Glee, Episode 10 "The Ballad"

1981 words - 8 pages

The presence of mirrors is highlighted in this episode. Before this episode there has not been an emphasis on mirrors, even though they appear in other episodes. I feel like the use of this prop is important in understanding the episode. Every time a mirror appears, there is a different circumstance that the character is dealing with. The first mirror appears in Quinn’s house. She is trying on her Chastity Ball dress with her mom, and the dress does not zip up all the way. Quinn is shown in the mirror as the mom measures her stomach. In this instance, the mirror could signify a desire to hide the truth, despite the fact that the truth is there for everyone to see. The second time a mirror is used is in Finn’s basement. He and Kurt are discussing his dad’s bravery in war, while trying on his dad’s old suit jacket. This scene is open on an emotional level, and the mirror works to illustrate that Finn is more like his dad than he realizes. It acts as a reflector for the characteristics that Finn will demonstrate later in the episode and in the series. Finally, a mirror is used with Rachel when she is being told by another student that she does not have a chance with Will. In this scene Rachel is applying makeup in the mirror. The presence of a mirror, and it being actively used, could indicate that Rachel is hiding the truth from herself. Rachel’s character rarely wears a lot of makeup, which emphasizes the use of the mirror. Instead of being honest with herself, Rachel is denying the truth that she is knows is there.
The camerawork in the show is very well done because it helps the audience understand the relationships between the characters, as well as helps draw the audience’s attention to important action. Usually the camera is unobtrusive and is there to film the action, but not call attention to itself. There are the normal close ups, establishing shots, reaction shots, etc. that help illustrate what is happening without imposing onto the action. Then there are a few instances where the camera becomes part of the action. During the musical numbers, especially “I’ll Stand By You” and “Don’t Stand So Close to Me (Young Girl),” the camera movements are similar to those used in music videos. One of my favorite uses of the camera throughout the series is the use of the handheld camera. This style of camera is usually used to open a dramatic scene or a confrontation – it is used twice in the episode. First is during an argument between Will and Terri. The camera is unsteady, which calls attention to its presence in the sequence, and moves quickly between the two speakers. As the argument escalates, the camera moves quicker between the two, barely staying on one speaker before moving again. It is a very uncomfortable experience, as the camera is moving at a high pace – it does not let the audience ‘settle’ into the situation. It also makes the following scene, with normal cameras, seem almost comforting. The second time the...

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