Season 4 Character Arcs in Review
The first post in this new series was about Emma. Enjoy the next!
- She Sets Things in Motion
Her comments to Will and Kurt in “The New Rachel,” which are both about expecting more from yourself, leave a mark. She kicks Brittany off the Cheerios (for grades), which sets in motion a story that displays how clever Brit is. Her comments to Santana help push the ex-college student to New York. Sue’s words often sting, and even if they are over the top, there is some honesty deeply embedded there—and the listener always seems to hear it.
- She Supports Others in Her Own Way
Whether she’s reminding Blaine about the importance of keeping commitments or pushing Figgins and Finn to consider Unique’s safety, Sue spends a lot of season 4 doing things for others. She pays for Marley’s therapy, and steps in when Brittany’s behavior seems out of control. She of course supports Becky after the shooting incident, and we see some interesting glimpses into the extent of Sue’s concern for her Cheerios, which is later put into contrast with Roz’s approach.
- She’s in a Wedding Dress … Again
In a way Sue has always been partnered with Will, and “I Do” presents us that image as Sue walks up the aisle to meet the man who is sometimes her enemy, sometimes a friend. Or something.
- She Takes over the Choir Room
Finally, not as a gimmick, Sue takes over the glee kids’ space after they lose at Regionals. It becomes a room for practicing circus-type routines. Remember those big hoops with what looked like spider-web designs woven in the center?
- She Makes a Huge Sacrifice
The speech Sue makes to Figgins about her career is so interesting. She recalls fondly the ways she’s touched the girls’ lives, and can state proudly all the things they’ve gone on to achieve after high school. Sue gives up her legacy for Becky, and while we know Blaine is sure something doesn’t add up, we haven’t seen yet how Sue will be given her job back (probably, she’ll just be coach again come the season 5 premiere, lol).
There’s a ton more to write about Sue this season, and I know I’m painting her stories positively here. She says and does some awful things, but I’m most curious about the good intentions often behind those things.
The wedding-that-isn’t is an interesting conflation of Sue supporting others in her own way and Sue in a wedding dress. She may be linked to Will as his partner in many ways, most obviously when she shows up at the chapel in Emma’s place, but at the same time she’s functioning as a partner and explicit mirror for Emma, whom she defined as a friend when Emma went to the doctor with her in late S3. Sue’s presence in a copy of Emma’s wedding dress allows Emma to do the thing she hasn’t been able to do in the whole leadup to the wedding: speak to/for herself and articulate how she’s feeling accurately, and work out what to do about it without anyone else’s feelings or agendas (because Sue basically has neither in this situation - she certainly doesn’t go after that revenge humiliation she mentions) getting in the way. It’s an interesting link back to Sue being Emma’s counsellor in Season 1.
And Sue taking over the choir room is played with in a couple of interesting ways: in the present-day McKinley, it’s actually not a huge problem for the glee club, because they’re no longer defined by the room, but in the alternate timeline of Artie’s story in ’Glee, Actually’, the choir room is her territory and while it’s not terrible (all the bullies in the room are under control and not acting up), it’s a sign of problems - because the glee kids never had the room, they never learnt how to grow beyond the need for it?
Season 4 Moments We Got the Most Thinky About
Next up in my little series of things we talked a lot about during season 4:
I can’t think of another character whose dialogue consistently surprised me more this season. Kurt is such a layered character. What he reveals to others isn’t always what’s in his heart. Sometimes he’s stating what he’s feeling, and sometimes he’s saying what he needs to in order to protect himself or heal.
What I really love is the contrast between Blaine, who’s regularly says he and Kurt will be together—they’re meant to be together (even if doing so makes him unable or unwilling to see how a proposal might not be the instant fix he thinks)—versus Kurt, who understandably has proceeded more cautiously and even circuitously (even as he is unable or unwilling to see that moving on isn’t going to work).
One element that I find interesting in this is that we got a number of Kurt voiceover’s in the latter half of the season (Sadie Hawkins, Guilty Pleasures and Wonder-ful) but for the most part that did not tell us much more about his headspace. We were literally inside his head but it was still ambiguous. Contrast to Blaine, for instance, who had 1 voiceover right at the beginning of s4 but because of how open he is we usually knew a lot.
That’s a great observation. In the end it’s all consistent, isn’t it? Even if it makes us crazy.
Those voiceovers are interesting, though, because we do get *something* from them—but it’s very similar to the scenes in that we get so little. In GP we get Bruce and Kurt mentions not wanting Adam or Blaine to find out. In Wonder-ful Kurt talks about his reaction to seeing Blaine in the hallway and how that makes him feel. You’re right about the ambiguity though—which is found even in the scenes GIFed above.
The sense that I got from Kurt in S4 is that he spent a lot of time managing and controlling his feelings (and not just about Blaine but about pretty much everything - Rachel and Brody, NYADA, Adam, Burt, etc) and therefore distancing himself from them. Even in his voiceovers. And I think that was at least one of the things that was frustrating to some people because he never quite seemed to break out of that. One of the few times we saw a little more was Come What May and that scene in the doctor’s office with Burt and Carole where he starts freaking out about Burt wearing a dark colored shirt. And I think he inadvertently kind of opened up in the hallway scene near the end of 421 when he’s encouraging Blaine to ask him the question he wants to ask.
Overall summation of how badly the broadcast networks are bleeding viewers.
This is a really depressing chart.
Reblogging for important context for ALL fandoms.
I just want to note a couple of Glee related things.
Glee was down 13% which is less of a drop than either the Thursday X-Factor (down 19%) or the Thursday American Idol (down 23%).
