‘Glee’ Recap: Emotional Trigger or Cheap Shot?


We’re back! After a three week hiatus Glee returned this week with a jaw-dropping, tear-jerking, emotionally packed episode. Like many Glee episodes, this week’s “Shooting Star,” tackled a hot-button topic that people all throughout the country feel very strongly about: gun control.

When two shots are fired in the halls of our beloved McKinley high, fear tears through the school and our glee clubbers are slammed with a horrific reality. This week’s episode was definitely not for the faint of heart. Whether you think the show was trying to shock the world for higher ratings, or actually bring awareness to a devastating issue, Glee presented one hour of phenomenal acting.

So Here’s What You Missed On Glee

Hide Your Kids, Hide Your Wife: The episode opens in the auditorium with a surprisingly chipper Mr. Schue announcing the New Directions’ competition for regionals. (Side-Note: Once again this list is filled with a bunch of random schools we’ve never heard of before. It makes me wonder, just how many more music-filled show choir puns do the Glee writers have left? Surely they’re scraping the bottom of the barrel with “The Nun-Touchables”?)

Brittany enters the circle with a very serious look on her fact and announces to the group that a deadly comet/meteor/asteroid is headed straight for Lima and they’re all doomed. The group collectively announces that Brittany is always the girl who cries apocalypse, and Tina calls the cheerio out on her super-random Mayan wedding over the Christmas episode.

After swiftly and hilariously silencing the group with a “Shut up Tina,” Brittany reveals that she will be spending her last hours with somebody who she loves very much — Lord Tubbington. (Side-Note: I wasn’t really paying attention to Sam’s shocked reaction at this point. I was too busy rewinding the scene to see if I could see Hemo’s baby bump through what appears to be the word’s thickest cheerios costume. Damn you shapeless polyester uniform blend!)

Over in the choir room, the group is all abuzz about this deadly declaration, and once again Brittany steals the scene with this brief yet informative sentence: “I’m really surprised that Jesus Christ Superstar has chosen to end the world this way, instead of that way that he killed off the dinosaurs which was a global yeast infection.” (Side-Note: Ew!) Mr. Schue announces to the group that they should take advantage of this world-ending panic and express how they truly feel to the people they love — through song of course!

Lies and Deceit: The song assignment of the week is “Last Chances” and Ryder is especially jazzed because he recently discovered that his creepy unidentified online love-interest, “Katie” is actually a student at McKinley. (Side-Note: Did anyone else notice that when Blake gets all excited he looks like exactly like an adorable corgi? Look Right Here. It’s totally Ryder — hoodie and all!) Ryder tells Jake that saw his Internet dream girl walk right by his English class while he was taking a test. “I couldn’t believe it!” He squealed like a little boy, “I thought I was hallucinating but she looked right back at me as she walked by and it was definitely her.”

Ryder tells his bestie that he thinks he’s in love with her, and Jake suggests that even though he’s moving a little fast, Ryder should to use Mr. Schue’s assignment as a way to tell his lady exactly how he feels. So Ryder finds “Katie” and excitedly brings her into the choir room where the band is ready and waiting. The piano begins and Ryder belts out a beautiful version of Elton John’s “Your Song” to his blushing beau. (Side-Note: I’ve just got to say it. That girl — whoever she is — is all kinds of adorable.)

The song ends and although “Katie” loved the performance she is a little bit baffled as to why Ryder chose to sing to her. He gushes, “After all the time we spent getting to know each other on Facebook and IMing and texting, I wanted the first time we met in person to be something we remembered for the rest of our lives.” The girl’s smile fades as she hits Ryder with the brutal truth, “Okay, but we haven’t been doing any of those things.” (Side-Note: In my mind all I can hear is a dramatic, “dun dun duuuuun!”)

“Katie” is actually girl named Marissa. (Side-Note: She looks more like a McKenzie or a McKayla to me. Just saying…) A shocked and confused Ryder shows her all of his text messages and Marissa realizes what’s been going on. “Yeah that’s my picture but I didn’t send it to you. I never wrote any of those texts. Oh my God someone’s catfishing you!”

Marissa sweetly apologizes to Ryder for the misunderstanding and tells him that she’d still love to hangout with him anytime. (Side-Note: Okay first of all: I totally called it! Secondly, what the heck?! If I found out that someone was using my picture to seduce a guy online I’d be freakin’ pissed! I’d want to know all their information so I could track down that whack-a-doo and tell them to stop immediately. I wouldn’t just be like, “Aww golly gee that’s a bummer. Welp…have a great day. Call me!”)

