The Ultimate 'Glee' Season 4 Recap: Love, Loss and Painful Break-Ups

By Lauren DuBois,
The relationship drama that made up Season 4

No show is complete without its relationship ups and downs — especially one that centers on the relationships and romantic entanglements of high school and college kids. This season, however, saw some of the most heart-breaking relationship dramas of all, and some fan favorites really started coming to terms with legitimate adult relationships and problems for the first time in their lives.

Finn/Rachel: Where exactly did Finn and Rachel stand at the beginning of Season 4? Even they didn’t really know. Rachel was still referring to Finn as her boyfriend, yet she hadn’t even heard from him since he sent her to New York. Finally, after she starts moving on with Brody, Finn surprises her in New York. Alas, the visit is not as clandestine as it seems at first. Finn can sense that New York isn’t the place for him, and he can also see the chemistry between Rachel and Brody. After finding out Rachel did kiss Brody, he leaves New York upset, forcing Rachel to chase him back to Lima. She ends things once and for all in a scene between the two that is only rivaled in its emotional punch by their infamous train station scene at Season 3’s close. What follows between the two for several episodes is an awkward stage where they are angry or upset with each other. Finn’s hurt feelings over how quickly Rachel moved on with Brody later prompt him to make a really stupid move in kissing Emma one day. Then, at Schu and Emma’s wedding on Valentine’s Day, something magical happens between them. Rachel catches the bouquet, and Finn tells her how they’re “End Game.” They sing a beautiful duet to “We’ve Got Tonight" and then head upstairs to a hotel room where they very clearly hook up. Though, afterwards Rachel still heads back to New York and Brody doesn't. It’s clear the dynamic has finally shifted back in favor of Finnchel. The evidence supports that this was the course the writers had in mind, as they the subsequently ended Rachel and Brody’s relationship and showed the two supporting each other as Finn finally went off to college and Rachel auditioned for Funny Girl. Sadly, we all know that Finnchel never will be a thing again. But hopefully, the relationship that was will still be honored in the way it should be.

Finn/Emma: This isn’t really a relationship, just a minor blip in the scheme of things, and it’s the only non-Rachel related action Finn saw all season. When trying to calm Emma down after she freaked out about her wedding plans (while he was privately still hurting from Rachel moving on with Brody), Finn kissed her — which definitely didn’t calm her down more. Emma’s freak-out continued on, and sure enough, her wedding day didn’t go as planned, causing Finn to believe it was his fault.

Rachel/Brody: Rachel was intrigued by the very attractive upper classman who seemed interested in her, and after a bumpy start that was interrupted by Finn and Cassandra, the two wound up dating and living together, though it was painfully clear to everyone but them that the relationship was not meant to be. Rachel had hooked up with Finn at Schu’s wedding, and Brody was keeping his prostitution a secret. The two eventually parted ways.

Brody/Cassandra: This was another minor blip as far as relationships went, and most fans probably didn’t care too much since neither one was a major character. But alas, when Cassandra sends Rachel and Kurt back to Ohio to see Grease, she seizes the opportunity to get Brody alone, and while rehearsing a dance number together, seduces him. She gleefully answers Brody’s phone post hook-up to brag to Rachel about what she had done. The relationship didn’t go beyond the one night though, at least, that fans know of.

Will/Emma: No surprise here, but Will and Emma had quite a fair share of relationship ups and downs this season. It started with Will deciding to go to Washington and expecting Emma to go with him — but she doesn’t want to. No worries, the two decide to just do their own thing for now, but they’ll get married when Will comes back. But now Will brings out some of the worst of Emma’s OCD tendencies, she freaks out on the big day, running away. Will pursues her one episode later, and wins her back — but they’re taking things slow, back to the beginning. However, slow doesn’t last long, as Schu informs the kids that he re-proposed to Emma and she accepted during the “Wonder-ful” episode. In the finale, the two finally said "I do" in the choir room after the New Directions won Regionals. But their happiness could be upstaged soon enough…

