May 22, 2012

Episode Review: GLEE, "Goodbye"

As much enjoyment as I get out of watching Glee, part of me wanted "Goodbye" to be it for the show and that it would gracefully bow out at the end of its third season. The episode was in some ways an appropriate send-off as high school came to a close for some and chapters were completed. That's not to say that it was a perfect episode or even a flawless finale because it wasn't, but I would've been happy if this was the last time we visited Lima.

"Goodbye" really didn't complicate itself with too much plot, or any for that matter, but it served as a way for the seniors to prepare for whatever's coming their way while tying up some loose ends. For example, Quick fans got some closure as Quinn expressed what Puck meant to her and urged him to return to his bad ass ways, and she even got some respect and praise from her former cheerleading coach. Will came clean and admitted to Finn that he blackmailed him in order to get him join glee club (and Finn's reaction was priceless). Both the seniors and the underclassmen got to serenade each other one last time. We found out where Mercedes and Santana are going now that school's over, but more importantly we found out what's in store for Rachel, Kurt and Finn.

The entire season's been leading up to the moment when the three opened up their respective letters, and it was the closest thing to a story this episode had. They all made a pact that they'd find out their fates at the same time in the choir room. Finn went first, and even though he felt confident about his audition for James Lipton, he found out that he was not accepted. Kurt was up next, and he too was given bad news, which left Rachel.

Since it's Glee, she of course got into NYADA (in spite of bombing her audition), but she decided to defer enrollment so she could help the latter with their re-admission processes. Her distraction was to focus on her wedding, but Finn threw her a curve ball. Instead of going to the chapel of love, he drove her to the train station. He told her that he was not going to let her give up her dream for him, and suggested that they submit to the reality that they're on different paths, and that they needed to go their separate ways. After a tearful goodbye, she boarded the train and headed to New York to start her new life.

Let me just get my major complaint out of the way first. I actually loved the fact that Finn and Kurt didn't get into their dream schools because it's a slice of real life. You can dream big and plan everything out, but sometimes things just don't go your way. Dealing with this kind of pain is a part of growing up. The part I did have a problem with was Rachel getting into NYADA over Kurt. Now, we all knew that she was going to end up in NYC no matter what, but objectively speaking she shouldn't have been accepted. Not only did she choke during her audition, but she pestered Whoopi Goldberg into letting her in. So, the message to the impressionable viewers is, "if you don't get your way, just keep annoying people until they give in." Sure, that's a slightly exaggerated read, but not necessarily wrong. I would've rather her not get in, move to NYC anyway, become a waitress and have to fight Megan Hilty for the lead role of one of the worst musicals of all time, but I digress.

Everything else was pretty solid. Like I mentioned, I was relived when I learned that Kurt and Finn would not magically get into their first choice schools because watching them have to deal with figuring out what's next will be far more interesting then watching them stumble into their dreams. Finn joining the Army was a welcomed callback to what was brought up episodes ago, but I do wish we had gotten more time with him coming to that decision. Now, the biggest mystery is where Kurt goes from here, and I'm sure that'll be a major plot next season.

I do have to admit that some of the send-offs were a tad bit lackluster. When Finn was given a nice tribute from the underclassmen, we got a shot of an upset Puck, and I was sure that we were going to get an outburst from him questioning why Finn's always getting the accolades, which would've made that scene with Quinn more impactful, but I suppose we don't want to remember him as a brat. Mercedes was once again pushed aside even though her dreams also came true, but we shouldn't be shocked at this point in the game. The one I had more of an issue with was Santana's because I don't know why she can't both go to New York and college. Rachel's obviously doing it, so why can't she?

Other Odds and Ends:
  • This felt like a surreal clip show with all of the callbacks and inside jokes. It wasn't Community surreal, but it wasn't the norm either.
  • I loved how they brought back "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat."
  • But it wasn't as good as the "Single Ladies" callback. Genius!
  • I wonder how many people were confused when Burt mentioned their old house, even though he said they'd be moving right after Carol and Finn moved in? Just because we didn't see it, doesn't mean it didn't happen.
  • Do we really need another year of Brittany?
  • The sequence where the seniors sang to the underclassmen and seamlessly had them take their places was one of the better moments this show's put together
  • I was also relieved when we got confirmation that Sam's not a senior. Now, Glee can make Chord Overstreet a regular already!
  • Say what you will, but I'm really going to miss the Will and Finn relationship.
  • Other than his solo and confession, Will wasn't featured all that much which was good since it was supposed to be about the kids.
  • At least they addressed the fact that glee club's kind of cool now. Suck on that naysayers!
  • I get that Sue's scene with Roz was supposed to signify her growth, but boy did it stick out.
  • I loved it that all of the seniors were with Puck while he waited for his test grade.
  • That had to be the most fun commencement ceremony ever.
  • How many people wondered why we didn't see Mercedes' parents at graduation? Or Rachel's for that matter? I swear some people are way to nit-picky with this show.
  • Finn running beside the train was so cliched, but also incredibly cute.
  • For a split second there, I thought Rachel was going to toss her hat in the air.
Even though I would've liked "Goodbye" to be the series finale, it obviously brought up more questions than answers, which is fine since we're definitely going to be getting another season, but I also don't want to tempt fate. Glee's fumbled the ball way too many times over the last three seasons, and I'd rather have it go out on a string of good episodes instead of mess up again during Season 4. Or maybe I should just have more faith in the show. Regardless, I found myself really enjoying this season ender, and it proved that Glee still has a little bit of magic left in it.


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