Ryder is devastated and with tears in his eyes he confronts Marley and Jake demanding to know which one of them is catfishing him. They quickly deny the allegations and Ryder texts “Katie” to call her out on her shady behavior. She tells him, “I’m just someone who wanted to get close to U. Someone shy who didn’t think u’d like me in person.” (Side-Note: Do people really still use “u” for “you”? Are we all still in middle school? It’s just two more letters people!) Ryder tells “Katie” that he wants to meet her today but she instead reveals that they will meet face-to-face the next day at 3:30 in front of the choir room.

NEXT: The Unthinkable Happens



Silly Storylines: Over in Brittany’s room, Sam is awkwardly sitting in a corner while his girlfriend showers her cat with affection and love. In an attempt to show Brittany that he cares about her concerns, Sam suggests that they ask the glee club to sing a song to Lord Tubbington. Brittany smiles and bluntly replies, “Sam despite your outlandishly low test scores, you’re a genius.” (Side-Note: Hey now! That’s not very nice! Dearest Brittany you of all people know that Sam — like you — is sensitive when people question his intelligence. Tisk-Tisk pretty lady. You know better than that.)

In the auditorium, Sam is leading the group in an acoustic version of “More Than Words,” and the group quickly realizes that the candles they are all holding are a little much because they are singing to a cat. (Side-Note: Despite the silliness, Brittany and Sam sounded lovely on that song. Also, where is Sugar?! Joe is gone too but I don’t really care that much about him.)

Over the boys locker room Coach Beiste has set up an over-the-top Italian dinner for Will — complete with pasta she boiled in the school’s hot tub. And in the most predictably random news ever, Shannon reveals that she has a crush on Will. Flustered, Will quickly reveals that he is flattered but he and Emma are back together. (Side-Note: Seriously? Couldn’t they have used this episode to feature the growth between Will and Emma? They had to throw in this random and pointless crush? Stop doing that!)

In the Astronomy club — yes another club — it looks like Brittany is the leader of a bunch of stoners who enjoy gazing up at the twinkly lights in the sky. She announces to the group that the deadly asteroid that she saw was actually a dead ladybug on the end of her handmade Pringles telescope. As the club leaves the classroom, Becky asks to talk with Brittany and reveals a plan: “Brittany I’ve always looked up to you, let’s both not ever graduate.”

Becky admits that she is terrified to leave the halls of McKinley and face the scary real world but Brittany assures her that everything will be all right. “If you really prepare yourself, the world won’t seem like a scary place.” Brittany also reveals her post-McKinley plans and says that because she aced her SAT’s, as long as she graduates, she can pretty much attend whatever college she wants to. (Side-Note: I think someone needs to explain the process of college applications to the glee club students. Back in my day — ahem, yes like 5 years ago — we had to apply for college. We couldn’t just point and magically snag a spot in our dream schools.)

The Unthinkable Happens: In the choir room, everyone except for the MIA Tina and Brittany are all smiles as Will welcomes Coach Besiste into the room for their “First Annual thank God The World Isn’t Ending Glee Practice.” Just as Will claps his hands together to get started, a loud yet distinct bang sounded off in the distance. The group was trying to process if that was actually a gunshot when another loud crack filled the sound in the room. As per Will’s instructions, the groups spread out in the choir room and hides from sight as best as possible.

Tensions run high as panicked glances are exchanged and fear of the unknown consumes the group. Blaine tries to move the piano and the metronome crashes to the floor in the dark room. The gentle yet ominous “tick-tick-tick-tick” of the metronome heightens the terrifying feelings in the room amidst muffled tears and shocked cries of disbelief. Will advises the group to start texting and tweeting to let the outside world know what’s going on, but being careful not to mention that they are hiding in the choir room — “Shooters have smartphones too,” he whispers.

The group hears rushing footsteps as someone tries to wrench open each of the locked choir room doors. Sam heads for the door revealing that Brittany is alone in the bathroom and she doesn’t have her phone so he has no way of knowing if she’s alright. Will demands that Sam sits down and practically wrestles him to the choir room floor.

In the bathroom we see a hysterically crying Brittany standing on her tippy toes atop the toilet seat, trying to keep her tears silent as she hides in the stall from whatever could be outside. (Side-Note: This is where I started to lose it. Heather Morris’ acting is really phenomenal right now and her quiet, panic-filled tears make this whole thing seem real.)

Marley is terrified because there is a back way out of the school through the kitchen and her mom is not responding to any of her calls or text messages. Fearing the worst, she breaks down in tears and a suddenly guilt-ridden Kitty reveals a secret. “Marley, when we doing Grease I took in all your costumes so you would think you were fat. I’m so sorry.” The two share a sweet and intense embrace and then Kitty runs across the choir room straight into the arms of Unique and Ryder.

