Glee Season 6 Series Finale Recap 2000/Dreams Come True
This is it! The Glee series finale. I remember when I first discovered the show in the summer of 2009. I’ve recapped every show from beginning to end. Glee infuriated me early and often, but I know I will always look back on the series fondly. Mostly for the characters and the wonderful actors who portrayed them.
The first half of tonight’s 2 hour finale takes us back to 2009. We see the events that took place from the original club members point of view. What led Kurt, Rachel, Artie, Tina and Mercedes to sign up for Glee? It ends with the origina performance of “Don’t Stop Believing.” I’ve been hearing good things about “2009” from folks who saw it at last week’s Glee Paley Fest panel.
Glee Season 6 Finale Songs! Listen to Music From “2009” & “Dreams Come True”
Glee Series Finale – Lea Michele Sings Darren Criss’ “This Time” (VIDEO)
Glee Says Goodbye – Thirty Favorite Performances (VIDEO)
Glee Says Goodbye – The Last Days on Set! (PHOTOS)
The second half, “Dreams Come True” takes place in the present, but also jumps 5 years into the future. We’ll see where all of our favorite characters end up in their adult lives. The last number is a huge curtain call with many, many, actors who have appeared on the show over the years. The group sings. “I Lived” by OneRepublic.
The past, present and future of Glee! The first hour of the series finale took us back to 2009 when Will first takes over the club. The episode covers roughly the same time period as the pilot, but presents the events from the kids’ point of view, and with additional backstory.
For instance, we learn WHY the original members signed up for Glee in the first place, and how they initially met each other. Take Artie and Tina. They were good friends before they joined Glee, with Artie already harboring a little crush on Tina. Kurt meets Rachel in the school cafeteria after he asks to share a table with her. He’s seen her MySpace performances, and thinks she’s really talented. But Rachel is as snooty as can be, with posters for her myriad clubs spread all over the table, barely giving Kurt room to eat. When she learns that Kurt can sing, she suggests he go out for Glee. She knows all about Will Schuester taking over New Directions–back in the pilot she was instrumental in getting Sandy Ryerson fired–not that she admits it to anyone here. The duo get together the next day in the auditorium to practice. The first Hummelberry duet ever is another song from Wicked, “Popular” and the performance is as adorable as could be. But later, when Kurt asks Rachel if she’ll audition with him, she turns him down. Show choir auditions mean every man for himself! Eat or be eaten!
Popular – Rachel and Kurt
I’m An Actress from “2009”
It’s Rachel’s competitiveness that compels her to check out Mercedes singing at her home church, and she feels very threatened indeed when Mercedes completely blows the roof off the chapel as she expresses her love for her Lord with the gospel classic, ” I’m His Child.” Mercedes can spot every one of Rachel’s manipulations coming down the pike, and she’s having none of THAT, But when Will eventually gives Rachel the “You’re the One that I Want” solo, Mercedes almost quits the club. It’s a member of her church that reminds her she is indeed a star, and that competing with a girl like Rachel will raise her game. She also predicts the two will become very good friends some day. “Stars have a way of finding each other,” she says.
“I’m His Child”
And it’s Kurt who tells Mercedes about New Directions. He doesn’t know her, but he’s heard she’s the star of her church choir. She broke a stained glass window hitting a high note! Kurt introduces himself in the hallway, approaching the young singer as if she’s a celebrity. He addresses her as “Miss Jones.” Mercedes keeps her stride. “We’re walking, we’re talking!” She’s already got the diva thing down. She’s so fabulous and fierce, he wants to be just like her. He asks her to help him audition. She finds him so adorable she can’t say no. She has noticed the way he slinks around the school and thinks it’s time that his attitude match his loud clothing. Kurt says he feels safer allowing his wardrobe to do his talking. It helps him be invisible. It’s Mercedes who suggests his audition song, “Mr. Cellophane.” Kurt wasn’t actually this mousy in the first season of Glee. He covered up his insecurities not only with wild colthing, but a ton of bravado as well. He never shirked away from a bully as he does when he apologizes to Puck and Karofsky after getting a little snarky with them.
