|Season Three, Episode Twenty-Two|
|First Aired||May 22nd 2012|
"The New Rachel"
Goodbye is the twenty-second episode and the season finale of the third season and the sixty-sixth overall. This episode aired on May 22nd, 2012 at 9pm instead of the regular 8pm slot due to the finale of American Idol. Filming began on April 30th. Shooting on both this episode and the season ended on May 10th. The episode was written and directed by Brad Falchuk.
PlotWill enters the choir room to find the founding members of the club performing Sit Down, You're Rocking The Boat, the first song they performed together, to the club. After the performance he tells the group that there is nothing left to do this year - it's time to say goodbye, and for their final assignment they will be singing songs to say goodbye to each other. Will performs Forever Young to the group, as his way to say goodbye to the seniors.
Kurt in the hallways reflects on his years at school, thinking about how him out of the closet, has helped others be open about themselves. Burt, then calls Kurt into the April Rhodes Civic Pavilion and tells him he has a gift for him, but first discusses how Kurt has grown, between 5-7 he was able to hold on to him, but when his mom died he lost track and it was hard raising a kid on his own, he then he asks Kurt if he can remember when they came close again, and performs Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) with Brittany and Tina dancing in the back, just like Kurt did in Preggers. Later we see Blaine and Kurt talk before class, Blaine asking about their relationship and wondering if they're going to be okay. Kurt tells him that when he is old, he wants to talk about his first love with Blaine sitting beside him, telling that he is never saying goodbye to him, we then cut to Kurt singing I'll Remember as it's his "Goodbye" song to the club thanking them for what they have done for him.
Santana runs into Mercedes and Sam in the hallway, and finds out that Mercedes has been offered a recording contract, as a back up singer, after seeing her Disco Inferno video. She congratulates her. She talks with Mike to discover he was offered a scholarship to attend a dancing academy in Chicago. Santana gets worried about her future. At a dinner with her mother and Brittany, she tells them that she wants to go to New York, not Louisville. Brittany shares that she isn't graduating either. After that she tells her mother that if Britt isn't graduating, she'll just stay in Lima.
Back in the choir room, the seniors perform You Get What You Give to the underclassmen and Brittany, Finn telling them it’s their glee club now and to take care of it.
Rachel and Finn are deciding on chairs that they should have at their wedding. Finn feels worried that she is settling for him, she tells him that she is marrying him and nothing will make her happier.
Finn recollects his high school career, comparing the start to the finish. He feels that he "nailed" his Actor's Studio audition with James Lipton as his moderator. In Will's office, Finn comes to collect his yearbook after asking him to sign it. He asks him to redo it, but Will isn't sharing that he tried 10 times and ended up breaking down every time. Before he goes to leave, Will finally tells him about he was the one to plant the Marijuana in his locker after he heard him singing in the shower in his attempt to get Finn to join glee club. Finn tells him he is so much cooler that he thought he was.
Carole brings out Finn's gown and they talk about how he feels disappointed about not being able to get his father an honorable discharge.The Underclassmen and Will perform In My Life dedicated to Finn for being the one to make the club what it is now, ending in a teary performance.
Quinn is happy to find that she has ended high school where she started, on top, but with incredible friends. She feels worried about Puck and feels she needs to help her friends. In the bathroom, she gives Rachel a Metro North rail pass that will take her to New Haven, and she has one that will take her to New York so they can stay friends. Rachel expresses that she always thought Quinn was meant to be with Puck.In Quinn's room, she is trying to help Puck study until he get frustrated and hops up to leave. Quinn tells him she loves him, as he was her first. She feels that they are bonded for life, going through what they went through. She kisses him, trying to boost his confidence.
Puck walks into his test more confident, feeling the kiss has brought him back.
In Sue's office, Roz shares her plan to get rid of Figgins, feeling that he is an idiot. She asks that they join forces to bring him down, but Sue doesn't say anything further about it. When Roz leaves, Quinn comes to give her uniform back. Sue gives it back, telling her she is retiring the uniform. Sue shares that she thought Quinn reminded her of herself, but knows how different she is. Knowing that she will go far and can’t wait to be able to say she knew her back in the day. Quinn hugs Sue as her way of saying goodbye, both crying.
All seniors wait outside Puck’s classroom waiting for his test to be graded. He snatches the test to discover he got a C-, which he declares triumphantly "is a Puckerman A+". His friends celebrate the fact that he will get to graduate after all.Puck and Finn perform Glory Days as the New Directions' Seniors are given the diplomas, their parents, the underclassmen, Will and Sue watching proudly. The order being Mike, Quinn, Mercedes, Puck, Santana, Kurt, Finn and then Rachel.
In the choir room, Kurt, Finn and Rachel have their letters from their colleges. Finn opens his first, finding he wasn't accepted. Kurt follows and also finds he wasn't accepted. Rachel turns away as she opens hers to find that she was accepted.
Rachel feels that she is happy to have deferred her acceptance into NYADA so she can wait a year for Kurt and Finn to apply again, as she doesn't feel it would be right.
As Santana cleans her locker out, Maribel gives her money that she had saved for her to go to college. Telling her do what she wants with it, it's up to her.
Finn picks Rachel up to take them to their wedding. He takes her to a train station instead, telling her she is on the 4:25 train to New York, her dads waiting to see her. He tells her he isn't going to marry her if she is giving up her dreams to be with him. He tells her he is setting her free as he is joining the Army to change his dad's discharge status. As she breaks down, he tells her that she will be a star, but she has to let go of him. Before they get out of the car, she tells him she loves him so much to which he replies "I love you forever."
