Tonight (March 20)'s two-hour series finale of "Glee" marked an end for Gleeks and Gleekitude as we know it. OK, not really (because we'll definitely hold onto that feeling). But the exceptionally sentimental final episode -- titled "2009" to commemorate its inaugural year of audience ownage -- was indeed the show's last hurrah. And what a way to go it was.
Watching the lyrical crew go back to their roots and then thrust forward into their various futures was at once nostalgic, hopeful, sad, gleeful (we know, we know), and all the other feely adjectives we are just too flippin' emotional to think of right now. Pretty much the whole thing just left us bawling on the floor with no hope of recovering 'til Sunday.
Here's a run-down of the most weep-worthy moments of the night. (Spoiler: There were many.)
Flashback to the Feels
We were getting super sappy over all the flashback scenes tonight -- because would you just look at those sweet baby gleekers?! -- so we were totally eating up all the back stories that showed us how all our besties on the show got involved with the glee club to begin with. Bullies, father-son misunderstandings, and a capella auditions, oh my!
Like this scene with Kurt (Chris Colfer) and the oh-so-competitive Rachel Berry (Lea Michelle) making nice for the first time ever over fast-talk about Mr. Schuster looking "like an old Justin Timberlake" (thud). Hilarious. And also? Now, we just want to thumb through the McKinley High School yearbook and sob over how teeny and precious they all were.
Kurt's arc throughout the series has always been an emotional one, but his impact was on hyperdrive during this finale for sure. Starting with his experiment with pamphlets on suicide and his little aside about being more on the inside and onto his touching inner monologue with his father Kurt, we were tripping over all the teardrops tonight. As it always is.
Artie and Tina 4everFox
Tartie a.k.a. Artina a.k.a. Artie and Tina Cohen-Chang were but one of the high school romances that graced the halls of "Glee," but we thought it was pretty awwwww-ish when Artie remembered why he fell in love with the fake-stuttering self-proclaimed goth chick in the first place.
"She always treats me like a real person." And of course they end up together and adorable in the future. This show, you guys.
Don't Stop Believin' (Again)
It was the moment that made the show what it was. Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" belted out by a pack of eager ingenues in red.
It is the nature of "Glee" forever and always, and it was made even more special in this episode by becoming the moment Mr. Schuster decided to stay and take this team to the top.
Emma and WillFox
"You and me and the power of our imaginations."
Surprise! Mr. Schue is on his way to becoming Principal Schuster, and that means no more bitter rivalries with gym teachers or quibbles over split budgeting or practice schedules. It's happily ever after's beginning. Adorbs. Especially that little bit with him reading to his little baby in their picaresque nursery (because Ms. Pillsbury is still totes O.C.D.).
For his sweet send-off to his prize-winning New Directioners and gleeks of old alike, Mr. Schuster (Matthew Morrison) decided to go solo and strummin' with a throwback to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's "Teach Your Children Well" as his adoring fellowship of glee club elite watched on with rapt, puppy eyes.
And then he blows a kiss to his center starlet Rachel Berry who nods with knowing and drip, drop, tears everywhere, so much sad.
Mercedes' Not-Goodbye SpeechFox
Earlier in the episode, we got a little choked up over Mercedes (Amber Riley) getting the second-place soloist sads circa 2009, but she really got to us when she said so long to her old crew of crooners to go join Beyonce on her world tour (no joke). "I'm going to walk out of here like I'm going to be seeing everybody in glee club tomorrow and it's not really goodbye." Then everyone started going arm in arm to her rendition of "Someday We'll Be Together" and we were straight finished. Done.
Sue: Undercover SoftieFox
Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) might've always been a sticky stickler regarding all-things-Cheerios, but when it comes to Klaine, she's got a soft spot indeed. In a rarer moment of compassion and levity, she broke it (and us) down real lovely like to the duo: "I never knew I had thoughts and feelings about those things until I watched you go through them," she said about the many challenges of their romance. "I watched you go through them, and you expanded my mind. You taught me things about myself that I would have never discovered on my own. And for that I thank you."
And though she couldn't help but serve Blaine a side of sass about "his thing," she did compliment his unique approach to life stuff with, "hey, you're doing you and that's swell." And then she proceeded to run into the hall, hug Becky Jackson and then sing "The Winner Takes It All" with Schue. Right in the effing feels, lady.
Cheer Up Sleepy JeanFox
The year 2020 is going to be an interesting one in the land of "Glee." First of all, Sue Sylvester is the Vice President of the United States (as in, of America) and you bet your sweet a** she's running for President next term. Meanwhile, Kurt and Blaine are still happily happy and they've taken their show on the road... to sing Monkees songs to school children on rainbow carpets while prancing around like mini-airplanes. 'Cause Klaine is seriously everything. (Also, did you notice their missed connection in the flashback? And the "time capsule" locker with a sweet-funny pic of Finn.)
This Time It's Personal
We knew it was going to be an intense moment. We knew that when Rachel said her farewell to the stage of McKinley High -- with the Darren Criss-penned power ballad "This Time," no less, we were going to be crushed.
We knew it, and yet we still were not prepared for this level of devastation. Like, someone call the waaahmbulance because we are ruined here.
Seeing in 2020Fox
Five years down the road and Rach's lost enough of her me-me-me-ness to carry Klaine's lovechild. But not enough to not have her ridiculously perfect acceptance speech all readied when she goes to collect her Tony Award under the bright lights.
And who did she dedicate it to but the world's greatest teacher, Will Schuster himself, by sharing one of his teachings: "Being part of something special doesn't make you special, something is special because you are part of it." Well, and her husband Jesse St. James. Feelings. So many feelings.
Finn Hudson AuditoriumFox
This show was really packing in the gut punches tonight because in the final scene, we got hit right in the sweet spot. Not only did VP Sue summarize the show beautifully by reminding us that "Glee by its very definition is about opening yourself up to joy" and "finding the courage to open up your heart," but she also escorted in the show's ultimate tribute to the late Cory Montieth: The very auditorium where it all began.
Enter the rest of the "Glee's" most familiar faces (even Dianna Agron, Heather Morris and co.) to belt out One Republic's "I Lived" and seal the deal that we're spending the rest of the night -- pfft, month -- in a puddle.
Parting really is such sweet sorrow.
We'll miss you, "Glee!"