Kurt is compelled to join a club, after Emma catches him eying a suicide pamphlet (Titled Ending it All: Pros and Cons) she calls in Burt for a meeting. Later, Burt insists that Kurt join a sports team. He figures it will help break his son’s isolation. And although he doesn’t say it, he’s probably hoping it might “cure” him too.
The tension between Kurt and Burt is palpable. So much is left unsaid. Burt KNOWS Kurt is gay, but he’s not ready to fully admit that to himself. When Emma calls Burt to the office, he thinks it’s to discuss Kurt’s sexual orientation. “It’s too early to talk about that,” insists Burt. “Kids grow out of stuff all of the time.”
Kurt wants to tell his dad. After he comes home with the exciting news that he was accepted to Glee club, he says to himself in voice over “I’m gay dad. Please don’t stop loving me. ” But he can’t say it out loud yet. For his part, Burt would have rather Kurt join a real sports team, but he’s just happy that his son has found something that makes him happy. The look of fear and concern on his face when he learned that Kurt was entertaining thoughts of harming himself said everything about how fiercely he loves his son. The scenes between Kurt and Burt, old school poignant, were some of the best in the episode.
I want to say here, the actors did a great job embodying their younger selves. Chris Colfer is taller, thinner and broad shouldered compared to the 18 year old who starred in the pilot, but I completely believed him as younger Kurt, as he softened his voice and took on the mannerisms of a young closeted boy who lived entirely behind an emotional fortress. Lea Michele, slipped right back into that shrill, rigid character Rachel used to be.
“I’m Tina Cohen- Chang and you don’t care,” Tina says in voice over. Jenna Ushkowitz is plays Tina as still goofy, but a lot angrier. At this point, she’s still faking a stutter to keep people away. She’s unpopular, but PROUDLY so. Or, at least that’s what she wants you to think.
Mercedes is proud and fierce and unwilling to share the stage. She doesn’t have a ton of friends at McKinley either, but she’s not that bothered by it. She has the strongest sense of self of all the kids at this point. She’s not quite as lonely or isolated either, as her home and spiritual life are rich. There aren’t many black folk at shcool, except for that one kid, Matt Rutherford, and he’s hella boring. “Hey Mercedes!” Matt calls after her, as she promptly ignores him. Literally the only words he has ever uttered on Glee.
Speaking of Artie and Tina–we get to see their FULL auditions! The thing about the pilot–everybody was meant to sound kind of awful in their auditions, except for Rachel. Even Mercedes sang exaggerated, shouty adlibs that weren’t meant to sound good. It was only later that we learned everybody could REALLY sing. But here, both Tina and Artie deliver wonderful performances. Kevin McHale’s “Pony” solo is terrific as well as hilarious and wildly inappropriate. By the way, Artie and Tina ONLY audition for Glee because they were dared by their friends. Neither knew the other could sing. And that game of truth or dare in the cafeteria? Artie and Tina challenge their friends to dump Rachel and Kurt’s lunch on their heads. And, much to their horror, they do it.
Artie’s Audition – Pony
We see the run-up to the “Sit Down Your Rockin The Boat” performance. Will hands out sheet music AND white gloves to the five original members. The wrath of Rachel is on display for the first time as she throws a diva fit after Artie gets the first solo instead of herself.
We also see Kurt’s audition, from the back. Will writes little first impressions on a note pad as the singers perform. Kurt is GAY and really sweet, Tina is edgy and angry. Artie is soulful. Will reminds himself to see about getting ramps. There are also funny meta references to MySpace, Friendster and Blockbuster Video–services that have gone the way of the dodo.
