I have to admit that when Ryan Murphy called this week’s “Glee” episode, “The Break-Up,” the best episode the show has ever done, I assumed I was going to hate it. I figured it would be another over the top, cliché-filled episode that was designed to tug on our heartstrings, but felt more like a public service announcement. But then I watched this screener this morning and now I can say that I could not have been more wrong about the episode. It is hands down, one of the best episodes of the show ever and there is not one single PSA moment anywhere to be found.
So what makes the episode so good? The cast, for one, because they all bring their A-game. I’ve had a lot of complaints about “Glee” over the past three seasons, but acting has never been an issue for me. The cast is very, very talented and they know how to bring the emotions when the writing calls for it. I thought Lea Michele and Cory Monteith did their best work in last season’s finale when Finn sent Rachel off to New York without him. Their scenes in this episode go above and beyond and completely blow that episode out of the water. (Speaking of Mr. Monteith, he rocks a black t-shirt in the episode that shows that someone has been seriously working out over the summer break. It’s very nice).
-I’m not going to tell you which couples break-up, but I will say that it is more than one and even if certain couples don’t necessarily break-up, there are some heavy emotional issues that they need to face and work through or decide whether the issues are too much for them and it’s time to move on. However, I will say that cheating is an issue for two couples. We all know Rachel kissed Brody last week, but the second person who cheated? I was stunned.
-After several unsuccessful attempts to reach Kurt by phone, Blaine surprises him by showing up in New York. Rachel and Finn are already there and the foursome head out to hang out with some NYADA friends at a local bar. Finn watches while Rachel and Brody perform a duet of Demi Lovato’s “Give Your Heart a Break” and then Kurt is taken aback by Blaine’s performance of Katy Perry’s, “Teenage Dream.” Let’s just say it’s quite different from the first time he sang it on the show.
-Santana is visiting Brittany in Lima and notices some changes in her girlfriend. Brittany opens Santana’s eyes a little to how she feels (can I just say that I think Heather Morris is severely underrated? The girl says so much with her facial expressions) and later in the episode, Santana serenades Brittany with Taylor Swift’s, “Mine” and it was everything I never knew I wanted.
-Jake, Marley and, unfortunately Kitty (sorry, not a fan of Quinn 2.0. I want the original model back) also get some screen time in the episode. There’s a (somewhat strange) subplot featuring the “Left Behind” books that includes a Kirk Cameron reference and basically gives Kitty a chance to be awful. But for those already shipping Jake and Marley, the two have some nice moments together.
-Will’s best scenes are with Finn (I will forever love their relationship), but he’s also got some big news for Emma and her reaction throws him for quite a loop. I’m not a huge fan of this pairing, but their scenes were well done and completely realistic (That being said, I’m glad they only had one major scene because I am not here for this).
-There are two group numbers that I think will go down in future Top 10 lists for the best the show has ever done. And seriously, if you’re a fan of the show, even a casual one and the final performance and accompanying montage doesn’t make you feel emotional, then you’re probably a robot or dead inside. It is that good.
“Glee” airs Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. EST on FOX.