‘Glee’ Recap: The New Directions Sing Their ‘Swan Song’
Things take a drastic turn for the New Directions on ‘Glee‘ as everyone at McKinley High and in New York City prepare their final songs, in a metaphorical and occasionally literal sense of course.
The episode picks up right where ‘Thanksgiving‘ left off, at Sectionals. Marley (Melissa Benoist) has fainted and it being taken care of by her fellow glee club members. Will (Matthew Morrison) is worried this could mean disqualification, as you are not allowed to leave the stage. Sue (Jane Lynch) enters to give the group the bad news: the Warblers have been named the unanimous winners. It is the first time in the history of the club that they have not won Sectionals.
Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Rachel (Lea Michele) hear the bad news via phone before discussing their own problems at NYADA. Kurt is concerned about actually getting in, while Rachel is giving up hope of landing a prized golden ticked from Carmen Thibodou (Whoopi Goldberg) that will offer her a chance to perform in NYADA Winter Showcase. Prior ticket holders have gone onto win Emmys and Tonys, but only ten are handed out a year and almost never to a freshman.
The next day, A gleeful Rachel is handed a ticket by Carmen herself.
Finn (Cory Monteith) finds the glee room being ransacked by the Cheerios for Sue’s new circus related side project. He and the coach fight over the New Directions’ Nationals trophy before heading off to have Principal Figgins (Iqbal Theba) settle the whole thing. He tells Finn and Mr. Schuester that there is nowhere in the school for the club to rehearse. A forlorn Finn hands over the keys to the choir room.
Sue feels empty about the whole situation and wonders what will happen to the members of glee without their precious club. Will they become drug dealers? Sell their legs for science? Learn that glee was holding them back from their financial analyst future? Broken from her reverie, the glee club’s piano player (Brad Ellis) thanks Sue for giving him his much earned freedom.
Glee is cancelled until September and Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) blames Marley for not being more like Rachel. Finn wants them to enjoy their last week in the club and they prepare to perform their last song. The seniors find this incredibly unfair.
Sam (Chord Overstreet) leads Brittany (Heather Morris) to him with a line of cheerios (the cereal, not the cheerleading team) and asks her to perform a song with him. They sing ‘Somethin’ Stupid’ by Carson and Gaile. At the end of the song he tries to kiss her. Brittany is worried the lesbians of the world will try to kill him if he does and she rejects his advances.
In dance class, Cassandra (Kate Hudson) mocks Rachel for asking for a glass of water, and they argue about whether or not Rachel has learned anything at NYADA. Cassandra challenges her to a dance and sing off and they perform ‘All That Jazz’ from Chicago. When all is said and done, Cassandra tells Rachel she’s still not good enough. Rachel argues that she’s a much better singer and that she plans to win the Winter Showcase with her voice.
Meanwhile, Kurt goes to talk to Carmen about his (second) application to NYADA. She tells him that while he is very talented, there was no depth or complexity in his audition tape. It was all surface. She tells him to leave so she can finish planning the showcase.
Blaine (Darren Chris) and Tina join the Cheerios, Artie (Kevin McHale) joins the marching band and the other glee club members find their various places in other clubs — from the basketball and roller hockey teams to the inter-faith paintball league. They all go to tell Finn about moving on and he invites them to meet him in the auditorium that week to sing their last song in rehearsal together.
In the hallway, Brittany invites Sam on a date, but the only reservation she could find was when Finn planned to have their last rehearsal. They kiss.
At the Winter Showcase, Carmen invites the attendees in, while outside Rachel gets a pep-talk from Brody (Dean Geyer). She tells him she plans to sing like she’ll never sing again and she kisses him.
Onstage, she sings Barbra Streisand’s ‘Being Good Isn’t Good Enough’ and when asked for an encore she performs ‘O Holy Night’ while Finn packs up the choir room back at McKinley. After Rachel relinquishes the stage, Carmen stands up and announces that after a brief intermission, if Kurt is ready, he will perform.
Outside Rachel talks to Kurt and they decide he should perform ‘Being Alive’ from the musical Company. Rachel tells him to dedicate the song to himself. He performs the song and cries, finally understanding the true meaning of his selection.
Rachel calls Finn after the showcase to see how he is. He laments the loss of the glee club and she tells him she won her showcase, the first freshman to do so in pretty much forever. She tells Finn not to worry about losing Sectionals and reminds him that glee club isn’t about winning, but about the memories and friendships made. Before hanging up, she makes him promise not to give up on his dreams.
Finn is waiting in the empty auditorium when Marley arrives. They realize no one is coming and she tells Finn she found somewhere for them to practice. Finn writes everyone an email inviting them to meet them to rehearse where no one can take away their shared love of music.
Later that night, Marley apologizes to Finn for ruining the glee club. He tells her it’s not her fault, and they sing ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ by Crowded House. As they sing the rest of the New Directions join them.
In New York, Rachel comes home to find Kurt with a letter from NYADA. He has gotten accepted for the new semester.