Glee Recap: 'Tonight, You Are a Star'

glee-recap-opening-night-blogRachel’s big Broadway debut finally arrived in Tuesday’s Glee, bringing several familiar faces along for the ride — including one determined to feed Rachel’s self-doubt until she collapsed under pressure.

RELATED | Glee First Look: Shirley MacLaine’s Lunch Date With Blaine! Plus — Rachel Berry, TV Star?

Kurt called for an immediate halt to all things internet, transforming the loft into a “love bubble” where nothing could shatter Rachel’s fragile ego. Unfortunately, that bubble proved less-than-impenetrable when Tina arrived and word-vommitted all over her. An unlikely last resort, Santana returned — fresh off her lesbian world tour with Brittany — to rescue Rachel from her funk with a surprisingly touching speech. “You and I only have two speeds,” Santana told her, “Awesome or Not at All.”

Over in Lima… When her bosses at the news station discovered that she’d never actually been to New York City — despite her fervent trashing of the “rat-infested” dump — Sue convinced Will to give her his extra ticket. Though Will’s trip was cut short by a frantic phone call from Emma (her water broke!), Sue remained in the Big Apple, where she fell head over heels for a restauranteur named Mario.

Rachel ended up blowing the roof off the theater with her performance, and where does a Broadway star go to let off steam after making her mark on the Great White Way? Why, Blaine’s favorite little “spot” (read: gay club) in the West Village! All snark aside, it was really nice watching the gleeks partying together, genuinely loving life and forgetting about all the drama in their lives (of which there has been plenty this season).

RELATED | Glee Boss Ryan Murphy Reveals Game Plan for ‘Satisfying’ Final Season (Who’ll Be Back?!); Plus — Inside the ‘Painful’ Rachel Romance Debate

Their celebrations continued the next morning when — after kicking Sue to the curb, literally, with a long-overdue speech — Rachel read the New York Times’ review of her show. Words like “talent” and “supernova” abounded, wiping away any of Rachel’s doubts about her future on Broadway.

This week’s episode was also full of heart-blasting Finn references, including Rachel saving a seat for the late, great Mr. Hudson on opening night, and Will giving his son(!) Daniel the middle name “Finn.” Overall, I’d say that — just as Rachel rediscovered herself in time for opening night — Glee has really found itself since shifting full-time to New York. Everything about this episode, from the writing to the emotions to the pay-offs, felt genuine.

Like, Season 1-level genuine.

And now, let’s play the Rating Game…
Rachel: “Lovefool” — Rating: A-
Sue and Will: “NYC” — Rating: B-
Rachel: “I’m the Greatest Star” — Rating: A
Rachel and Sue: “Who Are You Now?” — Rating: A
Rachel, Santana and Mercedes: “Pumpin Blood” — Rating: A-

What was your favorite song from this week’s Glee? Cast your vote below, browse pics from “Opening Night,” then drop a comment with your thoughts on the episode.

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92 Comments
  1. Gunny says:

    Great show. Even with the shortened songs for Rachel, this episode had everything I wanted. Pezberry is back and they make such fun friends i hope they keep it this way. Tina – great. The best part was Rachel being the star. I’m so happy Ryan resisted the opportunity to make her look like a failure. It was so cool to see them all so supportive of Rachel and each other. Rachel’s rant to Sue – perfect.

    • Gunny says:

      Lea really shined tonight, but I thought all the cast members were at the top of their game. Great comedy – face expressions, tone, etc. was all there from the cast I first loved because of their respective talents. However, I thought Lea was especially brilliant tonight. I really wish the writers would understand that friends supporting friends can be entertaining – stop the fighting.

  2. Tiggs1978 says:

    Pretty sure the “never read the comments” statement that Kurt made about reviewers was aimed at this site right here…the hate on this page’s comments is always astonishing.

    • Andy Swift says:

      Haha, I was just thinking that as I scrolled down to read your comment ;) Hopefully they’ll be more positive this week. So many good things to say about the episode!

