That’s why Thursday’s (April 11) episode, “Shooting Star,” needs a warning.
This isn’t meant to be a spoiler article, and I promise not to give away anything directly related to the plot or outcome of “Shooting Star.” The motivation here comes instead from the way in which the disturbing aspects of the episode seem to come out of nowhere. You don’t get a chance to prepare.
Preparation is especially important because the first part of “Shooting Star” resembles a normal “Glee” outing. The kids explore friendship, love and other interpersonal issues. Songs thematically match the story. The big dramas are a revelation Brittany (Heather Morris) receives from her cat and Ryder (Blake Jenner) trying to figure out who has been chatting with him online.
Normal “Glee” stuff.
Then, about 2/3 of the way through the episode, everything changes. Abruptly. From a storytelling point of view, this is effective. Abrupt and terrifying change is part of the story. The problem is, “Glee” is not real life. It’s a TV show, and the abrupt transitions and unavoidable horrors of reality are not what some are watching for.
We’re talking about the kind of transition that could give kids (and possibly their parents) nightmares. This isn’t some angst-filled look at heartbreak — “Shooting Star” contains a headlong dive into the world that most of us work and pray to avoid throughout our lives.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t watch “Glee” for a week. If for no other reason than to know what everyone is talking about, you might want to catch this one. Just go into the episode knowing that not everything will leave you humming a happy tune.
After all, plenty of music comes from nightmares too.