'Glee's' 'Funeral' sparks waterworks
May 18th, 2011
11:56 AM ET

'Glee's' 'Funeral' sparks waterworks

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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Filed under: Glee • TV recaps

soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. AndyGleek

    Glee The Musical!! Reviewed here http://www.largemanchester.com/glee-hits-manchester.html

    July 10, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  2. MashaSobaka

    I thought one of the most touching parts was Kurt and Finn's alliance in helping Sue. Their relationship has developed beautifully over the two seasons and it was so great to see them standing shoulder to shoulder in front of the Glee club telling them that they needed to help. Long live Furt.

    May 22, 2011 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
  3. CAMH

    My sister is due for surgery next month, so I was in about as much a mess as Sue was. From beginning to end, I was tearing up. This episode, in the midst of glee wackiness and becoming a little pigeon-holed was a real stand out for me and it was Great.

    May 20, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. John

    Really???? I thought this was one of the most boring episodes yet.

    May 19, 2011 at 4:34 am | Report abuse |
  5. Gleekin' it

    It's great that they are turning different directions with Glee! When it starts to loom on the bigger girl being a "hot, hard to get diva", the buffoonery comes to the surface to quick for me. Also, when Glee spends 2 to 3 back to back episodes on "Oh, poor gay kid and all of his woes", it irks me knowing that it's the gay writers and producers who are projecting their personal issues on a show for some therapy time. At times it feels like Glee should be on the LOGO channel. One episode, one main focus on one kid at a time. Not a mini-series for lifes regressions.

    May 18, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Babiyaga

      @ Gleekin- yeah because TV shows should wrap up all problems in ONE episode just like in REAL LIFE when we fix our problem in one day. This is a TV SERIES, if you want to see less continuity watch a sitcom. If you want to see only issues happening to squares just watch 7th heaven reruns. I would hope at the end of Glee's SECOND season people would know what to expect. You just hate fat and gey people, that's why you don't want to see it. It's okay to admit it, you're protected behind that computer screen. Coward.

      May 19, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • MashaSobaka

      I agree with Babiyaga – you sound like your emotional capacity would be more suited for a sitcom or maybe a one-night comedy stand-up gig. Glee is tackling some very, VERY real issues and it is one of the precious few programs doing so. If you can't handle that, then don't watch. Your commentary will not be missed.

      May 22, 2011 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
    • porter

      Actually I think the comment to gleekin as pretty harsh. If you hate gays I doubt you are watching this show. I'm gay, and I was getting tired of all the 'poor kurt'. Yes, I get it, he's gay and it's tough, been there, but honestly there are other stories to tell. Plus he just uses it as an excuse for everything. You want people to be accepting but then you alienate them by saying that anyone that dare say something negative to him is doing it just because he's gay. But, in defense of the writers, that is exactly how a gay out teen would act.

      Great show, develop all the characters and i'll keep watching. And keep the Babs songs coming!

      May 24, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. gleeksqeek

    I hope Finn and Rachel don't get back together. I find their relationship abusive. I also don't understand why Rachel needs a man to define her. What message does that send to the teenage girls that watch the show? "oh you can think you are the greatest because of your talent but it's okay to feel worthless if you don't have the boy you like on your arm!"

    May 18, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      You have a good point in seeing this, but Rachel grew as a performer because of their breakup. She helped write one of the winning songs for Regionals because she felt liberated and more confident. Rachel and Finn started out having chemisty and through the last 2 seasons, they have grown to depend on one another as people and performers. Without them, New Directions would not exist. I think they aredestined for each other. No more BS with Quinn and Finn – they are history.

      May 19, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • jennifer

      Good point Gleeksqeek.... If they do get back together, it would be great if Rachel continues with her personal growth and goes into the relationship stronger, more self-confident and not so needy. Sad to see the season ending so soon. Can't wait for the full season dvd to be released.

      May 19, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. lizzy

    This has to stop....Glee needs to stop all this tearjerking!!! Its not good for my face (too much blotchiness) and its not good for the environment (too many kleenexes used...like my husband says...how many trees wasted!!). Sad that its almost over.

    May 18, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. HeyCarrieAnn

    The show brought out every emotion possible. The funeral was incredibly touching, and watching Sue so overcome with grief had me in tears. All of the performances were great. I did enjoy Kurt's minor "everybody knows girl songs are my thing!" hissy fit. It added a touch of levity that the show needed after so much sadness.

    May 18, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. MrsFizzy

    The funeral bit was great, 'Pure Imagination' is a fave so I loved what they did with it. It was one "heartfelt" thing they did that wasn't too gooey for me. I wondered if the actress had really died but I guess not.

    But I am soooo tired of Rachel!!!!!!!! I liked Mercedes & Santana's numbers.

    May 18, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. nigglette

    My moms wont let me watch this shoe.