Dave Karofsky and Puck are back, pretty much just to bully kids. Puck throws a slushie in Rachel’s face as she’s giving Will a list of reasons of why she should have the first solo. Will is on his way to the locker room to see if any football players have signed up, and you KNOW he is about to find Finn singing in the shower. Dave shoves Kurt into a locker. When Puck playfully smacks him in the butt, though, he totally panics.
Terri, Will’s first wife, is present, and she’s just as awful as we remember. She reminds Will that she’s a little bit psychic and has a bad feeling about the Glee club. Will says not to worry, because she’s the love of his life. “Nothing is ever going to take you away from me.” Ha.
In the pilot, Sue would bring fancy coffee drinks to work for her friend Will. In 2009, they have a weekly basketball date in the gym, where it appears Sue regularly cleans his clock. When she finds out about Glee, she’s instantly threatened–especially after the captain of the football team signs. When Will refuses to abandon the club, as Sue insists during one of their “friendly” games, AND comes out to say the arts are more important than cheerleading–forget basketball. The real games are about to commence.
When Rachel learns that Terri is pregnant, she visits her at Sheets and Things, in an attempt to convince her to stop “guilt tripping” her husband into quitting Glee club. This is a faceoff between two very ambitious women. Terri sees it as her job to make sure Will is headed into a direction that will help make HER dreams of a Pottery Barn decorated house come true. Rachel is the same, except replace that with eventual stardom. Terri wins this round, but we all know that’s not going to last. We also get some hilarious scenes of Terri and the assistant manager, Howard. “My dream was to be in an all male a capella group,” says Howard, after Rachel fails to persuade Terri to change her mind about Glee, “But I guess that dream is dead too.”
Mercedes and Kurt meet at the Lima Bean to discuss Finn Hudson. Kurt is dead set against him joining Glee. First the jock joins, then he quits, now he’s back again bossing everyone around. This is after Will has left the Glee club, and Finn has returned to rally the troops. Kurt doesn’t trust him because he already gets everything that he wants! Before you know it, there will be Cheerios and more football players joining the group, and the originals will be pushed out. In the meantime, Kurt offers to help Mercedes make the costumes. “You can’t go wrong with red and denim,” he says. “How did you become so smart and adorable,” Mercedes asks with that love light in her eyes.
Kurt kind of side eyes her and goes off to find a table. In that moment, two very special ships cross in the night–or, two members of one very special future ship. Mercedes forgot the sugar! She turns and taps a nice boy standing at the coffee station wearing a blue and red blazer. He turns around. IT’S BLAINE! Yep. She asks him to pass her a few packets, and he politely does.
Blaine is with another Warbler, having a discussion about coming out. “It was the hardest thing I had to do, but I’m telling you it feels so nice not to be living a lie anymore.” Blaine asks his friend if he thinks he’s coming out anytime soon. “I’m not gay! I’m as straight as an arrow! I’m attracted to women!” says the super gay warbler, nervously. He stalks out, with Blaine trailing right behind him. They pass right by Kurt, who has his back to Blaine and never sees him. Not yet. It will be another chance meeting at the bottom of a stairwell, a year later, when these two finally and fatefully lay eyes upon each other.
Kurt thinks Rachel only wants Finn in the club because she has a crush on him. “So do you,” Kurt says to himself, “No I don’t. You do too!” That ambivalence is probably the REAL reason Kurt doesn’t want him in the club. Mercedes agrees with him and decides to call an emergency meeting. When the group meets, Kurt objects to singing “Don’t Stop Believing,” because people will think it’s a salute to the Sopranos finale. He also doesn’t think New Directions’ leading man should be an Evil Jock. Artie sticks up for Finn. Not only did he rescue Artie from the portapotty that Puck stuffed him into, but–and here’s additional info that wasn’t in the pilot–he wheeled him home, explained to his mother what happened, and apologized to her. Kurt remembers how Finn let him take off his expensive Marc Jacobs jacket before they tossed him into the dumpster. Rachel gives a big speech about how wrong it would be to start excluding people. Maybe he’s no different than the rest of them. Maybe he wants to be who he really is too without being labeled. In the end, they decide to keep Finn in the Glee club.
