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Glee Recap: S03E14: On My Way
“On My Way,” is an episode that could serve as an ending, but ends up resulting in transitions. With the arrival of Regionals, it could either be the end of the musical year or simply an obstacle on the way to something bigger: Nationals. More importantly, “On My Way” introduces some difficult questions, when one student’s decision to attempt the ultimate end leads all of the characters to contemplate what they are on their way to in the near and far future.
Following Karofsky’s Valentine’s Day meeting with Kurt at Breadstix, word has spread throughout his school. As Blaine sings his inspirational song selection for Regionals, Young the Giant’s “Cough Syrup,” the audience sees the immediate result: Dave goes to school to find that his team mocks him. He returns home to find homophobic slurs on his Facebook wall. Coming face-to-face with what he feared most, Dave decides to take his own life.
The news of the attempt (Dave’s father found him in time) spreads through McKinley like wildfire. Teachers contemplate what they can do to reach out to those affected and most at risk, while the students consider what they can do to help Dave and his family. The God Squad turns to prayer, but Quinn questions why they would pray for David rather than his family. She focuses on how his family must suffer, saying, “I feel sorry for Karofsky. But what he did was selfish. He didn’t just want to hurt himself; he wanted to hurt everyone around him.” Kurt walks into the room in time to hear her opinion, and he lashes out, claiming that she cannot know what it is like to be so hated. She wonders why he is even at the God Squad’s meeting in the first place. “After everything that we’ve been through,I didn’t have anywhere else to go,” he admits. Kurt has come to pray for Karofsky as well as a way to assuage his guilt for ignoring Dave’s many phone calls.
To tackle the complicated issue, Mr. Schuester brings the glee club to the stage, where he introduces Rory to peanut butter for the first time. Though a fun experience, the club wonders why he would do something so frivolous after such a horrible event has occurred. “The point is,” Mr. Schue responds, “you guys are young. I want you to promise me that no matter how depressed you get, no matter how hopeless or alone you feel, you’ll try your best to imagine all of the amazing experiences you have ahead of you.” Again, the club protests, saying that they would never consider such a thing. But Mr. Schue shares something personal, telling them that he once thought about taking his life after he was caught cheating on a test. “Everyone has something that will take them up to that edge,” he explains. The glee club spends the rest of their time sharing what they have to look forward to: graduating college, seeing equality brought to all states, and winning Regionals.
Later on, Kurt visits Dave in the hospital. There he promises his friendship and support and helps Dave envision his better future, a place where he is happy with a loving partner and child.
While dealing with these important issues, the glee club must still prepare for the upcoming Regional competition, where they will once again battle against Blaine’s former group, the Warblers. The animosity reached new heights when Sebastian injured Blaine with a slushy in “Michael,” but the resultant injury has done nothing to diminish Sebastian’s need to sabotage the New Directions. While Kurt and Rachel are at the Lima Bean looking through wedding magazines, Sebastian surprises them with a wedding “gift” (at this point in time, I would like to support Kurt’s assessment; Sebastian must live there). The gift is a photoshopped picture of Finn, naked and sporting heels. Sebastian gives Rachel 24 hours to drop out of the competition, or he uploads the photo. Personally, I am surprised that this is all Sebastian has up his sleeve. The slushy attach was much more original and personalized.
Back at McKinley, the club consults the rulebook and finds that Sebastian’s act is enough for disqualification, but Rachel decides not to back down in the face of “glee club terrorism.” Finn feels betrayed at how quickly she is willing to sacrifice his pride for her gain. “Our future depends on us winning Regionals. It will help me toward my NYADA application,” she explains. Finn storms out of the choir room, not buying Rachel’s self-centered reasoning.
All of the planning comes to naught. Sebastian calls Santana, Brittany, Kurt, and Blaine to a meeting. He apologizes for his actions and expresses a complete turn around. After hearing about Dave’s attempted suicide, Sebastian wants to put the animosity aside. “Win, lose, or draw, we’re going to dedicate our performance to Dave Karofsky,” he claims, “For too long I have treated everything like a big joke.” It seems that Sebastian feels slightly responsible for Dave as well. He once turned him down at Scandals in the most insulting way possible, and now he feels contrite.
Regionals commences with no foul play involved. The Warblers turn it into a charity benefit by asking people to donate for suicide prevention. But it is New Directions that comes away with the first place prize (was there any doubt?). Our favorite glee club is once again on their way to Nationals.
Sebastian is not the only one who experiences a profound revelation after Dave’s actions. Rachel and Finn decide that their life cannot wait. “Life’s too short,” Rachel tells her fiancé, “I don’t want to wait for some arbitrary date to start living it. I want to get married. Now.”
