The Season 4 premiere of Glee aired last night in their new Thursday night timeslot, and it appears that the writers of the show are doing their best to keep some graduates of McKinley High relevant, while introducing new talent that we could all grow to love.
The episode began with Rachel (Lea Michele) being mercilessly ripped apart by her new dance instructor, Cassandra (Kate Hudson). In her first week at NYADA, Rachel is being tested like she has never been tested before. She “might have been a star in Iowa, oh Ohio, even worse,” but this is NY Rach, you’ve got to bring your A-game every day.
And you know Hudson is going to be the new teacher that we all love to hate… after nicknaming another student Muffin Top, calling Rachel her “little Ms. David Schwimmer,” and telling her on numerous occasions, “your stuck up attitude is really pissing me off,” this teacher is brutal and could very well deliver many quotable one-liners for weeks to come.
Cut to McKinley High, we see the remaining Gleeks roaming the halls; they now rule the school because of their national championship win. Blaine (Darren Criss), Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz), Sam (Chord Overstreet), Brittany (Heather Morris), and Artie (Kevin McHale) are the familiar regulars who are now sitting at the popular table. Oh, how times have changed, but for how long? And which one is going to step up and become the “new Rachel?”
Meanwhile Kurt (Chris Colfer), having been rejected from NYADA, is splitting his time between community college, the Lima Bean coffee shop, and helping Mr. Schuester (Matthew Morrison) coach the Glee club. You can’t help but feel sorry for him, he’s a pretty talented guy, just pack your bags and see what the big city has to offer. By the end of the episode, Kurt does just that; he hits the open road with the backing of boyfriend Blaine and his supportive dad (Mike O’Malley).
Sadly, other familiar faces were noticeably absent last night. Santana (Naya Riviera), who left Ohio for an undisclosed location (rumor has it she’ll resurface at some point in the NY storyline with Rachel and Kurt), was mentioned by Brittany when she said that it’s difficult to make out over Skype or “scissor” via webcam. At least they’re keeping the “scissoring” theme alive.
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Newly enlisted serviceman Finn (Cory Monteith) was referenced only through dialogue and camera shots from Rachel’s iPhone. Then there’s Mercedes (Amber Riley), who left Ohio to pursue a recording contract in LA. Quinn (Dianna Agron), who left for school back East, and lastly Puck (Mark Salling), who…. well, we really don’t know what happened to Puck.
Where’s Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch)? She just gave birth to a baby girl named Robin. Kurt stops by to visit Sue in the highly decorated shrine to perfection known as her office, and is introduced to her new head cheerleader/babysitter/personal assistant Kitty (Becca Tobin). Sue introduces Kitty then quickly quips, “she’s like a young Quinn Fabray except she’s not pregnant, manic depressive or in and out of a wheelchair.”
Joining Kitty in the promising newcomer category were new transfer Unique (The Glee Project’s Alex Newell), Puck’s half brother Jake (Jacob Artist), and Marley Rose (Melissa Benoist), who squared off in a duet with Rachel of Billy Joel’s classic “New York State of Mind.” Rachel begins the song during a class in NY taught by Carmen Tibideaux (Whoopi Goldberg) and Marley carries it home at McKinley during her audition to join the club. Could Marley be the “new Rachel?” Sure seems like Murphy and company could be positioning her for that daunting task.
Other songs of the night included; Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” a mash up of Lady Gaga’s “Americano” and J-Lo’s “Dance Again,” The Fray’s “Never Say Never,” Imagine Dragons “It’s Time,” and “Chasing Pavements” by Adele.
Stay tuned, next week we’ll see how Kurt and Rachel plan to conquer NYC, we’ll learn more about Cassandra, we could meet the new character yet to be unveiled played by Sarah Jessica Parker, and from the looks of it, you just have to tune in because you never know which characters will make their return to the world of Glee.