Glee Recap – Nothing At All


Managing Editor

I’m not sure if they named it “All or Nothing” in expectation of witty recap titles, but thanks for throwing me a softball, Glee.

Glee promised us a lot of cliffhangers in the season four finale, but it also promised us we’d get a lot of answers, both outright and through the unspoken agreement that in a season FINALE things get FINALIZED. Let’s consult Freytag’s Pyramid, the most basic model of dramatic structure!

Freytags_pyramid

Unfortunately, as has happened multiple times throughout the season, the writers seem to have gotten caught up in the Bermuda Triangle of rising action/climax/falling action, making tonight’s finale anything but final.

Freytags_pyramid_glee

Since Glee doesn’t feel obliged to provide an episode that ties up existing storylines while also creating momentum for the next season, I don’t feel obliged to recap it in my normal linear fashion. Instead, have some bullet points on the storylines that somehow escaped into the denouement – and those that fell by the wayside.

Brittany:

  • She’s apparently an idiot savant, or at least that’s what the MIT professors think based on the crayon number art she scribbled on the back of her math test (which she failed).
  • MIT offers her early admission, which causes her to storm through McKinley having yet another diva tantrum.
  • She breaks up with Sam via text while standing three feet away from him.
  • Santana comes back and knocks some sense into her, and Brit bids everyone a tearful and mildly offensive goodbye in the pre-performance huddle at Regionals.

Ryder:

  • He throws a fit in the choir room and says he won’t perform at Regionals if the person catfishing him doesn’t confess.
  • Marley takes the blame, but during a hallway confrontation with Ryder it’s revealed that the actual catfish was…Unique. I called that weeks ago. Unique didn’t want to lose what they have. Ryder says they have nothing.
  • Ryder shows up to perform at Regionals but says he’s quitting afterward.

Rachel:

  • She has her Funny Girl callback. She sings Celine Dion’s “To Love You More.” That would never happen at a real Broadway callback. They say they’ll let her know. Yeah, in four months.

Blaine/Klaine:

  • Blaine wants to propose to Kurt, despite the fact that Kurt is apparently incapable of saying anything besides “We’re not a couple” these days.
  • He meets an adorable old lady (Patty Duke) at the jewelry story. Conveniently, the adorable old lady is a lesbian with an equally adorable partner (Meredith Baxter). They take Kurt and Blaine out to dinner and talk about how far LGBT rights have come and how far they have to go. They get engaged. This is doing nothing to dissuade Blaine from proposing.
  • The last shot of the episode is a zoom out from the choir room, and we see Blaine standing next to Kurt and holding a ring box behind his back.

Will and Emma:

  • They get married. In the choir room after Regionals. With no one but ND members present. Because they have no friends.

New Directions:

  • Sugar and Joe rematerialize in time for the competition. They win Regionals against the Hoosierdaddies (featuring the guest star no one cares about, Jessica Sanchez) and the Waffletoots (portrayed by Yale a capella group the Whiffenpoofs).

That’s literally all that happened. In the entire episode.

I’m fine with cliffhangers; as someone with an active imagination, I actually love being left on the edge of my seat – forced to speculate and imagine and create miles and miles of headcanon that will ultimately be proved entirely incorrect – but that’s not what this episode provided. Brittany’s storyline was created and resolved within the same episode, Ryder’s internet relationship is officially kaput, and Will and Emma finally got hitched, but everyone else? Nothing.

The biggest oversight of the episode was Kurt and Blaine; they are arguably the biggest story arc on the series right now, and they had one scene together, during which they didn’t speak to each other or EVEN MAKE EYE CONTACT. The writers have mishandled Kurt’s side of their breakup so severely that as it stands, Kurt may be madly in love with Blaine and trying to come to terms with it, or he may be completely disinterested while Blaine is daydreaming about their wedding. We just don’t know. They’re telling half of a story, and they’re not even doing that well. This goes for all of the core couples that were broken up this season, really, but it’s most obvious with Kurt and Blaine

Cory Monteith’s entrance into rehab and Heather Morris’s pregnancy definitely threw a few curveballs at the writers, forcing them to reimagine storylines for Finn (and therefore probably Rachel) and Brittany. Add to this the fact that the show was renewed for two more seasons and it feels like the writers just…gave up. They tossed their pens down and said, “We’re screwed. We’ll just do it next season” and that is not how you wrap up a show. Especially not one with a fanbase as dedicated and attentive as Glee. And with season five set to pick up right where tonight’s episode left off, eschewing the calendar in favor of extending the current school year for an unforseen time in the fall, I don’t know what they’ll do to wrap up these storylines and move everyone forward.

What worries me is that I’m not sure they know either.

Oh, I forgot. One other thing happened.

There’s Sue’s babydaddy.

  • Alex Dahlberry

    Hahahah. Lovely review.
    As HUGE and emotional of a Klaine fan as I am, and as much as that last shot pissed me off, I actually don’t mind not knowing Kurt’s position on their relationship. Well. I mean. It worries me and stresses me out that he might not love Blaine, but in terms of a television show, I actually like that they haven’t been really obvious with Kurt. He could be in love or he could have moved on. What matters is that we can tell that there is some sort of inner turmoil going on. And I”m going to assume that he is suppressing his love. Kthx.

    I can’t believe we have to wait for next season. Uguhhhh.

    • Amanda McAllister

      But that’s the thing – we shouldn’t have to assume. Not to this extent. Because as it is, they’re making Blaine look pathetic and crazy trailing around after someone who at face value wants nothing to do with him. I’m SURE there are a lot of confusing layers to his feelings. But I need at least a glimpse of that.

