Glee S4 Ep18 – Shooting Star

Whether they're singing to a cat or surviving a scary event, New Directions share a tight bond.

Whether they’re singing to a cat or surviving a scary event, New Directions share a tight bond.

It’s taken me a few days and several painful rewatches to be able to write this recap.

I’ve always considered Glee a dramedy, so super serious moments don’t really surprise. When done well, a dramatic event in the middle of laughter can be ten times more potent; we feel the shock of being jolted from our “normal” world.

It’s a hit or miss proposition and Glee has had its fair share of misses. When confronted with the prospect of a school shooting – particular in light of recent events – one almost automatically flinches in concern. Will it work? Will it fall flat? Will it just be a heavy-handed PSA?

Fortunately, great acting, tremendous direction, and a strangely subtle script make this an incredibly tense and meaningful moment in the show’s history. It’s not an easy episode, but it shows some strong bones of what one might assume from the outside is just a show about singing teenagers in Ohio. And in the end, we have some fodder for a discussion about who has access to guns and why they might pick one up.

I found this an incredibly powerful episode, with A+ work from everyone involved. It offers zero solutions, but that was never the point. It was about the feelings and emotions one goes through when any second could be your last.

This is in a slightly different style from my normal recap, divided by storyline:

Brittany and the Asteroid:

Astronomy Club president Brittany has a lot on her mind. She’s discovered an object is hurtling towards earth. She interrupts Regionals prep to announce the end is near.  For Britt, that means making amends with an important person in her life, someone she feels she’s been drifting away from.

Lord Tubbington.

The kids aren’t on Britt’s End of the World bandwagon. Unique wants to know if God will let her be a girl angel. Sam is suddenly rocked by the idea of girl and boy angels and angel sex. Mr. Schue uses the idea for a lesson – unfinished business. If the meteor/asteroid/comet actually hit, what is left unsaid? Their task is to tell people how they feel, to leave nothing unspoken.

Sam watches as Brittany tries to make her amends with Lord Tubbington. He suggests she get the Glee Club to help her express her feelings for the cat, which Britt thinks is genius.

With Sam on guitar, the Glee club sings Extreme’s “More Than Words” to the royal kitty, who sits perched on a little sofa. The New Directioners look a little confused about the ballad, but they sound great at least. And, we assume, Lord Tubbington feels things are right between him and Brittany.

Later, Brittany announces some good news to the Astronomy Club – turns out there is no mass moving menacingly towards earth. It was actually a dead lady bug at the end of her bedazzled Pringles can. They’re saved! Everyone is excited about not dying.

After disbanding the club, Brittany and fellow member Becky share some private time. In one of the highlights of the episode, the two share a sweet exchange as Becky begins to worry about the upcoming changes and the scary world outside these safe walls. Couldn’t Brittany stay for another senior year? Becky doesn’t want her to leave. Brittany assures her friend that yes, the world is scary, but if you’re prepared it won’t seem so bad. They hug tightly.

Giving a bro advice. Like a boss.

Giving a bro advice. Like a boss.

Ryder and his Catfish:

Much to his shock, Ryder spies “Katie” – his online love – walking the halls of McKinley. He tells Jake about their texting love and Jake advises him to go big or go home. And since this is Glee and that only means one thing, Ryder accosts the lovely blond in the hallway and brings her to the choir room. There, he serenades her with Elton John’s “Your Song,” backed up by the band. Charming, earnest, heartfelt – you could feel the looming disappointment that would be occurring even as the object of his song sits in rapt fascination.

Katie, it turns out, is called Marissa, and she has no clue what he’s talking about. They haven’t been communicating. Sharing their hearts and deepest thoughts. But he’s totes cute and should call her!

Ryder is devastated. And furious. Shaken, he runs into the hallway to confront Jake and Marley. He said he was sorry for kissing Marley – is this their way of getting back at him? They both insist they’re innocent, but Ryder is overwrought and storms away.

Ryder and Katie text again. She claims to only be lying about her picture and face. The feelings are real. She’s just…shy. He’s willing to continue, but they have to meet. The date is set – tomorrow at 3:30 in front of the choir room or else Ryder will cease texting her.

1 2 3