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Glee Season Finale Review: What a Journey!

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Forgive any typos in this review of the Glee season finale. My keyboard is still wet from tears shed during the group's "To Sir, With Love" tribute to Will.

I kid, but only slightly.

That song was the best moment from a nearly perfect episode, as Glee got away from specific, character-driven, theme installments and focused on New Directions as a whole. When each member offered up a one-sentence description of who they had been before the choir was formed, viewers could go also reminisce and consider how far this show has come...

... in just one season! It feels like it's been on forever, doesn't it? It's been quite a journey, so let's go over this aptly-titled finale ("Journey)" below and try to make some guesses about season two.

After Regionals

More Shelby ahead? For most of her stint on the show, it seemed like Glee was more focused on hiring Idina Menzel than making much sense of her character. One second she wants to meet Rachel, the next second she suddenly realizes how much of her daughter's life she's missed.

For such a major storyline, Shelby and Rachel's relationship felt rushed and scattered. But perhaps her adoption of Quinn's child will give both Shelby and the series a chance to correct her missteps. We have to see more of her next season now, right?

A chance for Wemma: Get your singing shoes on, John Stamos, you've got some competition for Emma's heart in the fall! The real question here is: Which "I love you" was more moving? Will's to Emma, or Finn's to Rachel?

How Sue sees it: I may have been in the minority, but I was never a fan of Sue's storyline with her sister. It felt manipulative, like an overt way of proving that there's an actual human being underneath that track suit.

But her decision to vote for New Directions at Regionals and then to extend the program for another year fit in perfectly with her character. It gave her heart, and a vital role, within the episode's main storyline and it made sense based on what we know about her, too.

Sorry, Olivia Newton-John, but Sue Sylvester is a mega celebrity in our minds. We've already pre-ordered her biography, "I'm a Winner and You're Fat."

The only area this finale loses points in was the strange duet between Vocal Adrenaline and Quinn's labor. The cutaways just felt disjointed, as viewers were supposed to be glaring at Jesse and his group one moment (like Rachel, oddly left behind at Regionals, for storyline purposes only), and then emotionally invested in the opposite direction in Quinn's experience the next.

I can understand, though, how the show wanted to give Vocal Adrenaline a major number, without focusing for so long on New Directions' competition. If Jesse and company were gonna win, we needed to actually watch their performance. This device allowed Glee to cover two storylines at once.

It's also hard to be too critical when Jonathan Groff is given such a platform on which to perform for a solid five minutes straight. His character also never truly found momentum (did he ever love Rachel or not? Why did he turn into such a villain after he successfully fulfilled his mission of uniting Shelby and Rachel?), but I'll miss Groff as Jesse.

Although I won't miss my wife constantly staring at him and telling me how much she wished I could sing.

In the end, there's no way New Directions could have won Regionals. The group must maintain its underdog status for at least another season. Therefore, the finale wrapped up perfectly, both emotionally and logically. I'll have more to say about it in the TV Fanatic Glee report card, so let's turn it over to readers for now.

What did you think of the episode? Browse through Glee quotes from the hour as you decide!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (256 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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I was really looking forward to the finally and the perfomance at regionals. I was more than disappointed when it ended up being just "a two person" performance. I was expecting a lot more tag team throughout the set.

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Jonathan Groff needs to come back and not only because Jesse didn't have a proper closure, but also because he's so talented. He's a great singer, actor and dancer, and he's also charming and good looking. God, someone must get Finn out of the picture and give Jesse all his screentime. Jesse/Rachel became almost as popular as Finn/Rachel and people adore Jonathan and Jesse (even after the writing mess that was Funk). I hope Ryan Murphy is aware of that.

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Jesse! Jesse! Jesse! Ryan Murphy! Please bring Jesse back! Jonathan Groff is amazing!! They're both so compatible with each other. Change the storyline. No more Rachel/Finn. Rachel/Jesse please :D

Shrimpie

I feel like rahcel/jessie sotryline needs to be explored some more. Rachel was at her best when she was seeing jessie. Their chemistry was off the charts compared to finn. Bring jessie back and give them another chance!

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@anonymousjoy321 I actually thought Mercedes going in was quite realistic, considering that she's been living with her for however long. Also Mercedes was the only one who optionally supported and gave Quinn a place to stay which would mean a lot after being kicked out by your own parents, and it being more of an obligation for the boys who she had her fair share of troubles with.

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@anonymousjoy321: Puck's a teenager, I think his reaction was realistic. Though I do agree with you. He should've held Beth :) More Jesse please!!!

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@SJ what is wrong with you? Could this be an overreaction? I agree with @Lyn, Puck and Quinn had the sweetest I love you scene because neither of them have said it to each other. And I think the birth scene mixed with Bohemian Rhapsody was terrific. The only issue I had was Quinn asking Mercedes to be in the room, don't get me wrong, I love their friendship. It just didn't feel right to me. And I wish Puck would have been slightly more integral to that scene, not comic relief, and that he would have gotten to hold Beth. Finally, I hope they don't mess up what they've got because the b9 was really messed up in continuity.

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I think Puck to Quinn was the most moving I love you personally.

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@ I Thanks for the name, Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, I wrote it down and will look it up and also look for it (wondering what else would be on an album). I had never heard the arrangement before (or don't think I've heard the song done by anyone other than Garland before ... except for a lot of man-on-the-street style interviewed people who all knew all the words and broke right into it in a National Public Radio story on their news program a few years back -- the point of the "All Things Considered" story was that it was a sad and lonely but hopeful and believing song that people remembered all their lives from their childhood ... and even had a truck driver sitting in the cab of his semi singing it for them). And I guess I was thinking how the writers had Jesse say to Rachel that although her "Don't Rain On My Parade" was well done, that she lacked Barbra's emotional depth -- which Rachel agreed with enthusiastically (like an unnecessary I-am-unworthy kowtow to the legends of the business).

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Wonder how Rachel feels about her birth mother adopting Quinn's baby?
I wish they hadn't turned Josh Groban into a weird creeper (in this episode and his previous appearance)...

Glee Season 1 Episode 22 Quotes

Your hair looks like a briar patch. I keep expecting racist, animated Disney characters to pop up and start singing about living on the bayou.

Sue

I realize my cultural ascendance only serves to illuminate your own banality. But, face it, I'm legend. It's happened.

Sue
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