By Erin Strecker
September 26, 2013 at 01:00 PM EDT
Kwaku Alston/Fox
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Little did we know when Glee wrapped its fourth season, the show — and the fans who love it — were in for one heck of a hard summer. A lot has changed since the musical dramedy went off the air in May, and the show now brings with it questions much larger than “Will Rachel land her Broadway dream?” Cory Monteith tragically passed away in July, and the show announced, perhaps inevitably, that the upcoming season will feature the death of his character, Finn, as well.

Before that depressing turn of events, starting tonight, the show will kick off its two-part Beatles tribute episode (“Love, Love, Love” and “Tina in the Sky With Diamonds”). If tribute episodes of the past — such as hours devoted to Madonna or Britney — are anything to go on, tonight will be an upbeat, music-filled hour (eight songs as opposed to the more typical four per hour) with brief storylines focused on the themes of the artist’s oeuvre. Since The Beatles are all about love, it’s likely the show will kick off with a continuation of Blaine’s will he/won’t he proposal to Kurt. The show is going to be dealing with more than its fair share of tragedy this season, and getting Kurt and Blaine back together can provide a happy counterpoint, not to mention a great excuse to break out even more classic love songs.

Elsewhere, when we left off last season, Rachel had her big Broadway callback audition for Funny Girl, where she brought the metaphorical house down with her rendition of “To Love You More.” Kurt was busy being a supportive friend and NYADA classmate, and a single Santana joined the NYC crew at the end of last year to try her own luck in the Big Apple. We know that Demi Lovato will guest star early this season as a love interest for Santana, and Adam Lambert will also be making an appearance within the New York storyline.

But of course, plot questions like marriage proposals and continuing high school drama all fade to the background of what’s likely the number one concern for fans. The question remains: Can what was once a happy-go-lucky musical comedy even bounce back from the death of one of its stars? The third episode of the program will feature the characters gathering for a memorial for Finn, but it’s unclear what the plan is beyond that.

The standard fall hiatus will follow the third hour, and when the show returns, will we pick back up with Unique, Ryder, and Marley dealing with Nationals drama at McKinley, or will Glee re-focus to New York and NYADA where memories of Finn aren’t called to mind like they are with every choir room shot? Will the show use any kind of time jump? For now it’s all unclear, and the show writers are likely grappling with these questions themselves.

What would you like to see this season?

Jane Lynch, Lea Michele, and high school anxiety star in Fox’s campy musical.
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