Backstage, opening night. Emma peeks out to see a packed house. At the makeup tables, Maria and Tony apologize to each other for still being virgins. Rachel thinks that means they should just cancel the show, rather than disappointing the audience. Artie wheels by and gives them completely random makeup instructions. And then, as he wheels across the stage, everything slows down. He looks around with some panic in his eyes. Emma approaches him to ask if he's okay, and he tells her that everything about the show is wrong, because he was just pretending he knew what he was doing the entire time. Emma reassures him that he made the show great, but he doesn't believe her. His doubts grow worse when Tina tells him that some of the cast need to speak with him before the show. But instead of presenting him with last-minute complaints or ultimatums, they're there to thank him for doing such a great job. And then Artie tells them that when you're in a wheelchair, it can be hard to feel like you're ever going to be a grownup. But directing the show, and receiving the trust of all of the performers, has made him feel like a grown man for the first time in his life. Damn it, even Artie's story tonight is sweet.
Finn, wearing a t-shirt, is in a shower. He's leaning the top of his head against the wall and pounding his fists on the tile. His face is screwed up in pain, and tears.
Cut back to the stage, where Puck, as Bernardo, is giving the intro to "America." Rory, last week's leprechaun, has a single line, in which he tries to do a Puerto Rican accent and appears to forget how to pronounce any consonants. In the audience, Will gets his line for the episode when he talks with Emma about Artie's risky artistic choice to have the Jets sing some lines in "America." People are watching the show, Will -- shut up! Even when he's not in the show, he's an ass. And then Santana, as Anita, starts singing the song. It's a really nice performance. Great dancing, acting, and singing. However, if you look closely, you'll notice some Vocal Adrenaline backup dancers in the show. The Jets make an appearance from the audience to sing a couple of insulting lines. Which gives Mike Chang a chance to look over and see that his mother is there with an empty seat beside her.