When I heard that the penultimate Glee episode had been dubbed "Funeral," I can't be the only Gleek who went scurrying to Google to enter the name of every cast member out there for a clue of who would be killed off. Was it the naughty extra who leaked spoilers about the prom episode? Would they break our hearts and take away super dad Burt Hummel with another heart attack? Or would they really shock us and go big? Finally give Mr. Schue his out?
OK, OK. I'm no Ryan Seacrest. I can't carry this out any longer. The dead Glee cast member is ...
Jean Sylvester. Remember her? Played by Robin Trocki (who seems to be very much alive, thank goodness), Coach Sylvester's sister with Down syndrome is gone. So sad!!
But it says a lot about a show that a woman's death and Jesse St. James picking on Finn with jabs like "You kind of sing and dance like a zombie who has to poop" can not only appear in the same exact episode, but also fit the tone of said episode. It was the funeral for Jean, put together by the glee club for a grieving Sue, which was the sort of moment that epitomized the point of this club of misfits and freaks. They work better when you play up the kook factor!
Of course, Ryan Murphy and Co. could have just filmed the New Directions singing Jean's favorite song, "Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka, at her funeral, then played it 60 times over to fill up the hour and drum home the point:
But what's the fun in that? We had to build on last week's "Jesse St. James is back, and Finn doesn't like it vibe." So Rachel's ex was hired by Mr. Schue as a show choir consultant to help them win nationals (bringing the following credentials: having won nationals with Vocal Adrenaline, having taken one class at UCLA, and having watched a LOT of reality shows). He organized a sort of sing-off, auditions for the New Directions members to try to win a spot as soloist and lead member to build the nationals show around, while systematically ripping each singer to shreds one by one.
It got us some amazing vocals -- Kurt singing "Some People" from Gypsy and Mercedes singing Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness" were the standouts here. But you also got the typical infighting that comes when you try to tell a queen like Kurt that he can't sing "girl songs" and a diva like Mercedes that she has nothing on Patti LuPone. (A little foreshadowing here? Word has it Ms. LuPone will show up in the finale y'all! Maybe she can revive her role as Rose from Gypsy and have a sing-off with Kurt? Oh, a Gleek can dream.)
But what Jesse St. Suck, as Kurt renamed him, didn't get was if you try to mold the New Directions into Vocal Adrenaline wannabes with perfect planning to match that perfect pitch, you might as well throw the team their own funeral. Ah, yeah, I see what they did there. Tricky!
Speaking of trickery, Finn broke up with Quinn so he could get back with Rachel ... but Jesse St. Suck is already getting in the way. Can we kill THIS guy off so we can get Finchel back? Please?
OK, on to NYC and nationals next week. Are you ready for the New Directions to hit Broadway?
Image via Fox