Glee – Shooting Star

by Alan Rapp on April 13, 2013

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Glee – Shooting Star
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Glee - Shooting Star

As the Glee Club gets ready for Regionals, Brittany (Heather Morris) becomes obsessed with a new asteroid she believes will wipe out all life in Lima, which leads Mr. Shue (Matthew Morrison) to placate New Directions’ dumbest member with a “Last Chance” assignment to embrace the urgency of singing together for possibly the last time. However, heartbreak and singing are put on hold when McKinley High is rocked by a school shooting with the Glee Club hiding in the practice room scared for their lives and the friends and family who are trapped alone elsewhere in the school.

Ryder‘s (Blake Jenner) emotions go into overdrive when he catches a glimpse of the young woman (Ginny Gardner) he’s been having an Internet relationship with strolling the halls of McKinley. Despite Jake‘s (Jacob Artist) warning to take it slow, Ryder decides to go big and dazzle the confused girl with a rendition of Elton John‘s “Your Song” only to discover that her name is Marissa, not Katie, and she’s not the one he’s been texting and online chatting with over the past few weeks. A confused and hurt Ryder accuses both Jake and Marley (Melissa Benoist) of the scam but both deny their involvement.

Coach Beiste (Dot Jones) has her own heartbreak when she admits her feelings to Will not realizing he and Emma (Jayma Mays) have reconciled. Finally accepting that the world isn’t coming to an end, Brittany has to convince Becky (Lauren Potter) that the world outside Lima isn’t so scary after all and she shouldn’t fear graduating. It turns out her attempts to comfort the Cheerio have mixed success. To help close the rift between Brittany and her cat Lord Tubbington, Sam (Chord Overstreet) and Brittany perform Extreme‘s “More Than Words” with the help of the rest of the Glee Club.

“Shooting Star” takes a dramatic turn with the sounds of gunshots in the halls of the high school. Mr. Shue and Coach Beieste lock the group in the darkened choir room, doing their best to keep them safe. Meanwhile Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) goes crazy with worry outside the school with the rest of the evacuated students, Brittany hides out in a girls restroom, and Marley’s mother (Trisha Rae Stahl) is stuck alone in the school’s kitchen. In terms of providing dramatic moments and tension these scenes are where this episode excels.

Glee - Shooting Star

The post-shooting fallout leads to security cameras, armed guards, locker searches, metal detectors, and a general uneasiness felt throughout both the students and faculty. Sue (Jane Lynch) takes responsibility for the entire incident explaining to Principal Figgins (Iqbal Theba) that the shots fired were from the accidental discharge of her cleaning her gun in her office. The truth, however, is a little more complicated as Sue bites the bullet for her favorite student, even if it gets her fired from McKinley. The episode ends with the Glee Club coming together with a performance of John Mayer‘s “Say” and a montage of the short messages the characters left their friends and family during the shooting.

Taken right out of the headlines, “Shooting Star” works well in showcasing the confusion of aCatfish scam and the and terror around a school shooting. I do think the explanation (both Sue’s official version and the real series of events) are a bit of a cop-out by the writers to introduce a serious situation like this without having to deal with either the complicated reasons for such shootings or the deadly fallout the situations usually entail.

Chalking the entire series of events up to an accident, and not letting anyone know the true reasons for it feels pat (they got to do a school shooting story without really doing a school shooting story) and even irresponsible (what’s to stop Becky from doing something far more dangerous to herself or others in the future?). Lynch’s exit leaves the show a rather large hole to fill, even if Sue had been taking a backseat to the various storylines recently. The scenes during the shooting and afterward with the Glee Club bonding even more closely do work well but we’ll have to see how long it lasts before the characters put the entire series of events behind them as they get back to their daily routines and squabbles and move on to Regionals.

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