As soon as she clears up with Finn that she does not mean that exact moment (he would have to skip gym), they make their plans. Why wait until after Nationals? The new plan is to have a small ceremony directly after Regionals before the Justice of the Peace. The decision seems sudden, especially to those in the glee club who had objected to the union in the first place, but the sweet speech the pair makes to their friends prior to going on stage may change a few minds:
Finn: “With everything that’s happened lately, we thought a lot about what Mr. Schue said. We don’t want to wait anymore. We just want to live every day like its our last. So we want to thank a lot of you guys that were supportive of our decision to get married…”
Rachel: “…And for those of you who maybe weren’t the biggest fans of our impending nuptials, we thank you also. So after we win, we would really like it if all of you would come to our wedding.”
A Change of Heart (x2)
Of course, no Glee episode is complete without a lot of confusing character changes…
“I, Sue Sylvester, am with child.”
More terrifying words may not have been uttered on Glee. Sue breaks the news to Quinn, who seems completely perplexed by the turn of events. Nonetheless, she readily offers up some useful advice for dealing with the ups and downs of pregnancy. The pregnancy does not seem to have changed Sue that much, however, as she initially denies Quinn’s request to rejoin the Cheerios for the end of her senior year.
After the competition, Sue’s mind changes. She hands Quinn her old cheerleading uniform and then shows up at Rachel and Finn’s wedding with an offer for Mr. Schuester. Sue knows how to win National competitions, and the glee club is about to tackle that very challenge. Blaming raging pregnancy hormones, Sue offers her expert advice and help. Maybe this year, the glee club might actually have a chance (and might actually pick their competition songs prior to their arrival in the host city).
“ON MY WAY”
Newly reinstated Cheerio Quinn changes her mind as well. She approaches Rachel in the school hallways and lets her know that even if she had not supported Rachel’s decision to marry Finn, she will be supportive now. She will come to the wedding, but first she needs to run home to get her bridesmaid dress.
Everyone gathers at the courthouse. Glee boys and girls suit up as the bridal party; the Berrys and Hudmels discuss last minute plans to delay the wedding once more. But the more pressing matter is Quinn’s continued absence. Rachel insists on waiting for her final bridesmaid to arrive and constantly texts her for updates.
Quinn is speeding to get there, and after hearing her phone ring the alert once more, she checks her messages and types out a quick reply to Rachel’s frantic inquiries. With her attention diverted, she never sees the car in the intersection ahead, barreling towards her. The sound of a crash and then the screen goes black.
Will Quinn survive? Will Finn and Rachel go through with the wedding? Find out next time on Glee.
Cough Syrup – A+
Oh, Darren, Darren, Darren. He slays me; over-emoting stage acting and all. The combination of his gorgeous voice, this beautiful song, and the heart wrenching montage of scenes depicting David’s downward spiral could not help but produce tears. The whole number was perfection from start to finish, and the song on its own does not disappoint.
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Stand – B
Amidst much stronger offerings, this well-sung song does not stand out. It was just “a’ight,” as Randy “The Dog” Jackson would say. As a competition piece, it lacks spark, and it is not exactly an opening number that will get a crowd on their feet (although this crowd does after being led to it by Finn).
Glad You Came – B+
A very popular song right now. My only complaint is that the original artist, The Wanted, is a band, which the Warblers could have easily replicated instead of turning the song into a solo for Grant Gustin (Sebastian). Why not add in Curt Mega, who sang lead on “Uptown Girl”? This aside, Grant sounds great, and the Warblers’ choreography has greatly improved from the year before (although my favorite Warblers competition number still remains “Raise Your Glass”).
Fly / I Believe I Can Fly – A-
Again, Glee comes up with a mash-up that surprises the heck outta me. Nicki Minaj and R. Kelly make a good mix, however, with the uplifting message “fly” the common theme between the songs. The performance has great choreography, and even the rapping portions are handled admirably by Naya Rivera and Darren Criss. Add the smooth vocals of Lea Michele and Kevin McHale and you have a winning number.
Stronger – B+
I adore this Kelly Clarkson anthem, and the Trouble Tones tackle it with power. But I end up comparing all Trouble Tones numbers with the best: the “Rumor Has It/Someone Like You” mash-up that had such stunning vocals and brilliant choreography. In the end, all other performances come up short. Repeat viewing has improved this number for me, but I know that they can do better.
Here’s to Us – A+
No competition is really complete without a Lea Michele-dominated number. This song is the perfect uplifting group number, reminiscent of “We Are Young.” While this song does not quite live up to its predecessor (in my opinion, WAY stands as one of the best covers of the season), “Here’s to Us” serves as a feel good competition ender that beautifully sums up everything that the episode represents. Here’s to the glee club for getting this far and farther. Here’s to Finn and Rachel and their successful relationship. Here’s to the unity that the glee club has finally achieved. And here’s to the flawless vocals of one Lea Michele.