Glee blog review Season 2 Episode 19 ‘Rumours’: First-hand news

If you’re a big Fleetwood Mac fan, as I am, how could you help but love tonight’s Glee, which featured seven songs by one of the most popular yet one of the most underrated rock bands in history? I’m counting the six songs performed along with The Chain, by the band itself, in a recording playing in the background. And let’s not forget Holly Holliday’s Landslide on a previous episode.

Did the songs serve the story? Often, yes, especially since its title, theme and (unfortunately) oft-repeated mantra was “rumours,” or at least “rumors.” The gossip-rag nonsense worked well, spurring more intense jealousies and suspicions, and while the Artie-Brittany breakup was clumsy (he self-sabotaged it, in my book) and it was sad to see Quinn again so ruthlessly self-absorbed and unhappily driven  (which gets worse next week, as previews showed), at least we also got the return of Kristin Chenoweth’s April Rhodes (it’s about time!) and a touching, timely subplot about Sam’s family going south financially.

Musically, I’ll take Rachel’s Go Your Own Way, both for Lea Michele’s spirited rocker-chick singing and for the musicians’ fierce devotion to rock intensity. (Did I mention I’m a rocker?) And while Naya Rivera is no Christine McVie, her Santana sang Fleetwood Mac’s customary final encore, Songbird, with stirring emotion to her lady love, Brittany.

I Don’t Want to Know, while a catchy tune, did not work so well for me musically, in part because the dueting Finn and Quinn were so at odds, making everyone uncomfortable. It reminded me of New Directions doing the Beatles’ Hello Goodbye in much the same hate-love way. Uh, are we supposed to enjoy such songs? And Will and April’s Dreams for the students in the choir room was no show-stopper and didn’t seem to have any place in the story.

But elsewhere from the Rumours album songbook (good to see that vinyl copy, btw), Artie’s Never Going Back Again worked old-style musical magic in its unlikely settings, while the army of acoustic guitars gave the song a special fullness it never had before, even with Lindsey Buckingham’s incredibly deft picking. (Did I mention I think he’s one of rock’s best guitarists ever? Or is that just a rumor?)

Heck, we even got a bit of “original song” silliness in the form of a number for April’s absurdly ill-advised bio-show for Broadway, which will work about as well as an all-white production of The Wiz. So yes, musically this was a rich, if uneven, episode.

Now it’s on to prom night, where the ending has reportedly been spilled by a tweeting extra (or was that just a misdirection ploy?), but the story still looks drenched in drama.

Just three shows to go till Glee ends Season 2 where it filmed last week: NYC. And that’s no rumor. It’s a fact.

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