Kurt/Blaine: In all honesty, this was the relationship I most hated to see deteriorate in Episode 4, “The Break-Up.” They started the season off in a good place, though Blaine knows Kurt isn’t happy in Lima, and insists he goes off to New York. A few episodes later, though, the cracks of long distance tolls are appearing in a big way — their phone dates are being cut short, and Kurt is barely paying attention to what is going on in Blaine’s life. Feeling lonely, Blaine does the unthinkable; he cheats on Kurt, which he tells him on a surprise visit to New York. Naturally, Kurt does not handle the news well, and the two break up. Blaine doesn’t take things well either — he becomes too depressed to be Danny in Grease, and Kurt refuses to speak to him when he comes back to catch the show. But Kurt finally breaks down to let Blaine know he misses him on Thanksgiving, and the two tentatively begin to form a new friendship. Blaine even comes to New York with Burt for Christmas, promising Kurt that he’d be looking after his dad while he was sick and disclosing that he plans to go to NYADA next fall. Though both sort of move on with feelings developing for others, they still keep finding their way to one another. They start with a heated make out session in the back of a car before Schu’s wedding, which they agree is just “bros helping bros," and then hooking up in a hotel room later. Despite Kurt’s new relationship with Adam, he clearly hasn’t moved on from Blaine, evidenced by how emotional he got while watching “Come What May” with his roommates. His status with Adam is still unknown, but Blaine knows exactly what he wants — Kurt, forever and always. Despite everyone warning him not to go this route, he plans to propose to Kurt. He hadn’t done so yet by season 4’s end, but after Will and Emma officially became husband and wife, the camera panned to a close-up of behind Blaine and Kurt — and a certain box in Blaine’s hand that look like none other than a ring box. Maybe there’s hope for at least one of Glee’s other favorite couples.

Kurt/Adam: Adam was the leader of Adam’s Apples, the NYADA Glee Club, and Kurt has a small crush on him soon after they meet. He’s hesitant at first, but eventually the two begin to date. They do have a cute relationship, but it doesn’t appear to be one that’s destined to last forever — Kurt still has feelings running deep through his core for Blaine, even though he keeps trying to hide them. Adam isn’t stupid though, and he knows that Kurt might not be entirely invested in the relationship. The two have never officially broken up, but Adam has also barely been mentioned (and hasn’t been seen at all), since he and Kurt had their heart-to-heart in the dance studio.

Blaine/Sam: Unrequited crushes in high school are the worst — especially when they’re on one of your best friends. That’s the case with Blaine and Sam. Blaine, in the rare moments when he isn’t still pining for Kurt, is developing feelings for Sam, something he thinks he’s managing to keep secret. But during the "Guilty Pleasures" episode, he finally lets Sam know how he feels, without directly saying anything at all. In true Glee fashion, he sings it to him with Barry Manilow’s “Take a Look at Me Now.” But Sam was a lot more clued in than Blaine thought, and the two finally confront Blaine’s feelings. No, Sam does not feel the same way, and he never will, but he’s flattered, and would have been offended if Blaine’s feelings didn’t exist. Soon enough, Blaine is firmly back on his path towards getting back with Kurt again.

Blaine/Tina: Another example of unrequited high school love, Tina started to get some very weird (and creepy) feelings for Blaine. She was all prepared for them to have a future together, the kind that apparently lots of Asian women had with gay men: sexless relationships of convenience. In one of the creepiest scenes in Glee history, Tina rubbed Vapo-rub onto Blaine’s chest while he was passed out, a fact she later spilled to Kurt, who freaked that she had “Vapo-raped his ex-boyfriend." Soon after, though, she is set back straight by Kurt and Blaine both, and the three continue their friendship perfectly.

Sam/Brittany: Though I took major issue with this coupling at first, in a way it made sense after a while. Together, “Brittam” was a cute couple. They both took the Mayan Prophecy that the world would end on December 21st so seriously that they wound up getting married (or so they thought), after only a small amount of time dating. The world didn’t end, and they found out they weren’t really married anyway, so everything was okay. Outside of Sam having to deal with Santana telling him she could get Brittany back anytime she wanted, the two had a decent relationship. Their biggest hiccup? Brittany dumped him via text in the last episode when she was having a meltdown over her early admission to MIT, but she seemed over it after she came clean. No telling what will happen to their relationship now that Brittany will be gone, though.

