Glee 4.04 – The Break Up


(No exclamation today. And previously on Glee, here.)  This is when I wish we were still doing the Glee drinking game. Guys? Y’all know that the #1 Priority at Hey, Don’t Judge Me is that we don’t go Comic the Insult Dog on things. This show isn’t here “for me to poop on.” This show is here because I have watched since the pilot episode. I was excited by the buzz about the show and set my DVR up three months before the show even started airing.

I love the black humor, I love the broad humor. I love the self-deprecation for the entertainment industry, I love the heartfelt moments, and I love the characters. Certain characters in particular resonate with me because I either identify with their motivations or backgrounds, or because I can see where they’re going and that rings true for me as well.

And for the first time on this site, I am really upset. Ryan Murphy? You dropped a huge and important ball. Editors? You needed to push for clarification so the final product made sense. Fox Executives? Vague for rating’s sake is poor treatment of loyal and thoughtful fans such as myself. I think the actors did everything they could with what was given, the music was top-notch, and…the story fell apart (there wasn’t much to hold it together) for one couple in particular. Heavy sigh, guys; let’s talk.


Jake and Marley sit at a cafeteria table bonding over being poor as Blaine and Brittany watch them with heavy hearts, remembering what it felt like to be young and in love and excited. (Wow, jaded at 17/18?) Blaine comments on how he had so much hope and innocence back in the beginning with Kurt, and how every day was like Valentine’s Day. (Val-en-tine! BRB, sobbing.) Brittany says with a flash of brilliance, “We’re still young; shouldn’t we still be experiencing that?”

And you can see the wheel’s turning for young Mr. Anderson. (Don’t even think we’re not going to talk about his motivation at length, guys.)

In NYC, Rachel tells Kurt (who is making lunch) that she and Finn didn’t have sex – Kurt wore ear plugs just in case – and in fact, they didn’t even talk. They just laid there. Finn comes out and Corey Monteith? Camera Three. Hey. How you doon? Whatever you did this summer, never stop because I’ve always thought you were a handsome guy, but damn, son. You look amazing.

Kurt leaves to give them space, and Finn explains that he was in the army for 16 days and managed to shoot himself in the thigh with his gun, Rachel. (This is my rifle, this is my gun. This is for fighting, this is for fun.) He got a semi-honorable discharge and spent the next four months embarrassed and backpacking across Georgia. (Someone write the Honey Boo Boo crossover fanfic stat.)

Rachel is obviously frustrated with not knowing any of this, but she’s willing to make the best of things because he’s here now! In New York! And they can work together to make him a new dream. Finn, however, looks like he left his confidence in a moonshine still on Bleak Mountain.

Santana is home to do laundry (she built in a rule to only do it at home so she would have an excuse to see Brit.) and bitches about Kurt magically getting a job at from his WordPress blog linked to his Intagrammed outfits. I mean see-through rain coats? Cossack hats and capes? Whatevs.

I would like to applaud Ryan Murphy for his nod to continuity, though, because Brittany asks what I’ve been asking: Gloria Estephan (sans Miami Sound Machine) gave her money to live her dream in NYC. What gives with the college and the rah rah? Santana evidently likes cheering now more than dreaming. Well, she also likes how close she is to Brit. I suspect she also loves getting a proper education, knowing what we do about McKinley’s lack-luster attention to education. While she’s saying all of this, Brit is yawning. Turns out she’s joined a book club based solely on the Left Behind series of books, which is hilarious because those books are dreadful.

Kurt calls Blaine from work, and immediately has to put him on hold because he’s at work. Kurt? Camera Three. Honey, you are looking fabulous; whatever you’re doing with your hair, continue. Also, baby sugar angel love, don’t call people while you’re at work. Call when you’re on break. You can take a five minute break to text your boyfriend and say that you love him. Back to Camera Two.

Busy career boy. :( He looks so handsome throughout the whole episode, too.

Blaine is visibly upset and hurt that he can’t love all over his boyfriend on the phone, and we learn that Kurt seems to be missing phone dates (and we know from last week that it’s happening a lot) but for crying out loud. I know, Blaine’s a high schooler (grumble) and he’s needy. We’ve learned more about that this season, but that was all set in motion last year with Kurt saying he was proud of Blaine, and Blaine responding, “I want you to be” with his heart in his eyes, braced – as always – for rejection, his veneer of Dalton confidence gone completely.

