Wow…oh wow… this episode was light on the singing but heavy on the acting though it was a worthy sacrifice. I’m just going to dive right into it because this episode was intense and powerful.
The episode begins innocent enough with the Glee club discussing their Regional competition. Brittany interrupts with the announcement that an asteroid/comet/meteor is going to hit the Earth, and she declares that she has decided to spend her last moments with her cat, Lord Tubbington. Mr. Schue uses Brittany crazy as a lesson to “say everything we need to say to the ones we love.”
Ryder tells Jake that he has seen his online girl, Kate, at McKinnley and that he thinks he’s in love with her. Ryder later meets the girl he saw in the hallway. He proceeds to take her into the Glee Club room and serenade her with Elton John’s “Your Song”. His voice was very crisp and clean, and he did a very solid rendition of this song. There was more chemistry between these two characters during this song then there has been between Marley and Jake in all their scenes combined. This girl is confused, and it is revealed that she isn’t Katie. Her name is actually Marissa, and she hasn’t been communicating with him. He’s fallen victim to a “catfishing” ploy (where someone created an online identity to trick him into a relationship). Poor guy! He accuses Marley and Jake of this deception. He is visibly upset at being humiliated and made to feel pathetic. Through text, Ryder later makes plans to meet his mystery lady (who surprise, surprise, doesn’t show up!).
Sam and Brittany lead the New Direction singing “More Than Words” by Extreme to Lord Tubbington. Sam’s voice perfectly complemented this song but Brittany sounded a bit flat at times. Anyone else singing to their cat might come across as ridiculous, but it works for Brittany in her innocent nature.
The asteroid is in actuality a dead lady bug at the end of a Pringles can (typical Brittany). Brittany’s airheadedness is counterbalanced with her sweet conversation with Becky about her fears of having to leave McKinnley and take the next step after high school.
Coach Beiste and Mr. Schue enjoy an Italian dinner in the locker room. These two are so cute together (in a platonic way of course) and their friendship is so real (largely thanks to their incredible acting talent). Beiste has taken Will’s lesson to heart and professes her feelings for him. He reveals that he is back with Emma and lets her down gently, but she is still heartbroken (and likely a little embarrassed) as she walks out.
The Glee Club is in the choir room to celebrate the world not ending (joined by coach Beiste) when 2 shots ring out, accompanied by screams and sounds of running from outside the classroom. This instantly transforms the atmosphere of the room from joyful to fright. They barricade themselves in the room, turn off the lights and hide behind whatever they can find. You can feel the fear and tenseness in the room. Will instructs the students to text and tweet to let everyone know what is going on (without revealing where they are).
Another shot sounds and the door handles of the room jiggles as the students are trying to hold it together. Sam, being foolish or brave – take your pick, wants to get Brittany who isn’t in the room. Will takes control and pushes him to the floor with the others.
We transition to Brittany who is standing on a toilet seat in a deserted bathroom and crying. Marley is texting her mom who is not answering because she is also seen to be hiding from the shooters. In the moment, Kitty confesses to Marley about what she did with the costumes to make Marley feel fat. Sam again tries to walk out and is manhandled by Will and Coach Beiste (Will has his hand over Sam’s mouth and they are forcibly holding him back).
The fear and stress is subtle (tears streaked down their faces) or more blatant (the students in near hysterics). The added touch of a metronome in the background really helped compound the fear and stressful environment.
Artie turns his cell phone camera on the other kids and gives them the opportunity to say what they want to in case they don’t get out of this.
Ryder takes the lead and tells his dad how much he loves him. Marley follows and tells about a journal with songs she has written that she is proud of. Jake leaves a short “I love you” message for his mom and Puck.
In the intensity of a horror movie, Brittany hears footsteps and sees someone outside the stall as your heart just drops into your stomach. Fortunately it’s Mr. Schue who takes her and two other students into the choir room (with the aide from S.W.A.T.). The cries of “All Clear” from the S.W.A.T officers pierce the silence and the group engages in a group hug triggered by pure relief (included are the two random bathroom students).
The way the whole thing was filmed helped assist in the claustrophobic, trapped, helpless feeling the episode’s director was going for. Very well done!
In reaction to the school shooting, the school now has metal detectors and they are doing locker searches. It’s revealed that they don’t know who the shooter was, but Sue tells Coach Beiste and Will (and later Principle Figgins) that it was her gun (that she had in her office). She tells a story of how she was doing her daily safety check on Uma Thurman (her gun) and that it accidentally went off. Sue ends up packing her office and leaves the school in disgrace.
Blaine and Tina (in a BFF moment) are talking about how he and his parents couldn’t sleep, and how they spent all night talking, crying and hugging each other. Tina’s outlook on this was unique because she wasn’t in the school yet still was traumatized.
Will shows Coach Beiste that he has set her up an online dating account. He really is a great friend and it shows that they really enjoy each other’s company.
Sam gives Brittany a cat, named Lady Tubbington, and that cat made me laugh (its face was hilarious!)
I saw it coming! Sue was protecting Becky (who was terrified of leaving school) who was the “shooter.” She brought the gun in and it did go off accidentally, and Sue took the fall. If it really had been Sue, I would have been very disappointed with the ending, and the show’s producers would have been doing a disservice to the issue of school violence.
The Glee Club ends the episode by singing John Mayer’s “Say.” I thought this song was a perfect ending for the episode and the lesson that was given at the beginning.
The episode closes with Sam’s, Unique’s, Kitty’s & Artie’s cell phone messages (incredible job by all!) and that was the perfect way to wrap an intense episode!
Author: Karen Walsh
Glee: Shooting Star
Season 4, Episode 18
Original Air Date: April 11, 2013