The ‘Glee’ School Shooting Episode Was Somehow Worse Than We Feared It Would Be

Ryan Murphy, you’ve got a giant target on your face this morning — and shots have been fired. Last night was Glee‘s let’s-sing-about-guns-and-the-problem-will-go-away-don’t-stop-believing episode, “Shooting Star,” and amazingly, it was even more awful than any of us could have predicted. Ryan Murphy, you outdid yourself.

So, here’s what happened: blonde cheerleader Brittany says that an asteroid is going to crash into Lima, Ohio, where the show takes place, but instead of giving her the help she so clearly needs, Mr. Schue assigns the Glee club to sing “Last Chance” songs. Horribly contrived plot device? YOU BET. It gets worse.

After hearing everyone sing “More Than Words,” Becky Jackson, Sue Sylvester’s student minion with Down Syndrome, goes up to Brittany and tells her that she’s her hero, they should be friends, other things that Glee never mentioned before, blah blah blah, and also that she’s afraid of graduating high school and going to college. It’s an emotional SHOT to the heart (Glee gave TV a bad name), unlike the actual gunshots that go off shortly thereafter.

The Glee club huddles together, reveals secrets, forgives prior indiscretions, and things are quiet awhile (imagine “Hush,” but don’t, because that’s a great episode; “Shooting Star” is uglier than the Gentlemen), until the SWAT team arrives. Everyone’s safe. So, what the hell happened? Well, Sue Sylvester keeps a firearm in her office, because she’s scared of “gun yahoos,” and it accidentally went off. OR DID IT? It did not. The real culprit: Becky.

Yep. In Glee‘s world, the Down Syndrome girl — who brought a gun to school because she’s “scared about graduating, being out in the world with no one to protect me…I wanted to protect myself. I need help” — did it. Let’s go through the worst things about “Shooting Star,” of which there are millions.

1. Because you know in his mind, Ryan Murphy is rationalizing, “Well, at least WE hired someone like Becky.”

2. The only reason the show did this episode was because Murphy & Co. knew a plot description involving “a school shooting” would get people to watch Glee again (viewership has plummeted). It’s a disgusting ratings stunt, and gun violence was minimized to a mere annoyance for a single episode and will be forgotten next week.

3. Murphy never told the residents of Newtown about the episode.

“I think it’s terrible that the writers and producers of that show didn’t think to contact someone in Newtown to let us know this was coming,” Mr Paley said of his hope to spread the word to fellow residents. “A lot of people watch that show. They shouldn’t be upset by it.” (Via)

4. “The Down Syndrome girl did it.” (Total cop-out, and one that suggests a “normal” person wouldn’t do this.)

5. And worst of all…