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This is by far the most painful Glee episode I have ever watched. Waiting all week for it was awful, knowing that some of my favorite couples may split up. The time has finally come to see who will break up, but the episode left me with more questions than answers.
Last week’s episode ended with Finn surprising Rachel at her apartment, who was making out with Brody before he knocked on the door. This week, Rachel is making Finn breakfast when she confronts him with question everyone is wondering: Why aren’t you in the army?
It turns out that Finn was semi-honorably discharged for shooting himself in the thigh while cleaning his gun. He’s been too embarrassed to tell anyone, thus why he’s been avoiding calls and text messages.
At her request, he shadows Rachel at her classes at NYADA, so he can see if he would want to apply to the school. Meanwhile, Kurt calls Blaine from the Vogue.com office to tell him that he doesn’t have time for their phone date. He’s too busy trying to figure out the office phones and has to get the website updated by midnight. Blaine is obviously emotional, explaining that he really misses Kurt.
Finn and Blaine sing “Barely Breathing” (Duncan Sheik) while Finn follows Rachel around the NYADA dance studio and Blaine imagines that Kurt is in the McKinley auditorium. It’s definitely my favorite performance of the episode. Finn and Blaine’s voices go well together, and the parallels between the characters worked and came across in the choreography and the editing, as the camera switches between New York and Lima.
That night, Blaine shows up at the apartment in NY to surprise Kurt. The four go out to Call Backs, a karoke bar that’s popular with NYADA students. Brody meets them there and sings “Give Your Heart a Break” (Demi Lovato) as a duet with Rachel, when Finn refuses to do so because he’s out of practice. Finn knows there’s some sort of chemistry between the two, as he watches them singing together.
Afterwards, Blaine decides to sing an acoustic version of “Teenage Dream” (Katy Perry) while playing the piano. This scene is awkward and pretty hard to watch. Blaine is on the brink of crying and way too emotional for this song. If you watched this scene back-to-back with his original performance from season two, you would think he’s a different character. This is when Kurt realizes that something’s seriously wrong.
On the walk back home, Kurt asks Blaine what’s going on, and he reveals that he hooked up with someone else because he was lonely and needed Kurt when he wasn’t there. He tries to apologize, but Kurt is devastated. Meanwhile, Finn confronts Rachel about Brody. She admits that they kissed, but she was confused because Finn wouldn’t answer her calls for four months. The two couples sing “Don’t Speak” (No Doubt) and go to bed without talking. Finn leaves early in the morning before anyone else gets up, except for Kurt, who hugs him goodbye.
Finn shows up at McKinley, surprising Will in his office. He tells him that the army didn’t work out and he cries on his shoulder. Later, Finn visits the glee club, where he suggests that they perform Grease for the fall musical.
Elsewhere, Kitty, the new head Cheerio who is dating Puck’s half-brother Jake, invites the glee club to her Left Behind club, based on the Christian apocalyptic novels. Marley agrees to go for Jake’s sake, but has a horrible time. Kitty stages a fake Rapture to fool another student, which offends everyone.
Santana is at home doing her laundry and visiting Brittany. She’s only a few hours away, but can only make it home every few weeks, which leaves Brittany lonely. When Santana sees this, she decides to meet Brittany in the choir room so that she can sing her feelings. She performs “Mine” (Taylor Swift) and breaks up with Brittany, emphasizing that it’s not a real break up, but that they can’t pretend their long-distance relationship is working.
In the middle of all of this relationship drama, Will and Emma also have an argument. Will has been selected to be on the blue ribbon panel for arts education, which means he will have to leave for a few months. He wants Emma to go to Washington with him but is frustrated when she refuses. She doesn’t want to leave her job and sit in a hotel while he follows his dream.
At McKinley, Finn is looking at sheet music in the auditorium when Rachel shows up. She flew back to talk to him and break it off one last time. He will always be her first love, and wishes he could be her last, but him running away from her in NY was the last straw. None of the relationship problems in this episode end well. It closes with the four couples singing “The Scientist” (Coldplay) on the stage, until the end of the number where Finn is standing alone, having imagined it.
This episode had a unique set up. Most of the performances were simple, there weren’t any big dance numbers or elaborate props. It felt like a stage play in which the characters expressed their feelings to one another. Due to the nature of the long-distance relationships being portrayed, there was a lot of surprise visits and appearances. I enjoyed this aspect of it. However, it left me with an empty feeling because we don't know what's going to happen to Kurt and Blaine, seeing as Kurt won't speak to him. Perhaps we will find out in next week’s episode.
Songs in ‘The Break Up’:
“Barely Breathing” Duncan Sheik (Blaine and Finn)
“Give Your Heart a Break” Demi Lovato (Rachel and Brody)
“Teeange Dream” (Acoustic Version) Katy Perry (Blaine)
“Don’t Speak” No Doubt (Finn, Rachel, Kurt, Blaine)
“Mine” Taylor Swift (Santana)
“The Scientist” Coldplay (Finn, Blaine, Santana, Kurt, Brittany, Will, Emma, Rachel)