    • Angela says:

      Haha, I was thinking about a few comments I’ve read on here during that scene, too. And frankly, to those who think “criticism=personal insults”, I hope the message came through loud and clear. Whether it’ll change their attitudes or not, I don’t know (doubt it), but still…definitely something they needed to hear.

  3. So, Rachel’s dad don’t make it to opening act.

  4. J. Carr says:

    So here two gay dads — who gave her the middle name BARBRA — weren’t there for her opening night??

  5. greg says:

    Best episode in a long time, it was refreshing to see them all get along instead of having random bouts of insanity on each other.

  6. Debra says:

    Tonight’s episode showed me where the focus of the past two seasons should have been. Cory was the only thing that I missed about tonight’s episode but all of the mentions of Finn made me want to cry as times as I watched the show.

    • cc says:

      This episode made me cry, with Rachel wearing the Finn necklace,saving a seat for Finn and seeing Finn when she was singing. Also Daniel Finn Schuester. bravo

      • karenb says:

        I know. I gasp every time there’s a flash of Finn. I thought for sure that Will would name his baby Finn, but I now agree that having it for the middle name was more appropriate.

        On a lighter note-I thought the gay bar scene was hysterical!

        Oh-and can we give. It. Up. For Lea Michele/Rachel Berry/Fannie Brice?! What a voice!

      • Angela says:

        That moment where it showed her thinking of Finn during “Who Are You Now?” definitely got to me. No question.
        I have to give props to the camera crew for the scene where Rachel’s descending the stairs and heading out onto the stage. The tension was so perfect there, I felt almost as nervous as she did! And I don’t care how “cliché” it might be to some people that her first night goes off to perfection. She earned that moment and I’m glad she had a good night in this episode :). I liked seeing her so happy.

        • abz says:

          I agree. I was so happy they didn’t go the route that I think may have probably been even more predictable of having her receive poor reviews and then she’d mope around and need to pick herself back up. I was just so happy she got it. It felt like finally seeing her evolution come full circle. Watching her from the start of the show. Broadway was her dream. It dominated almost her every thought and passion and we got to see it all finally happen. Her dreams came true. She definitely earned it. The only thing that could have made everything all the more better would have been if Finn was still alive to see it and if Sue was never there.

  7. theschnauzers says:

    The only thing I was surprised by was that none of the gang in NYC reacted to Will and Emma giving their son Daniel , the middle name of “Finn.”

    The other thing we learned is that we now know that Shue stayed in Lima for the following school year.

  8. The Greatest Star says:

    This episode was amazing! Lea Michele killed every scene and nailed every emotion and performance! Why don’t the show runners realize this IS who they should be focusing on? This was the best written and acted episode since The Quarterback and better then anything they did is all of season 4. The talent gap between Lea and everyone else is startling!

    • Mena says:

      This is the episode I have waited for for 5 years. Thank you Glee. A big hole was felt in it but the references to Finn were wonderfully done. Loved that Will and Emma named their son Finn as a middle name. He had a seat reserved just for him.

  9. The Greatest Star says:

    I cried through most of this episode. The Finn mentions just broke my heart. The emotion from Rachel just killed me! This episode made me realize what a waste all of S4 the Newbies and the Blam overload was. This episode was about REAL TALENT delivered perfectly by Lea as Rachel. She made me laugh, cry and feel every emotion she felt. Here’s hoping the rest of S5 keeps the focus on Rachel all they way through S6.

    • mary says:

      I couldn´t agree more. Lea´s portrait of Rachel Berry is the reason I felt in love with Glee back in Season 1. I missed her and Finn in season 4 and that was a HUGE waste of time and talent. Last night episode was delivered with so much greatness. All Lea´s emotions and Finn mentions where right on point and felt organic. Loved what they did with Finn under the circunstances. Lea is the big star on Glee and the one who made that show relevant. Great actress and singer. BRAVO!

  10. Maiz says:

    Tina was unexpectedly hilarious. Santana’s pidgeon in face entrance was great, as was her speech. Rachel was great of course, endearing and obnoxious and funny and sad and everything else I love about her. Sue was… totally unnecessary and threatened to undercut an otherwise strong episode.

