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

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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?