Finn Hudson is an unseen force throughout 2009. We learn that Will is trying to recruit him. We find out when he joins. The rest of the members discuss him quitting and coming back. Finn is alive and well in 2009, and it’s so bittersweet. It’s important to note the club’s reservations, almost fear, of the people who have oppressed them. Being able to forgive and to trust and reach out is a real lesson in acceptance.
Emma implores Principal Figgins to give Will Schuester a raise that will enable him to stay. He can’t do that, but he does give her a tool to manipulate–the DVD he found in the library of the 1993 Nationals championship that McKinley won.
Will watches the video and tears up remembering that pinnacle experience of his youth–of his life so far, actually. He heads out of the cafeteria, emotional. Sue stops him to taunt him about leaving McKinley. She has a parting gift for him–an abacus and five years of her receipts to get him started on her taxes. Then…Will hears the strains of “Don’t Stop Believing” and that’s where the pilot takes over. Finn finally fills the screen as he and the rest of New Directions sing the iconic song. And we all know what happens next.
“Dreams Come True,” is exactly what the title implies. EVERYBODY gets their happy ending! In the first hour we see where Will and the gang began. In the second half, it’s the story of where they end up. In the first scene, Will prepares for Nationals as he flashes back to his old show choir teacher describing Glee as “opening yourself up to joy.” The camera pulls back. Rachel has been helping him straighten his bow tie. Kurt and Blaine remind him that it’s time. Three glee clubs stand on stage, waiting to learn which team won the prize. And of course, it’s New Directions! Winning Nationals means they can continue on as a club.
But this is the series finale. Happy endings here mean succeeding beyond your wildest dreams. Will learns that not only will New Directions continue, but the district board of directors decided to make McKinley a school for the performing arts. Even more shocking–to Will at least–he’s being promoted to principal of the school. The superintendent went out on a limb for this initiative, because it had become clear that cutting back on the arts did the district more harm than good.
Will is really nervous about taking over the job, but Emma, who will still counsel kids at the new school, assures him that he’s the most talented man in Ohio! I guess turning McKinley into an arts school means that poor Sheldon Bieste is going to lose his job. Oh well.
The first meeting of the Glee club at the new school is considerably larger than in the past. Will announces there will be several Glee clubs. The all-girls Trouble Tones will return. There will be a boys group called Duly Noted, and a junior varsity club that will prepare talent for the elite New Directions. But, now that he’s principal, he won’t be coaching any of them. Rachel, Kurt, Blaine, Artie Mercedes and Tina, have made one last trip to McKinley to say goodbye. Will sings “Teach Your Children Well” as a farewell, and there isn’t a dry eye in the room.
In the locker room, Sam is preparing stuff for sale. (Filling footballs with air. There’s a Patriots joke in there somewhere. Falchuk, Hitchcock, Bostonians, so ha ha) Blaine has dropped by hoping to persuade the soon-to-be-unemployed Sam to move to New York City where, at this point, everyone is pretty much having a ball. Sam reminds him that New York isn’t his style. Besides, he does have a job. He’s now going to be coaching New Directions! The new new NEW Directions includes Spencer and Alistair (still an item), Mason and Jane (STILL AN ITEM), Myron, Madison and a Warbler or two (STILL WEARING THE BLAZER). We’re to assume that Roderick, who was a senior the previous year, is off at college somewhere. Sam’s first lesson is country. Will is a little worried, until Sam astutely describes country music as storytelling, and that it can teach the group how to sing about hurt and loss. “Everybody is where they are supposed to be,” says Blaine.
