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All of Will’s hard work and dedication to the Glee Club and to fostering the talents and dreams of his students pays off in a major way, and everyone shares in the feeling of joy that permeates the school as teachers and students reflect on their shared journey. Old rifts and wounds are healed and new sights are set on a promising future. Everyone seems to be ending up exactly as expected and right where they belong, along with more than a few unexpected surprises.
In the present time, Will is seen getting ready while having flashbacks of his own Nationals when he was in the glee club, remembering his director, Lillian Adler’s, words about how glee club is something special as he finishes. Kurt walks in to the dressing room saying "It's time", Rachel helping Will out, Blaine also getting ready. Will puts on his tuxedo jacket while confessing that he's never felt more nervous before, and they all walk out, Rachel asking if he’s ready. He replies he is. As they walk from their building to the main building (where the competition is held), a voiceover of the host announces the top 3 show-choir schools of that year out of the 20 that participated in the competition, one of them being the New Directions (as well as the Harmony Busters and The Sopranogasms). When they reach the building, they walk inside and Will heads to his team while the rest of them stand on the side of the stage. The host announces that in 3rd spot was The Harmony Busters, as Jane and Mason hold hands. Everyone on (and on the sides) of the stage look tense as the host begins to announce the winner. He reveals that it is the New Directions. Rachel, Kurt and Blaine rejoice, coming on stage to the New Directions and Will congratulating each other, jumping up and down. They hold up their trophy high.
In the choir room’s office some time after the victory, Superintendent Harris talks to a stunned Will about how the district school board has decided to turn McKinley into an arts school. Will, surprised, listens to Harris about how they’ll be standing in a new room in the oncoming months because of him. He explains that the school districts around the country have been getting low budgets, cutting of the arts as they believed it would help, thinking it was not important so that more plausible subjects would be taught. Continuing, he states that the scores did not go up, some going down. But with his attitude of refusing to quit the program, Harris went to the school board to talk about it, and the board agreed with him. Will, shocked, says it's incredible news, and volunteers to help. The superintendent states that he’s running the school, making him principal. He congratulates him by shaking his hand, then leaves.
Three months later, Emma and Will are preparing their lunches for each other, talking about how he’s the new principal. Will believes that he’s not up to that standard, and that she’ll have to go have lunch with him everyday, hugging her. She jokingly protests that she can’t, because he needs to make everything possible as he’s management now. Will begins to explain how he doesn’t have to worry about getting costumes or props for the school now, as Emma wears her heels. Will bends down, and helps her, continuing about how their son will be in the daycare set up in the gym, and that she will be working down the hall to help students get into the best arts schools. Emma tells him that she's proud of him for going all the way without losing his integrity, except when he was rapping. He laughs, and honestly declares that he’s scared, wondering if he has the talent to be principal. Emma goes up to him, assuring him that he’s the talented person in the world, or at least Ohio. Emma tells him that he shouldn’t be scared even though it won’t be easy, as it's time for them to relax, have fun and be in love, and now they can fix problems. She concludes saying it's only them and their imagination. They kiss, telling each other they love each other. In the nursery before they all leave, Daniel sits with Will on the floor as they play on the xylophone. Will tells him that dreams do come true, and they both smile.
Will walks into the packed choir room, Rachel announcing he’s inside. Everyone claps for him as he walks to the center of the room, everyone crowded around. Will states that it's the most exciting day of glee club since the alumni had joined (Kitty, Tina, Artie, Mercedes, Sam, Blaine, Kurt and Rachel being present in the room). Will asks them to take a seat, to which Rachel asks him when they’ll start auditions, Kurt pointing out how the rule “whoever wants in, gets in” rule. Will corrects him, saying that he’ll form new groups along with the New Directions, bringing back The Troubletones and making a new all-boys' equivalent called The Duly Noted, as well as a Junior Varsity group for those who need more practice before joining the "big leagues". Mercedes asks how he’ll be running all those groups, and the school. Will explains that he’s not going to be running the groups, Artie asks if he’ll teach the New Directions, but Will tells him that he’s interviewed a candidate that he likes. He picks up his ukulele, saying he’s prepared a song to say farewell to them. He heads to the back of the room, saying that his life changed in that room and learning about how the message of the lyrics of a song contributes with it. Sam gets his guitar, and they both sit at the back of the choir room, playing, as Will begins to sing Teach Your Children. The alumni begin to cry along with Will as he sings the song. At the end of the song, everyone applauds for Will. Will stands up and blows a kiss to Rachel, who mouths a “Thank you” to him.
