In the series third season finale the graduating members of the New Directions say goodbye to the Glee Club and prepare to for their lives after graduation. Although the show undercut the finality of each moment by announcing almost all the characters will be returning in some role next season, it’s still nice to see each get their own final story and a chance to say farewell.
Burt Hummel (Mike O’Malley) shows up and enlists the help of Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) and Brittany (Heather Morris) to help him surprise Kurt (Chris Colfer) with an improptu dance number of Beyoncé‘s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” (in a callback to an earlier episode). Finn (Cory Monteith) struggles with balancing his new life path with honoring his father’s memory. Kurt, Finn, and Rachel (Lea Michele) all wait anxiously for last-minute acceptance letters, but only one of the three gets the news they were hoping for.
Mercedes (Amber Riley) signs with an agent to become a back-up singer for an indie label, Mike Chang (Harry Shum Jr.) is off to Chicago on scholarship to work with the Joffrey Ballet, but Santana, much to the disappointment of her mother (Gloria Estefan), starts to have second thoughts of going to the University of Louisville on a cheerleading scholarship. She’s also shocked to learn Brittany won’t be graduating and plans to return to McKinley next year.
Sue (Jane Lynch) says a tearful goodbye to Quinn (Dianna Agron) and considers a proposal by Roz Washington (NeNe Leakes) to team-up and take down Principal Figgins (Iqbal Theba) next school year. Coach Beiste (Dot Jones) and Quinn both help Puck (Mark Salling) cram for his remaining final. And the seniors take the stage and receive their diplomas set to Finn and Puck performing Bruce Springsteen‘s “Glory Days.”
Other musical numbers for the finale include a group performance of “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” from Guys and Dolls, Mr. Shue performs Rod Stewart‘s “Forever Young,” Kurt sings Madonna‘s “I’ll Remember,” the seniors perform the New Radicals‘ “You Get What You Give,” the juniors thank Finn with a performance of The Beatles‘ “In My Life,” and Rachel and Finn sing Room For Two‘s “Roots Before Branches” as one of them hops a train for New York City.