After five seasons on the air, some bumpier than others, Glee kicks off a shortened sixth and final season on Friday. At the end of season five, Rachel gathered the assembled New Yorkers and made them promise that no matter what, they would meet back in that exact same spot in six months' time and catch up. As season six takes a time-jump into the future, we’ll find out if they’re still in NYC, if they've abandoned the Big Apple for new adventures, and whether or not anyone makes the meetup. Here's where each of the show's key players stand as they entire these final 13 episodes.
The Supporting Players
Mercedes, Santana, and Brittany all left New York in search of their own stardom. Mercedes kicked off her first tour in support of her music, with Brittany and Santana in tow as dancers. Artie stayed behind, content at film school. Other recurring characters seemed to remain satisfied at their colleges of choice. Quinn is at Yale, and dating an enlisted Puck. Tina and Mike were still apart at their respective colleges.
For those we’d left in Ohio when Glee made a much-needed focus-switch to New York in the latter half of season five, things shifted as well. When offered the gig to coach Vocal Adrenaline and make more money, Will took the bait. With both Emma and his adorable baby boy to support, he felt he had no choice. In his absence, Sue Sylvester was free to revert to her Glee Club–hating ways. The results of her big changes were seen in the season-five finale, when Sam peered into the old choir room only to find a computer lab in its place. The rest of the newbie cast, minus Kitty Wilde, have been shuttled off to parts unknown by the start of season six, making way for a new crop of high-schoolers.
The Leading Players
Rachel Berry has her own TV show, all about Rachel Berry’s life. After four and a half seasons that told us again and again that Rachel was destined for Broadway, she jumped ship for Hollywood after just a few months of playing her dream role of Fanny Brice. It’s a hasty decision that burned her Broadway bridges at the end of last season in favor of the West Coast. At the beginning of season six, she heads back to Lima, with her tail between her legs but ready to put up a fight.
After making his dream of appearing almost naked on the side of a bus come true, Sam decided he didn’t need New York anymore and headed back home for a quiet life. As is always true with Sam, we have no idea where he actually lives. Don’t forget, his parents left town after season two, and during season three, he moved in with the Hummel-Hudson family and, as far as we know, never left. Or maybe has his own apartment. Or maybe he is homeless. Regardless, Sam is back in Ohio, and season six picks up with him assisting Coach Bieste with the football team.
When we last saw Kurt and Blaine, they had overcome the hurdle of socialite June Dolloway’s favoring Blaine over Kurt and the lies and tumult that caused between the engaged couple. During season five, the pair lived together, then lived apart, and closed the season living in the loft together. Everything seemed fine and dandy, which is Glee code for “expect the worst when we return.”
What To Expect
With Corey Monteith’s untimely death just before season five began filming, Glee's endgame underwent a shakeup. Reportedly, a Monteith-inclusive season six would have focused on Finn reuniting with Rachel in Ohio. Now the season looks to place Rachel into the role of Glee Club reviver, with Sam likely playing some part, since he’s fully embedded in McKinley, too. As far as couples, there's Kurt and Blaine, naturally. Brittany and Santana, who wrapped filming on the season earlier than many of the other characters, look to get their own happy ending, and other favorite pairs will at least get cursory moments as Ryan Murphy ties a big bow on his teenage musical.
Meanwhile, there’s a whole new crop of high-schoolers around to duke it out for show-choir dominance. In the double-header premiere, we'll meet six of them. As our individual characters get their happy endings, New Directions will likely also score something of a victory, even if it’s just as small as a regionals win. Back in season one, that meant a lot, and it would be a nice bookend.