Tina/Mike: They broke up before the season began because the long distance thing was too hard (sadly, this was after Tina had gotten a Mike Chang forever tattoo). When Mike returned to help direct Grease, Tina was irritated at his presence, but by the time the show ended they were willing to try and make it work. Sadly, that didn’t seem to work, as it was never mentioned again, and Tina later formed her obsessive crush on Blaine. I think this relationship has officially finished running its course.

Brittany/Santana: Distance took its toll on everyone’s favorite lady couple in the same way it ripped apart Finn and Rachel, Kurt and Blaine, and Mike and Tina. However, Santana moved to end things with Brittany before either one could really hurt the other by pulling a Blaine and cheating. Though Santana was livid when Brittany moved on with Sam, for the most part the two were able to remain good friends throughout the season, and Santana even came to the rescue and got Brittany out of her meltdown at the end of season. Chances are good that “Brittana” has also run its course, especially considering the casting of Demi Lovato in season 5, who is slated to be Santana’s new love interest.

Santana/Quinn: This was a major disappointment to most fans, as there was never any sort of chemistry between these two that suggested anything more than friendship. Their hookup at Schu’s wedding wasn’t ideal, and thankfully, producers left it at a one-time (or in Quinn’s words, two-time) thing.

Jake/Kitty: This relationship thankfully ended quickly after Jake saw Kitty’s true colors. There isn’t much to talk about here, as the relationship really only did last a few episodes, but Kitty didn’t take too well to being dumped. When she realized that Jake had feelings for Marley, she made it her personal goal to torture her.

Jake/Marley: The Glee Club’s new it couple wasn’t without their own drama. Marley had feelings for Jake when he was dating Kitty. Once he was free to date, though, Ryder entered the picture and provided Marley with some confusing mixed feelings for the both of them, before she finally made her choice and stayed with Jake. After Ryder and Jake struck a friendship, Ryder helped him plan the perfect Valentine’s Day for Marley, which would hopefully convince her to get a room with Jake after Schu’s wedding. The two did get a room — but didn’t use it. Marley later revealed to Ryder that she knew he was planning all of the sweet gestures, and Ryder used it as his opportunity to kiss her, prompting her confusion once more. But after she came clean to Jake after his actually very sweet moment in the art room, recreating her favorite scene from Ghost, things still managed to work out for the best. They’re still going strong as Season 5 prepares to begin.

Marley/Ryder: Ryder had such a crush on Marley, and he couldn’t bear to let it go, even after Marley chose Jake over him. He started playing Cyrano for Jake, but wound up kissing Marley in the process. They all seemed to escape unscathed, though, and Ryder soon moved on to someone else.

Ryder/”Katie” aka “Catfish” aka Unique: Ryder’s mystery girl wound up being “Katie,” a girl he was having a cyber-relationship with, sending sexy pictures to her and spilling his deepest secrets. But he soon learns that Katie isn’t who she says she is — and she won’t reveal herself. During the school shooting, Ryder calls her — and the phone that starts ringing is in the choir room, meaning Katie’s real identity is one of the Glee club members. Still, though, no one will come forward. Finally, in the finale, Ryder has had it. He demands answers, only to find out that Marley claims responsibility. After he tries to find out why, the true Catfisher comes forward — Unique. It started out innocently enough, and before she knew what was happening it had gotten serious, and she didn’t know what to do, because there was a real connection there between her and Ryder. But Ryder doesn’t think so, telling Unique he will never speak to her again, and that they have nothing. Ryder’s status in Glee club is unknown going into Season 5, but if he does stick around, it’ll be interesting to watch how he and Unique deal with working together and settling their differences.

Season 5 of Glee premieres Thursday September 26 at 9:00 PM on FOX.

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