Glee 322 Recap: Goodbye,You Strange Singing Creatures

Well if there’s anything I like better than riding my bike off a cliff, it’s an hour-long season finale allegedly focused on the impending high school graduation of a mixed-gender crowd that somehow manages to be all about BOYS. Oh wait, I’m sorry — MEN! Once, they were boys, and now they are men. How did they become men? By supporting each other. Because that’s what men do. Yay men!

Anyhow, this week’s episode didn’t knock my socks off. However, it didn’t inspire me to strip down to my socks and run drunkenly through a glass door, either. It was, all-in-all, “okay.” To be honest I think this show has worn me out to the point where I’ve been unable to make any meaningful commentary on it for some time now, and I apologize. I’m doing my best, I swear.

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We open in the Hallowed Hallways of McKinley High, where the Glee Club OG (“Original,” not “Olive Garden,” my former employer) can be heard performing “Sit Down (You’re Rocking the Boat),” a medley which serves to subsume Mr. Schuster’s fuzzy head into brief nostailgic hallucinations, like this one, from back when Kurt still had that unfortunate haircut and Tina still had lines:

were we ever so virginal?

Alas, the children are no longer children, are they Mr. Schuster?

were we ever so sexually experienced?

After glumly intoning that there’s nothing left to do or prepare for, Schuster scrawls “GOODBYE” on the whiteboard and assigns his students to prepare tear-jerking songs for each other to celebrate the end of Season Three — the underclassmen must prepare a “goodbye song” for the seniors and vice versa.

it would've been funnier if he'd written "goodbye, you stupid bitches!" on the whiteboard

Mercedes: “Part of me wants to lock these doors and stay in here with everyone forever.”
Brittany: “We could use the wastebasket as a toilet, and then we could eat Joe for the food, since she’s been here the shortest so we know her the least.”
Quinn: [to Will] “I really hope you’re about to rap.”

No, worse — he’s going acoustic on a stool with “Forever Young” and it’s fine, maybe even good, but we don’t really give a shit, ’cause it’s Mr. Schuster.

it's so easy to say goodbye to yesterday

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We then cut to that ol’ familiar Hallowed Hall of McKinley High, where Kurt’s monologuing about his personal development for those of us unconvinced that any of these children have played out actual character arcs.

Kurt: “When I first got to McKinley, I was afraid to make eye contact. I didn’t talk about my politics, I didn’t share what was in my heart, I — oh, let’s just call the cadillac pink and be done with it — I was in the closet. Most days, I was also in the dumpster.”

kurt gives himself a facial, circa season one

Kurt: “But McKinley has made me a stronger, more socially conscious fashion-forward person. and perhaps I played a small part in making it okay for tadpole gays all over Lima to be themselves in public — not a bad legacy for somebody who once pretended to be in lust with Rachel Berry so he wouldn’t have to date Mercedes Jones. Now if I could just get through the next few days without turning into a hot mess teary trainwreck…”

omg don't you just LOVE adam lambert's new album?

Kurt then trots into the McKinley High Auditorium to meet up with Burt Hummel, who is taking another one of his exceptionally long lunch breaks to chit-chat with his homosexual offspring.

See, Burt’s got a “graduation present” for Kurt, and it’s not a Lamborghini. Is it a pony? It’s not a pony.

but i wanted to go home with the homo

It’s a dance!

Burt’s been exercising his dancing shoes with Tina Cohen-Chang and Ms. Brittany S Pierce  to create a near-re-creation of Kurt’s glittery gay “Single Ladies” situation circa 2009:

So that was nice and weird and cute or whatever, and Kurt says it’s the best gift ever, even though it’s not a pony.

We then cut to another strangely abandoned classroom where Blaine’s getting antsy regarding his future with Kurt.

Blaine: “We’ve been putting this off for far too long but don’t you think we should have the talk?”
Kurt: “Can’t we just have two final days of denial?”
Blaine: “No! No, we cannot. This is happening right now, kurt, it’s not some far-off thing in the future. You’re graduating, I’m not. You know how hard long distance relationships can be. We both saw The Notebook.

but is it possible I might go to posh 7 nights a week and sleep with strange men? well, define "possible."

Kurt: “You wanna know how I picture the end of my life? Just like in The Notebook, I’m sitting in a nursing home talking endlessly about my high school sweetheart, my first love, going on and on about every little detail as if they matter. Only in my version, he’s there with me, telling me I should shut up so he can watch The American Cinematheque Salute to J-Lo.
Blaine: “So, we’re gonna be alright?”
Kurt: “Yes, we’re gonna be alright. I told you I’m never saying goodbye to you. We’ll figure out this whole long distance relationship thing.”

Best evidence that they’re gonna be alright: Blaine just managed to transform a conversation about why they’re not having The Talk into “The Talk.” dotted-divider2

Cut back to Glee Club, where Kurt intros his sure-to-be-dazzling tribute song by thanking everybody, “but especially the men in the room, who never saw me for the things that made us different. You only saw me for the ways we are the same. Because in this room it doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight, what matters is that we’re friends.”

women, on the other hand -- i mean, ew, right? ew girls!

Yeah what about the girls who never saw him for the things that made them different, but the ways that they were the same, because in this room it doesn’t matter if you’re a boy or a girl, what matters is that they’re friends. What about that? What about your Hags, Hummel?!

I’m completely unable to participate in the emotional experience of Kurt’s Madonna cover due to my slack-jawed awe at how blatantly — yet invisibly to those not paying attention to such things — this show’s obsessed with its own manhood. Also he’s doing the assignment wrong, so.

