BUSHWICK, NEW YORK
It should come as a surprise to no one that Rachel Berry has installed a Babs-cave in her loft and filled it with all sorts of Streisand artifacts like playbills and records and framed photos of Barbra’s former lovers and used toothbrushes and empty cookie wrappers. It is time for her Funny Girl audition and she’s starting to panic. Frankly, she doesn’t think a “Jew from Ohio” stands a chance, but then she hallucinates a memory of little Rachel, and instead of marrying herself like Schue would do, she remembers the feeling of watching Streisand perform for the first time and summons the courage to do the damn thing.
She goes to NYADA to rehearse and she finds Idina Menzel waiting for her. Shelby taking a lunch break from her day job of running the Fame Institute for Toddlers to offer some words of encouragement and advice to her eldest daughter. Words such as: “You’re beautiful and talented, but honey, don’t do Barbara at your audition. There’s only Barbara and it’s Barbara.” She suggests they team up for a duet on Emeli Sande’s “Next to Me,” just to warm up Rachel’s vocal chords and make her guest appearance worthwhile. And, as always, Lea and Idina’s voices together sound like the most favored angels from God’s own choir.
Rachel retires to her Bushwick abode and calls Finn so he can tell her her business. It’s not quite as annoying as it usually is because at least she’s soliciting his advice this time instead of having it thrust upon her like some impotent damsel. And anyway, it’s not that weird to call up your ex for a little bit of encouragement every now and then, is it? To reach out when you’re feeling most vulnerable? To thank him for flying to New York without your permission or request to beat the shit out of your secret gigolo boyfriend? Whoops, went once sentence too far and talked myself back into hating it. Finn doesn’t tell Rachel what song to sing, but he does tell her to get back to her star-powered roots.
Her audition is such a pilot flashback. “Hi, I’m Rachel Berry and I’ll be singing a classic.” And the classic is “Don’t Stop Believin’.” Halfway through the song, her brain teleports Kurt and Mercedes and Tina and Finn and Artie right onto the stage with her, wearing exactly what they were wearing the first time they sang this song together, back when we all cried freely and not begrudgingly at this show. It’s very sweet. If the ending was just a little bit different, it could have been a wonderful series finale. (Also, though, I can’t believe they brought back Amber Riley for this episode and only let her do this!) After the audition, one of the judges is like, “You sort of went to a different place in the middle of the song. What were you thinking about?” Rachel smiles wistfully, says, “The good ol’ days, when no one had to get drunk to make it through a 42-minute episode of this show.”
Rachel goes home to wait for her callback. She waits. And waits, and waits, and waits. Luckily, Kurt is there to look hot as all get-out and bake cookies and be her best gay. I told you guys this was going to happen. Remember back when SJP joined this show? I told you she was going to Stanford Blatch Kurt. I told you she was going to bring the Sex and the City curse with her and Kurt was going to be dark-side hexed into Rachel’s sexless, fashionable man-servant. But ha, SJP! Ha ha ha! The joke’s on you because even your boner-killing gay-accessorizing cannot squash the perfectness of Kurt Hummel! Even with only two lines of dialogue and one very amazing moment of stress eating a cookie like a chipmunk strung out on Ritalin he is the best one.
Seriously, though, I do not understand why this show is withholding Kurt and Santana from us. I know Chris Colfer wrote and directed and produced and edited and acted in a movie and wrote a novel and went on a book tour, and so he needed a little more freedom in his schedule, but surely he had enough time/energy to do more than bake some cookies every third episode. And there’s no reason Naya Rivera keeps getting sidelined either. I mean, they’re kind of the best things about this show. Everyone worships them because they’re heaven. And it’s like the more disgruntled we get, the more the show withholds them. It’s maddening! And infuriating! And it’s why all my whiskey is almost all gone!
Anyway, Rachel gets her callback, and so she and Kurt embrace and squeal and jump around.
Next week, with only three episodes left, Glee tries to figure out what the hell kind of direction they’re going in with season four. Blaine attends Sue’s new jazzercise class. Marley writes a song about how it’d be good good / if you would / and you could / yes, you should / buy baked goods. Sam spawns a third, gay personality. Santana starts her job at Coyote Ugly. And somebody is gearing up to ask somebody else to be his husband.
A big thanks to Lindsay (@scenicpenguin) for staying up all night to screencap this thing!