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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.

Review

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.

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You also mentioned in your 'review' Miranda, that they needed to be given the opportunity to talk. Kurt was up all night waiting for Blaine to come and talk and either Blaine was asleep (Which does not say much for his feeling of guilt and desperation to save his relationship with the man he supposedly loves, I mean, I most certainly could not have slept at this point no matter how exhausted I was, knowing how much I had just hurt the person I loved most in this world) Or that Blaine was awake, but not willing to go to Kurt and try to talk about it. He was either still in denial, or was being a coward. Blaine missed the opportunity to talk, not Kurt. Kurt was, at this point, open to Blaine, yet Blaine kept silent and again later, when talking to Finn, blamed Kurt for not talking to him. Contin'd

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What made things even worse, however, was that whereas he decided to 'fess-up to what he's done, which could have made Kurt more sympathetic towards his big mistake, he then tried to place the blame on Kurt. If he hadn't done that then perhaps there would have been less anger involved and Kurt would have accepted and seen the courage that it took to make that confession, but instead, Blaine tried to make excuses and shift the blame. That sort of behaviour simply increases the hurt but also then creates 'righteous anger' in the person experiencing the hurt and rejection. It makes it doubly difficult for that person to 'forgive' the mistake. Contin'd

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In other words, they are BOTH capable of cheating, but what is now the biggest difference between them is that one CHOSE to actually cheat and the other resisted. It is our temptations that make us human, but it is our choices on how to deal with our temptations that make us right or wrong. Blaine's decision to actively seek out Eli C and indulge in physical contact with another man whilst still in a relationship, whether that physical contact resulted in actual sex or not, immediately put him much more 'in the wrong' than Kurt. Eli C did not even make the initial contact, Blaine did. It was his decision and no one else's. Contin'd

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I don't think at this point in their relationship either of them were tempted to actually take things further with the respective 'other man', but both were guilty of leading someone else on whilst still in a relationship. So both Kurt and Blaine were guilty of a little bit of emotional, 'it-feels-good-that-another-man-is-attracted-to-me-but-I-will-just-indulge-safely-through-means-of-non-physical-communications' cheating, but at this point, neither of them were willing to take it any further. (The biggest difference however, was the length of time that the flirtations went on for) So, both Kurt and Blaine have shown that they are just as susceptible to temptation as each other, and just as susceptible as you, or I, or anyone else is to flattery, and that they are both capable of succumbing to that temptation. Contin'd

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In one of your replies to comments on this article you state that you did not accept that Blaine's interaction with Sebastian was in any way wrong, yet Kurt's texts with Chandler was cheating. Again your Bias rears up. Both were wrong. Blaine was well aware of what Sebastian was after from him, yet he kept up communication with Sebastian for some months, well aware also that Kurt did not like Sebastian and felt threatened and insulted by him. Instead of nipping Sebastian's advances in the bud, he chose to secretly call, text, email and befriend Sebastian on facebook. All 'conscious' acts by Blaine. Kurt was unaware of what Blaine was doing until Sebastian told him in front of his friends. Blaine was encouraging the sexual advances of another man. That is just as much emotional cheating as Kurt's flirty texts with Chandler which also were only of a few days duration after Blaine had consciously made the decision to pull away from Kurt. Contin'd

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As for the 'loneliness' factor, Blaine was surrounded by people, just as much as Kurt, Different environments yes, but just as surrounded. Both however felt lonely. Just because you are surrounded by people does not mean that that loneliness is any less intense dependent on the environment that a person is in. Loneliness is subjective. So, BOTH Blaine and Kurt were lonely and finding the distance between them hard to cope with. So what made Blaine succumb to temptation after such a short separation from Kurt, yet Kurt resisted the temptation? Contin'd

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As for the phone call, too much has been put on that as a rejection of Blaine. Kurt was working. It may have been the aftermath of the meeting, but that is just as important in staying professional as the meeting itself. Kurt needed to make a good impression. He had only just started this job. Taking a personal phone-call at work in front of your new boss is certainly not going to be looked on favourably. There are times and places for personal calls. Kurt was between a rock and a hard place with this one. The fact that in the next episode Kurt actually did try to talk to Blaine when he was working, showed that he was aware that Blaine needed that interaction and he took the risk to call him. It unfortunately was very brief due to the pressure of work, but instead of the 'effort' being appreciated, Blaine took it as a rejection. Again, very self-centred on Blaine's part. Contin'd

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Blaine was also just as guilty of not communicating with Kurt, as your review implies that Kurt was guilty of. Kurt felt that he had gone to NY with Blaine's blessing and also Blaine's understanding that the initial few months would be tough and lonely for them both. Kurt was shown being rather dismissive of the fact that the student election was coming up and not helping Blaine choose a bow tie. Kurt had just landed the most exciting job opportunity and was full of it. Understandably so. We all get excited when something as big as that happens and perhaps become a little wrapped up in it, but it was just the first couple of days. Kurt would have calmed down from the initial excitement and begun to focus on Blaine again soon enough, but Blaine was too self-centred to see that. Both were being selfish in this case.

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Wow Miranda, your Blaine bias is extremely apparent in your review. You certainly have a lot of sympathy to spare for someone who, after sending his boyfriend off to New York to chase his dreams, only lasts a couple of weeks before he is betraying him with another man. It would not matter if Kurt had ignored ALL Blaine's calls and given him the cold shoulder completely, it still does not excuse in any way what Blaine chose to do. Even if all Blaine did with the 'hook up' was a bit of heavy petting, the fact is, he actively and consciously made the decision to do it. He CHEATED on Kurt. If he was able to get out to NY so easily after he had cheated, then he could just have quickly and easily flown out to NY to confront Kurt and tell him how he felt, but instead, Blaine made the decision to cheat.
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Christinatran

I can't remember the last time I said this, but I really actually enjoyed this Glee episode. Favorite songs: "Don't Speak" and "The Scientist".

Glee Season 4 Episode 4 Quotes

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

Kurt

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