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Cut to the Hallowed Vanishing Hallways of McKinley High, where Rachel’s wetting her Tuesday panties over the acceptance and/or rejection letters arriving shortly for her, her gay best friend and that vertically blessed pile of peet moss the kids refer to as “Finn Hudson.”

i'm even wearing the headband that inspired "my headband" for good luck

The trio pinky-super-promise to rendez-vous in the choir room and open said letters together, which’ll undoubtedly be happy for some and sad for others.

kurt will bring his marc jacobs letter opener

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Also in the Hallowed Hallways of McKinley High, Sam has raided Party City and buried his ambitious girlfriend in a mountain of purple party balloons to celebrate today’s preposterous and insane development regarding the future of a McKinley High senior: an “indie label” representative in Los Angeles saw Mercedes singing “Disco Inferno” on YouTube and wants her to do backup vocals for somebody, somewhere.

i mean, they haven't seen this hat yet, so there's a possibility they could change their minds

In yet another terrific feat of policy-defying college admissions stunts, Mercedes demurely adds that she’ll be taking “extension classes” at UCLA, the second-highest-ranked public university in the entire country.

Santana says if it was anybody but Mercedes, she’d be super jealous and bitchy about it, but she truly believes Mercedes deserves it and therefore deserves a hug, and everybody knows that the point of a hug is to make your boobs touch.

a) wow that must be special for you, b) oh god, him too?, c) well isn't that precious

Sam enthusiastically notes that Mike’s future is also looking bright bright bright, and he’s correct as Mike Chang is actually doing what Mike Chang would do if Mike Chang were a real person.

Mike: “I was all set to go to Alvin Ailey but then The Joffrey in Chicago called and offered me a scholarship.”

and between you and me, i can tell you right now on the record that joffrey actually exists

Tina jovially adds that Santana must be creaming in her skort about swapping out that filthy Cheerios outfit for whatever fantastic uniform University of Lousiville’s got up their non-existant sleeves. “Yeah, I can’t wait!” says Santana in a voice tht suggests she could totally wait, possibly forever.

to be honest with you, i'd rather study brittany's inner thighs than any part of Kentucky

And thus, Santana’s stormy VaLima monologue begins:

Santana: “This is so embarassing. I’m a star. So what am I doing heading to Kentucky? I’m just as talented as Mercedes, Boy Chang, Berry or Lady Hummel. Thank G-d for Mom. She’ll know what to do.”

…and just like that, we cut to Gloria Estefan partaking in breadsticks & lettuce at breadsticks with Good Ship Brittana.

three girls, one cup

Much like the rest of us, Brittany’s remained in the dark regarding Santana’s “coming out to her parents” experience and is undoubtedly rapt with attention as Maribel delivers the scoop:

Maribel Lopez: “When Santana finally said, Mami, Papi, I’m gay, all I could think of was ‘I should’ve known’! When she was 8 she went trick-or-treating as Uncle Jesse on Full House. Spent three years growing out that haircut — business in the front–”
Both: “Party in the back!” [laughter]
Heather: “So you really didn’t care?”
Maribel Lopez: “I care that my baby’s happy.”
Santana: “I wish Abuela felt the same.”
Maribel Lopez: “I know, it sucks, mi hija, but you don’t want a person in your life that doesn’t support your dreams.”

…or who was only on contract for one episode. Anyhow, something’s clearly weighing on the mystifying mind encased in Santana’s beautiful melon, and it’s about Kentucky:

Santana: “I don’t wanna go to that cheerleading program at the University of Louisville. I wanna go to New York.”
Maribel Lopez: “Go to college, Santana. Do what i never got the chance to do. New York will still be there after you’ve earned your college degree.”

brittany, not in front of mom, you dirty devil

Maribel Lopez: “Brittany, I understand you got into Perdue University?”
Brittany: “Not the University, the poultry farm. Plucker is a studied profession but I can’t go to either because I’m not graduating.”

It’s hard to know what’s more shocking — that we’re re-introducing the Chicken Plucker joke from two weeks ago or that Santana’s unaware her girlfriend is flunking out, big time.

see this is what happens when we don't get any lines, ryan murphy, we end up missing important pieces of information such as this one about each other

Santana: “What?!!”
Brittany: “Yeah, I was kinda glad when I found out that I was flunking ’cause it’ll give me a chance to do my senior year all over again, and way better! I’ll show up to my classes this time. Plus I’ll get to be a two-term senior class president.”
Santana: “Why are you acting like this is okay? and why didn’t you tell me?
Brittany: “What did you think was going to happen to me? I have a 0.0 grade point average.”

she could maybe do something like this

Let’s not dwell on the fact that Brit-Brit would’ve failed to move forward academically from 9th to 10th grade, let alone 10th to 11th or 11th to 12th, with a 0.0 GPA, and move forward to My Ideas For Brit-Brit. See, here’s the thing: Brittany’s a pretty good dancer. And just like playing football or being a model, dancing is a talent one need not attend college to pursue.

So, I think Brittany should give a local college a whirl, and if the experience flops, I suggest she move to Los Angeles and try out for So You Think You Can Dance. She may only make it to the final 30, but she could still segue that into, oh, I dunno, a spot as a backup dancer for The Beyoncé Experience world tour. Obviously she’ll kill it, and end up working again with Beyoncé on a mini “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” promotional tour which will land Brit-Brit on a series of impressive soundstages, such as the American Music Awards, Saturday Night Live, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Today. Perhaps Brit-Brit will even snag a spot doing backup for Beyonce and Tina Turner at the Grammys, or get some small parts dancing in films like Fired Up and on television shows like Eli Stone and Swingtown. 

Who knows, maybe one day she’ll get a gig teaching the “Single Ladies” dance to the cast of a new program about high school showchoir and the producers will like her so much that they’ll bring her into the main cast. And then she can say goodbye to the Chicken Factory and Lima forever.

Speaking of Lima forever:

Santana: Well, maybe if Brittany’s staying in Lima, I should stay, too.”

Maybe this is just what we do at the end when the future seems too scary to bear — we freeze and cling to the nearest human being because that human being is the only thing we know for sure that we actually want. The rest of it is just so big and scary and unknown. The whole world.

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Cut to Glee Club, where the Seniors have prepared a little number for the baby squirrels, namely “You Get What You Give” by the erstwhile “New Radicals.”

Straight out of the proud farmlands of Lima, Ohio, a bucket of Silage slurps itself into a human form wearing an American Apparel hoodie, and then exclaims with unnecessarily ragey fervor: “THIS IS YOUR GLEE CLUB, TAKE CARE OF IT AND IT WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU!” Yes — the Silage is Finn Hudson!

