I realize I’m nuts. Honestly, this obsession with Glee is ridiculous. It’s just my way of stopping myself from obsessing about other things, like the election or mass shootings or the other parts of this world that are really, really scary right now. But it does have a purpose. It’s a tiny purpose, but it’s there.
As I’ve mentioned, I’m a Ravenclaw. I’m totally stuck in my own head most of the time. And when something catches in there, it spins around until my brain solves it.
When I watched Season 6 of Glee, I was furious. I love the last episode of Season 5. It’s one of my favorites, and it ties up so many stories so nicely, I really don’t understand why they didn’t just leave well enough alone and call that the end. With my particular love of Klaine, it was lovely to see the two of them come to understand what marriage is all about: choosing to love one person, understanding that they will make mistakes, and staying together through it all. Jumping together into the unknown, trusting that you’ll fly, to work Kurt’s metaphor.
Knowing that Blaine still had to date Karofsky, and that Kurt and Blaine would end up married, I had trouble sleeping after I saw the end of Season 5. I couldn’t imagine a way in which Kurt and Blaine would break up convincingly and then get back together convincingly in thirteen episodes. And when I saw Season 6, I was mostly more upset. I liked the wedding okay, and I found the finale satisfying, but what was up with that breakup? It made no sense.
And that’s the thing that’s been spinning, spinning in my head since then. How did they get so far off track with these characters? What could ever cause Blaine and Kurt, who always storm off in the middle of arguments, to ever have a three hour argument about anything, least of all towels? Why would Blaine pick a fight, when we know he’s conflict-avoidant? And Karofsky? Really? And then they get back together all of a sudden and the same episode they get married.
Well, I’ve figured it out.
I’m not going to pretend the explanation is pretty. I still don’t know why the writers chose to do it in the first place. As I’ve already said, the season would have been much better if they’d stayed together. HOWEVER, I came up with something, and now my brain can rest. In case you need it too, here it is:
It comes down to Finn.
Kurt never really grieved for Finn. He was busy with school, he’d just gotten engaged, and most importantly, he was living with Rachel and needed to take care of her. As Rachel moved through her grief, Kurt took his cues from her, mostly avoiding the topic so as not to push her over the edge. Then Blaine moved in and that was distracting, and then all the drama with Rachel’s opening distracted everyone from honoring the one year anniversary of Finn’s death, too. (As best I can figure, Finn probably died in April or possibly May of 2013. Season 5 ends, I think, in May-June of 2014. Season 6 is the 2014-2015 school year.)
Then Rachel leaves to go to LA just as the school year ends, and Kurt finally has time to deal with his feelings. Blaine was a friend and teammate to Finn, but never had as complex a relationship with him as Kurt. And Blaine had more opportunities to deal with his grief with the Glee club and Mr. Schuester. He sang a tribute to Finn at Nationals (and presumably spent time with Finn’s mom, too, since he was engaged to Kurt but living in Lima.) So Blaine has worked through is feelings, and he’s having a great career moment and just moved back in with Kurt, and he’s ready to plan a Labor Day wedding. He goes into full wedding-planning mode.
This drives Kurt nuts, but he doesn’t really understand why. He wouldn’t tie it to feelings about Finn since it had been so long since he died. But he hates that Blaine is so happy and planning a major joyful life event that Finn won’t be attending. So Kurt starts picking fights with Blaine and generally making life miserable for himself. The day they break up, he’s dying to pick a fight, first about Blaine being late, and then about the wedding. When he says “maybe” they should break up*, he thinks he’s just being cranky, but Blaine takes it as a dumping and it’s over.
At least Kurt has some time to deal with his feelings. He wallows for a couple of months, and by the time he is through his grief and ready to come up for air, Blaine is gone, having somehow been thrown out of school in the middle of summer. Kurt realizes what he’s done and heads to Lima to get Blaine back.
But Blaine has taken wallowing to championship levels. His “moving on” from Kurt takes the form of working in the building where they met and fell in love, coaching boys who look just like they did. His office is the room where they first kissed. Presumably he’s living with his parents, sleeping in the bed where they lost their virginities to one another. And he’s dating the only guy he knows who ever asked Kurt to be his valentine.
Blaine and Karofsky have absolutely nothing in common except for Kurt. They even say that Kurt was all they talked about at first. Karofsky has no self-esteem and it’s unclear whether he’s in school or working or what. And when Blaine breaks up with him, he isn’t even surprised. My theory is that Karofsky is still in love with Kurt too, and they’re just using each other to get as close to Kurt as either of them can get at the moment. And Blaine probably also gets a charge out of how much it hurts Kurt that he’s dating Karofsky, of all people.
After Blaine kisses Kurt, Kurt realizes (after a few days) that he’s got a wedge and he should use it to break up Blaine and David. As it turns out, he doesn’t have to. But if the only problem they had in the first place was Kurt’s grief, then Kurt can say, “It was bad before but it’s okay now.” And they might as well get married, since they were going to get married months earlier anyway and would have if Kurt hadn’t melted down.
I still hate that Kurt and Blaine don’t get one love song in Season 6. I still hate that after they’re married, they barely kiss or even talk to each other. It seems the writers have a bunch of weird ideas about love and marriage that are very Hollywood and very disappointing. But I think now I can watch Season 6 and maybe even move on from this obsession. For a while. I mean, Glee is always going to be comfort food, but maybe I won’t have to eat it every day.
*Update: I’m about half way through Season 6, and I was wrong about the “maybe.” Kurt did, clearly, break up with Blaine. But my overall reasoning still works, and makes watching Season 6 much more enjoyable. With this new perspective, you can watch Blaine watching Kurt the entire time to see how serious he is about having changed. Blaine’s uncomfortable about this, because he’s a decent guy and he wants his relationship with David to be real, but he’s doing it. And Kurt is watching Blaine, too, partly because he’s the kind of guy who writes romances in his head (see: Finn, Season 1; Blaine, Season 2; Adam, Season 4) and partly because he knows that Blaine’s into frat boys, not bears, and he’s wondering why Blaine would be dating David of all people.
Also, with this in mind, Kurt running to Blaine’s apartment makes a tiny bit more sense. If I’ve got the timeline right (and it’s not very clear) Rachel’s party is on Friday, Blaine breaks up with David after David’s football game the next day, and it’s possible Kurt goes to Blaine’s apartment on Sunday morning. So Kurt spends all day Saturday thinking about that kiss, meets up with Rachel, Sam and Walter at school on Saturday night (why? And why does Blaine look for him there?) knows exactly why Blaine is there, but decides not to push it because of the scene he’ll create, and then breaks up with Walter at Sunday brunch and runs to Blaine’s apartment, where he’s not the least bit surprised to find Blaine packing to move out. It’s still poorly written, but if they’ve just been testing each other the whole time Kurt’s been in Lima, then it works, barely. And thanks to some champion acting by Chris Colfer and Darren Criss, there’s enough subtext throughout the season to believe it.