Jun 9, 2010

Glee - Journey (Season Finale)

Ahh Glee.   Where would 80's music be today besides my play list and specific clubs in LA if it weren't for this show?   I believe that Ryan Murphy must either be a huge Journey/Survivor etc. fan, or friends with someone from one of those groups- it is awesome that a whole new generation of teens are going to hear all of these songs and love them, even if they do make the mistake of thinking these are the original versions.

I absolutely loved watching this finale.   I teared up, I laughed, and I winced...but overall I listened to the great music and watched as these characters who only entered my life ten months ago arose and seated themselves forever in my heart.   Enough of the mush and gush, on to the critiquing!

I watched this episode in it's entirety, then replayed it and paused it to comment.   I tried to take notes the first time around but it was preventing me from enjoying it properly.

The episode begins with the awesome recap "So I don't know why anyone would miss an episode of Glee but here's what happened if you did"...

Mr. Schu is posting flyer's trying to drum up support for Regionals on Saturday and Sue passes him in the hall and tells him she'll see him Saturday...since she's one of the judges.   This of course brings us to the principals office where we hear another "William!" from Figgins...Sue is a judge and there's nothing he will do about it (because Sue is still blackmailing him after date raping him, allegedly).   Sue has some great lines and catch phrases:
'Let me break it down for you'
'I realize my cultural ascension only serves to illuminate your own banality but face it, I'm legend, it's happened'
'I'm having a really difficult time hearing anything you have to say today because your hair looks like a briar patch'

The show then cuts to Quinn and Puck making out, which threw me for a minute until I realized it was a flashback from the time he got her pregnant. (Did they have to put a wig fauxhawk on him to film this since he shaved off his real fauxhawk?).   She keeps interrupting him with questions about not telling anyone and her rep, and finally says 'Tell me one more time' and Puck says (and it took me three tries to figure this out) 'You're not fat'.   Then Mr. Schu is calling Quinn's name and you realize she is daydreaming out the window, remembering when she got pregnant.   He asks her if she is alright and she says she isn't due for another month (hold that thought- I will come back to it).   BTW, this means that approximately eight months have gone by since the show started...since she got pregnant right in the beginning-ish.

We see all the Glee kids in Mr. Schu's living room, apparently there for a 'set list regionals nominations party' but everyone is sad and bummed out that Sue is judge and they all think they will lose.   Tine starts crying saying how before the club she had two fb friends- her parents.   Being part of something special makes her special.   Finn (out of character?) kind of stands up and says 'Wait, who says it's going to be over?' and Mercedes points out that Santana and Puck won't acknowledge her once they're not in Glee club anymore (to which Puck agrees, 'She has a point').   Rachel asks if they can just all go around the room and talk about things they loved about the club instead of nominate songs.

Mr. Schu goes to Emma to get guidance and she tells him that what he has been teaching them, that if they love what they are doing that is more important than winning or losing.  She also tells him she is seeing someone (her dentist who is very impressed with her hygiene), and he inappropriately asks  if they have...she cuts him off sort of (awkward) and says they had their shot, and that no, she hasn't...(alluding to sleeping with the dentist).

Mr. Schu is driving home in his broke down blue hatchback listening to the radio, and he flips to 92.7  (great LA station!) and hears the original Journey version of 'Don't Stop Believing'.   He pulls over and starts crying. For some reason I thought he stopped in the middle of the highway and was going to get slammed by a semi or something, not sure why.

Cut to a bell ringing at school, Rachel walking down the stairs and Finn walking up to her.   He says they need to talk and he tells her she is the leader, she is annoying but keeps the club motivated, they are going to Regionals and they are 'going to win this thing'.   Again, out of character, but sweet that he has become the club cheerleader...she leans down and kisses him...he stands there with his mouth open, and she smiles.   Very odd scene- does this mean Rachel is over Jesse and ready to be with Finn for good?

Mr. Schu writes the word 'Journey' on the board and I guessed he was going to tell the kids that they needed to find a song that related to their individual personal journeys since joining the club or something, but instead he tells them they are going back to the beginning- they are going to perform Don't Stop Believing because 9 months ago (again- TIMELINE- I'll get to it later) they sucked, but it all came together and life really has only one beginning and end and the rest is a whole lot of middle...so since that song is what stopped him from quitting way back then, they are going to take it from a 9 to a 10.   They are doing a 'Journey medley, because who cares what happens when we get there, when the getting there has been so much fun?'
Then Mr Schu says "Regionals, here we come" and it cuts to commercial...