He tells Kurt quickly that he misses him, he misses hugging him, messing around… Kurt misses it, too. And he doesn’t know when they’ll get to talk later, but Blaine will be there in two weeks, right? So…what, does Blaine hold his breath until then? Kurt doesn’t have an answer and he has to get back to the phones. He hangs up as Blaine tries to get out, “I love you.” Too late. Blaine? Camera Four. (This one is in my private office. It’s small, so come close. No, closer.) Honey sugar tight butt, this is reasonable. You have a perfectly good right hand, and you can deal with 14 days of no Skype sex, or whatever you boys are up to (I don’t want to judge).

I would like to remind everyone of Chandler-gate when it seemed that Blaine wasn’t putting out, and now he’s all Hands McDownYourPants. They must have had a good summer, wink.

Finn accompanies Rachel to her classes all day at NYADA and is happy for her. She’s clearly in her element, and this is what he wants for her. This is definitely not for him. The city is too big, moves too fast, and he doesn’t belong there. “I used to be the man of her dreams and now we’re not even in the same world.” Oh, FINNIGAN. Here, let me ease your heartache. Blaine? Move away from Camera Four, Finn needs me.

Finn and Blaine begin singing Duncan Sheik’s “Barely Breathing” and good lord, do their voices sound wonderful together! (Cory has been working hard on his vocals, is my guess, because he just sounds amazing, right?)Blaine tries calling Kurt again, and can’t get through. I want to point out that this is just later that same day. BLAINE: RIGHT HAND. Come on, there has to be a private place you can go. It’s like Blaine thinks Kurt is blowing him off? The lyrics of the song give that impression.

Which leads me to Ryan Murphy? Camera Five. (This is at a hip boutique, because he is going to buy me some fabulous shoes for putting me through this.) First, those weird booties give me cankles, and you cannot pull off a Mary Jane. Also? You cannot rely on the lyrics of the songs you pick to tell the story for you. You are not Sondheim. Also, you don’t do this consistently – ahem, Candles, ahem – and the lyrics to other people’s music don’t always fit. And I’ll take these Louboutins in teal.

NOW FOR THE HEARTACHE AND CONFUSION. Blaine, while Finn sings, takes himself to the empty choir room and pulls up Facebook. And some Lighthouse dude named Eli C. (C is for character assassination.) He pokes him. Eli texts back – look, just look at this.

YOUNG MAN I HAVE A BONE TO PICK WITH YOU (and do not let this Eli fool pick YOUR bone.)

Why. WHY? Why is this happening? Why are you doing this Blaine Warbler Anderson? What would Wes say? I have theories, but I do not LIKE having to come up with theories. This is weak writing. This is not weak acting, this is Ryan not giving them all the words to share with us.

In New York, the three amigos are ready to go out to a karaoke bar, even though Finn doesn’t think he should sing at all. A knock at the door and we see Blaine with apology flowers (I love flowers. I hate apology flowers.) Two dozen red roses and an overjoyed Kurt who is almost breathless with happiness that Blaine has surprised him two weeks early. Blaine just…really missed him. They kiss and Rachel plays piano and gets a hug in. (Will fandom ever forgive that piano? Probably not.)

At “Callbacks,” the karaoke bar, Kurt notices that Blaine seems off. Distracted. He just really missed Kurt, is all. Kurt says, “Your first night in New York! You’ll never forget this.” Hang on while I blow my nose, because Kurt? Neither will you.

Finn and Rachel bump into Body at the bar, and he’s clearly fishing for how their visit is going so far, and it’s pretty awesome to see that Finn knows what he’s doing, too. Rachel says that she wants to sing with Finn, but he pushes the job off onto Body. Rachel and Body climb up and sing a great version of Demi Lovato’s “Give Your Heart A Break.” Body? Stop with the breathless exclamations at the end of short bars. Otherwise, when you get to really sing, you sound wonderful! Finn sits, enamored with the talent that is Rachel Berry, but you can see the wheels turning there, too.

When they finish, Kurt declines a Sweeny Todd medly because he’s not warmed up, so Blaine says he’d like to sing something. Get ready for the most emotional song ever in the history of Glee, and that is saying something. (Okay, “I Dreamed A Dream” and TD are tied.) He sits at the piano and dedicates the song to Kurt, saying that this is the song he sang “the first time I ever met the love of my life.”