The song begins and it’s a lovely cover, besides Finn’s parts — which are basically all of the parts — but it seems without Brit-Brit they’ve been unable to coregraph any dance moves and therefore spend the entirety of the song walking forwards and backwards with occassional timeouts to awkwardly fondle the underclassmen.

Let me explain this dance to you: Rachel and Mercedes, holding hands, approach Artie and Tina. Rachel grabs Tina’s hands while Mercedes does a sort of hands-off standing-from-a-distance lapdance for Artie, and then Rachel touches Artie’s chin, and then Mercedes points at Blaine and they give each other “HELL YEAH” faces.

Mike Chang then bows before his blushing Tina Cohen-Chang, Quinn hurls herself upon Teen Jesus for two seconds, gets up, and then stands real close to Artie, clutching Artie’s face as Artie clutches her upper arms and they make strange affectionate faces at each other, and then Puck gives Sam a high-five and then Puck gives Sugar a HELL YEAH point like they had sex yesterday or something and then — AND THEN — Puck attempts a Moonwalk that embarasses everybody in the room.

brittany also finds this gross and puzzling

Oh, I’m not done, it keeps going — Puck then wraps his fist around a tuft of his signature mohawk and dramatically lets go of said tuft while jerking his head backwards, a movement which apparently holds deep significance for Sam, who cheers like HELL YEAH!, and also for Artie, who shakes his head like, “Oh that Puck, always messing with his mohawk during strange musical numbers!”

Then Santana jaunts jubilantly towards her girlfriend, grabbing both of her hands and swinging back and forth while Brit-Brit remains in her chair, and then they hug, and then — AND THEN — Santana leaps gayly over to Mr. Schuster and violently tousles his hair.

hugging: it's the new kissing

Then the entire Senior Gang descends upon their young classmates, hands rife with germs and disease, in order to pull said classmates onto the dance floor and arrange them in a circle. The upperclassmen then prance around the circle of underclassmen, continuing to sing and oddly touching each other.

At the song’s end, the seniors take the seats and look meaningfully towards the juniors who stand in the middle of the classroom wishing they’d brought that anti-bacterial lotion to class.

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Cut to one of McKinley’s many abandoned classrooms, where Finn and Rachel have inexplicably set up shop for wedding planning and are choosing chairs — Rachel wants to sit in the nice expensive chairs, Finn wants to sit in the not-nice cheap chairs, and I want them both to sit on a knife.

someone needs to let rachel know that she'll be standing for the majority of the ceremony

Rachel: “I compromised on the food, I compromised on the location, I compromised on the flowers, does my butt really have to compromise on what it sits on.
Finn: “Maybe what you’re really upset about is that you’re compromising on your husband.”

That’s what I’m really upset about, actually, so thank you Finn.

Unfortunately Rachel refuses to see the cold hard truth, instead insisting that they’ll wed and be together forever and barf ew ugh whatever.

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Cut to more-or-less my worst nightmare, which’s a Finn voiceover echoing through the Hallowed Halls of McKinley High.

i've made it through four whole years of school without amassing even one ounce of humility. hell yeah bro

For his VaLima Monologue Finn’s inner voice congratulates Finn on his Total Amazingness and concludes:

Finn: “I’m getting married to a great girl and moving to New York to chase my dreams with her and my gay stepbrother. And how do I know? Because I nailed my “Inside The Actor’s Studio” audition with the main dude himself.”

And cut to James Lipton, the main dude himself, in some imaginary theater in some imaginary place during some imaginary time —

So Finn, if heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

James Lipton: “I was very moved by your letter and application, Finn. You’re no doubt aware that you would be an exceptional case, should we accept you?”
Finn: “Yes.”
James Lipton: “Why don’t we start with your dramatic monologue.”

Thanks for the nod for this being a Master’s Program, Glee writers! Unfortunately, Finn’s clearly unaware of what that means.

ask me what my favorite curse word is again

We continue on Finn’s Great Adventure to Mr. Schuster’s office, and honestly I’m surprised the room doesn’t implode on itself from the airsuck of these windbags occupying the same enclosed space. Finn’s unimpressed with Schuster’s yearbook signature, because didn’t he also tell Becky Jackson to have a cool summer? And is that fair?

bros 4 lyfe

Schue, weighed down by the immense burden of having a boner for Finn Hudson, says writing his true feelings for Finn would make him cry or something, which is pathetic, and then Mr. Schue unloads:

Mr. Schue: “Finn, wait, I need to tell you something. Something I would rather not have written down anywhere. Please have a seat. Um, when I first took over the glee club we needed a male lead, i heard you singing in the shower in the locker room, REO speedwagon, you were really good, so I planted the pot in your locker and blackmailed you into joining glee club. It was wrong, and though I can’t argue with the results, I’ve always hated myself for doing it. I’m very sorry, Finn, I wanted you to know the truth before you left, so.”
Finn: “You are so much cooler than I ever thought you were.”

Teacher of the year, ladies and gentlemen. Teacher of the Year!

dotted-divider2 Cut to Finn’s very own home, where Finn and his mother are discussing something related to Finn, so therefore I don’t give a flying fuck, but speaking of flying, I think Finn wants to join the army to make his Dad proud of him, or whatever. Yawn.

Finn: “Everything seems like it’s falling into place, everything but him.”

i understand that you're having doubts about your chosen career, finn, so let's get this out of the way: you're a terrible actor

I’m obviously very pro-this-army-plan, as it’ll make cavorting with a Bohemian Broadway Belle highly inconvenient and will up the chances that Finn might step on a land mine within the next 6-8 months.dotted-divider2

Cut to the Glee Club, and speaking of Finn — because really, who else do I ever want to speak about — in the spirit of Kurt Hummel, the juniors have forgone the assignment to “say goodbye to the upperclassmen” in favor of saying goodbye to just some of the upperclassmen.

Or, in this case — one.

