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Gleeview: Goodbye
Spoiler Alert!

What a great way to end the high school careers of most of our favorite characters!

I know we're all supposed to be sad right now, but I am so not sad at all.

I'll explain as I go, and I'll take each character roughly in order of "goodbye" segments.  Incidentally, I loved how each New Directions graduate got a segment (except Mercedes and Mike, but we do know where they're headed at least).

Okay, so Kurt didn't get into NYADA, and we don't know if he's planning on going to New York or not.  I suspect he is, and I suspect he'll find a different profession.  I have no real evidence of that, but he's always been a fashion bug so to speak.  Plus, he and Blaine seem to be okay, and that's a positive thing for him too.  So, we'll see.

On top of those things, I think his life has produced the most positive change of the whole group.  But, that's still not the best part of his transition.  The best part is his relationship with his dad.  They're at a place that is as good as a single father from the Midwest and a gay son can get, I think.  I love Burt.  Really, he's my favorite thing about Kurt if that makes sense.

Santana's future is the most unpredictable from here.  Is she going to stay in Lima with Brittany?  Is she going to take the scholarship to the University of Louisville?  Those things don't seem likely at the moment.  On the other hand, she's got the means, apparently, to do any one of those things.  It's no real surprise that Brittany isn't graduating, and maybe Santana can get her degree at a nearby university (Ohio State?) and stay with her, and then they can take New York by storm.  Brittany clearly is destined to dance.  So, New York is just as much a possibility for her.

Mike and Mercedes
Mike is headed to Chicago, and Mercedes is headed to L.A.  Both of them are seemingly set to do big things.  I'm happy for them.

I know it's seemingly blasphemy to separate Finn and Rachel, but I don't care.  I've never thought Finn was as good as Will thinks he is or as flawed as some of actions indicated he might be.  And he is flawed.  There's no doubt about that, and many of his flaws are the most damaging, hidden in good intentions.  He often finds himself doing either the right thing for the wrong reasons or the wrong things intending them for good.  In the process, he hurts the people he cares most about, Rachel chief among them.

However, he totally redeemed himself in my eyes in this episode.  For the first time, he did something right, and he did it for the right reasons.  I've always thought Rachel and Finn had a great relationship when they weren't trying to be in love.  I have no doubt Finn does love Rachel, and Rachel loves Finn.  But, are they really destined for each other?  Time after time, episode after episode, they've had a chance to prove that they were, and they didn't do it.  Finn's act of surrender was one of the first times, as Rachel's boyfriend, that he seemed to do the right thing unselfishly.

"Who'd have thought that I'd start my McKinley days where I started, back on top?"  This is how Quinn's monologue began, and it says it all I think for her.  She has made a lot of progress.  She's more mature, and she is going to Yale.  She's also a less selfish person.

The thing is though, she still hasn't fully "found herself."  She's still riding the wave of her background.  That isn't all bad, though.  She really does seem to want to move on.  She also seems to want to be the best person she can be.  She just doesn't necessarily know how to do that.

Why do I say that?  Because I think she's still pretending to be the person who wants to be the top dog cheerleader on the outside.  Her helping Puck was fitting, and mostly genuine, but she's still using sex (yes, it was just a kiss but still) to get what she wants.  Yes, of course, this time she wanted something for someone else.  But, she still used sex to get Puck to believe in himself.  She never seems to be interested in the guys that she kisses or smiles at as much as they're interested in her.  She knows this and uses it.  These days she uses it for better things, but I'm interested in seeing her be 100% genuine more often than not and maybe even happy.

How might she do that?  Yale will probably make a difference.  She won't have the people around her that know her as the good, Christian girl who fell from grace but still wants to pretend.  She won't have any of those people except Rachel, that is.  And with Rachel, she's always been different.  She's always been more vulnerable and honest.  And, Rachel seems to be able to see things in her that others don't.  I hope that continues.

Puck gets to graduate, and I'm glad.  He's probably going to stay in Lima, or maybe go to L.A. as he had planned, but in any case, he's going to rise above his disadvantages.  I'm interested to see how he does that.  No matter how much we see these actors playing these characters in the future, I'm sure we'll find out at some point.

