It’s a pity that some moments of this episode of Glee, Lights Out, were so offensive and annoyed me so much, because there were some parts that I found quite charming.
At McKinley, there was a power cut, yet for some reason everyone continued going to school for the next week or so with just flashlights and candles. I’m pretty sure the latter wouldn’t be allowed for health and safety reasons. Then again, going to school in the dark wouldn’t be allowed to happen for health and safety reasons.
The power cut is simply an excuse for Will to brand the week ‘unplugged week’ in preparation for regionals (why are regionals so late this year?), which begins with Sam singing a pretty inoffensive version of You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’. It’s nice, and then it gets weird when Sam has a go at Artie for being on his phone during the performance, and moans about how everyone’s plugged in all the time.
Ryder is next, still on the search for his mysterious girl. He sings Everybody Hurts, and then confesses that when he was 11 his 18-year-old female babysitter molested him. This was unexpected, although I’m not surprised Glee is choosing to address an issue like this. However, the way it was handled completely p*ssed me off.
Sam and Artie react by making fun of Ryder, telling him that he should be grateful an older woman took interest in him. This is wrong on so many levels, and then they say it again when Ryder protests, and it becomes even more wrong the second time round.
And then the thing that narked me most happened.
Will made a half hearted attempt to stop Sam and Artie, then let them continue. When he saw Ryder clearly give up and give in to the teasing, he did nothing. Will’s always been a crappy teacher, but this was a step too far for me.
Kitty, noticing Ryder was upset, took him out to dinner where she shared her own story of being the victim of abuse when she was younger. While the scene was moving, I’m not sure there was a need to have multiple characters who went through the same experience. I’m sure Kitty could just have easily reached out to Ryder and told him she was there for him without having to be a victim of child abuse herself.
And after that not much happens with the New Directions. There’s a version of We Will Rock You where the kids play dustbin lids and stuff, and Ryder continues talking to his online something or other, and Kitty gets jealous.
Meanwhile, Becky finally confesses about the gun to Principal Figgins (I think), after trying and failing to get Sue to come back to teach at McKinley. Sue’s happy with her fitness class though, where she makes nubile young women cry and where Blaine wears really short shorts. Sue comes back to McKinley and sings Little Girls from Annie, which is cute but doesn’t really fit (it’s all a promotion for actress Jane Lynch’s upcoming turn on Broadway).
The action in New York provided this episode’s better moments, although it still wasn’t perfect.
“Concerned” about Santana, Rachel and Kurt sit her down and tell her she needs to start going to dance classes. It’s all very patronising, particularly from Rachel, and the pair can’t get their head round the fact that someone doesn’t want to go to NYADA.
Kurt’s apparently still working at Vogue.com (yay!), which means the wonderful Sarah Jessica Parker gets to come back. She provides the best moment of the episode when she asks Kurt how his dad is. I assume Blaine’s been asking Kurt, but we haven’t seen this, or in fact anyone asking him how his dad is doing, not even Rachel and Santana who live with him. But Isabelle thinks to ask, and Kurt is touched (leading me to believe hardly anyone has brought it up with him).
She then asks Kurt to help her organise some massive ballet event, and Rachel and Santana get involved. The three of them (plus Isabelle) sing At The Ballet, which is a beautiful song. While it’s done well, and the flashbacks to their younger selves are sweet, it doesn’t hold quite the same depth as the original. I recently saw A Chorus Line in the West End, and At The Ballet during the show nearly ripped my heart out. Here, it just wasn’t as strong.
Still, it makes Santana realise she wants to dance again (and not just in a cage), so she heads to NYADA to take their after-hours classes. And that’s that.
After two quite poor episodes, I’m hoping Glee will up its game next week.