The New Rachel is the first episode of Glee's fourth season, and the sixty-seventh episode overall. It premiered on September 13, 2012. 

For the fourth time, it's a brand new year at McKinley, with the loss of 9 New Directions members due to graduations and Rory's departure. Blaine, Tina, Brittany and former Vocal Adrenaline lead, Unique, are in competition to decide who's the new leader, or "The New Rachel." Back in New York, Rachel settles in at NYADA, uncomfortable with Cassandra July's dance lessons and befriends an upperclassmen, Brody Weston. Still longing for Finn after he let her leave for New York in Goodbye, she tries to move on from her heartbreak. In Lima, New Directions prepare to find new members and hold auditions for the Glee Club while Kurt struggles to spend time with Blaine and cope with his part-time job at The Lima Bean

The episode was directed by Brad Falchuk and written by Ryan Murphy.


Rachel Berry accidentally offends Cassandra July, her dance instructor at the New York Academy of the Dramatic Arts (NYADA) in New York City, who begins to push Rachel as much as she can. Rachel also befriends upperclassman Brody Weston, whom she walked in on him in the shower singing Sister Christian and who helps her adjust to live in the dorm room.

Meanwhile, in Lima, Ohio, Cheerios coach Sue Sylvester introduced her new baby, Robin, named after the late Bee Gees, to Kurt. She then calls Kitty, her new head bitch, saying that she is like Quinn Fabray, except she's not pregnant, manic depressive or in and out of a wheelchair.


In the meanwhile, glee club director Will Schuester reunites with the returning members of New Directions – Artie Abrams, Tina Cohen-Chang, Brittany Pierce, Sam Evans, Blaine Anderson, Sugar Motta and Joe Hart – who have become popular after winning Nationals. He announces that Wade Adams has transferred to William McKinley High School and she joins New Directions.

Tina, Brittany, Blaine and Unique begin to compete to see who's going to be "The New Rachel" and perform Call Me Maybe for Artie, who is asked to choose the winner. Meanwhile, graduate Kurt Hummel visits cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester to meet her baby daughter, Robin, and is introduced to Sue's new protegé, Kitty, who mocks him for having ended up a barista instead of attending NYADA.

In New York, Rachel confronts Cassandra about being picked on. To affirm her superiority to Rachel, Cassandra performs Americano/Dance Again. In Lima, New Directions holds auditions to select new members for the club. After multiple unsatisfactory auditions, Stoner Brett auditions with busters get popped. Jake comes on stage and performs Never Say Never, but becomes angry when he's not allowed to finish the song and storms off.


The next candidate, Marley Rose, performs New York State of Mind. At the same time Rachel performs the same song at NYADA in a class taught by Carmen Tibideaux, under the pressure of knowing the first freshman to sing, performing Ave Maria, got two words out and was summarily cut from the program by Tibideaux. She impresses Brody, who later compliments her and helps her deal with the lack of communication with her boyfriend, Finn Hudson. Marley is welcomed into New Directions, but is disappointed when she hears them making fun of an overweight lunch lady, whom she reveals is her mother. Sam, followed by New Directions later apologize for their behavior, and their actions motivate Kitty to deem them unpopular once more.

Artie chooses Blaine as "The New Rachel," and Kurt advises him to always be a humble leader. Blaine performs It's Time to encourage Kurt to go to New York and follow his dreams. Kurt's father, Burt Hummel, later drives Kurt to the airport and they share a heartfelt goodbye.

Back in McKinley, Blaine invites Marley to lead the club's next performance, and Will learns that Jake is actually Noah Puckerman's half-brother. He invites Jake to the club, explaining that he interrupted Jake's performance because he had already made an impression, but Jake refuses, believing Will is only calling him due to him being Puck's relative.


Marley and New Directions perform Chasing Pavements as Jake looks on, while Rachel is upset and struggling to adapt to her new life in New York. She tells Kurt about all of her problems on the phone, she is then told to "turn around" by Kurt and he is facing Rachel. They share a passionate hug as the episode ends. 


Song Title Original Artist Performer(s)
Call Me Maybe Carly Rae Jepsen

Blaine Anderson, Brittany Pierce,
Tina Cohen-Chang, and Unique Adams

Americano/Dance Again Lady Gaga/Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull Cassandra July
with NYADA dance students
Never Say Never The Fray Jake Puckerman
New York State of Mind Billy Joel
(Barbra Streisand version)
Rachel Berry and Marley Rose
It's Time Imagine Dragons Blaine Anderson
Chasing Pavements Adele Marley Rose with New Directions

Unreleased Songs

Background Songs

  • Salsation by David Shire.
  • Sister Christian by Night Ranger.
  • Kyoto by Skrillex, danced to by De'wanda Umber