Artie: “With all the dedications being thrown around McKinley this week, there was one we wanted to make sure didn’t get missed. Finn — right now you’re somethng I never thought possible when I first rolled down these halls. You’re my friend. Our friend. Even before Glee Club ws kinda cool, you had our backs. You were on the football team, you were one of the most popular kids in school, you had a lot to lose and people forget the sacrifices you made. We want to thank you.”

don't you worry my little friend, finn has been plenty appreciated for his myriad accomplishments

FINN GIVING UP BEING THE MOST POPULAR GUY IN SCHOOL WAS A SACRIFICE? You ever been waterboarded? That’s a sacrifice.

john lennon is facepalming in his grave over this

The underclassmen then proceed to blasphemize The Beatles’ “In My Life,” which is a lovely song and it’s quite well done, but I still can barely believe that the underclassmen have also betrayed the assignment in favor of a Finn Hudson circle-jerk. I suppose Michael Jackson’s estate has fallen on hard times as of late, but they really shouldn’t be allowed to do this to The Beatles.

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We then return to the VaLima Monologues, taking place as always in these dear dear dearly hallowed halls. Now we’re onto Quinn opining on the slings & arrows of her career at McKinley.

and to top it all off, i just bought this hat

Quinn: “Who would’ve thought I’d end my McKinley days right where I started — back on top. I got into the school of my dreams AND we won Nationals. Plus, I’m feeling stronger every day. Everyone else is so emoitonal, but I don’t feel that way. I guess I’ve cried enough tears for three graduations. Or maybe it’s just hard to get weepy when I look at my friends.”

everybody laugh like you're reading this recap instead of being in this show

Quinn: “They’ve grown into such incredible people, nothing’s gonna stop any of them — well, maybe one of them.”

Who could that be?

that guy

Puck? Sigh.

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Cut to the bathroom, the only place on earth where Quinn and Rachel can talk to one another woman-to-woman surrounded by the stench of rotting urine, discarded sanitary napkins and festering bowel movements. No seriously, they only talk in the bathroom.

just think, if you didn't spend so much time looking at yourself in the mirror, we'd never have had so many opportunities to have heart-to-hearts and meaningful hugs over the sinks

Quinn: “This freshman just gave me a hug and told me to never change. Poor thing is too young to realize that change can be so good. Think… if we hadn’t changed, we would’ve never been friends.”
Rachel: “It’s still so weird, having you call me a friend.”

Miraculously somebody fact-checked this scene and Quinn bequeaths her beloved with an actual gift that makes actual sense — a Metro-North pass to New Haven, so Ray-Ray and Quinndolin can visit one another all year long.

this is so nice because it means i'll have something left over for Auntie Annie's

Having sealed that deal, Quinn announces she intends to “give back” and by “give back” she means “help Puck with his geography test,” which’s a strange yet mysteriously popular method of “giving back” in these parts.

no seriously puck if you really haven't learned this stuff by now you should probs just drop out and clean pools

See, Quinn’s determined that Puck’s failure is linked to his declining confidence, and all he needs to get his confidence back is attention from a lady, and as ladies exist primarily to fix the men in their lives, we all know where this is going.

remember the 20 times i told you that you were the biggest mistake of all time? pretend like that never happened

Quinn: “I would’ve never given my virginity to this guy. The Puck I fell in love with had swagger, and you know what questions Mrs. Doosenberry is gonna ask you so you just need to get your confidence back so you can get all that stuff out of the roach motel.”
Puck: “And how am I supposed to do that?”
Quinn: “Like this” — [she kisses him] “You have to remember the guy you were when we first met.”

please turn into a prince please turn into a prince

Quinn redeems Puck and gives him magic, and Puck strongly saunters back into the hallways while monologuing that a kiss from a hot girl “can bring you back to life, like CPR but with tongues.”

He declares himself an “All-original, grade-A badass, and tells the test to “get ready” because he’s “about to make Puckerman your daddy.”

but at the end of the day, i'll still have this haircut

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We snap on over to a quick Sue/Roz interlude, in which Roz suggests that although they have nothing in common, they have one thing in common, and that thing is hating Principal Figgins, so shouldn’t they work together to kick that ish to the curb? I hope so!

"ship it like fedex" -intern grace

Roz makes a crass joke about Sue’s boobs, exits, and her airspace is quickly filled by Quinn, dressed as always for a garden party and holding a dry-cleaned Cheerios uniform.

and as you can see, the box in the middle of the dress serves to lead the viewer towards my secret erogenous zone

Sue’s got some honestly quite-lovely words to share with Dear Quinn:

Sue: “You keep it. I’m retiring this uniform. Sit. You know when I first laid eyes on you, Q, I thought you reminded me of a young Sue Sylvester. But looking at this amazing woman sitting across from me right now, I realize I was wrong. You’re nothing like me. Youre better. Sure, I’m as smart as you are, and I’m every bit as pretty, but somehow you’re slightly less evil and I admire that. I admire you, Quinn Fabray. I admire your perseverance. You’re gonna go so far, kiddo. And I’m gonna ha ve the best time watching you do it. And I’m gonna get to say, hey I remember her from way back when, way back when she was getting Ryan Seacrest tattoos and lying about who the father of her unborn child was.”

Aw.

Quinn: “I’m gonna miss you.”
Sue: “I don’t see how that’s possible, but thank you.”

Did you hear it, reader? Did you? I did. I heard Jane Lynch talking to Dianna Agron. I understand if you missed it over the boring drone of information being communicated about Puckerman’s Geography Test. He passed!

look ma, no hands!

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Okay, time to graduate!

later we'll be playing "the red sea" during a rousing rendition of "Go Go Go Joseph"

McKinley High has somehow stuffed everybody’s families and the entire underclassmen student body into a tiny auditorium, and can I just suggest that the football stadium would’ve been a more befitting locale for this event, but nobody cares what I think, as illustrated by the fact that Santana is wearing a gown and Brittany isn’t lying on top of her.

somebody confused "graduation photoshoot" with "graduation"

Puck leads us in Bruce Springsteen’s fantastic anthem, “Glory Days,” as Extras cheer and our dearest dearest Glee Clubbers make their various entrances and all the parents played by actors that weren’t busy that day are in the audience and everybody is so full of cheer!  Also Kurt has an evil bug made out of glitter on his robe, just saying.

