Glee Review: "Rumours" and Real Moments



“Rumours” was another good meta-episode for Glee, acknowledging the inevitable gossip that plagues any pop-culture phenom. The show has gotten its share in various tabloids and blind items, and that's the tongue-in-cheek problem facing the Glee Club this week. Self-awareness of its own pop-culture presence is something this show has always had fun with. They also went there with the couple squish-names, my favorite being “Pizes.”

The real world overlaps were everywhere in this episode. Glee Club gossip included Quinn and Kurt (Chris Colfer) as cheaters (like those Mark Salling/Naya Rivera rumors), questions about Santana and Sam's sexuality (like those Darren Criss questions), and the insinuation that Will (Matthew Morrison) would rather be on Broadway than leading the Glee Club (like Morrison wanting a solo singing career).
 

As for the eponymous Fleetwood Mac album? I like that they’re forwarding plot through songs, and the idea of a full album episode is cool, but something about the pacing felt like they were just going by album cuts and coming up with plot points and motivations afterward. Like why would Rachel and Finn (Cory Monteith) assume Kurt was cheating with Sam (Chord Overstreet), and why would their first WTF be "How could Kurt do this to Blaine?" rather than “Sam is GAY??”

Also, am I the only one who thought the stakeout scenes should have been underscored with Adele singing the “Rumor has it…oooh” line over and over? Sometimes, I wish this show would think further than the cold calculation of popular song = plot point + itunes single. Sometimes mood is important. Lines, hooks and bridges can work just as well. Sometimes, it's about a ten second moment, not a full performance, you know?

What ultimately saved this episode for me – and you know how much I’m predisposed to dislike any episode that doesn’t include Blaine – were a couple of neat emotional character moments. Santana belting out the “I love you I love you” line from "Songbird" to Britney (Heather Morris) was incredibly moving, mostly because they’ve allowed this storyline to develop and play out over the course of multiple episodes. See Glee? That’s how you do it. We care because it wasn't a pairing you just came up with ten minutes ago.

And I was set on that being the emotional center of the episode until they pulled out the topical story about Sam’s family losing their house! Sam crying in that motel would move anyone with a pulse and I hope the show continues in this direction with more backstory moments. The whole point of this show has always been an undercurrent of otherness, of people on the fringe of society getting knocked down and trying to claw their way back up. Losers with big dreams, who can't quite get there, but shoot for them anyway. That’s why Will admitting that he wanted so badly to go on Broadway with the awesome April Rhodes (Kristin Chenoweth) -- Matthew Morrison really sold this scene! -- was a perfect moment for this show. Sam’s storyline bore that out with an issue currently affecting our country. Well done, Glee!

But perhaps the most heartwarming moment for me had nothing to do with the episode itself. I'm referring to the It Gets Better ad during a commercial break. It was beautifully executed, emotionally moving and totally appropriate, since Glee has done a LOT for the mainstreaming of gay teens.

In a way, it's fitting that this episode would feature real world issues like the economic crisis and real character moments from Santana and Will, since rumors can sometimes emanate from some hidden, but essential truth.

Photo Credit by Fox


Comments

marknsprmo's picture
Member since:
14 June 2009
Last activity:
1 week 10 hours

This was a dynamic and emotional episode that shows the emotional growth these characters have been experiencing all season. I am not surprised at Rachel and Finns response to seeing Kurt and Sam together. Kurt has said since day one that Sam was gay. That little rumor must have been just exactly what Sue was talking about when she was talking about "once it is out there it can't go back in". So Sam's sexual identity really has been questioned all along. So how could Kurt do that to Blaine would be the obvious question to me as well. What I am surprised that the show did not touch on is that both Kurt and Quinn hid the truth about Sam from Finn being that one is his step brother and the other his gf. It probably would have hurt my feelings if both of them had a secret and they kept it from me. As good as this ep was there is still a problem for me. Sue. She really is a great character and I love her to death however she is too broadly written now that the characters are more 3 demensional. She is like the mustache twirling villian in a cartoon but her intended victums are real people now. She did add some levity to the otherwise serious episode but they need to rethink what to do with her next season. Really the show would have been just fine without her this week. (and that does not make me happy to say that).

lfad's picture
Member since:
17 March 2010
Last activity:
1 week 13 hours

The Kurt/Sam moment had to have been a little wink and nod to fans who speculated that Sam was going to be Kurt's boyfriend this season.

I really enjoy your reviews. I don't watch every week cause the show can be annoying, but I try to read your take on the week's episode.

ghaddict's picture
Member since:
26 June 2008
Last activity:
5 weeks 2 days

oh glee....another well done episode....though for different reasons than last week's....this episode felt really well crafted, allowing its pacing to be a lot more consistent than a typical glee episode....

The rumors storyline was great and allowed for the forward movement of a lot of the characters involved...I loved Santana singing to Brittany (her cat was hilarious) as well as Finn and Quinn's angry song to one another...

