Glee Finale: 2009 & Dreams Come True
Season 6, Episodes 12 & 13
YES. This is a long overdue post… I had this draft sitting in my computer for a while and finally found the time to post this up! (Not that it matters anymore huh?) Bear with me for this will be a long post. Not only will I be sharing my thoughts on the two-episode finale, I’ll also be sharing other lingering thoughts on how far glee has come since its’ debut and season 6 overall.
6 years ago, this fresh and one of a kind musical comedy-drama show set in a high school blew up. The idea itself, having music being one of the main driving forces behind the show could’ve gone either way – a massive high or an absolute disaster.
Glee definitely hit the highest of notes with their premiere season. It wasn’t a gimmick of trying to capture the teen demographic with choreography that would spawn a group of teen heart throbs, nor was it too pre-teen like cartoon/animated movies which break into songs that lyrically state the obvious. It had stories which music helped expressed it. I am one of those people who believe – no music no life, that every significant moment in our lives, every emotion, every move… can be expressed that much more richly through forms of art – and music is one of them.
My sister was introduced me to the show while season was still airing. The first episode intrigued me, from the jaw dropping performance by Vocal Adrenaline to villainous Sue to ‘Don’t Stop Believing’. I’d be lying if the new directions’ pilot rendition of ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ didn’t make me believe in more than just their show. Not only was it fresh with its musical aspect, season 1 proved that it was able to make their stories and character relatable to their viewers in a cheery way. Their optimism of the glee club which grew with Mr.Schuester’s faith and soul really was inspiring without being too tacky. The music used on the show was not just music playing in our radio waves today (which one would expect) but even the old greats. Smart move as this automatically widens the demographic, and great for family viewing pleasure. However, this got pretty old and too cheesy for my taste somewhere along seasons 4 and 5 with their theme episodes (Britney, Madonna etc. But the MJ episode was LONG overdue). Heavens, I even started rooting for SUE who points out the obvious faults with the show which in itself is brilliant in a meta kind of way. The moment that Glee lost me? When they performed GANGNAM STYLE for their sectionals. I mean, I probably wouldn’t have been bothered by it that much had it just been performed within the confines of the glee club… But come on. Sectionals? And a Korean song? Sure it’s a crowd pleaser. But it was kind of like when Vocal Adrenaline performed ‘Hey Mickey’ for their most recent sectionals. It just isn’t the kind of song you perform to be taken seriously in a competition. Frankly, if we got to see another one of their songs in their set list that balances out Gangnam Style (which obviously was just to please the masses and/or stay relevant), I wouldn’t be this opposed to it. I personally do not hate Gangnam Style, it is significant in pop culture but I just didn’t think it was appropriate for a show choir competition where you should be ultimately showcasing your singing abilities aside from your showmanship.
Alright, that’s enough discussion on the past 5 seasons of glee, jumping onto this final season. I was pretty shocked that they decided to cast new New Directioners . It is a pretty silly notion: who would want to focus on new characters in its FINAL season, when it is the main characters we’ve been rooting for since previous seasons that are the ones we’re more invested and interested in seeing through? Even the idea of bringing Kurt, Rachel and Blaine back to Lima as glee club coaches while conveniently having Sam already a football coach in McKinley was just too… convenient. However, I must say, each episode did appeal to the fans, resolving most of the characters loose ends – from Santana and Brittany and Kurt and Blaine’s wedding, Mr.Schue’s return to McKinley High and much more. It also did have its’ quirky moments, one of my favourites HAS to be Sue’s homage to ‘Saw’ in an attempt to reunite ‘Klaine’. I must say, I was really glad that Sue got much more airtime this season because come on, even when all else failed, Sue is what kept me watching. Jane Lynch was an absolute delight to watch as Sue Sylvester and still the true ruler of McKinley in my books.
Season 6 in a nutshell was a tough balancing act between showing glee’s heart and soul through the formation of the new glee club by Rachel, introducing new characters and resolving all the loose ends. I have to commend them for accomplishing it all in 13 episodes. It might not have been perfect, which IMO suffered from not being able to sacrifice some creative decisions (introducing new characters for one)… but was a nice sweet bow that neatly tied the end of glee.
