Glee Review/Recap Season 4 Episode 19 ‘Sweet Dreams’: The Dream Is Alive

sweet dreams

For those who couldn’t tolerate one episode of Glee having a serious side (last week’s Shooting Star), are you satisfied? Episode 19, Sweet Dreams, was as gleeful as they get, from song choices to plot lines to celebratory scenes. And though it was awkward seeing Finn in a party-down college setting now that Cory Monteith is in rehab (at least we never saw Finn take a drink or do drugs), we also know that Monteith didn’t make that move in response to party-animal extremes so much as a personal slip off the wagon. And besides, Finn — and even Puck — saw the light enough to get back to business, with Finn rejoining Mr. Schuester with the show choir.

Or has he? As we know, Finn will be written out of the last two episodes, which means next week’s Lights Out episode will be the last time we see him this year. But the show must go on. To wit:

What bigger show can be in Glee’s sights than Funny Girl? It’s been Rachel’s destiny since day one, and I believe she’ll get it — even if, at first, she’s just the understudy for Streisand’s star-making role as Fanny Brice, meaning she’ll still take over the part in grand show-biz style at some point in Season 5.

And what better song for her audition than a song she can belt and a song she believes in: Don’t Stop Believin’, with her friends from the original glee club by her side in her mind, if not in reality? Loved the traditionalism of it, but also Lea Michele’s new vocal flourishes. And loved how meaningful this song was for any of us who have loved Glee since seeing that debut episode in 2009.

Also good to hear two originals for a change, though not so much the beautifully sung but overly sweet if not corny You Have More Friends Than You Know. (How was this less retro than Will’s regionals song choices?) I preferred for the rousingly “gleeified” Outcasts, whose message was cliched and pointed but whose music was right in Glee’s wheelhouse: soaring, anthemic, infectious. Nice to know Marley can write as well as sing, too.

But though the Beastie Boy’s Fight For Your Right (To Party) was also rousing in its own head-banging way, for me the night’s biggest musical highlight was Rachel and mama Shelby (Idina Menzel — welcome back!) reuniting in Gotham for a pre-audition duet of Next to Me. Though the Emeli Sandé song owes too much to Colors of the Wind for its melody, it’s still a great song in its own right, and an ideal duet number. And I always love seeing these two sing together. Do it more often!

Thus, Glee’s 85th episode was a touchstone show, one rich with Glee traditions and history while also pointing to the future as this season nears its finish.

In three short weeks it will be time to turn a page  and set sights on the still unannounced yet inevitable Season 5. That’s when some of this episode’s sweet dreams surely will become realities — and when the show, indeed, will go on.

— Bruce Westbrook

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