“You’ll always be empty inside until you find a home.”: Home (1×16) Gleecap
“Home” was under a lot of pressure to be great. Not only did it follow after the amazing Madonna episode, but it also marked the return of April Rhodes, and it was directed by Paris Barclay, who was also at the helm for the tear-jerker “Wheels.” And while I loved both “Hell-O” and “The Power of Madonna,” my biggest complaint with both episodes is that true plot development was pushed to the back-burner for glitz, glam and a ton of musical numbers. Fortunately new plot developments were at the forefront this week, but I still had some issues with this episode. I’m going to break this review down into what worked for me, and what didn’t. I know that the responses to this episode are very mixed, so I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
The Gleeful parts:
- The Mercedes story line: Mercedes may be a Cheerio now, but according to Coach Sylvester, she’s going to have to make some major changes if she wants to stick around. Glee was bound to have a body image story line sooner or later, and as predictable as the idea was, I think it was executed quite wonderfully. I’ve always loved how Mercedes seems completely comfortable with herself no matter what her size, but it’s believable that she would start compromising her views once she’s given a chance to be a part of the popular crew. From her adorable scene with Quinn (I was so happy to see Quinn get a bit more screen time again, and in such a lovely scene at that!), to her hilarious food hallucination scene in the cafeteria, to her gorgeous and powerful rendition of Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful,” this story line delivered a much-needed message without feeling too much like an after-school special.
The Finn/Kurt/Carole/Burt story line:Well, most of this story line. I’ll mention the parts I didn’t like in the section below. Overall, I thought that this story line was really interesting and something quite different than anything we’ve seen on the show before. Going into the episode, I knew that Kurt was going to try to hook up his dad and Finn’s mom, but I never expected it to pan out as it did. I assumed that this would be a single-episode story full of hilarity because Kurt would be setting up the ‘rents purely for his own gain. I was right about Kurt’s intentions, but I was extremely surprised that Burt and Carole would actually fall in love with each other (side note: Burt’s speech to Finn about his love for Carole and being a hero for her was so wonderful), and that in the end the person most uncomfortable with the situation was Kurt. Points to the Glee writing crew for such unexpected twists with that story!
The not-so-Gleeful parts:
The April Rhodes story line:It was lovely to see you again, Kristin Chenoweth, but you really had no purpose in this episode. You sang way too much (“Fire” was admittedly quite fun, but then another duet with Will and a big closing number? Excessive, I thought.), your story line was veil thin, and I would have preferred Will to have shared his bed with Emma for a night (even if all they did was sleep, or, well, April slept while she kicked Will during her night terrors). You have a gorgeous voice and it’s always a treat to hear you sing, but I would’ve preferred that some of the other New Directions kids had more screen time.
- The Finn/Kurt/Carole/Burt story line: As I said above, I did like the unexpected twists of this story line, but what I wasn’t comfortable with was Kurt using his dad and Finn’s mom solely so that he could get close to his crush, and then taking his anger out at his always supportive father when things weren’t working according to his plan. Finn, too, was wrong in his attempts to break up the couple – it’s definitely time for Carole to find somebody to love again. At least with Finn, however, by the end of the episode he had come around to the idea and was even trying to bond with Burt. Finn showed a surprising amount of maturity in his closing scenes with Burt, a continuing thread from last week’s episode when he welcomed Jesse into New Directions. Kurt, however, needs to heed his dad’s advice: “I don’t try to change you and you don’t try to change me.”
The “home” and “sense of place” theme was also a bit excessive this week with every other sentence connecting to the theme, but the idea itself was an interesting one. Many members of the glee club come from non-traditional homes (in addition to Kurt and Finn, let’s not forget about Rachel and her two dads, Puck and his single-parent mom, and the fact that Quinn no longer has a true home), and so the theme fits well with these characters. Add in the Will story line and his need for a sense of place now that he’s divorcing Terri, as well as the Mercedes story line and her need to find her sense of place socially and believe in herself no matter what her shape or size, and the idea behind “Home” definitely rang true for Glee. I do wish that we had gotten to learn about Quinn’s current home situation though – it’s interesting that one of the most grounded characters in this episode (as demonstrated by her talk with Mercedes) is the one that doesn’t even have a home! Quinn’s maturity keeps growing by leaps and bounds.
Favourite quote(s): “I’m pretty sure my cat’s been reading my diary.” – Brittany
Favourite moment(s): The absolutely lovely Mercedes/Quinn scene. I’m adoring Quinn’s mature character development. Also, Mercedes’ food hallucinations were hilarious! I’m wondering if the food choices for each character were deliberate. Artie and Tina as cake and ice cream? Definitely a good combo. But Rachel and Jesse as a cupcake and a burger? Hrm…
Next week: Olivia Newton-John! Molly Shannon! The glist! “Ice, Ice, Baby!” This episode looks like way too much fun.
Also, don’t forget our weekly Gleekdom chat from 7:30–9 p.m. this Thursday! Members of some of the hottest Glee blogs around want to chat with you about the show, so come on out! Full details will be available right here on Gleeks United on Thursday.