Glee "The Role You Were Born to Play" Review: The R Word

Glee S04E05: “The Role You Were Born to Play”

Oh hey guys, Glee is back. Yay?

"The Role You Were Born to Play" was all about finding yourself and that “one role” you’re destined to play. My man Mr. Rogers summed up this notion as “something inside that is unique to all time,” and went on to encourage us to help one another identify it. Mr. Rogers was cool (the puppets, however, gave me nightmares). The thing about Glee, though, is that EVERY episode is about “finding yourself” and it’s really not special anymore.

This week it was Finn and Unique “struggling” to define themselves in the miserable wasteland of Lima, Ohio. Let me rephrase that. Unique truly did have a hard decision to make regarding how she wished to be viewed moving forward in life and while she had harsh way of saying it, Coach Sue wasn’t wrong to point out that rural Ohio probably wouldn’t take kindly to biologically male Unique playing the female role of Rizzo in the school's production of Grease. By accepting the part, Unique had to acknowledge that she would be opening herself up to a lot of ugly, but she put on her brave face and accepted the role, explaining, “I don’t feel right in the men’s locker room, but I can’t go into the girls’. I don’t feel right in men’s clothing, but I can’t wear dresses everyday.’’

BAM. Right in my feelings, Glee.

Finn, however, “struggled.” Wah, Rachel dumped him. Wah, he flunked out of the army. Wah, he hated his dead-end job. WELCOME TO ADULTHOOD, BRO. Get over yourself.

Finn didn’t have to, though, because it was Schue and Artie to the rescue—first with the offer to let him help direct the musical, then with the simple handing-over of the keys to the glee club over for the duration of Schue’s tenure in Washington because that’s totally how that sort of thing works. Glee desperately tried to justify it with Schue’s line about how it’s not a “real” position that requires any sort of certification, but I’m still pretty sure Finn would've had to at least complete all the paperwork and background checks/health screenings that cleared him of being a pedo or a meth head. Oh, and the TB test. I was on the education track for awhile. I KNOW THESE THINGS.

Furthermore, while the job was Schue’s, it was NOT his to simply will to a chosen successor without that successor making it through some sort of vetting process. And something tells me Finn would have a hard time getting any kind of blessing from Coach Sue after he called her Down's Syndrome-affected baby RETARDED.

Oh, he meant it as an observation, not an insult, right?

That’s... still not okay. At best, it’s outdated terminology. At worst, it’s an insult—and it’s always hurtful. Finn was all about donning the Social Justice Warrior hat to champion Unique’s cause, only to drop a bomb like that on Sue in front of Figgins and Schue, who at least had the decency to look startled by such casual usage of the R-word but never bothered to pull Finn aside and explain why he was wrong.

I’m sure he’ll apologize. Eventually. Maybe. Probably when Sue is giving the glee club a hard time and he needs to get her back into the reluctant ally corner. It will probably be heartfelt. He might even sing a song because who needs Hallmark when you have Top 40 radio and FEELINGS.

I’m more appalled that no one called him on it than anything. Glee accepts everyone. Glee is a show for everyone. Glee is the holy grail of progressive television.

Except that it’s perfectly okay for one of its darlings to make passing comments about a developmentally challenged baby as long as he can hold up his token cause of the week to show everyone that he’s actually the white knight they’ve been looking for.

So Schue and Emma worked out their issues. Schue is headed for Washington DC. Finn is in charge of New Directions. Unique gets to play Rizzo after all. Marley gets to play Sandy. Blaine is too depressed to play Danny, so we have yet ANOTHER new face to force ourselves to care about in Ryder, who shall henceforth be known as “Finn 2.0.” He goes quite well with Puck Jr. Rachel and Kurt were MIA, which was weird, but kind of nice. Kitty remains unbearable; I get that everybody on Glee is a flesh-and-blood cartoon but she’s just ridiculous.

And that’s what you missed on Glee.


– My Glee playlist of the night: Blaine’s “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” Marley and Unique’s “Blow Me (One Last Kiss).”

– “I don’t even gel on weekends.” Dude, I so understand. When I got dumped by my Freshman Year One True Love, I didn’t shave my legs for like a month. It was gross.

– I’ll take that Gilmore Girls boxed set if Kurt doesn’t want it.

– How do we feel about Ryder? I tentatively like him just because he genuinely said something nice about Marley’s mom without being guilted into it. Extra meatballs FTW.

– Despite this underwhelming return to television, I’m actually pretty excited about “Glease” next week. What about you?

– SO disappointed by Sue’s inability to come up with a mean nickname for Marley. Any suggestions?

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