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Following the ceremony, Kurt/Finn/Rachel meet up in the choir room to open envelopes and see who got Anthrax this time.

faces of pre-meth

Sheesh, wouldn’t it be so stressful if college admissions decisions actually weren’t doled out ’til graduation day? Like if this was how it really happened? I probably would’ve gotten rashes on all my body parts.

Finn goes first.

damn, i should've applied to the university of loserville

Finn: “I didn’t get in.”
Rachel: “It’s okay.”
Finn: “Please, somebody else just open theirs –”
Kurt: “I’ll go next….”

didn't get the golden ticket

Kurt: “I didn’t get in. I didn’t get in.”
Rachel: “Oh Kurt, I’m so sorry.”
Finn: “Your turn, Rachel.”

I hope I get it...

Rachel: “I got in.”

And although you’d expect her oafish boyfriend-like creature and her gay bestie to take a time out from their endless characteristic self-absorption and congratulate Rachel on making her own dreams come true, they both kinda half-smile, like total assholes. And SCENE.

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We return from a relaxing commercial break to find Rachel VaLima monologuing about how wonderful everything has turned out — she won Prom Queen, her team won the Show Choir championship, she’s gonna marry that quarterback she molded out of play-dough and varnished in her E-Z-Bake Oven AND she’s on her way to Broadway! But there’s still something holding her back —

Rachel: “I can’t bring Finn to New York. He’ll be reminded of his rejection every day. And being there without Kurt would be like remaking Beaches without the Bette Midler character. So, I’ve decided — I’m deferring my acceptance to NYADA for a year and working with both of them on their applications and auditions to guarantee we’ll all go there together next year.”

um, ew

Rachel: “I’m actually thankful for all this. I used to think broadway was my one and only love. I’m so glad something has made me come to my senses.”

Um.

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In another shady & hallowed hallway of McKinley High, Maribel Lopez is delivering Santana her graduation present.

couldn't she have given santana the graduation present at home

Santana: “Wait, hold up, have you had this money the whole time? Why aren’t you driving a Lexus?”
Maribel Lopez: “I’m not driving a Lexus because for the past 18 years, I’ve been saving all my extra change, tax rebates and Christmas bonuses so I could help you pay for college.”
Santana: “But I got a scholarship.”
Maribel Lopez: “If you coulda told me that 18 years ago, I would’ve bought more shoes.”

Santana is, of course, pensive about this whole exchange because despite its formidable ranking on the Campus Pride Equality Index, nobody ever got famous in Kentucky.

Santana: “You know what, keep it then. Go on a trip with Dad or something. I don’t need it. I told you, I don’t wanna go to college.”
Maribel Lopez: “Then use it to go to New York. I trust you, I trust your dreams, and your talent, and I pity anyone who tries to get in your way.”
Santana: “Are you serious?”
Maribel Lopez: “I would love for you to go to college. But it’s not my choice. This is your first moment of adulthood, mi amor. From now on, it’s up to you.”

Wow! Well, Abuela may be a bit of a letdown, but Santana’s got a really awesome Mom in her corner. I hope we see more of her.

but i will be checking the village voice every week to see if you were actually studying or if you were actually partying at choice cunts

The cards are falling into place…

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…and cut to Finn picking up Rachel so they can go get straight-married, have ten bilion lizard babies and start a potato farm to grow as many mini-Finns as possible.

you know, just because you look like a lemur doesn't mean you have to drive like one

But instead of pulling up to the church, Finn pulls up to the train station. Rachel’s clearly not enthused about marrying in the Parlor Car (the chairs, for starters, leave much to be desired), but marriage isn’t on the menu today after all, surprise!

Finn, in cahoots with the Fatherberrys, have arranged for Rachel to hightail it over to the Big Apple and pick a nice little hovel in Greenpoint where she can spend the next four years making vlogs with Kurt and eating carrot soup on the floor with Quinn when she visits from New Haven. I assume she’ll return to Lima for the remainder of the summer, but I guess we’re supposed to not think about that.

Rachel’s not into this plan, she panics, because Finn is that thing she’s holding on to, like I said before. In times of great uncertainty, we cling to the only things we know we still have. But Finn’s gonna rise above it —

Finn: “The thought of you being stuck here for another year beacuse of me makes me sick.”
Rachel: “Then come with me. We can get married in New York, and live in a little shoebox apartment together, it’ll be so romantic.”
Finn: “Do you love me?”
Rachel: “Of course I do.”
Finn: “Then tell me the truth and not just something you think I wanna hear. Are you 100% sure you wanna marry me?”
Rachel: “No — no one is 100% sure of anything.”
Finn: “I am.”

Ooops.

look rachel, you deserve to have sex that lasts for more than 30 seconds, and i can't give you that

Finn: “I am that sure you’re something special, that this is just the beginning for you, okay? That you’re gonna do amazing things but to get there, you gotta have these experiences on your own –l listen to me — I –”
Rachel: “Are you breaking up with me?”
Finn: “I’m setting you free!”
Rachel: “Oh My God”

Lea Michele squeezes every last emotional ounce possible out of this scene, and the result is a ridiculously believable situation, maybe the first conversation I’ve seen these two have that actually rung true.

but now i'll have to hire movers

Finn: “Look – do you know how hard this is for me? How many times I’ve cried about this?”
Rachel: “No, I’m not going. I’m not going, not without you.”
Finn: “You don’t have a choice, I can’t come with you.”
Rachel: “Well then I’ll stay here, I’ll go wherever it is that you’re going?”

This seems like a good a time as any for Finn to break the news that their only chance of being together is if she’s cast in the Middle East Tour of “Hairspray.”

