Credit: FOX © Fox Broadcasting Co.

It took us about 45 minutes into tonight's episode to realize this, but Season 4, Episode 5: “The Role You Were Born to Play” was absolutely 100% Lea Michele (Rachel Berry) free. Why is that noteworthy? Well, Lea is arguably the star of the show. She was the first actor cast and Rachel was the first fleshed-out character during early development of the show.  

With that in mind, tonight’s episode was a huge risk on the part of  the show writers, honestly. It seems pretty clear to us they’re trying to at least see: can Glee go on without Rachel Berry?

We’re of two minds on this. On the one hand, like we said, the story and characters on the screen held our attention span enough that it took us almost the entire episode to say, “Wait...it there no Rachel in this episode?!” Up until this season, Glee has always been about a high school show choir, and having the setting divided between McKinley and NYADA this year has been disjointed at times.

However, so far there is no one at McKinley whose talent is even in the same zip code as Rachel’s. Part of what has always made Glee so great is the prospect of watching a small town girl living in a lonely world rise to stardom, and while this new crop of kids in New Directions is undeniably good, a star as strong as Lea has yet to emerge.

What do you think? Is Glee just as good without Lea, or did tonight’s episode suffer in her absence?

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