Glee struggles to stay original

So what did you miss on this week’s Glee? A new school nurse catches Sam’s eye, Rachel gets the part of a lifetime, a little attention turns Tina into a diva, and Santana finds a love interest in New York.

“Tina in the Sky with Diamonds” premiered on Thursday night, and took place during Prom week. This struck me as a bit odd, considering it takes aired in the beginning of October. Sue (now Principal Sue), announces the nominees for Prom queen. Tina and Kitty are among the nominees, and the attention goes to Tina’s head in a matter of seconds. She immediately asks all of her friends for votes, and proclaims that she will be “bigger than Jesus”. Tina’s ego has been a common theme in past episodes.

Kitty is confronted by Bree, whose only purpose in the show seems to be to make viewers not hate Kitty so much. Have we all forgotten that Kitty is the sole reason that Marley developed an eating disorder last season? Or that she convinced Dottie Kazatori that the apocalypse had arrived and that everyone had died? I am not totally convinced that Kitty has changed, and I keep expecting her to do something nasty again. The writers are trying to show viewers that the Glee club changed Kitty, and that she is no longer a snarky, manipulative Cheerio.

It seems that the writers have all but forgotten how to create original characters. Kitty is almost exactly like Quinn was when she was at McKinley. All the same qualities are there: the devout Christianity, the radical transformation by the Glee club, and the status as a Cheerio. Another striking similarity to earlier episodes was when Tina was crowned Prom queen. After being doused with red slushie (a theme that is really starting to get old), she reacts almost exactly like Kurt did when he was crowned queen a few seasons ago, breaking down into tears, running away, and triumphantly returning to the Prom. Which also begs the question: is Tina ever going to develop as a character? It seems like every episode in the past few months has been  a pity party for her, and I would love to see her become the strong and confident person I know she can be.

We must not forget, of course, the new school nurse, Penny. Sam develops a bit of a crush on her, and after Sue fires her for incompetence, bravely takes his immunization to save her. At first, I was a little unsure if I liked this new pairing. But I think that it is time for Sam to find a relationship that actually works for him, unlike all his previous exploits. Though Penny is a little ditsy, I think this relationship could be good for Sam.

Meanwhile in New York, a new girl at work catches Santana’s eye. Her name is Dani, and she is played by Demi Lovato. I was excited when I heard that Lovato was scheduled to appear in six episodes this season, and she definitely delivered. I think that Dani is perfect for Santana in every way. She is spunky, fun, and carefree, the perfect complement for her. I already love her in the role.

No critique of Glee would be complete without the music. I thought that the cast did a brilliant job with the songs. I have never been a huge Beatles fan, mostly because I have never heard a Beatles song, but seeing them in this week’s episode made me want to listen to an entire album. I especially enjoyed “Hey Jude”, which I have had stuck in my head for days now.

However, the joy and happiness in this episode did not last forever. In July, Cory Monteith, who played Finn, died of a drug overdose in his hotel room. Since then, Gleeks everywhere knew that the show would eventually have to deal with his death, and now that time has finally come. The newest episode of Glee was heartfelt and emotional, including performances of songs Finn had sung in previous seasons. The writers did not reveal how Finn died, and I think this was a good move. The focus should be on Finn’s life, not his death.

The most profound moment of the episode for me was when Mr. Schuester breaks down crying while holding Finn’s Letterman jacket. Throughout the episode, Mr. Schuester had not shown any emotion regarding Finn’s death, and it was not clear how he was handling it. When he finally does, it was heartbreaking.