Glee Season 4 Finale Review: Brittany Explains It All

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Glee S04E22: "All or Nothing"

So... Brittany is secretly a genius, Blaine is going to propose to Kurt anyway, Ryder's catfish was Unique all along (you kids nailed it!), and we're going to have to sit through an entire summer without knowing Rachel Berry's Broadway fate. I'm going to go ahead and assume that last one was a tactical move on Glee's part so that theoretically, when we come back and find out Rachel is a big, shiny Broadway star, our collective memory of her ridiculous Season 4 storyline will be dimmer and we will, therefore, be less outraged by the revelation. 

Or she'll be an understudy. I'm going with understudy. Think about it: It's not as ridiculous as landing the lead in a highly anticipated revival barely out of high school, plus it would easily set the stage for a new version of the standard Rachel story in which she's mocked and terrorized by her peers (the leading lady will undoubtedly be a monster), all while nursing her special little dream until given the proper chance to shine... which will probably be somewhere around the Christmas episode (maybe even in the actual Christmas episode? and involve her rival getting knocked up or something because Glee hates them sluts.

It appears that the fallout from the school-shooting-that-wasn't and Becky's apparent maybe-confession to Figgins has been dropped completely because Glee realized that there's no way to sing about it that wouldn't be awful. We did learn the identity of Ryder's catfisher, however—and unsurprisingly, it was Unique. Marley stepped up as the red herring for about ten minutes after Ryder fell into the sort of agitated and destructive state that sends most teachers into damage-control mode, but Mr. Schue isn't most teachers, so he just stood there and watched it like one of his students, none of whom seemed to understand why Ryder was upset. Or even seemed to care that he was upset. Ryder stormed off asking, "What's wrong with you people?" and he and I really connected in that moment because I've been asking the TV that same question since like, the middle of Season 3. 

When Unique finally revealed herself, she admitted that she strung Ryder along because she really, sincerely liked him—despite having no actual reason to, since Ryder was nothing but a dick about the whole gender thing. In fact, she said she only grew to like him more once they got to know each other. Ryder said that he'd never speak to Unique again because even though Glee had the opportunity to present a PSA that actually fit within the story naturally and made sense for the characters involved (like maybe making Ryder realize he was wrong when he insisted on calling Unique "he"), the show decided it'd rather shoehorn in another teenage marriage proposal because the only couples that matter are Klaine and Finnchel. 

Then again, WTF Unique? How did you think this was going to end?

So yeah, Blaine decided to move forward without Daddy Hummel's blessing and propose to Kurt anyway, because Glee has apparently decided that it needs a gay marriage storyline. Despite the apprehension of pretty much everyone he talked to about his plan—and it's important to note here that their less-than-eager stances had nothing to do with Kurt and Blaine both being dudes and everything to do with them being teenagers and not actually a couple anymore—Blaine just kept going until he got the go-ahead he wanted... from a kindly lesbian jeweler played by Patty Duke who he literally met ten minutes ago and who then invited him to sit ringside to her own marriage proposal to her partner of thirty years.  

At Regionals—which McKinley got to host because of tornado concerns in Indianapolis—everyone was in a panic because Brittany went on a power trip after MIT declared her an unsung genius and named"the most important scientific discovery ever" after her, breaking up with Sam and quitting both Cheerios and New Directions. Ryder allegedly quit the team too, in response to Unique's shenanigans. They showed up at the last minute and saved the day despite having probably skipped a buttload of important dress rehearsals, but hey, New Directions' choreography seemed to be comprised mostly of standing still and then wandering the stage aimlessly, so maybe they didn't miss much during their tantrums after all.

Ultimately, even though the Hoosierdaddies were armed with American Idol veteran Jessica Sanchez and, frankly, put on a more exciting show, they fell to New Directions, who clinched yet another Regionals victory. Then Emma and Schue got married because, like we established last weekGlee taking the time to show us how Schue and Emma patched up their broken relationship would have been super boring and so not song-worthy, so the writers spared us the details and just told us the couple was re-engaged. I did think that the low-key wedding was an appropriate display of their apparent off-screen reconciliation, though with Emma being assertive and Schue being understanding. I also thought their vows were cute. See, sometimes I say nice things about Glee

In the end, as a whole, Season 4 did work as a cohesive unit. It wasn't perfect, but a lot of that can be chalked up to the growing pains associated with figuring out how to switch back and forth between Lima and New York, figuring out what to do with the new students, and figuring out how to utilize the McKinley graduates without overshadowing the new faces—all of which, to be honest, still need some improvement. But season 4 was very much a transitional season, and when you look at it as such, the season did what it needed to do. 

Marley, Jake, and Ryder started out as blatant clones of Rachel, Puck, and Finn but have slowly come into their own as different characters with different quirks and personalities (okay, maybe not so much Jake). Kitty began as an impressively monstrous caricature so devoid of personality and motivation beyond being evil that I sincerely wonder whether her initial description in the script simply said "villain," but now she's people. Mostly.

The hardest part about complimenting Glee for anything is that a lot of the time, it's hard to tell what was intentional and what happened accidentally. I like that Kitty isn't just a vicious blonde bully anymore, and I like to think that's because someone made a conscious effort not to write her as such, but so much of what makes Glee Glee is the way that everything appears to just be thrown on the wall by a bunch of chimps with no rhyme or reason, and a lot of the time, the WTF goes hand-in hand with the FTW. Brittany getting into MIT as an early admission is weak, but the monologue about constantly being told she was dumb—and through glee club, realizing that she wasn't—was great, even if the crying was definitely excessive. The lockdown scene during "Shooting Star" was excellent, but everything after it was Glee at its absolute worst and the way that, as of this writing, the storyline was simply ditched is just appalling. 

So Season 4, in retrospect, had all the ups and downs that we've come to associate with Glee, and I think due to the general upheaval of the show's status quo, the bipolar extremes in quality were made all the more apparent. I like to think that Season 5 will build on the lessons learned during this season—and despite all my bitching and tough love, I'm a little bit excited. Just a little. Hope to see you there! Ciao! Kisses! 


– A resolution to the Becky storyline. ASAP.

– Understudy Rachel. I mean, I'm going to mock it it if happens, but frankly, I'm going to mock anything the writers make her do because Rachel is Rachel and since she's destined to win at everything anyway, let's at least make it a win that isn't insulting to people who aren't living in magical FairyTale New York where the subway smells like rainbows and buttercups. 

– Ditch the Kurt/ stuff. (Sorry, SJP, it's not you. Honest. <3) There's just so much on Kurt's plate and it seems like because there's so much, none of it is ever addressed terribly well. 

– Stop getting the alumni involved with everything. Let the new kids win on their own. Let the graduates move on with their lives. 

– Less creepy, over-involved Schue. Please. 

– I know this last one isn't easy and can even be subjective episode to episode, but if there could be equally engaging stories happening in both New York and Lima, that would be awesome. It seemed like too many episodes this season split their time between the two cities, and every time it happened there was only one that anyone actually felt compelled to pay attention to. 


– Last Glee playlist of the season: Rachel's "To Love You More" was pretty. None of the competition numbers excited me. Sorry. :(

– Sue's baby daddy is Michael Bolton. 

– "...wrongly accused football coach..." Really? A pedo Penn State joke? That's A) Not even terribly relevant anymore, and B) tasteless. 

– "Brittana is real."

– Oh hey, Sugar and Joe aren't dead. Huzzah.

What did you think of Glee's Season 4 finale? What do want to see in Season 5?

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