Episode SummaryThe camera pans around the sights and sounds of New York City, before finally coming to rest on Rachel's smiling face. "I made it," she announces quite happily. Cue title card.The glee club is sitting on some stairs out in the open, talking about what they'd like to do. Finn reminds everyone that they still have to write their songs note . Kurt calls his brother out on being bossy and says that they still have time for a song now. The club starts singing "New York, New York," but Rachel walks up to them and announces that she got them tickets to Cats. Which is great and all, only, as Quinn points out, Cats closed eleven years ago. Rachel admits that the guy who sold her the tickets did seem rather odd. (He swiped her credit card through his butt crack. Ewwww. And in what kind of world does Rachel Berry not know that Cats isn't running?Elsewhere, Will checks New Directions into their hotel room and admits that they could only afford two rooms. The receptionist suggests he splits the group by sexual orientation, as that is what the other teams are doing. Speaking of (Vocal Adrenaline, that is), Finn asks Rachel how she and Jesse are coming along. She responds that she doesn't want any guys or anything else to distract her from getting that trophy. Will discovers Puck and Lauren trying to get drinks at the bar, and pulls them up one of their hotel rooms, where he effectively grounds them - no going outside until they have those songs written. He leaves them at the hotel room claiming to need to fill out paperwork at the theater, but then goes to the venue for April's "Crossrhodes" play instead, giving us a rendition of Matthew Morrison's newest single, "Still Got Tonight." One of the theater people comes up to him and says he's got talent.Hotel room, where Brittany and Artie are performing their original song, "My Cup" - which is, despite the various Innocent Innuendos and Double Entendres, is about a cup. Opinions vary from pure amusement (Santana) to apathy (Tina) to "what the hell is this" (Rachel, who is one to talk considering how well "My Headband" came along). Quinn says that being cooped up in this hotel room isn't doing them any favors, and suggests using New York City as inspiration. With persuasion, Rachel and Finn come along, and the club sings a mash-up of "New York, New York" and "I Love New York" while prancing around the city.Back at the hotel (Will evidently decided not to split the group by sexual orientation), Finn asks the guys on their opinion on a Rachel-Finn duet at Nationals. Mike says he doesn't really care as long as they win, and that Finn and Rachel are their best shot at that. Puck suggests he asks her out. Finn refuses, saying she's into Jesse, but Puck rebuts that by saying New York is the city of love. (Sam, with his mouth full of food: "I thought that was Paris." It's The City Of Light, bro, but it's that, too). In any case, Puck convinces Finn to ask Rachel out and they could have a date like those awful romantic comedies.Cut to the girls' room, where they are being less productive than the boys with their pillow fight. Rachel receives a text from Finn, telling her to meet him at Central Park.Later, we see Finn defying Rachel's wish of no distractions by seeing their date: he hands her flowers and says that they should write a duet for Nationals, but not without claiming that this is a work date. They eat dinner at Sardi's, where they spy Patti LuPone. Rachel freaks out and says that she should do it for Kurt, at least, and goes up to Ms. LuPone and says she's her idol. Patti thanks her and makes her promise that she'll never give up, wishes her good luck at Nationals, and leaves, but not without whispering Finn is cute. Later, they're walking the streets and Rachel jokes that all they need now is street singers to serenade them. And because this is Glee, that's exactly what happens, and the camera pans over to Mike, Sam, Puck, and Artie, who happen to be right next to them. The guys start serenading them with "Bella Notte." (Puck can play the accordion? Who knew?) Near the end of the song, Finn leans in to kiss Rachel, but she stops him, seemingly having reminded herself of her "no distractions" mantra, and leaves Finn alone presumably to walk back to the hotel. And the guys don't stop singing.Kurt wakes Rachel up the next morning, saying they're going to have breakfast at Tiffany's. Rachel admits that Kurt is the only one who understands her love for New York and tells him that she's going to come back once she's done with school. Kurt says he'll come with her (and bring Blaine along) and asks about Finn. Rachel says she isn't sure, and Kurt suggests to bring him along. Rachel is unsure, saying he's too much of a country boy. Kurt suddenly has an epiphany on how she can choose between love and work, and brings her to the Gershwin Theater (where Wicked is performed). They break in, and a grumpy security guard lets them have their fifteen minutes of fame. Rachel and Kurt sing "For Good" with each other, and hug. Rachel reaffirms that Broadway is her true love.Back at the hotel room, Santana and Brittany yell at Quinn for hogging the bathroom. Quinn tells them that she's planning to reveal that Kurt and Rachel have been sneaking off, which will get them suspended, meaning that New Directions can't compete. Santana calls her out on it, saying that she knows Quinn is upset about her breakup with Finn. Quinn protests that she can't help it, and Santana tells her that the only person she's sabotaging is herself. The Unholy Trinity sit down, and Quinn asks why they, the supposed popular pretty girls, are single and why their dreams can't come true and admits that she just wants somebody to love her. Santana suggests a haircut.Downstairs, Dustin