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Glee season finale recap: Season 5 finale

It’s a night of showcasing, screenwriting, sex-buzzing, and a healthy dose of confusion, as Glee’s singing stars wrap up their fifth season

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Glee Recap
Tyler Golden/Fox


TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Jane Lynch, Lea Michele, Matthew Morrison, Chris Colfer
Comedy, Music

Here’s what you missed on Glee (New York-verse): We left behind the walls and Cheerio fly-away skirts of McKinley for good and headed to the Big Apple with the original gang. Rachel got her dream role on Broadway, playing Fanny Brice in Funny Girl. Blaine moved into the Brooklyn Mansion Loft, then back out because he and Kurt mostly seem to not enjoy spending time together. Except when Blaine doesn’t tell Kurt something, gets upset about it, lashes out, and Kurt forgives him. They’re usually pretty into each other then. Santana and Brittany went to the island of Lesbos, and Santana returned to New York, inexplicably without Brittany. Mercedes prepared to release an album and become a huge recording artist, while Sam convinced her that the few weeks they dated in high school were very serious, so they fell in love, but didn’t fall into bed because Mercedes is pretty into God and saving herself for marriage. *DING*

If you actually missed those things, this Glee season finale might have been right in your wheelhouse. Because if you took it as a standalone episode of television, it was perfectly delightful: the performances were energetic, the songs were great and it was stacked with jokes. If you took it as the culmination of the 5th season of this show, and the launching pad for the last season of the series, however, it was pretty all over the place. The good news is that the last 10 minutes were exactly what you want from a season finale of Glee, set to the perfect finale song (Bastille’s “Pompeii”), giving each character a moment to wrap up their plots from this season and look forward to all the things to come in the next. The bad news is that the first 50 minutes gave us very little indication as to what those future-things could really be.

In that way, it actually felt much more like a series finale, and it would have been a logical one. Last night’s episode, and much of the latter half of this season, ended up being about how, at a certain age, you treat your decisions with a sort of reckless abandon — all gut feeling and intuition and belief that everything always works out for the best if you want it bad enough. Those are the kind of decisions that an audience doesn’t necessarily need to follow up on. Leaving this series knowing that Rachel is about to go make her own version of Glee within the Glee universe (Choir? Theater Kids? Jammin’ with the Top 40? Fame Redux?) would be a pretty comfortable feeling. However, knowing that in 2015, I’ll have to face up to the ramifications of Rachel leaving a successful Broadway show and totally offending her producers, director and cast to star in a TV series based on her life, written by a woman who seems like she probably dabbles in eating her own hair, is a touch more nerve-racking.

But I didn’t come this far to back out now, and I technically already watch a show based on Rachel’s life. So away we go!

The whole gang is gathered for Monday Family Dinner at Rachel and Kurt’s “André the Giant” Loft. Mercedes and Sam, the cutest little couple that could (for six weeks), banter back and forth mid-lap-sit with Sam saying he’s this close to achieving his New York modeling dreams of being half-naked on the side of a bus. You and me both, buddy.

Rachel swoops in when her Protagonist Red Alert sensor goes off and proclaims, “See, this is exactly what my show needs to be about.” Either this is a meta joke that Glee is the pinnacle of what television shows should be, or Rachel is suggesting that her show be about a bunch of friends with vague suggestions of jobs paling around in a big ass New York City apartment while they prepare food they never eat. How novel! She needs to be thinking in terms of TV tropes like these though, because Mary Halleran, the writer her network is sending to help figure out her show (or in Rachel’s words, “understand her essence”), is on her way to meet her. Rachel thinks a knock at the door is announcing Mary’s arrival, but it turns out to be Brittany S. Pierce, back from her Tom-Hanks-like entrapment at the airport in Lesbos (“no, it was Castaway”). She had to ditch her cell phone because of a tough breakup with Kiki, which easily explains why she didn’t know Santana is in Iowa shooting a yeast infection commercial…yeah, okay, Ryan Murphy.

NEXT: Shake out your Garfield sleeping bag, it’s time to get down to work