Ah. Well, a lot to say. Considering this was an episode written by Charmatz and Springer, I expected the episode to involve an adventure and character development (Enchanted Tiki Dreams and A Squarepants Family Vacation dealt with these factors and were directed by the same people). So, let's break down the episode in it's good and it's bad.
-I know I've bagged on Aaron Springer A LOT in the past, but I really appreciated his involvement in this episode. His directing habits can be incredibly odd (Giving Krabs, Pat and SB giant cheeks, making SB's legs incredibly close together and feminine, and sequences that go on for too long and feel pointless), but here, they worked, actually. Perhaps it was Sean Charmatz balancing his habits out with his Pre-Movie style in the episode, but Aaron Springer did a beast job here. I especially love the "Never Give Up" musical number, because while the song was written by Charmatz, the direction throughout the entire song is just Pure Springer, and I love that. He's really rebounded in the past.
-I feel the episode really repaired the relationship b/t Squidward and Spongebob. The abuse in the episode was minimal, and by the end, Squidward and Spongebob's relationship seemed to be less "I HATE YOU NOW GO DIE" but Squidward seemed tolerant of Spongebob, perhaps even to the point of having them be friends. I hope this continues into new episodes.
-The songs were good. "High Tide Time" did feel a little long and a bit off. But "Never Give Up" was fantastic, and I liked the emotion in the number especially. The songs weren't cringe worthy, and the lyrics were pretty good.
-The Plankton subplot was funny, as was the "Too Loud" bit. The episode was genuinely funny throughout. Good humor abound.
-The direction in this episode was also spectacular. A lot of continuity references in here, too. Counted ones to Boating Buddies, Band Geeks, Kracked Krabs, Penny Foolish and Wigstruck.
-Mr Krabs swung between being the annoying cheapskate he can be and just an okay character. He was pretty okay, but could get annoying sometimes in the episode.
-Where they did the gigs was a missed opportunity; A Supermarket could've been the Barg-N-Mart, and Shady Lanes should've been Shady Shoals, as well.
Other than that, the episode was really good. 9/10. A very fitting finale to the Eighth Season. Cannot wait for the DVD. If we ever get one.