The first part of the finale took us back to 2009, way before new directions was formally formed In the eyes of Kurt, Mercedes, Tina and Artie. The added backstory was like an alternate pilot which showed that much more how glee club impacted, taught and further shaped them into the individuals they are today. For instance, I never thought Kurt was an insecure and shy closeted guy from all that sass. Even Mercedes had her insecurities too about staying true to herself. This was genius. So kudos, as the writers had the added difficulty of having to tip toe around Corey Monteith. It induced such nostalgia and played a beautiful tribute to Finn (Corey) by talking about the good natured guy Finn was and always been. Of course, I would’ve liked it more if they included our 3 brave cheerleaders as well who eventually embraced the glee club, but I suppose they wanted to really hit home with the gleeks by focusing on the core 6 members of the New Directions. Including their iconic performance of ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ in the school’s Auditorium, with them dressed in red shirts, jeans and converses… was the best decision they’ve made for the show in a while. It sent me over the edge (as I’m not a hardcore gleek) and I’m sure teared up many gleeks out there.
Dreams Come True
The flashback in episode ‘2009’ really hit homerun for me. Flashing forward to each of the characters’ lives like in Parks and Recreation didn’t feel so organic to me especially after the flashback episode (a bit too much flashing). The episode opens with a montage of Lillian Adler talking to the glee club of Will’s high school years followed by Will, Rachel and Kurt walking into Nationals where the winners are being announced. Of course, the New Directions win the 2015 Show choir Nationals Championship. What better happy ending to the glee club huh? I was expecting a flashback to hours before this win, at least their nationals’ performance… but NOPE. This new kids apparently didn’t deserve more prime airtime or songs to belt out. Show choir is what brought this glee club, shouldn’t we at least get a view of the performance that gave the New Directions’ their 2nd Nationals win? Apparently that wasn’t as important as having the New Directions alumni singing their farewells to McKinley and the glee club. It was a bit tiresome for me with Mercedes’s farewell of ‘Someday We’ll Be Together’ but I’ll admit, Rachel’s ’ This Time’ (just found out that it was written by Darren Criss!) was really on point. Not only did it hit all the high notes, it hit all the right notes and my soft spot.
We also see McKinley being declared as an Art school with Will being appointed as the principal of Mckinley. _ goes on saying how art helped raised test scores and what not… ultimately saying how Will’s dedication has inspired this decision. It has been quite a Journey, Will has been more than a teacher to students – he was also a friend. However, was making McKinley into an Art school necessary? Sure, Art is often overlooked but that doesn’t mean other academia is less inspiring. Are 100% of students driven by arts? I think not. The way I look at this, making McKinley an art school would mean cutting out other clubs, no? Sports? Sciences? Etc? This was a bit drastic and a bit too perfect of an ending. But hey, this episode is titled “dreams come true” after all right? That warrants for the happiest of endings.
I like how they didn’t have him go to New York with Kurt, Blaine and Rachel. AND that he didn’t end up with Rachel. However, one way or the other (no escaping glee’s grips), he was named the new coach of New Directions in default
Mercedes tells all that she’ll be opening for Beyonce’s world tour! The queen of Mercedes’ heart, goes without saying she has made her dreams a reality as well. In the auditorium with the presence of former and present glee club members, Mercedes belts out and bows out of the auditorium with ‘Someday We’ll Be Together’. I found that a tad… awkward. I mean really? No one last group hug? But hey, it was done in true gleeful musical fashion. In the flash forward, we also kind of hear that Mercedes becomes soo major that she’s been on her own world tour!
Sue starts out with sharing her admiration for Kurt and how his actions had taught her things about herself that she never would have discovered on her own. She also gets the well-deserved thanks from Klaine for indirectly bringing them back to each other even though her ways were demented. Sue gets to say goodbye to her frenemy – Buttchin in song and reconcile with Becky in slow-mo-running –to-each-other-in-a-crowd form. Sue’s duet-dedication to Will? Was done in a creepy yet endearing manner that we all love from Sue. And she “don’t want to talk”, shushing Will with a single finger then tripping Brad the pianist (can I just say how much little more screen time he’s getting? He deserves that bit more love!) in one last terrorizing swift move as she leaves the auditorium. Not the cannon blasting exit we expect but still staying true to Sue. Flash forward to 5 years later, we see that Sue is a tracksuit donning VICE PRESIDENT of United States of America and she publicises that she’ll be campaigning for PRESIDENT in the year 2024 election. I would be in constant fear if Sue became VP, never mind PRESIDENT. But knowing tenacious Sue, she would be the one who could and would claw her way to being the first ever female president of USA. And let’s not forget ever loyal Becky who becomes her pushy bodyguard, standing by her side through it all.