Sam takes this seat-swap as an attempt to try and leave the room again to get to Brittany but Will puts his hand over the student’s mouth to muffle his hysterical cries. Sam tries to fight Will and Coach Beiste off because all he can think about is getting to his girlfriend. Coach Beiste reminds Sam that if he opens that door he is putting the entire group in danger. Will decides to risk his safety over Sam’s and he finds a fearful Brittany and two other students hiding in the ladies’ bathroom. Brittany rushes into the arms of her teacher and cries thick sobs of relief.

“If we don’t get out of here, people need to see this. Does anyone have anything they want to say?” Artie whispers to the group as he turns on the video recorder on his phone. Ryder thanks his dad for raising him right and apologizes for not always showing how much he cares, Marley reveals that she has a journal filled with songs that she’s proud of and Jake sends his love to his mom and Puck. Sam then pushes the camera to the ground and it turns off.

Outside, we see that Tina is desperate to get inside the school to see if the glee club is alright but Principal Figgins tells her that no one is going anywhere until the SWAT team gives the all clear. Ryder tells Jake and Marley that he is going to call “Katie” and despite the fact that she has been lying to him he still cares about her. Just as he dials the number and presses send, someone’s phone in the choir room begins to ring and it becomes painfully obvious that it’s actually someone in the glee club who has been catfishing Ryder. (Side-Note: All I’m saying is that Kitty looks confused when the phone is going off but Unique looks like she’s about to throw up from guilt.)

Will leads Brittany back into the choir room and she and Sam run to each other in a tear-filled embrace as the faint and extremely relieving calls of, “All clear!” from the SWAT team fills the air. The lights are turned back on and the group gathers around in a tight hug realizing that they are going to be alright. Will tells his students that he loves them and he walks over and stops the finally stop the terrifying tick of the metronome.

NEXT: The Truth is Revealed and The Episode’s Best Moments



The Truth is Revealed: The next day at school everyone is in a daze as they pass through the new metal detectors and avoid bumping into the men who are installing surveillance cameras in the hallway. Will ponders to himself in the teachers’ lounge saying that he’ll never forget the looks on his students’ faces when the gun went off. A surprisingly nonchalant Sue questions whether or not it was actually a gunshot—and it’s clear that she is hiding something.

Will reveals that when they find out which student did it, he or she is going to be expelled. Then Sue matter-of-factly says, “Well no student it going to get expelled because it was my gun.” In Principal Figgins’ office, Sue reveals that she was cleaning the gun that she keeps locked in a safe in her office when all of a sudden it went off — she was so startled that she dropped the gun and that fired the second shot.

“The casings are at the bottom of a lake and I moved some posters and a tub of protein powder to cover up the holes.” Despite Sue’s years of service as a stellar coach and public educator, Figgins reveals that he has no choice, his hands are tied and he has to fire her. (Side-Note: Something isn’t quite right here you guys. It’s obvious that Sue is covering for someone and also, come on, who names a gun Uma Thurman?)

Over in the hallway Tina is reunited with her best friend saying, “It sounds crazy Blaine but believe me I wanted to be in that choir room with you guys… I couldn’t get to you or do anything to help you or even say goodbye.” And finally we see that Tina’s love for Blaine is purely innocent and heartfelt instead of farfetched and crazy. She cries, “You’re my family. Everybody in that room is my family. And I didn’t want the last thing you guys heard from me is some dumb comment about how I never get solos.” Blaine giggles, hugs his lady friend and the two walk down the hallway hand-in-hand.

Ryder — clearly on a mission — confronts Kitty to see if she is actually “Katie.” She bluntly tells him, “Read my lips because we know you can’t read words: I didn’t catfish you.” Ryder is still unconvinced as he goes through the rest of the potential suspects: “Brittany is dating Sam, Unique’s ringtone is “Bootylicious” and Sugar and Tina weren’t even there.” (Side-Note: Oh how I wish it actually was either Tina or Sugar. That could be all kinds of adorable. If it’s the person I think it is, then this season is about to get 19 kinds of even more awkward on the Lima side.)

In an attempt to steer Coach Beiste’s affections onto someone else, Will sets up an online dating profile for her and reveals that he couldn’t have gone through the horrors of the day before without her. In a silly and perfect twist, Shannon already has one match on the dating site: a former football coach and blast from the past — Ken Tanaka! (Side-Note: Okay that is just too great. Maybe the two will fall in love, the writers will have Beiste will move to Oregon, and Glee can finally restore Jayma Mays to a series regular so we can actually see her pretty bush baby eyes in the halls of McKinley. The lack of Emma this year has really put a damper on my days.)

