Lea Michele in GLEE - Season 3 - "On My Way" | ©2012 Fox/Adam Rose

Lea Michele in GLEE - Season 3 - "On My Way" | ©2012 Fox/Adam Rose

Stars: Dianna Agron, Chris Colfer, Darren Criss, Jane Lynch, Jayma Mays, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Heather Morris, Matthew Morrison, Amber Riley, Naya Rivera, Mark Salling, Harry Shum Jr., Jenna Ushkowitz
Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Director: Bradley Buecker
Network: Fox, airs Tuesday nights
Original Telecast: February 21, 2012

And so goes the roller coaster ride that we’ve come to know as GLEE. After enduring perhaps the worst episode of the season with “Heart,” GLEE rebounds with perhaps one of the best episodes of year with “On My Way.”

It’s like there are two different shows being made concurrently. On one hand is the GLEE marketing machine that makes song and story choices based on the music it wants to shoehorn in on a given week. This version of GLEE occasionally throws all logic and continuity out the window while also focusing on the wrong character or story arcs for reasons unknown to its loyal audience.

Then there’s the thoughtful, smart and richly textured GLEE that takes incredible risks and challenges which reminds us what we liked (and appreciated) about the series to begin with.

“On My Way” kicks off with another blackmail moment from Warbler baddie Sebastian (Grant Gustin), but then gets deadly serious when Kurt’s (Chris Colfer) former tormentor Dave Karofsky (Max Adler) is outed at his new school. It gets so bad, he attempts suicide.

Thankfully he survives, but this episode brings a sense of melancholy throughout. It gives the characters ample time to reflect on choices and their own struggles with identity and fitting in. This is beautifully written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and it really tackles some hard-pressing issues happening right now in our school system (including bullying and suicide). I was hoping GLEE would use its platform, which has been one for tolerance and acceptance, to actually step up to the plate and discuss what happens when someone can’t handle being an outsider and looks for the worst possible solution.

Kudos for the show and its deft handling of this. It’s not heavy-handed and it’s the right balance of just about everything – including everyone realizing they should have reached out to Karofsky when they knew something was wrong, instead of him going down that dark and dangerous path. It’s also an episode about looking to the future and enjoying everything life has to offer.

The rest of the episode deals with Regionals – with the Warblers and New Directions going against each other the old school way by being the best each can be.

SPOILER ALERT

Don’t read further if you haven’t seen the episode.

 

 

 

Spoiler #1, is the obvious one, yes, New Directions wins and is headed to Nationals.

Spoiler #2 is not so obvious. There’s been a lot of build-up with Quinn (Dianna Agron) and potentially wrapping up her storyline before the season is up. And strangely, this episode ties up a bunch of loose ends only to have Quinn get into a terrible automobile accident as she heads off to the wedding of Rachel (Lea Michele) and Finn (Cory Monteith). She’s texting and then – a car slams into her.

I have mixed feelings for this little coda, since the Karofsky moments were handled so well. To kill off a major character like Quinn like this seems a bit dark and morbid, but, if they can make it work with the series, why not. However, it may be a little too much to have a potential suicide and probably a death in the same episode. We’ll see how all this is resolved.

Overall, this week’s song choices were top notch too – perhaps the best and most consistent in weeks. It also digs into a couple of under-the-radar bands including Young The Giant with “Cough Syrup” (giving Darren Criss as Blaine one of his best numbers in some time) and Halestorm’s superb “Here’s to Us” which gives Michele a shining number.

I’m curious why Sue (Jane Lynch) has become so mellow over the last batch of episodes (yes, they use her pregnancy as an excuse, but it’s a strange turnabout). If this is growth, it’s nice to watch, but it’s also changing the Sue we know. I did hate her constant need to destroy glee club and glad that stopped. I think it’s important the character have this kind of enlightened arc, but I also would hate to see Sue revert back to her old ways. That would be cheap. The writers seem to be building toward something here, but the way Sue is being written, and Lynch is playing it, it seems like Sue is in a deep depression (and it’s kind of a buzz kill too). I’m willing to give this time to sort out, but it almost feels like Sue’s time on the show is kind of done and the series needs a new villain/antagonist to take her place.

Meanwhile, the Finn/Rachel wedding doesn’t veer into overkill, which I feared would happen. Instead, “On My Way” has an excellent balance. It’s bittersweet, and it makes you wonder how the whole Karofsky subplot will be handled in weeks to come and if, indeed, Quinn has bitten the dust.

Hopefully, whenever the GLEE writers veer off course, they’ll pull out this episode to remind them what the series can do when it really stays focused and strives to be more than just a typical TV series.

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Article Source: Assignment X
Article: TV Review – GLEE – Season 3 – “On My Way”

 

 

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Comments:

  1. Honestly I found this episode incredibly inappropriate. Glee is a comedy and as such is NOT the correct forum for handling such an important issue – as they showed throughout this episode crammed full of other plotlines. I’m not sure what sort of message they were trying to send by having Kurt turn into a one-man support system for the bully who threatened to kill him. It would have been a better opportunity to explore the various professional support systems that are out there for depressed teens, rather than an excuse to boost ratings post hiatus.And the fact that they showed something so blatantly triggery without any warnings before the episode is what I found most shocking of all.

