Glee returns from its baseball-induced hiatus with "The Role You Were Born to Play." It's time to audition for the fall musical, Grease, at McKinley High School. Some students are nervous about the roles they want to play, while others worry that a bad casting choice could hurt a relationship. But an alum, at pivotal moment of his life, returns to steer these young people in the right direction.
"The Role You Were Born to Play" is a solid Finn (Cory Monteith) episode. Though I haven't always been a fan of the character, he has really grown on me, and this installment proves his staying power. Here he is, down on himself, not believing he can do much of anything, but he still manages to provide some good advice to students who are struggling. It's a maturation moment, where Finn suddenly grows up very quickly and seems like an adult.
There is no question that Monteith can play adult. He is one, after all. But in "The Role You Were Born to Play," the character starts to seem closer to the actor's actual age of 30 than what he should be. Recently graduated eighteen year olds aren't able to show the wisdom Finn displays here. But it's forgiven because this is television, and Finn has always seemed smarter in some areas than is typical. Even the fact that the school hires him to direct the New Directions, a completely unrealistic occurrence, is overlooked because it serves his story well. And isn't that what's really important? A character's journey?
Of course, Finn also makes mistakes, and he makes a whopper of one in "The Role You Were Born to Play" when he calls Sue's (Jane Lynch) baby "retarded." It does not matter that she is fighting him on a casting choice, which, based on past revelations about her character, likely comes from a place of wanting to protect the students, rather than out of bigotry, even if she doesn't know how to express that. But Finn comes across as the real bad guy in that scene, callous and cold, even when he immediately apologizes. That is just something you do not say, and he has earned himself justified hatred from Sue. This will have consequences in episodes to come.