We knew it wouldn't be long before Rachel Berry started talking about Broadway again, and Glee Season 6 Episode 6, roughly the halfway point of the show's final season, was as good a point as any to realign Rachel's stars on a collision course with New York City again.
It's clear that while this final season is about many things, it isn't about the New Directions and Rachel Berry is positioned stage center.
Given the miniscule amount of screen time the New Directions have received so far, including but not limited to the fact that they were given a homework assignment this week and then never actually sang any of the Burt Bacharach numbers themselves, this is no longer a story about a group of underdogs who rise from the bottom of the high school totem pole to become champions, respected and revered by all except one Sue Sylvester.
Glee is no longer that story.
Mercedes gave the final season the best subtitle it could possibly have when she noted that this, rehabilitating a defunct glee club, was a step on The Rachel Berry Rebuilding Project.
That's really what this season has become, and hey, I don't mind. While this has always been an ensemble cast, Rachel Berry has always been front and center in that group, causing the many one-liners about how no one else gets the solos to make the show a little more meta than the writers intended. (Or perhaps just as meta as they intended...)
It's inevitable that Rachel will return to Broadway. While I personally would have seen the final episode, or final two episodes with Rachel auditioning and getting a call that a producer or director would like her for a part, now is as good a time as any to throw a little conflict her way.
Should she stay or should she go (now)?
She's going back to New York. It's just a matter of when. Yes, I know, I'm getting ahead of myself with the callback, but it's sort of a given that it's going to happen at some point. Mercedes' heavy-handed urging that she get back up on the horse and sing again all but solidified that.
There's no way that after auditioning and feeling the peace she talked about in the teacher's lounge that Rachel will walk away from her dreams of being on Broadway for a life coaching glee club in Lima, Ohio while (probably) married to Sam and raising adorable little trouty-mouthed babies, no matter how cozy they get on the Schuesters' couch while a Jayma Mays stand-in never looks at the camera.
(Bonus to that odd Hanukkah party scene: Blaine arrived sans Karofsky!)
In the meantime, I'm totally down with a Berry-Evans mashup, even if I can't help but roll my eyes at how the writers can't decide if they want Sam to be smart or stupid. What matters is that he makes Rachel smile. And he (probably) isn't a gigolo. (He does have some stripper moves, though...)
Discussing Sam's intellect naturally leads to a little gripe and the night's other big story: Brittana's wedding plans.
In no way was it necessary to tell Brittany that her father was Stephen Hawking, and it was exceptionally weird and somewhat offensive to label her not-father's IQ at 60, which is the academic equivalent of a third grader. There was no need for a label or that entirely ridiculous scene. Stifler's mom as Brittany's mom was hilarious and perfect, particularly since her parentage had nothing to do with the rest of her story tonight.
It was terrible to watch Santana's abuela refuse to accept her granddaughter's sexuality, but it was real. That sort of family dynamic happens every day, all over the country and the world.
Where the Brittana wedding really hit home, and what Glee is trying to get right this season, is the discussion of the cultural shift regarding marriage equality in the United States.
You know, the New York Times said, um, half the increase in support of gay marriage is due to generational turnover. That's what smart people call 'crazy, uptight bitches dying.' You guys lost, okay? And honestly the rest of us are just going about our business being normal and waiting for you not to be around, and not because you can stop us from getting married, but because you're kind of annoying.Brittany
Brittany's retort to Abuela was so good I had to send the Glee quotes link to a friend because it related directly to a discussion we were having about marriage equality coming to her state next week. (High fives, Alabama!) The tides are turning. That "generational turnover" Brittany talked about is real, and it's a major part of the reason marriage equality is spreading.
While I've never truly bought the Brittany-Santana love story, mostly because I haven't always bought into Brittany as a character, I'm totally on board with what Glee is trying to do here, with the strides they're trying to make and the current commentary on what's happening out here in the real world.
Good on you, Glee.
Now if we can just get Kurt and Blaine back together without a weird Sue puppet locking them in elevators...
What did you think of "What The World Needs Now"? Do you think Abuela will change her mind and support the wedding? Will Rachel get a callback from her audition?
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Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.