Since the past few weeks of Glee's final few episodes overlapping with the fourth season of Friday Night Lights, the temptation to compare and contrast has been pretty high. While watching FNL's new outsider/underdog storyline of East Dillon, I half-expected one of the new characters, Vince, to get slushied in the hallways (Luke was in fact shot with a paintball gun, though, does that count?). The difference, obviously, is that Glee's calling card is big moments ("look at me!!!") while FNL plays a more subtle game. But at it's heart, it's an underdog story of outcasts with parental holes with a coach/teacher who helps fill that role. And students that aren't in any grade so as to allow for them to retroactively become lower classmen for more seasons. And with Sue and the McCoys, they've got some pretty obvious villains.
But wait! Sue Sylvester is actually shown to have a heart (was that water leaking from her eyes?), so only Joe McDick gets the thin mustache painted on his face. Given all the usual plot holes, this episode practically redeemed the inconsistent back nine.
I'm not going to say much more, as I'm late to seeing it thanks to a busy schedule, but many have already expounded on it well enough already. Todd VanDerWerff gave it an A- on AVClub, James Poniewozik raves about the cross-cutting "Bohemian Rhapsody" scene, Myles McNutt says it stuck its landing, and Matt Zoller Seitz (writing about the series as a whole for Salon) compares Glee to Twin Peaks.
Playlist: Glee - Episode 1.22
1. "Don't Stop Believin'" - Journey
2. some barely audible Olivia Newton-John / Josh Groban mashup
3. "Faithfully" - Glee Cast [Journey version]
4. "Anyway You Want it / Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'" - Glee Cast [Journey version / LTS]
5. "Don't Stop Believin'" - Glee Cast
6. "Bohemian Rhapsody" - Glee Cast w/ Jonathan Groff [Queen version]
7. "To Sir With Love" - Glee Cast [Lulu version]
8. "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" - Glee Cast [Israel Kamakawiwo'ole version]
Previously: "Funk" (Episode 1.21)