    • Alice says:

      I didn’t want to be the one to say it first, but I agree. I was worried they were going to give her even more time. This was opening night with all the friends having fun and being supportive and they choose to feature the negativity of Sue in a really unlikely storyline. I love Jane Lynch, but I grew tired of Sue.

      • Olivia says:

        Maybe it was necessary for them to make Sue have some reason to go back to NYC. And also to build up the tension and make Rachel go all out on her after she got her first big success? At least that’s how I saw it personally.

      • Ava says:

        I agree. Loved this episode and everyone from Lea on down killed it. I loved the finale song but was diappointed Sue was involved. It was Rachel’s moment, one to remember Finn with the flash of him smiling at her. Sue shouldn’t have been a part of that in IMHO.

    • Angela says:

      Tina and Santana were fun. And I liked Rachel’s rant when Kurt tried to give her that fake note of support from Barbara.

    • Andy Swift says:

      I agree about Sue, for the most part. While I didn’t find her completely unnecessary, I did think they spent WAY too much time on her story. Small doses please!

  11. judi says:

    Loved the episode except for the subplot of Sue and Mario.

  12. The Greatest Star says:

    I

  13. Tommy says:

    That was one of the best episodes of Glee ever! Finn was so missed but so present. Loved Tina’s return, didn’t realize how much I missed Sue and Santana killed it with her entrance. Can every episode of Glee have Rachel singing 4 songs? Not enough words to say how great Lea was as Rachel. She was brilliant!

  14. Larry says:

    Yet another review touting the virtues of NY -no bias there. Especially after badmouthing everything else for the past 2 years. Really glad that this Funny Girl story is wrapping up. It’s been going on way too long. Just sticking around to see what is happening next season. Getting really bored with the show as it is now.

    • S. says:

      Bias toward the better storyline? I should hope so. No idea what they’re planning for NYC, but I’m annoyed about the backtracking from moving it there.

    • don says:

      Ha jsut like most things NY they skipped over most of Funny Girl. It should have had more focus and Rachel have some struggle there. But no they spent way to much time on that dumb extended school year.

  15. Carlos Alvarez says:

    Lea Michele killed it in this episode. She was so perfect. The references to Finn :( Loved Santana and Tina returning. Sue was hilarious. Loved the number at the gay club. Awesome episode

  16. Jan bruce says:

    I really enjoyed Jane Lynch tonight – she sang very well and for once wasn’t a complete bitch. I liked that she had a romance and paved the way for her to show up in NYC next season from time to time.

    • TJM says:

      I didn’t know she could sing that well! I was surprised at how much I liked that duet. I just loved this episode.

      • Angela says:

        Yeah, I wasn’t really big on the romantic subplot with her (though there were a few good moments-her slow dancing with Mario, everyone freaking out when Sue and Mario wandered out of the bedroom the next morning, and their goodbye scene)…but I am all for Sue getting a few more musical moments here and there whenever she shows up in an episode. That was rather nice to see.
        (Also, the moment when she started singing some of “Who Are You Now?” and she was briefly in the black outfit Rachel was wearing and the spotlight was on her? She looked lovely.)

    • JoMarch says:

      She wasn’t a total bitch? I disagree. She was horrible in walking out on the performance and she trashed Rachel and the others. She was only a little pleasant because when she was getting some action.

  17. Angie says:

    Loved this episode best episode overall in a long time Lea Michele killed this episode she took us on the wide varity of emotions Rachel was feeling the whole episode and made the us feel them all. Loved loved the Finn mentions they were very well done and organic and is how they should be done from here on out. the only thing was maybe a bit too much sue in the end particularly the last few minutes the episode was about Rachel if should of ended with her maybe a private moment with her thanking Finn for all his support and how he always believed in her or just her celebrating with friends even over sue sppeach but over all loved this episode like everyone else it makes me upset and bitter because episodes like these are the kind we should of had since last season instead of the crap we got

    • Tami says:

      I couldn’t agree more! Lea killed it! Beautiful Finn mentions that wish we had gotten more of throughout the season. I especially agree about the crap we got last season. This episode along with the other NY episodes just make S4 all the more meaningless and such a waste of time! They could have done this last season with Finn included. Season 4 was such a huge waste of talent!

