal bonanza that left me so happy and yet so damn frustrated due to the excessive amount of plot that has been lacking in so many other hours of the third season. So, I left it void of a final score. But not tonight! As the club takes on Michael Jackson in a full out tribute episode, one Glee member is down and out, another has a decision to make about her future, while others get information on their post-McKinley lives. But, was it a successful tribute episode that stayed true to the King of Pop, or is Jackson rolling over in his grave after an abomination?
"Michael" was full of great music that definitely hit some highs, but the biggest problem throughout the episode was the plot developments that seemed absolutely laughable. One of the bigger focuses was on the group's future, and I had plenty of problems with Rachel's plot, and Quinn's. Sebastian established himself as a very worthwhile villain, while Kurt's story proved for some emotional resonance. But, between what was good and what was bad, it made for a mixture that wasn't exactly the best episode of Glee we've seen.
After the proposal-filled episode, my senses were on severe overload. Sure, it was a good episode, but it was still so chock full of so much plot developments that should have been stretched out over the course of a few weeks that it was a major fault. Originally, I had predicted that the Michael episode would be good, but would lack a great plot. Honestly, I felt like I was right. While it had a decent story, most of the plotlines were absolutely off the rails tonight. Let's take a look at the two biggest problems I had:
*Rachel's story - The biggest hanging question was Finn's proposal. It was predictable that she was going to say yes, and she eventually did, but what's disgusting is how she says yes. Everyone's future is being decided, and when Rachel thinks she didn't get in to NYADA, she sees that she has no future. So, she simply decides to say yes to Finn, just to ensure that she has a future. The fact she had to fail out of her plans to say yes to her boyfriend didn't show true love at all. It showed just how damn conceited she can be.
In fact, I actually laughed extremely hard when Rachel's face went to sadness at episode's closing. Not because Finn would be disappointed (he knew this was going to happen! That's why he proposed in the first place!), but because Rachel realized what I just stated: she said yes to Finn just because her dream had seemingly been crushed.
When it came to the realization that she didn't get into NYADA and that this was what was going to push her to say yes to Finn's proposal...I was baffled. Yes, the couple love each other, and though Rachel said that he was the love of her life, I believe her. But, you can't say that what Rachel did wasn't out of her own personal failure. She panicked, didn't base the decision on love alone, and just put the ring on her finger. It was a whisking away of the emotional side of the plot, and I was just repulsed by it.
* Quinn's storyline - This is the one that made me mad the most. I'm happy for Quinn, and her speech to the entire Glee club was a heartfelt one. But, we're talking about a girl, who was trying to steal a baby three episodes ago! Suddenly, she gets an acceptance letter, and is the most intelligent person in the room, giving Rachel advice that everything in high school is merely from a certain perspective she once had? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!
Quinn getting into Yale is a big accomplishment, but the fact she applied three episodes ago feels VERY sudden. Not to mention, it doesn't quite feel like Crazy Quinn is gone yet! It still feels as if she needs to continue down a path of healing, and to see a now reformed Quinn that is changed, giving insight to a matter that was "childish", when in turn trying to steal back her baby was along the same lines a month ago, just feels absolutely ridiculous.
The beginning of the episode, though a bit slow with all the singing, definitely had more promise than the rest of the hour. It seemed to be going into a different direction, but then of course we delve more into the romantic subplots. The Mercedes/Sam thing was very quick, and rolling off of the last episode somewhat successfully. I like the fact they admittingly showed feelings for each other once more, but the dialogue for the scene sort of went something like this before the song: "Mercedes, this is an intimate moment between you and me. Just ignore the five guys playing instruments next to us as we make out."
More of an inclusion of Mr. Schu was well used, but he wasn't too important on the overall story. He was just there as emotional support, and to scold the kids from doing anything harmful. He didn't sing, which was a damn shame, and seemed to have peaked with his moment in the sun last episode.
Kurt's moment with his father was easily one of the best moments of the entire week. After all the struggle the character has been through, it was not only nice to see him come out on top for once, but Burt's speech to his son was well-written and only capitalized on by a great performance from Mike O' Malley.
As said, Grant Gustin definitely solidified himself as one of the greater villains in the series' history tonight. Sure, the action of the rock salt and the slushie was definitely a surprising one. But, it was that moment where Gustin turned from all talk to pure action. You could feel his performance shift from "baddie" to menacing little shit in the blink of an eye, and he really tapped into that evil nature that made Jesse St. James so damn great of an antagonist.
The biggest highlight of the entire episode, unsurprisingly, was the music. It was refreshing to have the cast singing songs that were all pure old school, and none of the annoying Top 100 covers that always tend to pop up and stab Season One's soundtrack in the back. Best song of the night? I absolutely loved the Henry Shum Jr. and Kevin McHale duo for "Scream". Granted, the entire sequence felt...off. I wasn't fully enveloped in it, and Artie standing up and walking is a part that I actually laughed at. But, the fact they recreated the music video of the song was one big perk, not to mention the vocals were astounding from McHale, and an often silent Shum Jr.
The music was incredibly frequent, and didn't exactly mirror the rocky plot, but effectively masked the plot holes. "Smooth Criminal" between Santana and Sebastian was a definite battle of bad forces, and they clashed greatly. I didn't care for the headbanging Cello players, but I'll take what I can get.
I appreciated what character developments we did get, especially in terms of Kurt, Blaine, and Sectionals. Though I don't fully believe the show's focus on Sectionals is one that's constantly seen, the focus on what Michael Jackson stood for definitely put the Gleeks in the right direction. There is one scene where Artie voices his opinion on Sectionals, saying that what it comes down to is the people, not the event. It sounded like the writers biting back to a little criticism, and they were right in that regard, though not fully. Still, though, the two teams battling it out over who will sing the King of Pop at Sectionals was definitely a step in the right direction (as Sectionals is planned for the end of next month).
Overall, "Michael" didn't exactly wow me. There were idiotic plot holes that I saw right through, but thankfully not enough to keep the plot completely absurd. The music helped strengthen things up on a grander scale, as well as the focus on the overarching and impending event of Sectionals. The frequent tunes definitely led to a battle of the bands in who was better in terms of songs, and some didn't nearly succeed. I can't really compare this to past tribute episodes, but in terms of the usual scheme of things, it was solid.
7.5 Cornea Surgeries out of 10
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