I just… Guess I don’t need my heart anymore because it is being ripped out of my chest. Blaine sings the Darren Criss version of “Teenage Dream” and it’s melancholy and wonderful and oh my god his voice is slipping and breaking all over the place because his emotions are just pouring out of him. Finn looks at the table, Rachel tries to give support by smiling, but she can’t keep it up, and Kurt sits stunned, not understanding what is happening. Oh my god, it is truly painful to see, and kudos, Darren Criss on a tremendously raw and honest performance.

I’m sorry, there appears to be an entire FOREST in my eye… BRB, SOBBING MORE.

He tries to not actually cry as he says the very last “Let you put your hands on me in my skin tight jeans.”

Allow me to extrapolate here, guys. First, Ryan? This is when you can let lyrics tell the story. But not the whole story. So we have Blaine all episode up to this point remembering Kurt (we’re told) in the beginning when they were first dating. And he sang a hugely flirty song to Kurt. Clearly. With nothing intended behind it (or he learned why Kurt was at Dalton and backed off flirting.) Then, Blaine sings another suggestive and flirty song to Jeremiah. We know that Blaine is needy, we know that when he’s overly emotional he wants physical affection.

And this is not uncommon for someone with maybe an abusive background? (I don’t think Mr. Anderson is a violent person like fandom does. I think the whole “He wanted to rebuild a car with me so I’d stop being gay” lends to an emotionally distant relationship, which is a form of abuse.) So Blaine needs physical reassurance that he’s okay. Kurt is who got past the walls of perfectionism that Blaine uses to survive, and now Blaine is exposed and no Kurt to help hold him together. He’s still a kid. And Blaine turns to physical affection and uses sex as love. (Not always, but it’s there.) At Scandals he’s super flirty and immediately wanted to have sex with Kurt right then. He lets Sebastian flirt with him, and doesn’t see it as a problem (because he needs to feel valued physically).

But when Chandler flirted with Kurt last season, that was too far. That was cheating. That was heartbreaking. I think he never got over that fear. I think he believes in an ugly, fearful place in his heart that will never really leave him that Kurt is going to be swept away by some amazing New York man and leave Blaine. Kurt has given no indication of this, but the mind plays tricks on you when you’re stressed and a little broken. And Blaine is a little broken.

“Let you put your hands on me.” Not want, not need, but let. This makes me really, really sad.

So the song ends, they’re walking back to the apartment, and Finn tells Rachel he’s not cut out for New York. “I’m not meant for this.” Finn wants to know if she had sex with Body, and no. They kissed, she’s honest about that, but she wanted him. Finn thinks she’d be better off with Body, not him

In the background, we see Blaine and Kurt walking and not talking. Then Kurt finally speaks up.

Something is rotten in Denmark.

Kurt: That was…moving. I’m kinda wondering why that was?

Blaine: I really missed you.

Kurt: But you’re emotional and weirdly sad. Please stop pretending that there’s nothing wrong.

Blaine: …I was with someone.

Kurt: (utter betrayal on his face) It was Sebastian, wasn’t it? (oh my heart, oh KURT.)

Blaine: No! But it didn’t mean anything. (YES IT DOES. Because as Burt Hummel said, you matter. What you’re doing to yourself matters.) It was just a hook-up, okay?

Kurt: Who was it? (he is just barely holding himself together at this point)

Blaine: It doesn’t matter who. I was by myself and I needed you! And you weren’t there. And I was lonely. (He crumples in on himself.) And I’m sorry.

Kurt: You don’t think I’ve been lonely? You don’t think that I’ve had temptations? But I didn’t act on it because I knew what it meant. It meant something horrible and awful… (he starts crying in earnest and walks off, devastated.)

And there goes the last piece of my heart, because what on earth is even happening? Clearly Blaine trying to put the blame on Kurt is his fear response kicking in and blame is the shortest way to deflect. It’s wrong, it’s unfair, but he’s a 17/18 year old kid, and given the lack of parental presence, he seems totally on his own. Well buddy, if you weren’t before, you will be now. (Oh my sweet baboo, what have you done?)

Finn starts singing “Don’t Speak” as the couples drift apart. Blaine sings “I really feel like I’m losing my best friend,” and let’s take that in: Kurt is his best friend. And the Hudmels come with Kurt. Blaine has just thrown all of that away for a hand-job (or who knows, my assumption is that “hook up” means orgasm).

