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This week, most members of fandom, even those who do their best to be unspoiled may have come across a spoiler or two. Almost all of us knew that the stories this week would be focusing on the couples, and for some of us, we knew the details of what happened during the wedding, the only thing left hanging was that someone’s secret would be revealed.
We open at the Lima Bean where the place is completely overrun with hearts to the point that it almost feels like overcompensation. The decor suggests themes of pretenses and once we go into Rachel and Finn’s conversation the same themes are established.
In the first scene, Finn is the one who continually states the truth. He confesses to Rachel that he kissed Ms. Pillsbury and when Rachel tries to make the situation about her, Finn flat out calls her on it.
Rachel, on the other hand, chooses to maintain pretenses, continuously mentioning Brody and her life in New York.
The same can be said of the other characters once we delve deeper into the episode.
Quinn, Kurt and Santana all believe themselves to have moved on to bigger and better things and claim that they’ve adapted to the world around them. Will isn’t working under the same pretenses, but he does seem to be living under a blanket of “everything is okay”.
It’s those who were left in McKinley that seem to have a better grasp of the truth.
While not all of them are willing to face it in the beginning, choosing to play along with everyone else rather than face the truth, they are eventually the ones who have the courage to be honest with how they feel—even if it comes at a cost.
Blaine and Finn play along with Kurt and Rachel’s insistence that their relationship is platonic, but before the episode ends, Blaine and Finn are both equally insistent that there’s still more going on between them and their respective exes.
Marley, Ryder and Jake are all aware of the truths hidden just below the surface of their relationship to each other. For a while they were also willing to play under the same blanket of pretense that has affected the others, but each of their truths still come out.
Quinn and Santana have no one from McKinley to tell them the truth so they remain within their bubble.
In the end, it seems though even though the magic of pretense has a lasting effect on those who have escaped McKinley (Rachel leaving while Finn is still asleep, Kurt continuing to insist that he and Blaine are just friends and Will moping) Rachel’s return to New York is able to influence a truth to come out— Brody is implied to be a paid escort and Rachel appears to be pregnant.
The episode as a whole also had a more “adult” feel that reminded me of the relationship dynamics of Friends. Other things I noticed were the continuing parallels of past events versus current events as well as the growing up that the old members are doing versus the growing up that the new members are doing. It’s interesting to note that between the two, it actually seems that the younger members are the ones who are doing the actual growing up and not just trying to act grown up.
Aside from the “pretense” themes, one of my favorite parts about the episode was all the one-liners that either explained something away or acknowledged a common observation of Glee. Some examples were:
- “And all of the glee kids have dated so incestuously that I don’t even remember who can tolerate who anymore.”
- “For everyone else who isn’t out with Asian Bird Flu,” which explained why some of the kids were missing.
- “He’ll have you singing a stripped down acoustic version of ‘I Will Survive’ in front of a choir room full of teenagers with meaningful looks on their faces.”
- “Okay, I’m going to ignore the subtly racist overtones of that comment.”
- The creepiness of Tina’s crush being acknowledged wrapped up through the “Vaporape comment”.
- The use of fandom terms such as “We are endgame.”
The three-week hiatus is sure to produce a lot of speculation of what’s coming up next. Although the episode didn’t end with a cliffhanger for most characters, a lot of things are still left in the air. What are your thoughts on the episode? How long do you think the older members of New Directions keep up pretenses? What do you think of the growing up that’s been happening with the characters outside of Lima versus the ones who are still in McKinley? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the characters and other themes you may have picked up from the episode!
Primary Glee interests: Main characters of interest would be Blaine and Kurt with particular focus on their background, their thought processes and their relationship with each other and the other characters of Glee. I also have a soft spot for Santana, Rachel and Finn and their evolution throughout the seasons.
What else: Identifies as a gay wannabe pop culture analyst and current corporate barbie. I work in marketing so the way that the people behind the show, the network, the press and the fans interact is continuously fascinating for me. Other topics of interest also include lgbt issues and media’s influence on society.
Also lives here: djchika.tumblr.com