Guest Cast

Special Guest Stars

Guest Stars


Absent Cast Members


  • Chord Overstreet (Sam) was promoted to main cast starting in this episode, while Dianna Agron (Quinn) and Jayma Mays (Emma) were demoted to recurring roles.
  • This is the first episode to have multiple settings and storylines on the show, with WMHS focusing on New Directions and New York focusing on the alumni, which continues through Season Five.
  • This episode introduced many new characters, both in Lima and New York. These included Unique's return, Marley, Jake, and Kitty (four of them later joined the main cast), Dottie, Millie Rose, and many supporting characters in Lima, while Brody and Cassandra were introduced in New York.
  • The title of this episode refers to three storylines:
    • The competition between BlaineTinaBrittany, and Unique to become "The New Rachel", that is, the new lead.
    • Rachel's new life and challenges in New York
    • Marley as "The New Rachel" because of some similarities between her and Rachel (singing, appearance, etc.).
  • As of this episode, each of the three co-creators of the show has written one premiere episode on his own (Ian Brennan wrote Audition, Brad Falchuk wrote The Purple Piano Project, Ryan Murphy wrote this episode, and the three of them wrote Pilot together).
  • Rory Flanagan's departure from the glee club is not commented on at all during this episode, although it had been established in Season Three that he had to leave the country.
  • This is the first episode Finn, Santana and Mercedes do not appear in.
  • This is also the first episode Mike is absent in since his introduction in Preggers
  • The scene with Brody and Rachel taking a picture of themselves was filmed where parts of I Love New York/New York, New York were performed.
  • In Hold on to Sixteen, Sebastian predicted that Blaine would be his by the end of the school year and that Kurt would be in a Lima Bean apron. As revealed in this episode, Kurt is working in a Lima Bean apron until he moves to New York towards the end of the episode.

Cultural references

  • Kitty calls Marley "Mike & Molly's daughter." This is a reference to the CBS sitcom Mike & Molly about a couple who is overweight.
  • Kitty calls Sam "Richie Poor," a reference to the Harvey Comics character Richie Rich, also known as "the poor little rich boy."
  • Kitty calls Unique "Pre-Op Precious: Based on the Novel 'Barf' by Saphire," which is a reference to Precious.
  • Cassandra says that her students should be dancing "at Black Swan levels of psychosis by now."
  • Artie makes a "Winter is coming" joke, a reference to the TV series Game of Thrones.
  • Sam does an impression of Taylor Lautner, a reference to the movie The Twilight Saga: New Moon.


  • When Brody was taking a picture with Rachel, Rachel's teeth were not showing. When Rachel looked at the picture, her teeth were showing.
  • While Jake is walking up to the audition list, another male student is seen signing his name. However, when a close-up of Jake signing his name is shown, De'wanda Umber's name is last name that had been signed before.
  • When Rachel looked at the shower and saw Brody naked, she looked back, but we can clearly see in the reflection at Rachel's back that she turned around even before Brody opened the shower door.


Cassandra: I bet you were a big star back in Iowa.
Rachel: Um, actually, I'm from Ohio.
Cassandra: Ohio! That's even worse. You ever look at a map? Ohio's like a giant turd that Michigan just can't pinch off.

Cassandra and Rachel

Brittany: That's a great haircut, Mercedes, I thought you graduated.

Brittany to Unique

Cassandra: I may not be a wide eyed ingenue anymore, but I can out dance circles around any of you!


Jacob: Which one of you is The New Rachel?
Blaine, Tina, Artie & Brittany: I am!

Jacob, Blaine, Tina, Artie and Brittany

Brody: That your boyfriend?
Rachel: Finn. He's in Army, We haven't been talking much lately.
Brody: I had a girlfriend back home when I started NYADA, We lasted six weeks.
Rachel: That's not gonna happen to us! I'm not turning my back on him.
Brody: Whoa. No one's saying you should. In fact, all I came over to say was: You killed it in Tibideaux's class. Nice job.

Brody and Rachel Berry

Unique: Unique's eyes... They are on FIRE!

Unique, after being slushied for the first time

Brody: (To Rachel) "In case you're wondering, which you were, I'm straight"


Sue: Kitty's my new head bitch. She's like a young Quinn Fabray, except she's not pregnant, manic depressive, or in and out of a wheelchair.

Sue to Kurt about Kitty

Unique: I can sing any song at anytime. Just press play and get back.

Unique to Blaine, Brittany and Tina

Sam: Wade, you can't wear that makeup and stuff in here. You have to understand how this stuff works. It's like Game of Thrones.
Artie: Yeah, the peace between us and the truly popular kids is weak... Winter is Coming..

Sam and Artie to the rest of the New Directions

Sugar: Look at her boobs. It's like two grocery bags full of soup.
Marley: That's really mean.
Kitty: Excuse me?
Marley: You don't know her. You don't know what her life is like.
Kitty: So? Why do you care?
Marley: Because she's my mom. I thought you guys were different.

Sugar, Kitty and Marley

Jacob: Artie Abrams,lunch room sources tell me you've been sitting with Cheerios. Artie: Well,I'm usually seen sitting.

Jacob and Artie

Brittany: It's hard to make out over Skype. You can't really scissor a webcam.


Burt: Do you know the difference between this place [Lima] and New York?
Kurt: Decent bagels?

Burt and Kurt

Tina: We forgot ourselves.
Brittany: Well, I didn't. I was always popular, but I do forget to wear underwear sometimes.

Tina and Brittany to Marley

Blaine: Brittany, I'm sorry, but I won fair and square. You can't just decide not to sing anymore. We all need your voice.
Brittany: I had a song in my heart, Blaine Warbler, and you killed it. Now I have a dead song in my heart and pretty soon the corpse of my dead heartsong is going to start to smell.

Blaine and Brittany

Kitty: My iced latte is too cold.
Kurt: It's an iced latte.
Kitty: It's an iced latte that's too cold.

Kitty Wilde and Kurt

Kitty: Should you be in college or something? I thought gay people are all successful overachievers.

Kitty Wilde to Kurt

Burt: [to Kurt] You can always come back. [to himself] But you won't.




GLEE - Sneak Peek "The New Rachel Interview with Cory Monteith

GLEE - Sneak Peek "The New Rachel Interview with Cory Monteith


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