Glee "Sweet Dreams" Review: Friendship Is Magic

Glee S04E19: "Sweet Dreams"

Oh, so we're just going to go back to business as usual after last week's Very Special school-shooting episode of Glee? Okay, Glee. It's not like I was expecting anything better anyway. From Roz's belittling of the McKinley students' experience—"I grew up in the hood, I can't sleep at night unless I hear at least two gunshots"—to Marley's ditzy, "It's like they all have PTSD," seemingly implying that having a severe psychological reaction to a traumatic event is weird, any brownie points Glee earned by not completely sucking at the actual shooting part have been spent. Welcome back to WTF Land, Glee

Along with Glee's general inability to not fall all over itself these days, the worst aspects of Rachel's Rachelness have returned. Tonight, her audition for Funny Girl finally came to pass, and it only served to underline how much more enjoyable and sympathetic she was when she wasn't God's gift to the stage. Honestly, I wish there was a way we could have it both ways, where Rachel fulfilled the prophesy set forth from her very first appearance on this show and she got to do it all without being so irritating.

Also, there was a Harlem Shake moment. There were several Harlem Shake moments. Glee, we need to talk.  

While Rachel warbled her way to a callback in New York, in Lima, Schue reverted to ruling New Directions with an iron fist. Glee club, he seemed to have determined, is not a democracy, and even though the majority of his students rebelled against the idea of doing a medley of songs from the '70s and early '80s at the upcoming dream-themed Regionals, Schue got all huffy and grumpy, hurt some feelings, and reaffirmed the end of his and Finn's bromance. 

Until he... changed his mind? 

Through the magic of friendship and song and a song about friendship, Schue's grinch heart grew THREE sizes that day and he tracked down the college Finn enrolled himself in after Schue threw his Jealous Ex tantrum a few episodes ago and asked his former mini-me to return to McKinley. Finn, despite resolving to get his shit together after getting kicked him out of the clubhouse, found himself tempted by the awesome parts of college and, in typical Finn fashion, came this close to flunking out. 

Puck Sr., who is now randomly squatting in a dorm because why the hell not, basically told Finn to grow up, which Finn did by accepting Schue's apology and letting him bail his slacker ass out of imminent academic probation, though admittedly, Finn's save wasn't kooky at all. College credit for real life experience is totally a thing. 

With Schue's humanity restored, he apologized for hurting everyone's feelings and insisted that Marley teach New Directions one of her original songs. And over in Black Sue's office, Becky and Blaine met with their new overlord to talk Cheerios. From the get-go, Roz suspected that there was more to Sue's departure than the official story. She blamed Blaine for casting a "fruity Fonzie voodoo hex" on her predecessor, but the truth almost came out when Becky defended Blaine and claimed that he wasn't there when the gun went off. So at least we aren't completely ditching that story, but the thing is, even with the understanding that this is just how Glee operates and nothing that happens every really has a lasting effect on the characters who populate McKinley's halls, a shooting is kind of a big deal, even when no one gets hurt. Schue and Beiste were quick to give lip service to their nightmares and the changes they see in their students, but for all intents and purposes, it's like nothing at the school changed—and if you're going to tackle a subject as overwhelming as a school shooting, you can't just handwave it for the sake of moving on to the next dance routine. 

Still, a small amount of progress is still progress. I side-eyed the promo for next week pretty hard, though. 

What did you think of "Sweet Dreams"?


– Glee playlist: "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party)" was solid, though kind of uninteresting. "You Have More Friends Than You Know" was pretty, though cavity-inducing. "Outcast," an original  song, was enjoyable, though definitely based on the self-congratulatory emo crap I scribbled during study hall when I was fifteen. So... yay for Glee finally getting its characters to think like high schoolers?

– Ah, the sacred hallway slip 'n slide. Classic. Kudos for being smart enough to pad the walls, Finn Hudson. We weren't. 

– Oh hey, Idina Menzel. 

– Okay, I still hate Kitty, but her spot-on dismissal of every single one of Marley's songs made me laugh. 

– Are we happy to see NeNe Leakes again?

– Emma Pillsbury, I miss you and your pamphlets. Come back. 

– So the theme of Regionals is "Dreams." What do you think the glee club should perform? What do you want to see?

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