Glee S5 E11 – “City of Angels”

Three minutes til showtime and the kids realize the Hudmels aren’t coming. Shue gathers them for a show circle and starts to talk about how they don’t have all the advantages of the other teams, and they’re not here to win, but to sing and dance…only to be interrupted by Carol calling that “horse poop.”

Yay!

Carol takes over show circle (thank you!) – seems like Finn’s voice in her head wouldn’t let her leave. He would tell her he coached these kids and leaving them means leaving him. She tells them to screw everything else – go out there and wipe the floor with them! They give one more “aaaaaamazing!” and it’s time to perform.

First up, Boston’s “More Than a Feeling” fronted by Blaine and Tina. This duo has always had a great blended sound and this is no exception – they sound terrific with an old classic perfectly suited to their voices.

The crowd cheers!

The second number is “America” from Neil Diamond. It’s upbeat and fun, with shared lead vocals from various Glee Club members and some slick dancing. So far so good!

Sidebar: The main difference between New Directions and their competition? The constant highlighting of their smiles towards each other, their high fives and their rapport. This is a team who loves to sing together, whether they’re singing in the snow just to reaffirm their bonds of friendship, or performing at Nationals. There’s something really lovely about that and it comes out in this number.

And finally? With Mr. Schue watching from the wings, they launch into their final song. “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” by U2. Sam sings lead, drawing in the other seniors and the result is a gorgeous, goosebumps inducing version of the song. Carol tearfully says, “This was Finn’s favorite song. They’re singing all of Finn’s favorite songs” and those earlier gathered tissues come in handy.

Chord Overstreet, Darren Criss, Jenna Ushkowitz and Kevin McHale must be commended on the vocals for this number; they’re strong and emotional – “acting while singing” is not a skill everyone has. We feel every note as it reflects back to Finn (and Cory’s memory) and it’s perfect.

Wait, are you still not crying? Here, have some flashbacks of Finn interacting with his beloved fellow Glee-clubbers, as friend and leader. Holding on a bit more? Let’s end with the New Directioners harmonizing on the last notes, then raising their fists to the sky.

And Sam is holding Finn’s drum sticks.

Sam pays tribute to his late friend, Finn.

Sam pays tribute to his late friend, Finn.

Wow and wow. When you hear “tribute to Finn” you imagine many things – poignant songs, flashbacks, reminders of a lost friend. But even knowing cannot erase the emotional response to such a well put together sequence. Applause to everyone involved – it was a touching and perfect “thank you” to Finn from the New Directioners, and from Glee to its fans.

After their amazing performance, the kids are celebrating but Sam stands off to the side. As Mr. Schue embraces him, he tearfully says, “I did my best.”

Oh Sam!

Before they announce the winners, Mercedes has a chat with Marley. She pep talks her into not giving up her dreams (thanks little friendly birdies who shared her music!) and reminds her not to give up on her dreams. And also don’t date those boys, even if they are good friends.

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