1. They didn't completely screw up the Rachel/Finn thing
I've never, ever been a Finchel fan. Well, who am I kidding, I've never even been a Finn fan. Going into the episode heard that they were freaking ENGAGED in HIGH SCHOOL, I was sure it was just going to blow up, or descend deeper and deeper into the crazy, illogical world of Gleedom. However, I was wrong. Instead of getting a ridiculous teen wedding, we got a heartfelt, rational goodbye. For the first time, I actually saw some redeeming qualities in Finn Hudson. I thought his whole speech in the car was amazing. In that moment, with those words, I truly believed he loved her. Just as they were breaking up, I finally began rooting for them as a couple; stupid, I know.
Usually, characters on this show make stupid, nonsensical decisions. Last night, however, Rachel was only making immature decisions. She was scared of losing Finn, and having her heartbroken for the first time. She was terrified of facing New York on her own. So, she made the silly plan to defer NYADA. Usually, I would want to throw things at the TV for such stupid decision making. However, this one time, I could see where Rachel was coming from. I knew it was the wrong decision, of course, but, for once, the show showed me why that was the logical decision for Rachel's character.
I have been actively rooting for Finchel to break up since whenever they got together (beginning of season two? Maybe?). But that was just so I wouldn't have to suffer through the sight of them on screen anymore. In last night's episode, I still wanted them to break up. But watching the break up actually happen was surprisingly sad and sweet; I applaud the episode for being so emotionally effective.
2. Kurt was awesome
I loved the early Kurt/Blaine scene. I really do hope they stay together. What can I say: I'm a fangirl. As such, I knew I would savour every glance, every word, every kiss between them. And I did. Ryan Murphy hasn't screwed that one up. Yet. He has also been surprisingly great about the Kurt/Rachel relationship, no more so than in their scenes last night. I just adored the envelope opening scene. I love how this show deals with the theme of broken dreams; I am really glad they made graduation such a central focus of this season. In that room, with Kurt and Finn and Rachel, my heart just broke. It wasn't an overdramatic moment, in the way that so many Glee moments are. Instead, it was subtle and realistic and just so sad. Cory Monteith, Lea Michele, and Chris Colfer were all amazing in that scene.
3. The songs were actually good
I know! I can't believe it! Do you know how long its been since I've watched a full song on Glee? I usually listen to the first bit, then want to scream, and skip to the next scene. But this time, I actually enjoyed the songs. That hasn't happened since the first half of the first season! I just can't believe it!
Perhaps most shocking of all: Matthew Morisson actually put on a good performance! Who knew he had it in him?!?
I know, I'm being very sarcastic. I'm sorry. I just never thought that would be a redeeming part of the show, ever again. But last night, I enjoyed Mr. Shue's song, and the senior/junior and junior/senior songs. That alone is a reason to write a post about this episode.
And then, I can't forget Burt's dance. I just about died. It was AMAZING. I loved it for so many reasons. It was the perfect present for Kurt. It was such a great moment for their relationship. It was such a nice moment for the show, where it rewarded longterm fans. I remember the Single Ladies dance from season one. I loved it then. Last night, I was so happy to see it return. A truly great scene.
I'm choosing to gloss over the less great moments from last night's episode (I still hate Quinn, for example, but we don't need to talk about that). For now, I am very happy with the show. I may even watch the season premiere in September, which is big for me, seeing as I haven't watched two consecutive Glee episodes since spring of 2011.
Finale Rating: 4/5 Stars (okay, still a relative scale. This is Glee after all. Let's not go comparing this to Parks and Rec or something. Let's stay sane.)