Calling all gleeks, “Glee” is back and better than ever

The newest episode of “Glee” is titled “The Breakup.” It features Blaine and Kurt (Darren Criss and Chris Colfer) (#Klaine), Finn and Rachel (Cory Monteith and Lea Michelle) (#Finchel), Will Schuester and Emma Pillsbury (Matthew Morrison and Jayma Mayes) (#Wemma) and Brittany and Santana (Heather Morris and Naya Rivera) (#Brittana) facing the challenges and stresses of relationships. “Glee” has been shaking up these relationships all season.
Finn shows up in New York and finds Rachel with new friend Brody (Dean Geyer). Rachel invites Finn to her classes at the New York Academy of Dramatic Arts (NYADA). Finn’s inner monologue informs us that Rachel may belong in New York, but he certainly does not. The first musical number alternates between Finn in New York and Blaine in Ohio. This performance of Duncan Shiek’s “Barely Breathing” reveals not only Finn’s failure to fit in, but also Blaine feeling neglected by Kurt.
In the next scene, Blaine pays a surprise visit to Kurt, and the four old friends, now in New York, visit a local piano karaoke club. They meet up with Brody and Rachel, and Brody sings Demi Lovato’s “Give Your Heart A Break,” which makes Finn more unsure of his relationship than ever. Blaine then performs an extremely emotional acoustic version of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream,” the song he sang when he first met Kurt. Criss’s previous experience on stage in “A Very Potter Musical” really pays off in this impressive performance.
While walking home from the club, Kurt learns that Blaine has been cheating on him, and Rachel tells Finn of her one brief kiss with Brody. Feeling hurt and betrayed, they all perform No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak.” It is well performed, and highlights the fact that each relationship is very close to ending. Finn flees to Ohio the next morning. Rachel follows and finds him in the high school auditorium. There, they break up with a kiss. Finn then imagines himself performing Coldplay’s “The Scientist” with Rachel, Blaine, Kurt, Santana, Brittany, Will and Emma singing together, albeit in an imaginary gathering.
The main focus is the Finn/Rachel and Blaine/Kurt relationships. A very weak storyline was given to Brittany and Santana, where Santana performs Taylor Swift’s “Mine.” Will and Emma’s relationship is just glanced over, and they barely appear in the final number. The best performance is “The Scientist.” The positioning of the characters and flashbacks makes it most memorable. The worst: “Mine.” Naya Rivera is not the strongest singer, and the fact that it is included in a very weak storyline just makes it that much more forgettable. Rachel, Kurt, Finn and Santana, having graduated, allows the actors playing them to portray adults closer to their actual ages. This reviewer anticipates new, mature storylines from the New York cast as a result.
If you have watched before you will have no trouble jumping right back in. If you’re new to Glee, don’t worry, each episode is introduced with a very brief recap of recent events. Every episode brings with it a new character or plotline to hook the audience. Glee was created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, and airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on FOX.

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