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Glee – Recap & Review – Goodbye

photo: fox

Original Air Date: May 22, 2012

Alyssa Silva – Associate Staff Writer

Roots before branches is what Glee has felt like this past year, and for some reason this felt like the show throwing off its adolescent coat (well, mostly) as the finale drew to a close. It’s been a trying three years, for both the characters and the people who have come to adore them, and as the Seniors donned their robes and received their diplomas there was a bittersweet feeling about.

Failure, sacrifice and dreams were the main themes being thrown out, and I’m left to ponder how the show will carry on from here.

So a quick overview of the Seniors: Mike is heading to Chicago; Mercedes managed to land a deal as a back up singer for an indie label thanks to Sam’s Youtube video of Disco Inferno; Quinn is heading to Yale; Brittany is repeating her Senior year (how is this girl even allowed to stay in school with a 0.0 GPA?); Puck graduated; and Santana received a huge sum of money from her mother to go to New York and follow her dream in lieu of her cheerleading scholarship.


That scene between Rachel and Finn in the car was extremely well done, and while I knew it was inevitable that the two would never stay together it was slightly gratifying to hear Finn persuading Rachel to surrender.

I’ve never thought Finn and Rachel belonged together and at the start when Rachel laments about compromising on practically everything for the wedding, and Finn remarks seriously that she’s compromising by being with him, that pretty much signalled the end of that particular farce. Having Rachel declare that she would defer her entry into NYADA because Finn and Kurt wouldn’t be coming to New York with her was the ultimate kick in the face. It made that brief moment of triumph – when she got into NYADA because of the determination and drive (however inconsistently portrayed) that has made Rachel Berry who she is – feel sour because yet again Rachel was willing to sacrifice her dream of Broadway for Finn and Kurt. Why should she have to? Why would she have to? Would Kurt have done the same, dedicating a year that should have been spent savouring his accomplishment by remaining in Lima to help Rachel?

In a way I admired Finn for what he did. He did the right thing in letting her go, in telling her that he loved her enough to let her accomplish the dreams that he knew she was destined for. In that moment I actually found myself considering the possibility of Finchel (until I saw that heart Puck made to Rachel when she looked out the train!). It was hard watching the dreams these two had built for themselves crumble in the face of Finn’s words and Rachel’s realization, dreams that both thought were within reach but have now been replaced by a future that is uncertain.

The last shot of the episode is one of Rachel walking into the teeming humanity that is New York and it might seem self-indulgent, but to parrot a regularly used phrase when Glee first started, the show started with Rachel Berry and now has ended with the same girl having accomplished what she set out to do at the pilot. It seems a fitting tribute to make up for what her character has lost along the way, to allow Rachel some semblance of what she was when I first met her. An unknown with the belief that she belonged in a place, a special place that recognized her not as an outcast but as someone who belonged. I’ll take it.

As for Finn he’s decided to enlist in the Army to redeem the father he feels has been wronged. There isn’t anything wrong with that, some would call it noble, except Finn hasn’t made any mention of this possibility except sometime earlier in the season when his father’s death was brought up. It’s just as baffling as his sudden desire to be an actor but at the same time quite fitting. For all Finn’s achievements as a leader, he’s never really deserved the pedestal he’s put himself on. He needs to be told what to do and most important of all he needs a sense of purpose and direction in his life more than ever. If Fort Banning will give him that, and iron out everything I’ve grown to dislike about Finn Hudson, then I’m all for it.


I did not understand Quinn’s sudden desire to help Puck. There are two ways to look at this. Let’s go with my initial impression. Quinn has repeatedly stated that sleeping with Puck was the worst mistake of her life to everyone, including Puck, and has never been particularly kind to him when they do interact. It felt like pity and it was condescending to think that just because everything in her life is suddenly going right, Puck deserves some of her attention now after practically two seasons of not caring if the other existed. Considering all that, why would a kiss from Quinn help Puck discover his mojo?

But then I looked at it from another point of view. Perhaps it was an attempt to show that these two are friends. That kiss was friendly and a way of showing Puck that Quinn cared for him, despite all appearances to the contrary.

And then I remembered myself and thought nah, the writers just didn’t have any other ideas left on how to deal with these two poor schmucks and ruined them both.


I felt bad for Kurt. I thought he deserved to go to NYADA too. So now Kurt has no certain future, and it will be interesting to see how both Blaine and Kurt deal with this new setback. It’s somewhat inevitable that eventually Kurt will find his way to New York. But in the meantime he’s left with this feeling of hurt and disbelief, seeing his best friend walk into a future he thought was in the bag. Will that breed resentment? Will Kurt’s failures affect his relationship with Blaine, who might find his joy at having his boyfriend around a while longer evolve into strained tension as Kurt tries to chart a new course?

Where do we go from here?

It’s the big elephant in the room – is there a Glee without an actual glee club? Ryan Murphy has said all the cast members will be back for Season Four so maybe that’s why I wasn’t as affected by this finale. I know they’re going to be coming back. But how will it work? Glee has suffered so much already from losing what made it special in the first place – the flashbacks to the original five singing Sit Down Your Rocking the Boat and Kurt’s Single Ladies basement dance drove that point home. Will the show survive being split between McKinley and New York (and LA, and Fort Banning, and wherever else the others scatter to)? Personally I see this as a chance for the characters to progress into something better and more interesting since they are now free from the strictures of high school. The writing staff don’t give me much confidence that it will turn out that way, but I’m hoping that they just might prove me wrong.

The Songs

The best

You Get What You Give – Who doesn’t love this New Radicals song?

I’ll Remember – Oh nostalgia…

Roots Before Branches – My feels.

The okay

In My Life and Glory Days

The meh

Forever Young – God, Mr Schue will still be around next season…

What did you think of the finale? Did you expect the Finchel break up? How did you feel about Quick? Was it sad to see the Seniors graduate? Will you tune in next season to see what comes next? Give me your TwoCents below or over on Twitter!

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