The Glee Season 5 finale is tonight! What will happen to all of your favorite characters?
In this last episode, titled “The Untitled Rachel Berry Project,” Rachel (Lea Michele) ponders an offer to take a FOX development deal, which would entail moving to LA. She’s also got to wrangle a quirky television writer played by Kristen Schaal (30 Rock) who has some odd ideas for her TV debut. With Mercedes (Amber Riley) about to head out on tour, will she and Sam (Chord Overstreet) be able to weather a long distance relationship? Kurt (Chris Colfer) catches his fiance, Blaine (Darren Criss) in a lie, and all hell breaks loose! Shirley MacLaine guest stars as June Dalloway.
Brittany (Heather Morris) is back! But it’s super weird, because the original script included Santana, who had to be written out after Naya Rivera was dismissed from the show.
As always, I’ll be back with a longer recap. Let’s savor this last episode of the season. Glee won’t be back for its last season until January 2015 at the very earliest…
The Season 5 finale was satisfying in so many ways, it could have served as a series finale. For the most part, I liked where everybody ended up. The episode left us with no crazy cliffhangers, or disconcerting twists. And it’s a good thing too, because it’s gonna be a LONG wait for Season 6. The story won’t pick up again until January 2015 at the earliest! It sucks that FOX decided to delay the premiere until midseason But such as life when a series hits its lowest ratings ever.
But let’s NOT dwell on the negative! This season ender was feel good all around! Well, maybe not initially, but I’ll get to that.
Our story begins with Monday night dinner. The kids are super resentful that an interloper, this SCREENWRITER from Los Angeles, dispatched to work with Rachel on her pilot, will be crashing the party. We find out that Sam has a big potential modeling gig in the works–for a “manscaping” product called “Treasure Trailz.” Look it up in the Urban Dictionary! Heh. He’s still with Mercedes and it’s still the most unrealistic pairing ever. Pretty much the only stuff I actively disliked in this episode happened between the two of them.
Rachel exclaims that she wants her pilot to be just like her life! Old friends, trying to make it in this world. You know, like that’s something NEW! A knock on the door does not bring genius TV writer lady, Mary Halloran. Surprise! It’s Brittany! Fresh off the lesbian island of Lesbos. Well, no. She lost her passport at the airport and was stranded like in that Tom Hanks movie. So where’s Santana, she asks. FIRED FROM GLEE. She’s shooting a yeast-i-stat commercial in IOWA because they have the best wheat fields to slow motion run through. Or something. Of course they wrote Santana out in the lamest way possible. We’ll never know the role she was supposed to play in this finale, or where life would have taken her. Sadz.
Mary Halloran walks in a few minutes later, and it’s clear that she’s pretty crazy. She complains about the smell of Monday dinner’s Chinese feast giving her the “Lady Di’s.” She talks incessantly about her shrink. And her bowels. She has lots of loony ideas for Rachel’s pilot. Her gay dads are the only bit of bio that Mary is interested in using , but then she makes them NASA scientists. She TOTALLY rejects including detail about Rachel’s high school Glee club experience. “The a cappella thing is so over!” she insists. (So do the Glee ratings). As Ms Halloran excuses herself to snoop through the medicine cabinet, Rachel realizes that she’s may be brilliant (Princeton grad, McArthur Genius Grant, Obi Award) but she’s also completely wack.
Cut to a local mall, where Mercedes breezes in, signing autographs along the way. This is the start of the Mercedes Jones Summer Mall Tour. Via Artie’s cinema verite documentary work, we learn that Brittany has signed on as her backup dancer and Santana will be hooking up with them in Reno. Mercedes and Brittany (It was supposed to be a trio with Santana) hit the stage to perform the first single from Mercedes major label debut, “Shakin My Head.” All her friends are in the crowd, busy with their smart phones taking photos and dancing along. Kurt is LITERALLY shaking his head to this original song, with weird lyrics about Jesus and diet soda. Sounds like a hit. Not.
