It has been the moment Gleeks have been waiting for ever since Rachel Berry strutted out into the audience season 1 during Sectionals and belted out her now signature song, Don’t Rain On My Parade. Rachel Berry taking on the role of Fanny Brice has always been end game, but it's satisfying to finally be at this place.
In truth, since the original cast's graduation, it’s been a rollercoaster ride watching Glee; the momentum with stories and plots have been ferociously up and down. But while this episode had more than one plothole glaring viewers in the face (WHERE’S BRITTANY???), it was the first episode since perhaps season 3 that felt perfectly like a season 1 episode. It made you cry, it made you laugh and it made you cheer – you may have even gorged on the last of you Easter candy to get through all your feelings and then stood up in your living room to give a standing ovation to the entire episode!
Oh, that was just us? That’s cool… we’re owning it.
But let’s go ahead and talk more about what actually happened in this episode, shall we?!
Life Is Far From Sunny – Until It Is
In the 48 hours before Rachel Berry’s opening night, everything seemed to be falling into place: her friends were rallying around her, Mr. Schue was flying in from Ohio, and most of the critics were giving Lima’s Gold Star considerable praise. Of course, there are those underground stories of the Internet not being so kind to everyone who has the courage of taking the stage, and Rachel gets hit hard when she finally stumbles upon the negative reviews. In fact, she starts to read so many, she crumbles into a ball of empty feelings, leaving her friends to try and pick up the pieces. They shower her with gifts, pep talks, massages – but nothing works.
That’s when it’s time to call in the big guns – cue Santana Lopez. Sure, she may have once called Rachel a” Pippi Longstocking, but like, Israeli,” but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have mad respect for her. And it is she who gets Rachel out of bed and back in action, by reminding her that once upon a time, critics weren’t too favorable of another immense star who had this role – Barbra Streisand. (FYI – Kurt/Tina forging the note from Streisand was perhaps the funniest moment of the whole episode!)
A Great Big Clump Of Talent
Finally, the curtain rises on Rachel’s big night and right from the get-go, it’s clear she is killing it out there. She even manages to keep her cool (and use some of the fury) when she notices Sue Sylvester walking out of the theater during her opening number. Rude!
At intermission, her producer gives her the least peppy pep talk of all time about nailing the second act, but he really didn’t have to say a word. The final song, “Who Are You Now?”, transports Rachel emotionally to the deepest part of her soul, the place where she’s stilling morning the loss of Finn. In the front row, a seat sits empty for him; around her neck, his name glistens in the Broadway lights; and as she reaches for the most powerful note in the song, she closes her eyes, and Finn is there, smiling back at her, smiling back at all of us. She cried, you cried, we cried – heartstrings everywhere were pulled, plucked and permanently destroyed.
But the moment saves the show and the next morning (following a night of partying at a gay club with not nearly enough shirtless men), Rachel reads her NYT Review. They deem her sensational, every word on the page is glowing, and thus, as they say, a star is born!
Guess It's Not Funny.. For Sue, Anyway
At the beginning of the episode, Sue Sylvester had a hatred for NYC that could only rival her disdain for curly-haired, butt-chinned men who ran Glee Clubs. But Sue still seized the opportunity to join Will on his trip to the Big Apple to see Rachel perform in her first Broadway show. Unfortunately for her, she's ditched by Will before the curtain even goes up as he rushes home to see the birth of his baby! (More on that in a minute…) So, Sue decides to follow suit and leave the show after only watching five minutes, a plan shared by a handsome stranger sitting just a few rows away from her. They meet in the lobby … and another NYC love story unfolds. Her love/restauranteur named Mario shows her the town, feeds her an authentic NY meal and they make love all over Rachel & Kurt's apartment.
But in the end, Sue leaves NYC and her new man behind, knowing in her heart, she's a Lima Lady forever. Still, they'll always have gnocchi!
A Bundle Of Glee
Emma and Will had their baby… and they named him Daniel Finn Schuester.
And the world is a little brighter all over!
[Image via FOX.]