Glee graduates! Emotional finale sees Finn and Rachel in tear-jerking split, while fans are left with end of series cliffhangers…
07:46 GMT, 23 May 2012
It proved to be an emotional farewell for eight Glee characters as they bid farewell to McKinley High and headed down separate paths to pursue their dreams.
But fans of the show were left guessing how the show will follow their favourites next season.
Last night's finale saw series leads Rachel (Lea Michele) and Finn (Cory Monteith) graduate before breaking up in a tear-jerking farewell scene.
Tears at the end: Lea Michele and Cory Monteith act out an emotional scene in tonight's Glee finale
Amid tearful goodbyes and covers of Bruce Springsteen and Beatles songs, show-choir star Rachel won acceptance to a New York performing arts school.
But in a surprise, she ended up travelling to the Big Apple alone after classmate Kurt didn't make the cut and fianc Finn was rejected by an acting studio.
In a dramatic scene, Finn drove Rachel to the train station instead of their wedding and told her he was sending her off to New York to pursue her dream.
Breaking up with her 'for her own good,' Finn informed his girlfriend of his intention to enlist in the army to 'redeem his father's honour', leaving Rachel to pursue her Broadway dreams on her own.
Follow the dream: Finn tells the distraught Rachel that he won't marry her in order for her to pursue her dream
Dramatic finale: The scene proved to be a tearjerker when Finn broke up with Rachel, meaning 'Finchel' is no more
The pair were joined in their red caps and gowns by Kurt (Chris Colfer), Quinn (Dianna Agron), Mike (Harry Shum Jr.), Puck (Mark Salling), Mercedes (Amber Riley) and Santana (Naya Rivera).
However, Brittany's (Heather Morris) poor grades kept her from getting her diploma.
Santana planned to move to New York with her mother's (Gloria Estefan) blessing using money she had saved for college, while dancer Mike Chang was headed to Chicago, with Mercedes going to Los Angeles to try a singing career.
With the characters heading in different directions, it is unclear how Glee will weave them all into next season.
The long goodbye: Finn and the rest of the Glee kids bid a sad farewell to Rachel as she leaves by train to New York
But U.S. network Fox has said the show will split time between McKinley High in Ohio and New York City, where two characters were heading, and creator Ryan Murphy has said all the current stars will return in some fashion.
When it returns in the autumn, the programme will feature a 'show within a show following some of the characters to New York,' Fox executive Kevin Reilly told reporters last week.
'A couple of fresh faces in Ohio' will join the castmates still in high school,' he added.
Returning students include Artie (Kevin McHale), Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) and Blaine (Darren Criss).
End of an era: Santana, Rachel, Kurt, Mercedes, Finn, Mike and Quinn look happy as they graduate high school wearing red caps and gowns
Happier times: Despite the tears, both Corey (Finn) and Lea (Rachel) will be back next season
Actresses Kate Hudson and Sarah Jessica Parker will appear as guest stars on some episodes.
Glee also will move to Thursday nights in the autumn on Fox, and all the current stars will return in some form, show creator Murphy told New York magazine's Vulture website last week.
'We've become like a family, and I said to them, “Anybody who wants to stay on the show will stay on the show,”' Murphy said.
'They're all coming back. Anyone who is a regular is coming back. Everyone said, “yes”.'
Comfort: Tina, Quinn and Mercedes all comfort Rachel as she makes her way to the train station
How much each character will be on screen, however, is unknown. 'It doesn't mean everyone will be doing 22 episodes,' Murphy said.
Glee emerged as a pop culture phenomenon in 2010 with quirky humour plus dance routines to cover versions of popular songs. The programme is one of Fox's top shows, although ratings have fallen sharply this year.
Heading into last year's finale, Glee averaged 8.4 million weekly viewers, according to Nielsen data provided by Horizon Media. That slipped to 6.6 million this year.
The class of 2012: The Glee characters take the stage at school in an emotional graduation moment