Rachel: “You’re joining the army? Are you insane? I can’t believe that this is happening right now.”
Finn: “You’re gonna get on that train and you’re gonna go to New York and you’re gonna be a star. Without me. That’s how much I love you. You know what you’re gonna do? Surrender. And I know how hard that is for you becuse of how hard you hold on to stuff, but but we’re just gonna sit here and we’re just gonna let go, okay, and let the universe do it’s thing and if we’re meant to be together then we’re gonna be together, whether it’s in a little shoebox in New York or on the other side of the world. okay? Can you do that with me? Can you surrender?”
Rachel: “I love you so much.”
Finn: “I love you.”

And for the first time ever, he’s showing it.

and then finn accidentally ate rachel's hair

As Rachel emerges from the car miraculously unfazed by the fact that she’s being delivered a billion miles from home with a tiny pink carry-on, she breaks into “Roots Before Branches,” and she cries her way through it towards the platform, where her friends are waiting, dressed like a bunch of total inbeciles.

get me away from these outfits

No really, what happened in the Costume Department today. Blaine’s cardigan appears to have been attacked by a red-crayon-yielding toddler excited about parachutes, Artie has turned a copy of National Geographic into an actual jacket, and I seem to recall memorably appalling outfits adorning Kurt and Emma in this scene, as well.

goodbye to clocks ticking and mama's sunflowers

We then proceed gayly onto the train and Finn does that annoying thing I hate where people run next to a train waving like Poppa’s going off to war…

mercedes is about to strangle artie, look! somebody stop her!

…and then Rachel saunters onto the train, still cry-singing, and before you know it the train lands in New York City and Rachel undertakes bizarrely ill-mapped journey from Grand Central to the Theater District to Bryant Park, I think, and you know, there she is in New York City. HURRAH! Without Finn!

really excited about all the vegan food

I’d wondered how, exactly, they’d gotten Lea Michele to sign on for another excruciating season of this program — but this makes sense, doesn’t it? She’s gonna be given her very own show-within-a-show! It’s gonna be Rachel’s show. And Santana will be around, and Kurt will be around, but it will be the Rachel Show. Could be fun, you know?

And thus completes Season Three of Glee. It’s been a pretty terrible season, all-in-all, which is why as much as I’d like to pontificate on the future of Glee for a few paragraphs, I cannot, because I need to go stick my head in the oven. Put a fork in me. I’m done.

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Riese is the 39-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

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71 Comments

  1. that mr.shue song is worth sitting for the quinntana moment tbh

    i mean i was about to skip it but then santana was all “hey q” and then quinn was all “hey s” and brittany looked really bummed cause no one said hey to her

    • Every time they show Mr. Shue onscreen, I make involuntary gagging noises and have to look away. That happened a lot this episode. Apparently, Mr. Shue’s grossness made me miss a moment. Damn you, Mr. Shue.

  2. I think it’s time for me to say what I say every time. I hate you, Glee. I hate you violently.

    A friend pointed out last night that Finn’s dad was wearing a Marine uniform in his photo, not an army uniform. That may be why Finn has been so unsuccessful in restoring his dad’s honor. He’s been writing to the wrong branch of the military this whole time. Poor Finn. He is dumb as a box of rocks. And now Finn will join the army in an attempt to give honor to his marine father. And his whole life will be pointless.

    Glee is so good at research and fact checking.

  3. I liked where the main characters ended up, for the most part, but I hate how they got there. Like, Rachel would not have gone to NY if Finn hadn’t pushed her to do it, which is just such a load of crap I can’t even. I hope to God having Rachel in NY and Finn elsewhere next season brings the real Rachel Berry back to us b/c I am tired of this pod person. Also Santana had better fucking go to NY so that the best fanfic I’ve ever read can come true. Basically I hope season 4 is the Rachel/Santana/Quinn show.

    Also, Rachel would not have arrived at Grand Central on a train from Ohio, she would’ve arrived at Penn. That bothered me the most, I think.

    • I was mostly pissed at how they revealed the desires of the other Glee characters that are not Finn, Kurt, Quinn and Rachel during the very last season of the episode. We never heard what Mercedes or Santana wanted before today, and Mike got that one exposition episode and was promptly forgotten about again. I don’t even care about Puck, but we don’t know what he’s doing, either. Why is it that the black and Latina characters don’t want to go to college?

  4. I can’t believe that everyone dropped everything to help Puck graduate, but nobody batted A SINGLE EYELASH at the fact that Brittany was failing. ANGRY. And Santana didn’t even know about it?! Please. Never in a million years.

    Do Quinn and Rachel ever talk about anything other than the fact that they’re friends?

    I think the thing I found most exasperating, though, was the ridiculousness of the graduation ceremony itself. I mean what was that.

    • My headcannon to make me feel better about Santana not knowing is that Brittany is a genius who sucks at school. The missing Brittana scenes we never get to see are where she shows her true genius.

      Nevermind the fact that we’ve seen Santana in classes with her. Nevermind that she’d totally know if her girlfriend/best friend was failing tests when they sit together. It works otherwise. >_>

  5. I’m so glad this horrid season is over. We get a multi-episode arc about Puck maybe not graduating and yet no one gives a fuck that Brittany isn’t graduating, and how did Santana have no idea that Brittany had failed all of her classes.

  6. the best thing about this whole episode was that these words came to be written:
    “…and cut to Finn picking up Rachel so they can go get straight-married, have ten bilion lizard babies and start a potato farm to grow as many mini-Finns as possible.”
    i hate myself for getting obsessed, excuse me- emotionally involved, in the lives of these fictional characters. so glad it’s over for now. i hate these fucking people. god help us all.

  7. I was really hoping their graduation would go the way of Buffy’s graduation (that is to say — spoiler alert! — awful educators being eaten by giant snake monsters and the high school being destroyed) but really, Rachel and Santana in NYC with Quinn a train ride away and Finn in another hemisphere is the best possible season ending that doesn’t involve Buffy/Faith subtext.

    Also, I stopped watching Glee after this season premiere, but these recaps have caused me so many laughs, so thank you!

