TV: ‘Glee’ addresses gun violence

By Meryl Gottlieb|| @buzzlightmeryl
Glee airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on Fox
Rating: 4/5


Before tonight’s episode, “Shooting Star,” even began, a disclaimer appeared warning the audience that this episode displayed school violence. I then spent the rest of the time waiting for some two-minute dramatic scene to occur. I could have never been more wrong in my prediction.

The moment that I am talking about will be discussed later. It’s not something I want to jump right into, mainly because I’m still collecting my thoughts on it.

Brittany (Heather Morris) says another asteroid is coming toward Earth, so everyone only has a few days to live. And people take this seriously. Will (Matthew Morrison) assigns the glee club to perform their last songs to one another — whether it actually does end up being their last song or if it is to just to show them how they feel toward one another.

Ryder (Blake Jenner) is obsessed with figuring out who the online mystery girl is. He runs into the girl he has pictures of from their messaging. He sings “Your Song” to her as she sits mesmerized at the fact that he is talking to her.

Except, she’s Marissa not Katie, someone has been using her picture. … He’s been Catfished! If only I cared even a little bit about this storyline. Seriously, I cannot even express how much I detest this.

The glee club sings “More Than Words” to Lord Tubbington. I’m up for any and all LT stories but really? This is one of the most beautiful songs in the world and you use it as a make up between Brittany and her cat?! Can we talk about this wasted opportunity?

Coach Beiste (Dot Jones) invites Will to dinner in the locker room — heaven forbid they get out of that school. In the spirit of last chances, she tells him of her feelings for him since he has been the only one to show her compassion and love. She runs away crying once he tells her about his reunion with Emma.

Becky (Lauren Potter) approaches Brittany about being scared of the future once she leaves high school. In an incredibly sweet scene, Brittany says that you have to move on and that if you prepare, the world won’t seem so scary.

Then, something happened that I never thought would: a school shooting happened at McKinley.

I am really mixed about the decision to do this. I think the way it was executed was phenomenal, but I do not approve of Glee dabbling in so many areas. Suicide attempts. Texting and driving. Bullying. Sexual orientation. And now, gun violence. It is too much. When did a show about underdogs become a platform to advocate social justice issues?

However, I have no complaints as to how the actors performed during those scenes.

I honestly think that my jaw was wide open for that entire sequence. The emotional depth that every single one of the actors hit was amazing. Everything seemed so real. Two performances that I have to highlight belong to Brittany and Sam (Chord Overstreet).

Alone in a bathroom stall, Brittany stands on a toilet seat, crying. When that scene played, I gasped. Morris’ performance was so intense. She said nothing, but you could feel the fear and see the emotional depth she had reached.








Sam also almost brought me to tears in his attempt to make it to Brittany. I sat in awe of his performance as Will and Beiste had to hold him back, with Will covering his face as he screamed for Brittany.









I applaud all of the glee club for fine performances that made the sequence all the more gut wrenching and heart melting to watch. They all did an amazing job.

While in the choir room, Ryder decides to call Katie to see if she’s ok. Now is not the time to call your mystery woman! When he calls, another phone in the room goes off. Well now I just want to see who it is. But I still don’t like this storyline.

Will found Brittany (I almost cried, again) and brings her into the choir room shortly before the S.W.A.T. team gives an all clear.

Sue (Jane Lynch) admits that it was her gun that she had brought into school for safety purposes. WHAT?! At no point do I believe this is real. But, she delivers a great monologue about how many wonderful things she has done in her life and that she will only be remembered for this one event. Sad but incredibly true.

Yet, I was right all along. It was not Sue’s fault, but instead it was Becky. She brought in a gun because of how scared she was of the real world. Before she leaves, Sue tells Will to make sure to keep an eye out for Becky.

I have always loved Sue and Becky’s relationship. It has always been so adorable, but this was so emotional. Well done, Jane Lynch. Very well done. I’m sad to see you go.

Will signed Beiste up for an online dating site, and she has matched with Ken Tanaka — a nice throwback I felt I should mention to lighten the mood.

As a finale, the glee club sings, “Say” while Ryder waits to finally meet Katie, who ends up being a no show.

The show ends on a note that I’m not sure I approve of: flashing back to the video Artie (Kevin McHale) shot while they all waited in the choir room. That moment of intensity had passed, and it felt out of place.

I’m still amazed at what happened. I don’t think anyone was expecting it, especially not when all of the promos featured what will be happening in the next few episodes, such as college partying and Rachel channeling Barbra Streisand.

If I were basing my rating solely on the school shooting sequence, then this episode would have a five out of five. However, certain songs were used poorly, and I’m not entirely ok with the fact that a school shooting even happened.


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