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Everybody hates Rachel

I'm supposed to be working on my final animation project right now, but somehow I got sidetracked thinking about Glee and got so frustrated that I had to come rant about it. Spoilers up to this week's episode, "Special Education."

This week's episode featured New Directions's second year at Sectionals. It also featured stormy seas for Finn and Rachel, which is a ship I fully do not support, so I'm not exactly against Ryan Murphy being his usual troll self and lying about them being together for the whole season. It also featured pretty much EVERYONE finding a way to hate on Rachel. First Quinn told her she wanted to punch her in the face every time she opens her mouth. Then Santana dropped the bomb that she and Finn slept together last year, and he lied about it to Rachel. Then Mr Schue yelled at her in front of everyone. Way to be pro, teach. Later in the episode, we find out that absolutely everyone in the club knew about Finn and Santana, and no one told Rachel because, according to Santana, nobody in the club actually likes her. Ouch! And the only person to stand up and admit he kinda likes her was Puck of all people.

The only person besides Puck who seemed to be getting along with Rachel this episode was Kurt, who has defected to the friendlier Dalton Academy's Glee club. You'd think that competitive Rachel would be all for cutting ties with the enemy, but in fact they share a few scenes that feel almost tonally wrong for the show, because Whoa, people actually being friends. Rachel dropped a few lines that I feel were really telling about her character, namely that
a) She's being friendly to Kurt now because he isn't competition.
b) That she fantasizes about people finally realizing how great she really was at her funeral. How depressing is that image?
"Wait, Kurt isn't competition? But he's on the opposing team!" you say. Not what she meant. Rachel has consistently received the message that she isn't wanted. People want to punch her in the face when she talks. But when she sings, people listen. They cheer. Kurt was competition for attention within the Glee club. She's obsessive about perfection, but winning isn't really her end goal here. She wants to be loved, and she sees singing as her only pathway to that. Can somebody please just give the girl a hug?
So I'll keep on tryin'
I'm through with lyin'
Just like the sun above
I'll come shinin' through
Oh, yes I'll keep on tryin'
I'm tired of cryin'
I got to find a way

Keep on trying, Rachel <3

Oh, wanted to add: No matter how terrible Santana was, the bitch of the episode award goes to Mercedes. The more Mercedes talks, the more I want to cry for humanity. What happened to your BFF-dom with Quinn? Quinn, who was freaking out because she was having flashbacks to going into labor at Regionals, and you supported her by.... offering to steal her solo. Ah, friendship. What is wrong with this show? o_O More importantly, why can't I stop watching it???