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The Perturbed Gleek: Shooting Star

Updated on April 12, 2013

I'm a little torn on this episode. It feels kind of pointless to do my usual breakdown since the majority of this episode is taken up by the incident. A gun goes off at McKinley High and a large chunk of the show is devoted to that incident and its fallout. I don't think I can be bothered to pick apart how unfathomably unbelievable anything that Britney does or how odd it is that Beiste suddenly expresses feelings for Will or how Ryder acts like a two-year old when he gets mad at Marley and Jake for what he even acknowledges is nothing. Those things were all there tonight and they were all dumb but it's Very Special Episode Time.

That's me mocking a serious topic, I know. School violence is a thing that is sadly all too real and people that live through such experiences can be profoundly affected by that. But here's the thing; I am mocking this because it's Glee. Not ten minutes prior to the gun going off, Britney was convinced that a Pringles can was a telescope and that a dead ladybug was a meteor/meteorite/comet/asteroid. Immediately prior to that, the Glee club sang a love song to a cat. I understand that real life is messy and it can very easily go from business as normal to pants-crappingly terrifying. But this isn't real life, this is Earth-G, and I am not watching this show for Very Special Episodes.

Like I said, I am torn. On the one hand, the scene and its aftermath are very well done. When the gun goes off, most of the club ends up barricading themselves in the Glee room along with Coach Beiste, Britney is stuck alone in the bathroom, Tina is stuck in the outside world, and Marley's mom is in the cafeteria. The sheer terror everyone expresses at the situation is shockingly well done here; these kids (and the adults) all look terrified. Splitting the cast adds to that tension as Marley is disturbed that her mom is not returning her texts, Tina is scared to death that her friends inside the school are in danger, and Sam has a major freak-out when he realizes that Britney is trapped somewhere else. His attempts to get out of the choir room, and the lengths that Will and Beiste have to go to in order to restrain him...kudos to everybody involved.

On the other hand, as dramatic as the episode is played, it seems like this is just an excuse to tie up some loose ends, hit Fast Forward on some other plots, and to shuttle some other characters to other places. Specifically, Kitty's party in Marley's anorexia is revealed (tying up that plot thread long after it was relevant), Ryder's online pal turns out to be somebody in Glee club without revealing exactly who it was (Fast Forwarding something that probably could and should have been drawn out a bit more), and Sue is fired because she takes the blame for the gun (I swear to God, if she shows up in New York...).

My main issue with the shooter is that is not who it was, but because it had zero build-up. Becky is scared that her friends will be graduating and leaving her. That's a fine plot line if it was introduced, I don't know, more than ten minutes before the gun goes off. It comes completely out of left field. Prior to this episode, Becky was Sue's Mini-Me, a character who waffled on whether or not she has any developmental issues. As It So Happens, However TM, Becky has this deep-seated fear that was never spoken, hinted at, or even dreamed up until five minutes before they realized they needed somebody to pull the trigger. I am used to that with this show, sadly enough. An even bigger problem is that this problem had already been dealt with. Earlier in the episode, Becky confessed her fear to Britney and Britney had turned her brain on for the five minutes needed in order to assuage Becky's fears. Based on that scene, I would have said that Becky's issues would never, ever be mentioned again. Becky's issue, in my eyes, was no longer been an issue after that scene. That's how Glee has trained me to react, after all; problems happen out of no where and they go away after being dealt with a single emotional moment and then they never matter again.

What, you don't believe me?

Let's see if anything that happened surrounding this shooting matters a single whit next week.

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