  18. Colleen says:

    And Dr Spaceman!! All the Finn mentions made me so sad.

  19. abz says:

    It was definitely one of the better episodes this season. I really enjoyed. I loved I’m the Greatest Star.
    The biggest I have to complain about is Sue. I think Sue’s entire presence in the episode was just stupid and unnecessary. I couldn’t have cared less what was up with her. This was Rachel’s episode. I would much rather have seen them bring back Shelby/Idina for Rachel’s opening night than Sue. Rachel could have had a lovely moment with Shelby and it would have been nice of them to keep that promise of her being there for Rachel’s first show.

    • origo says:

      idini menzel is busy right now doing broadway show, while jeff goldblum is probably doing movie. it made me think that all the guest stars starring rachel’s family, while all of it are great casting, nowadays their names are too big to make occasional appearance on glee

      • abz says:

        Yeah, I figured they’re all probably we’re busy, but seriously ANYBODY would have been better than having Sue in the episode. Shelby, her dads, Finn’s parents, Jessie St. James, even Cassandra July, or Madame Tibideaux. Sue’s entire storyline felt out of place with the episode and felt like it could have been done in a different random episode. The only good thing that came out of it was Rachel finally telling Sue off, but even that didn’t make up for the fact that I was hating Sue’s presence the entire episode. Aside from Sue’s parts, I thought it was a very good episode.

        • Carrie says:

          The writers could still make that happen. Now that the show will go on, let’s hope all, or at least some of the folks you mentioned, get their tickets and come show Rachel their love. Plenty more funny girl songs more future episodes.

          • abz says:

            At this point, I’d even be fine with a mention or a pretend phone call as I know these actors are pretty big and all busy. It’s just a little ridiculous how not even her parents were there and not really a mention of them.
            And yeah I hope there’s a little bit more Funny Girl left in Glee. I wouldn’t mind seeing her keep up with the shows and seeing whether or not the show continues to stay successful. Although, I’m kind of skeptical because the next episode is about her audition for a TV pilot I believe which I won’t judge until I’ve seen the episode, but it will probably leave me a little disappointed if after a successful opening night, they just abandon Funny Girl altogether.

        • Gunny says:

          In the beginning of Glee, Sue would blast them but then defend them to outsiders – Season One. I kept thinking that might happen again when Mario was dissing Rachel but Sue continued. I felt the script was too harsh, even for Glee. Often Glee would have a beautiful moment and then quickly move to something stupid. My best example was when Finn sang to Santana which was immediately followed up with the chicken choices given to the coach. Another one was the duet with Idina followed by another song and dance with Will and NPH. It was like a school – you’re in math, bell rings, you forget math and go to English, etc. That final song should not have included Sue. Jane is a lovely person and has a nice voice, but this seemed really inappropriate.

  20. AdamJ says:

    Rachel’s a star!!! Glad the writers went this way, now what are they going to do with Kurt. He has talent, he has the same dreams, but what role is going to make Mr. Hummel a success?
    Perhaps a TV commercial like Santana? Radio segment? Fashion show? Or maybe Artie will film a song by him and Blaine and place it on the internet….but the time for Mr. Hummel to succeed must be coming soon.
    Daniel Finn Schuester…nice touch.

    • Gunny says:

      Maybe this will be the thing that will help Kurt decide upon what he really wants to do. He hasn’t even tried out for a show. Is it fashion, a band, Broadway? A lot of people change their minds from high school. I think Santana probably blew her NYC opportunities by dropping the contract of commercials and quitting FG. She’ll need to go to LA with Mercedes, where apparently they’ll be doing lot of filming next season. I’m not upset about that as long as the right people go to LA.

  21. jr. says:

    Rachel’s performance was great. But the sets, choreograpy, staging, did not seem up to par
    ( even a little disappointing ) for a Broadway show.

