Glee's Season 3 Finale: A "Hot Mess Teary Train Wreck"

Glee S03E22: “Goodbye”

Actually, Glee's goodbye-laden finale was quite good, capping off a third season that for me has been really hit-or-miss. Kurt Hummel just happens to have a way with words that is delightful and needs to be pointed out constantly, especially since he didn’t make it into NYADA, despite Madam Tibideaux fawning all over his audition back in “Choke.”

Rachel and Finn owned the spotlight—again, as usual, and of course—but looking toward Season 4, I’m very interested and concerned with where Kurt will end up. Rachel’s acceptance to NYADA, despite the setback of her flubbed audition, was a given, and I was certain that Kurt’s would be too. After all, he’s Rachel’s male counterpart—though less annoying and courting a cuter boyfriend. His rejection from NYADA was one of the more jarring moments of the finale. Will he stay in Lima? Will he go to New York anyway? I don’t have a preference either way, but in the event he finds himself in the middle of rural Ohio come September, I’d love it if Glee could possibly not make that out to be some sort of personal failure. Throughout this entire season, the outgoing seniors of McKinley High have regarded the possibility of staying in their hometown after graduation as some sort of death sentence. Admittedly, as a high school student in a rural Pennsylvania high school, I felt largely the same way about my own hometown. But as Kurt found out in “Goodbye,” life happens, sometimes things don’t go exactly the way you planned them, and, to quote my 11th grade civics teacher, “It’s okay, you’re not a bad person.”

So, Rachel and Finn. Ouch. Where to start? Rachel got into NYADA and Finn didn’t get into The Actor’s Studio. Neither of these points were a surprise whatsoever, but I was still expecting the episode to end with wedding bells. It’s Glee after all, and this season, the show has been all about making me cringe. Don’t feel bad Finchel, Naley over at One Tree Hill made me shake my head like a grumpy old lady when they tied the knot in high school too. Not because it’s unrealistic, because it’s totally realistic (rural Pennsylvania high school, remember?) but because it’s a bad idea.

At the same time, Finn, bro, what the hell? There’s a right and wrong way to bail on wedding plans and letting your fiancée think you’re driving to the ceremony right before you take a detour to the Amtrak station is not the right way. With that said, I loved the “Roots Before Branches” cover. Also, Rachel’s hat. Not so much her plastic Barbie roller luggage, but I definitely loved her hat.

With Rachel off winning at life in New York City, Finn went to Georgia to join the army. Mercedes went to LA to become a back-up singer, her YouTube video having been discovered by an agent. Quinn headed off to Yale. It sounded like Santana was going to ditch her cheerleading scholarship and blow the fund her mother spent her entire life hoarding on, um, something in New York. Look, I complain about blowing $40,000 on a degree no one wants all the time, but I’d still say it was a better investment than just winging it, especially when you could get your degree for free. But whatever, we’ll see what happens. Puck graduated after all, squeaking through geography with a C+. Brittany has to repeat her senior year because of her astounding 0.0 grade point average, which is impressive in and of itself. I mean, typically, you have to try to fail your classes that thoroughly.

Glee’s Season 3 finale managed to tie up quite a few strings while simultaneously untying a few that we thought were tied up tight. When it came to getting me excited about the things happening on the screen right at their given moment, it fell short, but when it came to cultivating a rabid anticipation about the things to come in the future, “Goodbye” was excellently executed... kinda like high school graduation in real life, right? The ceremony itself is actually pretty boring. The afterparty is where the fun’s at.

Gleeful Thoughts:

– Mike O’Malley dancing to Beyonce will never cease to be wonderful.

– Sue told Quinn that Quinn reminded her of a younger Sue, but “less evil.” Aww. That was sweet. I think.

– Favorite musical performance this week? Hmm...gonna have to go with “Roots Before Branches” for its appropriateness and “Glory Days” for the hilarious irony of its inclusion in the big graduation scene. Pay attention to the lyrics!

Yeah, just sitting back trying to recapture / A little of the glory of, well time slips away / And leaves you with nothing mister but / Boring stories of glory days.

It’s not a happy song. It’s about a sad man sitting in a bar thinking about how much better he had it in high school. Intentional or unintentional, I thought it was hilarious. What was your favorite performance?

– Schue and Emma didn’t tie the knot before graduation after all. Are we sensing a big, fabulous wedding in Season 4?

– How about Roz and Sue’s plan to oust Principal Figgins?

– Anything else you’d like to see in Season 4?

