It's time for graduation, which means lots of sappy songs and nostalgic memories. Everybody sings lots of songs to say goodbye, and we get some nice flashbacks to first season scenes. A few actual plot developments happen. First, we learn that Mercedes has been offered a gig as a backup singer in L.A., so she plans to move there and study part-time while singing. Second, Santana really doesn't want to go to Kentucky to be a cheerleader, especially after learning that Brit isn't going to graduate (what with her 0.0 GPA). Santana's fabulous mother, played by Gloria Estefan, is reluctant to support Santana's dream of going to NY to pursue a show-biz career, but she eventually comes around. Puck, inspired by a magic kiss from Quinn, regains his confidence and passes his exam, allowing him to graduate. And Burt's graduation gift to Kurt is a recreation of Kurt's famous "All the Single Ladies" dance performance. And they all graduate.
The biggest plot development is that Finn and Kurt both fail to get into their chosen New York schools, while Rachel is accepted to the Fictional New York Theater School. Rachel decides she doesn't want to leave Finn behind or be in New York without Kurt, so she elects to defer her admission for a year to stick around and help them perfect their auditions so they can all go together. But Finn finally develops some kind of a brain, and on the way to their wedding he ambushes her by bringing her to the train to New York, where her fathers are waiting to look at the dorms with her. Finn insists that she go to New York, and to be certain she doesn't hang around waiting for him, he's joined the army. So, no wedding, and a tear-filled Amtrak solo from Rachel.
Featuring: Rod Stewart's "Forever Young," performed by Will; Bruce Springsteen's "Glory Days," performed by Puck during the graduation ceremony; Madonna's "I'll Remember," performed by Kurt; The Beatles' "In My Life," performed by the underclasspersons; Room for Two's "Roots Before Branches," performed by Rachel; and the New Radicals' "You Get What You Give," performed by the graduating seniors. Oh, and a reprise of "Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat," from the very first episode.
Will is walking through the crowd in the school hallway in slow motion. He walks into the music room, straight into a flashback to the original five New Directions singing "Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat," from the very first episode. Is Will having a stroke? No, actually, the First Five are just recreating the performance for their fellow glee club members (although there is a snippet of actual flashback incorporated into the scene as viewed by Will). This recreated performance does not end with Artie colliding with the wall of the music room, however. There are some jokes about how insanely bad that number was, and then Will gives everyone their last assignment of the year -- find songs to use to say goodbye to each other. And then he starts things off, singing Rod Stewart's "Forever Young."
Cut to Kurt walking through the hall, lost in the middle of his own nostalgic voiceover about how far he's come, from dainty closet case to flag waving homo superstar. Since you've all been watching the show, I won't bother to repeat all the details. It is nice to see that Kurt and Blaine's (and presumably Santana and Brit's) example has made it easier for kids to be out at McKinley, as we see a couple of gay underclassmen giving a passing nod to Kurt. Kurt enters the auditorium, where Burt is waiting for him. Kurt fears that Burt's there because his letter from Fictional New York Theater School has arrived, but Burt's just there to give Kurt his graduation present. He tells Kurt that once he turned seven or eight, the two of them started drifting apart, and they didn't start coming back together until sometime in the show's fourth episode. You remember, Kurt was wearing a unitard. And then Burt, accompanied by Tina and Brit, recreates Kurt's "All the Single Ladies" dance. He does not wear a unitard, although he does don a single sparkly glove. We also get some flashbacks to the original performance. My God, Kurt looked so young back then. Present-day Kurt has an absolutely gleeful reaction to the performance. As do we all.
Kurt and Blaine are walking into an empty classroom. Kurt declares Burt's present to be the best graduation present ever, which makes Blaine feel bad about his monogrammed towels. And then Blaine wants to have a talk about "the future." And he's not talking about flying cars, or the Singularity. Kurt asks for just two more days of denial before they have to confront reality. Now, you might think that Kurt is forgetting that they have the entire summer together before Kurt leaves for school (potentially), but you don't realize that in the Glee-verse, all graduating high school seniors are forced to spend two months in sensory deprivation tanks before they start college. So Kurt will be too busy turning into an ape man to spend the summer with Blaine. Blaine insists on having the conversation. He's worried that they won't be able to survive a long distance relationship. Except that he doesn't count on Kurt to promise that they will figure out how to make it work and have a long and happy life together. Well, if Kurt promises, I don't see what could possibly go wrong. In other news, kids are stupid.