Thursday, June 10, 2010

Glee 1x22: The Journey that Revolutionized TV

The journey of this season of Glee has ended and I feel honored I was able to be a part of it. I have watched this show since last May when they aired the preview of the pilot and spent the summer feeling like a coke addict in withdrawal waiting for a new episode of the series to air.  This show has surpassed all my expectations for a television show with its superb writing, continuity, excellent acting, and vocals all coming together in extraordinary musical numbers. It has been a great journey and I am already itching for next season to begin.

Will is hanging up posters in the hallway to help get students to support the New Directions at Regionals when Sue drops the bombshell that, in addition to three other celebrities, she is going to be one of the judges at Regionals. Later that night Will has a get-together at his apartment with all the members of the club to celebrate their upcoming performance. Everyone is mega-depressed becuase Sue has told them as judge she is plans to crush them. They start discussing, and crying, about how once Glee is cut, everything will change. Puck and Santana will no longer talk to Mercedes and Tina because they are in different social groups. Everyone who used to be a loser will go back to being a loser. It was really sad, and the first of many times I began to tear up while watching.

Journey Medley (Faithfully/Any Way You Want It/Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'/Don't Stop Believin'): Will is distraught and goes to talk to Emma about how he feels like he has failed his students. Emma is sympathetic but is all like "What do you want me to say. I will give you advice, but you broke my heart, and now I am seeing someone new." Driving home from school Will is very sad and while radio surfing comes across Journey's "Don't Stop Believing." He gets so emotional that he has to pull over the car to cry. The next day he gets all the members together and gives them a pep talk. He says that life is not about winning or losing nor then end or the beginning. It is about the journey it takes to get to the end, and because of this, they are going to perform a Journey medley at Regionals.

Right before the performance Finn walks up to Rachel and tells her he loves her and which gives her all the confidence she needs. They enter the auditorium from the back the of the theater, reminiscent of their earlier "Don't Rain on My Parade" performance. They get to the stage, the curtain opens and the rest of New Directions is behind them adding to the vocals. The group looks very classy with the boys wearing black shirts and gold ties and the girls wearing gold dresses with black straps. They transition from the slow ballad of "Faithfully" to the upbeat and catchy mash-up of "Any Way You Want It/ Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin.'" The crowd stands up and starts clapping along with the music and in the New Directions tradition they start their weak yet entertaining choreography with Mike Chang outshining all the other guys.

Then there is the transition to the song that started it all for the group and for the show; the song that sucked viewers all around the world into the universe of Glee and made them fall in love with it... "Don't Stop Believing." They start the song how the same way they did so many months ago. One by one each member turns to the audience until they get to Finn who starts the song off. Instead of just having Finn and Rachel as lead vocals all of the members get a chance to shine. The performance was hands down phenomenal. It showed what this group is all about: heart. They are getting on stage to perform and have fun. They are doing what they love, and loving who they are doing it with and it shows.

Bohemian Rhapsody: This song was performed by Jesse and Vocal Adrenalin, but the entire performance is intertwined with Quinn giving labor so let my first give you some background on that. The members of New Directions are all smiles running off the stage with a huge performance high. They are all super pumped about how their performance went and are sure that they placed. As they are going to their waiting room Quinn's mom is waiting there to be Mrs. Buzzkill. She tells her that she kicked her father out of the house because he was having an affair with a "tattooed freak." (Is this the same man who kicked his daughter out for getting pregnant? You definitely have your values straight Mr. Fabray). She tells her that she wants Quinn to move back home with her and Quinn's response is "my water broke." This makes me a little nervous since she is not due for another month but its all good.

After the commercial break, Vocal Adrenalin is on stage with the impeccable choreography they are known for. They never miss a beat in their dancing and no one is ever out of place. Jesse is main vocals and starts off playing the piano (sounding extraordinary as always). The scene cuts to Quinn being brought into the hospital with the rest of the team rushing in after her.  The rest of the performance goes back and forth from the auditorium to the hospital. The cuts to and from the hospital were executed perfectly and Pucks face during Quinn's labor is priceless.
The only part I did not like so much was when Quinn was shouting "let me go!" I thought those lines were too forces and orchestrated. In the end Quinn has a beautiful baby girl, and like all newborns on television, she is adorable. I thought this performance was pieced together very beautiful. The climax of the song was echoed with the climax of Quinn giving birth. The song ends on a soft and peaceful note that paired perfectly with Quinn holding her newborn baby in her arms.

Mothers and Daughters:After the performance though Rachel goes to talk to Shelby. Rachel tells her that New Directions beat them today and that Jesse is a great singer but he has no heart. I agree that this is true and it can be seen in their performance; it was executed perfectly, but it did not move me or engage the audience at Regionals to the point that it brought them to their feet (which New Directions did). Rachel asks Shelby to come and coach Glee at McKinley high and teach her things that only a mother can teach her. Shelby declines saying that she does not want to be a coach for Glee anymore. She wants to start a family, and have what she never got to have with Rachel. Shelby goes to the hospital to see how Quinn and the baby are doing. She asks them if they had named her yet and Puck responds "Beth." It is adorable how much Puck cares for the child now.

