A lot of people love the competition episodes of “Glee.” I’ve never been a particularly big fan of them for two reasons. One, the performances themselves rarely measure up to the best performances in other episodes. It’s hard to wow the audience at home with spectacle when they get it on a weekly basis anyways. Secondly, the show rarely builds up to these competitions with little more than lip service. Ostensibly, every week of rehearsal should be building towards these specific events, but all too often everything that’s come before the week of the show gets chucked out in favor of musical Hail Marys.
But what “Original Song” did right, and did differently than all other previous competition episodes, was properly frame the competition itself as secondary to the various emotional entanglements going on amongst its participants. That’s a good thing, especially since the deliberation process to decide the Regionals winner was so painful and so tonally off from everything that preceded it that it nearly ruined all the good feelings this episode produced in my cold, black heart. I don’t think “Glee” views these competitions as anything more than a convenient way to frame a season of television anyways, so I’m glad that the show used this particular opportunity as a point at which much more important moments in life could come to the forefront.
[Full recap of Tuesday's (March 15) "Glee" after the break...]