glee graduation season 3 finale 'Glee' finale: Lea Michele and Cory Monteith make us cry in 'Goodbye'“Glee” might have wavered drastically in quality throughout its first three seasons, but there’s no doubt that “Goodbye,” the Season 3 finale, took after the best of times. In an emotional, funny and poignant episode, standout performances from Cory Monteith and Lea Michele in particular made this one of the best hours “Glee” has ever done.

Giving each senior New Directions member a moment to shine was the first step in the right direction toward a better “Glee.” The spotlight was pointed pretty equally at Kurt, Puck, Quinn, Mercedes, Santana and the others throughout the episode — although Rachel and Finn naturally got a little more attention.

While we loved the resolution of Puck and Quinn’s storylines — Mercedes’ seemed like an afterthought — the real tension came from the NYADA and Actors Studio decision letters. Kurt’s moment with Burt was adorable (Mike O’Malley learned the “Single Ladies” dance because he is a wonderful human) and our hearts broke when he found out he was rejected from NYADA.

Rachel’s acceptance was a great (though not entirely unexpected) twist, but the real star of the final moments was Monteith. From his little smile when Rachel got in that faded into a frown when he remembered he didn’t to the entire scene in the car when he broke up with Rachel for his own good, that was A+, five-star acting from a guy who hasn’t been given the meatiest material to work with over the past few years.

Other poignant moments: Sue with Quinn, Santana with her mom, the Beatles song tribute from the underclassmen to Finn. They all would’ve been great in any other episode, then we remember Finn’s speech where he tells Rachel he’s joining the army, and we start crying all over again.

The actual graduation ceremony was very “Glee” — why would they be singing, why aren’t the names called in alphabetical order, why are college acceptances sent in May — but we’ll accept those unrealistic moments if it means we get more of Monteith’s stellar acting.

What did you think of “Goodbye”? Did Monteith steal the show for you? And what the heck really is going to happen in Season 4?

Posted by:Jean Bentley