Glee Recap: Fear and Bonding at McKinley High

Glee-Season-4-Sue-Sylvester-LeavingWarning: If you haven’t seen tonight’s episode of Glee, you might want to stop reading now. Everyone else, carry on.

Okay, deep breaths. Has everyone recovered enough from tonight’s gut-wrenching Glee that we can get around to the business of discussing it?

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For starters, I know a lot of folks will probably ask if it was “too soon” for Ryan Murphy & Co. to tackle a story arc about gunshots ringing out in the hallways of McKinley High a mere four months after the real and unspeakable shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary. I understand that question, but the sad fact is Sandy Hook wasn’t the first tragedy of its kind, nor will it be the last. So perhaps it’s folly to debate the timing of such an episode: You’re either going to go there, or you’re not. You’re either going to use the real-life dread we experienced as a nation for dramatic purposes — and, yeah, to possibly make a political statement — or you’re not.

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From a purely artistic standpoint, though, “Shooting Star” — especially in those scenes where the members of New Directions huddled in the choir room, trying to remain silent, fearing every creaking door and bit of atmospheric noise might signal the end of their lives — was horribly compelling. It wasn’t easy to watch by any means. And man, did that gunfire come suddenly and dreadfully. (I felt my entire body tense up as that “pop!” “pop!” shifted the tone of a scene where Mr. Schue was threatening to rap again.)

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What’s interesting is that the hour didn’t profess to hold any Big Answers about how to solve or prevent gun crimes in our schools. But it did give us an unflinching, teenager’s-eye-view of what it’s like to have your youthful innocence shattered by violence (or the very close threat of it, anyway). It also, from a purely artistic standpoint, showcased some amazing acting from the McKinley High cast — in particular Heather Morris, Becca Tobin, Melissa Benoist and Trisha Rae Stahl.

Anyhow, with that said, let’s recap the action.

CAT 22 | Things kick off with Brittany warning the kids of New Directions that the announcement of their Regionals competitors — the Hoosier Daddies and the Nun-Touchables — is moot, since a comet or asteroid or meteorite (aka Tubbington-Bop) is about to wipe them out. Goofy as her theory may be, Will decides to use it as a jumping off point for a “Last Chance” lesson about expressing your feelings to the people around you. As we’ll soon learn though, the kids won’t need such an artificial inspiration by episode’s end. Somehow, the asteroid chat leads to Sam and Brittany singing “More Than Words” to Lord Tubbington while their glee-club compadres light candles and march around like members of some cat-crazed cult. Eventually, though, Ms. Pierce realizes a meteorite isn’t zooming toward her telescope; it’s just a dead ladybug at the bottom of her Pringles can. Alrighty then!

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SECRET LOVERS | Ryder spots his online paramour “Katie” in the halls of McKinley — wait, how big is this school that he wasn’t aware of a stunner like this in his midst? — tracks her down, brings her to the choir room and performs an enthusiastic rendition of “Your Song” that, along with his “hunky” arms, has her swooning. There’s just one problem: Her name is Marissa, not Katie, and she’s not the person who’s been communicating with him online for the past few weeks. It’s been somebody else, using her photo. “Someone’s been catfishing you,” Marissa says, not that she’s ruling out a relationship with the chiseled athlete. Ryder blows up at Jake and Marley — assuming one of them is avenging his planting a kiss on Marls, and then wanders away in tears. The Manti Te’o situation has him messed up and angry — but not so much so that he won’t give “Katie” another chance when she agrees to meet him at 3:30 that afternoon. In the midst of the shooting incident, though, Ryder unexpectedly stumbles upon a clue: He dials Katie’s number to find out where she is and if she’s okay, and a phone begins to ring — right there in the choir room. His secret online love is in — or very close to — New Directions. When danger passes, Kitty assures him she’s not the culprit: “I’m not into guys that look like life-sized cartoon weiners,” she huffs. “The thought of dating you makes me dryer than the cast of Hot in Cleveland.” (Yikes!) Maybe it’s the bass player with the bowl cut or Brad the Piano Player, the kids wonder. But come on, it’s got to be Unique, right?

MORE FUN WITH ONLINE LOVE | In a turn of events I’m not really buying, Beiste sets up a Lady and the Tramp style pasta dinner — in the boys’ locker room (gag) — to confess to Will that she’d like him to be the man in her life. But wait, isn’t Shannon a true friend of Will and Emma? Would she ever really swoop in so quickly after their failed wedding ceremony? No way! Whatevs. Will breaks it to Shannon gently that he and Emma are back together — then sets up an online dating profile that quickly yields a response — from Beiste’s predecessor Ken Tanaka!

GUNSHOTS RING OUT | At the start of glee-club practice, the sound of a gun being fired not once, but twice, sends everyone reeling. Brittany and Tina’s absence is noted by the rest of the kids in the room, as Schue and Beiste shut out the lights, find hiding places for everyone and manage to silence their terrified students. The panic and terror is palpable. Kitty confesses to Marley that she’s the one who took in her Grease costumes to make her think she was gaining weight. Sam freaks out and tries to go track down Brittany in the ladies room, only to be held back by Will and Beiste. Artie begins recording messages from his friends to their loved ones, just in case the worst happens and they don’t have a chance to say goodbye. (Those grainy cameraphone shots got me choked up most of all.) And then there’s Marley, horrified knowing her mother is somewhere in the school cafeteria, probably all by herself. (Mrs. Rose is seen wordlessly crouched in the kitchen, tears streaming down her face, as pots boil and the sound of footsteps fills her with fear. Wrenching stuff.) “Everybody really likes her,” Kitty tells Marley, in one of the strangely sweetest lines of the episode.

