Original Air Date: May 24, 2011
Alyssa Silva – TwoCents Reviewer
This episode was…well, all I can say is that this finale perfectly encapsulated everything that was both good and bad about the show this season. New Directions find themselves in New York for Nationals and are determined to write the songs they have to perform in their hotel rooms the day before the competition. But who needs winning material when the Big Apple is just begging to be explored?
So did they take home the trophy? Were we subjected to more inane love triangles? Read on after the jump to find out!
Can I just say Lea Michele/Rachel Berry’s absolute delight at being in New York was the highlight of the entire episode? You could see that Rachel genuinely wanted to be there and if only the writers could have encapsulated that infectious glee and spray it over every inconsistency that continues to plague the show. In any case New Directions wander around New York singing and dancing, holing up in their hotel room to write their songs for Nationals. I tell myself that this isn’t real life, so I try not to get too upset about how much of a bad director Schue is. So with that champion-winning mindset, they sweep into Nationals full of confidence. Which is immediately shattered when they place 12th. Yes, our favourite gleeks didn’t even place. I’m as baffled as you are. But this class has one more year before graduation (Finn said it, not me. Looks like Ryan Murphy has put an expiration date?) so it left us with enough anticipation to see what they get up to next season.
Now let me run down the real reason why we watch the show anymore: the characters. I’ve long since learned to ignore the bad writing and focus on what drew me in from the start.
Oh heck. Not this again.
They brought back Finchel. God WHY? You want to know my feelings about this pairing? I hate it. I didn’t use to at the start of season one but now I despise it with the flaming passion of a thousand burning suns. And Rachel herself gave me the reason why. She admits that Finn will never come to New York with her because he’s too much of a country boy. She tells him point blank that she won’t let anything hold her back from achieving her dreams. Finn seems to accept this before saying that she’s got a year left before graduation, so why doesn’t she just give him another chance. I’m sick of it. This relationship is toxic and unhealthy. I’ve seen the Rachel Berry I fell in love with become this insecure little girl who thinks she can only complete herself by saddling herself to the Big (Not)Friendly Giant. He broke up with her because she kissed Puck (which reminds me – Puckerman why are you encouraging this madness? Why are any of you boys?), never mind the fact that Finn himself is probably the most lying, cheating idiot on the show. And then he asks for another chance? For once I wish Quinn was there if only to deliver the truth she spoke about Finn in Original Song. At this point I would even take Rachel getting back with Jesse. Anyone but Finn. Gosh Rachel, make my dreams come true and date Puck again. I’m going to continue staying in my Puckleberry bubble just to retain my sanity.
Mr Schue goes to Broadway
I wish. Sadly he’s still around. That’s all I can say about him.
These two are simply adorable together. I’m glad the writers have continued to develop this friendship in the midst of so many other fails. If there’s one person who can truly understand Rachel, its Kurt. The two of them sneaking out to have Breakfast at Tiffany’s and then breaking into the Gershwin Theater so they could perform on stage? More please!
Blaine only arrived at the end but that awestruck, sappy look he was giving Kurt made me clasp my hands and sigh. It says heaps that this, for me, is probably the most healthy relationship on the show. Do you see this Rachel? This is how you’re supposed to be treated! And Blaine even said I Love You! Granted that phrase was thrown around alot this episode (To parallel Regionals last year, Rachel this time L’ed Finn instead of the other way around) but Blaine and Kurt were sincere and bashful about theirs. I’ll take it.
Guess whose been sneaking around since prom! How utterly and totally random. They’ve been so ninja about their secret hook up that no one suspects a thing! Maybe Kurt does when the two arrived at the coffee shop. Mercedes and Sam acted a bit too nonchalant. They even held hands while lining up to get their coffee on! If you’re still confused about this pairing, don’t worry. I am so with you. For some reason this reminds me of Puck and Lauren – awkward and uncomfortable. Did they just decide to stick Mercedes with the only single guy left who wasn’t pining for anyone?
Brittany speaks the gospel true
The voice of reason this episode came in the form of my favourite, deadpan ex-Cheerio. Her monologue to Santana at the end, about glee club being about family and acceptance, was sweet and a nice reminder of what glee used to be about really. Before the teenage angst and hormones took over and it became about swapping boyfriends and Mr Schuester’s love life (which no one cares about).
Quinn slapping Rachel last episode was not okay. This girl be crazy. I loved how Brittany looked afraid when Quinn flipped out in the hotel room, saying how Nationals meant nothing to her because no one loved her. Right. This led to Brittany and Santana (I assume) cutting off Quinn’s hair, which I think looks cute on Dianna Agron, but no one else in New Directions seemed to notice the change. Also while earlier in the episode she was breathing fire about Finchel, at the end she welcomed them with a cheery smile on her face at the end.
Special mention goes out to Noah Puckerman, who was the first one up to hug Mr Schue when jheri curl announced he wouldn’t be abandoning them for Broadway. If only that speech he delivered to Finn about the big Jewish Elephant in the room had been a pep talk to himself about asking Rachel out. Bonus points for the lack of Pizes.
My Cup – Brittany’s original song was the best of the night. Who else could make you sing along to a song about a cup, honestly? Plus Puck’s facial expressions at how into it Brittany was was gold.
Bella Notte – Mark Salling and an accordion? I’m sold! Glee should do more Disney in the future. Though I don’t understand how Finn and Rachel failed to see the four boys belting this tune out behind them. Did Finn ask them to do this? Why did they even agree?
For Good – The Hummelberry friendship anthem! While Defying Gravity was more powerful, I think this one was slightly more emotional.
Yeah! – Don’t judge me alright? It was a nice twist on Usher.
I Love New York/New York, New York – I couldn’t tell the difference between the two songs but everyone looked so happy singing it, so therefore I’m happy too!
Light Up the World – I didn’t like this at first. It has grown on me though and it was the better of the two original songs, mainly because it showcased their strength as a group by letting others take the lead. Not as good as Loser Like Me though.
Pretending – Not as good as Faithfully. And that kiss at the end, which apparently everyone thinks cost them a top 10 place (see Jesse St James, who called it unprofessional and vulgar), just added to the Finchel distaste.
As Long As You’re There – Why is Sunshine still here? I didn’t know this was an original song. Sounded like 90s Whitney except Ms Houston would have done it with more soul.
Still Got Tonight – Generic waste of time. Why does Matthew Morrison get to sing his own songs, but Mark Salling doesn’t get the same opportunity? Salling could have sung something from Smoke Signals or Pipe Dreams and knocked it out of the park as one of his original songs. Shame on you Ryan Murphy and Co. We already know you have favourites, but you don’t need to make it even more obvious.
What did you think of the season finale? Were you shocked, unlike I, when New Directions didn’t take home the trophy? Did you enjoy the original songs in this episode? Excited for next season? Give me your TwoCents here or on Twitter @aswordsworth!