Gone were Rachel’s sexy clothes, confident NYC attitude, and heavy makeup. The woman we saw in front of us came almost bare-faced in a simple white-and-pink collared outfit, very reminiscent of Rachel Berry during the early seasons of Glee. A silver “Finn” necklace hung around her neck.
But it wasn’t just Rachel’s pain we felt. Filming for the episode took place barely a month removed from the death of actress Lea Michele’s real-life love Cory so when Lea cried it’s clear that those tears were all too real. There was no pretending going on in these scenes. The emotions were raw.
Through tears, Rachel Berry tells the glee club in the choir room: “I loved Finn, and he loved me, and he loved all of you guys, I know he did. I like to sing in the car, and before Finn I used to sing alone. And this was the first song that I sang with him when we would drive around together. So this is for him.”
She shakes her head dejectedly. “I have no idea.” She pauses. “I talk to him a lot. I can still see his face and I can hear his voice so clearly. Do you think that I’ll ever forget it?” Her voice breaks. “Because I’m afraid that one day I will.”
“What are you talking about?” Will asks. Rachel explains: “When we were dating, it was pretty much me talking all the time and he was pretending to listen, so it’s really not all that different.”
Then comes the part that really breaks our hearts: “I had it all planned out. I was going to make it big on Broadway. And maybe do a Woody Allen movie. And then when we were ready, I would just come back, and he’d be teaching here. And I’d walk through those doors, and I’d just say, ‘I’m home.’ And then we would live happily ever after.”
“It’s a good plan. Did you tell him?” Schue asks. She replies. “I didn’t have to. He knew.”
Then, Will asks Rachel the question every Glee viewer is asking. “And now what?” She shakes her head. A tear falls down her cheek. “I don’t know. Something different.”“Maybe something better,” he offers.
“I just...I don’t think that that’s possible. He was my person.” She wipes away tears. “But thank you so much for doing this. I felt like I didn’t know if I would be able to sing again, but now I know that I can. And I know that there have been a lot of memorials, but I had this made, and I was hoping that we could hang it in here.”
Rachel pulls out a plaque. She and Will look at the inscription. “Did he really say that?” Will asks.
Rachel smiles as she replies, “He was smart! You know, in just an untraditional kind of way.” They laugh. She wipes the tears from her face.
“C’mon. Let’s hang it right over there.” The plaque reads:
“The show must go...all over the place...or something.”