We learn lovely little details about the kids during the crisis. Marely’s got a false-bottom drawer that hides the songs she’s been writing, little gems that make her proud — even if they’ve never seen the light of day. Brittany, meanwhile, is stuck standing on a toilet in a ladies’ room stall, her tears plinking into the water and her occasional sniffles the only sounds in the room. (Later, when Schue comes to her rescue, we discover that each and every stall is occupied by a terrified teen.) Tina and Blaine share a tender BFF moment in the aftermath. (She didn’t want her last words to her friends to be another snarky comment about not getting solos.) And Sam presents Brittany with a gift he’d only planned to keep in his locker for a short time: A cat named Lady Tubbington, the better to complete their “fake family.” Um, not so sure about that last detail, but the rest of the interactions were handled with care and good taste. Later, the kids join up to sing John Mayer’s “Say” in the round. The little New Directions family all have one another — even if no one knows who the shooter was. Yep, thankfully, no one was killed or hurt in the melee — and the police can’t even figure out which room in the school was Ground Zero.

THE SHOOTER REVEALED | Early in the episode, we see seet Becky pleading with Brittany not to graduate. “Let’s stay in high school forever!” says the girl with Down Syndrome, who’s not sure if she’s ready for life outside the hallways of her school. “If you really prepare yourself, the world is not so scary,” Brittany replies.

And thus, when Sue shows up at school the next week with an air of nonchalance — “I haven’t seen this level of overreaction since Janet Jackson showed her saggy funbag at the Super Bowl” — it’s abundantly clear that she’s setting herself up to take the fall for Becky. Sure enough, Sue confesses to Principal Figgins that she’d been keeping a handgun in her office — “the safety net of the public mental health system is gone” and keeps her feeling safe, she says — and it accidentally went off while she was cleaning it. She’s coached Cheerios to become CEOs, Ivy League grads, Olympic gold medalists, Grammy winners and even a lesbian secretary of state, but she knows this incident will be the first line of her obit, she says sadly as she leaves the school in shame. A flashback, however, reveals it was Becky who misguidedly brought the firearm to McKinley — she wanted to be prepared! — and Sue just can’t let her unintended crime be exposed, can’t let the kid face expulsion. “Keep an eye on Becky, will you?” she asks Schue. Honestly, that can’t be the end of the story. That said, I give credit to the Glee writers for offering a plausible escape clause to this story arc that didn’t involve a death or an injury to a student. It’s a high-school musical dramedy that appeals to a lot of actual high schoolers, not Law & Order: Lima, after all. The Becky subplot allows them to navigate through the arc without bloodshed, but while maintaining some actual teeth.

And with that, I turn it over to you. What did you think of “Shooting Star”? Was it an effective hour of drama? Did you shed tears during the kids’ confessionals? Did you have any problems with the tone or timing? And how about Becky’s role in the gunfire? Were you impressed by the peformances? Is this the end of Sue’s coaching career? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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430 Comments
  1. Fernanda says:

    Thank god I didn’t read the spoilers. I thought there is another silly episode like they did on past seasons, I also thought where is Santana, Rachel, Finn, Kurt? But after the first shot I was in panic and I’m still shacking. These episode could make many people hate Glee more, but before I’m Gleek, I am Ryan Murphy’s fan.

    I wouldn’t pick a last song in this episode. John Mayer’s song is great but I would prefer a piano melody with the gleeks holding hands in the choir room ready to sing and end credits.

  2. Ranch says:

    Oh look, Glee is still trying to make Chord Overstreet happen. Frankly, I thought he was out acted by a cat. This episode was one big exploitative piece of meh.

  3. I’m sorry but I really hated this episode.
    It went from singing to cats and online dating to something so dramatic. It was too fast, and way too rushed. It came out of nowhere, and I was confused.
    One Tree Hill did a fantastic job with their episode of the school shooting and the aftermath that followed, and in my personal opinion, nothing will ever beat it.
    It had a fantastic build up, with previous episodes leading up to it. One of the great things about the One Tree Hill episode was that you got to understand the actions of Jimmy, and the fear he felt himself during that awful day.
    And alright, I do admit that the acting was superb on that episode of Glee, but it doesn’t come close to the unforgettable acting by the characters of Peyton, Brooke, Jimmy, Haley and the rest of the cast.
    One Tree Hill’s school shooting episode was one of, if not the most memorable episodes of the entire show, ever. And it took a long time for people to deal with the events with what happened that day.
    With the trailer for next weeks episode of Glee, everybody seems to be over it already.

    • Peachfuzz says:

      It came out of nowhere? Just like columbine came out of nowhere? Just like sandy hook came out of nowhere? In fact, what about all the times where people are going about their lives until some moron opens fire on them or strap a bomb to themselves?

      It’s soooo annoying how naive people are. Bad things happen whether we know it or not.

      I’m so sick of people criticizing this episode…would it make a difference if it was ANOTHER teen show doing this?

