The character of Rachel has really been problematic on Glee since its inception, since she walks that fine line between annoying and amusingly annoyingly, and in its first season, far too often fell on the annoying side. But so far, this season has treated Rachel with a much more even hand. It turns out that as soon as the show stopped marveling at Lea Michelle’s voice and started dealing with the complexities of Rachel’s character (and actually dealing with the fact that she’s a pretty unlikeable character) that the show’sbreak out voice became more than just a ballad-getting attention hog.
So far this season,. Rachel has been dealing with trying to become a better person for reasons both altruistic and not so. And in an episode that was all about Rachel being upset that so much of the spotlight is being taken away from her (and Quinn uttering the fan-pleasing line of, “You used to just be annoying. Now I want to punch you in the face every time I’m around you.”), it may seem a little surprising that this was the most likeable I’ve ever found Rachel. Her conversations with Kurt were some of the most real and interesting the two have ever shared, and I liked the idea that performing with the whole choir in a non-lead position actually did have a profound effect on what Rachel thought being a part of Glee was all about.
In fact, Rachel’s arc this season has been one of the show’s most satisfying and one of the most consistent things across episodes that have ranged from the utterly absurd to the moderately ridiculous.
* All that being said, I found the conclusion to the Santana chapter (that Rachel kissed Puck, who was only being nice to her because he realized he couldn’t be nice to all people, and so decided to focus on God’s Chosen People) stupid and forced, and would have preferred a little more ambiguity in the whole Finchel argument, and I hope they get back together soon, because I find Rachel as romantic-lead annoying, but Rachel and Finn as a scheming, quirky couple intriguing and fun.