Figured it'd be worth it to start a thread for the very last episode of Glee. The show was once a monster hit, but it has completely faded into obscurity in this final season.
I didn't watch every episode this season (or last season, for that matter), but what I did see seemed to suggest that the show was going to go out with at least a shred of dignity. I couldn't have been more wrong. This season spent quite a bit of time introducing a new crop of students for the audience to care about, but they were all completely tossed aside in the finale. Did we really need to spend an hour looking back at where the characters were in 2009? It didn't provide us with any info that we didn't already know. Did I get chills seeing Finn performing Don't Stop Believing one last time? Obviously, but the payoff wasn't worth the overlong build-up.
The second hour wasn't much better. It was unrealistic and insanely corny (two traits that Glee heavily indulged in over these last few years). Rachel winning a Tony Award is acceptable enough (even if it is a bit unbelievable), but her being a surrogate for Kurt and Blaine takes things way too far. Sam coaching the glee club was a fitting end, but it felt more like a leftover idea they had for Finn's character than something that organically fit with the Sam we've come to know over the years.
Perhaps the biggest problem with this final season has been the use of Sue Sylvester. The writers clearly had no idea what to do with her since the end of season two, and decided to throw every zany idea they had at the wall to see what would stick. Some things worked well (her interview with Geraldo Rivera), others not so much (making a Saw puppet of herself and trapping Kurt and Blaine in an elevator). The finale took one final gamble with her outrageous stunts and it didn't payoff. Having Sue become the Vice President of the United States (to Jeb Bush, no less) is ridiculous even by the standards of her character.
The final scene of the show was strangely moving. It wasn't enough to salvage the whole finale, but it was good enough to make me feel like it wasn't a total waste of time. Seeing all members of the glee club (past and present) reunite for one final number gave me chills. This cast really did have electric chemistry, and it's a shame that the writers couldn't find a better use for it. Everyone showed up in the final song for "blink and you'll miss it" cameos, and it's really too bad. Instead of focusing on the past, I wish that we could have heard how Puck and Quinn were doing, or what Ryder and Jake have been up to since Sue forced them to change schools. As it stands, it was a fitting curtain call for the cast, but not so much for the characters.
For better or worse, the show was truly one of a kind. If nothing else, the first few seasons alone guarantee it a place in television history. It's just a shame that they couldn't stick the landing when the time came.
It was so clear that they didn't have any clue what to do with the show once the cast "graduated" that it was tough to watch. They gave setting up a new cast a solid try, but when it was clear that wasn't working, Ryan Murphy pretty obviously shifted focus onto American Horror Story and left Glee to rot.
It probably didn't help that it shifted pretty hard from a musical comedy show with a moral to a musical drama with comic relief that the show lost almost all of its charm.
And how it didn't end with one last performance of "Don't Stop Believin'" and a fade out to Rachel and Finn looking dreamily at each other from Season One, I don't know.
That said, the show had its moments, and I'm glad it happened. I'm not sure why I started watching it, or why I kept watching it, but it wasn't the worst show I've ever sat through.