The Final Bow: Glee Reminds Us Of Being A Part Of Something Special In Its Series Finale

Credit: PopSugar
Credit: PopSugar

For the last time, hello Gleeks.

I don’t even know what to say here. Despite my endless frustration over the show, I had no clue what I was going to say when it actually ended. Now that it is at the end, I still don’t know what to write down as the beginning for my final recap.

So here’s what I’m going to say: thank you.

Not to the show, but to the readers of this recap. Thank you for reading these Glee recaps and taking the time to go on the journey with me. I sincerely hoped that you enjoyed them and laughed at them and had fun reading them, because I truly enjoyed writing them; I think that I’ll miss writing these the most.

So thank you for sticking with me through the show. Thank you for watching the show. If not for you, then writing this wouldn’t have been nearly as fun. Through all six seasons, one hundred and twenty one episodes, and seven hundred and thirty-eight musical numbers, you’ve stood by the show even when it went insane.

Thank you, Gleeks.

Now, for the final time, let’s get started.

“2009”

Plots

Kurt’s Story: Kurt is having a rough time at school. In a voice over, he talks about feeling alone and isolated from his classmates. How he feels like he can disappear and no one would notice. In a low moment, Kurt looks at a pamphlet outside of Emma’s office about suicide. Since Emma is OCD, she realizes fairly quickly which pamphlet he was looking at and calls in Burt.

Burt is shocked by this news, and decides the answer is getting Kurt away from the sewing machine and into the world. He tells Kurt to join a team, like when he joined football. Kurt is reluctant, but he sits with Rachel at lunch. Rachel is scary intense as she talks about her dreams of Broadway and acting and all that, intimidating the unconfident Kurt. But she does she share with him that glee club is starting and the two meet to sing together.

When Kurt mentions they should audition together, Rachel shoots him down saying that a star needs to shine solo. Instead, Kurt decides to seek out Mercedes for tips on how to perform because he heard she cracked a window in her church once with a power note. Mercedes tells Kurt that he needs to act like he dresses: confidently. She also suggests his audition song: “Mister Cellophane”. In his notes, Will writes that he thinks Kurt is a ‘Sweet Kid’.

After that, Kurt goes to the garage to tell Burt. It takes him a few minutes to realize that Kurt has joined some kind of team based organization. Kurt thanks him for pushing him to do this because he needed to take that step. Burt says that he’s glad Kurt is putting himself out there, even though he wished Kurt would try out for a sports team. The two of them stare at each other, and Kurt almost comes out to his father. He says it in his head that he’s gay and he hopes Burt will continue loving him. But Burt gets called over to another part of the garage and Kurt loses his nerve last moment.

Mercedes’ Story: After climbing to the top of her church choir, Mercedes Jones is ready to try a different pond with the glee club. She feels like this will help her stand out a bit and differentiate her from one of the only two black kids at this school. Because the other one is kind of quiet: Hi Matt Rutherford!

Rachel, who sees that Mercedes has signed up, comes over to her and talks a lot about how Mercedes must be talented and they both will have a lot in common. But Mercedes knows that Rachel is trying to psyche her out. Rachel says that they have black dads in common and asks to watch her sing at her church. Mercedes agrees to let her watch a choir practice. After killing it at choir practice, Rachel says something about how Mercedes would definitely capture an R&B audience. Mercedes takes it as Rachel saying that because Mercedes is black that she won’t be able to do what she can do. Mercedes informs Rachel that she can do anything that Rachel can do.

Tina and Artie’s Story: Tina is a Goth because she is a non-conformist who refuses to become like everyone in this stupid school. She’s such a good actress that no one has realized her stutter is fake. She wears the wrong clothes, hangs out with the wrong kids, and even is best friends with Artie because it allows her to stand out. And she wants to stand out. After Artie dares two of the Goth kids to dump spaghetti on Rachel and Kurt’s heads – he didn’t think they would do it – Tina and Artie are dared to audition for glee club. Both of them watch the other audition. Artie is blown away by Tina’s performance, while Tina is amazed by Artie’s soulfulness. The two of them smiling at each other as they finish.