Shakin My Head: The Mercedes Jones Mall Tour
Cut to the NYADA dance studio, where Blaine meets up with June. She brings cupcakes! He’s rehearsing for his big showcase, which is coming up very soon. She’s working on the seating chart and has no idea that Walter Cronkite is dead. Blaine, are you sure you want your career in the hands of this woman, who obviously spends no time on social media? Blaine broaches the subject of Kurt. Two episodes ago Blaine lied to Kurt about June wanting him for the showcase. God knows why. Shouldn’t Blaine know by now that Kurt is strong enough to handle any disappointment? He’s had so many in his young life. Anyway. June shoots him right down. She’s not going to put her reputation on the line for someone she does not deem (STUPIDLY I MIGHT ADD) a worthy talent. She leaves Blaine with a warning, “You take my lead, and the world will greet you like Venus in a clamshell. You cross me? And you’ll be driftwood.” Blaine is totally intimidated.
Next, Blaine is seated at the piano, and sings a lovely, yet pain filled version of John Legend’s “All of Me.” Kurt walks in about 2/3s of the way through and is stunned by the beauty of the rendition. Love struck, really. But that doesn’t last long. When Blaine cries through a love song, Kurt should know. That’s the cue for some bad news. The scene is REALLY reminiscent of the break up scene in season 4. Only Kurt doesn’t have to ask what’s wrong. Blaine blurts it out. Not only does June NOT want Kurt in the showcase, she never did. Kurt is furious. “YOU LIED TO ME!” he screams as he angrily shoves the lunch he bought Blaine off of the piano. Blaine’s all “I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry. I didn’t want to hurt your feelings!” But Kurt is having none of it. They’ve talked about that! At length! He is absolutely correct. Didn’t he say a few episodes ago that he didn’t need to be treated like some flower to protect? “How am I supposed to believe that you love me, if I can’t even trust you!” This is brutal. Blaine’s apology is met with “I bet you are,” as Kurt turns on his heel and leaves the room, “Too bad I can’t believe in anything else you say.” Blaine has been SUCH a jerk, lying to Kurt. Will he finally kick Blaine to be curb?
All of Me – Blaine
Sam is at his audition for the modeling job, snapping a rubber band against his wrist to keep from growing a “rogue chubber.” TMI! He’s surrounded by hot models and trying as hard as he can to stay true to Mercedes. Remember, he promised he’d wait and wait and wait to have sex with her–until they were married! LIKE SERIOUSLY. The head modeling bitch makes the dudes strut their stuff. Like pieces of meat! She picks the one who turns her on the most, and after he sings a scintillating “Girls on Film” by Duran Duran, complete in 80’s style pastel, HMB is totally hot for Mr. Blue Balls himself, who can barely contain himself as a bevy of female models writhe around him. Oh look! The stripper pole Kurt was dancing on with Adam Lambert back in Frenemies! Only the hot girls dance on it. When Sam confesses to Head Model Bitch that he may be turning her on because he’s so pent up saving it up for his girlfriend, she doesn’t give a crap. She instructs him to come back LATER for the shoot. “Everything about you just screams Treasure Trailz.” Or an opportunity for Sex. Hello reverse casting couch!
Girls on Film – Sam
Back at the loft, Kurt, Rachel and Brittany confront Mercedes. They think she should break up with Sam before she leaves for tour. Cut to chez Mercedes, where Artie and Blaine, during a friendly video game, attempt to persuade Sam to do the same. The consensus is that nobody is going to be able to resist temptation. Especially Sam. While Mercedes is all “Sam is over the no sex thing! He barely thinks about it anymore!” Sam is all “All I think about is sex.” Both believe that their love is so strong, they will be able to resist temptation. Friends wise advice? UNHEEDED.
Meanwhile, Mary is spending time with all of Rachel’s friends, to get a feel for her subject’s life. She sits next to Artie in his editing bay and basically drives him crazy. He’s all WTF??!!? when she grabs a donut and sticks it in her bra. Blaine can barely believe she’s actually a writer. Especially when it turns out Brittany is totally on her wavelength. Like she totally gets that she has little mousies living in her pajamas and a cat in her pants. She’d watch ANY TV show she wrote! “That chick is insane,” Kurt declares, like Captain Obvious.
As Rachel gets ready for another Funny Girl performance, Kurt, is once again the voice of reason, warning her that she could possibly be burning a ton of bridges if she quits Funny Girl. The risk is not worth it unless the project is something worthy of the risk. Rachel should bet on her OWN voice rather than on some “crazy psychopath who eats couch cushions.”
