Top 20 Finchel Moments of the Back Half
#8 ll Regionals ll Original Song
It seems like when Finchel fans can count on nothing else, they can count on some significant Finchel at Regionals. I’m not sure anything can top Regionals 2010, but Regionals 2011 didn’t disappoint, either. I kind of cheated here because I’m taking, like, four moments (all of them significant in their own right) and counting them as one, but this is my countdown, so I’m allowed to make my own rules, right?
So lets start at the first moment that made this part of the episode significant: Candles. Candles isn’t a song that I’d want subtextually for my ship because the subtext isn’t inherently positive. The song is about closing the book on a relationship and realizing you’re better off without someone. Blow the candles out. Looks like a solo tonight. I’m beginning to see the light. Blow the candles out. Looks like a solo tonight. But I think I’ll be alright. But the subtext is also what makes this moment significant and interesting in its own right. While Kurt and Blaine are singing, we see Rachel look over to Finn and we see that Finn’s already looking back at her (because like Quinn said in SLS- when she didn’t catch Finn looking at her, she’d catch him looking at Rachel). Quinn notices and grabs Finn’s hand to break whatever was going on between Finn and Rachel…interrupting everything they were saying silently. And the thing is- I often credit Original Song with being where the Finchel story truly began to turn (though I’ll continue to say that big shift occurred in Prom Queen), and we can credit Candles with the irony in the subtextual change. Like I said, Candles is a song about turning the lights off on a relationship and realizing you’re better off alone, and I think that’s where Rachel was heading when she saw Quinn grab Finn’s hand. But for Finn? The irony of the song is in that in a song about a relationship that’s ended and kind of turning the lights off for good, Finn was starting to realize he didn’t necessarily want to close the book on whatever vestiges were left of his relationship with Rachel.
…which kind of led to what happened next:Finn’s pep talk to Rachel before her solo. For all the crap Finn gets, I don’t think people realize that every time Rachel has a solo at a big competition, Finn’s the one to pump her up and give her a dose of confidence. And here’s the thing- we had Finn looking at Rachel during Candles before she looked to him. By the time she looked to him, he was already looking at her…thinking about what the song meant…thinking about her. And so when he goes to wish her luck? He doesn’t just wish her luck. Break a leg. It’s the same three words she said to him right before he told her he loved her exactly a year before. In Finchel fandom, no three words come with as heavy a connotation or mean more than break a leg. The writers know this. This wasn’t some accidental verbage that just happens to have some sort of significance. They could have had Finn say good luck. But no. Because break a leg has a very specific subtext. Three words that allow Finn to express the other three words that he just can’t say again yet.
And because this is all interwoven, that interaction led directly into Get It Right. Get It Right was sixteen episodes in the making. Truly. Before the season even began, the writers laid Rachel’s story out as how does Rachel, who’s never had anything she wanted, suddenly deal with having what she wanted the most? She had the solos, she was starting to make friends and she had the boy she’d been in love with for so long. And like most people who suddenly have the things they always wanted but never really knew they could have, Rachel messed up (and I’m not forgetting that Finn did, too, but this song is about Rachel and her motivations). Instead of talking things out with Finn, she got frustrated and walked out and then invited Puck into her bed. Rachel didn’t know what else to do because at that point in time, she felt like she was losing Finn, she was losing her solos and those tentative friendships? Well, no one was offering to stand up for her when her teacher chided her in front of the entire group. Get It Right was Rachel finally gaining the perspective that led her to that moment…that where she had the best of intentions, she messed it all up when she was just trying to make it all right. She told Finn to listen to what she was saying, and for the first time, Finn started to get it. Why? Because when she sings, he can feel it. OH LOOK WHAT I DID THUR. It all comes full circle. It wasn’t until that moment that Finn really understood what Rachel was feeling and how they got to that moment, and that’s what allowed them to finally move on to a point where Rachel backed off a bit more and Finn slowly began to allow himself to realize that Rachel was who he wanted all along.
And just like how all of these moments are interconnected, this leads to this final significant moment for them at Regionals- that hug at the end of their group number. Nothing brings Finn and Rachel together like music and just as they did at Sectionals and Regionals their sophomore year and Sectionals this year, they come together in victory at the end because they’re drawn to each other that way. He pulls her into a hug as they’re done performing, as Quinn watches on from the back of the group… just as Quinn watched Finn looking at Rachel during Candles…just as she watched Finn watch Rachel during Get It Right. Up until this point, Finn was confused about his feelings for Rachel and his feelings for Quinn and wondering if his feelings for Quinn were the reason he failed with Rachel. During Regionals, it became pretty clear: it’s Rachel for Finn, it’s always been Rachel for Finn and Quinn? She’s become the outsider in this equation.