Beginning of the End: The first glee club meeting kind of gets off to a rocky start. Rachel is shocked that Will dares to give the first solo of the club to Artie, and demands that she have the solo since a precedent needs to be set. Will says that everyone will have their chance in the spotlight, but Artie gets the solo for now. He mentions that for Sectionals

he was thinking about a medley from Grease. Both Rachel and Mercedes want the part and immediately start fighting about it. Rachel said that she wouldn’t try for The Wiz’s Dorothy and Miss Saigon, so she needs to be Sandy. Mercedes thinks Rachel is being racist.

Back at home, Terri is upset that Will is doing so much already for the glee club. She is supposed to carry the baby, while Will does the cooking and cleaning. Will says he needs to figure out whom to give the solo to. Terri just says to give it to the one who seems the most pathetic. After Rachel gets slushied in front of him, Will gives it to her. Mercedes is not happy with this news angry that the white girl gets to go first. Later, she cries at her church. Her choir director comes over and talks to her, telling her that Rachel will make her better and that sometimes people need certain things more. The thing about a club like this is that you need to share.

The Problem of Accountants and Finn Hudson: Rachel has heard that Terri has told Will she is pregnant and that Will may leave to get a higher paying job. Rachel needs Will in order to achieve her dreams of Broadway and goes to see Terri at her work. She begs her to reconsider her decision of pushing Will into accountancy. Terri tells her that there is a gap between the person people are and the person they see themselves as and that it’s her job to keep Will in his place. Rachel tells her that Will listens to her and Terri agrees because she is his wife and it’s his job to listen to her and do as she says.

Later, Rachel talks about how important it is for MySpace to exist and to get her image out there. As she wipes the tears away from a nasty comment, she says they don’t bother her much anymore. At the Lima Bean, Kurt and Mercedes talk about the inclusion of Finn in the glee club saying that he’s already quit, rejoined, and is bossing them around. Kurt says that it’s a matter of time before the popular kids take over the glee club and push them out. Mercedes agrees and says that they won’t be pushed in the corner. So they call an emergency meeting with the glee club to talk about keeping Finn in.

Both Rachel and Artie stand up for Finn, Artie saying that Finn wheeled him all the way home, explained to his Mom what happened, and apologized to her for it. Rachel talks about how she has no clue what will happen to them or the club, but she knows she made friends this week and that she wants to look back at her time at McKinley and feel like she did something good with her life. And that Finn Hudson may just need a place to find himself as well. So they all vote to keep him in the glee club.

Will And Sue The Beginning: Sue is concerned about this whole “glee club” business, but Figgins assures her the Cheerios will remain the only performers at the school. He thinks that New Directions is merely a “trifle”, but Sue takes matters into her own hands playing basketball with Will and trying to talk him out of it. Will said that the glee club is here to stay and that the arts are important, unlike cheerleading. Definitely not the best thing to say to Sue, but it seems to resolve itself for the coach because Will is starting an accounting job.

Songs

“Popular” sung by Rachel Berry and Kurt Hummel: I was hoping for years that they would cover the song. I was also hoping it would be a Kurt solo. Don’t get me wrong in the context of the episode; I liked it fine. I just wish that there was a bit more Chris Colfer there. It was still good. B

“I’m His Child” sung by Mercedes Jones: Amber Riley should never, ever, ever stop singing because her voice is beautiful. She took me to church and back with this beautiful number that showed off her belting. A

“I Kissed A Girl” sung by Tina Cohen-Chang: It was fun and hey Jenna actually got to do a Tina solo all the way through. That never happens. I just wished for something else though, but overall the recreated her audition well. B+

