Glee S5 E11 – “City of Angels”

Announcement time!

Sidebar: I knew what was going to happen – I understood it narratively and had it confirmed via spoilers but oh my gosh, it hurt to see.

The New Directioners hold hands and wait nervously for the top three. They make it to “second place” – and hear their names called. As Throat Explosion celebrates first place, the faces and hearts of our sweet band of misfits from Lima fall to the floor. They’re heartbroken.

And Mr. Schue realizes what this means, even if they don’t. Glee Club is going to be disbanded as per Sue’s directive.

It’s over.

Back in Ohio, Sam replaces Finn’s plaque on the wall. Apparently one of the Throat Explosion kids stole it – and when Jean Baptiste found out, he returned it to McKinley and kicked the offender off the team.

Blaine: A bully with a moral code.

Time to put the second place trophy in the case but everyone is too sad to care. They lost! Well yes, but Will points out they beat out 14 of the best show choirs in the country for second place (with a team mostly compromised of people who had never been in show choir before!). Sam hugs Carol and apologizes for letting them down.

They had such a good plan! They’d win and call the Hudmels to the stage – give them the trophy. They wanted to win this for Finn.

Jake: This is not how this story was supposed to end.

Sidebar: Ouch.

Mercedes, Burt and Carol support the kids as they sing and dance their hearts out.

Mercedes, Burt and Carol support the kids as they sing and dance their hearts out.

Carol and Burt assure the kids that Finn would have been pissed off about losing, and bitched about the judges being wrong for months. But he would have also rallied the troops, reminding them how well they did and finding a way to feel like he won something out of all of it.

The songs were healing to Carol and win or lose? Finn lives on in all of them.

Sidebar: I am suddenly reminded of Blaine’s line from back in season 2 after the Warblers lost. He tells Kurt, “We got each other out of all this and that beats a trophy.” Finn’s legacy to this version of New Directions was about perseverance. In the face of all sorts of rejecting and endings, they always need to remember to carry on.

Artie points out that second place is superior to that time Finn and Rachel made out and they came in 12th…

Becky arrives – Sue wants to see Will in her office.

Coach Roz is dragging out the world’s largest trophy as the Cheerios have won their Nationals. As per their agreement, she keeps her job. But Glee Club – and several other clubs which didn’t win their highest competition awards – has been terminated. Will Schuester is out of a job.

Will asks Sue if he should fight but she says no – this isn’t personal, not this time. This is her making decisions for the good of the school. The choir room is prime real estate, the band equipment will be sold for new computers. She’s made her decision.

Sue: “You didn’t lose, William. The game is just over.”

Broadway! Night! Spotlight Diner! – a shell-shocked Kurt interrupts more Santana and Rachel bickering to deliver the horrible news. Glee Club has been disbanded, it’s over!

Dun dun dun!

And we are set up for next week’s 100th episode!

What a terrific episode! Touching, funny, great music, quirky and tender at once. This was classic Glee – a focus on the love of performing and the friendships between the New Directioners. It’s a perfect way to count down to a Lima-less Glee, and say goodbye to the promise that will never be fulfilled. This was supposed to be Finn’s Glee Club. His version of Mr. Schue’s kids, who helped him find himself and his happiness, who helped him find a new dream. Finn was going to take New New Directions to the same heights – but his passing ended that dream. And while this team didn’t win, they learned an important lesson, one Finn was familiar with:

Dreams change and you don’t always get what you want – but that doesn’t mean you give up. Finn didn’t, and we get the feeling none of these kids will forsake their aspirations either.



Tere’s Episode Round-up:

What made me laugh: Skylar Astin’s over the top Jean Baptiste, and the comedic timing of Chord Overstreet and Darren Criss.

What made me sniffle: About 75% of the episode. Romy Rosemont was terrific and Chord Overstreet killed it.

What made me side-eye: All the smack talk about the best singers graduating and the mention of Kurt helping during competition. Did I miss his big solos or something? I seem to recall him being shoved in the background most of the time and his voice never getting any love from Will. And I take exception on behalf of the seniors! They helped win Nationals in season 3 after all. Will, your memory is sketchy at best.

What I’m listening to on repeat: All the songs are amazing – one of the strongest EPs Glee has put out. But nothing touches “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” – absolutely gorgeous.

What I’m looking forward to next week: Everyone’s back to try and save Glee!




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