In an uneven season 4, "Sweet Dreams" was one of "Glee's" best episodes in awhile. It was refreshing to see the show return to its roots.
Here's a look at what we loved about last night's episode.
Finn Has Direction Again
We were so glad to see Finn (Cory Monteith) looking happy and confident again. We were growing weary of his mopey sad sack post-adolescent existential crisis. It was nice to see him taking control of his life.
After his fallout with Will (Matthew Morrison), Finn decided to enroll at Lima University to pursue a teaching degree. On the way, he and his off-again-on-again BFF Puck (Mark Salling) discovered the world of slip 'n slide and frat parties.
After having to endure half a season of Finn acting like a Mini-Schue, it was refreshing to see him acting like a young person again, And what a treat to see him playing drums!
Of course, college wasn't just about the "Fight For You Right To Party." Finn struggled to find a balance between having fun, while still following through on his responsibilities. After a pep talk from Puck, Finn decided to make amends with Will, and to resume his teaching position at New Directions, this time for college credit.
Given Cory's recent troubles with substance abuse, it was a bit chilling to see Finn passed out in his dorm room. We're wondering if Puck's pep talk inspired real-life Cory to seek the help that he needed.
Rachel & Shelby Are Magical On Screen
The writers absolutely made the right move by sending Shelby (Idina Menzel) to New York. Maybe there really is a market for "Broadway Day Care."
In any case, we're glad to see Shelby stepping up and being a real mom to Rachel (Lea Michele). As Rachel prepared for her "Funny Girl" audition, Shelby encouraged her to find her own voice, instead of being a carbon copy of Barbra Streisand.
It was quite a treat to hear Lea and Idina performing "Next To Me."
Rachel Goes Back To Her Roots
Shelby's advice paid off, as Rachel auditioned with "Don't Stop Believing," accompanied by an internal montage featuring the original New Directions members, Mercedes (Amber Riley), Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz), Kurt (Chris Colfer), Artie (Kevin McHale), and Finn.
It was the right move to pay tribute to "Glee's" pilot episode, reminding viewers why we loved the show so much in season 1.
Rachel's performance also impressed the judges, as they rewarded her with a callback. We loved the celebratory Rachel & Kurt (Chris Colfer) Happy Dance!
It was great to see Rachel return to her roots. While the Brody (Dean Geyer) story line sidetracked her for awhile, the ambitious talented Rachel we know and love is back!
Will Gets Puts In His Place
Ever since Will turned down the chance to star in April's (Kristin Chenoweth) eventual Tony Award-winning musical, his character has become a bit stale. It's almost like he's become the cliche jaded performing arts teacher, bitter about his own dreams falling to the wayside.
The theme for this year's regionals was "Dreams," a theme that Will took a bit too literally. For the set list, he assigned "Dream Weaver," "Sweet Dreams," and "You Make My Dreams."
Given the safe old-school song choices, the New Directions members felt that their teacher was out of touch. When Honorary Rachel, Blaine (Darren Criss), attempted to challenge the set list, Will was not open for negotiation.
Thankfully, budding songwriter Marley (Melissa Benoist) had other songs in her journal that don't include "having a fat mom" or "Taylor Swift boyfriend drama." After overhearing Marley, Blaine, Unique (Alex Newell), and Sam (or is it Evan?) (Chord Overstreet) perform her original song, "You have More Friends Than You Know," Will's heart softened and he agreed to listen to suggestions from his students.
The New Kids Didn't Annoy
This was one of the few weeks that McKinley and "Saved By the Bell: The New Class" didn't bore me to tears. Of course, that's because we viewers were given a reprieve from having to hear about contrived eating disorders, catfishing, and overwrought "very special" school shootings.
The new kids are more likable when they're performing exuberant end-of-episode group numbers, and singing about happy topics like dreams, friendship, and finding your own voice.
I'm not feeling Roz Washington (NeNe Leakes) as the new Cheerios coach. Hopefully her story line won't extend too long. I'm already growing weary of her "Fruity Voodoo"-phobic ways.
Were you glad to see Finn finding some direction? How fantastic are Lea and Idina together? Was this one of "Glee's" better episodes of the season?
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