Glee season finale recap: But If You Close Your Eyes...

It's a night of showcasing, screenwriting, sex-buzzing, and a healthy dose of confusion, as Glee's singing stars wrap up their fifth season
Ep. 20 | Aired May 13, 2014

Tyler Golden/Fox

Mary has been meeting with all of Rachel's friends, convincing Brittany that she's a genius ("the armrest is the sweetest meat") but everyone else that she's a big ol' weirdo. The crew sits down for a table read of her first script in the Brooklyn Loft with Special Willy Wonka Expanding Walls. The moment Rachel is introduced as eating a sheet cake in the bathtub, you know what's going on: they're making this first script a generic Girls parody. But whereas most of the parodies Glee has pulled since moving to New York have been loving (like Friends/Chums), this one feels a little more mocking.

Kurt is in a dinosaur costume the whole time, Rachel speaks in a constant whine, and there's a coffee rave. (Wait, that sounds ideal.) When they skip ahead to the scene where the characters based on Blaine and Brittany sleep together -- dodged a bullet there, eh? -- they both agree it's weird, but want to say what they're really thinking on the count of three: "Let's keep sleeping together and start an art gallery in the performance space downstairs!" Even Sam says the script is dumb, and Rachel knows she can't leave Broadway -- nay, get herself blackballed from Broadway forever -- for this script. She decides she's not going to just bow to Mary's "genius" and declares, "If I'm going to do this, it's going to be my show or no show at all." Because in Rachel's world, on a scale of "the worst script in the world" to "a show that is entirely about her," there is absolutely no midpoint.

Rachel takes Mary to the diner to try and explain that she's missed the mark with the script. Mary sets the record straight in between, like, stuffing doughnuts in her bra and tapping out Morse code messages on the table, telling Rachel, "I know TV...people want antiheroes. They want chubby girls who can't keep men and men who kill people." That is true; but to be fair, the girls can also wear glasses in lieu of being chubby. Rachel says that back in her Glee Club days, it always helped her to explain things through song: "I just want to show you my essence." Listen, you cannot refer to showing your essence all the time without sounding like a creep. Just tell her you want to sing her a song about yourself! And that song is P!nk's "Glitter in the Air." I can think of about zero similarities between Rachel and P!nk, but it's a beautiful rendition and somehow manages to show Mary Rachel's essence (ick), because she goes from "OH GOD, NO," to approaching the stage with a new, open-mouthed understanding in no time. Mary says no one will buy it, but she'll write the script how Rachel wants it: a show that will make people happy. Because at some point, making people happy became Rachel's prerogative. I only wish there had been more aerial acrobatics in the process. A-

Sam goes to his Treasure Trailz photo shoot with Charlie Darling, but he's not giving off the same about-to-get-an-erection sex buzz she saw from the casting call. That's probably because he's feeling a minestrone of emotions, like if he doesn't give her what she wants then it will ruin his career. And, of course, what she wants is to have sex with him. She kisses him and we see him start to kiss back, then there's a cut to Mercedes greeting him with a tray of cupcakes and him admitting that he cheated on her. Mercedes stays calm and asks him what happened, and Sam tells her that Charlie kissed him. Then he got so upset that he started crying. She took some pictures of him crying in his underwear, and then he left. Mercedes informs Sam that he didn't really cheat on her, but all this makes her realize that she "can't do this to him anymore." He tells her over and over that he's willing to wait, but she says that with touring and all that's coming her way, she probably won't be ready to get married until she's 30, and she doesn't want him to resent her. "I think that we're holding on way too tight, and we're not believing in our love, and we're going to break it."

And with that, even though they're in love with each other, and even though they're both willing to wait to have sex until they're married, they break up. It was rushed in the beginning and didn't originally make a ton of sense, but I had kind of grown attached to the dynamics of this relationship. I just wish they could have found a more dynamic way to deal with this storyline than Mercedes being worried Sam would resent her, even if the end result would always be their breakup. If abstinence was really the thing that was going to end the relationship, a little more tension than a few rubber band pops may have been necessary. If they were willing to let it go so easily, how are we supposed to believe they were ever all in?

NEXT: How are we gonne be optimists about this?

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