Normally the return of a beloved series is a plus for fandoms. But tonight’s episode of Glee, “The Breakup,” has fans of beloved couple Kurt and Blaine, a.k.a. “Klaine,” reaching for their tissues.
Make that their “Klissues.”
Klaine fans have enjoyed a rare and coveted role in fandom: the ability to say that their ship is canon—that is, that their favorite relationship, Kurt and Blaine, is actually a part of the show’s storyline.
But all that changes tonight, when an episode entitled “The Breakup” airs.
Fans have been preparing themselves for the worst ever since news of emotional set photos leaked in mid-August. Despite creator Ryan Murphy assuring fans that he loves happy endings, Glee fans and Klaine fans in particular are taking the episode’s title literally, assuming that after tonight, America’s favorite a cappella lovebirds will no longer be an item.
To gear up for tonight’s impending heartbreak, fans wrote themselves instruction manuals, tweeted and tumbled the word #courage, and even wrote it on their wrists, an action that’s become, in Glee and other fandoms, a display of solidarity and support. Fans of the boyband One Direction recently wrote “bravery” on their wrists in the wake of their own turmoils and upsets.
It’s no secret that Glee fans have a virulent love/hate relationship with the show itself, and tonight’s development hasn’t helped. “GPOY [Gratuitous Picture] of the entire Glee fandom,” wrote one fan as tonight’s air date approached, about a set of GIFs on Tumblr that sums up the fan/show relationship quite neatly.
Many fans consider Kurt and Blaine’s relationship to be one of the show’s saving graces, given what many critics perceive to be its problems with racial and gender issues. But Kurt and Blaine aren’t the only couple threatened by tonight’s vague and tempting title. Reportedly, three other couples could be the ones to break up: main leads Finn and Rachel, queer best friends Brittany and Santana, and adult characters Will and Emma.
“Tonight’s the night,” wrote acash14 on Tumblr. “All of these beautiful couples will go through a rough patch, & not all will make it…but I trust that the brilliant writers at GLEE will take care of these characters, who mean the world to me, & the fans. ❤”
Most Glee fans seem to assume it’s Kurt and Blaine who are doomed to split up.
“After these horrendous episodes we better get a #Klaine passionate reunion, engagement & wedding,” tweeted a fan named Meval.
Creator Murphy has hinted that not everything in tonight’s episode is as straightforward as the title implies, and fans will have to tune in to Fox tonight to see whether their fears are valid.
But one thing is certain: No matter which couple leaves the shippers sobbing into their tissues, Klaine is forever.
Photo via proudtobeaklainer / Tumblr