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Wednesday May 25, 2011 10:13 pm
Glee: Season 2 Ends with New York Dreams
In the year’s most highly-anticipated episode of Glee, the New Directions traveled from Lima, Ohio to the grand city of New York, New York.
The opening started with Times Square, larger than life with its lights and billboards. In the midst of it all stood Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) in her adorable striped coat. “I made it,” she breathed. And that’s how it all began.
The rest of New Directions sang a few bars of Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” before Rachel arrived with tickets to Broadway’s longest-running musical, Cats. Unfortunately, it ended its run years ago.
Finn (Cory Monteith) was still painfully in love with Rachel at the top of the episode, but she was so excited with the power of New York she did not notice his interest… at first. Along with the rest of the team, they holed up in their hotel room to write their original Nationals song... which, evidently, they still hadn't done.
In a truly bad teacher moment, Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) left them alone so he could visit the theater where CrossRhodes, April’s musical, will play. During his absence, the team managed to compose a surefire hit: “My Cup.” The hook, “sayin’ what’s up to my cup-ah” is the stuff of songwriting gold.
Quinn (Dianna Agron) didn’t think so. “We gotta get out of here,” she announced, pulling on her coat. With her urging, the rest of the team agreed that what they really ought to do is go sightseeing.
At least we got a fabulous number out of it. In the video above, you can see their performance of "I Love New York / New York, New York.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Schue stepped onto the big stage in the empty theater to deliver “Still Got Tonight,” a tune from Matthew Morrison’s self-titled album. All his ambitions were confirmed when a watching security guard vowed that “you’ve got it.”
Finn finally gained the courage to ask Rachel on a date when the other male members of the club urged him to do so. He took her on a classic, romantic New York date that included Central Park and the famous Sardi’s. Inside the restaurant, Rachel saw Broadway legend (and Glee special guest star) Patti LuPone and approached her.
“I was in choir in High School. It was my favorite class,” she smiled, before whispering “He’s cute,” in Rachel’s ear.
As Rachel said, “Being in New York is like falling in love, over and over again.” And right on cue, a “group of street singers” began to serenade them with “Bella Notte.” The singers were Artie (Kevin McHale), Puck (Mark Salling), Mike (Harry Shum, Jr.) and Sam (Chord Overstreet), of course.
When they should have kissed, Finn leaned in and Rachel pulled away. Twice they almost met, twice she told him “I can’t,” and finally walked off into the New York night. It was almost as heartbreaking as the first break-up between Carrie and Mr. Big.
But, as it turns out, not as heartbreaking as what would follow.
Kurt Hummel (Chris Colfer) woke Rachel early for “breakfast at Tiffany’s.” In an homage to the Audrey Hepburn movie, the two stood outside the iconic jewelry store to eat Danish and drink coffee just like Holly Golightly. Fittingly, “Moon River” played in a beautiful soundtrack over the scene.
The two snuck into Wicked to sing on the big stage, which they did courtesy of a sympathetic security guard. Their duet of “For Good” was utterly amazing.
In a touching scene with Brittany (Heather Morris) and Santana (Naya Rivera), Quinn revealed that she’s not as untouched by the break-up as she’s been pretending. In a flood of tears, she admitted that she wants love, too. To help her feel better, Santana convinced her to get a haircut.
Vocal Adrenaline coach Dustin Goolsby (Cheyenne Jackson) ran into Will and spent some time psyching him out before the competition. In a low blow, he also revealed to the New Directions team that Schue will be leaving them to go on to Broadway.
In what appeared to be a swift decision, he told them he decided not to do the gig after all. Together, the club got to work on their new songs for Nationals (finally).
But their competition was stiff indeed. The first number, performed by an all-girl choir, was a fantastic rendition of “Yeah!” that won’t soon be forgotten.
Rachel ran into Sunshine Corazon (Charice) in the ladies’ room, and at long last she apologized for sending the younger girl to a crack house (way back in the season opener). “I’m so nervous I can’t keep any food down,” Sunshine admitted to Rachel. Kindly, Rachel told Sunshine to look at her, out in the audience, to control her nerves during the number.
Maybe she shouldn’t have been so nice, after all. Sunshine and Vocal Adrenaline delivered an amazing performance of the original tune “As Long As You’re There.”
Before going onstage, Rachel and Finn had it out. “I’m basically standing here, begging for you, and suddenly you’re not interested,” he complained.
“This is my dream. Being here in New York. I’m not going to let anyone, or anything, keep me from it,” she answered. “There’s nothing you can say or do to change my mind about it.”
The tension worked perfectly on stage as they performed a gorgeous original duet, “Pretending.” The song was so passionate and so fraught with emotion, Finn leaned in to give Rachel a dramatic kiss at the end of it all.
“Was that scripted?” Jesse St. James (Jonathan Groff), who appeared mid-performance, asked Schue in a stage whisper.
Clearly not. No one looked more surprised than Rachel and Finn in the utterly silent theater. For his part, Schue stood up to applaud his singers, and they quickly swept into their second original number, “Light Up the World.” It was a stunning performance.
And, they still didn’t win. In one of the biggest letdowns in show history, New Directions didn’t even place at Nationals. Was it because of the “unprofessional” kiss? Jesse St. James, and much of the rest of the club, definitely seemed to think so. Of them all, Kurt took the blow the best, and during his sunny re-cap of the trip Blaine (Darren Criss) admitted that he’s in love with him. It was very, very sweet. By the way, Sam and Mercedes (Amber Riley) are secretly dating. They seemed to hit it off during the prom episode, so this fits.
They aren't the only ones with starry eyes. After their bitter New York disappointment, only Rachel could console Finn. She found him hiding in the library, and both agreed that their dramatic, on-stage kiss was well worth the loss of the Nationals winning title.
“You have to know that I’m leaving, Finn. I’m going to New York and I’m never coming back,” she told him.
“Graduation’s a year away,” he observed. “Got any plans until then?” And, to the delight of all the Finnchel fans, he leaned in for a kiss. Together, they went to final club meeting of the year, where they were delighted with their twelfth-place banner and tiny trophy.
But it wasn’t a neat season ender by any means. Many things remain unfinished.
Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester didn't make a single appearance, a real shame and a mis-use of her talent. We want to know if she's going to return next year with new amibitions for her Cheerios, but the show left us no clues. Emma (Jayma Mays) still has a ready smile for Will, but does he plan to pursue her? We still don't know. Santana still isn’t openly out, and the episode didn’t contain a whisper of the long-running Karofsky (Max Adler) story line. For weeks, we’ve hoped for a big, lavish solo number starring Karofsky… maybe next year.
And, you can be sure, there will be a next year. To sum up our feelings on the finale, Brittany said it best: “I love everyone in Glee club. And I get to spend another year with them, so I’m good.”
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