A few days after “Glee” aired its finale, I asked my friend and #1 “Glee” fan, Jaclyn Gerowski, if she’d like to write down her thoughts on the ending and the show as a whole for this site. Here she goes…
I’ve been a Glee fan since the beginning. I fell in love with the show before it even aired, it was the moment I heard “Don’t Stop Believing” for the first time. I’ve been to every tour (including the mall tour, yeah remember that?) followed the filming around NYC, waited in the freezing cold to meet cast members. When I moved to LA, I was an extra on the show and got to visit the set many times, thanks to a friend who worked on the show. (Not all proud moments.) I’m a super fan but also not naiive. Glee started to go downhill after season 3 and even more so after the huge loss of Cory Monteith. But I’m a loyal fan and have seen (almost) every episode. I felt a connection to the show and was going to see it through till the end. Yes, I’m going to miss the show but I’ll be the first to admit it’s time to say goodbye.
I was nervous for the finale. I’d seen spoilers about possible story lines and with the way the show had been going I didn’t want to set myself up for disappointment. But overall I was satisfied with the finale. They wrapped up the Santana/Brittany, Quinn/Puck story a couple episodes ago so the 2 hour finale was focused on the rest of the main, core cast.
The first hour was “2009”, a flashback episode focusing on the start of the glee club and its original members. I was skeptical to say the least, the set has changed so much and not to mention Chris Colfer was no longer going through puberty and of course what are they going to do about Finn. But the minute the show started it felt like season 1 episode and I loved all 44 minutes of it. It started with that buzzing music we all loved from season 1 and Terrie Schuester; Will has just taken over the glee club, Rachel of course the first and only member. Rachel is her old know-it-all, overly dramatic self, complete with knee socks, ugly sweaters and penny loafers. We even see her on her elliptical. She’s using the glee club as a way to get to NYC and Broadway. This was so great to see this Rachel Berry again, the annoying over-achiever. Another moment I remembered why I started watching this show.
Kurt had been feeling down so his dad wanted him to get involved in an activity. He meets Rachel and realizes show choir is the place for him after singing an amazing version of “Popular” with her. This was the beginning of the Burt/Kurt iconic father-son relationship and the Rachel/Kurt love-hate friendship, which both are 2 of my favorites of the show. Kurt gets Mercedes to join glee, she’s a star singer at her church but wants to be noticed at school too. Rachel sees her talent and is immediately intimidated and they both fight for the first solo, and so begins this diva rivalry. Rachel ends up getting the solo after Will sees her get slushied. There was a touching moment after Mercedes didn’t get the solo and wanted to quit glee club but her mom convinced her to see it through, maybe her and Rachel would become friends (they did, after many diva-offs).
Tina is in her goth stage, Artie hasn’t changed much, they joined glee club on a dare. That leaves Finn, we all know Will got Finn to join but the rest of the glee club was uncertain, they didn’t want his popularity to eventually push them out. But with Rachel’s help they all agree Finn has always been kind to them, so he stays. And we find out he was the mastermind behind the red shirt and jeans costume and the one who decided they should sing “Don’t Stop Believing.” This scene was touching, Finn was always the one holding everything together, it was fitting that he was the one to put together that iconic moment.
Unknown to us, Will and Sue were great friends prior to Will heading up the glee club. Sue wanted Will to give up on the glee club, and when he said no, the name calling and debauchery started. I’m sure glad they did- Glee wouldn’t have been the same without Sue’s torture!
We all remember Terrie got pregnant and wanted Will to become an accountant to properly support their family. Rachel tried to convince Terrie to let Will stay at McKinley as well as Emma by showing him his old glee club performances but it all didn’t work. It wasn’t until he was walking down the hall and heard “Don’t Stop Believing” that he realized this school and this club was where he was meant to be. The episode ended with one of the most iconic performances in TV history. The moment that changed everything. On our screens was the original glee club, in their red shirts and blue jeans singing “Don’t Stop Believing” with Finn Hudson front and center. The exact scene from the pilot.
