Jennifer Clasen/FOX


S6 E1
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January 10, 2015 at 03:04 AM EST

The season 5 Glee finale ended with our favorite former high school choir members scattered from coast to coast. Rachel left Fanny Brice on the Broadway stage to pursue an acting career in LA. Blaine moved into the huge New York loft with Kurt. When Sam finally landed a gig showcasing his phenomenal abs plastered on the side of a city bus, he headed back to Lima. And Mercedes was on a mall tour with Brittany as her backup dancer.

You may be wondering how Ryan Murphy is ever going to weave all of these random storylines into one cohesive plot? The answer is simple. Ditch everything that happened in the previous season, go back to the drawing board, and pay homage to the simple pleasures that made this show charming since day one. It’s about time the original Glee Club members head back to William McKinley High.

There are only two things that can send someone in his or her early 20s running to Lima: devastation and high school homecoming. At the start of season 6, we learn that Rachel’s TV show is a colossal failure—and to no one’s surprise, it was canceled after one episode. So she carries a box containing the remnants of her sitcom life out of the sound stage and into her childhood bedroom, singing Alanis Morissette’s forlorn “Uninvited” as she stares pitifully at a gold, glittery star, which once symbolized her Broadway ambitions. Her father informs her that he is divorcing her other father, and oh yeah, the house is for sale. Welcome home, Rachel Berry! Make sure to keep that box so you can pack away the rest of your dreams inside.

Fleeing her depressing former domicile, Rachel meets Blaine at the local coffee shop. Just when you begin to question why he isn’t belting the latest chart topper at NYADA, Blaine explains that he and Kurt are no longer together. After breaking up with his fiance, Blaine moved back home, where he will be coaching none other than the Warblers. It’s not McKinley, but it’s close enough.

Speaking of McKinley, Sue Sylvester is thriving as Ohio’s winningest principal. Students are forced to eat raw kale, partake in mandatory weigh-ins, and when things get ugly, Coach Sylvester literally releases the hounds. Pit bulls to be exact. Her crowning achievement is two-fold: transferring all Glee Club kids to other schools (convenient) and getting Mr. Schue a job at Carmel High. So long humanities! Young minds do not need the arts. It must be MATH, MATH, MATH! And the Cheerios, of course.

Will is completely in his musical element coaching Vocal Adrenaline, but these sing-bots are not as warm and fuzzy as New Directions. And they wouldn’t touch anything from the Journey songbook with a 10-foot pole. Rachel crashes his rehearsal to mope that she is a huge failure. Mr. Schue gives her a confusing pep talk that includes a bow and arrow illustration. Just when I think a Hunger Games number is about to take the stage, the moment ends with a life lesson about how failure can bend, but it will never break Rachel Berry. The odds will ever be in her favor.

Not willing to break, Rachel convinces the superintendent to let her reinstate the Glee Club at McKinley. Kurt moves back to help, since third year students at NYADA must have off-campus work study internships (convenient). Plus, he really misses Blaine and wants to win him back. I’m sure Kurt will choose a lovely ballad to evoke the proper emotions when the time comes. Sue welcomes the pair into her Thunderdome while promising that she shows no mercy to anyone who dare cross her track suit.

Step one in the “Get Blaine Back” campaign: Kurt inviting Blaine for drinks. When Kurt professes his intention to get Blaine back, Blaine’s face falls. Enter David Karosfsky. As in the football player bully turned BLAINE’S BOYFRIEND. Dave is ecstatic that Kurt is back, and he wants them all to hang out and be lifelong friends. Kurt would rather choke on his jaunty neckerchief.

NEXT: His name is Roderick, and I love him.

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