...and literally resumes with Mr. Schu handing his ticket to an usher at Regionals.   This also confused me for a long time- even after an announcer started announcing the Judges- I assumed it was a dream or something- but then I realized that yes, this was actually Regionals!
The judges are Josh Groban, Olivia Newton-John, Rod Remington (the news anchor who broke Sue's heart) and Sue Sylvester- author of 'I'm a Winner and You're Fat .   Does she hold up her hand in a 'C' because it stand for coach?   Because that's how she 'C's it?   (Why has that nugget of joy stopped?)

The first group 'Aural Intensity' performs a mash up of Olivia Newton-John and Josh Groban which we hear a snippet of over the PA System so I don't actually know which songs they mashed up but it is a blatant attempt to suck up to two of the four judges..   (Also, I am guessing they are called Aural and not Oral?   Since they are a glee club, therefore they make sound- something you hear rather than taste?   Just a thought).

Mr. Schu pep talks them telling them if they came only to win, then they already lost because they have something the other team's don't have...Finn's dancing (LOL, guess the writers do listen to the pod casts and read the blogs since that is something fans have discussed ad nauseum since episode 1).

The scene switches to Finn and Rachel standing outside the auditorium waiting to enter...Finn looks over at her and walks up to her and she tells him to break a leg, he tells her 'I love you' and walks back to his place in front of the door.   Rachel smiles...

...and Finn enters the auditorium singing the opening to 'Faithfully' (I LOVE JOURNEY- I cannot say this enough!).   Rachel enters and sings the next paragraph.    They harmonize beautifully on the third.   Now they are standing on the floor in front of the stage walking towards each other, then to the stage...where you see a cherry red piano, their piano teacher (and real life musical director for the show) and then the curtain rises and the rest of the glee club is on stage.   This is approx 13 minutes in, FYI.   Finn and Rachel finish the song. join hands and join everyone else singing a mash up of 'Any Way You Want It' and 'Lovin' Touchin' Sqeezin''...They really shared solos here- Finn, Rachel, Mercedes, Puck all had lines.   You see Quinn's mom sitting in the audience.   Then they regroup, and form a line and sing 'Don't Stop Believing'- and again give out a lot of one line solos (which was nice- and translates into amazing $$$ since everyone who loved their first cover will want to buy this one too, so congrats iTunes on your new millions).   The solos are Finn, Rachel, Puck, Santana, Tina and Artie duet, Rachel and Artie duet with Finn, Mercedes, the audience is on their feet clapping...Rachel and Finn hug at the end.
I was painfully aware of a bouncing, dancing extremely pregnant Quinn throughout the entire performance- but she did look great.   Sue saw everyone getting into it and was the only one not clapping or nodding along.
Also, I was annoyed that they had Rachel and Finn enter from the back again, since they did that during Sectionals.   I get it, they wanted to make a grand entrance blah blah blah, so they could have started out facing the stage on the floor in front of the audience and lit them ip with spotlights or something dramatic...have them fly down from the ceiling I guess...whatever, just didn't like that they reused a stunt.

As they rush offstage Tina tells Rachel they are taking 2nd place (elatedly) and Rachel literally snarls, 'Screw that we are gonna win this!'   pause it at 18 minutes, her face is priceless!

Quinn's mom approaches her backstage, tells her she came to hear her sing, she was wonderful, and that she is 'So sorry I missed all the other times you performed, were there a lot?' Then tells Quinn she left her father, kicked him out actually, since he was having an affair with some tattooed freak (a Jesse James/Sandra Bullock reference maybe?)   She asks Quinn to come home and tells her she can make the spare bedroom into a nursery...and Quinn tells her...'My water just broke'.   Commercial.

For the record- I posted a long time ago that I thought Quinn would have the baby during Regionals- although I thought it would cause them to forfeit or miss it entirely or something.