Klaine (Kurt Hummel + Blaine Anderson)
Five years later for Kurt and Blaine? They become role models for the LGBT community while looking dapper doing it (can’t say the same for their hair). From what I gather, they are Broadway stars? Talk about extra cheese singing for those kids but hey, it’s nice knowing that Kurt and Blaine are finally happy and spreading joy and that unicorn magic together.
Last but not least, our leading lady’s future? We see Rachel married to Jesse St. James and is a surrogate for Klaine’s baby. (Tina and Artie end up together as well, realizing their acting and film directing dreams together. Hey, that’s alright cause I never thought Tina deserved Mike Chang anyways. And Tina and Artie kind of always had this unspoken and unexplainable tie to each other) Rachel heads to the Tony’s with Jesse and WINS a TONY for best actress in a musical, echoing ‘Dreams Come True’. While Rachel accepts her award, we see (almost) every former glee club member cheering on for her through the telly. Of course, let’s not forget Rachel’s acceptance speech in which she thanked every from her family to Carmen from NYADA to everyone of McKinley’s glee… and the biggest gratitude for Will because OF COURSE and she does owe Will that huge thanks.
To end this all, who would have thought it would be Sue who brought together the New Directions reunion on top of dedicating the auditorium as the Finn Hudson Auditorium. Sue’s speech summed up nicely all the best glee has taught us – to be optimistic and ‘Don’t Stop Believing’, having SUE give that speech just made it all the better – showing us that glee club even manage to open and warm Sue’s icy heart.
They all performed one last song – One Republic’s I Lived, while every McKinley-Glee alum filled up the stage from Will to Principal Figgins to Sugar Motta… well, not EVERY. The fact that Marley Rose, Jake Puckerman and Ryder Lynn was missing from the finale? I think sends the message that the writers and/or producer would like to write off the new directions of seasons 4 and 5 as a mistake. Yeah, it probably was since it was when they started to lose viewers (most of my gleek friends gave up on the show around then). I AM glad I persevered through to this final season, because it did bounce back (even though not to its’ former glory). I’m also glad that they kept Kitty (she was definitely the life of that version of new directions), but to exile them complete out of the finale? where almost EVERYONE (Even TERRI! Will’s ex-wife) made an appearance?! And even not bringing back Blake Jenner (who portrays Ryder), the guy who WON The GLEE Project… boy was he robbed or what?
Will I miss glee? Yes, I will miss having such a passionate and cheery bunch who were all constant reminders that we should always look on the bright side and believe in ourselves. But a little less since there’s Empire to fill that musical-drama void now. Do I think it deserves another season? No. I think it’s played out all its’ options. Granted, writing a show in a high school setting is always tricky when you get beyond graduating the class, but the show has just made too many wrong turns and had been struggling to stay fresh, relevant or make sense to me. Perhaps it was the writing, or maybe it was the new characters that didn’t quite mesh with the show… whatever it was, it was the show’s time. For the writers to be able to give us a peek into our beloved characters future was more airtime than they deserved, but a great way to end things for the fans.
Glee might have declined and would’ve eventually died a slow death. This way, it didn’t end on a high note, but at least not on a sour note. Taking a look back at the best days of glee? It aimed to entertain and inspire. I’d say it definitely succeeded in that and taught us valuable lessons as our characters were learning them.
“See the world not as it should but as it should be.”
And remember to open yourself up to joy =)
What are your thoughts on the two-episode finale?
Was there any character you would’ve liked to see more of?
Did you think it was baked over-cheesed?
Do you have any suggestions on what could’ve made it better?
Will you miss glee?
Do you think glee ended too soon or otherwise?
Gleek or not, comment and share your thoughts!
If you read every word from top to bottom, thank you very much for your vote of confidence! Here is a more eloquent review which has similar comments about the finale as me: