Glee, Season 5, Episode 15, “Bash”
Written by Ian Brennan
Directed by Bradley Buecker
Airs Tuesdays at 8pm ET on Fox
The somber opening to Glee’s “Bash” sets the tone for the episode and it’s a somber one. The acapella version of “No One is Alone”, originally from the musical Into the Woods, is haunting and beautiful. Somehow even the comedic relief, Sam Evans, is quiet and that speaks volumes to the seriousness of the issue being addressed.
The actually bashing Kurt endures is extremely difficult to watch. I felt like I took a sympathy brick to my own head. Blaine singing to Kurt in the hospital is a poignant moment that indicates the intensity and honestly of the relationship between him and his soon to be husband, despite the misguided and contrived issues they’ve been forced through in the name of drama. This stripped down, wavering and unsteady rendition was the only way to really add appropriate wight to the scene.
As always, Mike O’Malley as Burt and Chris Colfer as Kurt burn bright. Burt hangs on the precipice, barely able to calm the firestorm of adrenaline still pumping from receiving a call no father ever wants to get. In fact, he can barely stay in his chair. Their dialogue is genuine- Burt is pissed and proud at the same time. Kurt has made the decision to take no crap, including that from his dad. He’s respectful but assertive. Kurt is growing up. Rachel’s actions, on the other hand, prove she doesn’t deserve Kurt’s friendship, no matter how much brown-nosing she does hence forth. This entire episode affirms that Kurt is the show’s strongest character, continuing to come into his own, fight for his community, and make his daddy proud.|
It is always a treat to see Lea Michele or Darren Criss do a Broadway number. Despite Madame Tibaduex’s disapproval, it is especially nice to see them perform together, this time doing their own theatrical rendition of “Broadway Baby” from Follies. I’d imagine due to the close proximity between Michele and Criss’s characters’, Rachel and Blaine will probably be singing some more Broadway ditties in the future.
The Mercedes Jones/Sam Evans circle of on again, off again has always seemed authentic. Maybe because they don’t feel like contrived; they don’t belong together like Rachel and Finn or even Puck and Quinn. They have circled around each other forever, and even now when it seems like they should be together, they continue to face realistic issues and stumble over them. Sam’s struggle to be appropriate and relevant when he meets Mercedes’ friends is painful to watch but totally believable. What does feel mildly formulated is the use of Amber Riley’s own “Colorblind”, but the song is beautiful and ends up being a sweet moment between the now couple.
While solemnly tackling a difficult issue, this episode shows major character and relationship development, features musical numbers that do justice to Sondheim’s brilliance, and proves with its writing that Glee is capable of dynamic, powerful storytelling.