At the winter competition, following a tender hallway moment with Brody that includes a brief kiss, Rachel makes good on her promise to Cassandra and simply sings, and kills it, on "Being Good Isn't Good Enough" from "Hallelujah, Baby!" It's quintessential Rachel -- she's never good, she's great. So great, in fact, that she gets called to perform an encore, opting for "O Holy Night," which is interspersed with visuals of Finn packing up the choir room awards. Maybe the entire hour could just be the Rachel and Kurt variety hour (with special guest Blaine Anderson)? Whoopi Goldberg agrees, because after Rachel finishes she congratulates her and then springs on Kurt that he'll be performing after the intermission. Sometimes your last chance isn't really your last chance after all.
In the hallway he has an understandable meltdown, longing for his props and bemoaning that he's not prepared. Rachel reminds him these are the things that Whoopi doesn't like about his performances, and he should just sing from his heart. She points back to his "I Want To Hold Your Hand" performance and Kurt counters that his father was sick, that was dedicated to him. Rachel tells him to dedicate it to himself, which he does with "Being Alive," from "Company." Finally, Kurt Hummel has learned how to audition. "Being Alive" is as much about his longing for love in the wake of his heartbreak with Blaine as it is about his longing for the instruction of somewhere like NYADA to let him shine, to finally become the performer he's destined to be. While Rachel can make you gasp when she performs, Kurt can really gut you.
The hour ends with an abandoned Finn and Marley singing Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over" in the snow as the rest of the club slowly appears and joins in, clearly moved by Finn's email. As the song ends we see Kurt in New York with his NYADA letter, an acceptance this time around. Which means we can assume if Kurt Hummel can get another chance and still succeed, we shouldn't count the glee club out just yet. Until then, it's commendable to see their ability to come back together even without the cache of a competition season, just like Kurt was able to build himself a New York life without NYADA only to be rewarded with NYADA after he'd endured what he needed to get him there. "Glee's" current swan song might be a fake out, but we'll enjoy watching them all remember the joy of their club without competition pressure, and for the ones who've already succeeded like Kurt and Rachel, the joy of a triumph.