      I’m also annoyed with this “too soon” nonsense. It’s like people just want to forget sandy hook or any other school shootings cause it will “offend” people. school shootings HAPPEN and complaining about some TV SHOW doing a storyline like this will not stop it.

      Also i wish people would shut up about degrassi and OTH. If you loved those episodes so darn much, GO WATCH THEM AND LEAVE GLEE ALONE.

      Btw, those people being offended by a little TV show tackling a big issue in schools nowadays CLEARLY never been in a school shooting, or lockdown, or bomb threat or whatever. I was in high school when there was a bomb threat and half of the class didn’t come in. Nothing bad happened thank god but Jesus, stop acting like shows should “avoid” showing big issues.

      • lila says:

        such a glee fanatic. stop putting glee on such a high pedestal and accept the fact that sometimes, glee doesnt handle certain topics very well.

        • Axel says:

          Glee did not handle Marley and the Bullimia well and no one ever mentioned Karofsky after the suicide attempt episode.. but I thought ” shooting star” was well done… One moment you are in your teenage life without major worries, the next moment the world is crumbling down…

          Maybe next season, Glee should deal with a natural disaster.. Maybe earthquakes that come out of nowhere…

      • Mark says:

        Nobody wants to forget anything, they just don’t want to see sensitive topics used as ratings grabs by tasteless television shows populated by mediocre actors like Jenna Ushkowitz and Darren Criss.

      • kolaida says:

        Big whoop. You had a bomb threat. I started high school a year after Columbine and you can bet come that one year anniversary, my school just pretty much shut down. Also, have had bomb threats. Most schools have; that is not special to any one school. Threats and actually going through it are TWO different things. So don’t try to put yourself on the same level as massacre survivors just because you survived a “threat.” And people aren’t offended. It’s just common sense not to do that a few months after you have dozens of five year olds at an elementary school. Of COURSE, it’s ratings grab. How are FIVE year olds going to relate to that episode?
        Also, I’m surprised at how naive you are. Massacres at schools are NOT the norm. Yes, they happen MORE often in our country which speaks a lot to how we handle guns and other issues such as mental health.
        No one thinks shows shouldn’t address “big issues.” However, they should handle it with class. Surprisingly, Heather Morris was pretty much the redeeming factor in the bathroom.
        Also, I wish people would stop talking about Degrassi and other shows. If I wanna hear about guns, I’ll stick with Breaking Bad.

  4. U Can't Handle the Truth says:

    This episode was a epic fail even but Glee standards. This is why this show should be canceled is because of episodes like this. It really had potential to be a great episode but as usually they squandered it. They built the episode up but they forgot to add a climax because the ending just sucked. It didn’t made sense at all why Becky brought the gun to school. Then they really didn’t address the problem with Becky. I mean she needs professional help. Sue protected Becky but they didn’t address the bigger problem with her.

  5. Susanna Kate says:

    Someone said One Tree Hill was in the wake of Columbine this is not true , Columbine happened in 1999 and One Tree Hill aired With Tired Eyes, Tired minds, Tired Souls we slept on March 1st 2006. I know it’s nit picking but using the name of tragedy to prove a point about a tv show isn’t good. Yes One Tree Hill did a superb job but so did Glee who have a much younger audience.
    I was so amped up to be disappointed by this and I thought they did a great job. The camera work was very Gus Van Sant / Elephant and it really added to the tension.
    As a person who has been hate watching Glee for around two seasons now ( I miss the good old days of Jesse St James , pointless teen drama and catchy tunes but secretly love Klaine , Santana Lopez and some of the new kids . Well two. ) it’s nice to feel that this show is getting some soul about it again .
    Apart from the cat singing , though loved that Lady Tubbington had a look of pure hate in her eyes, cats are the very picture of indifference

  6. Lucy04 says:

    I think that any number of topics could be “too soon” for a lot of people- rape, suicide, domestic violence, etc. I thought the lockdown part of the episode was extremely well acted. There are complaints about the randomness of the lockdown but in real life there’s no warning when tragedy hits. One minute you are talking about your cat and the next you’re hiding in a bathroom stall fearing for your life. I haven’t seen Buffy, OTH, AHS or Degrassi so I can’t compare to those. Two things about Becky: she was not a SHOOTER, she actually had no intent to harm anyone, and why can’t a previously happy person get a little scared every once in a while? Cover up aside, I thought Sue did an excellent job to diffuse a potentially dangerous situation when Becky showed her the gun. I did wonder why Schue wasn’t worried about Emma but I thought it was very sweet of Ryder to call his catfisher bc even though he was being lied to, he still cared about the person.

  7. kirads09 says:

    Thank you Glee for only reinforcing my hatred of the show. Only deepens my conviction to never watch it and hope it gets cancelled sooner rather than later.

