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TV Review: Glee – “Journey”

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Well the first season of this groundbreaking and surprisingly popular show has come to an end, and Glee-mania will probably only grow on the off-season. The cast is on tour, coming to cities everywhere, and there are the CD volumes and probably another DVD set to look forward to for now. What will we all have to do until the next season begins? Probably dance around to our Glee iPod playlist and wait breathlessly.

It's Regionals time, and New Directions is excited … except when they find out Sue Sylvester is going to be one of the 'celebrity' judges. What? Okay first of all, why is it not brought up that Sue is from the school? That should instantly disqualify her from judging. Even if she hates their Glee club, there's no way she can be unbiased and it's very hard to suspend disbelief on that one. But moving on. The kids know there's no way she would help them, so they're good as sunk. They will lose the club because they can't win, so instead of practicing they sit around crying and telling one another how much the club has meant. It's sad and moving and kind of depressing.

Will is depressed too about it and he even cries, but he goes to Emma for guidance. She points out that it was the journey all along that was worth it. They sang because they loved it, not because they cared about winning. She is also newly dating and is not interested in Will anymore, or so she says. He tells the kids, just as Rachel and Finn decide to spur them on to greatness again. They decide to work hard and go in there and have no matter what.

There are three clubs performing: New Directions, Vocal Adrenaline, and Aural Intensity (hilarious title). The guest judges are Sue, the newscaster Rod, Olivia Newton-John, and Josh Groban. Aural Intensity does a mash-up of Olivia Newton-John and Groban, which is hilarious, while New Directons does several Journey songs including their very first song "Don't Stop Believing." After performing, Quinn sees her mother, who asks her to come home, and her water breaks. To this important birth of little Beth, Vocal Adrenaline (but mostly Jesse) sing "Bohemian Rhapsody." Oh Jonathan Groff. Please come back. You can replace Finn. I mean, what?

The birth scene is fantastically done with the song, by the way. Rachel has stayed behind to wait for the judgment. She sees her mother Shelby again, and says she should come work for them. Shelby says she's actually done with Glee and she wants to have a real family of her own. Shelby shows up after the birth of Beth and asks them about the baby; Puck tells her the name he chose, and when she adopts the baby, she names her Beth. Some people found it weird she adopted Beth, but it seemed sweet. She was never as ruthless as her team, and she was a nice character from the beginning. She gave Will advice, handled the Rachel situation awkwardly, and didn't press charges against Finn and Puck when they slashed tires.

The kids all come back only to find out not only did they lose, but they got last place. Ouch! Unexpected too, considering in the judges room it looks like Sue is having a change of heart. The other celebrities make fun of her for being like the Glee club, meaning the underdog and not famous at all, and you know she voted for them. But they lost anyway. Interesting and surprising! I thought their Journey songs were done well. They're an enthusiastic and sweet team, but they really need to work on their performance and choreography. It's still sub par and this show is able to do better. It wouldn't be logical for them to win against a team as well trained and professional level as Vocal Adrenaline.

So the club is dead … or is it? While Will is packing up, Sue tells him that she decided she didn't want to lose her 'enemy.' She wants to give them another year. She blackmailed the principal one last time for the Glee club, and she even gently tells Will that he's a good teacher. This is after she watches the kids perform "To Sir, With Love," and sees how much they love Will. Sue is a fantastic character and she's brilliant and evil, but it is actually great to see these little soft moments with her. So the team is back, and Will closes it out with "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."

The question is where do they go next year? Do they have to fight back to Regionals? Will we see Shelby and Beth again? Finn told Rachel he loved her, can they make it work? Quinn and Puck look like they're making a go of it too. Will kissed Emma, but she's dating someone now. Can New Directions learn how to dance and not look like they're bopping around a stage awkwardly? One would hope. Until next season, Gleeks, enjoy the music and keep your fingers crossed that the second season manages to surpass our already high expectations!

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