    Did love all the Hudmel/Berry interactions though! Remember when Glee was a comedy? Me too – just about.

    Emily
  2. I disagree – well, mostly: I agreee a parental warning was necessary. I can’t believe “The First Time” with it’s no-sex “sex scenes” had to have a parental warning, but this did not. Nice priorities there.

    Glee has been dramatic from the beginning (though it used to do a better job of being dramatic and still being funny), and particularly after last season’s bullying storyline, it has taken on a number of “big issues.” Lots of fan mail is from kids who contemplated suicide. Glee reaches this group in a way many other things do not.

    Yes, the show probably could have spent more time on offering resources other than just the Trevor Project PSA, but at least it went that far, and it did capture perfectly how alone someone like Dave would feel. I don’t think Kurt is meant to be seen as a one-man support system, but he is in a unique position among the people Dave knows to understand what he’s feeling and provide support. And I think the episode went a long way in acknowledging just how complex bullying is (bullies as troubled themselves, jokes intended to be simply be snarky that further isolate people who are on the edge, the soul-crushing power of the internet), which was actually part of my problem with the original bullying plot, which I found a bit simplistic since bullying is rarely just one “bad guy” and his “victim.” And I do think the hospital scene acknowledged that Kurt and Dave’s relationship is full of conflicting emotions on both of their parts.

    I don’t think the suicide attempt was a ratings grab – I do think Quinn’s accident was a ratings grab, and I found it a bit offensive to end this particular episode on that note. Another tragedy wasn’t needed and it seemed disrespectful to the suicide plot to overshadow it with a “don’t text and drive” cliffhanger.

    Ann
  3. Glee is actually a dramaedy. Drama and comedy…. Its more than obvious in the past seasons. And this is one of the beat episodes the show hAs ever done. It deals with real issues and stuff that can actually happen. And Kurt had forgiven Dave last season and they have become kind offends. Also, realistically Dave would want someone who had gone through what he is currently dealing with. A peer. Not a teacher. This episode was not inappropriate at all. And you can’t really give warnings to car accidents and not a lot of people can see or are aware pf signs of suicide. And sometimes there are no signs. And the shock factor would have been completely lost if they had alluded to wither incident in promos. Sorry if you disagree but this is my personal opinion. Having been in theatre and studied it for years I can tell the difference between pure comedy and a drama/comedy. Glee is always listed as both in the websites I’ve looked at.

    autumn
    • I knew the suicide attempt was coming due to spoilers and it was still pretty shocking and emotionally effective (no one’s saying the car accident required a warning). Glee obviously wanted to handle the topic sensitively and thoroughly – “shock value” should not have been a consideration. I get that you’re saying that part of the point was no character on the show saw the attempt coming, and the show wanted the audience to share that feeling, but given the number of young kids who watch Glee (whether that’s appropriate or not is a separate topic) and the number of particularly vulnerable kids who are dedicated to Glee, a warning was necessary for such a triggering episode. It didn’t even have to be all that specific, but it should have been there.

      Ann
      • Glee isn’t made for young children. Its made for teenagers and young adult. Even adults to some extent. But you are right it is a separate issue. And, at least in Alaska, the put a warning out for children 14 and under to have adult supervision. And, I’m not trying to be rude, bit given the background of the show, it should be common sense to not let young children watch it. Glee takes place in high school. Modern day high school. There are teen pregnancies, suicides, drug and alcohol abuse, sex, bullying and so many other things that happen in real life that have at some pint been portrayed on Glee.

        autumn
        • Like I said, whether it’s appropriate for young kids to watch is a separate issue. But, really, The First Time needed a warning and this didn’t? What, they only care about kids watching when sex is involved? Plus, your comment doesn’t address the issue of “triggering” in the exact age group Glee is aimed at. My feelings about this issue would be different if the attempt had happened off-screen, but they actually showed it. A warning was warranted.

          Ann
          • They showed the events leading up to the attempt. They never showed Dave jumping off the chair or anything. It went from him getting on it to his dad findin him. That’s all we saw. And suicide attempts aren’t taken nearly as seriously as teen sex because a lot of people think people who are gay aren’t human. The Parental Television Advisory group had a hissy for over the first time
            Because it “promoted teen sex” but they haven’t said anything about David trying to kill himself. And again, Glee is for 14 year olds and up. To be honest, parents really need to stop sheltering their kids and wise up to the fact that a lot of stuff that happens on Glee (bullying, suicide, teenage sex, pregnancies, alcohol consumtion and peer pressure) all happen. Kids under the age of 14 should not be watching it and parents shouldn’t lie to their kids about whT actually goes on in society. And as for the dedicated fans who have written fan mail about Glee saving them from themselves (which I do believe 100%) this isn’t going to make them more depressed or suicidal. If anything, with Kurt and David’s hospital scene it will give them hope. It’s a fantastic episode and in my opinion, since the producers make or clear it is mature content not just singing and dancing, they don’t needs a warning. It’s apparent in any other episode they have ever shown. That’s your warning.

            autumn
  4. Pingback: TV Review: GLEE – Season 3 – “On My Way” – Assignment X | teensterbeat

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