“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 Crissquestions), 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