…they want to be a part of it, New York, New York! Yes, it was finally time for Nationals after two seasons of Glee. Despite this episode being extremely predictable (I mean, come on, if they won Nationals this year what would they struggle for in the coming seasons?) it was a pretty enjoyable hour. Certain parts were absurd, as always, but overall it struck a couple of good emotional chords and some nice musical notes as well.
The opening scene panning Times Square and then zooming in on Rachel Berry and company taking in the city of New York was a great start because it did remind me that this show really is about kids with big dreams. Sometimes it gets sidetracked from this message, so my favorite parts from tonight’s grand finale were the moments of realization that several of the characters had about how much this trip—this opportunity—really means to them. I especially liked the Rachel-Kurt bonding experience, because the one thing these two have always seen eye-to-eye on is their mutual love for following their Broadway dreams. Kurt waking Rachel up early for “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and then breaking into the Wicked theater to perform “For Good” on stage were the emotional high notes for me. They truly connect over this passion and it makes for incredible performances.
Thanks to Kurt’s special NYC “tour,” Rachel is more determined than ever that her number one focus must be getting herself to New York after graduation. Despite a hilariously clichéd romantic date with Finn—complete with the Glee men serenading them with Lady and the Tramp’s “Bella Notte”—Rachel knows now more than ever that her first true love always will be the stage. She thinks she has to choose between Finn and Broadway, and quite frankly that is pretty realistic. She’s right in that she can’t have someone hold her back when the time comes to leave Lima. But in the heat of the moment, at the conclusion of their big heart-wrenching duet performance, Finn kisses Rachel in front of the entire audience. After an awkward silence, New Directions performs another original number to great applause. Unfortunately, the annoying Jesse St. James seems to be right in his prediction that the judges are not going to like that kiss. And Glee is heartbroken to learn that they will not advance.
Back in Ohio, Kurt fills Blaine in on all the happenings, and of course initially everyone is pissed off at Finn for that costly kiss. But, ultimately, maturity wins the day because even Kurt can’t be too down on things—overall, he had an amazing experience in NYC and a life-changing year. Blaine and Kurt express their love for one another, and meanwhile another couple takes shape nearby. Turns out Sam and Mercedes have been secretly dating, probably in the wake of their prom date. And as for the complicated couple that is Brittany and Santana—they reaffirm their love for one another, even though it is not the kind of love Santana is looking for from Brittany. Even Brittany has a wise perspective of the recent turn of events. While I did appreciate her speech about Glee Club being her family, I didn’t appreciate how the writers practically had Brittany beat us over the head with ‘let me spell out the theme of this entire season for you all in case you missed it: ACCEPTANCE.’ Got that everyone? In case you couldn’t tell by all the bullying threats, coming-out-of-the-closet fears, physical appearance insecurities, and shame over poverty storylines…Glee thinks we are idiots and cannot possibly realize on our own that there has been a central theme of acceptance. But I guess Glee figures we are just not as quick as their characters to pick up things, because clearly they are all musical geniuses if they can write and choreograph to perfection two original songs in a mere day or two.
With so much to see and do in NYC, there wasn’t as much time for one-liners as usual. But here are a few that stood out:
- Puck trying to order a Manhattan at the bar with Lauren, claiming that he is what is in “Manhattan.”
- “I feel like Eloise” (Kurt); “I have pills for that” (Brittany)
- “Can we just talk about the Jewish elephant in the room?” (Puck thinks Finn should ask Rachel out on a big romantic date and pull out all the stops like romantic comedies—the kind you grow a vagina from if you watch them all the way through).
- Santana going “loca” on Finn and Rachel in Spanish after their loss.
- “Pip Pip Hooray”—a musical about Pippa Middleton that Kurt plans to write this summer. Can that PLEASE be a webisode series this summer, because that sounds highly entertaining.
As the Glee Club huddles for one last meeting before summer vacation, it seems that tempers are in check and that New Directions is happy to celebrate its 12th Place finish as one big happy family. What will the next year bring for these kids? I hope it brings some more of that special spark we saw in season one, because season two was kind of all over the map.