Credit: Mike Yarish/FOX ©2012 Fox Broadcasting Co.    
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Glee Recap of Season 4’s Premiere: “The New Rachel” — Blaine Bids Farewell to Kurt!

At long last, Glee has returned! Our lives finally have purpose again! And yes, it was hard to know what we should expect from tonight’s premiere, but the episode was pretty freakin’ awesome. So hide your “Mike Chang Forever” tattoo, brush up on your Taylor Lautner impression, and grab a bunch of red cups to use as drums because Glee is back, baby!

The first McKinley scene of tonight’s season premiere, "The New Rachel," began the way every Glee season premiere begins with Jacob catching us up on everyone’s summers with his video blog. (Seriously how old is Jacob these days? We can only assume that running a gossip blog is stressful, because the dude is not looking youthful.)

Thanks to Jacob, we learn that New Directions are so popular that they're basically the One Direction of McKinley (even though no one in New Directions wears suspenders). Yes, all of the remaining members of glee have let the success go to their heads, particularly Tina, who has dumped Mike, post-tattoo. And yes, tattoos are painful, but not as painful as listening to Sam’s attempts at impressions. Our poor ears!

Rachel, meanwhile, is not being permitted to let her success go to her head. She is immediately bullied by her alcoholic (not to mention cray-cray) dance instructor Cassandra, played by the fabulous Kate Hudson and her never-ending legs. Long story short, Cassandra is the nuttiest dance instructor ever (Richard Simmons not included), and Rachel is enjoying NYADA about as much as most people enjoy traffic school.

The only thing going right for Rachel is that she met an oh-so-dreamy NYADA junior named Brody because she was gawking glancing at him as he stepped out of the shower. Yet another reason why coed bathrooms are mankind’s greatest achievement. Just a word of warning: If Brody continues to be so supportive (and shirtless), you may soon find us uttering those two dreaded words: “Finn, who?”

Credit: David Giesbrecht/FOX ©2012 Fox Broadcasting Co.    

Back in Ohio, the remaining members are getting downright cutthroat about who gets to take over for Rachel. And can you blame Artie for choosing Blaine? Yes, that’s who we would have chosen as well. And yes, Blaine is still perfect in every way.

Tryouts for New Directions also brought a ton of surprises. Marley’s vocals totally impressed us (although the same can’t be said for her jaunty little newsboy cap), and we later learn that her mom isn’t exactly in the one percent. In fact, she’s the lunch lady whom Kitty a.k.a. the new Cheerio / servant of Sue / all-around Queen Bitch loves to pick on. Translation: Marley, meet Slushie.

Also impressive is Jake, although he doesn’t make the club because of his bad attitude. (And Sugar does make the club? Uh, something ain’t right.) So let’s get this straight Jake got upset because he didn’t get to finish his song? That’s like getting upset when your friend forces you to go to a baseball game and then it gets rained out at the last minute. (What can we say? Baseball is boring.)

The episode may have provided a lot of new changes, but what we really loved were the things that stayed the same. Like, how awesome was it to see Rachel and Kurt get reunited with that hug at the end? Best. Hug. Ever.

And as to be expected, the songs were all a blast, particularly Blaine showing why he deserves to sing as many songs as he does with the uplifting “It’s Time,” in which he and a million red cups convince Kurt to pack up his Lima Bean apron and surprise Rachel in the Big Apple. (Let's just hope he washed all of the cups before anyone tried to drink out of them.)

Glee is also about everyone pulling for each other, so we loved the group apologizing to Marley. (“Nice Tina” is back!) And do you wanna see Sam and Marley hook up? We’re a little unsure, since all they currently have in common is, “We’re both poor!” Plus, Sam typically goes for people with bigger personalities (speaking of which, we miss you, Quinn and Mercedes!). But Samarley certainly has the potential to be dangerously cute.

Credit: Mike Yarish/FOX ©2012 Fox Broadcasting Co.    

So which scene this week is Season 4’s first recipient of our “Scene of the Week” award? That would have to be Burt saying goodbye to Kurt at the airport, which had us in tears for about a month. Frankly, Burt earns this award basically every time he even shows up onscreen, but this moment was particularly touching. Burt deserves about a thousand “World’s Best Dad” mugs.

But what are we a little skeptical about from this episode? Well, we’re not sure that Kitty is yet able to distinguish herself from her sassy predecessors like Quinn/Santana/Sebastian/Coach Roz/et al. But certainly, it takes time to establish a character. However, everything else was amazing, including the other newbies, like Jake, who seems especially intriguing. (And how cute is Robin??)

And while we’re quibbling, why is a junior (Brody) still living in the dorms? Also, doesn’t Marley’s storyline involving her mom appear to be swiped from the ‘90s movie What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? If Glee is gonna borrow anything from What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, we’d like it to borrow by having that film’s Johnny Depp or Leonardo DiCaprio appear for an episode or two. Just a thought.

Credit: Adam Rose/FOX ©2012 Fox Broadcasting Co.    

We’re also a little worried that we’re gonna be pretty despondent if the characters who were missing this week continue to go missing for much longer. Like, we knew that Finn and Quinn would be gone at the beginning, but couldn’t the show have found a way to sneak Santana in there for a second to say hi to Brittany? We do love us some Brittana. (And where the heck is Beiste?)

Then again, it’s fair to expect that the show would have trouble squeezing all of its characters into every episode. Let's face it — so many new characters joined the show tonight that the cast of Glee is now larger than the number of people who would attend a rally to have brussels sprouts banned from supermarkets. And that would be a lot of people.

All in all, tonight was a very impressive start to the season. We just can’t wait to see more of all these amazing new characters not to mention watch Kurt and Rachel as roomies! And if you ever come over to our home and there aren’t any cups to drink out of, it’s because we’re in the middle of using them as drums, a la Blaine.

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09.14.2012 / 10:28 AM EDT by Ryan Gajewski
Related: Glee, Recaps

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