The following day in the football locker room, Sam pumps up a bunch of balls, as Blaine walks in. Blaine, seeing him, asks him what he’s doing. Sam explains that he’s pumping the balls to sell them off, and are useless if they do not exceed a certain amount. Blaine asks him if he’s given a thought to going back to New York, because he’ll be unemployed soon. He continues, saying that he has a spare room for him. Sam tells him that New York is not for him, saying that it's too fast, and doesn’t know which sports team to root for. Blaine unconsciously says to root for the winning team. Sam tells him that Kurt would say that, Blaine, agreeing, tells him that happens when you get married and are happy together, seeing Artie, Rachel, Brittany, Santana and Kitty, but he’s sad that his best friend is not there. Sam tells him that he wants to be outside and free and is genuinely happy where he is, telling him that he’s happy where he is. Blaine tries to convince him, saying that he doesn’t want him to waste all his talent, but Sam reassures him that he’s not going to with his new job.
Will walks into the choir room, congratulating the members that have made it into the top club of the school, the New Directions (Mason, Madison, Jane, Myron, Spencer and Alistair are seen sitting among the members). They all clap. He then introduces the new teacher, which is Sam. Blaine walks in surprised, knowing now that Sam is the new teacher of ND. Will walks up to them, saying that he’s proud of him, and tells him to start as he hands Sam the whiteboard marker in a passing of the torch gesture. With a Matthew McConaughey impression, he reveals that the first week’s lesson is ”Country.” Will and Blaine look horrified. But Sam eases the room, explaining that “Country” comes from the hardship of life as well as dealing with break-ups, to express the deeper pains of poverty and anxiety that is part of life. He tells them that if they need to be great, they need to sing about hurt and loss. He asks who wants to start the assignment off. Mason raises his hand, but Spencer gives a suggestion of a song, to which everyone cheers. Will and Blaine, relieved, state they’re happy with who Will chose.
In the auditorium, Artie, Blaine, Kurt, Sam, Rachel and Tina walk in. Mercedes, on stage, tells them to stop, and explains to them that they need to listen to her, because she doesn’t want to cry. They walk to the middle of the auditorium. Mercedes informs them that she’s been picked up to be the opening act for Beyoncé’s new world tour. They all cheer for her, and Mercedes tells them that when she came back, she’s been trying to remember who she was. But, she can’t remember the “old Mercedes” that well. When getting the call, she didn’t think it was a mistake, as the “old Mercedes” would have done, but because of them, she was able change, and make her know that good things are possible, and that its not common to find people like them. They begin to go up to her, but she stops them again, telling them that she’ll lose it, and start crying. She tells them that with all the things that are happening in her life, she won’t be able to see them for a while. She dedicates a song to them, wanting to walk out like she’ll see them all the next day, like its not goodbye. She begins to sing Someday We'll Be Together, with a church choir singing from behind. They all dance along to her singing. Mercedes walks up to them and hugs them all as she continues to sing. She then walks up the auditorium steps, to the top entrance, as the alumni begin to cry, while she still continues to sing. She stops at the top, belting out the final note. They all look at each other in silent sadness. Mercedes blows a kiss to them, and walks out. Artie officially states that Mercedes has left, and they all look up at the entrance that she walked out of.
In the Principal’s new office, officially now Will’s, Sue snoops around the room as Blaine and Kurt walk in. She greets them, and states that she came to see the room one last time, and peed all around the room. Kurt, ignoring this, asks her to have a seat, so they can talk to her. He informs her that she probably already knows that they are leaving for New York in a few days and want to thank her for bringing them back together, or else they would still be miserable. Sue, pleased, tells Kurt that she didn’t know what she was looking at when she first met him, referring to the things he would wear and do. She continues, saying that once she started to know him, she watched him go through the pain in his life, especially when Karosfky bullied him (adding on that Blaine had later dated him) and brought out the better side of her, by expanding her mind, to which she thanks him for. Kurt surprised by her honesty, smiles, saying thank you to her. Blaine smiles when Sue begins to speak to him. She states that she still doesn’t get him, but she says that he’s being himself and it's swell by her. Blaine thanks her, saying he feels the same about her. She excuses herself, saying she needs to see someone.
