‘Glee’ Recap: Graduation, Gwyneth Paltrow & The Official End Of New Directions
The fifth season of Glee truly has turned into the longest goodbye ever, with the last several episodes announcing that this truly is the end of glee club, only for some plan to save it emerging at the last minute. But this time, we know it’s for real — at least, according to teacher, Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison), who has finally come to terms with the fact that New Directions is officially over.
Geographically, the series, along with several cast members, is making a permanent move to New York, beginning with next week’s episode. But before that, let’s see how it all played out during the show’s final hour spent in Lima, Ohio.
Still hanging out at McKinley High, Holly Holliday (Gwyneth Paltrow) and April Rose (Kristin Chenoweth) chat in the teacher’s lounge where they are joined by Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch). According to Holly, she and Sue became fast friends on their first meeting. They subsequently auditioned together for the Amazing Race. With Sue’s permission, Holly starts to enact her plan to add music to each of McKinley’s extra curricular clubs.
Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) strides the hall, still waiting to hear back from college admissions. She walks into the music room to see the glee club gang packing up their trophies. They learn that Blaine (Darren Criss) got accepted to New York Academy of the Dramatic Arts (NYADA). Tina is bummed that she still hasn’t been accepted to college, but Blaine and Sam (Chord Overstreet) encourage her to move to the Big Apple anyway. Everyone cheers as they realize they’re going to be in New York together. During the excitement, Tina is knocked unconscious. Cut to her dreaming about their life in New York as Friends — or rather Chums — complete with a laugh track.
Mike Chang (Harry Shum, Jr.) shows up at the Spotlight Diner, where the entire original cast plus Blaine and Sam appear to work. How many servers could this place actually need? Then, however, Tina wakes up back into reality.
The glee club, original cast and everyone else, gather in the auditorium, where Mercedes (Amber Riley) and Kurt (Chris Colfer) give a speech about how upsetting it is to see friends fight. This leads into a duet between Kurt and Mercedes of “I Am Changing.” After the song, Rachel (Lea Michele) meets Santana (Naya Rivera) in the bathroom to make a peace offering of allowing understudy Santana to perform in ten shows. But it’s not enough for Santana, who wants all the shows, leaving Rachel perplexed and upset.
Cut to Holly Holliday dressed as Temple Grandin for an Animal Husbandry class. From there, she bursts into her version of “Party All The Time,” complete with a Studio 54 disco glam retro foam party scene. None of it makes any sense, really, but the woman’s going through a divorce, so I’ll cut her some slack here.
Santana walks into the music room to see that Brittany (Heather Morris) has filled the room with white lilies. Brittany hands Santana two one-way tickets to Lesbos Island and tells her she wants to give their relationship a second try. Santana is concerned that Brittany only wants to run off with her to avoid going back to MIT. They have a moment. “So, what do you want to do?” Brittany asks before the commercial break.
Tina is bummed because she’s not been accepted to Mitzvah University because she’s not Jewish enough, apparently. To cheer her up, Sam, Blaine and Artie (Kevin McHale) sing “Loser Like Me” with her. After the song, all their problems are solved (duh) and everyone’s happy.
Rachel rehearses lines on the stage by herself and is approached by Santana, who has had a change of heart. Santana tells Rachel she quit her role as Rachel’s understudy in Funny Girl. To celebrate, they sing “Be Okay” together in front of the entire glee club.
Principal Sylvester calls Holly and Will into her office. After receiving a ton of angry mail about their one-week music experiment, Sue has decided to move forward with killing glee club. And Will has accepted it. Holly rushes out of the office to Artie, whom she commissions for a new plan of hers.
We open with Quinn (Dianna Agron) singing “Just Give Me A Reason” with Puck (Mark Salling), who may or may not be AWOL. They make a love announcement and kiss. Will then says that glee club is officially over. But is it?
Will walks into his office and spies a fancy invitation on his desk. It directs him to go to the auditorium, where a tribute video for Will broadcasts on the screen. The entire cast talks about how he influenced their lives. After the video ends, the original cast returns to the stage to sing the song that started it all in the series’ 2009 pilot, “Don’t Stop Believing.” They are quickly joined by the entire glee club and eventually, Will.
The new kids reflect upon their memories at glee club as they pack up instruments and put away chairs before heading to the auditorium for the graduation ceremony. Tina tells the gang that she heard she was accepted to Brown. Another surprise announcement is that Brittany received an honorary graduation along with this year’s graduates. In the bathroom, Brittany and Santana chat and Santana asks that after their vacation, Brittany join her in New York. They kiss and appear ready to give it another go.
Will steps into the empty music room to find Sue Sylvester waiting for him with a drink for each of them to share as they bid adieu to the club. Sue encourages Will to move on to coach Vocal Adrenaline at rival Carmel High. After Sue leaves him alone, Will takes a final bow before leaving the room.
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