With many eyes on the series following the tragic death of star Cory Monteith, Glee finally returned for Season 5 after a slightly-delayed production schedule. The passing of Monteith and his character Finn Hudson won’t be dealt with until the third episode of the season (which is aptly titled “The Quarterback”), and so the otherwise-upbeat premiere was all about “Love Love Love” of the Beatles variety.
Head below to see how the Fab Four’s music played out in Glee‘s first outing of the season.
The episode starts with Rachel smiling brightly at a marquee on a Broadway theater for Funny Girl.
She animatedly auditions for the role of Fanny Brice, but is cut short by the director. Dejected, she gets even more bummed out when she overhears them say she’s too green. This leads to Rachel singing a haunting version of “Yesterday.” Without openly mourning the loss of Finn, we get a subtle nod to his departure as she sings the lyrics, “Why he had to go, I don’t know. He wouldn’t say.”
Despite wearing a bright pink trench coat, the image of Rachel walking by herself through the streets of New York City is incredibly sad. Poor thing. She sounds great, but is understandably thin. The camera follows her through the city. She pulls out her iPhone and looks at an old photo of her Glee buddies.
This week is all about the early years of the Beatles. Kitty asks why anyone would care about “some band from the 1940s.” Ha! Artie and she scoot out of rehearsal on his wheelchair, effectively displaying the most awkward form of transportation I’ve ever witnessed. And I’ve seen people riding Segways indoors.
Artie asking Kitty out kicks off a musical number in the school halls. There’s a montage of these two going on a bunch of retro dates. Bumper cars at the fair reminds me too much of L.A. traffic for me to find it whimsical. When she encounters fellow Cheerios, Kitty pretends to be “just friends” with Artie. With a sickeningly sweet smile, perky cheerleader boss Bree Instagrams photos of their date. Kitty laments to Artie that they have to keep up the platonic ruse because, “I need status at this school to survive.”
Back in NYC, Rachel and Santana show up for their thankless waitress jobs at the Spotlight diner. At least the uniforms are adorable.
Kurt and Blaine hang out on the bleachers, hashing out their relationship issues. Blaine begs for forgiveness and a second chance and Kurt relents. If their fondness for kicky summer neckwear is any indication, these two are soul mates. Rekindling their flame inspires an enactment of “Got To Get You Into My Life.”
Sue Sylvester returns in a dark brown tracksuit and sunglasses as interim principal after scheming to have Principal Figgins fired. She delivers all my favorite lines of the episode, including: “Jesus said it best, ‘The end justifies the means’.” If she can last the probationary period, her status will go from interim to permanent. Cue her evil plotting.
Few things are more depressing than watching a guy singing refrains of “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” as he wheels himself through the halls of his high school in a wheelchair. And Artie doesn’t disappoint. Also, am I the only one who noticed that the note Kitty left him in his locker required some advanced level crafting? That girl is a keeper.
Blaine announces in rehearsal that he has started dating Kurt again and that he’s going to ask him to marry him. I don’t remember high school having this many relationship announcements, but it has been a while. Blaine’s plan is to enlist the support of their rival musical groups for a beautiful, splashy proposal. This causes Blaine and the gang to start singing “Help!” as they travel from school to school to recruit singers. Everyone bonds over handshakes, backflips and twirls as they all agree to sing for Blaine’s big moment.
Tina finds out that Artie and Kitty are secretly dating and is outraged. Oh, Tina, you need a hobby. Try crafting. It’s doing wonders for Kitty.
At the Spotlight diner in NYC, Rachel serves Funny Girl director and lead actor indignantly. In response to their lackluster reaction to her, she busts out with an extravagant production of “A Hard Day’s Night” in the restaurant, after which she quickly bolts. Silly girl, don’t forget those tips!
Back in Principal Sue Sylvester’s office, Coach Roz and Will prepare to meet with Sue, nervous with anticipation. Roz confesses to some serious skeletons in her closet that she’s sure Sue is going to broadcast to the world. When Sue finally arrives, she informs the two that failure to win at nationals means they will be fired. Them’s the stakes!
Tina interrupts rehearsal to out Artie about his relationship with Kitty. Kitty then gives the group some real talk about how she is a million times better than all of them, Artie included. Ouch. But then she ends her big speech by saying she needed to make sure her love for him was real. They then announce their coupledom to everyone. Seriously, do kids not just pass notes anymore? Yes? No? Maybe?
The single guys hold a meeting to plan their bitter-vention for Tina. Be sure to bring glitter and craft glue, boys. Sue announces plans to replace school secretary Donna with Becky, to whom she will refer “as my Beckretary” just before dumping meat on the floor for Janitor Figgins to clean up. His life is in the toilet, y’all. Literally.
The guys dress up as the Beatles in smart black suits with skinny ties to sing “I Saw Her Standing There” for Tina. She loves it, but guys, I’ve seen so many episodes of A&E’s Intervention and sadly, the Beatles-themed ones never really work. The guys then offer themselves as Tina’s prom date. After careful consideration, she accepts Sam’s hand in prom-miage.
Kurt tells his dad in a car ride to Dalton Academy that he really loves Blaine but laments how young they are. Dad gives sage advice about marriage, which segues nicely into the splashy musical number about love. All the singing groups converge to serenade Kurt with a rendition of “All You Need Is Love” for an over-the-top marriage proposal from Blaine. He gets down on one knee and Kurt tearfully accepts his ring.
All in all, there were hints at the somber nature of what went on behind the scenes over the summer with the loss of Glee star, Cory Monteith, but a lot of work was done to keep the premiere episode cheerful, colorful and full of life.
Next week is the second Beatles week and, if I know Kurt, the beginning of some serious engagement party planning.
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