I knew going into this episode of Glee that it was about a school shooting. I avoided an article with spoilers (strange for me :) because it warned that it might make the hour less powerful. I saw the warning at the beginning of the episode.
I ended the episode very unsure of how I felt about it, although now I'm pretty sure I didn't like it.
The acting was superb. Will and Beiste having to restrain Sam from running to find Brittany. Everyone's tearful messages to the outside world. That horrible metronome ticking in the background. Brittany balancing on the toilet seat. Emotional. Powerful. Traumatic.
It was very hard to watch. It stirred up a lot of emotions and memories and worries and fears I had in the days following the shooting in Newtown. Those scenes in the choir room made me picture the scene in my classroom with my little babies' faces. It was, not to be overly dramatic, traumatic. I was a mess and poor Cody took the brunt of it.
While it was well acted, I'm still not sure it was appropriate. It felt too soon, too opportunistic. As I teach my students all of the time, it's not how you intended something, its how the other person perceived it or felt about it. Maybe Ryan Murphy didn't mean to make this look opportunistic and that it was playing on the emotions of the tragic events in Newtown. But it sure felt that way to me. Maybe he wasn't trying to make a political statement about gun control *cough Sue's speech cough*, but it sure felt like that to me. Glee has always made quasi-political statements before, but this one touched a nerve and I didn't like it.
I also worry about the way the aftermath was handled. We literally jumped from them hugging in the choir room, safe, to going back to school. While the kids and staff still seemed upset, it sort of seemed like life had returned to normal. I worry that Glee will do as it usually does and not follow through on this storyline (eating disorder, Shelby and Beth, the domestic violence episode). You can't decide to do an episode so dramatic and so close to real-life and then move on like nothing happened. I will not be OK with that.
I also don't like how Sue took the blame for Becky. I understand that she loves Becky and that she doesn't want her life to be ruined by this mistake. But, she brought a gun. to school. And that is NOT OK. I understand that she has Downs and that affects her and the way she processes things, but bringing a gun to school is not OK for anyone, no matter what. End of story. She needs to face consequences for her actions and receive help as obviously she is going through some very stressful and overwhelming things. Also, won't her dad notice the gun is missing? Didn't Sue tell the police where to find the gun? Won't they notice that it belongs, not to Sue, but to Becky's dad? There seem to be far too many holes in this story.
Also, they stink at lockdowns. I understand that the heat of the moment is different from drills, but still. People come on. I've had much younger children be able to stay quieter for longer than those high schoolers. They were making noise all over the place, running across the room??? Have they ever practiced a lockdown??? And the biggest mistake was Will leaving the room!!! After forcibly restraining Sam from being able to leave and telling him it would endanger everyone in the room, Will decides that it would be a good idea for him to go out there? Thereby endangering all of the kids he was telling Sam he couldn't put in danger??? The minute you open the door, you put the lives of everyone inside in mortal danger to try and help one person. If you ever want an example of how not to do a lockdown, please re-watch this episode...
On the plus side, maybe this will show Glee that you can actually do an episode with out 27 songs. (Sidenote: 27 is always my go to for exaggerating a large number of things... "They played One Direction on the radio 27 times on my way home" I don't know why. When estimating a percentage close to 100, I always say 97%. "I'm 97% sure that I turned the stove off.")
Anway, that was basically just a rant and a chance to express what I thought to someone in longer chunks than texts to Lil Sis... :)