This hour of Glee was by far the best this season and in a very long time. Ryan Murphy had the writers do many rewrites to get everything perfect. This episode was originally supposed to air earlier in the season but for good reason it was kept for the end. This episode gave me the feelings I had when watching the pilot. This was the show I had fallen in love with! The misfits, outcasts, the overachievers, the terrible outfits, the overly dramatic feuding. And most importantly Finn was included. He was the reason for the success of the glee club, it was nice to have him remembered. I couldn’t have imagined a better ending then the “DSB” scene from the pilot. It was unexpected, but perfect and I cried like a baby the whole time. I don’t have a single complaint, except I wish it was longer.
I barely had enough time to emotionally recover before “Dreams Come True” started. This episode was set in the present and also 5 years in the future. Will and the New Directions win the 2015 National Show Choir championship. Upon their return to McKinley the superintendent announces the school will now be a performing arts school because of all the wonderful work Will has done. And of course Will is asked to become principle of the school. How does he say goodbye to the kids and the glee club? by singing “Teach Your Children!” It has a very season 1 “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” feel. This was the last scene the cast filmed so the tears we saw were real. I heard a lot about this last day so it made the scene even more emotional and special to me as a Glee fan. They cried, I cried, it was beautifully done.
With Will as principle someone needs to head up the glee club- that someone would be Sam. This was always the role Finn was supposed to take over, but Sam makes and emotional speech and I reluctantly agree that he’s the perfect choice. Mercedes announces she’s going on tour with Beyoncé and making an album so she won’t be around for a while, cue her exit music “Someday We’ll be Together.” Kurt and Blaine thank Sue for bringing them back together. Sue takes some jabs at Kurt calling him porcelain and bringing up his choice of clothing but takes a serious note thanking Kurt for teaching her so many things about herself and coming out on top after all he has been through.
Sue brings Will into the auditorium, starts singing “The Winner Takes It All,” as a sort of way to apologize for terrorizing him and the glee club all these years. 5 years in the future she is Vice President of the US and plans on running for President. Kurt takes Blaine to his McKinley locker that he made into a time capsule, keeping in it his Gaga shoes, favorite picture of Finn and show choir programs. Their future is in NYC, recently performing at Lincoln Center and guest speaking (and singing) about acceptance at Harvey Milk school. They do a cute version of “Daydream Believer” for the school kids. Tina and Artie are the only original couple back together. Now an acting and producing duo in the indie film industry!
Rachel says goodbye to McKinley with a song of course. It was an original song written for her by Darren Criss for this episode. It was a love note to Glee and all that came with the past 6 years. It was beautiful, touching and just perfect. 5 years in the future Rachel is back in NYC, on Broadway, pregnant (she’s the surrogate for Kurt and Blaine! Simply put, her mom did it for her dads and Kurt and Blaine have been so great to her she wanted to do this for them), married (surprise, to Jesse St. James – if it was to anyone, I’m glad it was him! Rachel deserves love and a happy ending too). She wins a Tony Award for her role in “Jane Austin Sings.” She gave a nice speech thanking Jesse, her dads, friends and dedicated the Tony to Will. This is the only thing I disagree with. We all know that Glee was supposed to end with Rachel walking into the choir room to Finn and say “I’m home”. With that not a possibility now I wanted some variation of that, maybe dedicate her Tony to him, he was the one that put her on the train after all. Or look up and mouth the words “I’m home.” Something that paid homage to the ending that was supposed to be.
Then it hit me, the next scene would be the last scene of Glee… ever. Sue took center stage in the McKinley auditorium as she said how important the glee club has been and much of an impact it has had. The auditorium was to be renamed “The Finn Hudson Auditorium”. Cue the music, and so the last number began: “I Lived” by One Republic, with everyone dressed in “DSB” red. Any cast member that wanted to come back in this final moment was invited (remember Matt Rutherford and Sugar and Dreadlocks Joe? They were all there!) It was a great choice, a beautiful moment. The song was over, everyone took their places, lights faded on the stage and the camera panned. The last shot of the last episode of Glee was the side of the auditorium with the Finn Hudson plaques. Another round of uncontrollable sobs as the final credits played.
The finale was a bit unbelievable. Everyone got their perfect ending- it’s Glee so what else did we expect?! I’m extremely happy that Finn got an ending too, and that we got to remember Cory. As a Glee fan, I feel content and a bit relieved that it’s all over. As they say…the show must go on. So onto the next one!