Glee S4 Ep20 – Lights Out

Kurt happily informs his roommates about the ballet gig. Rachel is thrilled. Ballet class – and we get a glimpse of little Rachel in a tutu in flashback – was where she learned to love music and performance. It was her gateway to everything her life has become. Santana doesn’t look convinced at the awesomeness of this. Kurt also has his ballet memory. Little Kurt and his magic wand, dancing around the studio, ignoring the side looks and laughter. It was there his “can do” attitude was born – screw the haters, he would power through it all. Ballet doesn’t intrigue Santana, but that pretty free dress from the vaults of does. She’s in.

In the choir room, lit by candles, Ryder has gotten permission to have a full orchestra back his song selection. He’s not unplugging music, he’s unplugging his feelings. Ryder sings his heart out to “Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M. The performance affects his friends, as they each seem to sink into their own memories. There are some individual flashbacks to slushie attacks, which seems a waste of flashbacks since we haven’t seen one on screen since early in the season. Sadder things have happened to these kids since then – remember the shooting!?

When he’s done singing, Ryder continues emoting – he’s recently revealed a personal secret to someone he’s not sure he can trust anymore. So before it comes from elsewhere, he wants to tell his friends something not even his parents know. When he was eleven, his babysitter molested him. Unfortunately, the confession is cut short by Artie and Sam, who think Ryder is silly for framing it as a bad thing. A hot teen girl? That’s every boy’s fantasy! And the plot of most movies made in the 80s! Marley tries to shut them down, but the boys’ unfortunately common opinion makes Ryder clam up. He accepts their “congratulations” and takes his seat. Kitty, meantime, is clearly upset by the revelation.

And Becca Tobin continues to win all the background acting awards for this season.

Ryder finds himself at Breadstix with Kitty. She saw how distant he got after the reception to his secret, and she wanted to know that someone in that room understood what he went through. It seems something similar happened to Kitty in 6th grade – her best friend’s brother molested her at a slumber party. She waited a long time before telling, which seemed to create confusion and distrust from parents and friends, who badmouthed her “lies.” It’s why she switched schools to go to McKinley. Ryder is touched by her confession, and takes her hand in his.

Side note: The quiet reality of Ryder and Kitty’s stories, and the lack of resolution for either of them, made it a hundred times more powerful than melodrama and noise would have. The fact that it wasn’t shocking enough for people to react exposes the painful lack of understanding for victims.

Back to the Glee club, as the kids stomp their way around the stage with bottles and other everyday objects in an enthusiastic rendition of “We Will Rock You” by Queen. Things we can never have too much of: the new New Directions singing joyously together. Things we need more of: Jacob Artist dancing.

Despite her insistence to Blaine that she doesn’t miss McKinley, Sue finds herself on the bleachers watching Roz run the Cheerios through a practice. Becky – out of uniform – joins her. She and Roz aren’t getting along; she begs Sue to come back because she misses her so much. And while Sue misses Becky, she doesn’t miss the Cheerios. Nope. They never respected her (except Becky).

Sue launches into “Little Girls” from the Broadway musical Annie. She joins the girls in their practice, and begins to knock them off one by one. The malicious joy she brings to the song (and gleeful murder) makes this a super fun number, if a little strange (the tie-in is obvious – Jane Lynch will be singing the song on Broadway during a limited run of Annie this summer). Sue is happy to be sitting among the now-dead cheerleaders in her fantasy, and she tells Becky she wouldn’t go back for all the money in the world. Her face, though, tells a different story.

At the Ballet Gala, Isabelle invites the kids to watch the event from the wings. Kurt and Rachel insist Santana doesn’t like ballet, but she admits she did take class as a little girl. Only a few lessons, but it was enough to make her feel special and beautiful – the first time she danced.

With Santana and Isabelle on lead (and support from Kurt and Rachel), we launch into a fantasy featuring The Chorus Line song “At the Ballet”. It’s soft and pastel, telling the story of how the ballet changed the lives of little girls, who found a home on the stage through dance. Poignant and dramatic, the song illustrates the roots of each of the singers – with professional ballet dancers recreating famous moments and little Kurt, Rachel, and Santana making an appearance.

It’s lovely but entirely too long. Editing would have benefited the impact of the number greatly.

Roz drags Becky into Figgins’s office. Apparently “Robin Sylvester” has been disruptive and disrespectful (making fart noises every time Coach Roz moves, and no one farts all the time!), and now Figgins has to deal with her. Roz storms out and Figgins chides Becky. Turns out it was just so Becky would get sent to the principal’s office. She has something to tell him.

1 2 3