Mercedes gathers everyone in the auditorium to announce that she’ll be opening for Beyonce on tour! That is, before she records her new album. She’s going to be so busy over the next couple of years, she’ll barely see her old friends. So this is a goodbye of sorts. She sings “Someday We’ll Be Together” by Diana Ross and the Supremes. She gets choked up during her speech, talking about how she’ll keep in touch, but it won’t be the same. It felt like Amber Riley saying goodbye to her real life friends, as well.
“Someday We’ll Be Together”
There’s Sue Sylvester, lurking around Will’s office. HOW DOES SHE GET INTO THE BUILDING? SOMEONE EXPLAIN. She meets with Kurt and Blaine who actually want to THANK her for getting them back together again. Yes, Sue. If you hadn’t terrorized, stalked and kidnapped us, we would have never gotten back together again! Ugh. She thanks Kurt. His struggle over the years (which included being bullied by a guy Blaine later dated. Sue had to get that shot in) helped her see some issues in a different light. Apparently, this is meta on Kurt’s status as a groundbreaking character. But Blaine? Sue was never really a fan of his thing. “But you’re doing you, and that’s swell!” she says sarcastically. OK then. Is Sue now speaking for angry Chris Colfer stans?
After, she has a big reunion in the hall with Becky. They hug, Becky apologizes and they’re friends again. Then, it’s off to the auditorium, where she expresses her feelings to Will through song. They duet on “Winner takes it All” finishing side by side holding hands. She won’t let Will say one word. But on the way out, she knocks Brad off of his piano stool.
Winner Takes it All
It’s Five Years Later. Sue is being miced up for the Geraldo Rivera show. Becky is with her, as some kind of security guard. POCOHONTAS HAS LANDED she says into her sleeve. Jeb Bush has been reelected to a second term as president, winning the crucial battleground state of Ohio. And why? Because VICE PRESIDENT SUE SYLVESTER. She reveals to her “good friend Geraldo” that she plans to run for president in 2024. What a completely absurd outcome for a totally ridiculous character. I guess I should not have expected anything less.
Back to the present. Kurt has turned a locker into a time capsule of his time at McKinley: His unicorn campaign button for president, prom queen crown, Gaga heels, show choir programs, a photo of Finn from the Rocky Horror Picture show, the ring made of gum wrapper that Blaine gave him for Christmas (making that deleted scene now canon. Congrats fans!) Blaine cries and laughs. It’s something only Kurt would do, and he loves him for it! They have a moment.
Cut to Kurt and Blaine exiting a NYC subway stop. As they ascend an escalator, they transform into their poufy-haired selves, five years later. There’s a “Jane Austen Sings” billboard on the wall, which turns out to be Rachel Berry’s hit Broadway musical. They’re visiting the Harvey Milk Elementary School on Celebrity Sing-Along Day. Yes, they are the celebrities, having just starred in the first LGBT version of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” at Lincoln Center. They had a lot of practice for the fight scenes early in their relationship, so I’m sure they were fab. And it goes without saying that Kurt played the Elizabeth Taylor character. The power couple have arrived to inspire the kids to always be themselves, and to DREAM BIG, as they sing a fun version of The Monkees “Daydream Believer.” Kurt teaches them one of his “Single Ladies” moves. They end with show circle–Kurt and Blaine passing on the legacy to the next generation in their own special way. TOTALLY cute overload.
The next scene is Rachel singing “This Time” as she walks the halls of McKinley. This is the song written for Lea Michele by Darren Criss. The big, melodic power ballad is about saying goodbye and moving on with love. Rachel remembers and is grateful for every struggle, every lesson she has learned. The song is a real emotional showstopper, beautifully and powerfully sung by Lea.
