Glee season 1 episode 21 review

Carley takes a look at episode 21 of Glee, and finds a penultimate instalment that sets plenty up for next week's season finale...

21. Funk

We all knew it was coming, but Jesse St. James breaks Rachel’s heart and returns to Vocal Adrenalin, due to the Glee club not listening to his ideas, and just to add salt to the wounds, they perform a big number and then toilet roll the choir room in a bid to scare them and to fail at nationals.

To retaliate Finn and Puck slash the tires of Vocal Adrenalin’s matching jeeps and after getting caught end up having to take a job at Sheets-n-Things under the management of Will’s ex-wife Terri, who, after having her divorce finalised, decides to take Finn under her wing in a bid to fix the mistakes from her past.

After Vocal Adrenalin’s performance puts the club in a funk and with Will also depressed about his divorce, he decides to assign them some funk numbers to get their funk back, something the rival team has never been able to do.

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Knowing the Glee club is down in its luck, Sue decides to make things worse by demanding the choir room becomes her new trophy room, so certain is she that they will fail regionals.

Fed up with her constant bullying, Will begins to fight with Sue and eventually asks her out, then stands her up, forcing her to stay at home and become a recluse. When Will goes to apologise, she opens up to him about how much she would like to have somebody to come home to, but soon reclaims her Sue Sylvester charm and goes on to win the cheerleading championship and puts the trophy into the choir room as a token of her superiority.

Getting their funk on is harder than expected but an unlikely friendship is born between Quinn and Mercedes when Mercedes realises Quinn now knows what it feels like to be a minority and asks if she would like to move in with her and her family.

Vocal Adrenalin decides to make one final insult to the Glee club by attacking Rachel with eggs, with Jesse admitting he was in love with her, but still smashing the egg on her head. As a final defiant push, New Directions invites Vocal Adrenalin to watch them perform Give Up the Funk, leaving them depressed, as they could never pull something like that off.

This week’s episode, although entertaining in parts, really felt like a rush job to try and get enough ducks lined up in a row for next week’s final episode. Firstly, although as an audience we knew Jesse was up to no good, his return to Vocal Adrenalin was just dropped in with no real build up and felt unnatural and out of story sync. This was a storyline that has been quietly building and just to finish it like that was a waste, in my opinion. I can only hope something a bit more spectacular happens next week.

Also highly unnatural this week was Will’s flirting with Sue. Now, although Sue is awful to everybody, she really didn’t deserve what Will did to her and although it was to teach her a lesson, it just was uncomfortable viewing and made you want to stick up for Sue, which in one way proves what a well rounded character she has become.  The only real good thing about this story is that, thankfully, Will only shook his ass and didn’t rap!

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The other two side stories this week helped the episode flow along but, again, were not totally necessary. Firstly, Mercedes and Quinn becoming closer due to the fact they know what it feels like to be a minority was ever so slightly patronising and I really don’t know what to think about Quinn’s music number backed up by pregnant teens. It is either totally empowering or totally insulting and in bad taste.

Secondly is the new relationship taking place between Finn and Terri, which actually has the potential of becoming something very interesting. After all, we all know how crazy she can be and how helpless Finn can be, and it could make for some great viewing. Again, I hope that, unlike the Jesse/Rachel storyline, it isn’t rushed and finished in the final episode and is allowed to grow and run in Glee’s second season.

So, next week we are off to nationals and with Sue as a judge the future of New Directions is anything but certain. 

Read our review of episode 20 here.