I like thinking about Blaine’s interactions with adults this past season, maybe because he came from this place where he never interacted with them, and maybe because we’ve never met his parents? Maybe because he’s often trying to be the adult. Maybe because he’s often playful and childlike. Regardless here are some thoughts regarding Blaine’s dealings with adults, ordered (kind of) from more positive to least positive.
- There’s an easy rapport between these two that we see in “Glee, Actually.” I think he sees Burt as an ally (and Ally). At Christmas, for instance, he’s allied with Burt by simply being there through special arrangement with him, but also through their bet. In “All or Nothing” he expects Burt will again be his ally regarding his proposal, and is really shocked when that doesn’t happen.
- He reaches out to Burt for help, both in regards to Kurt as well as the fight for marriage equality.
- He finds support in Jan, who also believes in soulmates and second chances. She’s a true role model.
- Technically, no scenes, but she does what he asks re: the superheroes club. She respects him and what he’s doing.
- Clearly, he’s asked her for her help, and she gives it.
- She objectifies him. She pushes his buttons enough to make him lose it in front of her. She pushes his buttons enough in performance, no less, to make him look truly bewildered.
- And yet, she gives him the position of Head Cheerio, rarely uses nicknames with him (at least this season), but calls him B (like Quinn used to be Q). I think by season’s end they know what the other is worth, somehow. He knows she isn’t evil. She knows he’s more than a piece of ass.
- He wears his wtf face pretty much all the time around her. Also Roz talks at people, not to them; she always seems so wrapped up in herself and how things might impact her that she doesn’t connect. Mostly she’s skeptical of Blaine, and he, of her.
- Interesting that Will is most often disappointed with Blaine: over everyone jockeying for Rachel status, over the lip synching, over the glee kids questioning the set list. While he doesn’t always direct it at Blaine, Blaine answers for it. The set list questioning is definitely directed Blaine’s way.
- I don’t think Blaine ever asks him for help with anything, does he? Instead he works with the team that turns Will’s class upside down, when Will is asked to perform with Finn to resolve their differences. In that case, I guess, Blaine is disappointed with Will.
I keep thinking that Blaine and Ms. Pillsbury also interacted at some point this season, but then my brain realizes no, that was just fanfiction!
(Also, was I the only one who was surprised to see Blaine dancing on Mr. Schue’s side in Feud? Even despite the impartiality … )
LOL. Re: “Feud,” I think Blaine really wouldn’t show disrespect. If Will asked him, for instance, he would do what was asked.
And you know, maybe he liked being tied up like that :)
There are two other moments where Blaine interacts with some sort of adult—the lunch lady and teacher in “Sadie Hawkins.” He goes up to the board for the math problem (there’s not really “interaction” but) and he explains his behavior to the lunch lady regarding taking tots from the lunch counter.
The first time we see Blaine with the lunch lady he gets yelled at for taking extra tots for Tina. But we see the lunch lady again when Blaine is saving 15 seconds in his routine by taking the shortcut through the lunchroom and that time the lunch lady sees him and smiles at him (that’s the time he sees Sam taking macaroni).
She’s the Man inspired Glee Season 4
Is it weird that I read this in the “That’s what you missed on GLEE” voice?
This is awesome.
Season 4 of Fox’s musical dramedy split its time between Lima, Ohio and the bright lights of New York City to varying degrees of success. Here’s how the episodes stack up.
Not sure I totally agree, but I’m not surprised at number 1.
So everyone keeps getting annoyed when Ryan Murphy says “We’re doing something that’s never been done on television before” because we have assumed he’s meant splitting the location of the show as they have for S4, or splitting the school year as they are in S4/S5.
I’m fairly certain that’s not actually quite what he’s talking about it. What I think he’s talking about is seasons as the structural unit of television.
Back during S3 when Glee’s ratings were tanking and they were negotiating for S4, there was a persistent rumor that because of the split season plan Murphy wanted 30-ish episodes. That would, among other things, have gotten Glee close to the magic 100 episode number for syndication and allow both NYC and Lima stories to get equal time.
That didn’t happen, and S4 was 22 episodes.
But S4 wasn’t written like a 22 episode season. It was written like 22 episodes of a 30ish-episode season.
My belief, especially with Glee’s frequent/constant hiatuses, is that Murphy has jettisoned seasons as a narrative unit of measurement.
No one would be particular pissed about this episode if it wasn’t the season finale.
And while it may be the season finale in the sense of now the hiatus is a long one and this is how Fox marketed it, I don’t think that’s what we just saw.
5.01 will actually be 4.23. And Murphy hasn’t been full of shit. He’s narratively jettisoned the typical structural unit of US TV and we’ve been rolling our eyes and his huge, ground-breaking change, because nothing on the business and marketing end has lent itself to us being told this or hearing it when we’re told it.
And the shocking two season deal? Not really about two seasons. Just about the space it takes to finish the story. Which is really the rest of the 30ish episode S4 and a 30ish episode S5.
“I didn’t want to do something that we’ve done every year,” Murphy continued. “I wanted to do something that was a little longer, sort of novelistic in the storytelling, [with] a couple good cliff-hangers.” [Ryan Murphy to TV Guide, Feb. 27, the day before he pitched the remainder of S4 and S5 to Fox]
Huh. Interesting thoughts. How do you guys think this structure that LfT is talking about play into this quote above?
palethunder Season 4 crew photo & wrap speech. #glee
palethunder Slushie wrap cake from the cast.
The Glee Cast tweets about wrapping season 4