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Glee - 2009 - Dreams Come True - Review - "Series Finale and Final Song Polls"

Glee’s final season came to an end with two terrific episodes that were a fitting tribute to the show we initially fell in love with. Both episodes were penned by the team of Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan. “2009” was directed by Paris Barclay and “Dreams Come True” was directed by Bradley Buecker. The two episodes were a perfect pairing with the first being a look to the past and the second a look to the future with so many familiar faces back and so many great songs!

It was terrific – and a bit of a shock! – to have Will (Matthew Morrison) come home to his wife, Terri (Jessalyn Gilsig). Gilsig was wonderful in the episode, and reminded us of just how much of a tyrant and a terror that Terri really was: “Will is to cook and clean” and do everything else! As the episode begins, we follow Kurt (Chris Colfer) who is suicidal. Puck (Mark Salling) and Karofsky (Max Adler) are bullying and terrorizing him.

We also see that Emma (Jayma Mays) may have been at the height of her OCD, but was still a good guidance counsellor. She brings in Burt (Mike O’Malley) to tell him her concerns about Kurt. It’s always a joy to have O’Malley in an episode. It’s clear that Burt and Kurt love each other, but they aren’t as close as we know they become. Kurt wants so badly to tell his father that he’s gay, and the scene when he says it in his head and can’t force it past his lips is excellent. It was also a nice reminder of how wonderful the episode was when Kurt did tell Burt.

It was a lot of fun to remember not only how much the characters have changed inside but also outside. Has anyone else been missing Kurt’s white Doc MArtien’s or Tina’s (Jenna Ushkowitz) blue-streaked hair? How fun was it to see Kurt’s amazing bedroom again!? It’s also nice to remember how socially inept and selfish Rachel (Lea Michele) really was. I loved her describing Will as an old Justin Timberlake. We also get to see her slushied! Naturally, when Burt gave Kurt the ultimatum to join a team he didn’t mean the glee club, but Kurt’s arguments were sound – they do compete for a prize. And in the end, it gave him the support group he really needed. “Popular” is the best song for them to sing as they become, arguably, the most popular characters.

It was fun to see how each of them came to audition. Kurt through Rachel as well as Mercedes (Amber Riley). It’s hilarious that Kurt has seen Rachel’s videos on MySpace – so 2009! We get several scenes with Matt (Dijon Talton) – which is an in joke as there was a lot of discussion about him simply being gone from the show. In fact, there were quite a few in jokes. One of the other criticisms was that Rachel said she had a black dad – and when they were cast they were both clearly white. It seems that Rachel likely told Mercedes her dad was black simply to “fit in” and relate to Mercedes to get her to try out for the glee club. We see that Artie (Kevin McHale) and Tina join because of a dare. Artie tells us he’s in love with Tina because she sees him as a real person.

The tryouts are fun because we get Brad (Brad Ellis) on the piano, and we get to see Will’s first impressions of everyone. He sees Kurt as a “sweet kid.” Will notes that Tina has good energy, is edgy and is angry. Frankly, I never saw Tina as angry in the early seasons, but this was a nice way to retcon her characterization in the last couple of seasons. Artie, Will notes, has a great voice that is soulful, and then he adds “need ramps” – which turned out to be a plot point in a couple of episodes.

We get to see Figgins (Iqbal Theba) back in the Principal’s office, assuring Sue (Jane Lynch) that she is his star and that the Glee club is a mere trifle. We also see Sue and Will at their weekly basketball game! Sue warns Will not to make an enemy out of her by forming the Glee club, and he tells her he’s already recruited Finn (Cory Monteith). Of course, we can’t see Monteith in the episode – except for the wonderful replay of “Don’t Stop Believing” but his presence still looms large in the episode, which is fitting.

The others are unsure about having the star football player amongst them. After all, they’ve banded together in Glee club largely because they see themselves a misfits. Kurt doesn’t trust Finn because he’s too bossy. He also tells Mercedes that Rachel only wants Finn in the club because she has a crush on Finn – and then thinks to himself that he does too – two more future stroylines. But Artie says that Finn rescued him from the dumpster and wheeled him home. Rachel stands up for Finn, saying that if they start excluding people, they’re no different from those who exclude them. She says that they should aim to be proud of what they did and who they included – and we can see that they are.

Rachel and Emma both work together to keep Will from leaving the Glee club to become an Accountant at Terri’s insistence. I loved getting to see Howard Bamboo (Kent Avenido) again and hear him say he wanted to be in an all-male acapella group – which was also a part of the first season.

Mercedes thinks about quitting after Rachel gets the Sandy solo, but is convinced by her mom (April Grace) that Rachel will ultimately make her a better singer and that they’ll become great friends. She has to learn to share the spotlight – and of course, we’ve seen that that is exactly what happened for both of them. It’s fun to see Sue adamant that none of the kids will end up as singers, dancers or actors when so many of them do.

There’s also a fun scene at the coffee shop in which we see that Mercedes is already falling for Kurt – another early storyline. It’s Mercedes who tells Kurt to stop letting his clothes do all the talking for him. We also see Kurt bump into Blaine – clearly a retcon, but still fun. We only see Quinn (Dianna Agron) and Santana (Naya Rivera) from a distance as Sue’s proteges, which disappointed me, but the episode was only an hour and was packed as it was. It was a really nice way to go down memory lane, reminding us of so many episodes and why we fell in love with the show.

