Note: Do not read on if you have not yet seen Season 4, Episode 18 of Fox's "Glee," titled "Shooting Star."
This week's "Glee" starts with Mr. Schue telling the club their competition for regionals. The two teams they're up against are the Hoosier Daddys and the NUNtouchables. (How many times did you laugh at that? Nun.) And before they sing an inspirational sing, Brittany tells Mr. Schue to shut up because she saw on her telescope that an asteroid (Tubbingtonbop) is heading for earth, and they're all dying.
For some reason, they actually believe her. Schue tells the team that they have two options. Either prepare for regionals in case the world doesn't end, or tell people they love how they really feel through song (which is technically both options but whatever). And as I start rolling my eyes at how stupid this show's gotten, he writes this week's theme on the board: Last Chance.
In our first topical storyline of the night, Ryder is still talking to some girl online and tells Jake that he thinks he finally saw the girl at school. She was a hot blonde walking in the hallway and he's so in love that he wants to skip his next class and run around until he finds her.
When he finally catches her in the hallway, he says hi and drags her into the choir room, which she totally goes along with. He sings Elton John's "Your Song" and when he's done, she seriously says to him: "Your arms are so hunky, I'm literally dying." Ryan Murphy, this show has become so ridiculous that I literally died two seasons ago.
She tells Ryder she's not the girl he's been talking to, and he's extremely upset because he sent her loads of dirty photos. When Ryder finally texts the catfish's phone asking who she really is, 'she' replies, "Someone shy who didn't think u'd like me in person." But since Ryder can't read, he probably doesn't even realize how insane that sounds, so he agrees to meet 'her' tomorrow at 3:30.
Back to the 'everyone is about to die' stuff. Coach Beiste asks Schue to an extremely romantic dinner in the locker room. She even uses fresh water in the hot tub to boil the spaghetti. Bet they don't do that at Breadstix. Beiste says she modeled the 'date' after their favorite movie, "Lady and the Tramp," and I'm a tad confused about who the lady is here?
Over dinner, Beiste confesses that she's heard about Brittany's asteroid and thinks they're all going to die and tells Will she loves him. He informs her he's actually back with Emma, and if she's anything like me, Beiste went home to drown herself in wine and Taylor Swift songs.
Brittany discovers the asteroid she sees in her telescope (a Pringles can) is just a dead ladybug. So, Tubbingtonbop is no more, but Becky still has some last words for Brittany. She's always looked up to her and doesn't want either of them to graduate because the real world seems scary. Brittany replies, "I have to move on and so do you." (But to be honest, you probably should have moved on when you were actually supposed to graduate). But anyway, yay we're all saved.
JUST KIDDING. Time for topical story line number two. During the club's celebratory "No Asteroid" practice, shots are fired at the school. Schue and Beiste turn off the lights and tell everyone to get down. He demands everyone start texting and tweeting (#McKinleyShooting2013). When the kids are all sitting and crying in the choir room, Kitty admits to Marley that during "Grease," she altered Marley's costumes so she would think she was fat. And Marley hugs her. Because that's what friends are for: Making sure you have an eating disorder.
Then, "Glee" actually manages to have a really touching moment. Artie starts filming, asking everyone if they have anything they'd like to say in case they all die. All of the kids say sweet, nice things to their family and friends, and for a second it made me not hate myself for still watching this show. Ryder decides to call his catfish's number to make sure she's okay, and a phone in the choir room starts ringing, but nobody gets up to answer because duh, a shooter. We finally hear "ALL CLEAR" from the SWAT team (not Colin Farrell's), and the kids all hug and cry.
The next day, Sue Sylvester brings donuts to the teachers' lounge and asks why everyone is overreacting. Nobody saw a shooter, so it may not have even been a gun. But Coach Beiste and Mr. Schue assure her it was a gun and a student needs to get expelled for this, to which Sue replies, "No student is going to get expelled because it was my gun.''
In a meeting with the principal, Sue said she felt safe with it in her office with everything that's going on. She explains that she was doing a safety check and the firearm went off. The principal has no choice but to report her to the police and to the school board. "All I'll be remembered for is this one thing. It will be the first line of my obituary," she says.
A day or two after the shooting, Mr. Schue, master of tact, thinks it's a great time to show Coach Beiste a surprise he made for her. It's an online dating profile! She's shocked and touched by the gesture. "How did you know my favorite food is everything?" Um, because he's the rudest person in the world?
As Sue is packing up her stuff, Will asks her why she did it. He tells her it's not a Sue thing to do, and then in a flashback we learn that it was actually Becky who brought her dad's gun because she's scared of the real world. As Sue reaches to take the gun from Becky, it accidentally goes off twice and Sue hugs the young girl and tells her she'll take of care it. She obviously doesn't say any of this to Mr. Schue, but tells him to take care of Becky.
At the end of the episode, the club sings John Mayer's "Say." As they're singing, we see Ryder in the hallway waiting to meet his catfish, but she never shows. Sue sees him as she's leaving the school with her belongings and asks why he isn't at the mandatory assembly. He tells her he's meeting someone (obviously not explaining the situation because it's embarrassing) and asks if she's going to write him up. "I would but I don't work here anymore," she says as she leaves the school.
"Glee" airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.
What did you think of "Shooting Star" and how it addressed issues of gun violence in schools? Do you think it was handled tastefully, or was it too soon? Share your reactions below.
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