“Pony” sung by Artie Abrams: And the mystery of Artie Abrams’ auditon song is solved! OhmyGod it was so good. With that soulful performance you can see why Will gave him the first glee solo ever. Wheelchair dancing as well! I missed it. A-

“Don’t Stop Believin’” sung by Original New Directions: Seeing the original performance made me choke up in a way that I haven’t since “Make You Feel My Love”, but in a good way. It was tasteful and touching and seamless with the episode. And it was just good to see Cory perform one last time. Timeless

“Dreams Come True”

Plots

Back To The Present: The New Directions win the 2015 Show Choir Nationals! And now McKinley is becoming an arts school thanks to the District Board. It was Will’s dedication to the arts that inspired them to make this happen as cutting the arts only harmed students and not helped them. Even more importantly, they want Will to become principal of this new McKinley. Three months later, Will and Emma are celebrating this new McKinley where he will run it while Emma helps kids get into good arts schools with Daniel down the hall in the daycare.

Will asks Emma if he can do this and Emma says yes because she believes in him and that it is the power of their imaginations to make this school great. Will goes to get his son and plays a bit of music, telling him that dreams really do come true. At the school a bunch of kids, past and present greet him with cheers. Will is ecstatic for this to happen, telling them all about his plans. New Directions will be only one of four show choirs at the school now: the co-ed New Directions, the all girls Troubletones, an all male choir Duly Noted, and a J.V. squad. He won’t be teaching any of them because he will be running the school. Instead he sings a song that he prepared for the alumni to thank them for helping him along on this journey.

Blaine and Sam Talk: Blaine searches out for Sam, who is about to be out of a job soon. Sam assures Blaine that he is right where he belongs. He doesn’t feel comfortable in New York, and he needs the Midwest to feel like home. He has a new job now: teaching the New Directions. He starts the lesson off by assigning Country for the week. He talks about how Country and Blues have the same roots in places of pain and storytelling. In order to become real performers, they need to share those songs. He gets the kids amped to perform. Both Will and Blaine watch feeling like a good replacement has been chosen.

Mercedes Good News: Mercedes calls everyone in to tell amazing news. She’s going to be the opening act for Beyonce’s World Tour and cutting a new album. She talks about how she’s changed from a girl that feels like she was never seen to one who is seen. Mercedes says she doesn’t really remember that girl anymore because she feels like she is whom she is meant to be now. At this moment, however, she wants to share the news with her friends and sing to them how much they mean to her. Then she wants to leave with some class and pretend like she’ll be coming in and seeing everyone tomorrow in glee club instead of a long while. She sings for them, promising to keep in touch and giving them a hug and exiting the building like a true diva.

The Closure of Sue Sylvester: Blaine and Kurt find Sue in Will’s new office, looking around one last time and peeing everywhere in revenge. Sue sits down with Kurt and Blaine who thank her for helping them get back together. She talks with Kurt about how she didn’t get him, but overall Kurt helped open her eyes for dealing with all the crap in his life with grace and class. She said that Kurt opened her eyes to all new possibilities. For Blaine, she tells him that she doesn’t get him but she is proud of him doing him and Blaine agrees in kind. Sue excuses herself because Sue has realized that she needs to go make up with Becky, who was on her way to see Sue. The two of them hug to each other and apologize. Sue admits there is one more person she needs to talk to, meeting Will in the auditorium, where they apologize through song and hold hands.

Time Capsule Of Klaine: Kurt shows Blaine his McKinley High locker time capsule so he has an excuse to come back once in awhile. Blaine starts laughing and saying that Kurt is the only person he knows to do this. And that’s why he loves him so much. The two of them share a kiss together and leave.

Five Years Later (Sue and Becky): Five years later, Sue is the Vice President for recently re-elected President Bush with plans to run for office in 2024. Becky is in charge of her security detail. You honestly can’t be surprised here because this is Sue. She was going to do something crazy.

