Apologies for not using an LJ cut!
Finn and Rachel didn't get married...yet, and Quinn is confined to a wheelchair....for now. That's the "what happened next" finish to the cliffhangers, but there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered.
"Big Brother" was, I think, an average Glee episode, which for me is still pretty good. There was humor (a smart satire of commercial stars) and drama (Quinn and Finn/Rachel). I felt something for the characters as they began to navigate the end of their high school careers, the ones who are finishing this year at any rate. Some story lines were set up, and they gave me mixed emotions. All in all, this is what I look for. I want to care (or at least laugh in the case of Sue), and I did. Here are the main story lines.
I'll start with Blaine, since it was his "big brother" who the episode was named for. It was nice to see some background for Blaine's character. Obviously, he's not my favorite character, but I like him better this season than last. He's good for Kurt, but he's also been a little bit of a puzzle. Why did he feel the need to "hide out" at Dalton before he met Kurt? Why did he question his sexuality, and why was he blind to Kurt's attraction to him after he helped him with Karofsky? How is he going to handle Kurt leaving since he's a junior? It seems much of the reason for his insecurities comes from having to "measure up" to the older brother. Older brothers often unintentionally make their younger brothers feel inadequate, especially when there's as much difference in age as there is between Cooper and Blaine. So, I thought it was a realistic way to show how Blaine came to be who he is right now, and I liked Matt Bomer's (Cooper) appearance. It was the comic relief the episode needed.
So, they didn't get married, and apparently it had something to do with Quinn not arriving. For me, that's pretty significant, and the fact that their relationship came into question so easily afterward reflects that. If they are to end up together, as I've written in past reviews, Finn has to have something to do. Following Rachel purely for love was never going to be a viable option. He's always been too conscious of following in the footsteps of father figures in life, first his own father, then Will, then Burt. He's someone who needs to have something to do, and he's been following Rachel (his "beacon of light") for too long. Besides, he's never been very good at it...again, probably because he doesn't really want to do it.
As for Rachel, she's gotten herself distracted by Finn. It was good to see her lay it out for him again. She accepted his marriage proposal when she thought she had lost her chance at NYADA ("I may not get to have it all, but I'll have what matters if we're together."). She says these things in a way that sounds like she's trying to convince herself that Finn makes her happy, but it only takes an objective observer to see that New York and Broadway are first priority for her. It was good to see she hasn't lost that entirely now that she's been reminded via her NYADA audition (and after she got the Cooper Anderson stars out of her eyes), that she's good enough. Again, if Finn and Rachel are going to work, Rachel must be able to pursue her dream. Can they do it together? That still remains to be seen.
Will Quinn regain her ability to dance and, more importantly, walk? I hope so. It would really be sad to see her lose that. She had just regained some of her optimism (something she hasn't had since before she was pregnant), and this time the optimism was a mature one, one based on an actual future and not popularity and high school power. Yes, if she ends up in the wheelchair, her life won't be over, but it's clear that she doesn't share the same attitude as Artie. That's understandable, since she's older than he was, and she's had more time to live without having to be in a wheelchair.
There is a small, but strong, contingent of Artie/Quinn (Quartie) shippers out there who are getting their chance to see these two interact in a much more significant way than in the past when there wasn't much more than the occasional pat on shoulder or show of support as part of the group at large. Will this develop into something more? As unfair as it may seem, I don't see it happening unless Quinn in fact is permanently confined to the chair. Obviously, there's another huge obstacle in that Artie is a junior, but that isn't stopping Tina and Mike (Tike) or Kurt and Blaine (Klaine). Quinn has never had a genuinely significant relationship with anyone because she's always dated for shallow reasons, and for me she's better off because of it because she has learned. However, her accident may have given her a different perspective, and so will she be open to Artie...or Joe since they have similar backgrounds? We'll have to see. Meanwhile, her relationship with Rachel seems to be as strong as ever.
Kurt (via e-mail): Mr. Schue, save us! Coach Sue is meaner than Tabitha!
Sue: First of all, I have absolutely no idea who Porcelain is referring to. I'm assuming it's gay and niche.
Cooper: The key to a dramatic scene is pointing.
"I'm Still Standing" by Elton John--Quartie shippers probably loved this, and I liked it a lot too. I guess I have to retract my pessimistic declaration that Dianna Agron (Quinn) gets one or two chances to shine per season. She got two good duets this episode, and this was the better of the two. It might have even been my favorite of the episode, since the music took a back seat this episode.
"Hungry Like the Wolf"/"Rio" by Duran Duran--There was a lot of electronic manipulation (the much-hated Auto-Tune and other effects), so it wasn't easy to judge musical ability. But, this was fun anyway, and it definitely set up the episode's story nicely.
"Fighter" by Christina Aguilera--This was an interesting take on this song. Darren Criss (Blaine) did a good job with it, and it fit. In fact, I think all of the musical numbers were integrated excellently in this episode.
"Up Up Up" by Givers--This was another fun duet with Dianna Agron and Kevin McHale (Artie). I don't think they sound as good together as, say Dianna Agron and Lea Michele (Rachel) or Dianna Agron and Chord Overstreet (Sam), but I'm never going to complain about another Quinn number.
"Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye (feat. Kimbra)--This song was integrated to the story line the best of all of the songs in an episode whose musical numbers all fit very nicely. In fact, I can't remember lyrics that were more on point for a scene than this one. How was it musically? Pretty good.