  8. Becky wasn’t “the shooter.” She was a frightened young girl who was told by a friend whom she admired to protect herself. I’m a high school teacher, and I can assure you that there are a lot of students, with or without Downs Syndrome, who would do the exact same thing. They’ve heard a parent say they keep a gun for protection, and so there you go. Would every kid bring a gun? No. Might some? Absolutely. Yes, Becky understood that bringing a gun to school was against school rules (demonstrated by her hiding the gun in her lap & revealing it only to Sue, someone she trusts implicitly). But it’s pretty realistic that she would never think it might accidentally go off or that it might be used in any way other than self defense. Fear is powerful. It can easily distort an otherwise rational mind. Kind of like suggesting, in response to the tragedy of Newtown, that teachers should be armed.
    Sue actually spouted the NRA’s talking points for educators being armed in her (albeit fake) defense of having her gun on campus. And if anyone is surprised about Sue taking the fall for Becky, then you haven’t been really paying attention to that character since the show’s inception.
    Making it a character viewers care about, rather than some nameless walk-on, brought home the fact that AMYONE can be the kid who brings a gun to school. Have we forgotten how many times a young child, elementary school aged, has played with a gun and accidentally killed someone or themselves? Have we forgotten that an innocent moment of wanting to show friends a gun by bringing it to school has lead to a tragic story on the evening news? If so, look it up. It’s been happening, without intent of malice, for decades, and it could happen to anyone.
    I don’t think this episode was sensationalising anything or was disrespectful. The fact that we don’t want to deal with or face school shootings (which didn’t actually happen in the show) is precisely why they continue. When the Taft High School shooting happened, only weeks after Newtown, media flies who had flooded the town were actually quoted as saying “there’s no story here. Nobody died.” Really? Because my friends & family who work there and the approximately 2,000 students who attend THS thought there was a story. The fact that there weren’t any deaths doesn’t take away from the emotional trauma they went through. I’ve been through lockdowns, and real or false alarm, they’re equally scary. If we keep saying “it’s too soon,” we’ll continue to lose and scar lives.
    Was the episode perfect? No. It did point out the issue of guns being accessible in homes. It did illustrate the emotional rollercoaster of being in a lockdown because of a potential shooter. I’m glad they gave a warning before the show began so that viewers could make the choice to change the channel if they wanted. I think it was slightly misleading, as the episode wasn’t actually about school violence. The only violence was Bieste & Will holding back blondie from racing out to find Brittany.
    I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it. I think it raised some good points and totally dismissed others.

    • Axel says:

      Amen to that…. I once experienced a bom threat at my school, we were evacuated but 3 hours later they allowed us back in the school. I was not afraid, but it felt surreal… I guess I was in denial…
      Maybe if I were in that kind of situation like Glee portrayed.. I would have shut down, just like Blaine… (no I am not a Blaine fan).

  9. dude says:

    Was a powerful, well executed episode that was absolutely necessary but people would rather forget it ever happened and not deal with it so of course it’s “exploitative.” If Ryder’s catfisher had shot up the school it would have been exploitative, making a comment about the mental health system, teacher’s coddling needy students and the emotional trauma experienced by those not even directly involved in the shooting, makes it worthwhile.

  10. Kryz says:

    Glee lost its magic right after season one. Too much preachy stuff, unnecessary and horrible storylines… it wasn’t as magical as before. It doesn’t even make sense anymore. I used to love Glee but I think, it’s sad that it’s getting horrible.

  11. Mel says:

    I thought it was a really powerful episode. I know that the whole time they were in their hiding places, when they showed Marley’s mom, Blaine not able to talk to the camera, Brittany in the bathroom, Tina crying outside, the empty halls, my stomach was in knots, and a few of them gave me tears, and I already knew the spoilers that no one got hurt!. Blaine and Tina’s scene also gave me some tears. I did not expect it to be Becky AT ALL.

    I’ll be honest, after watching the episode twice, when I got to work this morning the first thing that entered my head was “Note to self: I have a perfect desk to hide under if anything like that ever happens at work”.

    The acting in this episode was also A+++.

    They had to have some light-hearted moments in the episode. I think the things like the cat and the online dating were good things to have there.

    Also, the whole thing with Ryder….I don’t even know what to think of that…..I’m curious to find out who it is. basically everyone had their phones in their hands while in the classroom but yet the one that was ringing was in a bag……was it Tina?

    Also the people in this thread that refer to Becky as “retard” or “downs kid” you should be ashamed of yourself. Grow up. She is a PERSON, that happens to have Downs Syndrome, just like you’re a person that happens to be an asshole.

  12. I’ve ready many comments about how this episode felt like it was more about online dating and cats than a misplaced commentary on violence in schools. I disagree wholeheartedly.

    I knew something was going to happen in the episode, but I had no idea what, so the moment when the gun shots rang out, was a total surprise. Like people who might be in a situation like that, it took me a second to actually take in what was going on. That was the way I feel Ryan Murphey intended people see it, and it was raw and intense.

    Was this the proper vehicle for a story about gun violence in our schools? Violence in our schools isn’t proper, but it happens. I think that’s part of what made the story so plausible to me. It made me think. It made me feel.

    Hearing about these situations on the news over and over again, I understand what happens from the outside. How I, as the parent of a high school student might feel if it happened at my son’s school. I can imagine what it might be like for a student inside of a school under siege, but this episode put me somewhere my imagination can’t, or won’t go. As the story progressed, the image of my son continually inserted itself onto the scene. Even now, the morning after, I am still emotional from what I saw. Yes, it was horrific! But it made me feel something more about these situations than news reports alone ever could. If nothing else, maybe we will feel the terror our own children would feel if they were in the midst of terror. And maybe those feelings will urge us to look more deeply at the situation and figure out a better way to keep our children safe.

