Glee, S4, Ep4 “The Break-up: Couples Meta”


Finn and Rachel share a moment of peace before all hell breaks loose

Enjoy the moment kids. Things are about to get rocky.

Finchel (Finn and Rachel):

Oh Finn!

That was my reaction, beginning last season, somewhere around “The First Time.” Loving a woman who’s known her destiny since she was a fetus can’t be easy, particularly when you are floundering constantly with who you are.  Finn has lacked a male role model for most of his life and, while Carol is a superstar, one gets the feeling that Finn is always trying on new roles, searching for the one that fits him.  Jock, bully, womanizer, leader.  The thing that undermines every attempt is his lack of confidence.  Finn’s been faking it til he makes it – while Rachel is literally rolling in self-confidence, with a bunch to spare.

Even after the disaster in “Choke,” Rachel refuses to stop.  She believes she deserves a second chance at NYADA and nothing was going to stop her.  Period.

So, what happens when the insular world of high school is no more?  Well, Rachel goes to her destiny and Finn is still looking around for his.  They love each other, without a doubt, but they are in vastly different places.  And while it would be easy for Finn to spend his life holding Rachel’s purse, that isn’t going to satisfy either one of them.

Finn put Rachel on the train with the purest of intentions.  Let her go off to her dream, while he attempted to find his in the army, walking in the footsteps of his father.  Made sense.  Except – as we find out in the episode – the army experiment ended up with Finn shooting himself in the leg with his gun (named Rachel, oh irony) and being left again without a direction.

Walking in on the Brody/Rachel date in the previous episode didn’t really set up things to go well.  He’s side-eyeing his hunky foe, who seems to have been crafted by the gods to be a suitable match for Rachel.  Then at NYADA, Finn is forced to see Rachel in her natural habitat – a world he feels like an alien in.  As he harmonizes on “Barely Breathing” we see that Finn’s drowning, lost.

Rachel, of course, is just happy to see him!  She’s willing to forgive his silence and yay – come to New York to live and…  She doesn’t truly understand his untethered feelings because it’s not something she has experience in.  When Rachel wants him to sing with her at Callbacks, Finn says he hasn’t sung since they graduated and Rachel looks shocked.  Not sing?  Alien to her.

She sings “Give Your Heart A Break” by Demi Lovato, cute duet with Brody that only reinforces Finn’s isolation. And Brody’s hunkiness.

In the park, things begin to unravel.  They are speaking different languages now, coming from entirely different places emotionally.  They’re upset and then they’re angry.  When “Don’t Speak” starts up, it’s clear that Rachel and Finn are headed for a rocky cliff.  Finn’s months of silence have weighed on Rachel.  She doesn’t want to give up hope, not yet.

They go to bed, things unresolved.  In the morning, Finn collects his belongings and returns to Lima, without speaking to Rachel.

This is a huge mistake and one of the major problems this couple has!  Finn makes a decision about their relationship and acts on it without talking to Rachel.  And this results in a confrontation as Rachel tracks him down to the McKinley stage.  She’s angry – hurt and tired, as well.  She’s tired of being left.  Of not being considered.  And while Finn is the love of her life, and she hopes one day they’ll be together, right now it’s just not possible.

Rachel shows some of her true strength here.  It hurts like hell but she’s discovered that out in the world, she has agency and power.  She wants to have the same in her relationship – and it isn’t going to happen until Finn finds his own direction and strength.

Do I think they’re done forever?:  No.  I think they love each other deeply but right now, there are just too many factors hampering them actively being together.  Rachel needs to follow her dreams (Finn was right about that) but Finn needs to find himself.  And not in a way that’s borne out of trying to be with Rachel.  Acting?  Singing?  No. Finn likes to help people.  He likes music.  He likes organizing.  I can think of a few professions that might be perfect for him and hey, isn’t it lucky Will is going to Washington for awhile.

Wink.  Nudge.

"The Scientist" provides the perfect lyrics to our couples in crisis.

Oh take me back to the start…

In a fantasy sequence, we see all of our couple refugees on the McKinley stage in black, singing Coldplay’s haunting “The Scientist.”  Pain, longing and heartbreak are conveyed – what happens when you end things with someone you still love?  When there’s no anger, just sadness?  It’s probably one of the best musical moments in Glee’s history, with a tremendous performance combined with spot on lyrics.

Going forward:

I imagine we’ll be seeing the next phase for all these couples.  How can Emma and Will resolve their opposite views on the separation while Will is in D.C.?  Will Brittany and Santana’s beloved friendship stay intact?  Will either of them date other people?  Can Kurt forgive Blaine?  Can Blaine forgive himself?  And what is the answer to Finn’s search – who was he meant to be?  Will that man be the right one for Rachel?  Throw in the Brody factor and it could be a long road.

Here’s to the next few episodes and maybe some answers!  In the meantime, bring tissues because this year, you can never tell when you’re going to need them!

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