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The Boss!
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Kurt has a wonderful father and an awesome boyfriend, he also HAD an ideal future in New York - I mean, he had almost no problems in this season, despite other kids from Glee. Maybe the writers wanted to tell us that life just can't be that good for smbd. Maybe Ryan Merphy decided to do a "twist"...



My favourite song from this episode was Kurt's - very touching, really wanted to cry at the end...



It's odd, but I don't want to see the school w/o Figgins - he's quite a fun!



As for the cast, at first I thought that we wouldn't see Rachel in the next season, but then Merphy said that ALL the characters would stay, so now I don't know what they're going to do...
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only the character Sam Evans will be leaving all others will be back next season
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Actually, Finn, Rachel, and what's his name.....Kurt? Are all leaving to College.......did you know that Mike Chang in real is actually the oldest of all of them? Haha, he's 29. But yeah. Finn, Rachel, And Kurt r all leaving. idk bout Sam tho.
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great! then nbd, don't like sam anyway.



in fact, i would cut several other characters, who, i think, didn't give anything to the glee-verse: sugar, rory, whatshisname with long dreads...



finchel, klaine and brittana should stay, but i don't care very much about the rest.
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Season 4 episode 1 we all find out season 3 was all in Rach's head lol
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Next Season; The kids from Glee stand on a street corner singing out their resume.
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Anything else you'd like to see in Season 4?



... The cancellation of "Glee".
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Not a great season finale, but they left us with some good cliffhangers. I'm pretty excited about season 4 :)
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So apparently all the cast is back for the next season yay! :D i wonder how they are going to twist the show around to show what the graduates do...hopefully its still good :D
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On;y 1 character I read will NOT be back is the Sam Evans character
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BUT WHAT ABOUT SAM EVANS?! You know the Kentucky fried stripper?
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Is there going to be a Season 4? Apart from a few comments here & there in the episode, this really felt like a series finale. Who do you build the show choir around next year? Blaine, Artie or seriously underused female Asian character? It should be really interesting to see what happens from here, and if the leaving class members even have a role to play in a show about a high school Glee club.
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good review. im so gad britany is staying behind. Im still waiting for Finn to get hit by a truck though. Really hope i never have to see his face in season 4.
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you talk a lot of kurt not my favorite character, im kind of worried because i dont know who are the principal characters anymore, where the season 4 will go?,focus on Glee club or focus on the ones that are now left, or both, what do you think
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you people are so cynical. It was soapy and romantic, like endings are. I was suprised and delighted by the ending. Lea's acting was right on. My only complaint was why didnt Gloria E. do a song? Kurt's dad gets a song but come on Gloria! Am interested to see what they will do with all that talent leaving. Bring on more Smash
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I for one hope that Emma and Will will have the wedding but according to the creator tht may not happen.
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I was very disappointed that Rachel didn't do the Mary Tyler Moore hat throw.
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I was waiting for that!! lol
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as was I!
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The Eppy was okay. Wasn't happy they treated the Mercedes character like a two headed stepchild. I don't think she even got a solo did she?
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She got the solo in the first season with "I am telling you I am not going" (I think that's lithe name os the song) but other club sing this in the competition first so Rachel sang "Don't rain in my parade"
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I was honestly hoping for more Blaine and Kurt action but i loved the season finale! I do think that there was a tad bit too mutch Rachel and Finn but I think it just made the episode better. Their break-up was so surprising!! But it was a good choice. I love and hate how they just ended the episode with Rachel walking in New York. WHAT HAPPENS TO HER??? WHAT HAPPENS TO EVERYONE ELSE!!???? I'm SO tuning in for season 4!! I LOVED IT!!!
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It was okay but still fell short to me. Some of the people's little wrap ups were so quick that I didn't know what was going on with them until others told me afterwards and I actually was paying attention the entire time. I also hated that it was so Rachel focused. I think that's annoyed me the most over the course of this series thus far. RM makes it a point to mention that the show's most pivotal characters are meant to be Schue and Sue. Sure. Fine. I would have believed that based on Season 1's focus on Shue and the kids through his experiences with them...made sense. But then somehow it became about Rachel. Rachel singing everything. Rachel being the butt of jokes. Rachel's love for Finn...Rachel somehow becoming Kurt's new best friend. (I secretly hated that one because although Kurt and rachel as friends is nice...I hate the fact that it seriously impacted the Kurt and Mercedes friendship that seemed like a staple for this show...also it sort of lead to Mercedes being one of the (many) underused characters in the show). So the finale was mostly about Rachel. And rachel sort of got what she wanted. I found it highly implausible that she would have gotten into NYADA after all of that...and Finn and Kurt didn't get anywhere. Sure. Whatever.



