(FOX)It's finally here, Gleeks! The opening night of Funny Girl and Rachel's big Broadway debut. Will she bring down the house or turn into a chokeBerry before the audience's very eyes? Let's tune in and see!
What now? Previews in Syracuse (shout out to Syracuse Stage!) went well, but Rachel's freaking out with full-on night terrors over all those nasty Internet commenters and tweeters who are tearing her down. Salvation comes from the most unlikely of places: a pep talk from Santana. She points out that the great Barbra got crucified too and never let it get her down. So Rach pulls up her big girl panties and hits the stage. And she's legitimately great. Funny with presence and great voice. She's rattled when Sue leaves, stepping over the New York Times' critic, and the producer tells Rachel she's great but Sue spooked the critic and she has to make sure she does even better in Act 2 because that review will make or break them. NO PRESSURE THOUGH! But don't you worry: Berry's got this one — she just thinks of Finn when she does her eleventh-hour showstopper and it's moving and lovely. She inexplicably blows off the cast party to go to a gay club with her friends — where they give her the star treatment anyway because they've "been tracking Funny Girl for weeks." Her perfect night continues when she finally unloads on the worst houseguest ever Sue about what a terrible person she's always been, all Santana-style, and gets a round of applause from the whole gang. The capper? She gets a huge rave from the Times saying that she's a BIG OLE STAH.
Song-and-dance numbers: "Lovefool" by the Cardigans is apparently the stuff of Rachel's nightmares. "I'm the Greatest Star" and "Who Are You Now?" from Funny Girl. Rachel takes lead again with a few choral assists from Mercedes and Santana on NoNoNo's "Pumpin Blood" at the club.
How Offensive is It? This must be the cheapest broadway musical ever produced. The stage design looks like....a McKinley concert. And come on, like Rachel wouldn't be all over that cast party? But other than that...it's pretty great. It's really sort of wonderful to see the payoff of Rachel's Broadway dreams coming true, and yet, the fact that it's happening now, when the love of her life is no longer around to see it, adds a bittersweet poignancy that prevents it from getting too schmaltzy.
My Kind of Town
What Now? Sue bullies Will into letting her take very-preggo-Emma's plane ticket to New York if she'll agree to go with him to opening night. Of course, she reneges on her word when they get to the theatre, but to her surprise, she falls in lust at first sight with a ticket taker in the lobby (SNL vet Chris Parnell inexplicably cast to play an Italian). They have a little meet-cute about the right way to call a New York taxi, and it turns out he's a Little Italy restaurateur. They make eyes and sweet love all over Rachel and Kurt's apartment. But Sue's not meant for New York. She likes being the big fish of Lima, Ohio, so they bid a fond farewell--with a lot of awkward PDA--and go their separate ways. But not before she thanks him for making her feel like a girl and he tells her the short girl from the play wasn't right--Sue is lovable. Meanwhile, Will and Rachel have a touching moment backstage (she bought a ticket for Finn. Awwww!) but he gets a fateful call and has to go back to Ohio because Emma's giving birth RIGHT NOW. We find out later that it's a boy, of course. Daniel Finn Schuster. He tells the gang that for the first time in his life he feels completely happy.
Song-and-dance numbers: Will & Sue sing a tribute to "N.Y.C." from the musical Annie, and Sue also dream duets with Rachel's show-stopping "Who Are You Now?" Jane Lynch sounds really fantastic, maybe the best she ever has on this show.
How Offensive Is It? For a storyline heavily featuring Sue? Surprisingly not so much. I think that's the last we'll see of these two for a while, and kudos, Glee, because it was a rather nice place to leave them.
Next week: Shirley Maclaine shows up. Yup, I'm not sure why either. Leave your best guesses in the comments!