Five years later! Here comes the big payoff. Where will Rachel Berry end up? New York City. A car pulls up. Mercedes gets out. The gang is gathering for a party at Rachel’s house. Tina pushes Artie’s chair up the sidewalk. Great news! Tina has the role in that movie Artie wrote for Mercedes that she didn’t have time to do because she is such a great big star. It’s premiering at Slam Dance (NO TINA NOT Sundance), and could Artie use some of her songs on the soundtrack? Mercedes jokes that her agent handles all of that (No, Mercedes, your record label would handle that. And if you don’t own your publishing, you wouldn’t really have a say in it at all, but I digress). Kurt and Blaine arrive! The gossip is that Sam has a new girlfriend. But he’s still texting Mercedes. See what they did there? Totally leaving the door open for future Samcedes, without having to actually get them together. But guess who is together? TARTIE IS ON we find out, as Tina and Artie sneak a little kiss before they head in. They didn’t even wait until they hit that 3o year mark like they promised in “A Wedding.” Yes. Every high school couple on Glee together forever. As if that would ever happen in real life. Or even should.
Rachel greets her friends in her fabulous brownstone townhouse. SHE’S PREGNANT. Kurt and Blaine flutter around her, bringing her organic juice from Tribeca. SHE’S KURT AND BLAINE’S SURROGATE OMG. Rachel explains that there’s that full circle story about being the product of a surrogate herself, but then there’s all that hand holding her friends did through this crisis and the other. It’s the least she could do for them. It’s especially generous considering that SHE’S MARRIED NOW TO JESSE ST. JAMES, who sure is swell not minding his wife carrying a baby for other folks. But don’t worry, they’ll be having a spawn of their own next! What did I say about EVERYBODY ending up with their high school sweetheart? Jesse isn’t THE high school sweetheart. Rachel and Finn were destined to be together before he tragically died, but Jesse is a high school flame, nonetheless.
Rachel and Jesse leave the party, because they are on their way to the Tony Awards, where Rachel is up for Best Actress for “Jane Austin Sings,” directed by her husband. As a Tony winner himself, he gives Rachel advice on who and how to thank people when she wins. Which she does of course! Andrew Ranells, in a cameo as himself, presents the award. The crowd at home goes NUTS! Kitty and Roderick are there too, along with some other random friends. Back in Ohio, Will and Emma are watching, as Sam plays with the kids. Besides Daniel, now there are twins. And another baby! The Schuesters also got themselves a pretty sweet house. Sue and her security detail are in attendance. One assumes Will and Sue are finally friends now. She passes him a tissue as Rachel saves her longest thanks in her acceptance speech for her high school choir teacher.
The series ends in fall 2020. Sue Sylvester, in her capacity as Vice President, is at McKinley to dedicate the new Finn Hudson Memorial Auditorium. She gives a speech, where she basically admits she was wrong about Glee, all those years she was trying to snuff it out. It takes a lot of bravery to see the world not as it is, but as it could be, she says. A world where the quarterback becomes best friends with the gay kid, she says. Glee is about imagining a world like that, and opening up your heart and singing about it. The high school of the performing arts has become an overwhelming success, so much so that it’s being replicated by high schools showcasing the arts across the country. Burt and Carole are there for the dedication, as are Sheldon, Figgins and oddly, Terri (makes no sense whatsover, but it’s nice for Jessalyn to be part of the curtain call).
Will takes the stage as Sue introduces the New Directions. But instead of the current club, it’s nearly every character who performed with group, plus Dave Karofsky. Damien McGinty and Melissa Benoist are really the only actors missing. It’s moving to see everyone together again as they sing “I Lived” by OneRepublic, at one point holding that iconic arm pose from “Don’t Stop Believing.” There’s one moment, where Will hugs Terri, and Emma appears to be jealous. It kind of spoiled a moment that should have been 100% joke and irony, free, but otherwise it’s a joyous performance and a fitting end to the series. Oh. And Rachel is slim again after having the Klaine baby? She sure lost weight fast! The entire group ends up on a set of risers. The song ends, the cast bow their heads and the lights go down. The very last shot is the memorial to Finn and Lillian Adler. Where Glee begins and ends.