Glee “Transitioning” Review (Season 6 Episode 7)

Glee Transitioning Season 6 Episode 7 07

Kurt and Blaine are an endgame couple for Glee. Anyone paying attention to both the show’s history and it’s present in season six knows that, and the final few episodes are about making that as satisfying a conclusion for the audience as possible. We’ve been heading here since season four’s ‘The Breakup’ and, without Finn and Rachel to be Glee‘s big overarching couple, it falls on Klaine and Brittana.

Brittana weren’t in this episode, though, and so much of the stuff with the younger characters centered around the former. There was a party to see off Rachel’s childhood home, there was an impulsive kiss and there was a mad dash down the corridor to confess lingering feelings.

The problem with this is that it’s all coming from Blaine, who we’ve seen very little of this season.

Back in season four after the initial breakup, there was a complaint from fans of the couple that Kurt’s voice was lost, making their reunion feel a little forced no matter how subsequent scenes played out. Well, now that same has happened to Blaine, and we don’t have a whole bunch of time to rectify yet another power imbalance in their already-problematic relationship.

It sounds like a petty quibble, I realize, but I’m disappointed that season six hasn’t capitalized on the promise of a breakup that finally put Kurt in the doghouse. Now? His role in things has been forgotten, Blaine has cheated on someone who, for what we were allowed to see, was a positive influence in his life, and we’re back where we started. Blaine is harboring strong feelings for Kurt, and they aren’t fully reciprocated.

Even worse, he doesn’t have Sam and Rachel anymore either. The whole point of the show’s fourth season was to give Blaine friends, a community and a place to belong post-Dalton, and his crushing isolation in that final scene was like travelling back to a time when all he had was his own crippling insecurity.

Unless it’s a clever play in a larger story about getting Blaine to a good place in the end, it just feels as though Glee is taking everything away from him in preparation for another reunion with Kurt. It’s stripping him of everything that makes him a character outside of the Klaine relationship (we haven’t seen much of Dalton since the second episode, either), and it’s absolutely heartbreaking.

On the other hand, I loved the one scene between him and Karofsky, which showed off how efficient the writing on Glee can be if it wants. In just a few minutes, we got a sense of where Karofsky is now, why he and Blaine might have been in a relationship in the first place, and where he might go in the future. I’m more sure now than ever that this was supposed to be Sebastian’s storyline, but at least we can leave Karofsky in a positive place.

Like Sam and Rachel, it was a relationship about healing, rather than something necessarily long-term. The fact that the timer hanging over Sam and Rachel doesn’t detract from their scenes is a miracle, and watching them comfort and understand each other here is a joy. She’s scared of leaving her memories behind, he reminds her that she can take them with her. He’s under no illusion that she’s going to stay in Lima with him, but it hardly matters.

Their relationship has the kind of natural humanity that so many on this show lack, especially in regards to Sam.

The big selling point of the night, though, has nothing at all to do with Glee‘s respective love stories, but rather the return of Coach Bieste to McKinley. Some of this worked and some of it didn’t, but I’m always happy to watch Unique sing no matter what.

What didn’t work? Sue’s sudden compassion towards transgender people and the casual line about McKinley now being a gender fluid utopia. This is the same place where, just two weeks ago, Spencer was frightened of appearing ‘too gay’ for the football team, and a year ago Unique wasn’t able to use the bathroom. Sue fixed that in a month? Yeah, I’m sure that happened.

What did come off brilliantly, though, was Vocal Adrenaline’s wholehearted embrace of the villain role. I loved that they didn’t really believe in what they were doing, but rather using it as a way to force Rachel and Kurt into full “Will Scheuster mode,” wasting a week of rehearsal on lessons of tolerance, was inspired, and I’m beginning to really enjoy Clint as the season’s antagonist.

There’s also nothing funnier than watching them be subjected to Will’s rapping, especially on something so contrived as ‘Same Love’. They hate him so much, and it’s wonderful.

And you can’t underestimate how great and important Unique’s rendition of ‘I Know Where I’ve Been’ was because, though Glee has sort of come under fire for jumping on the bandwagon since transgender issues started to be covered more by the mainstream media, the fact is that this had a character the show introduced three seasons ago, singing words of comfort to Bieste with a 300-strong choir behind her. And it was beautiful.

Next week we have the big wedding, which has the potential to either delight me or send me into a rage spiral. Probably both, but then that’s what Glee does best, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What did you think of the episode? Where the heck is Rachel living now? And Sam? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.