We were left with a number of highs from the conclusion before the hiatus: Mr. Shuester and Emma’s way over-due kiss, Finn dumping Quinn and possibly giving Rachel a chance, and Mrs. Shuester finally getting the boot!… but we immediately get thrown back down from the clouds during the premiere episode of the second season.
I must admit that I have my doubts for Glee’s second-half stint, simply becuase the first season was so well-done. It felt like an extended movie that laid out the conflict and characters right from the start, had plenty of twists and turns throughout the bulk of the plot, and ended with an incredibly sappy yet inspiring conclusion that left everyone smiling.
But I guess everything couldn’t have continued to work out if there were to be any sort of conflict during this season. So what’s the first thing that happened? Our favorite villain, Sue Sylvester, returned to McKinley High after blackmailing the principal in hilarious fashion.
Football season’s over, but all the jocks are now into basketball. Once again, Finn’s struggling with finding himself and having a tough time concentrating on his athletics with Rachel looming his every move. So to free himself some space, he breaks things off with Rachel.
It doesn’t take long until Rachel gets swooped up by another boy. This time it was Jesse (played by Lea Michele’s co-star in Spring Awakening, Jonathan Groff), the head of Vocal Adrenaline. I sure hope Jesse stays on the show more than just an ocassional side-character. His duet with Rachel was as good as when Will Shuester and Rachel sang “Endless Love.” I’m not bashing on Finn’s talents, but it’s evident that they just have that natural singing voice while Finn is that hybrid of athlete, Glee lead, goofy yet likeable guy.
In addition to Rachel and Finn falling apart, Will and Emma find themselves full of awkwardness as they attempt to take the leap from friends to a relationship. Will gets freaked out when Emma reveals that she’s a virgin, then he ends up making out with the director of Vocal Adrenaline. What’s Will doing?! I guess no one’s perfect.
Aside from kicking around all the lingering happy finale from the first season, the episode was upbeat and full of music. The stand-out number was the Glee club singing and free-styling to the All-American Rejects’ hit “Give You Hell.” We’re left wondering what’s going to happen to our favorite Glee couples. And in my opinion, leaving out Quinn entirely during this episode was a bummer. She really stole the second half of the debut season. I hope they explore her character fully in an episode soon!