Adam Rose/Fox


S3 E1
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September 21, 2011 at 07:53 AM EDT

Hi, guys! The long wait for a new episode of Glee is finally over, and I have to say it was a really satisfying start to the new year. The “kids” all seemed to be in stages that make sense, things moved along briskly, and the majority of the songs not only fit right in to the story line but were simply fun to watch. The seniors (Kurt, Rachel, Finn, and Mike) are thinking ahead to life after high school, Quinn is having an identity crisis, Sue is bringing the full weight of her crazy to her congressional campaign, and Schue is obsessing on the kids while ignoring his (more than) slightly dysfunctional personal life. Yes, all is as it should be in the McKinley High world.

The Glee club is down three members at the start of the show; Quinn is off on her aforementioned personal quest,  Zizes decided her rep couldn’t take the stink of failure from the Glee club anymore, and Sam’s gone because his dad got a job out of state (bye, Chord Overstreet). By the end of the episode they’d pick up a new member (Blaine! More Blaine and Kurt scenes please!) and lost another (so long for now, Santana. More on that later.) Mike and Tina remain an item. Mercedes introduced us to her new man, Marcus. Oh and Will and Emma are sleeping together! But that’s all they seem to be doing.

But with all the setup to go through, we had to wait until after the first commercial break to hear a song. Schue’s bright idea to recruit new members involved donated pianos painted purple and strategically placed around the school. The Glee club members were supposed to launch into song-and-dance routines whenever they saw them to try to spark any onlooker’s musical passion. Not surprisingly, this was not appealing to any of them, what with their popularity hitting new lows following the failure to place in the top 10 at Nationals. But Rachel convinced them to actually do a routine.. in the cafeteria… at lunchtime. With a little more thought I’m sure they could have seen the massive food-fight potential in this, or at least the distinct possibility for creative slushying, like what the Cheerios’ new co-captain, Becky, did. But they did the GoGos proud with that performance, and I’m not so surprised that it was so dangerous for some of the actors.

Quinn’s taken on a new look (pink hair, a nose ring and an ironic tramp-stamp tattoo of Ryan Seacrest) and a new set of friends. I’m not exactly thrilled about a group of teenage girls calling themselves Skanks, but it was good to see Good Luck Charlie‘s Raven Goodwin as part of that crew and I hope we’ll see her perform. (Yes, I watch a lot of the Disney Channel shows. Don’t judge.)

NEXT: Rachel and Kurt get a reality check

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