We transition from past to future with a brief stop in the present at Nationals. Will thinks back to his winning the Nationals with Lillian Adler (Jane Galloway Heitz) and her impressing on them that Glee club is about finding joy. And that’s what these episodes are about. After returning from being triumphant at Nationals, Superintendent Harris (Christopher Cousins) tells Will that McKinley is becoming the William McKinley School of the Performing Arts with him as Principal!

The Glee club is flooded with new members, but Will is determined that no one will ever be turned away. In addition to the main choir, there will also be a new version of the Troubletones, an all male version of the Troubletones called the Duly Noted, and a junior Glee club too. Will won’t be able to coach and run the school, however, so he appoints Sam (Chord Overstreet) as the new coach. As Will sings his farewell to the club, there isn’t a dry eye in the house. It’s the same as Mercedes sings her last song too. Sam assures Blaine that he’s happy in Lima and manages to make his first lesson about country a really great one. Blaine realizes it’s great that they are all where they really belong.

Everyone is now moving on – Rachel, Blaine and Kurt back to New York and Mercedes is going to be opening for Beyonce’s world tour. Blaine and Kurt thank Sue for getting them back together and Sue and Becky make up. I loved Sue recapping Kurt’s story and giving us some insight into how Kurt has changed her life and she thanks him for that. It was great to have yet another duet between Sue and Will and continue the trend of letting Lynch really sing.

And then the episode takes us five years into the future. We see that Sue is now Vice President – is this an American Horror Story episode?!?! – and is going to run for President. She’s clearly made up with Geraldo too, and Becky is now her head of secret service. Of course, Sue’s code name is Pocahontas.

Kurt has a time capsule locker of his time at McKinley. It’s another nice way to have a shout out to so many great episodes and songs. We then jump ahead to Kurt and Blaine five years in the future to being successful on stage in New York.

        I loved the transition on the escalator from present to future – and do take note of the Jane Austen Sings banner in the future – Rachel’s Tony winning vehicle. Kurt and Blaine have new hair but are just as in love as they visit the Harvey Milk Elementary School. I’m a big sucker for the Monkees, so I loved their final duet. I loved them lying on the floor on the rainbow carpet, singing as the kids danced around them. Singing about a homecoming Queen and a daydream believer – what could be more perfect?

It’s fitting for Rachel’s final solo to be a complete solo – dressed in black and white – and it felt like a final tribute and goodbye to Finn. The jump to five years later shows just how far Rachel has come. Artie has written a movie, that Tina starred in because Mercedes couldn’t do it. Rachel has given up 9 months of her life to be a surrogate mother for Kurt and Blaine – she’s finally learned not to be selfish! Rachel is married to Jesse (Jonathan Groff), who is also her director in Jane Austen Sings. Watching from Lima as she wins are Will, Emma, their many kids, Sam, and Sue. Watching in New York are Kurt, Blaine, Mercedes, Artie, Tina, Kitty (Becca Tobin), and Roderick (Noah Guthrie). She thanks everyone, but mainly Will.

We then jump ahead to 2020 and Sue on stage in the auditorium. In the audience, completely dressed in red and white – the colors of “Don’t Stop Believing” – are Will, Burt, Carol (Romy Rosemont), Figgins, Emma, Beiste (Dot-Marie Jones),and Terri. Sue repeats Lillian Adler’s words from the beginning of the episode: “Glee is about opening yourself up to joy.” Sue gets the final word – “it takes a lot of bravery to look around and see the world not as it is, but as it should be.” She re-dedicates the theater the Finn Hudson Auditorium. We learn that McKinley is now a model for other schools due to Will.

Our final number of the New Directions includes Will, Rachel, Tina, Artie, Kurt, Mercedes, Blaine, Sam, Noah, Kitty, Spencer (Marshall Williams), Alistair (Finneas O’Connell), Matt, Mason (Billy Lewis Jr), Madison (Laura Dreyfuss), Sugar (Venessa Lengies), Brittany (Heather Morris), Santana, Quinn, Puck, Mike (Harry Shum Jr), Zizes (Ashley Fink), Karofsky (Max Adler), Jake (Jacob Artist), Jesse, Unique (Alex Newell), Ryder (Blake Jenner), Joe (Samuel Larsen – without his dreadlocks!), and Jane (Samantha Marie Ware).  The last member of the New Direction we see is Finn on his plaque. While many wanted a tribute to Monteith sooner, these two episodes felt more sincere than anything sooner which might have felt like capitalizing on a tragedy. All in all, a very satisfying ending for me. What did you think? Did Glee go out on a high note? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and remember to vote for your favorite songs in the polls!

About the Author - Lisa Macklem
I do interviews and write articles for the site in addition to reviewing a number of shows, including Supernatural, Arrow, Agents of Shield, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Forever, Defiance, Bitten, Glee, and a few others! Highlights of this past year include covering San Diego Comic Con as press and a set visit to Bitten. When I'm not writing about television shows, I'm often writing about entertainment and media law in my capacity as a legal scholar. I also work in theatre when the opportunity arises. I'm an avid runner and rider, currently training in dressage.


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