That all said the Finn and rachel scene at the station was heartbreaking and really great. He essentially made the right decison in letting her go. I think that's what made it so difficult to watch.



Mercedes Jones with no college plans? I don't know..it just seemed OOC for her. Also...did we miss when her and Sam officially became a couple again? Are they a couple again? It seemed like they implied it after the youtube thing and didn't even bother with it since then.



I didn't even know Brittany was supposed to be a Senior. At least with this episode there was finally some clarification on who was what because up until this point I didn't know. I also found it amusing that the pairings were predominantely mixed class romances. Sam's a jr and Mercy is a sr? Mike is a sr but Tina is a jr? Blaine is a jr (which for the longest I thought he was older but okay) and Kurt is a sr? Oy. I would have loved to have seen some of the others' families...or seen a more traditional graduation scene. I also would have loved to have seen something more inclusive of everyone when it came to the great sendoff...instead of everyone just wishing rachel a farewell. But it was okay enough. I'm curious as to what Season 4 could possibly look like at this point.
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i would assume sue getting her cheerios back would be enough for her to not have any hard feelings towards figgins.



it was said none of the cast is going away next season, so everything other than the graduation i though was pretty boring. i felt like the way santana looked at the photo of her and brittany, while her mother mentioned first adult choices, implied she would be staying for her.



this show isn't really a best drama contender so i think whatever moves are made regarding season 4 will be both obvious and not big changes whatsoever, at least now with the news that everyone will be back...



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The Sam Evans character won't be back next season but from what I heard the rest will
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After some stinkers and some head scratchers this season I'm so glad that the last few episodes have steered Glee into its absolute best form. I really hope that this wonderful form can be maintained into next season, but it will be difficult. Don't forget Sue giving birth as another event to kickstart Season 4.
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I got a little disapointed because there was no Good Riddance in the episode! I really hope they had made it and realease the video in YouTube!
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If Rachel, Finn etc are not in season 4 I think I'm done with Glee....
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Rachel and Finn will both be in Season 4. Together, IDK. Hopefully not. Thank god finally.
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These last two episodes of Glee have been the best ever for the show. Finn made the right decision to let Rachel go and we'll just have to see if they'll ever connect again. Probably the most selfless decision and thought it was done well. Heartbreaking for sure but Rachel was meant for Nyada and Broadway. I doubt Finn will actually get into the military since how the hell would they write that unless he'd get killed.



Very surprising Kurt didn't get in and think they blew that.



This next season they have to show the Irish guy and his gal that never use to be able to sing. They're barely ever featured so I can't remember names, haha. And Chord Overstreet was barely featured at all but I'm sure season 4 will finally do that. I mean Mike had finally been featured some from being just background in season 1.



I think season 4 will be strange showing the goings on of the graduates, yet featuring the choir in HS and a new batch of kids.
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I was so disappointed in this finale! The writers have really dug a hole for themselves that I'm interested to see them climb out of. First of all, how could Kurt not get into NYADA?? And Finchel may be over?? But what really made me upset was the exclusion of "I Was Here" and "Time of Your Life", those were the only songs I was looking forward to seeing. I'm gonna have to watch the episode again because I hated it the first time around, well the ending at least. The first half hour was perfect.
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I just don't want to see Rachel. New year let's be realistic and bring new people. If from time to time Britnney is talking to santana and blaine is with Kurt then that is realistic(plus they're good characters). But I'm sorry, Puck,Queen Rachel and Finn(and sort of mercedes) have nothing left in their high school to come back to. people really don't do that in real life(not that people whose audition went like Rachel and Kurt end up with those results in real life). It's time for the writers to realise that they lose a whole lot of people by focusing way too much on such an annoying couple as Finnchel.

I just realise I forgot Mike and Tina and that's sort of a given 'cause THEY HAD NO PLOT FOR THREE SEASONS.

Tina sang at sectionals once, and had 3 other songs(Dogs Days, true colors and the one in the dream). The episode which supposedly answered this problem had her litterly 'getting knocked some stupid into her' and apologizing before half of it was over. No comment being made for Mike being a jerk to her or how this is not the first year that it's all about Rachel.

Seriously, If they're going to try and feature rachel in all or most eps next season I'm dropping this show(not a threat, just an opinion, I'm an oversee watcher anyway)
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It was good. Way too much Finchel, but it was good. Even though I'm not a fan of either character, the whole last ten minute scene was really good and it was acted terrifically.
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I liked last night's episode but as usual there were some parts that annoyed me. How the hell does Kurt who did good in his NYADA audition not make it and Rachel who choked and stalked Whoopi Goldberg does? I call shenanigans!