And the Winner Is: The judges room was as idiotic as I thought it would be. No one really cared about the performances, only about their own celebrity status. Olivia Newton John was a little diva and a bad actress (whose face still looks completely plastics). Everyone is wondering, why, if it is a celebrity panel, Sue Sylvester is there. From the start, the judges were biased against New Directions, leaving for the first time ever, Sue to defend the group. First announced was the runner up (second place) which was the "not at all stupidly named" Oral Intensity. Next up was the Grand Prize, which after a long wait, turned out to be Vocal Adrenalin. It is cruel to announce 2nd place and then 1st place so the person that gets 3rd thinks they have a shot at 1st and perhaps only done on the show to increase the suspense of the moment. Everyone in New Directions is crushed knowing that becuase they did not place, New Directions is over.

To Sir With Love: After Will admits to Emma that he loves her, Rachel walks by and asks Mr. Schu to come to the auditorium. When he gets there the entire group is sitting on stools on the stage. Each member tells Mr. Schuester how Glee Club has changed their lives in the past year by saying who they were at the beginning of the year. Mercedes was a closeted diva before she joined Glee and Santana and Brittany hated everyone in the Glee Club. Mike Chang gets another line on the show and admits he was afraid to dance outside his room. Good thing he joined  the club because his moves should be shared with the entire world. Kurt was not honest about who he was. And the last and most touching was Finn, who before glee, lacked the father-figure he found in Mr. Schu (well he kinda actually has two father figures if you count Kurt's father still). All of that changed though when they joined the club and had Mr. Schuester as their role model. Their words were so touching and I cry every time I watch this scene and the following performance.
"To Sir With Love" has always been in my Top 20 favorite songs of all time. I loved the movie To Sir With Love with Sidney Poitier and when Lulu sang the song at the end to him.  This was the perfect song to sing to Mr. Schu and I commend the show yet again for exquisite song selection. There is not a single dry face in the room during this song, boys or girls. I think I cried the most when I saw Santana crying because she was the person who was the least emotionally attached to the group. It also hit me pretty hard when Mike Chang was crying because I love Mike Chang. As the song was coming to an end the camera pans to the back of the auditorium where Sue is watching with tears swelling up in her eyes.

Over the Rainbow: Sue goes to the choir room as Will is packing everything up. They show a scene of the voting room and reveal that Sue had actually voted her 1st place vote for New Directions. She tells Will that she has proven that she can destroy Glee Club, but she does not know if a world without Glee Club is a world she wants to live in. Don't worry guys, it is not because she feels the joys of music, it is because she would not be able to live in a world where she cannot make fun of Will's hair. Because of this, she asked Principle Figgins to give Glee Club another year because she does actually have a good heart.

Will announces to everyone that they have another year and everyone is ecstatic. Since they sang to him the other day he wants to return the favor and sing a song for them. He recruits Puck to play guitar as he play the Ukulele to sing "Over the Rainbow." It was a sweet and soft song, and a great song to end the series with. I think it explains what they have been through, the group has been over the rainbow. They can fly, their dreams have come true, they are a group they are together and they have done the impossible. As they are singing all the members start holding hands and swaying. In one of my favorite parts of this scene Mercedes and Quinn reach out to hold each others hand across Kurt's body who is in between them. Kurt just looks down and joins in with the hand holding.

During the song they show Shelby adopting Quinn's daughter. When asked what name she wants on the birth certificate without a beat she answers Beth. I think this was the perfect song to end the season with.

So there it is, the season finale of Glee. Do you think that Idina is going to be back next season? Do you think that she will let Quinn and Puck see their child so they can create a bond with Beth that Shelby never got to form with Rachel? Those are really the only questions that the show really left me with (good becuase Lost left me with enough for a lifetime). I thought it was an excellent finale. The spring season had its ups and downs and would go from an episode that was absolutely flawless to an episode that was mediocre. So when you add it all up, as a whole, the season was very good. They added more characters and delved deeper into the characters they already had. I am so glad that they explored Kurt's relationship with his father and his fathers acceptance of Kurt's sexuality.

What did you think of the finale? Did you enjoy it? Was it a let down? Let me know.


(All photos courtesy of Fox)


Anonymous said...

I loved the finale! The Journey mash-up was simply brilliant, and I'm glad that one of my top 20 songs, Over the Rainbow, was performed amazingly. I liked how at the end of the episode, I was left with a good feeling, but they didn't make the episode too feel-good at the same time.

For next season, I hope they give Will and Emma another serious go; I felt that this season they kind of just had Will string her along. As well as Finn and Rachael, I thought it was cute when he admitted his love for her right before they performed.

And I hope they bring back Idina, she was great, and had some of the best musical numbers.

rb said...

just watched it today. loooved it!!

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