    Thank you to the cast and crew of GLEE for the emotional roller coaster that Shooting Star was. In my book it was a triumph.

  13. Mark says:

    So the person with the gun was the girl with Downs Syndrome? Way to continue to demonize non-neurotypical people in the “gun debate”…

    • Peachfuzz says:

      wow, so Becky carrying the gun demonizes disabled people but had it been Artie or unique or Tina or Blaine or Ryder or marley, that’s acceptable? I mean, cheerleaders or jocks or gays are supposed to be the bad guy but yet if mentally challenged person is the bad guy, you people get offended?

      Hypocrites.

      • js says:

        no. it’s because they had to essentially dumb her down to make the plot work. as if becky just doesn’t understand the consequences of bringing a gun to school, when she’s proven time and time again on the show that she’s perfectly capable of understanding what’s going on and just like everyone else, she’d know that it’s not okay to do this.

        • Peachfuzz says:

          Funny thing the killers of sandy hook, columbine, Virginia tech didn’t have down syndrome so of course THEY KNEW RIGHT FROM WRONG /sarcasm.

          I’m sorry but even the most moral person make crappy mistakes.

    • kolaida says:

      I agree. They all wanna talk “mental health” in the gun debate, but idiots are steering it towards people with actual disabilities and not the depression/anger~ actual mental health it needs to be about. And peachfuzz, the problem is that the gun debate want to talk about “mental health.” But people are confusing mental health with people are non-neurotypical.
      None of those murderers from those schools had Down, but they had serious issues in their head and their grasp on reality that needed to be dealt with and wasn’t. That’s pretty much public knowledge with Cho and Lanza. Both were even known to have issues yet both were able to get a hold of weapons- in the former’s case, quite a few. In the latter’s case, his family played a role in not storing their weapons properly. Harris and Klebold are probably the only two that can be argued to be in a decent state of mental health, though, Harris was on some pills that have been pulled from the market. However, they spent months and months planning. Arguably, they are two that just did it for the hell of it.

      Mental health =/= non-neurotypical people. My brother has Aspergers and he’d never bring a gun to school.

      Also, ALL those people KNEW what they were doing was wrong. Why do you think they killed themselves?? Let’s just all be grateful the police managed to catch Holmes before that idiot killed himself and hopefully some studies can be done on his brain before he is put to death if his inmates don’t kill him before society does.

  14. beth says:

    John Mayer. Finally.

  15. Spencer says:

    Honestly I’m surprised that Jane Lynch is still on the show at all. Hasn’t she got something better to do with her time? Personally, after reading other arguments of people saying how they were offended that Becky (the Downs Syndrome character) was the one with the gun. Isn’t that a form of prejudice in its own way? Saying that a DS person can’t bring a gun to school is just as biased and rude as saying they can’t be cheerleaders, which Glee has already proved wrong. I hate Glee with a passion, but I’m extremely proud with how they did this episode.

  16. “Hide your wife, hide your kids, hide your wife.” –Brittany AND THE BATHROOM SCENE AND HER SCENE WITH BECKY.. Heather IS THE MVP OF THE EPISODE

    SHOOTING STAR: Heather Morris was this episodes MVP hands down. NOBODY sold their scenes like she did. Heather deserves all the awards especially the crying in the bathroom which grab your heart and did not let go..

  17. Bloop says:

    From day one Glee has treated Becky like everyone else, she’s been bitchy & mean just like Santana, she’s always had a date to prom. Glee has never used her having Downs as a disadvantage, in fact it fostered an amazing relationship between herself & Sue.

    So for all you saying her having Downs & being the shooter is bad, why’s that so? She’s been treated like everyone else & is still being treated like everyone else.

    You all seem to only watch this show every week to come on here & tear it down no matter what they do.

    I personally loved the episode & think it was handled well. My only thing is that I wanna know who Katie is! Other than that. Brilliant episode.

  18. Alejandra says:

    I actually like the episode. Glee is all about weird funny stuff like signing to cats. And as to the shooting, I think it was a real eye opener. A shooting can happen anywhere at anytime and I think this helped show anyone the true terror that occurs. I think they handled the subject well for a tv show that’s mainly about teenagers singing to obese cats.

  19. Elise says:

    Oh my, what could you possibly say about this episode? It’s not too soon, because school shootings are something it is never too early to discuss. Its acting at times was transcendent, particularly in the cases of Chord Overstreet and Heather Morris. But what is this episode about really? They’ve tried to make an episode about school shooting, very PSA, but it doesn’t show anything worthwhile. It’s core isn’t someone with pain and with rage, as it could have been had this happened 1 or 2 seasons ago with Karofsky. It doesn’t compare with a school shooting episode like One Tree Hill which transcended the ‘pretty people’ to show the consequences of someone existing in the rawest and worst state possible, and bringing that to school. As an episode, the acting was good, it should be talked about – but does it mean anything, as the best art must?

    • Axel says:

      it means that you cannot take life and your love ones for granted. Blaine apparently made up with his parents after the shooting because as far as I know, Blaine’s father could not accept that Blaine was gay.