Roots Before Branches is performed by Finn and Rachel as they walk towards the station, Will, Emma and the rest of the glee club standing on the platform as they say their farewells to Rachel before she boards the train. They all wave goodbye, Finn running after the train, till he gets tired. The song is continued when she arrives in New York, coming out of Grand Central Station. The episode ends as Rachel joins the crowds of people on the streets of New York, her pink suitcase trailing behind her.
- Sit Down, You're Rocking The Boat from Guys and Dolls. Sung by the New Directions, "Founding Five" (Artie, Kurt, Mercedes, Rachel and Tina).
- Forever Young by Rod Stewart. Sung by Will.
- Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) by Beyoncé. Danced to by Burt, Tina and Brittany.
- I'll Remember by Madonna. Sung by Kurt.
- You Get What You Give by New Radicals. Sung by New Directions Seniors except Brittany.
- Can't Fight This Feeling by REO Speedwagon. Sung by Finn in a flashback.
- In My Life by The Beatles. Sung by New Directions Juniors with Will.
- Glory Days by Bruce Springsteen. Sung by Finn and Puck.
- Roots Before Branches by Room For Two. Sung by Rachel with Finn.
Special Guest Star
- Mike O'Malley as Burt Hummel
- Iqbal Theba as Principal Figgins
- Dot-Marie Jones as Shannon Beiste
- Romy Rosemont as Carole Hudson-Hummel
- Chord Overstreet as Sam Evans
- NeNe Leakes as Roz Washington
- Samuel Larsen as Joe Hart
- Damian McGinty as Rory Flanagan
- Vanessa Lengies as Sugar Motta
- Kathleen M. Darcy as Eleanor Doosenbury
- Keong Sim as Mike Chang Sr
- Tamlyn Tomita as Julia Chang
- Charlotte Ross as Judy Fabray
- Gina Hecht as Mrs. Puckerman
Special Appearance by
- James Lipton as Himself
- First finale to not contain New Directions competing in a show choir competition.
- Kurt's Graduation cape is accessorised with an insect brooch that he wore on his striped sweater in Defying Gravity.
- First time we've seen anyone on Glee graduate, with at least Rachel, Finn, Kurt, Mercedes, Quinn, Puck, Mike and Santana graduating. We have only heard about graduation and past students graduating but we don't see them graduate.
- Rachel's pink suitcase is the same as in Season 1, Episode 2 Showmance, where Finn helps to carry the case.
- Due to the whole cast crying during the filming of the entire episode, they had to use waterproof mascara.
- There was no First Listen Friday for this episode as most of the songs were already out and In My Life was released just a day before the episode instead of the airing day as they intended to release it during that day.
- Fifth episode in a row where Tina sings.
- The second time New York is featured on Glee and in the Season Finale.
- The first finale where Finn and Rachel do not get together. Instead, their relationship is put on hold.
- A few things were heavily hinted in Sue's office:
- Roz Washington proposed a new mission to join forces with Sue to take Figgins down as Sue looks in interest. This could be one of their new goals next year.
- Sue's baby's celebrity father is yet to be revealed. Sue said it'll be shown in a magazine in "September". That's when Season 4 is airing.
- This episode contained three flashbacks:
- The "Priority #1: Help the Kids" flyer from Pilot reappears in Will's office in this episode.
- This episode drew a 2.9 rating 18 - 49 with 7.460 million total viewers, up significantly from previous episode. Source
- This episode marks the second time where Finn breaks up with his girlfriend in his car. The first time was Funeral when he broke up with Quinn.
- The first Season Finale where the final scene is not in the choir room, it being in New York.
- Some of the cast didn't get the script for the graduation scene to keep it a secret until it aired.
- Apart from Lea and Cory, the rest of the cast did not get the last couple pages of the script, and therefore did not know about the Finchel breakup, only finding out about it when the episode aired.
- On August 6, 2012, Ryan Murphy uploaded a deleted scene from this episode where Rachel shows Kurt what she signed for his yearbook. 
- On August 9, 2012, Murphy uploaded another deleted scene in which Mike Chang's parents give him his graduation present. 
- Behind the scenes of this episode is in the Special Features section of Glee: The Complete Third Season.
- Just before Roots Before Branches, Rachel and Finn are talking in the car as Rachel is in tears. When Rachel is crying, she is looking forward but in the next shot, her head is already facing Finn's.
- When Will starts to sing Forever Young, Will sang "oooo" later than the recording started.
- The seniors perform You Get What You Give first and we can assume the sophomores and juniors did In My Life the next day because everyone's wearing different clothes, but in the scenes that follow such as the bathroom one with Rachel and Quinn and when Quinn is tutoring Puck at home, they are shown wearing the same outfits from the day before.
- When Rachel arrives in New York, she is shown leaving Grand Central Station -- which is used for commuter trains. Amtrak trains, which Rachel would have taken to go from Lima to New York, use Penn Station.
- At the beginning of Roots Before Branches, as Finn goes to Rachel's door, the shadow of a boom mic is visible against the vehicle.
- When Will starts to sing Forever Young, you can see Artie lean over and lay on Mercedes, but in the next shot he's sitting up straight, as if he never leaned over.
- In the scene where Quinn hugs Puck and tells him that she is proud of him for getting a C-, you can see Kurt hugging Mrs. Doosenbury, but in the next shot, you see him hugging her again.