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Gleeview: New York
mjacton
Spoiler Alert!

Last night's season finale was a nice mix of regular Glee and competition-style Glee.  For the first time, we didn't get a big dramatic moment on stage waiting with bated breath for a somewhat predictable result.  Really, the competition took a back seat this time, and I liked it that way.  How many times can there be a variation on that scene?  There will be more in the future, but I'm glad they skipped it this time.  Instead, we got a very nice and appropriate tribute to New York City and a little drama.

Really, there were no surprises, and I'm glad that while Finn and Rachel seem to be back together again that Rachel is at least trying to keep her eye on the goal.  She'll be better off because of it.  Finn shouldn't be the reason she's held back in Ohio.  Finn needs to grow up some in order to be enough for her.  The last scene with them indicated to me that he simply expects her to change her mind eventually, and I don't think he really wants to force her to settle for him.  He just thinks she's going to choose him over her dream, and I really hope that isn't going to happen.  If they end up together, I hope he's matured by then and maybe finds a way to go with her.  But, he's got a long way to go, and really the kiss on stage was just a symptom of that.  He was right to think he let New Directions down.  There is a time for those things, and that wasn't it.  Rachel is right.  They have another year.  So, all is not lost, but it still cost them (at least presumably).

Quinn's "plans" sort of fizzled, and I'm glad they did because she needs to take at least some small steps toward being the person she can be.  She did some things this season that she won't be proud of looking back, repeating some of the mistakes she made last year.  She still doesn't get that popularity in high school doesn't make a good life, but maybe this whole fiasco with her and Sam and Finn will teach her a lesson.  I hope she continues to mature next season.  The haircut might help...maybe not, but it looked good.

Brittany and Santana may be on the way to where they both seem to want to go.  Brittany didn't make any commitments to Santana, but I think she's waiting for Santana to be who she is.  Her speech at the end didn't address it directly, but I think she's still disappointed that Santana is hiding who she really is.  Santana loves singing.  She loves Brittany.  But, she's only willing to show her love for those things in a way that doesn't risk her reputation.

Finally, I'll lump the other two "major" reveals (not counting Will's decision to stay because, really?  Did we think any differently?) together.  In the Prom Queen episode, we got a hint of the Sam/Mercedes pairing.  I really kind of like it.  I'm not going be a hardcore Samcedes or Jevans (I don't think that's decided yet) shipper, but there are reasons to like it, the most important of which is that Sam won't be pining for Quinn.  Finally, the "I love you" from Blaine to Kurt.  Kurt's been waiting for a long time for someone to say that to him, and he tried to play it cool but kind of failed.  It was kind of nice.

Favorite Line:

Santana (English Translation):  Listen, I'm from Lima Heights Adjacent and I'm proud.  Do you know what goes down in Lima Heights Adjacent?  Bad things.

Musical Rundown:
I have to say, I loved the background soundtrack for this episode, much of which was written by George Gershwin.  I loved the opening scene to "Rhapsody in Blue"...very nice.

"My Cup"
--Besides behind completely hilarious and ridiculous, this was a really good song.  Full of innuendo (it wasn't really about a cup, was it?), it was completely appropriate for an oblivious Brittany.

"I Love New York"/"New York, New York" by Madonna and from On the Town--I really, really liked this mash-up, the "New York, New York" parts especially.  It was kind of an ingenious modernization of it, aided by its pairing with the Madonna music.

"Still Got Tonight" by Matthew Morrison--This was alright.  Matthew Morrison (Will) is a Broadway veteran, but I kind of like his renditions of more popular songs (excluding hip-hop) better.

"Bella Notte" from Lady and the Tramp--This was kind of forgettable, but it wasn't terrible.  This trio of guys (Mike didn't sing) have sung a lot together recently, and they sound pretty good but not spectacular.

"For Good" from Wicked--There's a lot to be said about this performance.  Did it match up to the original Kristin Chenoweth/Idina Menzel performances?  As with most Glee numbers, I don't think it's fair to compare them, really, but it's inevitable.  Lea Michele (Rachel), in my opinion, really puts herself next to these legends pretty much every time she sings.  Chris Colfer (Kurt) is a notch below, in my view, but together they did a really great job.  It was definitely my favorite performance of the episode and a touching scene all-around.

"Yeah!" by Usher (feat. Lil John and Ludacris)--Besides the ludicrous (yes, it's a pun) choreography, this was kind of funny.  They weren't that good, but they were okay.

"As Long as You're There"--This was a typically strong ballad from Charice (Sunshine Corazon).  I always think that the performances from other show choirs are purposely better or worse than New Directions based on who is supposed to come out on top.  Accordingly, I did think this was at least technically better than the New Directions performances, but it didn't have a lot of heart, in my opinion.

"Pretending"--I liked this number better than the last one, but it wasn't that inspiring to me.  Lea Michele and Cory Monteith (Finn) sound alright together, but that's mostly Lea.  Yes, I'm biased.

"Light Up the World"--This was kind of fun, but I hope they go back to performing covers at competitions next season.  I'm not sure that original songs are the way to go in a competition in real life, and this was just a bubble gum pop song.

That's it for season 2!  Overall, I really liked it.  Look for more of a recap of the season in a separate post coming soon to a Journal near you.