The season long Journey ends here, as New Directions get ready for Regionals.We start the first season finale with Will hanging up a poster telling people to support New Directions at Regionals (it doesn't say the time or place). This of course summons the Tracksuit Tyrant, who walks past and tells him that she's looking forward to seeing him at Regionals. Will is surprised, but he should realize she isn't going to be there for support, no no no, she realized if New Directions is going down she wants a direct hand in it, so she's going to be a judge.In Figgins' office, Will screams that Figgins can't let Sue judge. Figgins tells Will that he doesn't actually have any control over who the Show Choir governing board decides to make a judge. Sue says that they invited celebrities to be the judges, and Sue is definitely a celebrity. She's also offended that Will would think that she would be anything but an impartial judge. Will reminds Sue that she leaked their set list last time, and Figgins, clearly not giving anything resembling a damn, reminds Will that the club has to place, or they're out. Sue gloats to Will's face as, for the final time this season, we hit the Title Card.We see a flashback to the day Quinn and Puck's baby was conceived. Quinn keeps raising objections to them sleeping together, but Puck bypasses them, even invoking some harsher hindsight by asking if either of them will give a damn about Finn in three years?
Life's just a bunch of experiences, you know? You don't get a medal at the finish line for being good. You just get dead.End flashback. The Glee club are at Will's place for a party, and also to decide their set list. Wait, they're only doing this now? This will explain a lot. ND are incredibly depressed because they've decided that since Sue is a judge, the fix is in. Tina weeps that she loves them all. Finn wonders why they're all acting as if everything's going to be over. Mercedes points out that outside of Glee club, it's not like Puck or Santana will want to talk to any of them. Rachel asks instead of a set list that they list what they love about glee, and Will agrees.We cut to Emma's office, where Will relates how sad the club is making him, asking her for some guidance. She reminds him of how happy singing makes him, bringing up showing him the video of his Nationals win, and that he needs to remind the kids that the joy of singing together is more important than winning or losing. Will tells her how much he misses her, and she tells him that she's dating her dentist, who we will meet next season. Cut to Will's alleged car, after flipping through the dial, he comes upon the Bootstrapped Theme and has a breakdown and a breakthrough.Cut to Rachel looking fearful as Finn arrives, convincing Rachel not to give up. He says that she can help the club feel better about the competition, and they're going to win this damn thing. She responds with a liplock. In the room where the Journey starts, Will puts the band on the board, then says nine months prior, there were only five. He says that eventually, time will claim them all, that life only has a beginning and an end, but he loves them too much not to make sure they make the most out of the middle. Since it was "Don't Stop Believing" that brought him from the brink, it will be the Journey that guides them at Regionals.And now, the stage is set. Your judges: Rod Remington, Sue, Olivia Newton-John, and Josh Groban.We start with pandering, as Fort Wayne, IN's Westvale High's Aural Intensity performs a mash-up of ONJ and Groban. Oh, for fuck's sake. Cut to backstage where ND fumes. Will arrives and says if winning is what they care about, they've already lost. After a joke about Finn's dancing, they clasp hands atop each other for the first of the signature "show circles". Cut to said Finnegan, nervously preparing as we also see Rachel getting ready as well. Rachel says "break a leg", Finn responds with the L-word. Instead of throwing her off, this seems to warm her up as they prepare to enter. The music is cued, and they perform what would be considered the song of the real life couple they would become. And again, adding harsher hindsight, one giant Tear Jerker all around. Then we go from the ballad to the rock, the last mashup of the season, followed by the big finish, the Bootstrapped Theme to whip the crowd up. As this goes on, we see a surprising sight: one Judith Fabray.We soon see why; after we cut to backstage, Quinn runs into Judy, who tells Quinn she's dumped Russell due to his being a bastard; that and he cheated on her. She wants Quinn to return home, however, her granddaughter has other plans and makes her presence felt by breaking Q's water. Speaking of breaks, we return from one to some Queen, as it's Vocal Adrenaline's turn at bat and Jesse's turn at the spotlight. We intercut this with ND at the hospital, as Quinn allows Puck and Mercedes into the delivery room. And it's a perfect cut, timing the beats with Q's screams; afterwards, we see that Rachel had to stay behind to get the results. As such, she goes into the VA dressing room to see Shelby, saying regardless of standings, ND won, because Vocal Adrenaline has no heart. She says Shelby should co-direct with Will, only for Shelby to state that she's getting out of the business to have a family. A family that doesn't include Rachel, BTW. However, she does ask about Quinn's baby and for the final time this season you can spot the inevitable from a mile away.Cut to the Judges' room, where Sue makes it clear about who she wants for third. Egos then come into play, ONJ pissed only one team payed tribute, before saying Aural Intensity should win. Groban questions Sue's credibility, before giving ND props. ONJ trashes them to such a degree that even Sue defends them. Remington agrees with ONJ, linking Sue to ND as far as underdogs with delusions of grandeur. They then question Sue's status as a "celebrity". And then they vote. Thing is, when Sue's pride is damaged, she may go in a different way than you'd expect.Cut to the judges decision; yes, only three show choirs in the entire competition, disbelief must be suspended. And ladies and gleeks, as mentioned in the Sectionals recap, Murphy will demonstrate on occasion the ability to subvert the expected. In this case:
1st: Vocal Adrenaline
2nd: Aural Intensity
3rd: New DirectionsAt the hospital, Puck and Quinn are looking at their baby. Puck asks if Quinn wants to keep her, once and for all, she doesn't. She asks Puck the same question and it's clear he wants to but knows he can't. Quinn then asks if Puck loved her. Puck confirms he did, "especially now".note Shelby then arrives and asks if the baby has a name. Quinn says the baby has no name, but Puck says that it's Beth.As we see Shelby prepare to replace the daughter she rejected with another woman's baby, we begin the home stretch for the season with Will noticing Emma in Figgins' office, screaming at him about his decision to shut down Glee club. She notices him and comes in hot, asking if he's going to just lie down and take it, because she thinks that some things are worth fighting over. Will immediately asks if she's talking about their relationship or the Glee club. Emma says she means the Glee club, insisting it isn't about the two of them. Will calls bullshit and kisses her, saying she can date who she wants but it ain't over between them. Oooh, Forceful Will. Rachel interrupts them to ask Will to come to the auditorium.We cut to New Directions with something to say to Will:
MATT SPEAKS: "In the beginning of this year, I was just another football player."