Goolsby congratulates Will on his Broadway debut, and reveals that the news is on the Internet. They go out for drinks, and Goolsby tells him not to tell New Directions, as it will shake their confidence. Good point. Goolsby admits that he hates his kids, seeing as they represent everything he missed out on. Will admits he loves his kids for the exact same reason. He goes upstairs, and New Directions reveal that, of course, Goolsby told them about Will's plans, and that they're happy for him. Will makes up his mind that he's not going, as he already had his "glorious" moment onstage, and tells them to continue writing. Puck initiates a group hug.Nationals. We get a breakdown on how these things work: the top fifty show choirs in the nation compete for the first round, after which the top ten move on to the next. Will tells them he thinks they have a pretty good shot at winning, although how he can think that when they pulled the songs out of their asses I do not know. In any case, halfway through an all-girl show choir's performance of Usher's "Yeah," he sees Goolsby leaving. Will follows him. Dustin reveals he's buying shirts to send to every group Vocal Adrenaline beats. Will tells him not to send ND one, and he buys one to send to Goolsby when they win.Rachel walks into the bathroom to hear someone throwing up (she immediately assumes it's Santana), and it turns out to be Sunshine. Sunshine reveals she's got a case of Performance Anxiety and wants to stop singing. Rachel suspects that Sunshine's trying to get her to pity her so she won't be as hard on her during ND's performance, and Sunshine asks why she hates her so much. She admits that she tried out for glee club because it was rumored that that was where kids felt safe. She points out that everyone was safe except for her. Sunshine says that she's going to the Philippine Embassy to have her green card revoked and go back to the Philippines where Goolsby can't get her. Rachel admits that she was only ever mean to Sunshine because she was one of the few people who could match her vocally. She tells Sunshine that she has a gift Goolsby would kill for, encourages her, and gives her a hug. At the beginning of Vocal Adrenaline's performance of the original track "As Long As You're There," Sunshine sees Rachel in the crowd. The latter gives her a thumb's up.It's New Directions's turn, and backstage Finn and Rachel meet up. Finn asks her why she was so desperate to get back with him but now that he's practically begging at her feet for her to take her back (Flat "What.") she won't have him. Rachel admits that she does want him but doesn't want anything to distract her from her dream, and that she does love him but wants to put her dreams first. The curtain goes up and Finn and Rachel start singing their original-track duet "Pretending." Halfway through the song, Jesse arrives in the audience, and admits to Will that he couldn't stay away. (Will: "From the show, or for her?") At the end of the song, Finn and Rachel have a Held Gaze moment and proceed to kiss in front of the crowd. Jesse asks Will if that was scripted. Will says, "No." The rest of ND has their back to the audience, and are probably wondering why they aren't clapping as loud as they should be, even after Will's attempt to start applause. The crowd loves their second original song, though, which is an upbeat preppy number called "Light Up The World." At the end, the group hugs.Later as they wait for the results, Jesse comes up to Finn and Rachel (who are talking about the kiss) and tells them that it was unprofessional (which it kind of was). He says that the judges won't like it as it was too intense/vulgar and they could lose because of it. Finn starts raving about the kiss, calling it the Superman of kisses (it came with its own cape) and is about to go on when Kurt announces that the top ten results have been posted......and, surprise, New Directions didn't make the top ten, although with a work ethic like that it's not surprising.Scene change to the Lima Bean, where Kurt is filling Blaine in on all these happenings. He reveals that Jesse went on and on about the Finchel kiss - Blaine agrees with Jesse on the unprofessional part - and once they got back to the hotel, Santana snapped and went into a Foreign Language Tirade of Gratuitous Spanish, and it took Mike, Quinn, and Sam to keep her from tearing Rachel to shreds. He continues babbling about New York, and out of nowhere Blaine drops the L-word with an "I love you" to Kurt. Kurt easily says it back, and they're interrupted by Sam and Mercedes, who chit-chat a bit before going off to buy coffee. "You think they know?" asks Mercedes. Sam says he doesn't think so, and they hold hands.School, where Santana reveals she's still angry at Rachel ("Does this voodoo doll look enough like Rachel Berry?"). Brittany says that this year wasn't about winning, but about acceptance, and that the glee club really feels like a family now, complete with all the fighting. Santana asks about the two of them, and Brittany says that she loves Santana more than she loves anyone else. Santana calls Brittany her best friend, and the two of them go off.Library. Rachel discovers Finn is still upset and that he's hiding out from the rest of the club. Rachel asks him what he was feeling in that moment, and he said he loved her. She asks if it was worth it, and he says it was. She reminds him that after graduation she's going to New York and never coming back. "Graduation's a year away," Finn says. "Got any plans until then?" They then proceed to kiss.Will's arm is around Emma, looking up at the banner that congratulates New Directions on placing twelfth. He then goes in to celebrate with the club.
Tropes present in this episode: