'Glee': Threats of Death

We keep promising to never watch Glee again, but we can't help ourselves.

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OK, OK, we give up. We know we keep promising to never watch Glee again, but we can't help ourselves. Grim curiosity continually gets the better of us. Last week's episode, all about Valentine's Day or something, we were happy to skip, but this week's was something of a must-watch. Why? Because it was the show's inevitable gay bullying/suicide/It Gets Better episode. And, oof. It got worse.

The problem with a show like Glee trying to tackle such a serious real-world problem is that in no way does Glee ever remotely resemble the real world. So when they try to pull us down to Earth and teach us a tangible life lesson about something important it all winds up feeling bizarrely out of tune. (Music! Get it?) Their Very Special Episodes are forced to briefly humanize a cartoon character like Sue and it never makes sense. They have to make everyone love each other for an episode only to go right back to all the feuds and rivalries the next week. It's almost as if the serious episodes are happening on some alternate dimension show that we only occasionally visit, one in which a bunch of flat character types have sudden depth. It's always jarring and disjointed, and perhaps never more so than last night.

The important gist of the episode: Sad closeted lunk Karofsky, who confessed an out-of-nowhere love for Kurt last week, was outed to his football team by someone on these internets of ours and so someone spray-painted "FAG" on his locker, causing Karofsky to go home and try to hang himself in his closet. Yikes. It was serious stuff that, in typical awful Glee fashion, was interwoven with the show's gay Reggie Mantle, Blaine, singing some kind of song. We get that they have to squeeze as many songs in as they can, but oof, during the gay suicide attempt scene? Not good. But yes, Karofsky tried to kill himself, but was found by his dad in time so he's OK. Still, the news sent the school into a sad tailspin and everyone was upset and at one point Mr. Schue admitted to having suicidal thoughts when in high school and it was just like, no Glee, three seasons in is way too late to give that character any sort of pathos. Sorry, that ship sailed long ago.

So that was all handled pretty clunkily, especially when you consider that the rest of the episode was about Regionals. (Or Sectionals? Or something? Who the hell knows anymore.) Meaning there was this gay suicide plotline but it was kind of the B story almost. Big singing numbers needed doing and those were of chief importance, so outta the way, sad big gay guy! But worst of all was that the end of the episode was a "To be continued..." Not about Karofsky or anything. About blonde princess Quinn. Yeah, she's all better and winning and whatnot with her Yale acceptance and her place back on the Cheerios (that was a plot last night too) and was driving to Finn and Rachel's wedding (we needed this in the episode too??) and texting and got in an accident and we don't know if she's dead or not. So the gay suicide episode was also about not texting while driving. And actually texting-while-driving got the more dramatic treatment in the end. Sigh.

Is Quinn dead? We hope so. Not because Quinn's so awful, but because it would be interesting. Right? Wouldn't it be? And it would make the gotcha ending of this episode about a serious thing at least somewhat worthwhile. Otherwise it's just unnecessary teasing.

OK, we swear this time. This is it. No more Glee. At least not until the "mid-season break" is over, anyway.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.