Later, Rachel gathers everyone for an informal read through of the first draft. Why just read the script when we can have a fantasy reenactment? And it is HILARIOUS. Everybody has nutty names. Rachel eats a sheet cake in the bathtub, while Kurt (Cert, like the breathmint) is some sort of butch weirdo dressed in a godzilla costume he found in a dumpster. There’s a lot of netspeak and hashtagging. Oh. And Blaine and Brittany are in bed naked after having sex even though he’s gay and she’s mostly Lesbian. It’s uber-wrong, but that’s not GOING TO STOP THEM FROM DOING IT AGAIN. Brittany is the only one looking happy here. In the middle of a birthday coffee rave, Artie stops the reading. Brittany is totally into it. But the rest are like “GIRL YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE TO DO SOMETHING.” Rachel declares, “It’s going to be my show or no show at all.”
Cut to the front of Chez Mercedes, where Blaine forlornly feeds the pigeons. It’s time for some bird analogies from Kurt! Pigeons are full of diseases. “It’s going to be pretty hard to dance at your showcase with bumblefoot.” Blaine reminds Kurt that humans can’t get bumblefoot. That doesn’t stop the analogies. Blaine is ready to give up the showcase for Kurt. “You are more important to me than anything.” Kurt admits he was mad, but then he realized that trust is a choice, and that, like a bird who trusts that he can fly without knowing why, you hand your heart over, trusting you’ll be taken care of. Any time could be the day your heart is dropped like a stone. Regardless, he’s chosen to trust Blaine, even while knowing they will both slip up, and both be scared. “I will love you through everything,” promises Kurt. Blaine is so grateful and relieved. “I love you so much,” he says. Kurt doesn’t want Blaine to give up the showcase. “I’m happy for you,” he says, “Now it’s your turn to fly.” Enough of the bird analogies! The two repair to the apartment for some makeup sex.
“I’m the luckiest guy in the world,” says Blaine. “Yeah. PRETTY MUCH!” says Kurt, with a kiss.
Back at the spotlight diner, Rachel explains to Mary that the character she wrote isn’t anything like her. Actually, she’s more like Mary. “I know TV,” Mary insists. “People want anti-heroes. They want chubby girls who can’t get men, and men who kill people.” She’s got a point. But maybe she’s so narcissistic, she’s unable to write outside her own head. She insists that the network boss only greenlights shows that have the thing Rachel lacks–irony. How will Rachel explain her point of view? Through song of course. She has a guitar player waiting, much to Mary’s dismay. But, her version of Pink’s “Glitter in the Air” is so real, that Mary’s cynical heart just metaphorically bursts out of her chest, like the Grinch who Stole Christmas. “This is so weird,” says Mary, “I was watching you and…I think I was happy!” Maybe there is a show in not making people hate themselves! Hooray!
Glitter in the Air – Rachel
At his shoot, Sam is having trouble feeling sexy. It’s pretty much a one on one with Head Model Bitch. Whatever. Any excuse for Shirtless Sam and I’m in! She kicks her assistants out of the room after Sam complains that one is wierding him out (“Is one nipple higher than the other?”) She offers him a beer as she talks him through some personal questions. She’s taking Polaroids while he admits she’s really hot. And he loves his girlfriend. And he’s afraid he’ll lose his job if he doesn’t do what she wants. She advises him to leave guilt out of his “minestrone of emotions”–these two use soup analogies–before she kisses him, and he appears to give in.
Back at Chez Mercedes, a guilt ridden Sam admits that he cheated on her. But then, it turns out he really didn’t. After they kissed he started crying and ran off. At this point, Mercedes realizes that it’s unfair to make him wait. She’s not ready to get married, and may not be for a long time. He insists that it’s hard, but he’s willing, because he has a feeling they were meant to be together. I’M insisting this is the most unrealistic and charisma free hookup ever. Mercedes isn’t afraid that he’ll cheat on her, but that he’ll eventually resent her. She thinks it’s best if they break it off while they can’t be physically together. I actually consider their breaking up a happy ending.
It’s showcase time! Blaine is at the piano for a duet of “No Time At All” from the Broadway show, Pippen. This is way less WTF than “Piece of My Heart,” their duet from “The Back Up Plan” But this song hasn’t aged well. Although it does have its charms, I expected Shirley Jones and the Partridge Family to bust into the room at any moment. Lucky Artie gets a lap full of June, as the duo serenade their table full of friends. After, when June compliments Kurt as such a good friend to “rise above everything to support Blaine,” Kurt reminds her that a “friend wouldn’t stand any of this. I’m here because he’s the love of my life and nothing and no one will come between us.” GO KURT.
