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‘Glee’-Cap 2.22: “My Manhattan Destiny”

After the previous blatant filler episode, I really hoped that the producers of ‘Glee’ were merely saving up their energy to pour everything into the season finale. So, did last week’s big “event” episode deliver the goods? Well… ummm… meh…

In the season finale, called ‘New York’, the New Directions travel to (big shock!) New York City to perform in the Show Choir National Finals. Due to budgetary constraints, Will has to cram all of the kids into two hotel rooms. Because he’s basically a terrible, terrible teacher, he leaves them alone in the hotel with instructions to write two original songs for the show while he wanders off to check out the theater where April will be staging her new musical autobiography that he intends to join.

The kids sneak out of the hotel to go frolic unsupervised in the city, looking for songwriting inspiration. They come up with a terrible ditty all about how New York is the most awesomest place in the whole wide world. Mind you, the song isn’t supposed to be bad (the episode would have us believe that it’s fantastic), but it’s just dreadful, saccharine bullshit.

Will makes his way to the empty theater and belts out one of Matthew Morrison’s own original numbers called “Still Got Tonight” from the actor’s new solo album (in stores now, kids!). It’s just about the douchiest thing ever.

Finn tries to arrange a romantic date to win Rachel back, but she gets distracted by a shameless walk-on cameo by Patti LuPone. She rejects Finn’s advances and says that her career is more important than their relationship. Finn isn’t ready to give up just yet.

The next morning, Kurt takes Rachel to have breakfast at Tiffany’s. They both announce that they plan to go to college in New York. They then sneak into the ‘Wicked’ theater and perform a song from the show called “For Good.” I know nothing at all about ‘Wicked’ other than that it’s loosely based on ‘The Wizard of Oz’. The song is generic Broadway pap that doesn’t seem to have anything whatsoever to do with ‘Oz’.

(No less than two actual ‘Wicked’ cast members – Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel – have recurring roles on ‘Glee’, and yet neither one makes an appearance here. What’s up with that?)

Vocal Adrenaline coach Goolsby leaks Will’s plans about staying in New York after Nationals to the New Directions team. The kids are sad. Will changes his mind and decides that being a high school Glee Club coach is much more important than potential Broadway stardom. Considering the songs he was planning to perform, maybe that’s for the best.

When the big show finally starts, the kids are shocked (shocked!) to discover that the other teams that were ranked the best of the best in this national competition are actually kind of good. I’m not sure what they were expecting. Rachel runs into Sunshine Corazon (Filipino pop star Charise) from Vocal Adrenaline and makes peace with her.

New Directions lead off their original songs with a Finn and Rachel duet called “Will We Ever?” Knowing full well that Jesse is in the audience, Finn ends the song by laying a big, passionate kiss on Rachel. The audience is left confused and silent. The team then transitions into a more rousing number called “Light up the Night.” Unfortunately, the song has been autotuned to hell and sounds like crap.

Backstage afterwards, Finn and Rachel are both ecstatic about what happened. Jesse tells them that the kiss was unprofessional and has destroyed their chances of making the Top 10. They don’t believe him, but it turns out that Jesse is right. New Directions doesn’t place. Vocal Adrenaline does.

Just about everyone is upset at Rachel and Finn, especially Santana, who makes a Rachel voodoo doll. For some reason, it doesn’t occur to anyone that the real problem might be that the team wrote their damn songs the day before the competition. Duh. They deserved to lose.

Kurt is actually in a good mood despite everything. Blaine tells him that he loves him. Finn and Rachel are officially a couple again. Sam and Mercedes are secretly also a couple. Brittany sums up the season by saying that this year was about acceptance and family.

Remember that hint that Quinn dropped in the previous episode that she was going to make a big announcement in New York? Apparently the writers forgot about that. Quinn is barely even in the episode.

I like the fact that the team didn’t win (or even place) at Nationals. That’s a nice, almost realistic touch. You expect the underdog team to come from behind and win in the end. Unfortunately, the rest of the finale episode is pretty underwhelming. I hate to say it, but I’m worried for next season. All Ryan Murphy shows fall to pieces eventually, and I just don’t know how much longer this one can sustain its concept.

4 comments

  1. Ian Whitcombe

    Yeah, I was scratching my head with the “resolution” of the Quinn storyline in this episode. The Finn/Rachel dynamic had a glimmer of an interesting idea, but the saddling of Jesse and Quinn in the storyline – with no payoff for either character – made the whole thing overwritten and dull.

    Also, the continual use of original songs in competitions is becoming a problem. The fact that Rachel and Finn are workable songwriters under tight deadlines stacks the deck too much in New Directions’ favor. Furthermore, from a audience perspective, it is way less satisfying to watch actors sing mediocre songs that we haven’t heard before than for them to try to win with dynamic renditions of actual classics or standards.

  2. that1guypictures

    This was a major letdown, and my expectations were low. Quinn gets a haircut, Mr. Schue flip-flops about Broadway again, and the entire Glee club (which seems to have dissolved into a bunch of selfish, narcissistic, whiny brats, who never rehearse any music) got their just deserts. I actually smiled when they didn’t place. It was one of the most realistic creative decisions this entire year. I’m glad this season is over. Hopefully next year will be an improvement, if not…I’ve got other shows that are a bigger priority. Specifically, Community and Parks and Recreation, which I feel are more consistent from week to week in creative output.

  3. Josh Zyber
    Author

    Now that I think about it, what happened to Karofsky after he slinked away from prom? That’s another storyline that was left dangling.

    I really think this show needs a big shake-up right away. It’s a mistake to keep the entire original cast for one more year. At least half the kids should have been graduated off this year. Are we really supposed to believe that every single student in Glee Club was a sophomore when the show started, and the few new members they picked up (Lauren, Sam) just happened to be in the same class? Does this school not get new freshmen every year, at least a couple of whom might want to join?

  4. it’s a really mix bag show. when its on , it can be great television. when it’s not falls flat on the ground. they couldn’t make the bullying story line work.

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