We’re two weeks away from the season 2 finale of Glee, but EW is ready to reveal some scoop on May 24’s episode. Glee fans will be thrilled by what the producers have in store for this epic ender, in which New Directions travel to the Big Apple to compete in nationals. Over the course of a whirlwind week of filming in April, the cast and crew shot at various New York landmarks, including Times Square, Lincoln Center, and Central Park. Many of these locations will be seen in a major musical number that finds the cast singing a mash-up of Madonna’s “I Love New York” and Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.” Co-creator/exec producer Brad Falchuk, who also directed the episode, says that filming in Manhattan allowed for some expansive shots of the city. “We’re [normally] either shooting inside a soundstage or we’re shooting in Los Angeles, pretending it’s Ohio,” he says. “That means it has to get very small. You can’t get too wide because you might catch a palm tree. So being in New York was like, ‘Hey, man – go big and go wide!’”
So what else can fans expect?
For starters, the return of Cheyenne Jackson and Charice, who play Vocal Adrenaline’s coach and star vocalist, respectively. Also look for a cameo from musical-theater icon Patti LuPone, who runs into Finn (Cory Monteith) and Rachel (Lea Michele) at a restaurant. And Matthew Morrison’s Will Schuester will have a dramatic solo in which he sings “Still Got Tonight,” one of the songs off his own debut album. “It’s very reflective,” Morrison says of the performance. “He’s kind of faced with a decision of whether he’s gonna be on Broadway or stay with the kids and keep going down that path. There’s also a lot of emotions about his relationship with Emma and the possibility of giving up that.” Meanwhile, Rachel and Kurt (Chris Colfer) will visit some hallowed ground, the Gershwin Theater where Wicked is performed eight times a week. It’s an appropriate location for the pair, who duetted on Wicked’s signature song, “Defying Gravity,” early in Glee’s first season. This time they tackle another tune from the musical (we won’t ruin the surprise for you spoiler-phobic Gleeks). “It was always my dream to get to play Elphaba on stage every night,” says Michele. “I was very close to stealing one of Elphaba’s brooms.”
Meanwhile, Finnchel fans will be excited to hear that Rachel and Finn have quite the night out together in the city. “I have an epic date with him,” says Michele of the sequence, which takes the pair through Central Park and the West Village. “Even I was melting inside every time I saw Cory in that suit with flowers. He does take her on this fabulous day, this amazing date. It’s every girl’s mini–romantic comedy in one Glee episode.” Michele also reveals that the nationals performance will feature more original music. How will it all end? Not surprisingly, Team Glee won’t say. Teases Colfer, “I will tell you this: All the characters have major dreams come true in the final episode.” Adds Falchuk, “I think that at the end, everyone will hopefully feel real good.”