So long, farewell, but do we bid them now adieu?
For many, the appeal of Glee drained away late into its first season, which now means that the musical-drama is left with a devoted fanbase hinging on its every twist and turn. It's time to see whether the Series Three finale Goodbye did that demographic proud...
THE PLOT: Having won Nationals, the New Directions return to McKinley High to say farewell to those amongst them who are graduating.
THE REVIEW: Can an episode such as Goodbye ever really hope to do justice to the characters whose stories some of us have followed for years on end? That's clearly a question the production team must have asked themselves, and at times the end result in itself is little more certain on its answer than we are. To be fair, there are a good few instances where the writers find creative strength, throwing in some great renditions of Forever Young and Glory Days, yet the highlights of the episode as a whole are far and few between, with countless misjudged mistakes littered throughout the narrative. For example, what was the point of the reprise of the Quinn/Puck romance? There seemed to be hints of a Quinn/Artie relationship brewing a few stories back that would have made much more logistical sense here, and certainly have set the characters off on a more interesting tangent for Series Four. It didn't help that not only was Rachel and Finn's marraige disregarded in the most abominal way possible (seriously, this boasts the worst ending of the three seasons so far), but Will and Emma's was also cast aside as another loose thread for the next season to pick up, likely with more problems set to arise as the budding teacher couple get further down the aisle. If I needed proof of the sheer weakness of Goodbye as a season finale, though, I'd only have to look at how it takes the good work episodes like the fantastic On My Way did with 'Finchel' and throws it all out of the window in favour of Rachel fulfilling her dreams. Had Finchel already become separate items in an earlier episode, I could understand the 'happy ending', but in this bizarre context it just seems like a sorely wasted opportunity, just as the episode as a whole does.
THE VERDICT: For all its faults, the third season of Glee has had some fun moments. Sadly, Goodbye is not one of them, ruining much of the best parts of its predecessors and in doing so leaving itself very little time to provide a worthwhile standalone storyline.