May 18th, 2011
11:56 AM ET
There was one point during Tuesday night's episode of "Glee" where I just laid my head down and wept.
"Funeral" was absolutely one of the best episodes ever in my opinion, for several reasons.
One, we got to see the range and complexity of Sue Sylvester, who in losing her sister played out all of the emotions you would imagine: sadness, confusion, rage, grief and love.When "Glee" announced that a character on the show would die, I immediately thought of Sue's sister Jean, who had Down Syndrome and who humanized our favorite cheerleading coach in a way that has been some of the show's best writing.
After her death, Sue "fires" her assistant Becky, who, like Jean, has the syndrome. When Will calls her on the cruel act, she reveals that Becky had to go because she reminds her of her sister, who had just died of pneumonia.
The glee club takes on the duties of arranging Jean's funeral and the result was incredibly touching. By the time the kids sang "Pure Imagination" from Jean's favorite movie, "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," I was a heaving mess of emotion.
Watching Will read Sue's touching eulogy for her sister after Sue came undone was so moving. When she grabbed his hand for support, I was reminded of how much Will and Sue's characters need each other – not just as arch enemies and comedic fools – but as the balance which keeps the show from tipping into complete schmaltziness.
I wasn't the only one who felt compelled by Sue's speech. Finn used it as his "A-Ha!" moment to break up with Quinn as he realized the depth of his feelings for Rachel. Finn and Quinn's moment in his truck was further great acting.
Of course, there is the complication of Jesse being back in Rachel's life, but hope springs eternal that Finchel will find their way back together.
Another highlight of the show was the music, as folks battled to sing a solo in the finals.
Santana was good with her version of Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black" and Kurt ripped it on "Some People" from "Gypsy." But for me it was Mercedes who stole the night with "Try a Little Tenderness" (I'm getting goosebumps just typing about it). Mercedes was AMAZING!
I liked Rachel doing Streisand's version of "My Man," too, but by now I am just so used to Rachel doing Streisand – even though it was super heart-felt.
"Glee" also gets points this week for finally sending Will's ex-wife Terri packing. I'm sure she will return at some point to cause chaos, but I for one will not miss her in the interim.
What say you Gleeks? Did last night's episode leave you equally gutted?
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