After winning Nationals and getting cheered by the entire school, Glee decided to end its third season on a surprisingly depressing note. Finn breaks things off with Rachel and the future’s of nearly all the other seniors are given such vague lip service that I have no idea what season 4 could possibly look like. I defy anyone to tell me what Kurt is doing next year. But while the ending is kind of a downer for almost everyone, Rachel sort of gets everything she ever wanted (minus Finn).

Kurt Says Goodbye

Kurt gets all emotional over coming out and being an inspiration for gay kids everywhere. He also foolishly chooses to totally ignore the fact that a long-term relationship with Blaine isn’t as easy as he thinks. “We’ll figure it out later” isn’t a strategy, it’s a recipe for disaster. Although it turns out that’s a conversation he really DOESN’T need to have quite yet.

The highlight comes when Dad of the Millennium Burt Hummel shows up at school to give Kurt his present. I was ready for another super-serious, tearful speech from Burt Hummel, but instead I started crying for a completely different reason. He proceeds to perform Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” and it’s the best/worst thing I’ve ever seen. Kudos to Glee for turning a sappy moment into a funny one.

Finn Says Goodbye

A very, very large chunk of the finale is all about Finn. Will finally confesses that he planted the pot in his locker to blackmail him into joining the glee club, and Finn thinks that’s kind of cool.

He also starts to reconsider the Actor’s Studio because acting isn’t an honorable profession for a soldier’s son. I appreciate that the show is basically admitting that the whole “I want to be an actor” thing was utter nonsense.

The underclassmen even dedicate their farewell song to Finn because they think he’s underappreciated. Clearly those kids aren’t watching the same show I am, because Finn gets PLENTY of screentime.

Quinn and Puck Say Goodbye

Despite becoming a teen mom and then trying to steal the baby back by framing Shelby, Quinn is easily the most emotionally stable person on this entire show (and I include the adults). She’s confident about going to Yale and doesn’t really have any loose ends to tie up. After giving Rachel a Metro Pass so the two can commute back and forth from New York to New Haven, Quinn decides to help Puck pass his class by giving him a kiss for good luck. No, seriously, she kisses him and her magical lips allow him to pass and graduate.

Santana Says Goodbye

Santana spends the episode talking to her mom (Gloria Estefan, in a role so utterly useless and devoid of character that it rivals Carol Burnett for Glee‘s most wasted guest star ever). We learn that Brittany isn’t graduating (no duh, the girl has a 0.0 GPA) and Santana decides that a cheerleading scholarship in Kentucky isn’t really for her because she’s a star and needs to be someplace bigger. Instead she wants to go to New York to be famous, and thanks to a sizeable chunk of change her mom has saved up, it looks like that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

Mercedes and Mike Say Goodbye

Because these characters aren’t that important, they only get brief goodbyes. Mercedes landed a recording contract in L.A. as a back-up singer thanks to that YouTube video Sam posted of her, and she’ll take classes at UCLA as well (because she applied there when?). Meanwhile, Mike Chang got a scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago. It’s appropriate that two characters who were regularly ignored by the writers got ignored in their farewell.

Finn Says Goodbye…to Rachel

In the heart-wrenching final moments it turns out Kurt and Finn both got rejected from their schools while Rachel got into NYADA. Really, “Not the Boy Next Door” wasn’t enough to get Kurt in? That’s the most unbelievable plot twist ever on this show.

Rachel decides to defer enrollment for a year to help the two most important men in her life, but Finn has other plans. He drives her to the train station and gives a big speech about how she’s a star and she needs to go to New York now and pursue her dreams while he joins the Army to honor his father.

Rachel cries a lot and doesn’t want to, but she eventually agrees as he tells her that if they’re meant to be, then they’ll meet up later, but for now the engagement and their relationship is off. Everyone else has gathered at the station to say goodbye.

Rachel boards the train, gets off at New York City and looks out at her new life as a future NYADA student. Good for her, bad for everyone else.

So by my count, here’s where the graduated seniors will be next season:

NEW YORK: Rachel and Santana
???: Puck and Kurt

Seriously, I feel terrible for Puck and Kurt, because we have no idea what their futures are. I guess Puck might go to L.A. for his pool cleaning business. At least Kurt doesn’t have to worry about the long-distance thing with Blaine, right?

I’m actually more curious than ever to see how the writers dig themselves out of all these holes they just dug for themselves. See you in the fall, Gleeks!

Oh yeah, the identity of Sue’s celebrity baby daddy will be revealed in September. Way to totally drop the ball on that storyline, Glee writers.

(Image courtesy of FOX)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.