Glee takes off the gloves this week and focuses on the “Feud” between Will (Matthew Morrison) and Finn (Cory Monteith). Will wants to forgive Finn for kissing Emma (Jayma Mays), but finds himself unable to do so, making the atmosphere of the glee club toxic. The students challenge their two directors to sing out the tension.
It’s a solid idea, I guess, to have Will and Finn battle it out musically. That’s the kind of show Glee is, using music to express and solve everything, so it makes sense. But it does feel awkward, and despite using two great songs for their sing-off, “Bye Bye Bye” and “I Want It That Way,” the plot never quite gets to be cohesive. The mashup doesn’t gel right, especially the cut scenes of Finn and Will physically fighting, and neither does the story.
In the end, though, I’m glad “Feud” doesn’t solve the problem between these two men. Finn did something that can’t be forgiven in a week or two. Eventually, it would be nice to be done with this dumb side trip of an arc and have the two back to being pals, but for now, it feels completely authentic that Will can’t bring himself to let Finn off the hook. The heated words between them are raw and real.
So what’s Finn to do? He can’t stay at McKinley. Marley (Melissa Benoist) suggest he go get a teaching degree. The surprising thing is this clearly hasn’t occurred to Finn, since it’s such a “duh!” suggestion, but he appears to be considering it. Of course, that would keep him away from the show’s action for four years, so I doubt the writers will really commit to it. But from a character stand point, it would be a good decision.
Which begs the question, what will season five look like? Presumably, some of it will take place at McKinley the very next year, as Glee has done a fine job of setting up a new crop this season, which I’ll get to in a minute. But we’ll want more characters to make their way to New York (at least Blaine (Darren Criss)), which limits who can stay in the show. It’s been fun to see lots of the old favorites this year from time to time, but it might be necessary to slim the cast down a bit.
Another idea could be to time jump the series. This way, Finn could be done with his degree, and others could move into other roles as well. Finn is a primary, important character to the show. Unless they’re ready to let him go, which would make sense on their current path, at least for a few years, he needs to find some entirely new story that somehow connects to this, which will be difficult. If he doesn’t, it’s likely going to feel awkward to keep him in focus.
Back to the glee kids, it does feel manufactured that Ryder (Blake Jenner) now has a feud with Unique (Alex Newell) all of the sudden. It springs out of nowhere, as does Ryder’s chat with the girl on the computer (which is definitely someone we know, right?). The results of this plot, including the mystery of who Ryder is chatting with and a heartwarming scene in the choir room among the five newbies is great, but it’s a little weird getting there.
Ryder’s real beef is with Jake (Jacob Artist) and Marley, whom he has wronged. It’s a testament to Jake that he can be the bigger man and give Ryder a second chance, especially when it’s totally unfair of Marley to put Jake in that situation, trust or not. This is nice, to see that the guys’ friendship may not be over.
But why does Unique get involved? I’m not exactly complaining; I love the character. It just feels a bit forced. As does Kitty’s (Becca Tobin) last minute inclusion, even though, again, I really like the chemistry and camaraderie of these five, and hope it sticks.
Unique and Ryder’s sing-off is a mashup of “The Bitch Is Back” and “Dress You Up.” It’s well sung, but not especially memorable, like most of the music in this episode.