TV: ‘Glee’ doesn’t meet expectations after hiatus

By Meryl Gottlieb| mg986611@ohiou.edu| @buzzlightmeryl
Glee airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on Fox 
Rating: 3.5/ 5

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You would think that a month hiatus would mean that the next “premiere” episode of Glee would be nothing less than pure awesome, however we all know that doesn’t happen anymore. We now have to settle with a few very cool moments and some not so good scenes.

The utterly miserable Finn (Cory Monteith) is back in Lima and working in Burt’s auto shop. Artie (Kevin McHale) visits him and asks – well, threatens, really – Finn to co-direct the musical with him. Do it, Finn! He has Olivia Newton-John strapped to his chest and will blow her up if not! I will never forgive you if you say no, because ONJ is perfection and should live forever – or at least until I see her perform live.

The other king of miserable, Blaine (Darren Criss), misses Kurt (Chris Colfer) beyond belief. In a perfect set-up, he sings “Hopelessly Devoted to You.” I usually hate when anyone else does this song beside ONJ or Kristin Chenoweth (circa Pushing Daisies), however I LOVED his cover. Darren has such amazing vocal ability and perfectly captured the emotion behind the song.

Blaine refuses to be Danny in Grease because he doesn’t feel it would be right since he just broke up with Kurt.

As whiny as ever, Finn doubts his abilities to direct the musical, so Artie called in a few recruits. Mike (Harry Shum Jr.) – still “Other Asian” to me – and Mercedes (Amber Riley) return!!! I missed Amber Riley so much; she should always be on!

Emma (Jayma Mays) and Will (Matthew Morrison) are still arguing about Washington DC, this time turning to Shannon Beiste (Dot Jones) for counsel. Will presents the trip in a new way, and Emma concedes.

Unique (Alex Newell) tells Marley (Melissa Benoist) that he wants to play Rizzo – one of my favorite characters – in Grease but is concerned about the whole opposite gender role thing. Sue (Jane Lynch) overhears and basically attacks Unique’s way of life – not being gay but doing drag – yet has a hard time insulting Marley, calling her an “absolutely stunning kind-faced blue-eyed girl.”

The two then perform a duo of “Blow Me (One Last Kiss).” While the cover was amazing, the fact that they used that song to audition for Grease had me confused. Their energy was phenomenal, but where is the rationality in it? That song isn’t about vocal ability – it’s a pop song, and musical theatre is about vocal ability and strength.

In an attempt to find a Danny, Finn looks at the football team like Will did when he recruited Finn in season one. He finds Ryder Lynn (Blake Jenner), who is reluctant to join because of the hard time he has with his schoolwork.

But after failing another test, Ryder goes to Finn and asks about auditioning; yet, he doesn’t want to sing. Uh, have you lived in a cave? Musical theatre is a triple-threat community; you can’t do it if you aren’t going to sing!

Finn puts on “Juke Box Hero,” and the two duet in a rather weird scene; the scene cuts to a fantasy of them performing the song at a rock concert. For someone who was so self-conscience about singing, Ryder sure picked up that rock star attitude fairly quickly.

Ok, have I mentioned how much I HATE Kitty (Becca Tobin)? Her character is an awful attempt of a Quinn-Sue combination. Her insulting lines are not funny in any way; they are just mean! When she spits out a line about Marley’s mom, no humor can be detected in the way one can always sense when Sue says her lines. I am so sick of her and want her to leave.

Jake (Jacob Artist) is jealous of Ryder’s friendliness with Marley. Seriously, I don’t see the chemistry between Jacob and Marley; writers and/or Ryan Murphy, stop pushing this on us!

Jake and Kitty audition for Grease together with “Everybody Talks.” Once again, the song was done very well – the only thing Kitty has done well the entire season. However, I was not so intrigued by the choreography. It seemed like one choreographed move after the other and not something that was a continual, flowing dance. It just took away from the whole scene. But, I do want to mention that Jake is a pretty good dancer, and Kitty is just ugh.

Sue brings Will and Finn to Figgins’s (Iqbal Theba) office to discuss the Unique Rizzo-role problem. Finally acting like a man, Finn stands up for his decision but then ruins the whole nobleness of the situation by attacking Sue and saying she had a “retarded baby.” I have no words… Actually, I do! What the heck?! What was the necessity for saying that?!

Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) is mad that Mike is back. Yep, that’s her storyline for the episode.

For final callbacks for Danny and Sandy, Mike and Mercedes hold a competition to “Hand Jive.” I loved this scene so much. The choreography was used so smartly to connect Marley, Kitty, Ryder and Jake while still doing the traditional Grease moves. Genius.

Emma finally tells Will she doesn’t want to go to Washington, and though she essentially gave the same reason, now he finally understands. The two then communicate some lovey-dovey relationship mumbo-jumbo, and they’re ok.

Finn has finally found something he likes to do: help people realize their dreams, which Will tells him is the job of a teacher – uh huh, sure. Will tells Finn that he’s leaving for three months for Washington and wants Finn to take over as the glee cub director.

Well, he has nothing else to do with his life, so I think it’s safe to assume he says yes.

Think I forgot to mention Rachel (Lea Michele)? No, I didn’t. For the first time ever, Rachel was not in an episode.

Did you miss Rachel? Are you annoyed with Finn? How much do you love puppies? Let me know @buzzlightmeryl

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