    • Gazy says:

      The show has treated the whole endeavor in a very slapdash manner for how much this moment was supposed to mean to Rachel’s story so I wasn’t even surprised by how cheap it looked. Luckily, Lea Michele’s performance made up for it, but it was pretty disappointing indeed.

    • don says:

      Was there staging?

  22. Et al. says:

    I missed the episode! Is NYC the one from Annie? I love that song and I never understood why it was cut from the movie.

  23. Blake Mathews says:

    These Glee recaps are weak, love you Andy but they skip over too much. The opening dream sequence warranted at least a mention. :/

    • origo says:

      sadly i agree with you. i miss the best zingers section. i love andy and i appreciate your recap but when i’m watching the episode there were several great zingers tonight and i though these must be included in the recap this week, then i remembered slezak no longer reviewing glee episode.

  24. joncuriel says:

    I agree, this episode was great, it felt genuine and like a big Glee payoff, it also showed that Tina works with the current cast and she can easily get a storyline that transports her to NY.

  25. Jess says:

    Tonight felt like old Glee. And felt like so much payoff for us rooting for Rachel since the pilot. All the mentions of Finn made me cry, but it made the episode feel much more whole. Also, did anyone else pick up that Will and Emma sang Danny’s Song together about getting pregnant and then named their son Daniel? Thought that was cute.

  26. Jen says:

    I didn’t care for the Sue side Story at all!

  27. Susan says:

    rip Cory. your beautiful pal made you proud!! what is so so sad you are.not here. i wonder if Cory knew how much his glee family loved him. to me it’s so apparen how hard it really is for all of them. they lovingly remember him with such touching tidbits of him. lea Michele is a trooper and i commend her professionalism. i can’t imagine her insides while filming. i only knew him as finn and still choke up. bravo !!

  28. Lon says:

    While I liked the episode overall it still could have been way better. . Thye really should not have fast tracked Rachel’s career. Rachel’s Opening Night should have been the series finale.

  29. Scott says:

    I think what the episode was trying to do in a rather round about way was make both Rachel Berry and Sue Sylvester “Funny Girl”. Rachel was starring in it..Sue was being it. Maybe I’m wrong about this but it does explain why we had so much of Sue.

    • Angela says:

      Makes perfect sense to me, I’d say :). I can appreciate the Sue story a little more looking at it that way.

  30. Olivia says:

    Well well well. What a surprise.
    After reading some tweets and comments here, I decided to give this one a shot and I don’t regret it one bit.
    Tina was hilarious, Blam was not all over my screen and dare I say it… I enjoyed seeing them as background characters :O
    Rachel killed it. Santana was awesome, and I thought that Sue and Will in NYC would feel out of place but they didn’t. Some quotes and reaction shots were awesomely hilarious, and although they went the meta route again I’m not even mad because, well, it’s true lol (although they still deserve the critics they get IMO).
    Even if it was like 10 seconds it was great to see Karosfky again. The gay club scene was crazy and funny, and I’m (happily) SHOCKED that RIB didn’t make Rachel choke or have awful reviews on her opening night. Also nice that Wemma’s son has Finn as a middle name. First name would have been too much I think.
    It felt adult, like a comedy again and not in a forced, stupid and trying too hard to be funny way. I wish Brittany, Quinn, Puck and Artie were there too but oh well. I liked this episode a lot.
    Ok, I need to ask… what dimension did I travel to?

  31. KC says:

    What a great episode! Lea did a fantastic job. I love the songs – Pumpin’ Blood was my favorite. Such a fun song and I wanted to be there! This also reinforces my belief that Tina does NOT belong in NY – she was just so out of place, awkward and weird. Also, Sue – please stay in LIma.

  32. James says:

    Great episode. I expected nothing less of Lea. I agree with everyone that the episode truly defined who GLEE was about, celebrated all the people that were there and missed all the people that weren’t. I hoped for the Finn shot and wasn’t disappointed. I did take the episode as the final farewell of Sue Sylvester. When she walked out on Rachel’s performance, it was the defining moment of who she is and the time in these peoples’ lives is officially over; as for the rest of her in the episode, I though Ryan Murphy and the producers were really struggling with a duality there; their love to hate Sue and their love for the talent and the actress, Jane Lynch. Brava, Jane. Brava GLEE, but, most of all, BRAVA LEA!

