Glee, S4 Ep1 – The New Rachel

Glee returns for a fourth season.
Rachel finds her groove on stage at NYADA, performing "New York State of Mind".

Rachel finds her place to shine at NYADA – on stage, singing her heart out.

Despite what she’s telling her bff Kurt via their multiple daily phone calls, the dream isn’t exactly a reality for Rachel in New York City at her dream school, NYADA.

Achieving our dreams is an amazing feeling – but one mountain climbed means another one on the horizon and Rachel’s new mountain is surviving dance class with Debbie Allen, I mean Cassandra July (a fierce Kate Hudson, who is clearly in love with her role) who uses sass and sharp insults, instead of a big stick. She’s a giant shark circling a scared minnow in the pond and it’s not a pretty sight. Reading a nervous and unsure Rachel like a book (insulting her looks, her hometown and her talent in short order), Cassandra makes her the class punching bag.

Cassandra is briefly sketched as a complicated figure – she’s mean, she’s aggressive, she’s competitive (breaking into a slick mash-up of “Americano / Dance Again” by Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez, respectively, to prove her talents), she’s drinking on the job, she’s jealous of her succeeding students, and somewhere under all this, she might just have a good spot or two. Will Rachel be the one to reveal them or will their combat keep landing Rachel on the floor?

Cassandra July and Rachel Berry butt heads immediately in "The New Rachel"

Rachel is starting to miss Mr. Schue as new teacher Cassandra July (Kate Hudson) clearly doesn’t recognize her awesomeness.

Fortunately for Rachel, she has two things going for her – she IS Rachel Berry and she has a new friend in her corner.

Super hot, super nice Brody (Dean Geyer, dreamy and sweet) is introduced to Rachel while wearing a towel and singing impressively in the shower. It seems they both have particular bathroom routines that require no prying or mocking eyes so there they are, Brody being flirtatious and Rachel being…charmed. He’s a fellow NYADA student who gives her support, friendly advice and kindly pep talks when she admits how badly she’s feeling about everything.  Think Mentor Blaine to Slightly Lost Kurt back in season two – and we all know how that ended up! Hey Finn, now might be a good time to support Rachel’s assertion she has a boyfriend. Being MIA for two months is not a good way to keep a relationship healthy.

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