The song continues, the four of them prepare for bed and climb in next to their once-partner, everyone looking devastated for individual reasons, they turn their backs on each other and go to sleep. In the morning, Finn tries to sneak out before Rachel wakes, but Kurt is sitting there, waiting for Blaine to come talk to him. “I kind of feel like I’m going to die,” Kurt says. Oh my god, get in my hug right now, baby angel boy! (ha) They hug, there’s not much to say, and at least that relationship is still something. Brothers! (BIOTA feels, omg. D:)

Time for some levity, and I really don’t want it. Me. I love levity. Levity is my middle name (which was awkward growing up). But mostly I just don’t care about Kitty and Jake and Marley, because I need to understand why after two flippin’ weeks Blaine hooks up with Craiglist. But the show hates me, so we have a Left Behind party where Kitty is awful (but The Book of Revelations predicting “Twitter, MSNBC, and unexplainable weather anomalies” is funny. Also, her calling Marley Tiny Boobies made me laugh.)

Dottie, the assistant to Mean Tina, isn’t sure she buys into this whole Rapture thing, gets tricked into going to the bathroom, and Kitty initiates the plan to have everyone lay out clothes like they are taken up to heaven and only Dottie, Brittany and Santana are left. Santana is all over this prank, even though she’s above that stuff now.) Dottie freaks out, Kitty points and “HA HA!’s” her, and Marley thinks it’s awful. Jake makes excuses and I don’t care, who is ELI C?!

Brittany points to a hyperventilating Dottie and tells Santana that that is what it felt like when Santana left her behind. Ouch.

Finn is back in Lima and stops in to see Will. In a nice nod back to Season One (there are several, and almost all are painful) he collapses against Will crying, overcome with the cards life has handed him. Sometimes Mr. Schue is a good teacher, and this is one of those times. He lets Finn stay and hang out in the choir room.

Blaine comes in (wearing an awesome sweater. I can’t help it, okay?) and Finn asks in a quiet and hurt voice, “Why’d you do that to him?” Just as softly but with even more pain, Blaine responds, “I…don’t know. I just– There’s no excuse. He won’t talk to me, and I don’t even know if we’re broken up.” Oh, boys. :(

All of the old guard is happy to see Finn, though, and aww, Sam! They’re cool bros. Will sets them all to thinking of what musical they should do that fall, and Finn comes up with the great idea of “Grease,” because everyone likes Grease! And it turns out he’s right.

Will goes home, happy to share with Emma that he got accepted to the Blue Ribbon Panel of Keeping Music and Stuff In Schools. I can’t remember the title. So…how about she pulls up stakes and joins him in DC for a few months? He throws out the reasonable, “it’s a sabbatical, you have tenure, you won’t lose your job.”

Which is all well and good, but Emma is amazing in this moment and says that she doesn’t want to sit in a hotel room all day while he lives out his dreams. And if Will thought she’d follow him around like an obedient puppy, then what the hell, Will? Good for you, Emma! I love that you are your own person, and you stand up for yourself. Will wants to talk about it.

“We just did. You just didn’t like what I had to say.” Emma? Camera Three. Even in that ridiculous flamingo pin you are a magnificent beast. Well said.

Things are a little upside down and topsy-turvy at where a stressed out Kurt is on the phone, staring at a bouquet of roses. And they’re the roses. The yellow and red roses he gave Blaine last year. (No sign of a Filbert spray, I noted.) There’s a card where Blaine has drawn himself into a dog house.

“Kurt, I’m so sorry. Please forgive me. XO XO XO Blaine.”

A coworker notices the flowers. “Flirt or apology?” Apology. “Is he cute?” The cutest. And Kurt drops the card into the trash bin. Just like I believe that Connor showed up at Armageddon to fight at his father, Angel’s side (Angel the Series, and that is one of the greatest shows ever), I believe with all of my heart that Kurt fished that card out before it could be carted away. And he smoothed it with his hand, and his tears fell on it, and he was mad and sad and he put it away in the back of a picture frame where the Dalton school picture of Blaine resides. And here come the water works again. :(

The girls in happier times. :(

But the real crying was saved for this scene, guys. Santana surprises Brittany at school and sings “Mine” to her. Brittany gets choked up at “She is the best thing that’s ever been mine” and so did I, and Heather Morris? Camera ME. (I’m patting my lap.) Your lip wobble hurt my soul. This was your finest acting for the whole season. Santana’s crying, I’m crying, and Brit says, “Sad songs make me feel really sad. I don’t want to feel sad.”