  20. can anyone tell me where are sugar motta and joe hart,they haven’t been in last 3 episodes

  21. liv says:

    Glee didn’t need to suggest a solution to the problem, there’s an obvious one. Take the guns away, and Sue’s speech hinting towards that. There would never be a right time to feature school shootings in America because there’s so many. Glee has a relatively young audience so they can’t go about killing all their beloved characters and making it really serious. It doesn’t matter if anyone if was hurt or injured its about showing you that Guns seriously harm, mentally as well as physically. Until we’re ready to let go of our guns, the shootings won’t end.

  22. js says:

    i fully disagree about the way they spun off the whole incident so that there were no ramifications. it’s totally exploitative to manipulate the audience’s emotions that way, but shy away from dealing with a very real problem with very real consequences. shame on glee and shame on ryan murphy. triple shame on them for slapping this onto the character with downs syndrome, taking away the very agency the character and the actress had worked so hard to build and shoving them both into the trash for a convenient ending. if you want to see how a school shooting story can be done in a much more complicated and thought provoking manner, see Degrassi TNG. but unlike glee, you’ll have to watch more than one episode, because unlike glee, they actually built up to it from both a character and plot standpoint over multiple episodes. becuase it IS a complicated issue. not an excuse for ryan murphy to make people cry and for fox to sell hyped up advertising

  23. MrJeff2000 says:

    If the writers wanted to truly show a teenage POV, they would have spent a month showing someone dealing with spiraling depression (Sam is still commuting while his family is out of work, but I would have chosen GLEE PROJECT “winner” Joe). He withdraws, becomes paranoid, and starts dressing differently. Is it onset of schizophrenia? Bi-polar disorder? Who knows. But then Joe starts posting negative things on Facebook and talking about “the Lord’s way.” And he brings a gun to school and shoots it off in the cafeteria.

    THAT would be realistic.

    Having Becky bring a gun to school was sudden and trite. The happiest girl in the school goes from 0 to 60 in one scene? While they gave Becky motivation, an explanation can be chalked up to anxiety about the future plus Down’s Syndrome. Knowing she graduates at the end of the season, they just need to push her story arc to June, so the “truth” gets out AFTER she receives her diploma. Becky confesses, Sue is exonerates, Becky gets professional counseling, everyone is happy.

    • Axel says:

      Honestly speaking… in real life people do not notice the facebook posts etc.. people are too busy with their own lives… so when someone snaps.. it seems usually out of the blue..

  24. Chance says:

    It wasn’t “too soon” but it was certainly too poorly written.

    They took a character that has been a positive portrayal of someone with Down Syndrome and turned her into an idiot child. Instead of doing something real, and showing the real consequences of something like this, they decided to go with “the retard was too stupid not realize a gun can’t protect her from change.” It was insulting, irresponsible and downright pathetic. Yeah, the performances were overall pretty good, but that doesn’t make up for the trainwreck of a story.

  25. CountryQueen says:

    The entire asteroid storyline was absolutely ridiculously stupid. Sheesh. I thought the acting during the shooting scenes were gut-wrenching and well done, but I felt this was exploitive just to be topical. There were more than 2 gun shots heard, so I really felt the explanation was a cop out. I’m not sure I’m going to even watch for the singing anymore.

  26. Jose Antonio says:

    I’m spanish and I love watching Glee. In my opinion, this episode was awesome. It´s shows what happen in some of your country´s highschools. It’s sad. When I see something like that in the news I feel terrible and the show do it in a very sensitive way. They don’t kill anybody or make more drama than it was necessary. They showed what happen simply with the sound of a gun. You all should be more conscious about that reality. It’s not about Becky. It’s a critic about the guns legality , about the fear in a highschool. They did an amazing job.

  27. george says:

    …and that was my last episode of the show.

  28. RachelA says:

    Here’s my real problem with Glee tackling sensitive issues: they suck at the follow-through. The most egregious example is On My Way, in which a character was bullied to the point of attempting suicide and then was never seen, heard from or talked about EVER AGAIN. One week after it happened, it was like the character of Dave Karofsky literally never existed. Glee treats these things like that are affairs that are here one week and then gone the next. And that’s my issue with them doing ‘issue’ episodes. They often actually do it very well, the week of. But then the week after, it’s like it never happened, and that is an irresponsible way to engage on topics like suicide or school shootings. Glee’s lack of continuity about most things is just annoying. But lacking continuity about storylines like this is flat-out irresponsible and that’s the majority of what I take offense to in these instances.

  29. Kiki says:

    It was bull. If you are going to write about a school shooting, write about a school shooting. I can’t believe that they blamed it on Becky, the girl with Down syndrome and that even an educator like Sue would just let that slide. The actors all did a wonderful job but It was Ryan and Co’s sensational and manipulative writing that ruined what could have been a great episode.

  30. Alison says:

    Another explotive, overwrought and heavy handed eye-roller with the writing quality of an after-school special, only with music, from the producers with Glee. But it did exactly what they intended: grab ratings for them and at the same time, to make their viewers feel smart and think they’re all deep and meaningful and profound because they, like, got the already obvious message that was slammed over their head with a hammer.

    It’s like the producers had a check-list and hit every box whether it made sense or not.

  31. NOne says:

    Did anyone notice that Sam said Brittany doesnt have her phone with her, and also the ringing was coming from her backpack that she was wearing in the scene where Sam gave her Lady tubbington?

  32. Me says:

    So Britney is the Catfisher?

