ALL THINGS GLEE
RECAP: Glee Season 2 Finale - New York
To close out Glee's second season, New Directions heads to the Big Apple for their biggest challenge yet - Nationals. Plus Finn attempts to rekindle things with Rachel, and an unlikely couple forge a new romance.
The gang lands in New York, where everyone is swept up in the charms of the city, and showtunes are practically drifting in the air. They gather in their hotel room after Will instructs them to polish up their original songs, and Brittany gets things started with Artie, singing "My Cup." The team disses the song, so Quinn suggests that they all go out and get inspired by their urban surroundings. They hit the streets, and sing Madonna's "I Love New York" mashed up with "New York, New York" from On The Town. Of course, they engage in all the stereotypically great things about New York during this, like enjoying street vendor hot dogs and cavorting in Central Park.
Meanwhile Will checks in on his Broadway prospects. His big chance came a few weeks back with April's one-woman show, and he takes the stage alone and sings "Still Got Tonight."
Rachel and Finn spend more time together now that he's split up with Quinn. They go out to eat and run into Patti Lupone, who does a brief cameo. Things appear to be going well as they walk downtown, where, for some strange reason, New York has gone hauntingly quiet. (Seriously, no cars, no people- no way) The hush doesn't last long, as the guys sing "Bella notte" for the two of them. Rachel and Finn remark how the romantic atmosphere is just like a romantic comedy, and finally, Finn wises up and makes his move. The song crescendoes, and he goes in for the kiss, but is rebuffed. "Take a chance on me," he pleads. He leans in but she again turns away before leaving him alone there.
Kurt and Rachel have breakfast outside of Tiffany's and she realizes she wants to return to New York once school is over. The two sneak into the Gershwin Theatre and the set of Wicked, where a security guard agrees to let them have 15 minutes onstage to sing their hearts out. Kurt encourages her to visualize her future, and they then sing "For Good" from the musical. The tender duet makes them realize just how close of friends they are.
Will is confronted by Dustin Goolsby, his opponent and Vocal Adrenaline coach. He wishes Will luck- not at the show choir competition, but in his Broadway debut. A shady move, Goolsby ends up telling New Directions about Will's plans. He wants to rattle them before the big event, but they woefully support their teacher's dream. However, Will decides that he cannot abandon them, and they refocus on winning the competition.
Nationals kicks off, and an all-girl team gets things started with Usher's crowd-pleaser "Yeah." In the bathroom, Rachel finds an anxious Sunshine Corazon throwing up. She is nervous and is planning on heading to the Filipine embassy to get deported- she wants out of Vocal Adrenaline so badly. Rachel tells her to use her gift, and that she'll help her through it if she feels overwhelmed.
Sunshine sings "As Long As You're There," and again, it's remarkable that such an amazing, robust voice comes out of a person that small. Her Vocal Adrenaline teammates join her onstage, and they absolutely kill it. In the crowd, Finn asks Rachel why she's supporting her, but she just responds that she's going to make things right.
Before going on, Finn asks Rachel why she keeps rejecting him. While she loves him, she reiterates that nothing is going to stand in the way of her dream to become a star. They take the stage and sing another original song, "Pretending," and it gets so emotional that by the song's final note the two are locked in a kiss. The crowd is silent. New Directions dives into another original song, "Light Up The World," and it turns out to be a real crowd-pleaser. A few bars in and the entire audience is on their feet. After the show Finn and Rachel talk about how amazing it all went but Jesse, fixated on Rachel the whole time, tells them how unprofessional their stunt was. Finn calls him jealous and tells him to back off.
The judges post the ten groups to advance and they eagerly go to check where they ranked. Will inspects the bulletin to see where they placed, but... their name isn't on it. "We aren't in the top ten," he reports gravely. Looks like Jesse was right about that kiss costing them major points.
Back in Ohio Kurt recounts how things turned sour to Blaine, who finds it all very endearing. He tells Kurt that he loves him, which stuns Kurt. He ends up returning the sentiment, and all of a sudden they notice Sam and Mercedes enter the coffee shop. They're secretly dating, but Kurt and Blaine don't seem to notice.
Meanwhile Santana still blames Rachel for their bad showing. Brittany, showing ever more wisdom, tells her that the glee club is a family and to let it go. Rachel finds Finn hiding in the library, feeling like he's let everyone down, but she's happy they still have another shot next year. Still somewhat distant, she tells him about her plan to move to New York, to which he says "Congratulations a year from now. What are you doing 'til then?" They kiss and happily make their way to the last glee club meeting of the year. Getting past their differences, the team takes stock of their 12th place win and moves on, closer than ever.
NEXT SEASON: Who knows what's in store? Another shot at Nationals, a kinder, gentler Sue Sylvester? We'll just have to wait and see.
Justin Starling (@CitadelNow) for Citadel Digital © 2011