What happens next is possibly the most bizarre/hilarious/extreme juxtaposition I have ever seen.   Vocal Adrenaline performs* 'Bohemian Rhapsody' while we cut back and forth to scenes of Quinn giving birth...and she actually says some of the words that they are singing!
And DRAMA...as they sing the intro Jesse actually walks up to a white piano, someone brings him a seat and he plunks out the next few chords!  To make this easier, I have highlighted the Vocal Adrenaline performance in purple and left the hospital scenes black.

'Pulled my trigger now he's dead'
cut to Quinn being rushed down the hallway in a wheelchair saying 'Mom, it hurts so bad!'
'But now I've gone and thrown it all away'
and Quinn says, 'Wait, Mercedes, comes with me too'
'Mama....ooooooh...Carry on, carry on'
the whole glee club is watching as Quinn gets wheeled away
'Goodbye, everybody I've got to go'
Quinn falling back onto the bed, screaming
Quinn crying, 'Mom'
'I don't want to die'
Quinn screaming
'I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all'
more Quinn screaming
audience has glow sticks they are waving back and forth and there is the guitar solo
during which Quinn screams out 'Shut up, you suck you suck you suck' at Puck and general screaming
'I see a little silhouetto of a man...Galileo...ohhhhhh'
Pucks looks down and makes a priceless face and winces 'Oh!' (at 22:15)
'Easy come easy go...'
Finn pacing and the rest of the club waiting anxiously in the waiting room
'Will not let you go'
Quinn- 'LET ME GO!' trying to get out of the bed
'Will not let you go'
again Quinn yells out 'Let me go!' and tries to escape
and on like this a few more times
'No no no no no no no'
and Quinn duets with Vocal Adrenaline at this point 'No no no no no no no!'
'Mama mia mama mia'
Doctor says 'She's crowning'
Vocal Adrenaline still singing 'Mama mia let me go' while engulfing Jesse (like a womb simulating birth?)
Quinn's mom telling her to 'push baby'
Back to V.A. with all their hands on Jesse undulating (definitely simulating birth, no doubt about it)
Mercedes telling Quinn to come on
V.A. 'For me, for me, for meeeeeeee' and release Jesse from their hand-womb
Quinn screaming
Awesomemest guitar sound of all time 'So you think you can stomp me and spit in my eye'
Scene cuts to RACHEL with her arms folded looking at Jesse- wait- SHE DIDN'T GO WITH QUINN???
'So you think you can love me and leave me to die...just got to get right out of here' (Jesse, while whipping around two girls)
Exhausted looking Quinn, crying Puck
'Ooooh, oh yeah' GUITAR
Rachel looking sad and turning to leave
'Nothing really matters, anyone can see'
Nurse brings CUTE baby in pink blanket to Quinn
'Nothing really matters...to meeeeeee'
Quinn holding baby, smiling
'Any way the wind blowsssssss'


*I put a star because while yes, it is a Vocal Adrenaline performance, the reality is that after the intro, once they get to the line 'Mama, just killed a man' the song is one giant Jesse St. James solo with amazing dancing and one girl who sings 'galileo' once and they are merely his backup for the rest of it.

Cut to Rachel telling Shelby congratulations.   She says 'We beat you today, Jesse's a great singer but you and I both know he doesn't have the heart.   Everyone knows Vocal Adrenaline's best days are behind them, so I have a proposition for you...come teach at McKinley.'
Poor Rachel.   Still trying to find her mother.   Shelby turns her down saying she's tired of coaching glee clubs, she wants a life- she needs balance, a life, a garden, a dog, family.   Ouch.   She missed out once with Rachel and won't let it happen again.   Shelby asks where the rest of the club is and Rachel tells Shelby that Quinn had a baby girl so they are at the hospital. (Until the next scene I actually thought this scene took place the next day and Rachel was congratulating Shelby in her office or something, which annoyed me since we didn't get to SEE them lose or win- but it must have been a green room at the auditorium since next we see the judges deliberating)

Sue walks in and says 'Newton John you're dead to me, Remington, Horsey (horsey?) have a seat, listen up, I don't care who comes in first, I don't care who places second, but I have a very strong opinion about who comes in third.
To Sue's surprise, the judges are all for the other two groups.   Groban asks if Sue is single.   Newton John makes fun of the glee kids...'Are they a poor kids school?...Brunettes have no place in show business'.
It starts to get interesting- facing criticism Sue actually starts defending the glee kids!   The judges tell her she's not a celebrity, that she just tries hard....a lot in common with the kids at her school, overachievers with delusions of grandeur...dangnabbit (Groban) now even I have to admit I'm a little bit confused as to what Sue is doing in this room!  They vote.

All three groups are on stage, the judges walk out.. Sue says 'Thank you all for coming, as you all know Glee club is an important...and I can't even finish that sentence, so let's get to it'
(Timeline again- HOW DID THE GLEE CLUB GET BACK FROM THE HOSPITAL SO FAST SINCE QUINN GAVE BIRTH??? In the previous scenes between Rachel/Shelby Rachel actually says they are at the hospital, and then the Judges  deciding was not long enough for them to make it back for the announcement!)
'The not at all stupidly named Aural Intensity' runners up as announced by Sue- then the group cheers and hustles off the stage happily (Didn't they just lose?   Why are they happy?)
And then Vocal Adrenaline wins first place.

I was not sad that the glee kids lost, they can't win all the time, I just felt annoyed that V.A. sang ONE SONG (and sort of a solo) when they sang a whole MEDLEY and even Aural Intensity sang a mash up.

Also, while I am venting on issues with the episode- earlier in the episode Quinn says she is not due for another month, so I guess she has the baby a month early- but in the pep talk about Regionals Mr. Schu tells the kids that 9 months ago they sucked...so timeline is a little awkward for my liking.

On the plus side- LOVED THE JOURNEY MEDLEY.   Loved.   Want it in my car ASAP.

Moving on, The kids all look so heartbroken, as V.A. celebrates their win, Artie says 'We didn't even place'. Cue the wounded look from Kurt.

Quinn and Puck are looking at their baby through the nursery window.   Puck tells Quinn the baby looks like her, and asks if she wants to keep her.   Quinn says no and asks if he loved her.   He says 'Yes, especially now."
Shelby (???) walks up to them and asks which is theirs.   Quinn asks what Shelby is doing there, and Shelby ignores her and says, 'Oh I see her now, she looks like you, she have a name?'   Quinn says no, but Puck says, "Beth".
Shelby says 'Pretty, I like that name'.
This scene was oddly ominous.   Quinn was looking all angsty and Puck was somber, Shelby was the only one smiling but we know we can't actually trust her (remember who made Jesse trick Rachel into finding her mom and listening to the tape?).

Next we see Emma SCREAMING at Principal Figgins.   It's nice that she gets to vent now, all that bottled up emotion couldn't have been healthy.   Mr. Schu sees them fighting as he comes down the steps and approaches her as she leave his office.   he asks her what that was all about and she tearfully tells him how unfair it all is, that he already gave their room to the Mock U.N. (which Rachel was a part of according to their yearbook so at least she still gets to use it!).   He tells her a deal is a deal, they lost, and she explodes that it was all because Sue cheated, that all that money is going to Sue now anyway.   She tells him it's never over, some things are worth fighting for.   They somehow get onto the topic of their kiss and he says he loves her, 'There, I finally said it, and you love me, and Dennis or no Dennis this thing isn't over between you and me', and he kisses her...and Rachel interrupts to ask him to come to the auditorium.

I have to interject before I go on.
I have three favorite karaoke songs.   They are tried, tested and true.   'Summer of 69', 'It's My party and I'll Cry if I Want To' and 'To Sir, with Love'.   I was going to suggest that Glee cover this next song, but since I already suggested SO MANY, I opted not to (going forward I will not hold back my predictions, since it appears that I am fairly good at them) so now I am kicking myself that I didn't record this song suggestion earlier so I could point back to it and say 'SEE!'.   I will make a list later- but if I could ask for two more songs to be covered, they would be 'Girls of Rock and Roll' and 'I Need a Hero' among MANY others.

So all the kids are on the stage and they go down the line and tell Mr. Schu what Glee did for them.
Mike- In the beginning of this year I was just another football player (Is this his first ever line in the show?)
Tina- I had a stutter
Mercedes- I was a closeted Diva
Quinn- I used to be captain of the Cheerios (does this mean she will be again next season?)
Other Asian- I was afraid to dance outside my room
Santana- I hated everyone in this club
Britney- So did I (EXTREME lack of awesome one liners in this episode, not happy)
Kurt- I wasn't honest about who I was
Puck- I was tossing kids into dumpsters (Was?  Still is?)
Artie- I had never kissed a girl before
Rachel- I was getting slushied
Finn- I didn't have a father.  (pause and cut to Mr. Schu)  Someone I could look up to.   Model myself after.   Someone who could show me what it is to be a real man.