  8. *puts on tinhat*

    So, can we talk about the fact that L. Quinn Fabray just spent a total of $800 ($400 each) to purchase train tickets to make sure that she and Rachel will “stay in touch”?

    And that when she says that Rachel and Finn are meant to be together, they break up, but any resistance Quinn has shown to them only reinforces their godawful plans for marital union?

    So. What I’m getting is that Faberry is endgame.

    *takes off the tinhat*

    I fucking hate this show.

  9. The thing I couldn’t get over is how it could possibly be ok for Finn to pretend to drive Rachel to their WEDDING only to BREAK UP WITH HER INSTEAD. Also, let her go back to her house and pack for real, c’mon!

  10. “Maybe this is just what we do at the end when the future seems too scary to bear — we freeze and cling to the nearest human being because that human being is the only thing we know for sure that we actually want. The rest of it is just so big and scary and unknown. The whole world.”
    I love you, Riese

  11. I don’t think I have ever hated a character more than I hate Finn. I knew the finale would focus on him a bit but dedicating a song to him for his sacrifices? I couldn’t roll my eyes enough. The only reason I watched this show was for Santana which I’m not sure is enough to get me to watch another season.

    • Finn embodies everything I hate about everything. No fictional character has ever so frequently caused me to explode into paroxysms of rage. I think it’s because the writers seem to have no clue of his utter awfulness. I COULD NOT BELIEVE THAT THEY DEDICATED THE BEATLES SONG TO FINN. I was like, “wait! is this happening on everyone’s screen, or is someone playing a deeply cruel trick with the specific goal of undermining my ever-fragile mental well-being?” GAH, and when he said he hadn’t hurt anyone real bad with that stupid motherfucking smirk (flawlessly mocked by Chris Colfer in last week’s freaky friday episode, by the way!), I threw up in my mouth.

      I’ve just realized that Finn Hudson is the embodiment of the White Man’s Burden concept. Does that make sense?

      • Yeah, “In My Life” is one of the most beautiful songs by The Beatles/of the entire 1960’s and they fucking dedicated it to Finn. I threw up in my mouth too.

        On a happier note, I think it’s foreshadowing and I think he’s going to get killed off somehow next season. And I have to say I think it’s looking like they might pair Quinn and Rachel too. They seem to be leaving that door open.

        Maybe the show was intended, however unfunny and tone deaf it ended up being, as a commentary on the death of white male heterosexual privilege, as personified by our favorite mindless lump? Either way, FAIL.

        • Like the writers would have thought to use foreshadowing! (And it’s even less likely that they had the ability to think of making Finn the representation of the kyriarchy). If Finn ends up dead, it’s not because they planned for it.

          But I cannot deny that you should be writing for Glee! It would be a lot more interesting. And there would probably be a storyline to follow.

  12. Before I saw the episode I thought I wouldn’t go crazy, I’d just respond to the episode with a simple “ugh, gag me” comment that I imagined would be appropriate enough. It was, but I can’t just say that… I CAYNT. I don’t even know where to begin – luckily you covered most of the killmenow moments or I’d type forever. The episode should have been called “Goodbye Finn” forreals.

    I just can’t understand the exaltation of Finn and his sacrifices. Didn’t they all get slushied? Even Brittanaquinn, who joined for the wrong reasons, had more to lose when they stayed because they were *actual* champions with the Cheerios. The football team were literally losers anyway. Not to mention the original five who kept the club in existence and did all the hard work so that there was something for all those morons to join anyway. Yes, they’re ALL morons, because they let the Finn praise happen.

    I actually thought this episode would be a tad sad… reminding me of the show I liked when it started. Instead, in a fitting finish showing what this show really is, I had conniptions at all of the scenes that were meant to be heartwarming, and laughed at all the scenes that were meant to be sad.

    On another note, Sue’s “re-varnishing your hair helmet” line to Roz Washington did give me the lolz. Entertained by one minute, in forty. Jeez, I can’t believe I made it through this season.

  13. Somehow a show celebrating outsiders turned into a show about pretending that straight white boys are who run around being racist and homophobic are actually awesome people, and celebrating them for it. This crap is now served to us weekly, and we keep coming back for it because of the delicious, if miniscule, side-dish of gay storyline that comes with it. These are sad times, my friends, sad times.

    • There are so many wrong things about this show post-1st season that I can’t even…

      But this is what bothers me the most: “a show celebrating outsiders turned into a show about pretending that boys who run around being racist and homophobic are actually awesome people, and celebrating them for it.”

      And the fact is, these characters were not always like that. I remember at some point Finn (who now I simply can’t bear) being a sweet dumb. That’s what he was: stupid. He just didn’t have enough information to work with, but I don’t think he was supposed to be the selfish a-hole portrayed later.

      I don’t know what actually made the producers change their minds about the characters, but I don’t blame the writers (I think they had to work with what they had in hands, at that moment). I guess the problem is FOX, actually, and who FOX sees as audience: gay boys and teenage girls (who mistake their crush on the actors by their actual roles – a.k.a. “The Finn” and “The Blaine” shows).

      But I’m glad about these recaps! They are the only thing that will make me watch (or not) an episode next season.

      • NOOOO, I Blame the fucking writers, Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan.

        The ridiculousness the show has become is tremendous. Crap writing is one thing, but crap writing combined with rubbish research (any 1st year uni student could research better than them idiots) and zero effort to make the show even semi realistic is another.

  14. I think you totally missed the point when they were opening their acception/rejection letters. Firstly, props to the writers for not sending them all to New York – it would have been too neat and perfect. While Kurt getting rejected was really surprising, his silent expression seemed a lot more realistic than him going “Ah wow, well done Rachel!”, skipping up and down on the spot. His expression instead was a mixture of hurt, envy, and happiness for his friend. It’s hardly being an “asshole” if you’ve just had your dreams dashed and you’re blatantly upset.

        • Except, you know, she didn’t? When Kurt got his “I’m a finalist” letter and told her about it she was all “Yay! Now let’s talk more about how miserable I am!” As ridiculous as the entire NYADA storyline was, they set it up so not getting in amounted to their entire dreams being dashed etc etc. I think that merits a moment of “characteristic self-absorption”, jesus christ.

