Glee Review: Give Your Heart a Break

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Where's my hankie? I need one or twelve after tonight's Glee. Seriously.

Finchel? Klaine? Britanna? And Wemma? I'm not even a fan of name mash-ups, but what is happening in my television universe?

"The Break Up" definitely shook things up for the future of season 4 and was perhaps one of the best episodes of Glee since some time in season 2. Even if my heart is kind of broken. There's a lot to say about tonight, so grab your tissues and settle in...

Emma and Will on Stage

Life as we know it for the couples of Glee is done. Except for maybe Will and Emma, but I can't be for sure. In order to break this down and adequately discuss everything this monster of an episode just gave us, let's break this down by couple, shall we?

Because it's the most confusing and we need to just get it out of the way, we'll start with Will and Emma.

First of all, did they actually break up? I'm really not sure.

Their discussion about the Blue Ribbon panel and going to Washington made me ask, out loud, "Why are you being a douche, Will Schuester?" I just don't understand. This is perhaps some of the most bizarre writing for Matthew Morrison's character. Will has carried a torch for Emma Pillsbury since Day 1, and we've pulled for him since then, even through her marriage to Uncle Jesse the Dentist, and now, on two completely random occasions, because it's convenient for the story, we see him say something completely hurtful and out of character.

It didn't make sense when he insulted her "issues" last season and it doesn't make sense that he'd be so butthurt that she doesn't want to go to Washington full time. She's an adult. She has a job. Emma's not on the panel. You can see her on the weekends. It's not the end of the world and your students, once again, are being more mature than you are.

Case in point, Santana and Brittany.

I'm trying hard to ignore the Kitty-bit about the rapture, mostly because it was clearly an attempt to throw something sort of funny into an otherwise incredibly heavy episode. I appreciate comedic relief. like her line about being a bad Carrie Underwood song which actually made me laugh out loud. This, however, was a ridiculous set-up solely meant to provide a backdrop for their break up.

Santana realizes that she and Brittany are young. They are going to be attracted to other people. So before either of them has a chance to hurt the other, Santana sings Taylor Swift's "Mine" as a way to say what she doesn't want to say and then delivers the moral of tonight's story:

Let's just do the mature thing here...let's just be honest that long distance relationships are almost impossible to maintain because both people are rarely getting what they need.

While it can sometimes feel like Glee drops anvils on our heads, I'm glad someone in an episode where everyone breaks up was mature about it. Someone had to be the voice of reason in the midst of all of this youthful idealism that first loves are forever loves. (Hey, I'm not saying it never works out. I'm just saying it's not the norm.)

Kurt and Blaine in NYC

The saddest breakup of the night award goes to Kurt and Blaine.

I didn't want this breakup to happen and I'm still kind of shocked and saddened by the way it went down.

Blaine cheated.

I didn't see that coming, particularly after the emotional infidelity arc from last season and everything with Sebastian. Or maybe because of that, I should've seen it coming. Blaine was lonely and succumbed to the flirtations of someone else and then flew to New York to sing a tearful rendition of "Teenage Dream" and tell Kurt in person. But something about it was wrong.

He's not the kind of guy to just hook up. Or at least he doesn't seem the type. But maybe in a fit of extreme loneliness? I just have a hard time picturing him as that type. And I have an even harder time being hurt for Kurt.

Just last week he was dodging Blaine's calls to hang out with his boss and other VIPs, so when he shouted back that he was just as lonely, it felt flat. Infidelity is never excusable, but really Kurt? It's hard to convince anyone that you're so lonely when you're partying it up and hanging out at the NYADA bar and living the New York life while your boyfriend is back home living life for you.

Since they never had a conversation and we only saw Kurt drop Blaine's note into the trashcan, I'm hopeful they'll reconcile, or at least have a discussion about everything. I want them to work out more than any other couple besides Damon and Elena. If this doesn't happen, it's the saddest break up for me because I love the couple so much.

And that brings us to the show's power-couple, Rachel and Finn.

Truthfully, Rachel and Finn needed to break up. The writing was on the wall for them when Finn proposed simply because he had no idea what else to do. And I'm happy (or just not sad?) about how real and natural their break up felt, like it was the way things had to happen but didn't signify that this is forever for the two of them.

Their break up made sense naturally within the story arc of these two characters. 

