‘Glee’ Returns for a Fifth Season After Fateful Summer

From the tragic death of a beloved star to the recent casting of two A-list celebrities, the popular musical comedy show “Glee” has not lacked for media attention lately. After a summer of highs and lows, the highly anticipated season five premiere of “Glee” aired on Thursday.

Despite the recent buzz surrounding the show, the premiere received a slim 5.2 million viewers, down 30 percent from season four’s premier. The episode entitled “Love, Love, Love” is part one of a two-episode Beatles tribute and picks up right where season four left off.

The episode begins with Rachel at the close of yet another audition for “Funny Girl,” giving her best Streisand impersonation. Rachel fails to impress the Funny Girl producer, however, played by TV veteran Peter Facinelli, who fears she is “too green.” Disheartened by her dashed hopes, Rachel takes up a job as a singing waitress at Santana’s suggestion. When the producer stumbles into Rachel on her waitressing shift, Rachel gets the chance to show off her talent in a rousing performance of “Hard Day’s Night.”

Back in Ohio, the formerly-fired Sue Sylvester returns as the new principal of McKinley High after planting incriminating evidence in Principal Figgins’s office. The conniving Sylvester informs Will and Coach Roz that in order to keep their jobs they must lead their teams to victory at championships in her usual hilariously insulting fashion.

For the students of McKinley, young love is in bloom as Kitty and Artie begin a secret relationship. Following their lead, Kurt and Blaine decide to recommit to each other, sealing their revitalized relationship with a joyful performance of “Got to Get You Into My Life.”

The close of season four saw Blaine mulling over the decision to propose to Kurt. In the beginning of season five the decision has been made, and Blaine sets out to create the perfect proposal. He decides to employ the help of New Direction’s competitors, including The Warblers and Vocal Adrenaline, to create the perfect celebration of love. Their hard work pays off and the episode ends with an impeccably choreographed rendition of “All You Need is Love,” as Blaine proposes to an awestruck Kurt.

The episode had its high points, but many were left unsatisfied with the overall average episode.

“I was fairly underwhelmed with the episode,” sophomore Shannon Jirkovsky said, “The relationship between Kitty and Arty was random; it seems like they’ve paired up every possible couple at this point. The proposal was sweet, but overall the episode was not as good as a premier episode should have been.”

While the episode ends on an upbeat note, the absence of Monteith’s character Finn is painfully apparent throughout the episode, specifically during Kurt, Finn’s stepbrother’s, proposal. Finn isn’t the only character missing in action; Quinn, Mike, Brittany, and Mercedes have all been eased out of the series. This begs the question, what’s next for “Glee?”

On Oct. 10, the tribute to Monteith will air in an episode called “The Quarterback.” “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy initially intended to have Monteith’s character Finn die in a drug related incident, mirroring the young star’s fate. However, after deciding the drug-induced death of Finn seemed exploitative, Murphy released a statement explaining that the episode will remain vague and simply pay tribute to Monteith and the character of Finn.

A more positive aspect of the upcoming season is the addition of two new cast members: Demi Lovato and Adam Lambert. The details of Lovato’s and Lambert’s characters remain unclear, yet the addition of such starry cast members are sure to attract more viewers to the show, hopefully bumping up ratings as the series progresses.