Sue walks out to the hallways. She stops and looks on her left, as Becky comes to a stop on the other side. Seeing each other, they both state that they came to see each other. They run, pushing people away as they do so, and hug. Becky apologises to Sue about the things she said, but Sue tells her that she should be sorry for treating her like an unpaid intern, when she should have been treating her like a paid intern. Sue tells her that she still has to see one more person, kissing Becky’s head before she walks away.
Will walks onto the auditorium stage. Seeing Sue, Will states that she wanted to see him. She puts up her hand, to tell him to stop talking, and begins to sing The Winner Takes It All to him, as Brad plays on the piano. Will, surprised, realises that she’s accepting her defeat, and that she’s declaring him the winner. He begins to sing with her, both trying to show what they’re thinking through the song. At the end of the song, they lock hands. Will tries to speak to her, but Sue puts her finger on his mouth. She walks off stage, kicking the stool on which Brad is sitting on, as she goes out. Will goes to see if Brad is okay.
At the Fox News room, Becky, a bodyguard now, talks to her team, saying that “Pocahontas has landed" Geraldo Rivera, talks to the viewers about how President Bush will win the battleground state of Ohio. He introduces the Vice-President, which is revealed to be Sue. He thanks her for coming, to which she thanks him for inviting her. He asks her if she’ll be running for President in 2024, Sue declaring she will. They cut to commercial break.
Present Day 2015
Back in the present time of Will’s appointment as Principal, Kurt opens up his locker to Blaine, informing him that he wanted to make a time capsule of all his memories. Blaine tells him it's sweet. Kurt begins to list the things in the locker as Blaine looks lovingly at him. When he finishes, Blaine laughs while crying at the same time. He explains when Kurt asks why he’s crying and laughing, that only he would do something like this, telling him that, that's the reason he loves him. They kiss, saying they love each other.
A few days later in New York, Blaine and Kurt walk out together from the subway station.
The time changes to five years later when hey appear on the exact same escalator when they exit. A voiceover of an elementary teacher begins to explain about how two guests are coming to their school for a sing-a-long as they both walk on the streets. In the school, the teacher introduces them. Kurt and Blaine begin to explain how they are excited to be there and be in an environment where they feel accepted, crediting Will for allowing them to be who they are. They dedicate a song to them, so they are inspired to dream big and true. Blaine and Kurt begin to sing Daydream Believer, the kids joining in with them, dancing and singing. At the end of the song, they do jazz hands, then clap. Blaine quickly tells them to put their hands in, to which they do the traditional “Amazing!”
Present Day 2015
Back in the present, in the auditorium, Rachel plays on the piano. She sings This Time as she continues to play. Throughout the song, she is shown in different places of the school, reflecting on the things she’s learned and cherished, walking by Finn’s and Lilian’s plaques. She finishes the song, staring out in the distance.
Five years later in New York, Mercedes gets out of her limo and walks to Tina and Artie. Tina begins to explain that when the movie she’s in, directed by Artie (that Mercedes was initially supposed to do, but was too busy with headlining her own world tour), has been nominated for a film festival. Artie asks her if he can borrow her songs for the movie, as Blaine and Kurt come out from their taxi. Mercedes tells them they can, and they all rush in to the apartment, Blaine informing Mercedes about how Sam has a new girlfriend but they’re not working out. Mercedes responds to him about how Sam is still texting her as Tina and Artie kiss.
They knock on the door to Rachel’s room, where Rachel is getting ready. Kurt walks to her as Rachel tries to get up, telling her to not stress herself. Rachel states that she’ll be fine and can’t wait till the baby comes out. Blaine states that they’ve brought food to help the baby’s brain grow. Tina asks Rachel (after hearing from Kurt and Blaine) about why she agreed to be their surrogate. Rachel informs her that its a full circle of how she was raised, but tells Tina that Blaine and Kurt have helped her out in her life and wants to make them happy. She tells them that they’ll be lovely parents. Jesse walks in, saying he can’t wait for the moment and that he's ready to start their own family with Rachel, and is revealed to be Rachel’s husband. He tells her that they’ll be late, and they walk out as everyone else says goodbye to them.
