Recently, Entertainment Weekly released an interview with Ryan Murphy — creator, producer, and writer of Glee — in which he described the intended ending for Glee.
Glee fans have had varied reactions to this news. The people who loved the Finn and Rachel relationship were crying at the ending that couldn’t be. Other fans complained that the intended ending was anti-feminist, since Rachel would be sacrificing her career and happiness to live in Lima, for a boy.
Here’s how Murphy says Glee should have ended had we not tragically lost Cory Monteith this summer:
“At the end of season 6, Lea [Michele]‘s Rachel was going to have become a big Broadway star, the role she was born to play. Finn was going to have become a teacher, settled down happily in Ohio, at peace with his choice and no longer feeling like a Lima loser. The very last line of dialogue was to be this: Rachel comes back to Ohio, fulfilled and yet not, and walks into Finn’s glee club. “What are you doing here?” he would ask. “I’m home,” she would reply. Fade out. The end.”
My reaction is somewhere in the middle. Before Cory Montheith passed away of a drug overdose, it was clear that Finn and Rachel were going to be together in the end. That ending is fitting to Rachel’s arc. The first episode made it evident that she valued the limelight, fame, and success more than interpersonal relationships. The audience never doubted someday that Rachel would be on Broadway. The journey we were really on with Rachel was one of her becoming a less lonely person. Someone who could be a good friend, and occasionally share her spotlight with someone else. In that sense, her deciding to return to Lima for love makes sense.
However, I also understand the feminist frustrations, and the logical loopholes. Why can’t Finn, who could teach anywhere in the country, go meet Rachel in New York and say the same thing? She can’t really do more Broadway shows in Lima. Had Finn gone to New York, he wouldn’t be sacrificing his entire career and dream for her. Rachel would by returning to Lima.
I also understand that placing it in the choir room would be a poetic choice: This is where most of the show has been set. It holds some emotional tie for the audience, more so than anywhere in New York. Probably the best way to end it, for the impact they wanted, was for Finn and Rachel to say goodbye to the choir room, and head to New York together (especially since the pilot was all about how Finn didn’t want to be stuck in Lima).
Ultimately, this isn’t the ending we will be getting. This could either be great or awful. Either the writers will have the opportunity to explore new, better possibilities they hadn’t been considering while this ending was in the back of their minds, or they’ll be scrambling to come up with another idea that is half-baked. Let’s hope for the former.