      • Like that time when Kurt got his finalist letter and Rachel still hadn’t and she took all of five seconds before she was crying on Kurt’s shoulder? And like when she choked but Kurt got a good response from the Dean and all that was shown was how sad and unhappy she was and we got nothing about Kurt getting to be happy? Their friendship has always been written unequally, the NYADA arc has been all about Rachel and this last scene where Kurt got no more lines after “I didn’t get in” and Rachel couldn’t even take some time to talk to her best friend about how hard it must be to have, you know, all of his dreams come crashing down, just proved how much the writers didn’t care. It really wasn’t Rachel who was written as being done wrong by Kurt, by any means.

        I love how the lesson for the show is you get rewarded and lauded for being a straight white dude no matter how awful and homophobic you are, but if you’re a bi girl you don’t count and if you’re a gay kid, you never win anything no matter how hard you work for it.

        • Oh yeah, good point. But I guess we expect that from Rachel, for her to be incapable of being happy for others, like she paints herself as self-obsessed, ruthlessly so, so her reaction to Kurt doing well when she didn’t was predictable. Finn on the other hand is allegedly this bighearted guy who puts others first, so you’d think he’d be more happy for her. But I guess finn is never who they keep telling us he is, that’s why we hate him

  15. Kudos to Glee because that break up scene was the first Finchel scene that I liked in the three seasons this show has been on air.

    Bless Q Fab. She’s gonna go to Yale and flourish into a beautiful lady lover and her weird obsession with Rachel Berry will finally make sense. :)

  16. I’m sorry, but it’s total bullshit that Kurt didn’t get in but Rachel did. He did a great job at his audition and Rachel choked. Is it because she had more extra curriculars on her application? The glee universe is a confusing place.

    Also, was there even a point to season three at all? Like, really…nothing happened.

  17. “Maybe this is just what we do at the end when the future seems too scary to bear — we freeze and cling to the nearest human being because that human being is the only thing we know for sure that we actually want. The rest of it is just so big and scary and unknown. The whole world.”

    Oh lord, Riese. You write so well. This was one of those moments where you read something and suddenly the preceding two years of your life make sense in a way they didn’t before.

    Who knew there could be such profundity in a recap of the Finn Hudson show?

  18. You know, I might have been sad about the end of it, but I was still Raging over the fact that Kurt did Amazing in his audition and Rachel Stiiiiiiill got picked over him. Like really?? wth??

  19. I guess it’s good to know that if you fuck up your audition, you can just stalk the Dean throughout the midwest until they agree to give you another chance, then screw over everyone else so you’re the featured person at that performance and the deck is massively stacked in your favor! I’ll keep that in mind for future interviewing need-to-knows.

    Burt doing Single Ladies and Mama Lopez were the only things of worth in this episode, which is further proof for my hypothesis that Glee should just be a show about singing homosexuals and their parents. Though Gloria should get to sing next time.

  20. I can’t lie, it validated my experience as a baby gay with a mullet to hear that Santana also rocked one once upon a time. I think I was more trying to channel AC Slater from Saved by the Bell though.

    However, I find it unlikely that she was idolizing Uncle Jesse at 8 when that would have been like 2002, 7 years after Full House went off the air. I know, that’s nothing in the grand scheme of Glee ridiculousness, but I’m just saying.

  21. While I am glad Rachel is not ruining her life for finn, it still just feels like once again finn got to take away a personal choice from a woman in his life. There was no discussion, he told her they were breaking up and that he had decided what she should do with herself instead. It was all for her own good because her knew what was best for her even if she didn’t want it.

    • I felt that way too! Like, I am so happy that’s the decision he made, but I was furious because he took all of her agency away and told her to do what he wanted her to do. He even told her to “surrender”! What the actual hell?

  22. Gosh I hate this show so much, even just skimming it these days I still hate it.

    I felt like the entire last sequence of Rachel stepping foot in NY would have had a more lasting impact had the show given us THAT Rachel Berry in the last year. The Rachel Berry I met in the pilot, that’s the girl I would have been so happy to see finally get her NY dream and be all filled with happiness in seeing that last scene, instead I was left with “well you went and screwed it up again Glee, I can’t even care that Rachel made it to NY cause you stopped making that important 50 episodes ago”

  23. I hate this show so much now. I had to pause it several times because I couldn’t get through some of the painful parts. When the finale was over, I just felt relief because now I can stop watching it and just check some recaps at the end of season 4 to see what happens to Tina.

    -I mourn the death of the original Rachel Berry. Perhaps she will return in Season 4.
    -Hopefully Army for Finn means that he’s not going to be around.
    -I hope Tina does actually become the lead female vocalist for the glee club next season. She’s earned it, goddamnit.
    -When, exactly, did Rachel steal Kurt away from Mercedes?

  24. It pains me to read all of this because it’s so true. I try to explain to my friends that Santana and Brittany (and lowkey Santana by herself) and Kurt and Blaine are there reasons that I watch the show. But I’m suffocating. The problematics are just such atrocious it hurts. Are they aware of what they are doing? Do they care?

    This show, I still have to believe, has potential. To be subversive, even in its indentured servitude to mainstream tv.

    Where are the misfits? There’s more of us than there are them. Where is the allegiance to the first audiences that gave a musical a chance, that gave Ohio a chance, that gave really intense costume designers a chance?

    I’ve sat through so much waiting for Glee to pull its shit together, to do what it seemed it set out to do. Center the margins (still only very lowkey). But I guess I put too much stock in FOX (mistake the first and always). It’s just a damn shame that I have to troll the internet and bad tv to find something remotely dignified, of color, and queer-all together. Begging for scraps like Glee.

    It’s been real, Glee. But you hurt me. And I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if it hadn’t seemed like it started off to help.

    I bid you a serious and sad farewell.

    As for the recap, that was fantastic and that poetic line was quite inspiring. Write on!

    Lastly, any QPOC, Lesbian of color, or outshining queer white films and/or series to suggest?

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