This episode was less about endings and more about beginnings.
Aptly titled “New Directions,” the episode focuses on closing McKinley High’s Glee Club once and for all with the current New Directioners as well as all of the familiar faces that came back last week to pay respects.
We open with Holly Holiday and April Rhodes playing a friendly game of Kill, Marry, Screw with some of McKinley’s dominant male figures. Will Schuster (duh), Figgins and Brad the piano man.
While the ladies seem to be in agreement about Brad’s fate as the guy to kill, they seem to differ in opinions on who to marry and who to screw. While the ladies explain their cases to each other, Sue barges in to steal the attention of the fabulous Ms. Holiday. The two begin explaining to April their plans to compete (and dominate) in the upcoming season of "The Amazing Race" until Holly has buttered Sue up enough to unveil her plan to instill music into the other after-school clubs at McKinley. Reluctantly, Sue agrees and Team Holiday Rhodes (as I like to refer to them) are officially in Operation: Save Glee Club for their pal Will.
Their plan is simple, Holly will dress up as Temple Grandin, animal doctor and so much more, and explain to the Animal Husbandry Club why she was so important. This is achieved through song and dance, of course. Seemingly out of nowhere everyone is wearing their best disco attire and singing Eddie Murphy’s hit 1985 song, “Party All the Time,” complete with a foam party.
When Sue begins receiving mail from the parents of the club members, various Senators and even the Million Moms, Sue decides that’s the end of their attempt to instill music in other clubs. Holly has one more plan and needs Artie’s help, but more about that in a bit...
Meanwhile, the seniors are all excited to graduate and move on to New York City. Blaine got into NYADA, Artie was accepted into film school in Brooklyn a while back and Sam is just going for the adventure.
Tina, on the other hand, hasn’t heard from Brown, but was rejected by Ohio State. Feeling that all hope is fleeting, she decides to drop the Chang in her last name in order to get into an all Jewish University in New York. Later she receives a letter from the school saying they know who she is and that she dropped part of her last name and is a big, fat liar pants. Better luck next time, Tina!
As she begins to stress out about being the only one not going on to New York, Sam inadvertently knocks her out and she has a quick (but epic) dream of Rachel, Santana, Kurt, Blaine, Sam, Artie, herself and even Mike Chang in a pretty crazy knock off version of "Friends" called "Chums."
Just as you think this is how the episode is going to go down, she comes to and after a new more ballad-y version of New Direction's original song “Loser Like Me,” with her pals, she is talked into going to New York and finding her way.
Kurt and Mercedes attempt to help Rachel and Santana see the light by explaining how the rehashing of their epic battle on tater-tots came back while in the lunch room but that they saw the error of their ways and were friends again.
This, coupled with KurtCedes’ rendition of the Dreamgirls song “I Am Changing,” boosts Rachel to attempt a reconciliation with Santana by offering her any 10 shows as Fanny on Broadway. While most people would kill for this, Santana abruptly declines, stating it’s all or nothing. Brittany woos Santana by filling the choir with lilies (the lesbian of flowers, of course) and two one-way tickets to the Island of Lesbos where the two of them can be “happily surrounded by lesbos.”
Brittany has a way of dealing with Santana and actually makes a super intelligent point when trying to get through to her, “You lived in the closet because you were afraid to let people see who you really were. You came out because you’re brave. Be brave in this, walk away because it’s not your dream.” I love that math geek.
Santana apologizes to Rachel and quits the show via text. The two agree to get along and to prove it, they sing “Be Okay” by Oh Honey. Afterwards, Santana lets Brittany know that Lesbos is actually full of German tourists so she bought the tickets to come back, AFTER a well-deserved trip to Hawaii, of course. After this she asks Brittany to come back to New York with her, and Brittany says YES! I couldn’t be more thrilled about this!
The last little storyline to be tied up is the one with Quinn and Puck. They seem to really be enjoying each others’ company and sing a cute version of “Just Give Me A Reason” by Pink. Quinn ends the song by announcing to her peers that she and Puck are going to finally give being a couple a try because she’d “rather do hard with him than do easy with anyone else.” Awwwww.
OK, now on to Holly’s master plan I mentioned a little earlier. Will finds a letter that directs him to the auditorium where he finds a button he must press. Holly had all of the glee kids, past and present, record a video for Will’s soon-to-be-born child letting the future baby know just how awesome their dad was.
My favorite part of the video was Brittany’s “Sand Dollar.” Seriously, you have to see it. It was incredibly touching and as the video ended, the original five started up the song that started it all -- Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” with Finn’s part being started by his brother, Kurt, and shared by all the guys ... including Will Schuster.
The episode ends with Tina getting into Brown, the class of 2013 (seriously, this is still so confusing to me) graduating and all of the current glee kids talking about what glee club did for them. Will and Sue share a final conversation in the empty choir room over a couple of wine coolers from her failed company in the 1980s, and she shares her heart with Will. Encourages him to never give up. Finally, she lets him know that she got him an interview as head coach for Vocal Adrenaline, New Direction's fiercest competitor.
As Will is left in his old choir room, he dances like Fred Astaire as the sounds of happy kids from the last five years fill the air. The most iconic and prolific moments from "Glee" are replayed in that room. The room that brought so many different people together. The room that united people of all backgrounds, ethnicities and orientations. The room that changed the way America watched TV. That room was a character itself.
"Glee" will continue for the next year, and it will be a fun ride, but I know it can never be the same again because to me, that room represented what "Glee" was at it’s very core.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun