'Glee's' Lea Michele on 'The First Time' Episode, Rachel's Lessons

A New Year
Mike Yarish/FOX

Glee’s Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) is a hard girl to love sometimes.

McKinley High’s resident diva -- worried that she may not get the lead in the school’s rendition of West Side Story -- most recently entered the race for student body president, forcing Finn (Cory Monteith) to choose between her and his step-brother, Kurt (Chris Colfer).

“People know who Rachel is; they know she’s determined,” Michele tells The Hollywood Reporter. “The determination that Rachel has [comes with a price]; she’s also met with what that will cause to happen to her.”

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Ultimately, Rachel winds up playing Maria in West Side Story after Mercedes (Amber Riley) declines to share the part, with Finn eventually forgiving his overly ambitious girlfriend.

“We obviously make up because the fifth episode is called ‘The First Time,’ ” she says with a laugh about the Nov. 7 episode in which the couple take things to the next level. “I think this season we all have our ups and downs.”

“It’s very interesting the way that it’s bled into the story line,” she adds. “I love the choice that they made with how it sort of happens. But everything is really a lesson for Rachel to be learned; she sort of makes a decision but always learns a lesson.”

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“As a fan of the show, it’s definitely something that I would want to see him and Rachel do,” Michele says, noting that the couple’s main arc this season continues to be their focus on what appears to be very different futures.

“She wants to go to school in New York and he’s deciding if he’s an Ohio boy or if he’s going to come to New York,” says Michele, noting that Rachel will support Finn as best she can with whatever he opts to do (he’ll also meet with a recruiter in the episode).

Meanwhile, Michele notes that Rachel’s friendship with Kurt may not be as quickly repaired since he had a greater purpose in running for student council beyond bolstering his transcripts. “It’s slightly mended, as best it could be,” she says of their status come Episode 5.

Glee returns from its baseball-prompted mini-hiatus on Tuesday, Nov. 1 with “Pot O’Gold,” featuring Glee Project winner Damian McGinty.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit

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