I'm not sure how I feel about Sam's development....Aside from the fact that I would have preferred development for longstanding characters such as Tina or Mercedes...This just felt a little too real for me....Glee is more escapism for me than anything else....sure it gets real sometimes but Sam crying in his motel room was just way too sad....not to mention that glee never takes the time to show relationships develop so it felt weird having Rachel and Finn their....it would have been better IMO if it was Quinn he was hiding it from....I know they say everyone in the Glee club are friends but that always seems weird to me...

RoseNylund's picture
Member since:
11 March 2011
Last activity:
1 year 29 weeks

I enjoyed the episode! I thought it had a great balance of humor and emotion. Brittany and Lord Tubbington and Sue dressed as Ann Coulter had me cracking up. Sam's situation is heartbreaking and unfortunately very real. Chord Overstreet did a great job with those scenes. I respected Kurt and Quinn for not revealing Sam's secret and loved how they supported him. I think Glee is getting better with character development except for Sue, who seems to have regressed. I agree with marknsprmo she's becoming very mustache twirling.

AlistairCrane's picture
Member since:
4 May 2008
Last activity:
2 years 37 weeks

Terri's return was the highlight for me. I LOVE that character---my top fave! I like her more than most of the kids on the actual glee club, to be honest. More please!

jmoney's picture
Member since:
5 January 2010
Last activity:
2 years 7 weeks

I found the episode to be disappointing on a personal level. I should preface this by saying that I have cerebral palsy and I utilize a wheelchair since the age of 5. Currently 28 years old.

I lived through high school in a wheelchair. To say it's difficult is the understatement of the year.

High school is even more superficial than the "Real World" and judgments are made every day based on physical appearance.

I was fortunate. My parents never let me label myself as a victim. Never let me feel bad for myself. Never put limits on what I was capable of.

Junior year I started dating a cheerleader. She was considered attractive by high school standards. She was a year older, and we dated for two years, until I graduated. We broke up as most high school couples tend to do. When I graduated, she wanted to get married, I wasn't ready. I wanted to go away to school.

I say all that because I know that dating a person in a wheelchair is not the "in" thing to do in high school. It's a world where being seen with the star athlete is the ultimate status symbol.

I give my high school girlfriend all the credit in the world. I know how hard it was for her. To her credit, she didn't care what anyone thought, she loved me, and really made me start to feel comfortable with myself, and my situation. In the eyes of many in that society at that time she could have done "better" or at least differently.

I know a lot of youths with disabilities. I only hope they are as fortunate as I was to find Jen at the time that I did. Give my experience, I am not particularly optimistic.

I love that Glee has given Artie two relationships. I hope they continue giving him romantic opportunities. It's opening doors for kids with disabilities around this country. If they broke up Artie and Brittany to put Brittany in another relationship, while leaving Artie single, I will find this incredibly disappointing.

Scooter Smith's picture
Member since:
11 January 2010
Last activity:
1 hour 42 min

I watched on hulu, can someone post a link to the PSA?

marknsprmo's picture
Member since:
14 June 2009
Last activity:
1 week 10 hours

Sorry I dont have a link but it wasn't exactly a psa. It was actually a commercial for google chrome. One of those that lets us all know that big business has a heart..... (ok that was very jaded but it is true.) having said that the actual psa part of the commercial despite the motive of the business, was affecting and very uplifting. Had a company just paid for something like that without advertising who it was from, it would have been spectacular. But seriously, I have a big problem when companies try to get interpersonal and inpsirational with its advertising. Big business is not the nuchurch and money is not the nugod. It is like a year or two ago when ad companies were making these new age slogans for their retail companies and everyone jumped on the band waggon to have the most essoteric meaningful non materialistic commercial that you didn't even know what the commercial is about. Oh The Big J store must really care about us they want us to have a good life! oh ah....

Member since:
18 August 2008
Last activity:
1 day 17 hours

Last week I told myself that I wouldn't try to judge the show on an episode to episode basis because it seems unfair. However, this week, I found myself fast forwarding during parts of the Will plot.

I think the weakness in the story is the adults. Sometimes the Glee kids are like the kids in Peanuts, with absent parents who never attend their concerts or even give the kids the money to go to Nationals. However, we are supposed to care about Will, but I find myself just being bored by him. I liked when he was more flawed. For example, when we saw that he wasn't a very good Spanish teacher. Now he is the moral center of the Glee club and I find his proselytizing a little hollow.

Also, I thought that all of the songs this week were performed in a fairly straight forward direction. There were no riffs or mash-up. It was simply another week of one Glee member standing and singing with reaction shots of the rest of the club. I remember the excitement when they did the Florance and the Machine song weeks ago because it was shot with a hand cam and looked different from the rest of the numbers. I need some more of the Glee oddness that seems original and exciting.

But, enough about me - for this week.