  33. dcl33 says:

    This episode was shockingly really good. Not gonna lie, they overdid Sue a bit but oh well. How awesome was Naya in this episode?! That scene with Santana and the pigeon was epic. Where are all the Santana haters now, the ones who claim that she is a bad friend and a horrible person? No one can bring Rachel out of funk like Santana can! And I will get hate for this but I really dont care about it. I think they are milking Cory’s death too much. I didnt care much for Finn, he was a tool, but Cory played him so well. And its sad that he passed away, but its also sad that they cant just let it go. Yeah yeah I get it, this is Rachels dream come true, and she wanted Finn to be there but all those flash backs and constant mentioning of him is just revolting to a point.

    • Aries says:

      Revolting? Uncalled for comment….

    • mary says:

      Well, you said it clearly, “You didn´t care much for Finn”. Of course you didn´t get it

    • Axel says:

      I am not a a Finchel fan… but strangely… I still miss Finn… even though I do not really care about him either… but he did significantly touch the lives of 2 of my favorite characters, Rachel and Kurt…

  34. igo says:

    Wow. Never seen a glee recap on tvline filled with more 90% positive comments. But I understand why people really enjoyed the episode, this week we focus on the original lead actor of the show, achieving her dreams and while I think some parts of the episode should have been done better, I still enjoyed and like the episode more than most of the episodes since season 4. Wonderful job of Lea Michele, Jane Lynch and all the casts that showed up last night

  35. Tracy says:

    Thrilled that Rachel’s premiere went so well! Loved that she bought Finn a seat and she thought about him while she was singing! Hated all the Sue scenes! It feels forced and pointless to have Sue in NYC! Wish we could have seen more of Schue and wish Burt, Carol, Shelby and Rachel’s dads could have attended! I know that Idina is doing a new show on Broadway so I didn’t think she’d be available but the others would have been nice to see. Glee should have cast lesser know actors as Rachel’s dads – that way we’d have been able to see them more! Glad we got to see Tina and so happy Rachel is a star!

    • Martoukian says:

      Love that you use so many exclamation points!! And that you hardly ever have subjects in your sentences!!

  36. Tracy says:

    One last thing, please don’t have Jane Lynch sing with Lea Michele! Jane can’t sing and putting her next to a major talent like Lea only highlights that fact!

    • wmjindsm says:

      Jane Lynch has been on Broadway, off Broadway. Going to be performing concerts in NY this summer. She sings fine. Jane Lynch is a major talent.

    • Martoukian says:

      Jane Lynch can sing fine, but her style doesn’t really fit with Lea Michele. Lea is a pretty traditional “Broadway belter,” but Jane Lynch’s voice is smaller and more intimate.

  37. Amazing.
    Rachel was incredible.
    Too much Sue.

    A+ songs (the Rachel ones).

  38. Mike says:

    I, for one, was not as enchanted with this episode as everyone else seems to be, especially since there is talk of a Funny Girl revival on Broadway with Lea. First, I thought they used the wrong song to have her think of Finn. It should have been “The Music That Makes Me Dance.” “Who Are You Now” is wrong from a lyric perspective to generate a memory of Finn. Second, Ryan Murphy has got to know how many Barbra fans know “Funny Girl” inside out and we all know the opening line to the play is “Hello, Gorgeous,” not “I’m The Greatest Star.” They could have used less of predictable Sue and more of “Funny Girl.” In fact, with so m any rooting for Lea, it was almost annoying to hear Sue bitch and see her actions. And why pull Will away so he couldn’t witness her opening night. Couldn’t the birth of his baby have waited until after the play and have him cut out of the celebration? And where was Artie? budget cuts? Her parents? Sorry, too many missed opportunities. This was not a homeroom; it was more of a man…er…woman on second (Avenue, that is — Barbra fans know what I’m talking about!)

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