New Directions makes it to Chicago for nationals but immediately faces trouble when Mercedes (Amber Riley) goes down with a 24-hour bug. While Sue (Jane Lynch) tries everything to speed her recovery she also drafts Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) and Quinn (Dianna Agron) into the Troubletones’ number in case her diva isn’t able to perform. Will (Cory Monteith) starts to fear that destiny might be against them again and maybe he hasn’t done enough to prepare the team to win, but is touched to learn the team wants to dedicate their win to him.
New Directions is the first Glee Club to take the stage. The Troubletones open with Lady Gaga‘s “The Edge of Glory,” followed by Rachel’s solo of Celine Dion‘s “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now,” and finishing (to a thunderous standing ovation) with Finn and Rachel leading the group performance of Meat Loaf‘s “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.”
Vocal Adrenaline takes the stage second led by Unique (Alex Newell) who needs a pep talk by Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Mercedes to take the stage. The New Directions’ rivals open with Nicki Minaj‘s “Starships” followed by The Who‘s “Pinball Wizard.” The only other nationals number we’re shown is the third place Portland Scale Blazers’ performance of “Starlight Express.”
Once again we get behind-the-scenes footage of the deliberation of this year’s celebrity judges who include show choir junkie Alderman Martin Fong (Rex Lee) along with Lindsey Lohan and Perez Hilton each playing themselves. The judging goes a little more favorably for McKinley High’s Glee Club this time around as the show allows the graduating class go out with a bang.
The group returns home to an unexpected amount of cheer from their classmates (in a triumphant montage set to the New Directions’ performance of Grouplove‘s “Tonguetied,”) and just in time too celebrate and perform Queen‘s “We Are the Champions” at the school’s ceremony to award Will the school’s teacher of the year award. Rachel even gets Carmen Tibideaux (Whoopi Goldberg) to show up and cheer her performance as well as Jesse St. James (Jonathan Groff) putting in a kind word on her behalf.
Although a little too sugary-sweet as everyone gets exactly what they want, the episode delivers some very strong performances and gives the Glee Club their moment in the sun after teasing audiences for the previous two years. Next week means the season finale, graduation, and goodbye for the seniors (except not so much as we know almost all of them will return in some capacity next season).