Tina: "I had a stutter."
Mercedes: "I was the closeted diva".
Quinn: "I used to be captain of the Cheerios!"
Mike: "I was afraid to dance outside my room."
Brittana: "I hated everyone in this club." "So did I."
Kurt: "I wasn't honest about who I was."
Puck: "I was tossing kids into dumpsters."
Artie: "I had never kissed a girl before."
Rachel: "And I was getting slushied."
Finn: "I didn't... I didn't have a father... Someone I could look up to. Model myself after. Someone who could show me what it really meant to be a man."Rachel doesn't care what the judges say. They won because they had Will, having him as their teacher gave them all the chance to do things nobody else cared about. They then express their love in proper fashion.We then cut to Will cleaning up when Sue walks in. Will congratulates her on her victory and asks how she could think that ND wasn't good enough. Sue says that she can't talk about the judging process; however, we flashback to see the truth: ND first, AI second, and VA third, her V/O confirming her vote was genuine. Will concedes that he lost and she won. However, thing about Sue is that she is a Chaotic Neutral for a reason. Yes, she liked the victory, but then realized that life wouldn't be as fun without someone to play with, so she went to Figgins and, reminding him of the dubious and alleged sex tape they made, got glee another year, grudgingly admitting he does good things with New Directions.Cut to Will telling ND the good news; naturally Rachel wants to start rehearsing, but Will tells them to relax over the summer. He and Puck break out the guitar and the ukulele as we end Season 1 with Shelby adopting Beth and New Directions looking content at what's to come.One down, five to go gleeks. The Journey's just getting started.Next Season: We're Growing the Beard, with new members, the man who would become Glee's breakout star, and revelations galore, from ones done in horrific fashion, to ones that would reveal the broken psyche of a very troubled girl. All that, plus the moment that would kick off a Running Gag for these recaps. Till then Gleeks.
Songs from this episode
- "You Raise Me Up" by Josh Groban/"Magic" by Olivia Newton John, performed bynote Aural Intensity
- "Faithfully" by Journey, performed by Finn, Rachel, and the New Directions
- "Any Way You Want It/ Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'" by Journey, performed by Rachel, Finn, Puck and the New Directions
- "Don't Stop Believing"
- "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen, performed by Jesse and Vocal Adrenaline
- "To Sir With Love" performed by New Directions
- "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz, performed by Mr. Schue and Puck.
Tropes from this Episode
- Aborted Arc: There is no mention of Kurt as a Cheerio!; presumably he quit between episodes.
- All There in the Manual: As per materials auctioned off after the series ended, Nationals this year was to be held in Chicago.
- Armor-Piercing Question:Quinn: Did you love me?Puck: Yes. Especially now.
- Bi the Way: Rod Remington partied hard with Freddie Mercury in the '80s and isn't a fan of labels.
- Clean Pretty Childbirth : When Quinn delivers her Three-Month-Old Newborn.
- Enforced Method Acting: Jayma Mays, who plays Emma, had no idea that Will was going to kiss Emma in the hallway
- Heroic Blue Screen of Death: pretty much everyone in the glee club has one of these once it's announced that Sue will be judging at regionals
- Call-Back: To the pilot, "Acafellas", "Bad Reputation", and "Theatricality" amongst others.
- It's All About Me: Olivia Newton-John
- Put on a Bus: After serving as a glorified extra and having a grand total of two lines the entire season, Dijon Talton departs here; he would return for the Grand Finale, where he would speak his third line.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Josh Groban and Olivia Newton-John