At the Tony Awards ceremony, Rachel and Jesse walk in the crowded room, Jesse giving her tips about what she should do when she gets on stage. They reach the room where it is held and they take their seats. In Will’s apartment, the TV plays the show live with Sam being present, playing with Will’s kids as Emma walks to the living room holding the youngest addition in the family. Andrew Rannells presents the award for the Best Actress on Broadway Musical. In Rachel’s apartment, Artie, Tina, Mercedes, Kurt, Blaine, Kitty and Roderick are also gathered along with other people, watching. Andrew Rannells reveals that Rachel is winner, to which everyone at the ceremony, and from Will’s and Rachel’s apartment, cheer for her. Rachel walks upstage in disbelief and happiness, hugging Andrew, and thanks Jesse, her dads, Carmen Tibideaux, and to all her friends. She dedicates her award to Will, who helped her be the person who she has become, teaching her the strengths, helping her in her dark times. Will, watching, begins to tear up, to which Sue gives him a handkerchief. She concludes, saying that being a part of something does not make you special. Something is special because they are a part of it, and tells the viewers that dreams do come true. Will watches with happiness as Rachel finishes.
In Fall of 2020, Vice-President Sue walks onstage, curtains closed behind her, where Burt, Carole, Emma, Figgins and Sheldon are gathered, all wearing red and white (including Sue). Sue calls out to Becky, who is frisking Sam, to see if he’s clean. She tells them that when Lilian Adler told the club about how glee was opening yourself up to joy, she thought that it was all not true. As she says this, Terri (also in red) walks in, and sits beside Sheldon. Sue continues, saying that it was for cowardly losers, deluding themselves that the world cared about their hopes and dreams, not knowing that the real world contains heartbreak, disappointment and failure. She tells them that she was right about it all, but states that she was wrong about how they were cowards. Sue explains that she realized that it takes a lot of bravery to see the world as it should be, than as it is, where unlikely things happen. She states that glee is about imagining a world where it all happens, to open up your heart and sing about it. She tells them that she thought that it was silly, but now thinks its one of the most bravest things that people can do and informs them that she’s honoured to rename The Auditorium as the “Finn Hudson Auditorium.” She tells Will, that with his hard work and Finn’s memory, the high school has become a success, a model for public schools that have arts, and that are being duplicated all around the country. She congratulates him about accomplishing something remarkable. Sue introduces the New Directions. They all clap.
Will runs on stage as the curtains open, where Artie, Tina, Quinn and Sam stand. Will joins them singing I Lived. Sam and Artie join in, with Rachel, Mercedes, Jessie, Kurt and Blaine coming on stage, hugging Will. In the chorus, Roderick, Alistair, Madison, Jane, Spencer, Mason and Sugar come on. Mike and Matt Rutherford dance on, joining the line, where the put their hands up. Brittany, Santana, Puck, Kitty, Lauren, Jake and Karofsky come in from the 4 entrances of the auditorium, forming a line in the middle behind the front seats. Rachel belts out, with Jesse beside her, as the line of people come onstage, high-fiving the two lines that have been formed onstage. Joe, Unique and Ryder come from behind, walking down the steps to the middle of the stage and walk to the sides, as the older adults come on, joining them. Terri hugs Will, to which Emma looks shocked. They all move to the back of the stage, Sue and Becky joining them, where they bow their heads once the song finishes and the lights on stage go down around them. Cheering and laughing from all of them can be heard when the camera zooms out of the auditorium's re-dedication plaque, where they all look happy in the picture. Finn’s and Lilian’s plaques are on either side of the new one as the camera focuses on all three. The cheering stops, and the screen goes black, ending both the episode and the series.
|Song Title||Original Artist||Performer(s)|
|Teach Your Children||Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young||Will Schuester|
|Someday We'll Be Together||Diana Ross & the Supremes||Mercedes Jones with the Church Choir|
|The Winner Takes It All||ABBA||Sue Sylvester and Will Schuester|
|Daydream Believer||The Monkees||Blaine Anderson and Kurt Hummel|
|This Time||Glee / Darren Criss||Rachel Berry|
|I Lived||OneRepublic||Cast of Glee|
- The songs from this episode are accompanied by Glee: The Music, Dreams Come True.