  33. Chris says:

    This episode did a great job of showing how teens would react to situations like this. great performances from the cast, made it very intense and believable. For the first time, Rachel wasn’t in an episode. I’ll be sad if Sue Sylvester leaves the show because she’s all the comedy the show has left since nene leakes didn’t return for season 4. Great episode !!

  34. JK says:

    I think this episode was actually really tasteful. It wasn’t too politically preachy as to alienate any viewer for one thing. I also don’t think remaining silent (like some people have suggested) on the subject of school shootings honors the real victims, if anything we need to talk about this more to remember them and make policy changes happen. Sweeping the subject under the rug helps no one past or present. The show didn’t use it in a sensationalized manor just to shock and entertain but rather to foster discussion. News programs talk about this all day and all Glee was doing was to add their voice to the discussion with the only vehicle they have: the show. Also, as to the unevenness of the episode people commented on, I agree but I think it was on purpose and valid. When something like this happens in a school no one sees it coming, everyone is just living their random everyday life & then tragedy strikes with the shot of a gun and then everything changes. If they had dramatized the episode before the shots fired it would be less realistic. As for people saying the shooter should have been a random character, I don’t agree with that either. As difficult as this may be for people to understand, the shooter is a troubled person that the system has usually failed, don’t misunderstand me, it is atrocious what they do, but maybe it is worth having some insight into their psyche to prevent this rather than just demonizing them. Becky being the shooter lets us understand how this might happen since we have an attachment to her. If all we do is vilinize these mentally ill people we leave them at the fringe and we never address the issues to help us prevent these events. I’m not saying you need to empathize with the shooter by any means, but we need to not reduce them to an almost fictional one-dimensional character of pure evil since they are often not purely clinical psychopaths.. If we don’t have insight on every aspect of this issue then we can’t fix anything.

  35. Tyler says:

    Ermmm Song grades?

  36. Dave says:

    Can someone help clarify something for me – when Sue is flashing back to the Becky scene, there are 2 shots that go off fairly close to one another. When you overlay that on the scene in the choir room, you also hear the first 2 shots…but…then there’s a 15 second shot where you hear “high heels” running down the hall, the doorknobs to the choir room jiggle, and then another shot… Was this a 3rd shot or a door slamming, sounding like a gun shot to those who were traumatized? If it’s a 3rd shot, perhaps there’s more to the story….

  37. Et al says:

    That was a masterfully made piece of television. It was haunting and moving. I’m surprised because glee has been so lightweight and often crappy the last couple of seasons. I suppose that made this all the more powerful. Kudos to the cast and the director. The choir room scene is going to stay with me for a very long time.

  38. Jay says:

    1. I don’t feel as though it was” too soon for this episode at all. The fact of the matter is that school shootings happen so regularly now that this would have probably aired within 4 months of some school shooting even if they waited a year after Sandy Hook.
    2. The performance of the cast was great. The emotion that some of these actors/actresses put into this performance was outstanding.
    3. Becky’s role on the shooting did seem liker an “easy way” to close the episode, however I do not think this was intended to be offensive to anyone with a disability. It was nothing more than showing that every teen suffers from fear of uncertainty. The only reason Becky was chosen was because it was a way to tie Sue into it. Due to the emotional bond that Sue has with Becky, I think this was the only believable way to have Sue cover for someone.
    4. The pont of this episode was NOT to portray a school shooting, but more to portray the emotional impact that a school shooting has on the innocent children who have to go through that type of tragedy. I struggle to understand the comments stating that this episode had no point. I think it brings light on the emotional and psychological turmoil that school violence brings to people other than the family of those killed.
    It was also a politi

    • Jay says:

      It was also a political stance about gun control. We all know that the writers of Glee are rather liberal and that they aren’t afraid to show it. This was their way to briefly discuss the current gun control issues.

      I only hope that Glee plays this out properly and doesn’t go back to “normal” too soon.

      *sorry for the typos – long posts from mobile phone almost always results in errors*

    • kolaida says:

      They don’t happen THAT regularly. They make the news so often because they ARE the exception, NOT the norm. That’s like saying it’s so frequent that planes fall out of the sky. How often do car wrecks make national headlines? Rarely. While planes make it all the time. Yet around 14,000 people nation-wide are fatally injured daily by cars. How many people do you think are injured by planes daily? It sure isn’t 14,000 people. Do some research. Really CHECK how many school shootings with outcomes as horrible as Sandy Hook or Columbine have happened. There’s a REASON they are household names now. If you want to be enlightened about surviving victims and how it affects them, read the many books about Columbine that are out there that address this very issue.

  39. brownie says:

    There’s hardly been ANY episode of Glee that didn’t make me cry. Whether you like it or not, these are real world issues with real world people involved! I did find Sue’s taking the blame kind of out of character–but then, she has a deceased sister with Down’s, so maybe that showed her deep concern for the girl.

  40. Jason says:

    I don’t mind the episode. Some of the scenes even brought tears to my eyes–

    But, really? No one brought Buffy’s Season 3 episode “Earshot”? Sure, it didn’t deal with an actual school shooting, but Buffy was facing that possibility throughout the episode. And I think it’s the most sensitive episode written about teens and gun-accessibility. But that’s just me.