Rachel losing Finn was supposed to be bittersweet.  I didn't find it to be that at all.  I was so happy to see Rachel go for her dream.  Finn said, "Then, tell me the truth and not just something you think I wanna hear."  She's been doing that a lot lately, and she's also been holding on to Finn because she always "wanted things too much" (he mentioned that too).  She gave Finn her virginity, and she told him she'd be willing to go anywhere with him to pursue his dream.  Even in this episode, she was going to compromise on chairs.  That's not a big thing, but it's all the things put together that made Rachel lose focus.  I think she did these things because Finn gave her something she thought she'd never have, a future spouse.

"Besides, when did you become the one that I was settling for?"  Rachel is always, underneath her bravado and confidence in her talents, an insecure person.  Her reaction to winning prom queen and her reference to being the annoying Jewish girl with two gay dads last episode shows she still has the same insecurities as ever.  Hopefully, finding her dreams will change that, and I also think Quinn (and possibly Kurt) being nearby can help too.

Aside from the above transitions, I loved the looks back in this episode.  They were mostly musical, but there were a few others that were great.

See below, after the Musical Rundown, to see my thoughts on season 4.

Favorite Line
Sue (talking to Quinn):  Sure, I'm as smart as you are and every bit as pretty.

Musical Rundown
"Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat" from Guys and Dolls--This made me smile, of course.  This is the first number the nascent New Directions tried.  It didn't work out so well back then, but they got it right this time.  It was just as spare and raw, and that made it even better.

"Forever Young" by Rod Stewart--Matt Morrison (Will) is a polished, professional singer.  He doesn't have the most exciting voice, but he can pull off most of the things that he tries.  Early on, it was hip hop, mostly, and he did the same with this late eighties pop anthem.

"Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)" by Beyoncé--This was just a dance number, but it was hilarious.  This is why I love Burt Hummel.  And, the real dancers, Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina) and especially Heather Morris (Brittany), added the seriousness that made it poignant.

"I'll Remember" by Madonna--Chris Colfer (Kurt) does well on these numbers that were originally performed my female artists.  This was one of his best, and it was a fitting tribute to his days at McKinley.

"You Get What You Give" by New Radicals--This is an excellent song and fits this group.  As usual, they did an amazing job.  This wasn't all of the original New Directions, but the best singers were there.  We may or may not ever get to hear them together again, and this was a great way for them to finish.

"In My Life" by The Beatles--This group, the returning New Directions students, did a great job with this Beatles song.  The harmonies were great, and I really liked it.

"Glory Days" by Bruce Springsteen--Cory Monteith and Mark Salling (Finn and Puck, respectively) actually sound good together.  Maybe it's a case of Salling making Monteith sound better, but they've sung well together before.  I think it's their performing chemistry.

"Roots Before Branches" by Room for Two--This was the real Rachel Berry, Broadway gold star.  The lyrics also fit the situation perfectly.  She knew she had to do this, try to make her dream come true without Finn.  She just needed some perspective.  Lea Michele's last song of the season was perfect.

Spoilers Ahead! (don't scroll down if you don't want any hints.)

Thoughts on Season 4

To be perfectly honest, I was completely prepared up until the spring finale to let go of Glee after this season.  I had loved it all the way through, but up until then I was unsure of how much I would care about the characters that were going to be playing the largest parts in season 4.  I just didn't know if it was going to be the same.  Well, it's not, but I don't think I care anymore.

I haven't checked up to the minute who is returning for season 4, but I do know that Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, and Chris Colfer are all returning.  Dianna Agron's Quinn seems poised to make at least some appearances here and there (and I hope more).  Those are the characters I care most about.  How is Glee going to juggle Fort Benning, Lima, NYC and possibly New Haven?  I don't know, but the story lines have kept me interested enough to see.  So, I'll be seeing you in season 4!  You don't know how relieved I am, really.  I would have been extremely sad to end my connection with my favorite show of all time.