- Chris Colfer as Kurt Hummel
- Darren Criss as Blaine Anderson
- Dot-Marie Jones as Sheldon Beiste
- Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester
- Kevin McHale as Artie Abrams
- Lea Michele as Rachel Berry
- Matthew Morrison as Will Schuester
- Chord Overstreet as Sam Evans
- Amber Riley as Mercedes Jones
Special Guest Star
- Dianna Agron as Quinn Fabray
- Jacob Artist as Jake Puckerman
- Jessalyn Gilsig as Terri Del Monico
- Blake Jenner as Ryder Lynn
- Jayma Mays as Emma Pillsbury-Schuester
- Heather Morris as Brittany Pierce
- Alex Newell as Unique Adams
- Mike O'Malley as Burt Hummel
- Naya Rivera as Santana Lopez
- Mark Salling as Noah Puckerman
- Harry Shum Jr. as Mike Chang
- Becca Tobin as Kitty Wilde
- Jenna Ushkowitz as Tina Cohen-Chang
- Max Adler as Dave Karofsky
- Christopher Cousins as Superintendent Harris
- Tim Bagley as Elementary Teacher
- Laura Dreyfuss as Madison McCarthy
- Ashley Fink as Lauren Zizes
- Noah Guthrie as Roderick Meeks
- Samuel Larsen as Joe Hart
- Vanessa Lengies as Sugar Motta
- Billy Lewis Jr. as Mason McCarthy
- Finneas O'Connell as Alistair
- Lauren Potter as Becky Jackson
- Romy Rosemont as Carole Hudson-Hummel
- Dijon Talton as Matt Rutherford
- Iqbal Theba as Principal Figgins
- J.J. Totah as Myron Muskovitz
- Samantha Marie Ware as Jane Hayward
- Marshall Williams as Spencer Porter
- Geraldo Rivera as Himself
- Andrew Rannells as Himself
- Myko Olivier as Skylar
- Mason Trueblood as Super Gay Warbler
- J.P. Dubé as Warbler #2
- Rilan Roppolo as Warbler #7
- Brad Ellis as Brad
- Jane Galloway Heitz as Lillian Adler (Uncredited)
- This episode features the returns of:
- Damian McGinty (Rory Flanagan) and Melissa Benoist (Marley Rose) are the only two living actors on the show that portrayed former glee club members for more than a single episode who didn't appear in this episode. Both were invited back, but had prior commitments and were unable to attend.
- Chronologically and in reality, this is the first time in more than 10 years that Matt and Terri actually return to Lima and reunite with the other characters.
- Both of them appeared in the flashback episode that aired right before this episode.
- First time Matt would be seen with all but two (Marley and Rory) of the New Directions members that joined after he transferred.
- This episode marks the seventh episode to be written by all three co-creators after Pilot, Showmance, The Quarterback, 100, Loser Like Me and 2009.
- This is the third episode that aired in the same day of the previous one after Props/Nationals and Loser Like Me/Homecoming.
- The characters that have appeared in the first and last episode of the series are: Rachel, Will, Sue, Kurt, Santana, Quinn, Puck, Tina, Artie, Mercedes, Carole, Terri, Figgins, Emma, Brad, and the bassist and drummer.
- Lillian Adler could be counted if the Extended Director's Cut of the Pilot is taken into account.
- This is the second episode where Kitty does not wear her Cheerios uniform at all, as she already graduated from McKinley. The first time was in A Wedding.
- Daydream Believer was originally sung by Bryan Ryan in an unreleased song from Dream On.
- This is the second unreleased Bryan Ryan song that Blaine Anderson has later covered on the show, after Piano Man in Movin' Out.
- This is also the third time Blaine has sung a previously unreleased song on the show, including Tonight in The First Time, which was originally sung by Tina Cohen-Chang in Preggers.
- The beginning of this episode features parts of the first scene from the Extended Director's Cut of the Pilot.
- This episode has the most guest stars.
- Sam mentions the footballs being sold off have to be inflated to a certain level. This is a reference to the "Deflate-gate" controversy involving the New England Patriots just after their AFC championship victory over the Indianapolis Colts in early 2015.
- Spencer suggests doing the song She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy for the Country lesson; the song was written by Chord Overstreet's father.
- One of the items in Kurt's locker is the gum-wrapper ring Blaine made for him; this was only previously shown in a deleted scene from Extraordinary Merry Christmas.
- Before the Tony Awards when they pick Rachel up, there are 2 "Rachel's". There is an extra who is the Rachel whose back faces the camera. This is because the camera would've shown in the mirror. This is very evident because when Rachel fixes her hair, etc, the movements are not in sync. The same applies to Kurt in the same scene.
- When Artie says "Mercedes Jones has left the building." it is a reference to the original quote from Lauren Zizes in the second season.
- In the original script for the episode: