Title Goodbye (3.22)
Written By Brad Falchuk
Major Characters Rachel Berry (Lea Michele), Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith), Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison), Kurt Hummel (Chris Colfer), Santana Lopez (Naya River), Quinn Fabray (Dianna Agron), Noah “Puck” Puckerman (Mark Salling), Mercedes Jones (Amber Riley), Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch), Brittany S. Piece (Heather Morris), Blaine Anderson (Darren Criss), Mike Chang (Harry Shum, Jr.), Tina Cohen-Chang (Jenna Ushkowitz), Sam Evans (Chord Overstreet), Artie Abrams (Kevin McHale), Burt Hummel (Mike O’Malley)
What Happens As graduation day draws closer for the seniors at William McKinley High School, the Glee club finds itself back where it began – with Mr. Schue watching Kurt, Rachel, Tina, Mercedes, and Artie performing “Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat,” just like they did in the pilot episode. Mr. Schue’s trip down memory lane concludes with a performance of Rod Stewart’s “Forever Young” for the group of students that he’s watched grow from underdogs to national champions. The nostalgia continues with Burt’s graduation gift to his son: his own rendition of the “Single Ladies” dance he saw Kurt perform when he was a sophomore, which he notes as the moment he and Kurt started to come back together as a father/son team.
Back in the choir room, Kurt serenades the boys of New Directions with Madonna’s “I’ll Remember,” and all of the seniors pass the torch to the underclassmen with the New Radicals’ “You Get What You Give.” As the episode reaches its midway point, we learn the fates of various New Directions seniors: Mercedes was signed as a backup singer and will be taking classes at UCLA; Mike is joining the Joffrey Ballet; and Quinn will be heading to Yale but keeping in touch with Rachel, her graduation gift to Rachel is a Metro pass to travel between New York and New Haven (Quinn has one for herself, too).
After a discussion in which Rachel reveals that she always thought Quinn would end up with Puck, Quinn realizes that she has to help Puck pass the one exam he needs to retake in order to graduate because she’ll always love him and they shared the experience of having a daughter together. After a kiss from Quinn restores his confidence, Puck passes his exam and is able to graduate (leading the “Glory Days” performance at graduation).
And what about Santana and Brittany? Brittany, it turns out, has a 0.0 GPA, so she’ll be sticking around WMHS for another year as a Super Senior. Santana was unaware of this but is aware that she doesn’t want to go to Louisville on a cheerleading scholarship anymore. She wants to go to New York and be a star, but is she ready to leave Brittany behind to do so?
Finn is still struggling with his discovery that his father did not die a war hero but rather a dishonorably discharged, broken man who left his family. He wants to pursue his acting dreams, but he still feels as if he’s letting his father down by not doing something to change his legacy. As Finn worries about his future and his impending marriage to Rachel, his support for his fellow Glee club members is praised with a rendition of The Beatles’ “All My Life,” by the New Directions underclassmen.
After graduation, Finn, Rachel, and Kurt all get letters from the colleges they hope to attend. We learn that Finn didn’t get into The Actors Studio at Pace University, and Kurt failed to get into NYADA despite a solid audition. But Rachel’s performance at Nationals was enough to make up for her botched NYADA audition; she is the lone member of this trio to hold an acceptance letter. However, Rachel decides to turn down her dream school to stay in Lima with Kurt and Finn as they perfect their auditions for the next year.
On the way to what she thinks is her wedding to Finn, Rachel realizes that her fiancé is driving to an unfamiliar destination: the train station. Finn knows she should be in New York, so he bought her a train ticket to go with her dads to look at NYADA’s dorms. Despite Rachel’s tearful protests, Finn tells her that he’s setting her free to chase after the dreams she wants to put aside for him. Finn also discovered his own dream, and it’s in a place without Rachel: the army. Heartbroken and shocked, Rachel still boards the train bound for New York after saying goodbye to all of her friends, singing Room for Two’s “Roots Before Branches” as she walks, alone but finally smiling, through New York City – her new home.