The world’s most golden-haired couple — aka Bram — meets up n the hallway for a sweet hug. Sam tells his lady, “It was genuinely scary when I was in the choir room and you were out here all alone. I couldn’t stop thinking about you.” Sam apologizes for not being very supportive of Brittany’s intense love of Lord Tubbington and he wants to show her how much he cares. “I’ve been thinking that we needed something that’s really ours and we had a fake wedding and I think that we should also start a fake family.”

And then all of the sudden, Sam reaches into his gym bag and introduces my new favorite character: Lady Tubbington! She’s just as cubby as Lord Tubbington but she’s a lady! Brittany loves their new pet and the couple exchanges two oh-so sweet “I love yous” and a lovely little kiss. (Side-Note: Ohh crap. I’m not sure when this happened but I think… wait… okay yup! It’s official: Brittany and Sam have won me over as a couple. But I still love Brittana more than words can say. Is it possible to ship them both? I’m so confused. Please excuse me while I try to sort out my feelings by searching for a kitten online.)

The Final Five: As Sue is packing up her office Will barges into the room and demands to know the truth. Sue slyly asks Will for a favor and he (and we) are finally exposed to the truth: “Keep an eye on Becky Will you? She’s tough, but like all the kids, she gets scared sometimes.”

In a flashback we see Becky sitting in Sue’s office expressing her fears and concerns about graduating and leaving the safety of high school. Just as Sue was about to reassure her cheerio that everything will be fine, Becky pulls out a gun. “I wanted to be prepared and protect myself, I need help!”

It turns out that Becky stole the gun from her dad because she “wanted to be ready” and Sue calmly tries to coax the gun out of Becky’s hands. Becky curiously pulls the trigger and was so shocked by the sound that she dropped the gun and a second shot fired into the air. Becky bursts into tears and as the panic screams of students fills tears through the hallways, Sue promises that she will fix everything. Sue says goodbye to Will and calmly walks out of the school.

(Side-Note: I’m oddly irate as to learning the identity of “the shooter” is none other than little Becky Jackson. Not only is this completely out of the character, but what on earth was a gun supposed to do to make her feel better about graduating? Why did Glee choose to make it so that Becky is the one to blame? Is it because she is mentally handicapped so we can’t really get mad at her? Is it because she just didn’t know any better so everything is suddenly peachy keen and lesson learned, guns are bad?

This twist seems like an easy way out for Glee to have a school shooting episode without really having to face the terrifying repercussions of the traumatic event. Sure next week the students are going to be a little shaken up, but all in all it seems like this was just a way to make us emotionally bond with the new students while briefly trying to address the fact that we need stronger gun control in this country. I completely agree that we should have stricter gun regulations in The United States but was this really a necessary storyline to the season of Glee, or was it just an excuse to trigger intense reactions out of the show’s loyal fanbase? Sound off your thoughts in the comments below!)

Ryder ends up getting stood up by “Katie” and he rushes over to the auditorium where the glee club is sitting in a circle and signing a lovely rendition of “Say” by John Mayer. Just as we think the episode is about the end on a perfect note, the screen suddenly (and randomly) cuts back to a few more of the choir room confessions.

Sam reveals that there is a cat in his locker, Unique urges people to stat true to themselves, and Artie declares that he loves everyone in that classroom more than anyone else in the world. (Side-Note: Why is it that everyone made video confessions except for Blaine? I personally would’ve loved to see a heart-felt declaration to Kurt in this episode but I guess Klaine fans are not as lucky as the newbies.)

Most Heartwarming Moment: Nothing about this episode really warmed my heart. I guess if I had to pick one it would be that I’m so glad that Heather Morris had a chance to showcase her brilliant—and often overlooked—acting skills.

Most Heartbreaking Moment: The entire episode but for many many different reasons.


“So go back to your homes and hide your wife and hide your kids and hide your wife. McKinley High I salute you.” — Brittany

“Lord Tubbington, I know that through the years we haven’t always gotten along, like that time you filed paperwork to have me committed or the time that you told the police that I was the one that murdered that whole family of mice, but I want you to know that through it all I’ve always loved you.” — Brittany

“You’re my family. Everybody in that room is my family.” — Tina

“I’m not into guys who look like life-size cartoon wieners, now excuse me because just thinking bout me and you is making me dryer than the cast of Hot in Cleveland.” — Kitty

I’m not sure how to put this, but I want to include the creepy “Rawr!” that Lady Tubbington makes when Sam reveals that she had been in his bag for a long time. — Lady Tubbington

What did you think of this week’s school shooting episode of Glee? Were you happy that the show tackled such an important issue? Do you wish they did anything differently? How did you feel when you found out that Becky was the one with the gun? Sing your thoughts in the comments below

Follow Leanne on Twitter @LeanneAguilera

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