    May 18, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • MBiggenson

      Thanks for weighing in, Ed Sullivan. If you don't get that joke, google Ed Sullivan until you get it.

      May 18, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tony

    This was one of thee saddest things I have seen on TV. I'm sure anyone who has lost someone they love would be moved by this. The funeral scene was beautiful.

    May 18, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      You know Elm, there is a psycho ministry that pickets soldiers funerals that sounds like a perfect fit for you !

      May 18, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Suck it, Trolls!!

    This episode was incredibly emotional. The eulogy at the funeral was heartbreaking and that last scene with Becky and Sue had me in tears. As for the music: spectacular! My favorite solos were Mercedes' and Rachel's (chills). Kurt, I love you to death but those horrendous pants... ugh. "Pure Imagination" was fantastic and Tina was definitely on point. So happy that Fuinn is o-v-e-r, but I can't shake the feeling that Quinn is up to something treacherous. Good luck, New Directions!
    Favorite Line: "I am lactating with RAGE!!"–Sue

    May 18, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. RCCola

    Lisa – You need a SPOILER ALERT on this article. You should also make sure the sentence about who died only appears when the article is clicked for the full post. I haven't watched the episode yet, and you spoiled it for me.

    May 18, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. zookeeper

    Last night's episode was incredible. The music was outstanding, and the story arc with Sue's sister was so touching and amazing, all I could do was watch and cry. In my opinion, Sue Sylvester is one of the best-written characters ever on TV.

    May 18, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • auntie M

      Zookeeper – Sue is wonderful. Did she poo poo on herself last night?

      May 18, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. LauraLee

    I loved the episode. Rachel's song was so heartfelt it tore my heart out. I am not a Santana fan but I like Mercedes and Kurt. It was a very touching episode. To show Sue as nearly human was brilliant. No one can do that like Jane lynch.

    May 18, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Chucklehead


    May 18, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jo

      Do you post that on every article? Do you know what the word means?

      May 18, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chucklehead

      Yes, do you?

      May 19, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • jacksays

      i'm sure "chucklehead" *thinks* he/she knows what the word means but i'm willing to bet they're thinking about that old wives tale that lemmings follow each other over the cliff. they actually... don't.

      May 28, 2011 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  17. Peace

    For sure! Can't believe it's almost over!! Till tonight! Good day!!!

    May 18, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Jane Smith

    I miss Blaine and the warblers; that's the reason I watch that show, all the singing and dancing and last night, there was almost none. I agree, great acting, emotional story lines, but I miss the killer singing and dancing from all of them. Kurt I can almost always count on to make me laugh, but last night? Not so much!

    May 18, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Rants of A Crazy Person

    Jane Lynch was heartbreaking and this episode was really well done. Pure Imagination gave me chills. Check out my own recap here: http://rantsofacrazyperson.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/glee-funeral/

    May 18, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Lorin

    When fox took Glee off the air months ago, that's when I stopped watching Glee but the more I hear and read of it, the more I think I may start watching again. Sounds like a pretty touching episode.

    May 18, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  21. JK

    Great, great episode, congratulations to Ryan Murphy....!!!

    May 18, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Peace

    Hey Lisa! I don't watch Glee, but that sounded pretty emotional. C-ya tonight on AI blogging!!!

    May 18, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  23. EBBUCH.

    I cried my eyes out during last nights glee...such a good episode, Im glad they finally brought the human side out in Sue, she was getting to be too crazy. Glad Finn finally got rid of Quinn but I want Rachel to be with Jesse. Loved loved loved Santana singing Amy Winehouse, did not care for Kurts song...but I do not really care for Kurts singing style..Love Glee! All the haters out there dont know what your missing. =-)

    May 18, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Loren

    Well, the blog writer may be tired of Rachel doing Barbra, and I am not a particular fan of her style either, but the emotion and voice that was poured into the song was spectacular. Adn, sorry, but I must disagree about Mercedes, her voice does not have the resonance of Rachel's and, while she is a powerful singer, the voice is just not full enough to do the Otis Redding masterpiece true justice.

    All in all, I must agree one of the best Glee shows.

    May 18, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carolyn

      I entirely agree. I LOVED Rachel's rendition of Streisand song. Streisand sang it pretty movingly in "Funny Girl" as well. It IS an emotional song. Mercedes rendition of "Try a Little Tenderness" just did not work for me. It was too loud and shouty for the lyrics. Tenderness...hello! Does that work suggest shouting to you? I like Mercedes but her interpretation of this song was completely wrong.

      May 18, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chelsea

      Spot on Loren and Carolyn! Rachel is clearly the best singer and she out-did herself on this Barbra number.
      I'm a big fan of Mercedes too, but someone should have pointed out that screaming was not necessary in a song that invokes tenderness. Definitely one of the best shows of the season. I sobbed for poor Sue.

      May 19, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |

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