I had a feeling Finn wasn't going to go to the acting school. Him wanting to be an actor is completely random when he had shown no interest in it before. I'm glad he's joining the army to redeem his father because that's the one thing he honestly knew what he wanted to do. The storyline with his father seemed like it was pushed aside so I'm glad they brought it back. I just don't appreciate Rachel making it seem like joining the army is the worse thing he can do.
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Returning next season are Tina, Blaine, Brittany, Artie, Sam, Rory, Sugar, Joe, Will And Emma. They'll meet new members of the cast as Tina and Blaine are going to be new captains of New Directions. Tina and Emma will sing more solos, but Emma needs to marry Will sometime in season 4 of this show.



I know this "Goodbye" episode is an offshoot when Rachel and Finn break up right after Kurt and Finn were rejected from New York than Rachel. The breakup was convincing, but it was kind of too forceful. Rachel is on her own in New York.



But if there is the next Nationals which city will it be in?:



- Chicago

- Detroit

- Boston

- Philadelphia

- Miami

- Los Angeles

- San Francisco

- Washington DC?



It's up to you, but make it like the season 3 nationals!
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You forgot to include Dallas or San Antonio. (Yes, if y'all can't tell, I'm from Texas, and therefore, proudly biased.)
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since Sam isn't graduating yet, can we PLEASE have Glee get meta and have Chord Overstreet do "I Like To Dance" by his brother's band Hot Chelle Rae at the next prom? why haven't they thought of this before?



thought it was hilarious how Brittany said "what did you think would happen? i have a 0.0 grade point average" lol which is true, i had been saying "how it Brittany going to graduate" since season 1.. and I'm glad Sam and Blaine and even Artie aren't seniors this season, personally I think all of them are stronger vocally than Finn and Puck.. but I'll miss Mercedes, Quinn and Santana, and Rachel too but it seems like her, Kurt, and Finn might still show up from how they've been talking over the season.. Burt doing the Single Ladies dance was hilarious, and Sue being super nice to Quinn and both of them crying made me almost bawl my eyes out and Gloria Estefan being Santana's mother was GENIUS.. and I can't believe Finn joined the army and dumped Rachel. idiot. but whatever, honestly Finn never knows what he wants anyway, this is like the 2nd or 3rd time he's dumped her.



however, I'm pretty appalled that Vitamin C's Graduation (Friends Forever) song wasn't covered for this episode! COME ON! that song is tailor made for this type of situation. TAILOR MADE!



the Graduation Album said there was 8 songs from the finale, but the finale only had 6 songs unless I missed some somehow.. and one of those isn't on the album.. so they gave wrong information! lol I figured the Beyonce song and The So Manys would be on the episode but oh well
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I was saying the EXACT same thing about "Graduation"!
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I sooo would have loved them to cover Vitamin C's Graduation!!
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I thought what Finn did was extraordinary. He forced Rachel into a decision she had to make but couldn't make on her own. Finn and Rachel in New York was never going to work, and he had the maturity to do exactly what he needed to do to make sure she realizes her dreams while finding a route for himself that he feels will be more rewarding and crucial than something that never really made sense to anyone. And I had never heard of Room for Two before, but that song was perfect and amazing.



I think if you really want to complain you should start with Santana, who is making a really stupid decision that doesn't have the same romantic ring that the others' following their dreams do. And why bother with messing up Brittany? The dairy farm joke was solid, but that's not a relationship I personally want to give up on. We'll see what happens with Kurt; if he has to wait a year and audition again so he and Blaine can go together, so be it.
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I must have been the only human being in the world laughing hysterically when Finn sorta kinda broke up with Rachel. I mean...REALLY??? lol
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This was my favourite season finale. I love Glee but they've never done a great one. Season 1 was pathetically corny and Season 2 was the culmination of a disappointing season but this finale was perfect to me. It was a great way to tie up the graduating seniors' stories and include some truly great moments at the same time. That Finn/Rachel scene was probably the best acting work they've ever done.
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first off, mike o malley has cemented a place in my heart as of last night. from the time warner cable commercials ("who hates puppies?!") to dancing to single ladies, that little bald man is somethin special.

secondly, i thought this episode worked except for how abrupt rachel getting on the train was. in the course of two minutes, finn unloaded that she was going to new york, by herself, three months early, and didnt even get to say goodbye to her parents. i know technically the glee kids are their "family" but isnt it a little weird that she didnt say goodbye to her dads? and then theres the whole "oh and i;m joining the army" thing. but that aside, i thought it was a very effective series finale.

i say that because what i want to see in season 4 is no season 4. i mean, glee is not degrassi; you can't just bring in a new batch of kids and expect us to love them like we did the first group, and in shows like this they usually make it so the kids are all close location wise so the show can continue but since they;ll all be scatttered whats the point? if glee went out on this finale (i know its not but still) thatd be enough for me.
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Personally, I've always liked Mike O'Malley since Nickelodeon's GUTS.
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I thought there was some mention that her dads would be in New York waiting for her?