Here's Finn who has no idea what to do with his future, so he joins the Army, puts his girlfriend on a train, and is then honorably discharged for shooting himself in the leg on accident while cleaning the gun he named "Rachel." And then he backpacks through the great state of Georgia for four months, returning no one's phone calls, apparently, (but finding time to email with Kurt), trying to "find" himself, only to end up on Rachel's doorstep in New York hoping for...well, I'm not sure exactly. Neither was he.

And not that we're keeping track, exactly, but he certainly didn't expect to hear that she'd kissed another guy, which makes twice for her now. But it's confusing because were they together after the train station? Apart? Just "on a break" like Ross and that other Rachel?

Regardless, it doesn't seem that the kiss itself factored into their break-up, at least not directly. It did, however, feed into Finn's sense of insecurity and uncertainty with his future, which was ultimately the reason this had to happen. They cannot be together while he doesn't know who he is and she does.

Their exchange in the auditorium was one of the most emotionally charged bits of dialogue we've seen on this show. Maybe it's because a part of me identifies with that "moon-eyed" girl Rachel was at the beginning of the series and the relatively confident woman she's becoming, but Lea Michele nailed it tonight. Rachel is starting to see herself as more than just a small town girl.

She's had no choice but to live, just like Finn wanted. She settled into her new life, quite comfortably. She made friends. She learned things about herself. She learned what she wants from the person she's going to be with. And all Finn has learned is that he still has no idea what to do with his life and has no idea how to figure it all out.

There was no way for the two of them to stay together forever. I'm not saying they won't be together again, but for now, they have to go their separate ways. While part of her will always love Finn, she needs to move in a different direction to live the life she's dreamed for herself, and until Finn can figure out his own path, he'd be dead weight holding her back.

And with that, I'm spent. I think I've said everything I can about tonight. I mean, I can always say more. I'm sure of it. (For example, I didn't even begin to discuss Jake and Marley! Or how awesome ALL of tonight's music was!)

But now I want to hear from YOU. What did you think of "The Break Up"? Are you happy? Sad? Indifferent? What do you see for these characters moving forward?

Look for a Round Table coming soon to discuss this week's episode, but until then, tell me what you thought in the comments.


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (294 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.


I think the writers did a good job in assigning the main reasons long distance relationships don't work. They are maturity (recognizing the distance and temptations will eventually ruin it), cheating, and uncertainty of future goals especially when one person is certain and the other not. They assigned cheating to Blaine and Kurt because the others could not apply. I think that Rachel and Finn will get together because the are the power couple of Glee. I think that Brody is not a powerful enough character to replace Finn and will be an easy distraction for Rachel whom she'll walk away from without so much as a tear when the time comes. I think Santana and Brit are too intellectually different, so I don't think they will make it; Will and Emma will be fine. Kurt and Blaine will stay together because Ryan Murphy wants them too. But in a real life situation, they would never make it. Once a cheat, always a cheat, bottom line.


Let's just put it like this blaine cheated he was in the wrong why is everybody trying to make excuses for what he did its not like Kurt wasn't lonely and missing blaine.


Oh and I'm with Dale's comment! That's the Glee I love, even if that episode was quite heartbreaking...


Aargg, a line went 'missing in my second comment.
As I was saying, It is not because Blaine's is doing all sort of things in high school and seing people thag I cannot feel lonely, just as Kurt can feel as lonely while being righfully busy while working and doing stuff in's just a reminder for those who are jumping on their high horse to defend Kurt's loneliness and accusing people to blame things on him and being biased while they do exactly the same thing with Blaine. But post like Mike's explains well why HE choose to symathised more with Kurt, because he's got valid points and I agree with most of it (except the accusation of the reviewer being that biased and the Sebastian issue xD) concerning Kurt.


(Cont.) That being said, I found this episode great! i haven't felt like that for glee in a long time! I loved the song selection, I don't like Finn at all, but I found myself not bothered for him for once. I even felt for him even if I'm all team Rachel! i just loved how the storylines felt real and natural. That is some character development and growth. Please, Glee writers, give us good writing more often and please in the process get rid lf this mr. Shue imposter you gave us for a while now. Either don't give him a storyline outsideof the student, or give us something we can connect to on an episode basis, not very once in a while.
Oh Santana, I missed you! At least Naya! i love to hear her sing and this was perfectly emotionnal. Even if on the performance, my award goes to Darren Criss. This was painful to watch. If you didn't buy Blaine suffering before, THAT WAS IT and you can't take it away from him. And maybe I'll watch the episode again...Glee, I hope you're back for me because I missed you!
On the new characters, I kinda like Marley but Jake, no no...but I have to say I don't really care at all...we didn't saw them a lot this week and it was all fine for me! I uselessly hope it will be always like that but I fear not...


