Glee Season 4 Review “Sweet Dreams”

Glee Season 4 Episode 19 Sweet Dreams (4)

Everyone’s got a serious case of the flashbacks in this week’s Glee, with season one unity and friendship weighing heavily on their minds. ‘Sweet Dreams’ also reunites us with Puck and Finn as they enter into the spirit of college, and Rachel kicks ass at her ‘Funny Girl’ audition.

We’ve all been a little concerned about the direction Finn has been taking this season, but not it looks as though he’s found his calling. It still bugs me that Marley had to point out his talent in teaching before he really accepted it, but it’s nice to see him enjoying college all the same. Of course, the college experience isn’t all about studying, and the episode sees Finn (and a dorm-squatting Puck) engage in a little too much fun. It was probably meant to be a cautionary tale, but I actually kind of enjoyed seeing this looser side of Finn, finally led astray by his bad-boy bestie.

Over in New York, however, Rachel only has success on her mind. A lot of people don’t enjoy watching Ms. Berry in full diva Streisand-obsessive mode, but this might be my favourite version of her. She’s ambitious with the talent to back it up, and I’m so glad that her dream of emulating her idol has stayed with the show right from the beginning. Did she pick the right song for her audition? That’s certainly open for debate, but I guess the scene had more to do with her remembering the old days than it did about her future on Broadway. She ended up getting a call-back and, for once, her success didn’t feel out of the blue.

As usual, the stuff at McKinley was the most boring part of the episode. After last week’s not-terrible shooting episode, Glee has now robbed itself of any credibility it might have accidentally gleaned. They completely forgot about it before making snide remarks and tactless jokes about PTSD, NeNe Leaks has replaced Sue as head of the Cheerios without anyone asking for her return, and there’s some very strange plot-lines involving Sam having an imaginary twin brother (from Australia), Tina changing her style to steam punk, and MIT chasing Brittany for early commitment.

The only part of the strange behavior that made sense was Unique’s desire to grow breasts by taking birth control pills (all of the trans kids are doing it) – but Glee never seems interested in following up on interesting asides like that. Ryder’s mystery girlfriend has also been forgotten (saving that for the season finale, are we?), and all we have to go on here is Marley’s twee little songs about being an outsider and finding good friends. The first song was far too sweet, and the second was a rip-off of season two’s ‘Loser Like Me’ – a much better song.

I did enjoy Rachel’s flashback to the pilot, as well as Will’s memory of winning Nationals, but it all seems a little apologetic at this point. My favorite part was actually Rachel’s tribute to Barbara Streisand in the first few minutes, because that felt like classic, genuine Rachel. I tune into Glee every week hoping to love it like I used to but, until they move all of the action over to New York or relegate the newbies to supporting character status, I don’t see that happening.

My only hope is that they sort out the mess they’ve made before season five, and we can look forward to a new and improved series next year. Only three weeks left – let’s hope they surprise us.

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