And now... we wait. It's a whole waiting party outside the geography classroom. Finn, Rachel, Mike, Santana, Mercedes, even Kurt if you look fast enough and don't blink (he's wearing a funny hat) are pacing the hall, waiting for the result as Quinn catches up. Puck hollers a warning shot... if he doesn't pass, it's open season on faculty tires! Ah, if seduction and studying don't work, try threats. The teacher opens the door, and Puck grabs his precious, precious test. Clearly the teacher values her tires.
Puckerman got a C-. He does not ever have to worry about the Rain in Spain again. There are lots of hugs, and then we have one of the strangest graduation ceremonies I have ever seen. There are a bunch of kids we don't know onstage in their red caps and gowns. Finn, stage left, is playing his drum kit (why does he not want to be a drummer?) and Puck has his guitar. Finn and Puck begin to sing "Glory Days." This is a very small senior class for a public high school - only about forty people. And, oddly enough, they appear to be doing this by extra curricular activity, because they only show us the Glee Kids graduating. Within that group, it's even weirder: it is not quite correct to say that they are graduating in random alphabetical order, because this is not random.
It's a curtain call for the eight Glee seniors.
The more important you are, the later you are, and we get a very precise idea of what Brad considers the pecking order for these eight people. Take a bow, guys. And they do. As Figgins and I call their names, the senior comes out from a curtain opposite the stage, and greets his or her loved ones in the audience as well as Emma and Will on the way to joining the others already on the stage.
- MIKE CHANG JR, played by Harry Shum, Jr. Did not get any spoken lines until the second season. Did not really sing until the third. He hugs Tina and we see his parents.
- QUINN FABREY, played by Dianna Agron. Villain for much of the show's run. We see her mother.
- MERCEDES JONES, played by Amber Riley. Solid supporting Muppet Baby. Does not have any family.
- NOAH PUCKERMAN, played by Mark Salling. May be here because it's the bridge and he has a moment when he does not have to sing lead. His mother is in the audience. His father, not surprisingly, is not.
- SANTANA LOPEZ, played by Naya Rivera. OK, now we get the big guns, the kids invited back next year. Remember when she was Quinn's minion? And... this is BIZARRE. We just SAW her mother. Where is blazes is she today? Yes, yes, there's Brittany, but... did Gloria Estafan get called away or something?
And now the mighty three:
KURT HUMMEL, played by the award - winning Chris Colfer. Remember when he was a Muppet Baby hanging out with Mercedes? Hey, remember when he was an Indian kid named Raj? And is the daddy bear there? You betcha. THERE'S MY BOY! THERE'S MY BOY! Good heavens, what is that THING on his robe? And Blaine has tissues for him. He's crying again.
Ah, the showmance...
FINN HUDSON, played by Cory Montieth, also an award nominee. He sings WHILE he's getting his diploma. And there's mama. Romy did not get called away after her one big scene.
And finally... because she's the star, and she's the one who really matters.... RACHEL BERRY, played by Lea Michele. Emmy Nominee, People's Choice Nominee, Golden Globe nominee, etc. Will gets real emotional about it all but... uh... OK, Jeff Goldblum, get your butt on this set and see your daughter graduate! You too, Brian Stokes Mitchell! Shame on you! Oh, but let's please have a Finchel makeout session right there on the stage. You know we don't get enough of those. The whole thing is so awesome and inspiring, Sue hugs Will.
Voluntarily and sincerely. I am still getting used to this concept.
And now... the scene that will live in infamy. One of the ten television scenes of my entire audience career that has made me the angriest. The debate is lively and we don't all agree, and that's OK, but this one scene just about destroyed the entire season for me, because it completely destroyed an important character who has been hanging by a thread of hope for several months.
There are three letters, sitting on a chair. One is for Finn Hudson. One is for Kurt Hummel. One is for Rachel Berry. Finn is the only one of the three who has considered what he might do if he's rejected. Finn, who senses the coming doom, wants to wait forever before his fate is sealed. But he's willing to go first. He's the one with the backup plan that he spent a scene discussing with his mother before this letter came.
Finn Hudson has had the dream of going to PACE since Saturday Night Glee-ver, seven episodes ago. He's been discussing the army for even longer. He's had a senior year dotted with personal accolades for a winning football team, and he was Prom King. He got to sing lead for Nationals. He had his shares of successes and failures. And it's good he has a backup plan, because this is a failure. Finn Hudson did not get into PACE. Fortunately, he'll get some time to talk about that in a few minutes.
Kurt Hummel has talked about absolutely nothing but NYADA since the idea came up 22 episodes ago. He was repeatedly rejected for being too effeminate. When he was named Prom Queen, it was as an insult for being effeminate. He never got to sing for New Directions because he was not willing to dress in drag. He has had no personal victories of any kind whatsoever all year long - except for one. He got to be a NYADA finalist, and he was told he did very well on his NYADA audition. And neither of those things matter in the slightest, because Kurt Hummel did not get into NYADA. And with that, his story is done for the year. He will not say another solitary word for the rest of the episode. There appears to be no need to give us any clue as to what's going to happen to him, or a moment to even cry with him as he faces this complete demolition of his status as an inspirational gay character. He's just a Lima Loser now, and he has no future at all. Of all the kids on the show, he is the only one for whom that is true. Sucks to be you, Kurt. Sucks to be us, Kurt fans. All. Year. Long.
Rachel Berry has wanted to be on Broadway since she was about, oh, two. She was the lead in West Side Story, and she sang lead at Nationals. She got a second chance that was unearned when she let her nerves get the best of her. She was given a title of Prom Queen that did not belong to her. And now... she is going to NYADA, and we'll spend the last ten minutes of the episode talking about that.