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Rachel is having a nightmare about opening night. Her nerves and anxiety get the best of her in a dream where she winds up naked, loses a tooth, gets chased around stage, and is heckled by Sue, Becky, Santana, Karofsky and Jacob Ben-Israel. Then she’s high school Rachel singing “Lovefool” onstage. She also can’t sing, and wakes up in a cold sweat.
She talks to Kurt and admits to reading bad reviews, and to help calm her down, he insists she unplug until after opening night — no phone, no internet, nothing. They’re going to fill the loft with positivity, love and affirmations.
Back in Ohio, Schu has an extra ticket to New York for Rachel’s opening night. Emma can’t go because she’s too pregnant, and Beiste can’t fly on the airline because she requires multiple seats. So Sue will be going with him because she did a Sue’s Corner segment about how much she hates New York — and no she needs to actually go there so she doesn’t risk ruining her credibility. Schu and Sue sing “NYC,” and the action segues back to New York — and Tina has also arrived in town for opening night. She tries being supportive but she’s Tina — and she doesn’t always say the right things.
After breaking Kurt’s rules and reading every negative review and comment made about her in a one-hour time period, her confidence is completely shaken and she is refusing to go on. The gang tries to cheer her up, but they all fail. Matters are not helped when Sue arrives at the apartment and says Rachel will choke, and says she’s staying there too.
Ironically, the only person who can help Rachel is Santana — and she does it well. She reads her the negative comments that were written about Barbra Streisand back when she opened the show, and shows that even the legend had her detractors. She says Rachel will be fine if she’s herself and believes in her ability — she sucks at a lot of things, but this isn’t one of them. Her words are the ones Rachel needed.
Now it’s finally opening night. Sue is trying to scalp her ticket outside the theater when she sees another scalper who she finds attractive, and eventually follows into the theater. Meanwhile, Schu arrives at Rachel’s dressing room and they talk, and Rachel admits she got Finn a seat in the theater and talks about how the love song in the show will be the hardest to get through. As Schu reminds her how great she will be, he gets a very surprising phone call from Emma — she’s in labor! And he is back to Ohio.
Rachel opens the show with “I’m the Greatest Star,” which isn’t impressive to Sue, who crawls over the critic from the New York Times to leave. While entering the lobby, she runs into her fellow scalper — his name is Mario, and he’s a restaurateur. He asks her on a date and she accepts.
Rachel has had a great Act I and just needs to do a great job in Act II. However, the pressure mounts again when she’s reminded that opening night is also closing night if the New York Times gives her a bad review.
Sue is on her date, and it’s love. She and Rachel both sing “Who Are You Now?” — Sue is thinking about Mario while Rachel continues thinking about Finn, and even sees him in her mind. The emotion and tears it brings to her performance leave not even a dry eye in the house.
After the show, she has a night to kill before the reviews come out, so she and the gang head to a gay club in Greenwich Village. Even if the critics hate her, the club is full of fans, and they all party while Rachel, Mercedes and Santana sing “Pumpin’ Blood.”
Back at the apartment, they are all shocked to find Sue and Mario — who had sex all over the apartment. But when Sue says a trademark awful comment, Rachel finally, after too many years of taking crap from Sue, stands up for herself and kicks Sue out of the apartment.
Finally, the reviews are in... and Rachel is a success! Schu then calls and says Emma had the baby. It’s a boy! And his name will be Daniel Finn Schuster. And both Rachel and Schu’s lives are finally content, happy, and things have mostly come full circle.
Though Sue has fallen hard for Mario, she can’t stay in New York — she’s a Lima girl at heart. So the relationship ends. And when Sue goes back to Lima she does a new segment — she stands by her comments about New York except for one. She loves New York.