Here’s your TVLine shopping advisory for Wednesday, October 3, 2012: Head to the drug store and stock up on Kleenex. Because come Thursday evening, tissues will likely be selling at a premium, thanks to Episode 4 of Glee‘s fourth season, aptly titled “The Break Up.”
Suffice to say that if you love — or even used to love — any of the central couples on Fox’s high-school musical, you’re almost certainly going to shed a tear or two before the hour is over. You might even wind up bawling. At a bare minimum, you’ll get a lump in your throat.
Having just watched the episode from start to finish, here are 12 quick spoilery (but not too, too spoilery) observations:
* Don’t be fooled by the episode’s title: “The Break Up” implies singular, but more than one major relationship winds up in a body bag this week. And pretty much every major romantic relationship gets seriously tested.
* The phrase “Lima loser” once again rears its ugly, anti-Ohio head, and indeed it once again rolls off the tongue of one Finn Hudson.
* Speaking of Finn, let’s just say that wherever he spent the last several months completely freezing out Rachel — and not to worry, Ryan Murphy & Co. definitely fill in the blanks in his summer itinerary — treated him very, very well (at least from a physical standpoint). Our male lead has never looked quite this fetching.
* Someone finally addresses the absurdity of recent high-school graduate and coffee-shop waiter Kurt scoring a coveted Vogue.com internship simply by taking “photos of every ridiculous outfit he ever paired with a Cossack hat and a see-through raincoat.” (For the record, that someone is Santana.)
* Klaine fans might detect some trouble in the air very early in the episode, when Blaine’s “I love you” is met with the stinging slap of a dial tone.
* You may, at one point in the episode, find yourself shouting at your television: “WHO THE HELL IS THIS ELI C SKANK?”
* My favorite heated retort of the hour comes from Emma Pilsbury, responding to Schue’s insistence that they need to talk about whether or not she’ll take a sabbatical and join him in D.C. as he works on the Blue Ribbon Panel to Improve Arts Education: “We just did! You just don’t like what I have to say!” (I wished she’d added, “and you don’t have to keeping saying the entire name of the Blue Ribbon Panel to Improve Arts Education, either!”)
* “The Break Up,” without a doubt, provides the answer to the following question: “What is the polar opposite of Blaine Warbler’s ‘Teenage Dream’ performance from back in Season 2?”
* When Santana says she doesn’t want to be in one of those long-distance couples who hang in there for a few months, then “break up when someone eventually cheats or things get weird,” Brittany’s earnest, teary-eyed response hits like a sudden and unexpected blow to the soul.
* Saddest line of the episode, for me, came from a couple whose demise I didn’t realize would sting quite so much: “You know I will always love you the most.”
* The Marley-Jake-Kitty triangle gets some screentime, too. (Rejoice or kvetch here as you see fit.)
* Without giving too, too much away about Rachel and Finn’s final conversation this week, let’s just say it’s as intense as the tear-streaked car scene from the Season 3 finale. Is that intense enough for you?
Okay, that’s it from me. Why buy the cow if some guy with a screener has already milked the cow, pasteurized the milk, packaged it in a handy cardboard carton, and put it in your fridge? Um…okay, I’m not sure about that last sentence either. So just hit the comments with your anticipation level for “The Break Up.” Which couples do you think are doomed? Any couple whose demise you cannot abide? Ready, set, speculate!