Okay. Let’s face it: the first 13 episodes and the back 9 episodes of Glee are practically two different television programs. Ever since Glee‘s spring debut, I have become less and less enthused to tune in on Tuesday nights. The back 9 did have its highlights, Lea once again rocked every song thrown at her, the cover of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” had me in Glee-induced tears for the first time, and I loved seeing the continuance of Artie and Tina’s relationship. But the complete lack of closure with the Finn-Quinn-Puck storyline, Santana getting more songs than Tina/Quinn, and the whole rushed “I’m your mother” storyline with Shelby had me wondering if the creative team was smoking something or just didn’t care about continuity at all.
But this episode “Journey”, the first season finale, was something different. It was a constant reminder of the brilliance that the pilot brought. It brought the comedy, the drama, and the sickly-sweet moments together in an absolutely perfect combination. It felt like a personal shout out to all the disgruntled gleeks who lost faith in the geniusness of Glee. It was as though Ryan Murphy was proclaiming to the world: Don’t stop believing.
I had two predictions going into tonight’s episode: Nude Erections…pardon me, New Directions was going to lose and Shelby was going to adopt Beth Drizzle Jackie Daniels Fabray-Puckerman. 2 for 2. I rock.
Considering the fact that before the back 9 I hadn’t cried during Glee, it was even more impressive that I started squirting salt water from my eyes within five minutes of the episode starting (Damn you Tina Cohen-Chang, Asian love). On a scale of 1-5 tissue boxes, “Journey” gets three. For the record, 5 tissue boxes= the LOST finale and I don’t think another television show will be able to top that one.
The whole Journey mash-up was easily New Direction’s best performance to date, HOLY KEY CHANGE EPICNESS. Cory Monteith’s vocals have improved so much since the pilot. Remember his horrendous take on John Travolta? Shiver. I was so distracted by the epicness of the Journey medley that I completely overlooked the girls’ ad campaign for Bump-Its, the tinfoil dresses, and Artie’s overly greased hair-do. Hell, I even forgot about the Finn to Rachel “I love you”…bitter. As much as I love ND, Vocal Adrenaline without a doubt knocked them out of the park. Jonathan Groff MUST make a return in season two. I would gladly marry his voice. I thought the “Bohemian Rhapsody”/birth scene was awkwardly clever. I really don’t think many mothers-to-be shout out “LET ME GO!” during the birthing process, but oh well, this is Glee-verse. Oh and by some miracle, Quinn gave birth to a two-month-old baby! No wonder it hurt so bad…
This might be the first Glee episode ever where I loved every single song featured. This is saying something since I truly despise Queen and Journey. Yes, I am aware that I have horrible taste in music. The highlight for me had to be “To Sir With Love.” Everyone on this show is such a pretty crier, I look like Sandra Oh. And it ain’t pretty.
The ever so eloquently-spoken Mr. Schuester speaks these words in the beginning of the episode, “Life only really has one beginning and one end and the rest is just a whole lot of middle. And I love you guys too much to not let you make the most of it. Now, I was going to quit once, but you guys brought me back with ‘Don’t Stop Believing‘…” Congratulations, Glee, you’ve officially brought me back. See you in the fall.