***Hold on here- Finn is saying Mr. Schu was his father figure?   Since Mr. Schu is still happily married, no wait, faithful to his girlfriend, oops, um dating Emma...not anymore...letting random high school crushes sleep in his bed while singing awkward songs about what makes a house a home...ok,I give up- how is he a good role model as a man exactly?   Why didn't this episode offer any closure on Kurt's Dad and Finn's Mom and that whole storyline?   Kurt's dad was Finn's real father figure this season!****

Rachel says 'We don't care what the judges say, we won, because we had you as a teacher'
and Mercedes says 'Glee club will never end Mr. Schu, because, you are Glee club- you're in all of us now"

And then they sing...To Sir, With Love.
And they are not stingy with the solos, again- in order of solo:
Those schoolgirl days, of telling tales and biting nails are gone, but in my mind, i know they will still live on and on
but how do you thank someone who has taken you from crayons to perfume
It isn't easy but I'll try

(Chorus all together)
If you wanted the sky I would write across the sky, in letters that would soar a thousand feet high 'to sir, with love'

Tina and Artie (duet AGAIN)
The time has come, for closing books and long last looks must end
Mercedes and Finn (who sound great together!)
And as I leave, I know that I am leaving my best friend
A friend who taught me right from wrong and weak from strong, that's a lot to learn
What can I give you in return?

(All together)
If you wanted the moon I would try to make a start but I would rather you let me give my heart To Sir, With Love

Note- Britney, Mike and other Asian do not get solos and Kurt is wearing a sailor hat.   Can I also add that I feel like even though Santana has sung before, this was the first time i felt like I could actually hear what her voice sounds like?   i liked it- I heard on a podcast (I think the Gleeful podcast) that someone made the comment her voice sounds like all the other female singer's in the 90's or something like that.   I actually agree- she fit the song 'The Boy is Mine' that she sang with Mercedes perfectly.

As the song ends, you see Sue standing in the back of the auditorium, with a strange look on her face (guilt?   remorse?)   and then Mr. Schu blows them a sort of kiss.

Next Sue walks into the old Glee club room and sees Mr. Schu clearing out the last of his stuff.   He asks if she came to gloat, and tells her she got what she wants so he should shake her hand.   She replies 'Not unless you've got some hand sanitizer, I've seen that car you drive, I don't want to catch poor!'
He tells her maybe they weren't good enough to win, but they were better than Aural Intensity.   She says she can't reveal how the judging went down, that would be a breach of her judging responsibilities- but that casting her vote was easy and reflected exactly how she felt in her heart about which team should win...and we see the judges filling out the ballot- AND THAT SHE VOTED FOR THEM TO WIN 1ST PLACE! (and V.A. THIRD).

Mr. Schu tells her she wins, he loses, the kids lose.   She says she knows he thinks she's heartless, and that she spends large amounts of her day picturing him choking on food, that she recently contacted an exotic animal dealer because she had a very satisfying dream that the two of them went to the zoo and she shoved his face into one of those pink,inflamed monkey butts...how she remain unmoved by his nattering to his students about how the human condition can be improved by, yes, singing about it...and she's proven that she can wipe him and this Glee club off the face of this earth...but what kind of world would that be?   One where she couldn't constantly ridicule his hair, or mock him for tearing up more than Michael Landon in a sweeps weak episode of Little House on the Prairie?   And that Sue Sylvester is not sure that she wants to live in that kind of a world, so she had a little talk with Figgins...

She tells Figgins "Glee Club gets another year.   I get what I want.   Do you really not understand how the whole sexual blackmail thing works?"   He tells her it's enough, he won't be blackmailed anymore, and he will tell his wife of their heated sexual congress (? not sure if that's the word he uses) before he will be bullied by her again.   So she tells him, 'One last chit Figgy, give the Glee club another year and I won't mention us making the beast with two backs again'   Figgins says 'Huh?' and so do I.   What did that even mean???

