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Glee Season Finale Review: Pomp and Circumstance

by at . Comments

After a little pomp and circumstance, Glee feels like it just grew up a little bit. I can't lie. I might've teared up during "Goodbye." (And by "might've," I mean I totally did.)

Graduation episodes are tough, especially when no one's really going anywhere, but tonight managed to balance the simultaneous excitement and uncertainty of the future for our favorite seniors.

Will on the Guitar

First, where are our seniors headed:

Mercedes' YouTube video has landed her a recording contract as a back-up singer on an indie label. Mike Chang is off to Chicago. Santana's mother, played by Gloria Estefan, gives her blessing for Santana to forfeit her cheerleading scholarship and pursue a career in music in New York. Puck passes his geography test, thanks to a kiss from Quinn, and Brittany gets to repeat her senior year. Forever. Her grade-point average is a 0.0.

Rachel, Finn and Kurt haven't heard from their schools yet and agree that when they get their letters, they'll all open them together.

When those letters come, it's bad news for Finn and Kurt and good news for Rachel. Which is actually bad news for Rachel because now the three of them won't be together in New York.

(And that's what you missed on Glee?)

Here's a pet peeve about all of this college acceptance that's been going on this season. Quinn's is the only one whose timeline fits with when normal colleges send out their acceptance letters. Maybe performing arts schools are different, but these letters arrived after graduation. It bugs me that these kids are graduating and they don't actually have plans in place aside from "here's what I want to do." Maybe I'm just overthinking it. If this is my biggest complaint from the episode, we're doing okay, right?

Anyway, Mr. Shue's assignment - say goodbye - felt right. Just as the writers have been returning to the show's "glory days," with the story lines and their character-centric focus, tonight's episode let us get back to the old, eclectic feel of Glee music and away from the theme-of-the-week schtick that's plagued the show. It was nice to have songs that were fun, fit the characters and weren't current Top 40 hits. (Except for the Taylor Swift number at the end.)

What else felt right about this episode? The flashbacks to the first season. The original members singing "Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat" was nice, but what was really great was Burt Hummel's graduation present to Kurt. Seeing him dance to "All The Single Ladies" and seeing scenes from Kurt's original trip down Beyonce' lane was funny, and it was perfect for this father-son duo. There's something about their pairing that has always worked well in the midst of story lines that seemed very broken.

The thing that felt both right and wrong was that whopper of a scene at the end.

Finn broke up with Rachel so she could pursue her dream.

Here's a girl who knows that nothing can stop her. She's got nothing to lose in waiting a year to go to New York. But then, just like that, her fiance' takes that option off the table by joining the Army, the one place he knows she can't follow him, and conspiring with her fathers and her friends. Finn's "I'm letting you go" was crushing, as was this:

You're going to get on that train, and you're going to go to New York, and you're going to be a star. Without me. | permalink

We knew it would happen. That it would have to happen. There was no way the two of them would get married. But still, in that moment, I felt the heartbreak of teenage love all over again. When Rachel put it all together and figured out what was happening, I felt it with her. I sat here biting my nail nervously and hoping the tears welling up in my eyes didn't spill down my cheeks. I like these two together, for whatever reason, but I know that young love isn't always endless love, and so, this was necessary.

That scene coupled with the shots of her walking through the city, while it was a bit indulgent of Rachel Berry's character when this is an ensemble cast, felt strangely adult. It felt like a new beginning, which is hopefully what we'll have when the show returns this fall.

Give the finale a grade in our poll and then tell us what you thought of tonight's episode.

 

Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (308 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Also, @Kimmie: The Cheerios win every year, that's not a big deal. My high school graduation was in an auditorium and they didn't call by last name (rather by concentration, then top 50 gpa). But I do agree with a lot of what you said. Bad finale.

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I defend every episode of Glee. I really do. I was honestly expecting a horrible review from you guys tonight. I hated this episode. I thought it was sloppy, quickly thrown together, with way too much loose ends. Cliffhangers are one thing, but this was different, it was just messy loose ends. Definitely my least favorite episode of the series. I didn't care that Rachel and Finn broke up. Not a huge fan of them.

Kimberly anne

- The Cheerios won their championships yet there's no celebration for them as it only gets casually mentioned by Coach Ross.  I'm sad that this is an end of an era, but this season finale went about it all wrong. Nothing clicked and worked and if we really think about it, Glee didn't really accomplished anything new. This is the downside to having such a big cast with only one hour of air time per week. I love Glee as a show, Brittana is my favorite couple, and Darren Criss is so hot, but critically, the writing on this show is getting worst and worst. I'm just sad that this is how the season finale has left me feeling.Â

Kimberly anne

It's redundant, its tiring, it's useless, it's NOT WORKING.  Other notes
-Rory wasn't in the episode so was he telling the truth about being deported after the school year? 
-The Finchel scene in the car was amazing. It was very touching. 
-Glee ruins logic! At a high school graduation, they call the students for their diplomas alphabetically by their LAST NAME! Glee can't even get that right. 
-No high school graduation plays music like that. The students sit in chairs! 
- Caps and gowns are pre-ordered and the students pay for them, yet somehow in the magical world of Glee, Puck takes his test in the last week of school and gets his own caps and gown for graduation that is in the same week. IMPOSSIBLE!Â

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I think it was actually a true testament to how much Finn loves Rachel by letting her go, it had to have been hard. But it will be better off for the both of them. And like Finn said, if they were meant to be, they will be. I have a feeling this is not the last we will see of Finchel.

Kimberly anne

This isnt fair to them.  I also get that Fincel is the main couple but it is unjust how they seemed to be the only couple that we actually saw got some sort of closure. We don't know what's happening with Klaine now that Kurt didn't get into Nyada. Santana wanted to stay in Lima with Brittany, but now she gets the chance to go to New York, we don't know how Brittana will be affected. So Quinn and Puck kissed and there is still feelings between them,  are they or aren't they?!?! 
This is what frustrates me about this episode and Glee in general. They are leaving with SO MANY unanswered questions that they SHOULD have addressed in the finale.  I was very frustrated by the ending. I have nothing against Rachel but her performance did NOTHING for the episode. The Glee writers just don't get it anymore, ending with a song isn't always the best idea. There were a million other things they should have aired yet they chose to show the last few minutes of Rachel singing. It's redundant, its tiring, it's useless, it's NOT WORKING.Â

Kimberly anne

THIS WAS A VERY BAD FINALE!
This season finale was very special from the first two finales because it centered around graduations for half of glee club. I was anxious to watch it because I knew it would be touching but at the same time just like tribute episodes, it would take us no where in terms of storylines. In many ways I was correct.  Too MANY songs!! We get it, it's graduation, there's no need to put in these redundant performances. It completely were useless and only took away the time that the writers should have used for the plot lines. It took away from the emotional aspect.  I get that many people love Klaine, but it is not fair how other pairings of a junior with a senior, such as Sam and Mercedes, Mike and Tina, and Quinn and Joe? were not focused on at all. So Mercedes is going to California, what's going to happen with Sam and Mercedes? Mike is going to some college I forgot the name of, will Tina and him do long distance? Were Quinn and Joe ever official? This isnt fair to them.Â

Glee Season 3 Episode 22 Quotes

You know how hard long distance relationships can be. We both saw The Notebook.

Blaine

Our work here is done. There's only one thing left to do. Say goodbye.

Will