No Time at All (Pippin) – Blaine and June (Shirley MacLaine)
And there is Kurt. Unfailingly supportive of his man. Just when I’m at the point of being totally and completely done with Blaine for NOT supporting HIS man, the entire situation turns around. For his encore, he invites Kurt to duet with him. “If you want to get to know me, there’s no better way than seeing me with my one true love.” June looks like she could cut a bitch. The look of shock on Kurt’s face, when Blaine asks him to duet, reminded me of season 2 Klaine, before they were even together as a couple. It’s the same look Kurt had when Blaine announced to the Warblers in council, that he wanted to duet with Kurt at competition. Full circle.
Not only does Blaine invite Kurt to sing “American Boy” but he allows him, generously, to TOTALLY pull focus. As Kurt inevitably, and always does. Blaine proves that he’s truly OK with Kurt being a success, and able to share in that success (Unlike in “Tested” where Blaine had major issues with no longer being top dog). The crowd falls in love with them BOTH and June slowly comes to realize that she was so so wrong about Kurt. She eventually dances it out happily with everyone on stage. “They loved you!” June says before she adds quietly, “I’m going to take credit for all of it. It’s been a long time since somebody has proven me wrong.”
“You remind me of my third marriage,” she says to Kurt. “My husband was gay too!”
American Boy – Blaine and Kurt
Later, back at the loft, a reading of a new draft of the script is going MUCH better. Tears. Everybody loves it. Except Brittany, of course. Rachel is sure she found her dream role. The gang holds a toast to two glorious years in the city. Just then, a bus pulls up in front of the loft. There’s Shirtless Sam, half naked across the bus for Treasure Trailz. His dream has been realized. “My abs! My Nipples are even!” Is this the start of a great career? Nope. Now that his junk has been on the side of a bus, a dream come true, he can head back to Lima. WHAT?!? This makes no sense. Oh wait. Yes it does. We’re being set up for New Directions 2.0. Now I’m sad. Really sad. Oh Glee. Why do you toy with my heart? I fell in love with New York, now you are ripping it away.
“It’s the end of another era for us Glee kids,” says Blaine.
“Finn and the Glee club,” says Rachel, “I don’t think I can handle losing anything else.”
No more losses! The gang pledges to stay together, no matter how far and wide they scatter. Rachel wants to make a deal. Six months from now, they all reunite “back at this place.” Wait, that’s before FOX pushed the season 6 premiere out another 4 months! The gang hugs it out. “Oh guys” says Kurt, “I would kill to break out in song right now.”
And they do. In a homage to 80’s music videos–straight out of a Janet Jackson song–the kids take to the street to sing “Pompeii” by Bastille. Cut into the song are scenes of the kids moving on. A cab pulls up. Mercedes hugs Sam before she and Brittany leave for tour. Artie rolls through the halls of school. He remains a film student, looking forward to the future. Back at the loft. The door slides open. Blaine enters with a suitcase. He’s moving back in! Oh look. There’s the “workspace” he and Kurt argued over, all set up for him. Kurt puts the finishing touches on it. It’s a sign that he’s willing and ready to REALLY share a home with Blaine. Sam walks the halls of McKinley. He looks in on the choir room, now a computer lab. “But if you close your eyes, does it almost feel that nothing’s changed at all…” Rachel’s phone buzzes. It’s the network. They’ve green lighted a pilot! Kurt and Blaine rouse themselves from a cozy spot on the coach to jump up and down in celebration with Rachel. She’s going to Los Angeles. The episode ends: ‘How am I going to be an optimist about this” sings Rachel, as she marches up the street. She stops. She looks up at the sky. Is she thinking of Finn? She looks straight at the camera, breaking the 4th wall. She IS going to be an optimist. Eternally. About this. She smiles as we fade to black.
The seven episode New York City arc was some of the best Glee ever. I’m really sad it’s ending. There were more stories to tell there! It’s kind of messed up that Rachel is leaving Funny Girl after only a few months in the role. Wouldn’t she be breaking a contract? I get that the series is coming to an end, and it probably IS fitting that it finish in Lima where it began. My speculation is that, while the action will begin in Los Angeles, it won’t stay there for long. Especially now that the final season probably won’t be longer than 15 episodes. Everyone is gonna end up back in Ohio helping to run that damn Glee club, I’ll bet. No use worrying about it now. It’s going to be a long hiatus…
Pompeii – Rachel, Kurt, Blaine, Sam, Mercedes, Artie, Brittany