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‘Glee’ Recap: Season 1 Finale, ‘Journey’

Oh, what a long, strange journey it has been, Gleeks. It seems like ages since we met misfits of McKinley High, and now here we are made at the season one finale with our beloved gang headed to Regionals.

And just like it has for weeks on end, the glee club finds themselves in a bit of a pickle with Sue Sylvester, who will be a judge (right alongside former “Glee” guest stars Olivia Newton-John and Josh Groban!) at the competition and promises to see fit they don’t win. Despite Mr. Schuester’s umpteenth argument with Principal Figgins and Sue, he loses the bid to have her not be a judge. He even throws a pizza party for his crestfallen kids who feel their entire year has been a waste, though he quickly reminds them it was anything but.

In fact, Will stayed optimistic throughout last night’s episode, even when he found out Emma was dating her dentist (who we learned yesterday will be played by John Stamos next season) In fact, later in the ep, Will declared his love for her and insisted she still feels the same way about him. But, in true finale fashion, we’ll have to wait and see what happens next.

There was certainly no cliffhanger on what would happen with Quinn, Puck and their baby though. Right after their performance at Regionals (getting to that soon, promise!) Quinn went in to labor. Even after holding her baby and having Puck tell her he did love her (“Especially now,” he sweetly added), Quinn knew she wasn’t ready to be a mother and raise baby Beth. Enter Rachel’s birth mother, Vocal Adrenaline coach Shelby Corcoran (Idina Menzel), who we later saw signing adoption papers. Does this mean we’ll see more of Shelby and her new daughter in season 2? We’re betting so!

Things took a turn for the better for Rachel — since, you know, her mama drama and being dumped by Vocal Adrenaline’s sneaky leader Jesse (Jonathan Groff) — when Finn confessed his love for her right before they hit the stage at Regionals! Perhaps that’s why their mash-up of Journey songs (Mr. Schue’s idea) including “Faithfully,” “Any Way You Want It,” “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezing” and the song that started it all, “Don’t Stop Believin'” sounded so perfect.

But, it just wasn’t enough to impress the snooty judges who went for the flashier Vocal Adrenaline (who admittedly had an inspired take on Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”) and even the sub-par “not at all stupidly named” Oral Intensity. I don’t know if you’ll agree, but I think it was almost a good thing New Directions lost. Sure, it was sad to see them defeated, but if anything it gives them the drive to be bigger and better next year. Which brings us to last night’s biggest twist: not only did Sue vote for New Directions to place first, she urged Figgins to give the glee club one more year.

Last night’s finale was heavier on the drama and sentiment than it was in its often biting humor. There were plenty of teary-eyed tributes and confessions to one another. I was hoping for a little more excitement from the episode, though it all did feel very full circle for so many of our characters we’ve come to know and love. Here’s to hoping “Glee” can get back its stellar momentum in season two!

What did you think of last night’s finale, Gleeks? Will Rachel and Finn stay together? Will Puck and Quinn get back together? Will Emma give Will a second chance? Has Sue gone soft? And, what will you do this summer to fill the ’Glee’ void?