This week’s installment of FOX’s Glee, titled “A Wedding,” is set almost entirely in a barn in Indiana. See, it’s Santana Lopez (Naya Rivera) and Brittany S. Pierce’s (Heather Morris) wedding day, and they still can’t legally tie the knot in Ohio, which is not harped upon, but is definitely wrong. As everyone plans and attends the wedding, the characters apparently make several trips that take multiple hours each direction across state lines, but almost no one important misses the big day, which turns into a double celebration.
Santana and Brittany are one of the two best couples on the series, arguably the best one, so it’s natural that they would get married before the series’ end. They always understand each other better than anyone else can, and their love is true. They break up for awhile and pursue their own interests, but eventually come back together because their bond is so strong. This episode is not surprising and a very welcome development, up to and including Brittany’s superstitious freakouts.
Brittany springs the idea of a double ceremony on Kurt Hummel (Chris Colfer) and Blaine Anderson (Darren Criss), who are just getting back together, and while the boys acknowledge the craziness of the idea, they do say their vows. Klaine is another destined-to-be-together pairing who has explored separate avenues but always come back to one another. It does happen too fast, but no one cares because the guys know who they are and what they want, so it works.
Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) tries to make it a triple wedding when she proposes to ex-boyfriend Mike (Harry Shum Jr.), but he declines. This feels just as natural as the other two tying the knot. Not everyone meets their soul mate in high school, and despite Glee‘s propensity for mostly only having McKinley students and alum date other McKinley students and alum, most high school sweethearts don’t work out. The promise Artie (Kevin McHale) and Tina make to marry if they’re still single at 30 is a silly, dated reference, and one that probably won’t work out since Glee won’t still be running in ten years.
So, look, the general conceit of this episode, that two pairs of must-be spouses not only date in their teen years, but get married at twenty, is ridiculous. It’s not realistic. But Glee isn’t always realistic, and I’ve pointed out on numerous occasions in the past that the series tends to favor emotion over story structure. In this case, “A Wedding” is an enjoyably sweet episode, even if it doesn’t really make sense when viewed from a real-world perspective.
Which doesn’t mean Glee should be forgiven for all of its mistakes. Will (Matthew Morrison) not showing up until the last minute and Quinn (Dianna Agron), who is around earlier this year, not showing up at all, is pretty inexcusable. Where are the couples’ friends from New York? The frequent costume changes at the wedding and reception are downright ludicrous. Burt’s (Mike O’Malley) lack of surprise at his son suddenly getting hitched and Kurt having ready vows is unforgivable. The girls being gifted a month-long honeymoon while the boys get a weekend and none react to it is stupid, but clearly signals who’ll appear these next few weeks. Why isn’t Sam and Brittany’s fake wedding referenced? I’m just saying the overall feeling of joy one gets from watching “A Wedding” mostly outweighs this, but Glee would be a much better show if their writers exerted a little bit of effort on continuity.
Sue (Jane Lynch) isn’t invited at first because Santana hates her, understandably. But Brittany, like most of their classmates, forgives Sue easily, like one would a racist elder relative, so the principal manages to worm her way in anyway. Sue is a complex character at her best, and while she isn’t always written consistently, her support of these unions is nice and shows a good side to her character.
Sue’s ticket in is by bringing Santana’s abuela, Alma (Ivonne Coll), to the ceremony. I like that Alma doesn’t come around on gay marriage, but decides she wants to be a part of Santana’s life again. Alma’s tears during the wedding likely are as much from disappointment as joy, but this is a realistic take on the generational divide, with Glee’s trademark happy ending twist to it.
Finally, there’s a weird little subplot in which Rachel (Lea Michele) is afraid of what Finn’s mother will think about her moving on with Sam (Chord Overstreet). I guess, from Rachel’s perspective, this is a concern, but from a logical approach, there’s no reason to think Carole (Romy Rosemont) would disapprove, and of course she doesn’t. I’m still not a fan of Samchel, nor do I think this story is needed here, but if it is going to be done, this is the best way Glee can do it.
The musical numbers in “A Wedding” start late, but are solid. The moms group, including Carole Hudson-Hummel, Whitney S. Pierce (Jennifer Coolidge), Maribel Lopez (Gloria Estefan), and never-before-seen Pam Anderson (Gina Gershon), whom duet with the reconnected Troubletones – Brittany, Santana, Mercedes (Amber Riley), and Sugar (Vanessa Lengies) – on “I’m So Excited,” is all kinds of crazy fun mixed with real talent. Mercedes and Artie’s “At Last” is perfect for the wedding. “Hey Ya!,” which features Artie and a couple of high schoolers who probably shouldn’t be there, may not be generation-ally appropriate, but comes off great. Finally, the two couples sing “Our Day Will Come,” and it may not be the best piece in the hour, but is still pretty good.
“A Wedding” is a feel-good installment designed for maximum emotional impact, and it succeeds there. That the story is full of holes is sadly beside the point, but this close to the end, forgiveness of these glaring mistakes comes a little easier. Overall, I think this episode succeeds.
Glee airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on FOX.