Lea Michele in GLEE - Season 3 - "Nationals" |  ©2012 Fox/Adam Rose

Lea Michele in GLEE - Season 3 - "Nationals" | ©2012 Fox/Adam Rose

Stars: Dianna Agron, Chris Colfer, Darren Criss, Jane Lynch, Jayma Mays, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Heather Morris, Matthew Morrison, Amber Riley, Naya Rivera, Mark Salling, Harry Shum Jr., Jenna Ushkowitz
Writer: Ali Adler
Director: Eric Stoltz
Network: Fox, airs Tuesday nights
Original Telecast: May 15, 2012

In the second half of the two-hour GLEE marathon, “Nationals” finally finds New Directions coming together for the big event they’ve been waiting three years for.

After last year’s disastrous Nationals, the group is doing everything they can to win in order to have that lasting victory lap after being called losers for so long.

Of course, there is some drama along the way, but for the most part, “Nationals” is an obvious, fitting almost-conclusion to  GLEE – Season 3.

SPOILER ALERT – YOU’VE BEEN WARNED

As they head into Nationals, their biggest competition is, once again, Vocal Adrenaline. And they have a secret weapon – the gender-bending Unique (the boy who wanted to dress up like a girl and sing like a girl).

Gimmicks aside though, the judges (which include Lindsay Lohan and Perez Hilton as themselves) are looking at the underdogs (well, for the most part). And New Directions has the heart, which, not surprisingly, gives them the well-deserved victory.

After pleading with Carmen Tibideaux (Whoopi Goldberg) to reconsider her for NYADA after choking on her audition, Tibideaux actually shows up to see New Directions perform (and of course see Rachel shine).

While winning Nationals is a big deal, there’s still more to the show – which is smart. Nationals is a false victory to where the final moments of the episode truly end with Mr. Schuester (Matthew Morrison) winning teacher of the year. The testimonials by his students and even warm congratulations by Sue (Jane Lynch) make it the more fitting ending – especially as New Directions sing a great rendition of “We Are the Champions” to him.

Oh, and Mr. Schue and Emma (Jayma Mayes) finally do it.

If you want to nitpick the episode, there’s the big question of how Quinn (Dianna Agron) could be so agile on stage this soon after her rehabilitation. Yet, I’ll go with that one – this is GLEE after all and sticking to the confines of reality has never been its strong suit.

GLEE has been on incredible run the last couple of weeks, managing three solid episodes in a row. And with the season finale next week, the series will hopefully be taking some bold steps next year to reinvent what the show is all about (graduating seniors and all).

It’s nice to finally see the glee back in GLEE and it couldn’t have happened at a better time.

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Article: TV Review – GLEE – Season 3 – “Nationals”

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