The May 25th episode of the hit Fox series Glee was certainly an exciting one, with mother/daughter conversations, confrontations, and deep, powerful emotions. Through it all, however, the show continues to show its combined strengths of expertly blending comedy/drama and in using its narrative power to comment on the power of discrimination and bullying within the school system.
This evening’s episode of Glee focused mainly on the separate story threads of Rachel’s emotionally wrenching interactions with her mother Shelby Corcoran and Kurt’s ongoing and emotionally confusing relationship with Finn, which only grows more complicated when the two end up sharing a room. Of course, part of the episode’s power stems from the fact that Idina Menzel portrays Shelby, and no one can deny that this hugely talented actress steals the stage. However, it should be noted that Lea Michele (who portrays Rachel) serves as the perfect daughter of Menzel, due both to her physical resemblance to the older actress and the fact that their voices (which also sound alike,) also blend seamlessly together. However, the storyline itself was also enormously powerful, as Rachel must face the wrenchingly sad fact that her mother, for all that she may love her, can never fulfill the role that she wants from a “mom.” In the end, the two share a powerful musical moment, and they part amicably. Indeed, this stands as one of the most powerful moments in television, at least as far as high school dramas are concerned.
The ongoing relationship between Finn and Kurt, however, was also emotionally complicated, as it still remains unclear exactly what (if anything) the former feels for the latter. After he is forced to share a room with Kurt, Finn finally loses it and makes his latent homophobia unfortunately evident. Of course, he is then confronted by Kurt’s father, in a powerful scene that shows just how pernicious homophobia can be on the minds and lives of youths. Naturally, Finn comes around in the end, and even comes to Kurt’s defense against other members of the football team. These scenes reveal the many complications involved in Kurt and Finn’s relationship. Although nothing has been stated outright, it has become rather evident that something, however faintly romantic, is slowly brewing between these two seemingly opposite men. It remains to be seen how this will continue to develop.
Throughout the episode, Glee continues to show how powerful the effect can be when the seemingly opposite genres of comedy and drama are brought together in one series. Of course, the centerpiece of the entire series is the music, which is absolutely amazing. Tonight’s episode was particularly noteworthy in that it featured the music of the inimitable Lady Gaga. Although the singer did not appear in person, the enormously talented cast might as well have been channeling her, so spot-on was their performance. Indeed, the duet between mother and daughter of Gaga’s “Poker Face” was interesting and surprisingly touching.
All in all, it was a fantastic episode, and Gleeks everywhere should be happy.