I’m not sure if they named it “All or Nothing” in expectation of witty recap titles, but thanks for throwing me a softball, Glee.
Glee promised us a lot of cliffhangers in the season four finale, but it also promised us we’d get a lot of answers, both outright and through the unspoken agreement that in a season FINALE things get FINALIZED. Let’s consult Freytag’s Pyramid, the most basic model of dramatic structure!
Unfortunately, as has happened multiple times throughout the season, the writers seem to have gotten caught up in the Bermuda Triangle of rising action/climax/falling action, making tonight’s finale anything but final.
Since Glee doesn’t feel obliged to provide an episode that ties up existing storylines while also creating momentum for the next season, I don’t feel obliged to recap it in my normal linear fashion. Instead, have some bullet points on the storylines that somehow escaped into the denouement – and those that fell by the wayside.
- She’s apparently an idiot savant, or at least that’s what the MIT professors think based on the crayon number art she scribbled on the back of her math test (which she failed).
- MIT offers her early admission, which causes her to storm through McKinley having yet another diva tantrum.
- She breaks up with Sam via text while standing three feet away from him.
- Santana comes back and knocks some sense into her, and Brit bids everyone a tearful and mildly offensive goodbye in the pre-performance huddle at Regionals.
- He throws a fit in the choir room and says he won’t perform at Regionals if the person catfishing him doesn’t confess.
- Marley takes the blame, but during a hallway confrontation with Ryder it’s revealed that the actual catfish was…Unique. I called that weeks ago. Unique didn’t want to lose what they have. Ryder says they have nothing.
- Ryder shows up to perform at Regionals but says he’s quitting afterward.
- She has her Funny Girl callback. She sings Celine Dion’s “To Love You More.” That would never happen at a real Broadway callback. They say they’ll let her know. Yeah, in four months.
- Blaine wants to propose to Kurt, despite the fact that Kurt is apparently incapable of saying anything besides “We’re not a couple” these days.
- He meets an adorable old lady (Patty Duke) at the jewelry story. Conveniently, the adorable old lady is a lesbian with an equally adorable partner (Meredith Baxter). They take Kurt and Blaine out to dinner and talk about how far LGBT rights have come and how far they have to go. They get engaged. This is doing nothing to dissuade Blaine from proposing.
- The last shot of the episode is a zoom out from the choir room, and we see Blaine standing next to Kurt and holding a ring box behind his back.
Will and Emma:
- They get married. In the choir room after Regionals. With no one but ND members present. Because they have no friends.
- Sugar and Joe rematerialize in time for the competition. They win Regionals against the Hoosierdaddies (featuring the guest star no one cares about, Jessica Sanchez) and the Waffletoots (portrayed by Yale a capella group the Whiffenpoofs).
That’s literally all that happened. In the entire episode.
I’m fine with cliffhangers; as someone with an active imagination, I actually love being left on the edge of my seat – forced to speculate and imagine and create miles and miles of headcanon that will ultimately be proved entirely incorrect – but that’s not what this episode provided. Brittany’s storyline was created and resolved within the same episode, Ryder’s internet relationship is officially kaput, and Will and Emma finally got hitched, but everyone else? Nothing.
The biggest oversight of the episode was Kurt and Blaine; they are arguably the biggest story arc on the series right now, and they had one scene together, during which they didn’t speak to each other or EVEN MAKE EYE CONTACT. The writers have mishandled Kurt’s side of their breakup so severely that as it stands, Kurt may be madly in love with Blaine and trying to come to terms with it, or he may be completely disinterested while Blaine is daydreaming about their wedding. We just don’t know. They’re telling half of a story, and they’re not even doing that well. This goes for all of the core couples that were broken up this season, really, but it’s most obvious with Kurt and Blaine
Cory Monteith’s entrance into rehab and Heather Morris’s pregnancy definitely threw a few curveballs at the writers, forcing them to reimagine storylines for Finn (and therefore probably Rachel) and Brittany. Add to this the fact that the show was renewed for two more seasons and it feels like the writers just…gave up. They tossed their pens down and said, “We’re screwed. We’ll just do it next season” and that is not how you wrap up a show. Especially not one with a fanbase as dedicated and attentive as Glee. And with season five set to pick up right where tonight’s episode left off, eschewing the calendar in favor of extending the current school year for an unforseen time in the fall, I don’t know what they’ll do to wrap up these storylines and move everyone forward.
What worries me is that I’m not sure they know either.
Oh, I forgot. One other thing happened.
There’s Sue’s babydaddy.