  • http://twitter.com/lizinprogress Liz

    Oh for the love, my thoughts exactly. EXACTLY.

    What I wouldn’t give to have ANY clue what Kurt is thinking about Blaine right now. We’ve had no insight into Kurt’s head with regard to Blaine since Come What May, and yet we get nonsense about Marley’s original songs and random ass American Idol girl. Really? That’s how you want to spend your time and money, Glee? With the criminal underuse of Kurt? God, Glee, you suck so hard.

    And yet, I’m still here. WHY WHY WHY? It’s like a terrible addiction.

    Also? I cried laughing with the Captain Jack Sparrow gif. CRIED.

  • http://twitter.com/lisamichellelle Lisa Michelle

    slow clap this out. fantastic review. everything i couldn’t put into words, you did. thank you!

  • Debbie

    I’m pretty sure your assessment that the writers just gave up is accurate. There’s a certain amount of satisfaction a viewer is supposed to get from a season finale, even if it’s just heightened anticipation from a big cliffhanger, but Glee just gives us heightened expectations for reaching new rage levels.

  • http://twitter.com/ginniegins Ginnie ☆ 日々マオが大好き!

    And when the show comes back in September (presumably), real time will be seven months ahead of Glee time.

    (Random shallow thought: Like it’s not bad enough for them to be filming wearing clothes out of season for a month and a half in advance of episodes, now they’re going to have to wear summer clothes in freaking November.)

  • Clare

    I find it really annoying how the writers are just using klaine to keep the viewers they still have. With finchel and brittana temporarily out of the picture, the only couple with a strong fanbase left is klaine so they’re just starting to make their plotline stupid and having them as the cliffhanger of the episode was obviously just to keep the fans interested in the next season because right now kaline are the only characters that people care about that are getting storylines. After a whole season, no-one cares about marley, jake and ryder, I wish they would stop trying to force us to.

    • Amanda McAllister

      I’d be fine with them using Klaine to keep people around if they actually, ya know, USED them. The whole tone of their storyline would’ve changed if we’d had one conversation last episode and one this episode showing forward movement in their relationship and a real look at Kurt’s thoughts.

      THEN you show Blaine palming the ring box and it’s an actual cliffhanger.

  • Vanessa

    This episode did not work as a season finale. As a regular episode in the middle of the season? Sure. But as a finale that’s supposed to keep viewers interested until September? Nope. Epic fail.

    And I agree 100% about Klaine. I love Kurt and Blaine and I do want to see them get back together, but their storyline has been so imbalanced all season with Blaine getting all the focus (and really just repeating the same things over and over again) and Kurt barely ever getting to say two words about anything. We have zero idea what is going on in Kurt’s head right now. The last emotion we’ve seen from him in regard to Blaine was after “Come What May” – 7 episodes ago! It also didn’t help that the boys had no interaction – not even a phone call – between eps. 4×14 and 4×21. The entire Klaine storyline this season has been incredibly poorly and sloppily written, and like the reviewer said – they’ve told only one half of a whole story, and they didn’t even do that well.

    Add to that the fact that I’m still really mad at how criminally underused Chris Colfer was this season and how little screentime Kurt got (he really deserves much better than that!), and I’m not happy with Glee right now.

    I have no idea how the writers are going to fix this mess. I’ll stick around for now, but if they don’t find a way to make up for this BIG TIME in the season 5 opener then I might actually cut my losses and quit Glee.

    • Amanda McAllister

      Exactly. It felt like an episode that’s a lead-up to one of the Big Episodes. It, in itself, was not remotely a Big Episode. And that’s what finales are supposed to be. The biggest of big.

  • Rachel Monroe

    The saddest thing is the Klaine is arguably the biggest arc. I don’t think so they were merely pandering to ships. Weak excuse for Brittana this episode and we all know if Cory was able to film there would have been Finchel.

  • Sara

    The problem wasn’t with the finale, it was with the entire season. We reached the finale and I was still waiting for something to happen. I’m sure ‘The Break Up’ constituted something happening in the minds of the writers, but to me it was just a huge mess. Their ‘big’ episodes have clearly been bait for viewers and award panels, and they all missed for me. For big episodes to work, we have to care about something in them before it happens. They can’t just throw a subject matter at us out of the blue and expect us to be interested. Despite what the show seems to think about it tugging at the heartstrings and emotions, it hasn’t truly hit my emotions since Kurt’s plot in season 2.

    I know I’m not being revolutionary in saying all this. Glee has had too many main characters to focus on for the past two seasons, and everyone knows that. Plots consist of one character saying something to another and them singing a song about it (if the characters are that lucky-some of the plots boil down to a throwaway line or eye contact). The show is an absolute mess, and I don’t know how anyone (writers, producers, Fox executives) think it was a good season and worth renewal.

    As for Klaine, I followed them closely from Blaine’s introduction to the show (and I’d followed Kurt’s story from the pilot until that point). Now? I don’t care about them at all. I’d be happy never to see them again. I wasn’t interested in Finn and Rachel when they were being written as the typical on-off, drama filled, tv couple and I’m not interested in Kurt and Blaine that way. I watch season 2 of the show now and despair for the relationship we were given back then. By changing Blaine’s character so much they’ve changed the chemistry of the relationship, and it doesn’t appeal at all.

  • Lenka

    Now I know that there is nothing happening between Blaine and Kurt, I don’t even want to watch it..