...back to Will...'We have another year?'
Sue tells him she may not like him much but she likes what he is doing for the kids, 'Bon Chance William, I relish the thought of another year of constantly besting you'.
'You know Sue, inside you are a really good person, you have a heart'
'Ok, let go of my hand'
'Hey, I appreciate what you do for these kids, and I won't forget it'
'I am seriously going to puke into your mouth'.

So all the kids are sitting in the Glee room and Mr. Schu tells them they have another year!!!!
Rachel immediately starts chattering about how this is the perfect time for them to start practicing for Sectionals and Mr. Schu interrupts her, says they deserve some time off, they need to enjoy summer and take a break (There are rumblings in the media that the cast is totally overworked- I wonder if this is included to show the producers are aware of it and tongue in cheek, the cast will get a break too?   Although since they are touring the US singing live this summer, I highly doubt it!).   Anyway, Puck and Mr. Schu play 'Somewhere over the Rainbow'...the ERIC CLAPTON version.   I have wanted them to do a Clapton song since the beginning, but there are issues with song rights since he donates all royalties to his charities, so I was super happy they used his version for this...

And next season I want them to sing 'Hallelujah' the amazing version that was on West Wing and sung by Jason Castro on American Idol a few seasons ago (among many other wonderful covers of the song), and anything Leonard Cohen would be pretty.   I was browsing YouTube trying to show someone the original version of 'It's My Party' and stumbled across 'Uptown Girl' and 'For the Longest Time', both by Billy Joel (although I found the Chipmunk versions), which I would also love to hear covered on Glee.

During the performance, the camera pans across all the kids, and they are all matchy matchy exchanging glances or holding hands...Kurt looks at Mercedes, Quinn reaches out to hold Mercedes hand across Kurt's lap and he makes an odd face and grabs both of their hands, Britney and Santana join pinkies, Finn looks back at Quinn then she looks over at Puck and he gazes back at her, Artie looks at Tina (you can't see if she is looking back because you can't see her face),  Rachel rests her head on Finn's shoulder, Finn looks up at Kurt, Mike and other Asian bump fists...

the camera cuts to a nurse telling Shelby all the adoption papers are in order but there is no name on the birth certificate...and she tells the nurse BETH (Yikes- will Terri have a cow when she finds out Shelby adopted the baby she was supposed to adopt? OMG, I have so many plot questions- how will Quinn react when she finds out?   And what about Rachel???   Also, Idina Menzel is married to Taye Diggs in real life and she had a baby recently- how cute if this is her actual child in real life?)

Back to the glee kids...Mercedes rests her head on Kurt's shoulder, then you see Kurt, Mercedes, other Asian and Britney making waves with their hands (like Hawaiian dancing), Quinn tugs on Kurt's cap, he grins boyishly, she smiles, Artie and Tina hold hands, camera pans out, we see Britney is resting HER head on Santana's shoulder too...the end.

I feel happy for the most part with the finale.
I do have two more issues/thoughts.
I think there might be a funny reason why we haven't seen them yet.   I speculated to someone after watching this that perhaps in the first episode when we see that one picture of them in Rachel's locker, it is actually a picture of the producer's or two of the writer's or something, so since they aren't real actors, Ryan Murphy is trying to figure out how to incorporate them into the show.   (It would be really funny if they had actually been a picture of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, but I don't think it is, I think I have seen pics of Ryan Murphy and it's not him).

Also, I am a little annoyed that tyrant terrible Sue softened up and was nice in the end.   Her voting for the kids and then getting them another year was out of character as she has been portrayed so far.   And don't spout how she has that mentally handicapped sister and as a result accepted the mentally disabled girl onto the Cheerios...they always spun that as if it could be double sided anyway.   After being such a through and through villain since day 1, it is odd that she could actually have a heart.

This was a super long post, but it was the season finale, so I don't feel that bad.   if you actually read the entire thing, thank you.   I welcome your thoughts and comments. And I am super excited to get the music from this season onto my play list so i can listen to it all summer until next season starts.   Also, hoping they release a DVD set with awesome extras and bonuses- throughout the season I sometimes felt there were scenes missing that had been cut due to length, so it would be great to watch the long, unedited season in it's entirety.   Thanks Ryan Murphy!

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