Season 4 season premiere and we're along for the ride with Rachel at NYADA (New York Academy of the Dramatic Arts), and watching auditions for the Glee club at McKinley. Kate Hudson and Whoopi Goldberg guest star!
In New York, at NYDA, Rachel gets an eye-opener from bitchy teacher Cassandra July (Kate Hudson). "You suck," Cassandra tells her, when she flubs a dance number.
Back at McKinley, the Glee club are treated like celebrities. Tina broke up with Mike and has a personnel assistant.
Back in NY, Rachel lies in bed with a pillow over her head, trying not to listen to her roommate have sex. She wishes Kurt would have gotten in with her. She goes to shower at 3:00 AM and finds a guy in the shower singing "Sister Christian" by Night Ranger. He slips out of the shower, wet, with a six pack, and she stares at his buff body. They diss Cassandra and commiserate over their personal routines and Brody makes a point of telling her he's straight, before taking off.
The next morning, Rachel calls Kurt and talks up school and how Cassandra loves her. Kurt hangs up and meets Robin, Coach's daughter. Sue calls Kurt a desperate sad sack for sticking around but he insists he's not and his classes start next week.
In the first Glee class, Will introduces Wade 'Unique' Adams as the MVP of last year's final. The competition to be the new Rachel is enough. The last thing they want to hear is about Wade. Will reminds them they're a team who supports new members. The kids later meet at the auditorium and perform a song for Artie, who will decide the new lead soloist. They agree on a song and start singing and dancing to "Call Me Maybe," by Carly Rae Jepson. Artie listens closely but makes no decision.
Kurt serves coffee at the coffee shop before school. Some of the kids talk about how it's hard to get a hold of Santana with her cheer-leading schedule.
Back in New York, Cassandra's TA quits because of his Broadway play. She's proud of him.
In the cafeteria at McKinley, the kids ask Artie if he has made a decision about a soloist but these things take time. A new girl Marley, drops by to say hello. They brush her off and Marley sits nearby and overhears the kids poke fun at the new lunch lady's weight. Marley goes to the lunch lady, who is very encouraging about her voice. It's Marley's mother, and she tells Marley they'll meet later - away from the school. She doesn't want anyone to know they're related.
Back in NY, Cassandra "motivates" Rachel in class. Rachel notices there's alcohol on her breath. Cassandra calls it Listerine and tells the class she can dance circles around them. She shows them by dancing and singing to "Americano/Dance Again," by Jennifer Lopez.
Back at McKinley, there are auditions for Glee club that make the kids' jaws drop. Jake gets up to sing and the kids find him sexy and good. They stop his song half-way through, which pisses him off. He knocks over a music stand and walks off.
At NYADA, in the round room, Carmen (Whoopi Goldberg) welcomes the students back. They'll sing once tonight and once again in the winter showcase if they're good. Beatrice gets up to sing "Ave Maria" by Hans Schubert. Carmen listens for a moment and then kicks her off stage. Rachel sings "New York State Of Mind," written by Billy Joel. Brody watches, smiling. At the same time, over at McKinley, Marley sings the same song. Both do really well. Brody claps for Rachel and Carmen says, "Nice." Meanwhile, Will loves Marley's rendition but the Glee students don't say much.
Next day, Will posts the new Rachel on the bulletin board. Marley's thrilled at getting into New Directions. Jake's crushed when he doesn't get in. Kurt organizes the sheet music as Artie finally tells the kids Blaine's the new Rachel. Marley visits her mother in the lunch room, who's happy she got into New Directions. Marley confesses the kids were making fun of her and doesn't like how it feels. Her mother wants her to have a chance to sit at the popular kids table and tells her not to blow it. Blaine encourages Kurt to go back to New York to re-apply to NYADA. He sings "It's Time," by Imagine Dragons.
Britney argues with Blaine about winning the next Rachel. The kids start making fun of the lunch lady until Marley stands up for her and tells them that's her mother. "I thought you guys were different," she mutters before tearing up and running off.
In NY, Brody tells Rachel she 'killed it' in Carmen's class. Rachel feels she's going to throw up all the time. Brody gets it. He takes a photo of them together and tells her not to fight "the new you." He walks her to class, where Cassandra singles her dancing out. Rachel's got a new attitude though and decides to keep quiet.
Kurt's dad drops him off at the airport and gives him a pep talk about all good artists paying their dues. Kurt's touched and hugs his dad goodbye. "I'm going to miss you Dad," he says. "You can always come back..." Kurt's dad says but knows he won't. He weeps when Kurt walks away.
Sam goes to Marley at McKinley and apologizes for the way the kids treated her and her mother. He's been there. The other kids share in his apology. Being popular felt too good and they let it go to their heads. The cheerleaders turn up and the new kids get slushies thrown at them. Jake turns up in Will's office and it turns out he's Puck's half-brother. Will wants him to join the Glee club in order to help him with the chip off his shoulder. He interrupted his solo because he thinks Jake's really good! Jake doesn't want to lose his chip. "I'm not my brother," he says.
The show ends with Marley singing "Chasing Pavements" by Adele as Jake turns up momentarily and then rushes off.
In New York, Rachel sits on a park bench in crying. She calls Kurt and admits she lied. Her dance teacher is a monster and her roommate's sleeping with everyone. She misses him. Kurt thinks maybe she should get a new roommate. He tells her to look behind her! He's standing there. They run into each other's arms happily.
We've been looking forward to season 4 all summer long and guess what? It didn't disappoint! I wasn't sure how I'd feel about the show being split between New York and McKinley, but it works for me and I'm loving Rachel and Brody and that Kurt's with Rachel now in NY. Kate Hudson did a great job as bitchy ego-maniacal dance teacher Cassandra and Marley and Jake had beautiful voices. Sure we saw no Finn or Santana, but you can't have everything! I'd love to hear your thoughts about tonight's premiere - even if you disagree with my viewpoint. Leave us a comment below.
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- Christine Fix