“Glee” has been building up to this moment all season, and now it’s happened — graduation has come and gone, and some of the students of McKinley High have now moved on to the next phase of their lives.
One of the nice parts of the episode was that there were nice homages to season 1 of the show throughout — whether it be the opening number with some of the original New Directions members to Burt Hummel’s attempt at reenacting the famous “Single Ladies” dance that Kurt performed in one of the early episodes of the show.
There were also some small moments to really give you the sense of what was going to happen to some of these characters moving forward:
Mercedes – She will be heading to Los Angeles, where she will be performing as a backup singer for an indie label.
Mike – It looks like Tina’s boyfriend will stay close to Lima, as he was accepted to a dance school in Chicago.
Brittany – We all this coming — she’s not graduating. Meanwhile, Santana wants to either move to New York or stay in Lima with her girlfriend.
Quinn – She kissed Puck! While longtime fans of the couple were probably excited about it, was rather forced and it didn’t work — especially since we were in the middle of a Artie / Quinn / Joe love triangle.
Puck – He graduated!
As much as we wanted to see more of the minor characters on the show, the focus of the episode was really about the three perceived main characters for season 4 — Finn, Rachel, and Kurt. In the case of the former, he was confused still about moving to New York, in particular since he felt like he wasn’t living up to the sacrifice made by his late father in becoming an actor and studying under James Lipton.
The graduation came and went pretty quickly, and actually was a bit anticlimactic considering how much hype had been built around the moment. What was actually more intense was the moment involving the future of our three major characters. Finn ended up not getting in to the school, and (to our major surprise) neither did Kurt. To make everything even stranger, the only person to get their happy ending was Rachel — the girl who bombed her audition, while Kurt ended up getting rave reviews. (Really, they should have both gotten in if Rachel was.)
Rachel soon realized that she was going to have a hard time going to school without Kurt, so she made a shocking decision — to defer her scholarship to NYADA in order to spend time working with Finn and Kurt. However, Finn was having nothing to do with it — not only did he refuse for this to happen, but he forced Rachel to go by getting her a plane ticket, joining the Army, and then pretty much dumps her. It was one of the strangest 180s that we have ever seen for the character, especially when you consider how much he wants to marry her. (Why couldn’t he just move to New York and get a job?)
The final scene saw Rachel boarding her train to New York alone — without Kurt and Finn, and with many question marks remaining as to what she is going to do with her life next.
Overall, this was a bit of an uneven finale. While some of the goodbyes involving the teachers and the seniors were tear-inducing, the bizarre decisions by the writers — including Rachel getting into NYADA over Kurt and Quinn suddenly deciding to kiss Puck — took away from what could have been a pitch-perfect send-off.
Do you think that the finale lived up to all of your expectations, and did it make you excited for season 4?