May 22, 2012 7:22pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Glee' Finale Recap: Who's Headed to New York?
[WARNING: This story contains spoilers from Glee's Season 3 finale.]
Fox's Glee wrapped its third season with an emotional finale that opened the door to next year's split time in New York and Ohio when several seniors learned where their future would take them.
After a tearful and touching finale that saw Burt (Mike O'Malley) return with the best graduation gift ever (he performed Beyonce's "Single Ladies"), Rachel, Finn, Kurt, Santana and more received news that altered their future course.
Applying and auditioning together to NYADA, Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Rachel (Lea Michele) received different replies from the school of their dreams. Despite nailing his audition for Carmen (Whoopi Goldberg), Kurt fails to get in, while Rachel -- who choked during her audition and later won the tough dean over at Nationals -- was accepted.
Finn (Cory Monteith), meanwhile, learns that his audition for the New York-based Actors Studio didn't go as well as he thought and isn't accepted, setting up a truly emotional final scene with Rachel. While she thinks they're off to get married, he instead nixes her plan to defer enrollment at NYADA to stay in Ohio and help Kurt and Finn make their way to the East Coast, her fiancé instead takes her to the train station where he "sets her free" and informs her that he's enlisted in the Army.
"I need a chance to try and redeem my father," he says, telling her that he's headed to Fort Benning, Georgia. "That's the only place I knew you couldn’t follow me."
In a sweet scene, seemingly everyone from New Directions is there to see Rachel off for the East Coast. (Was Santana there or was she already out the door for New York?)
Meanwhile, Santana (Naya Rivera) tells her mother Maribel (guest star Gloria Estefan) that she doesn't want to go to the University of Kentucky and would rather follow her dreams of becoming a star and go to New York. After suggesting that she go to college, Maribel comes around and presents her daughter with a hefty check -- enough money to head to New York and follow her dreams. "This is your first moment of adulthood and from now on, it's up to you," she tells her.
Santana's girlfriend, Brittany (Heather Morris), isn't as lucky and with a GPA of 0.0 is set to repeat her senior year -- and score a second term as class president.
Elsewhere during "Goodbye," Mercedes (Amber Riley) scores a recording contract as a backup singer and is headed to Los Angeles after a producer saw the video that Sam (Chord Overstreet) took of her performing the Tramps' "Disco Inferno" in the New Directions choir room.
Mike (Harry Shum Jr.) is following his dreams and landed a scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago, leaving his underclassmen girlfriend Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) behind.
The Yale-bound Quinn (Dianna Agron) heads to Yale and in a bid to help Puck (Mark Salling) graduate, professes her love for him and the two share a tender kiss that helps the bad-boy regain his confidence and graduate. She also makes sure to keep in touch with Rachel, giving her a Metro pass to shuttle both of them between New Haven and New York.
With Season 4 set to split time between New York and McKinley High in Ohio, Glee threw a big curveball by breaking up Finn and Rachel, and leaving several seniors' future up in the air. What will Kurt do now that NYADA is off the table? Will Puck head to L.A.? Could Rachel and Santana take New York by storm?
What did you think of the Season 3 finale? How do you think Season 4 will feature all the returning cast members? Hit the comments with your thoughts.