Glee S5 E1 – “Love, Love, Love”

Welcome back Glee! You're spinning me right round baby!

Welcome back Glee! You’re spinning me right round baby!

Holy smokes – is everyone okay!? Glee’s fifth season opener had promised a bright, positive start to the season but did we really expect that level of joy? There is something especially poignant about new love, reconnected love, the love of friends, the coming together of people to celebrate love – all without cast mate Cory Monteith, who passed away over the summer. As we hear from Burt Hummel (Mike O’Malley, one again an absolute gem) – life is short. We don’t know how much time we have. All we can do is live and love in the moment. This was a great example of the Glee family, coming together to celebrate love and life. There’s still a tribute to be made in show, but in a lot of ways, this entire season will be about getting back up and moving on with a hopeful spirit.

And now – “Love, Love, Love”.

We’re celebrating the epic music of the Beatles as the episode begins. Rachel (Lea Michele) is on stage, doing her chemistry test with a stage legend (Ioan Gruffudd) for the “Funny Girl” director (Peter Facinelli). Rachel does her dialogue, only to be abruptly shut down by the director. “Thank you Rachel” sounds pretty much like “Go Away Now” and she is bummed out by their reaction. As she’s leaving, Rachel overhears them talking about her youth and her lack of experience. She takes to the streets of the city to sing her melancholy.

We get our first song of the season – an absolutely gorgeous rendition of “Yesterday” which Lea owns, heart and soul. As Rachel walks through NY, there’s a tracing of key spots she and Finn visited when they were her for Nationals back in season 2. She pauses on the bridge in Central Park to look at a picture on her phone – it’s the Glee Club kids, happily celebrating their victory. It’s a lovely recall, with a double meaning after the loss of Monteith, but also a loss of innocence. Wanting to come to New York and be a star is a great dream – but the road isn’t easy.

Welcome back Ohio! To the whoops and delights of almost everyone, Mr. Schue writes “The Beatles” on the board and announces they will be taking an unheard of two weeks to examine the music of one of the most popular bands of all time. Kitty isn’t impressed with a) how long the school year seems to be taking (welcome back, Glee Fourth Wall Breakage) and singing a “band from the 40’s”.  No one much listens to the Not Quite So Mean Girl and after the bell rings, we discover the potential reason for Kitty’s slightly less convincing hostility – she and Artie have got something going on, which causes her to light up like sunshine.

So what do we think? Kartie?

So what do we think? Kartie?

Sidebar: I didn’t like Kitty much when season 4 started but she started growing on me as time went on. Becca Tobin is fabulous so I’m delighted they’ve been utilizing her more – as well as making Kitty sharp but decent.

Artie takes Kitty for a ride down the hall on his lap and she can’t really hide her warm fuzzies – though she seems uncomfortable with the attention they’re drawing. He asks her out on a date and they finally decide on risking their lives at the town carnival.

Segue to “Baby You Can Drive My Car“! Kevin McHale and Becca sound great on this number, sexy and fun. A montage of carnival antics (including bumper cars!) with the New Directions crew is adorable, full of the charming energy this group seems to bring to the screen.

Uh oh. Seems we have a new bad girl in town. Cheerio Bree (new cast member Erinn Westbrook) – two e’s, not like the cheese – thinks that Artie and Kitty are adorbs and coos about taking their pics for Instagram. After she walks away, Artie comments on how nice she seems but Kitty is well aware of this girl’s plan. She hates Kitty and wants to destroy her.

Kitty tells Artie that she like likes him and they’re dating – but how about they make it fun by doing it on the down low? Like Gay Conservatives. They both know what she means and Kitty seems sad when she tells Artie that status is something she needs at this school. He agrees to her plan.

Yeah, rooting for them already.

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