  41. Rachel Blackett says:

    I was ready to trash talk this episode when I heard about it before it aired, I thought how could they to up their ratings?! but it was, in fact, a really touching episode and amazing acting! I also never really liked Bram until recently, and this episode proved they belong together ^_^

    PS Ryder says that Katie can’t be Unique because he has Bootylicious as his ring tone (You also see Unique with his phone texting someone so its not in his bag)

  42. sarah says:

    Kudos for Glee to tackle this issue. However, I was deeply insulted that they used someone with Down’s Syndrome as the culprit. Shame on Ryan Murphy for championing the disability and turning it into a misleading joke.Obviously, Jane Lynch is staying on, as the secret will get out, and she will be a hero.
    Couldn’t they honestly come up with something else? Murderers and serial killers often have psychopathic disorders and illnesses such as schizophrenia. Those are mental illnesses where the wiring is completely wrong. DS is an intellectual disability where parts of the brain are not fully formed. I’ve worked with people with DS.They are angels with a much more heightened sense of right and wrong. Although they may be violent at times, they just don’t have the mental capacity to steal a gun ,bring It to school, and plan to shoot people.
    (Although they may do it accidentally).
    You have the money, Ryan. Next time, consult a psychiatrist before you pull something like that.

    • Peachfuzz says:

      And would you be offended if it was a gothic Marilyn Manson fan who bought in the gun? Or a plain jane or John who has no friends? Or an outcast? Or a nerdy kid? Or a lonely kid? Or a EMO? Cause I mean, those kinds of kids are NEVER happy /sarcasm

      I mean every single school shooting culprit has always been those kinds of kids and nobody bats an eyelash but people get mad at a kid with DS who bring in a gun? Hypocrites.

      • Jenn says:

        I think the point was at Becky never even planned on shooting anyone, so making her the bad guy was a bad move. If it was revealed that there was something deeper that was a problem, mentally, then sure. But as it is, it seems like they are just saying “oh look at those darn Down syndrome kids. So dumb they don’t even realize bringing a gun to school is bad.” Or worse, that Down syndrome is linked to violent behavior.

        • kolaida says:

          Exactly. I also thought that was horribly insulting. And, to boot, extremely predictable. The SECOND they said every student was going to be interviewed and Sue intervened, you’d have to be dumb not to know right away they were going to link it to Becky somehow.

  43. sedona says:

    Sue needs to come back, I will not finish the series unless she comes back, I loved the episode though, I was in tears, when the shooting happened, and when sue left!!!!!!!! PLEASE DONT LET THIS BE THE END OF SUE SYLVESTER!!!!!!!!!!

  44. Jenn says:

    Wasn’t a fan of building up this intense thing and then being all “jk, nothing really happened.”

    They could have addressed it in so many ways without anyone getting hurt (though I think a livable flesh wound would have been effective.) Why not make it about mental health? Or someone who has been bullied? It would have been so impactful if it turned out to be an extra at you can randomly see in the background. Have all the Glee kids be like “I didn’t even know her name.” Making it an episode about going out of your way to befriend people.

    That way they wouldn’t have lost a major character, but the story would still be impactful and the danger would have actually been real. You can have their plan be foiled before anyone seriously got hurt.

    Seemed like a waste of a story line, in that aspect.

    However, they did play out the scenes when they did think there was a shooter very well.

  45. Trevor says:

    Ok, I’ll wait for the next episode Hodgson writes. School stabbing, marathon bombing anyone?
    We got Emmy material right there….
    Honestly, I watched the episode because Grey’s wasn’t on and Fox kindly misled the appearance of the NYC side on the promos (if the newbies from boredomland are so good, then why pull on the viewers with the old cast?)
    Glee is supposed to be a dramedy and certainly they don’t know how to follow-up on the serious topics they exploit, yet they keep doing it because we all still believe its something “revolutionary”.
    Granted, the cast did a good job, Heather was outstanding but amongst the singing to a cat and a catfishing guy I don’t care about, I lost the line and just rolled my eyes at the oh so harrowing scenes that lead to a little speach as conclusion and completely missing the point, again.
    Why do I watch Glee if I hate it so much? Simple: I love seeing Naya Rivera on my screen and now I’m hoping she can leave soon so I can finally stop giving a sh*t about it.

  46. Crystal webster says:

    I HATE Sue Lynch! I have no issues against gay people at all – to each their own -live and let live and and al of that, but I hate this woman and the character that she plays. I’ve hated every character I’Ve ever seen her play. Se is just “In your face” obnoxious.

  47. kolaida says:

    At the beginning of the article, the question was poised if it was too soon or not after Sandy Hook. Then the answer was it was folly to debate because if you’re going to go there you either are or are not. The problem is Glee did NOT go there. No one died. There was no mass killing. Four months after an elementary with dozens of dead kindgergarteners IS too soon and rather insulting. And I love Glee. But that episode could have either been done LAST season or waited a season.

  48. Amanda Caron says:

    its not sue gun it is beckey gun beckey gets gun from home beckey take beckey gun to school sue not get fire from that sue ask beckey get gun off beckey hand from school beckey drop gun in choir glee practice everyone from glee choir glee practice see gun on floor amanda caron big fan cast from glee beckey in it with birtney spears finn in it sue not spell beckey parents get spell beckey parents gun its not beckey fault beckey cry after beckey parents gun fire at sue

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