But yes, this happened awfully fast. The whole time I was thinking, "HELLO! YOU HAVE ALL SUMMER TO DEAL WITH THIS STUFF!" These kids act way more petulantly and rashly than any of the 18 year olds I know. I remember being in high school, things didn't really hit home until maybe a few weeks before everyone left for college. Why was everyone so quick to make these kinds of rash decisions? (Of course, I know incoming college students have to make choices before August--but they usually also have to make them before MAY, so the whole thing was just very bizarre, timeline-wise.)
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Ahhh so I wasn't the only one wondering why the day after graduation everyone was doing the whole sadface Rachel goes bye bye thing..
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There were a few nice moments but overall I was disappointed in this season finale. I pretty much knew Finn wouldn't get in but I really thought both Kurt & Rachel would get into NYADA. Kurt not getting in just doesn't make much sense to me. And I absolutely HATED how they ended it. So are Finn & Rachel still together or not? I wanted to start sobbing with the way he called off the wedding. That was cruel! But all 3 come back next season so I guess we'll see what happens.
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Ok, so I knew that if Puck was going to graduate then everyone else wasn't getting into the school they wanted. I expected rachel to get into NYADA and Finn not to as well, but I wish Kurt had gotten in too. IDK either way we'll still see him on the show but I'm so sad because I wanted them to have adventures together in New York.

I feel like Sue's given Quinn the like me but less evil speech before but it was still sweet.

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This was a huge disappointment to me, though there were some great parts (Single Ladies), I thought the finale was disappointing and the only thing i'm really looking forward to is Schue and Emma's wedding in season 4. nationals should have been the finale
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Who's Clara?
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So glad I gave up on this show at the end of S2. This sounds like tripe.
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Loved this episode, but hated that it was so sad. I'm graduating in a couple of weeks and going through the exact same things as the characters in Glee. So it was realistic, although goodbyes suck in general. Good thing we're not saying goodbye to Glee yet -- although this almost felt like a season finale, with the flashbacks to the first episode.



Wait, I though Will and Emma already got married? When the Glee kids were singing and they were near the pool, which is the episode when Finn decided he wanted to propose to Rachel (because Schue got married). Am I wrong?
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Good luck "Singinghero." :D I'm the old guy here that for some reason watches Glee but know just do what you WANT to do and go for it. I didn't in life and believe me, just go for it!!
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That was just the episode they got engaged in.
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Glee has never been the tightest in terms of character consistency, but Finn's breakup with Rachel was exceptionally sloppy, I thought. The guy has always had father issues, sure, but this sudden desire to salvage his father's honor came out of NOWHERE. It was simply utilized to force the two to break up, which is sloppy writing. If we'd gotten hints of this rumbling from Finn earlier in the season (even just in the last several episodes), I'd buy it, but he was super dead set on marrying Rachel even halfway through the episode, and never showed hints of what he expressed in the final moments. Needed better execution there, I think.
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They explored it in Yes/No but I agree that it certainly hasn't been a recurring arc. BUT at the same time, if it was, that scene wouldn't have been surprising. It wouldn't have caught me off-guard the way it did. If the past several episodes had been Finn suppressing his desire to save his father's reputation, then we would have all just been waiting for him to call the wedding off.
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Well, he didn't need to be constantly talking about joining the army, but some concerns about his father/patrilineage or something to demonstrate that his character was experiencing this kind of turmoil would have been nice. For example (even though it came in this episode), the conversation with Mr. Schuester (still no idea how to spell that) could have had Finn ruminating a bit on his father or something, as he's been a father figure for Finn regularly. I just think it came way too much out of the blue.
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As BrookeDsBaby mentioned, Finn's father's dishonorable discharge was first brought up in "Yes/No". Then, in "On My Way", after Karofsky's suicide attempt, in the circle held by Mr. Schu, Finn said that the thing he most looked forward to in the future is to get his father an honorable discharge. So the writers did give us little hints that this was on Finn's mind. And, I don't think it came to the forefront of Finn's mind until he got his rejection letter.
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I completely agree. Was so out of the blue. Wish they'd done that better
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