Five Years Later (Kurt and Blaine): Kurt and Blaine are visiting the Harvey Milk School to meet a class for Tuesday Celebrity Meeting and Sing-Along. They both have successful careers, recently performing in an LGBT version of Whose Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? The two of them talk about the choir room and how it was a safe place that they’re so glad to see a safe school for all these kids.

Five Years Later (All): Mercedes gets out of the cab from her world tour seeing Artie and Tina. Artie’s recently written and directed film starring Tina has made it to Slamdance Film Festival with songs for the soundtrack from Mercedes. Tina and Artie are a couple again. Sam is still in Ohio, dating another girl and texting Mercedes. Rachel is pregnant with Kurt and Blaine’s baby and married to Jesse St. James with a Tony nomination. Back in Ohio, Will and Emma have had more adorable kids that Sam runs around playing with. Rachel wins the Tony Award for Jane Austen Sings! It was directed by Jesse also. In her speech, Rachel thanks her friends, her dads and her husband, but she dedicates the award for Mr. Schue for believing in her and loving her and accepting her. As Will cries, he holds the hand of Sue who has come to visit.

The Final Bow: Sue has called together all of the adults: Will, Burt, Carole, Figgins, Emma, Sam, Sheldon, and even Terri. Sue talks about how she has misjudged glee club and how glee is finding courage to open up your heart to the world. She admits that she finds it to the bravest thing to do. This is why she is proud to dedicate the Finn Hudson Auditorium for the McKinley High School for the Arts, which has been an overwhelming success. She congratulates Will saying the glee club has changed them. And Sue is honored to introduce the New Directions. And after, they sing the show ends on a quote “See the world as it should be, not as it is” the plaque for the Finn Hudson auditorium settled between Finn’s and Miss Adler’s picture.

Songs

(I can’t grade these songs because they’re all amazing. So I’m going to talk about my feelings for each one.)

“Teach Your Children” sung by Will Schuester: A beautiful, kind, and soft song that reminds me of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” from season one. Surrounded by his kids and his success, it just feels like such a Will song for his final solo. It does show how proud he is of everyone from that choir room and also how much he loves everyone there.

“Someday We’ll Be Together” sung by Mercedes Jones: Amber Riley’s final solo of the series is one of hope and promise. Even though the show is ending, we’ll probably see the cast together again and again. Maybe we’ll even see them on the screen together. It was just such a diva moment and I loved it.

“The Winner Takes It All” sung by Will Schuester and Sue Sylvester: The fact that Sue sings her apologies to Will and refuses to speak to him made me laugh out loud. But there was something cathartic in them working out their differences through song. It’s a bombastic vocal end to such a long term struggle, but there was something really satisfying all the same.

“Daydream Believer” sung by Kurt Hummel and Blaine Anderson: This was just adorable. There were little kids dancing around and playing copycat with Kurt’s dance moves. I may not have liked Klaine as a couple, but Chris Colfer and Darren Criss always had excellent vocal chemistry. And I like that their final duet was this charming bit of whismy.

“This Time” sung by Rachel Berry: The song written by Darren Criss just for Lea Michele. I’ll say this: Darren definitely has a songwriting career in his future. I actually think this was my favorite performance of the season from Lea as well. Maybe it was because I sensed the genuine emotion from her and felt the vocal effort she put in. It was actually such a final perfect solo for Rachel’s final solo. And it’s definitely one of my favorites from her in a long, long time.

“I Lived” sung by Entire Cast Of Glee: There’s nothing to say to this. Just seeing everyone dancing and singing on stage together. Seeing everyone who was even tangentially related to the New Directions come back to dedicate the auditorium? To see all those people who brought joy and sorrow and anger and happiness come together again? There was no other way to end this series then with them in that auditorium singing.

So my final words to you are these, my fellow Gleeks, never stop believing, keep a song in your heart and dance in your steps, and always always keep yourself opened to the possibility of joy.

Goodbye Gleeks.

And thank you.

Bec Heim
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