(Cont.) Yes it was his choice but it doesn't change the fact that he left his friends behind and his life. i do not say he doesn't like people at McKingley but we haven't really see him making a real friendship with someone beside Kurt (except maybe Rachel) all that to say that no, cheating is not right, but the characters, like real people, are not supposed to perfect and unfortunately cheating happen. What I do not like is people traiting Kurt as a saint and like Miranda's review (and comment) said it both are not blameless but it is not a crime for her to "sympathised" (it may not be the right word) more with Blaine.
It's a review, not a recap and she's entitled to her own opinion and how I already said, we saw more of Blaine's hurt than Kurt. Geez people, when Glee's reviewers are hard on The show you're not happy and when I read a positive review, some people still find a way to attack the reviewer...
And please, it's not because Blaine's is doing all sort of things in high school and is seing a lot of people that he cannot feel lonely, just as Kurt can feel lonely even when he's busy with work...I'm just making it clear for all those who jump on their high horse to defend Kurt from a supposely biased reviewer and put all the blame on Blaine.


Come on people! I didn't find the review biased as a lot of people are saying...
Well, I am not a Klaine Shipper but I did feel Blaine's pain over the episode and the previous one. Just read Miranda's comments to see her explanations before attacking her of being biased... Or Guenon's, it explains it very well. Yes, I haven't always been a fan of Kurt. Actually, I only started to really like him at the end of season 3 but for once, I'm happy that the writing does not make Kurt a saint like it may have been found in the past.
Their "break up" were given enough time an development (meaning more than 1 ep) to see the crisis building and I'm very happy with it. Yes, it was Blaine who cheated but the guy has been miserable alone. I do not say Kurt doesn't feel lonely and he should be able to live his dreams, but you cannot say that ON SCREEN we have seen Kurt's loneliness that much, since he is righfully busy. Blaine on the other hand said it himself last week, he changed school for Kurt.


Best episode in a long time. We have all finally been rewarded for sticking with the show when things drasically went downhill last season and probably some parts of season 2. All the songs were amazing and performed brilliantly, the dialogue was more mature and thought out instead of rubbish written by a 10 year old. Nothing was shoved down our throats telling us we should hate this or love that, we got to make our minds up ourselves. Hopefully this is the start of Glee turning things around.


Wow, Mike... You made some extremely good points there and made me think again about the cheating. I guess my Blaine-crush got in the way of seeing things clearly. Like you said, if it was THAT easy for Blaine to go to NYC then why didn't he go earlier to talk to Kurt about how he felt? And like you and others here have pointed out, maybe being at work isn't the ideal situation to talk to your sad boyfriend? Hmmm... Still love the both, though, and hope they van overcome this! Ps. Can I just say that I'm so glad to find that people take this show and these characters as seriously as I do! I love the fact that you're all so passionate about this! I've felt a bit lonely in my Glee addiction here in Sweden... ;-)


No one is blameless, but Kurt is definitely the one more deserving of my support in this case. (If anyone is interested in my opinion, and it is just my opinion, just as this review is just Miranda's opinion, please read my comments in reverse order, this being the last part of my very long diatribe, lol)

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Glee Season 4 Episode 4 Quotes

I'm gonna take this down to the park and watch drug deals go down.


Brittany: Ah, young love.
Blaine: Do you remember when you started dating Santana and I started dating Kurt back before everyone was so busy and far away and things were so much simpler? We had so much more hope and innocence. Every day was just like Valentine's Day.
Brittany: We're still young. Shouldn't we still be experiencing those things?

Glee Season 4 Episode 4 Music

  Song Artist
Teenage dream 1 Teenage Dream Glee Cast iTunes
Glee cast barely breathing Barely Breathing Glee Cast iTunes
Glee cast give your heart a break Give Your Heart A Break Glee Cast iTunes