'Glee' Season 3, Episode 22 Recap & Song List - 'Goodbye'
So. Much. Crying. Not from me so much (though Jane Lynch had me a little teary-eyed), but plenty from the actors, who were in tears for just about every scene. I imagine, having been on this show for the past three years and the next season being pretty uncertain in terms of who will work with whom, that this must have felt like an actual graduation for the actors. But hey, the used it and it worked. Bravo on the performances, all around.
As for the actual episode... well. There was a lot to accomplish today, and one hour just didn't seem like enough. It felt like storylines were being thrown at us, hard, in the hopes that we would quickly digest them, understand, and move on to the emotional bits.
After all, we had to cover everyone saying goodbye, reminiscing about the past, looking forward to the future, getting acceptance letters, making life decisions, actually graduating, and all the mess that goes along with all that. It was too much for an hour, so everything felt rushed. Except the songs, of course. They took their time with those.
The looks back included a short reprise of "Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat" from the dark days of Glee club; a heart-to-heart (and kiss) between Quinn and Puck; another heart-to-heart between Quinn and Sue; and the best musical number of the season, which was Burt Hummel (Mike O'Malley, bless him) lip-syncing and dancing to "Single Ladies" a la Kurt in season one. More Burt. So much more Burt, please.
The looks forward were more complicated. Kurt decided he wasn't even going to say goodbye to Blaine, because they're going to make this long-distance thing work. So, they're good, I guess.
Things are trickier with Santana and Brittany, as Brittany is going to have to repeat senior year. "I have a 0.0 grade point average," she notes. Santana is already having trouble with her decision to go to Louisville on her cheerleading scholarship, since she wants to skip right to New York. Her very understanding mother (guest star Gloria Estefan) tries to get her to change her mind, but eventually gives in.
I had a problem with this storyline. So, basically, Santana has a full scholarship to go to a reputable school and get a free college education, but she gives that up to go to New York and become a "star?" Considering she's the representative Latina character on this show, shouldn't her storyline have a little more responsibility? There are kids out there, especially those from poorer families, who would love to get a scholarship and go to college. There are kids of immigrants who don't have legal status who have to live their lives in fear of deportation just to have the chance at an education. But Santana doesn't want to wait four years and get a degree first. For free. I disapprove.
ANYway, Puck has some issues as well, as he has to pass his European geography class that seems to deal mostly in precipitation. Quinn gives him his swag back by kissing him, and apparently that works. So, Puck is graduating. Yay.
Mercedes pretty clearly has it the best of everyone, as she landed a recording contract from her YouTube video. Which happens, if you're Justin Bieber, or if you do disco songs. Yeesh.
That leaves Kurt, Rachel and Finn, who all await their results from NYADA and The Actor's Studio. They get their envelopes and read them, one by one: Finn didn't get in. Kurt didn't get in. Rachel got in.
Rachel decides to defer for a year, help Finn and Kurt work on their auditions, and then attend next year when they can all go together. But Finn has different ideas, and a terrible, terrible way of presenting them: Rachel thinks they're off to the wedding, but Finn takes her to the train station instead. He tells her she's getting on that train, like, NOW, and going to New York, where her dads are already waiting for her.
As if that isn't enough of a shock, he tells her that she has to do it alone, and he's not coming with her, and that he's breaking up with her because he loves her so much. That doesn't quite cut it logically (why wouldn't he just tag along?) so there's one more bomb to drop: Finn is joining the Army to honor his dad. Rachel is sobbing hysterically, and can you blame her? Good lord. Very little tact, Finn Hudson.
So, I feel like we need some kind of map or something to illustrate this. Or maybe just a list:
The F**king Army
Mike and Tina are non-factors, since they are non-characters at this point.
So, that ends up splitting up every couple EXCEPT for Kurt and Blaine, provided Kurt doesn't hightail it out of Lima and join Rachel in New York at some point. Logistically, for the show, that means potentially plenty of screen time for Kurt, and obviously Brittany, as they're in Lima with the underclassmen. Obviously there will be a focus on Rachel and Finn, and it looks like Santana will get some screen time by default, since she's in New York. Quinn will probably be in the mix since New Haven is a short jump.
What will happen with Mercedes and Puck is a big question. Can the show manage to focus on Los Angeles as well? Will we care enough with just those two characters there? Or will we just see them when they're back in town in Lima?
Obviously next season is going to require some serious narrative acrobatics, even more intricate than the ones the show already has to do managing this many characters. Things were tough having Kurt at Dalton for that short time, so we'll see if this goes any better.
A pretty good finale, if only for the fact that it was emotionally wrought. Finn's running with the train thing was silly, but how could they resist?
This Week's Numbers:
"Forever Young" -- Rod Stewart -- Will Schuester
"Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)" -- Beyonce -- Burt Hummel
"I'll Remember" -- Madonna -- Kurt
"You Get What You Give" -- New Radicals -- New Directions Seniors
"In My Life" -- The Beatles -- New Directions Underclassmen
"Glory Days" -- Bruce Springsteen -- Puck and Finn
"Roots Before Branches" -- Room for Two -- Rachel