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'Glee' recap: Karofsky cheats death; will Quinn?

February 22, 2012 |  7:36 am

New Directions perform at Regionals in the "On My Way" Winter Finale episode of "Glee"

Whoa. So, what, is Quinn dead? Or will she, like Dave Karofsky before her, suddenly be snatched from the Grim Reaper's apparently certain grip by a lucky fate and "Glee's" merciful writers?

If Tuesday night's midwinter finale of "Glee," entitled "On My Way," was not the most didactic episode ever (I seem to recall last year's midwinter finale also being a little heavy-handed -– though considerably more lighthearted -- with the teen life lessons), it was certainly among the most intense and depressing, which is saying a lot for an episode in which a lot of upbeat things happened too.

But it's hard to imagine that cliffhanger ending, in which Quinn, on her way to Rachel and Finn's controversial courthouse wedding, indulges in that rules-of-the-road no-no, texting while driving, and –- smash –- gets into a car accident that really seems like it might mark the end of the road (in the biggest sense) for her.

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And just when things were finally really going her way again. She had recovered from the bad dye job (as Kurt noted) and the bad decisions she had been making earlier in the season. She had just contributed her "oohs and background aahs" (as Sue put it) to help the New Directions gang win at Regionals. She was looking forward to "graduating from Yale at the top of my class." She had just had a meaningful chat with her old mentor, Sue, and earned back her cheerleader uniform, pledging to help the squad win another championship. And she'd even reached peace with Finn and Rachel's relationship, offering her blessings. All of which seems to tie up her storyline in a way that spells goner.

Of course, one never knows. Maybe Quinn's character is on a ventilator right now and will make a miraculous recovery. Maybe that car speeding toward her just took out a headlight, nicked a hubcap, or made that teeth-rattling noise by hitting a pole right next to her. Maybe she'll emerge with nothing but a scratched cornea (Blaine can lend her his eye patch) and step back onto the stage to sing a reprise of the Regionals-winning "What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger)" with the rest of the show-choir laydees.

Yeah, I don't really believe any of that either. I suspect that, if by some miracle, Quinn's character emerges from the crash alive, she'll be profoundly changed. I guess we'll just have to wait until April to find out whether that happens and how.

In the meantime -- although asking what else happened on Tuesday night's "Glee" feels a little bit like that old "Apart from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the show?" punchline -- here's where we left a few of the characters:

Dave Karofsky: Having been spotted by a classmate while declaring his unrequited love for Kurt at Breadstix on Valentine's Day, the closeted Karofsky walks into his new school to find a homophobic slur spray-painted across his locker. He runs out, finds that he's also been outed on Facebook and via a mass texting campaign, dresses up in his best suit, loops a belt around the bar in his closet, and steps up on a chair. It's the moment I've been fearing since last season. But thankfully, Dave is rescued by his father, and makes a remarkable recovery, looking like a million bucks when Kurt stops in at the hospital for a visit.

Kurt: Feeling guilty and responsible for Karofsky's suicide attempt, Kurt finally decides to befriend his former tormentor in a way that feels honest and sincere. He tells him that living an openly gay life can be difficult, that "there'll be some days when life just sucks," but vows to help Karofsky get through. Then, taking a page from Dan Savage's "It Gets Better" campaign (did Savage consult on this episode, or what?), he has Karofsky imagine a future with a fab job in a fab city with a fab partner and an adorable child, and prompts a declaration from Karofsky: "I'm so happy right now." Seriously, Dave, it's gonna get better.

Sebastian: Karofsky's attempt to take his own life has also had a transformative, positive effect on that villainous Warbler Sebastian, who realizes that life is not all nasty fun and games. Though he began the episode by trying to finagle a Warbler win by blackmailing Rachel with a Photoshopped scandalous photo of Finn, Karofsky's response to his bullying has prompted him to rip up the photo and live more kindly. We'll see how long that lasts.

Finn and Rachel: Reminded of how precious life is, the two decide not to wait to get hitched, but rather to marry immediately following the team's win at Regionals. Their parents begin to hatch all sorts of crazy plans to derail the nuptials, but ultimately, and very sadly, Quinn's crash may have done the job for them.

Sue: She's pregnant (though it's not yet clear who the father is) and the resulting hormonal surge seems to be having a softening effect on her. She even pledges to help the New Directions continue their winning streak. Aw, Sue.

And the rest of the New Directions gang? Well, they're looking forward to bright futures: to dancing at Carnegie Hall (Mike Chang), righting things with those whom they love (Santana, Finn …), and making the world a better, more just place (Blaine …). Brittany just wants her cat, Lord Tubbington, "to quit his Ecstasy addiction." (Ha!)

Let's just hope Quinn's bright future hasn't really gone as dark as that "To be continued …" title card.

What did you think of the episode? Do you think it's really curtains for Quinn?

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-- Amy Reiter

Photo: New Directions perform at Regionals in the "On My Way" Winter Finale episode of "Glee" that aired Tuesday on Fox. From left, Lea Michele, Kevin McHale, Dianna Agron and Amber Riley. Credit: Adam Rose / Fox

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