The big finale has arrived, making all of our gleeful dreams come true. Last night “Glee” wrapped it up with all you could want in a dramatic finish: Punches were thrown, people cheated, secrets were revealed, someone was left at the altar and forbidden kisses were exchanged.
So maybe that wasn’t everything you wanted in a finale, but I like to keep my expectations high.
Mr. Schu was dismissed from coaching the Glee Club last week, and the New Directions have been left feeling…directionless. Sectionals are fast-approaching, and to make matters worse, the hilariously evil Sue Sylvester has leaked their set list to the competition. Fortunately, guidance counselor (and doe-eyed Schuster admirer) Emma Pillsbury agrees to chaperone the Glee Club to sectionals. This doesn’t sit well with her fianc© Ken, who finally decides he’s tired of playing second fiddle to Mr. Schu.
But before the Gleeks can perform, there must be…a diva-off! Mercedes confronts Rachel about her spotlight-hogging ways and busts out an impressive rendition of “And I Am Telling You I Am Not Going.” This proves she can contend with the best “balladeer” in the group. Untrue to form, Rachel bows out of the spotlight.
Meanwhile, the Gleeks are all trying to hide the truth about Quinn’s baby from Rachel for fear that her “trout mouth” ways will prevail. Puck told Mercedes he was the father, and naturally, she leaked it to everyone…except Rachel and Finn. After a panicked party-line call among the Gleeks, they decide the only thing to do is to keep their mouths shut and act natural…so of course Rachel knows something’s up.
Being the smart cookie she is, Rachel figures things out and tells Finn. The result is a fist fight between Finn and Puck, and it’s all Mr. Schu can do to separate them. After Quinn’s tearful admittance of the truth, Finn walks out with an angsty, "I’m done with you. I’m done with all of you!" (cue the chair kick). And suddenly the Gleeks are facing sectionals without a set list, a director or a leading man.
The kids all load up on the bus (including Artie, in the special wheelchair lift), but when they get to sectionals, they’re in for a rude surprise. All three of the songs from their set (“Proud Mary,” “And I Am Telling You I Am Not Going,” and “Don’t Stop Believing”) are performed by rival glee clubs. And without Finn, they’re missing their improvisational leader. Emma confronts and rebukes the other glee coaches in a rare flash of audacity. (She is the “Glee” moral compass).
Emma frantically calls Will for help. He goes to find Finn and after he tells him about how tired he is of giving motivational speeches, he gives him the best motivational speech of all. Finn rushes to sectionals with sheet music in hand. He rallies the troops and they come up with a whole new set list, starting with Rachel singing a Streisand ballad (with Mercedes’s blessing), ending with “Somebody to Love,” and in between, they improvise Finn’s mystery song.
The New Directions perform, and they are, of course, wonderful. The mystery song turns out to be the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” which is something Will said to Finn in the locker room.
Then we get a look at our judges: a former Miss Ohio contender, an egocentric news anchor and a cynical comptroller who’s only there because her boss tempted her with Nascar tickets. Their banter in choosing the competition’s winner is hilarious, shallow and completely out of place. However, the comedy was a welcome reprieve from an otherwise pretty dramatic episode. At the last minute, the Jane Adams Academy glee coach goes to tell them she cheated, but unfortunately for our heroes, the judges have already made their decision.
And speaking of leading men walking out the door: Will stops at home long enough to get on a tux for Emma and Ken’s wedding. And that’s when he truly leaves Terry, because he can no longer look at her and feel that sense of love and family he used to feel.
But it turns out the tux wasn’t necessary. Will shows up to the wedding only to find Emma sitting alone at a foldout table with a tacky blue tablecloth surrounded by equally tacky decorations and, oh, a melting ice sculpture. Ken dumped her, because he knew she had feelings for Will and was only settling for him. Tearful, she admits that she’s resigning from McKinley High. Grasping for straws, Will tells her he just left his wife. "Exactly. You just left your wife," she says. I guess the forbidden guidance counselor/Spanish teacher romance just wasn’t meant to be.
Or was it? The kids call Will into the choir room to present him with their first place trophy (an unnecessarily large, gaudy affair). They won (shocker!), despite having to improvise at the last minute and contend with cheaters. The kids sing Mr. Schu a Kelly Clarkson song to pick him up. But while listening to the kids singing about how they can’t do without him and how they all belong together, Will realizes these are the feelings he has for Emma. In a slow-motion sequence that will bring tears to your eyes (these aren’t just tears for Schu – the season coming to a heartbreakingly inevitable end) he races down the hall, reaching her just as she’s walking out the building with her things in a box. They say some things to each other, but who cares what, because then they kiss.
The curtain falls. And so we have the end of “Glee,” for now.
But don’t get too excited. As soon as last night’s episode was over, rumors of cancellation were flying across the Internet. This is Fox, after allâ€”the network that’s infamous for canceling cult classics before they even have a chance. But I won’t try to convince you of my “Glee” loving. I’ll leave it all up to you.
Do you think “Glee” should be cancelled? The fate of our beloved musical misfits hangs by a thread. Pending Fox making a horribly stupid mistake, we’ll see what happens next in April.