Santana is a thing of beauty here. She loves Brit. She’s also quite mature about the state of things. They can’t see each other all the time. Things are never going to be like they were. (She’s not wrong.) And she doesn’t want them to hang on for the sake of hanging on. “Both people aren’t getting what they need. Especially at our age.” And Brittany starts crying in earnest. “This sounds a lot like a break up to me.”

“You know I will always love you the most,” Santana says, barely holding it together. She gives Brit a peck on the lips and they hold each other, and Brittany absolutely loses it and I am teared up just writing this. I hope y’all appreciate that I have to watch these things multiple times so we can talk about it. YOU’RE WELCOME. I accept thanks in the form of kitten blankets and chocolate hot tubs, because that is what I need to deal, here.

Blah blah Marley, Jake, and Kitty and Kitty is awful and terrible and Jake – who just said that Kitty makes him feel awesome and he doesn’t get made fun of, so Marley can shut it – defends Marley and her mom and says Kitty better cut it out, or he’ll break up with her.

Kitty: I’m like a bad Carrie Underwood song when–

Jake: THEN JESUS, TAKE THE WHEEL. [Bails out of that ship]

And no one really cared, because it’s just been twenty minutes over a month, you know? MEANWHILE I HAVE ACTUAL CONCERNS, MR. MURPHY.

Rachel has evidently flown out to Ohio, and how are these poor kids affording all of these plane tickets at the last minute? That shit is expensive, yo. She finds Finn on the stage, mentions that it was where they first met, they first kissed, and where Finn proposed. It’s their Jerusalem – war-torn and filled with painful history.

And by the way, Finnigan? She hated you for the whole train station thing. But she realized that it must have been incredibly hard on him to do that. And…that’s what a man does. And how a man loves. But sneaking out to go back to high school? Uh… Not so much. And in another awesome moment of female power, she says the following:

“I don’t need you to give me my freedom. I am a grown woman! I don’t need you to hide from me. No matter how famous, rich and successful I become–” Let’s point out how awesome it is that she knows she is going to make it. “–with you I’m always going to be that moon-eyed girl. You were the first boy that made me feel loved, and sexy, and visible.” 

Rachel Berry, you just summed up first love in the most wonderful, perfect, and painful way. That is just what it is. Also, those thigh-high sex kitten boots make your legs look CRAY-MAYZING. Sorry, off track.

“You are my first love! And I want – more than anything – for you to be my last. But I can’t do this. Now now. We’re done.”

Ryan? Camera Twenty (this is at a bar where we’re on our second bottle of wine, and I might be getting a little sloppy.) I believe in my heart of hearts that you are a Finchel and Klaine endgamer. I do not want to trust you, not after the cheap shot and character assassination you forced on Darren/Blaine. But hombre, you better prove the haters wrong. Because you can really pull it out at times, and this was one of those times. This and Britanna. And you’re picking up the tab. And I’m ordering another bottle of Rothschild.

She leaves Finn with encouragement to find his own path, because she still believes in him, and Finn begins to sing Coldplay’s “The Scientist” with Blaine and then Santana coming in. Soon, we have all four couples that mattered singing along (Wemma, Klaine, Britanna, Finchel) and I’m doing okay, everyone sounds lovely and I remembered how much I love Emma and Will’s voices together and they just have to put the knife in deeper.

Flashback to Rachel and Finn’s first kiss on that very stage, and how young they look and then WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME with the Dalton slow-mo run through an empty hall where everything in Kurt’s life changed with the touch of a hand, and even Will and Emma’s first kiss resonates and I’m just a mess, guys.

I can deal with break ups, I think it’s realistic for people this age. I do. I can buy Kurt and Blaine breaking up because long distance is hard. (I’m living this, so you know, and have for 8 years now. It is hard.) But the cheating…I’m having to squint and bend and twist things, and that is not my job as a viewer to do the heavy lifting. The other break ups made sense. (I don’t think Wemma is done, so you know. They’re just in a fight.) But Finn and Rachel? I think it’s a good thing. Same with Brittany and Santana, even though that one really hurts.


But. Guys, talk to me. What do you think? Let’s not bash, let’s definitely not bash on characters, let’s try and figure this out. What’s going on in your mind?

(And a reminder that I am/many of our readers are SPOILER FREE for what’s to come, so let’s leave things as speculation, okay?  Thank you for respecting that. )