Glee S5 Ep17 – “Opening Night”

Welcome to Rachel's Nightmare - a McKinley Night of Neglect throwback!?

Welcome to Rachel’s Nightmare: a McKinley Night of Neglect throwback!?

It’s finally here! Funny Girl’s “Opening Night,” as Rachel Barbra Berry takes center stage in the role she was born to play! Glee has been teasing this moment since season 1 and we have arrived. Rachel will play Fanny Brice on Broadway – her golden moment, her dream, her…nightmare?

Because in what should be the most intensely exciting moment of her life, Rachel has taken to bed as the pressure – and Internet trolls – take their toll. But never fear! Her friends, local (Kurt, Blaine, Sam, Mercedes) and far away (Tina and Santana), are at her side, to rally and entertain and encourage. Beyond Rachel’s triumphant debut, this is an episode about friendship, and it’s really our most transitioning episode from high school to the adult world yet.

We open with Rachel asleep on the couch; Kurt wakes her and tells her it’s show time. Clearly, there’s some time to be spent in Ms. Berry’s psyche as Kurt is now the Funny Girl stage manager. Her bed, it seems, is in the middle of the stage… Goth!Tina stutters that she’s got Rachel’s costume – an empty hanger. Cheerio!Santana is about to do her make-up and points out the Emperor Wears No Clothes – and Rachel finds herself naked and spitting out a tooth. Someone get the dream dictionary!

In the audience, Rachel sits amongst BullyWhip!Karofsky and Jacob Ben Israel, who begs her to love him. Things are getting freaky! Producer!Sidney tells her (in a helium voice – what?) that the whole show is depending on her. Sue (in a deep voice) thinks she should be on stage. But Rachel is panicking – she can’t find her Finn necklace. Becky screams for her to get on with it!

This is not what you want to see past the floodlights.

This is not what you want to see past the floodlights.

Onstage – in knee socks, an animal sweater, and plaid mini – Rachel is backed up by a costumed band for The Cardigans’ “Lovefool,” being sung to a disinterested audience (Sue, Dave, Jacob, Sidney, and Becky) as Kurt gives her the thumbs-up off-stage. Rachel struggles to find her enthusiasm to sing and then she envisions Warbler!Blaine, Goth!Tina, Cheerio!Santana, BadSweater!Kurt, and Jock!Sam in the back and her smile appears. She sings to them and they sing back and all is going well – except Rachel sees a judging Rachel in the audience…

The dream ends with Becky Jackson chasing Rachel through a sea of red heart balloons and then being booed by everyone.  No really, get your dream dictionary. We have some work to do.

Side bar: Losing a tooth in a dream is a symbol of anxiety and being naked in public means you’re afraid of being ridiculed. No word on what Dave Karofsky in a beret means…

Rachel wakes up in a panic. What a mess!

As he makes tea, Kurt assures Rachel that all her reviews were wonderful during the out-of-town previews – critics loved her! But apparently Rachel has been reading blogs and comments from some not-so-impressed anonymouses, who are now representing all her anxiety and horror every time she closes her eyes. Actors are bottomless cups that need to be filled with love – these people are doing the opposite.

So Kurt collects her phone and bans her from the Internet. No blogs, no Twitter, no nothing. He’s dealing her a Bushwick Loft of No Trolls – a love bubble and positive reinforcement and happy thoughts until opening night. People who love her will fill her cup as many times as she needs it.

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