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[] baks112's Blog - Watch Glee Season 4, Episode 21: Wonder-Ful Online

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Click Here To Watch Full Episode

For Rachel, her hardest class may be Dance 101, ruled -- not taught -- by Cassandra July (Kate Hudson, in a guest role) who sneers at the newcomer, "I bet you were a big star back in Iowa." Ohio, Rachel corrects her. "That's even worse." Meanwhile, the halls of McKinley remain a jungle, where the slushies fly and a certain cheerleading coach rules.

MY SAY "Glee" at its best was always tinged with a sweet, sad feeling of loss -- the sense that youth passes and best to grab the moment while you can. But at its worst, "Glee" ... well, no need to go there now because Thursday night is "Glee" at its best.

This episode resolves all sorts of issues that looked messy in May. How to bridge the New York and Lima stories? Simple: Don't even try. The New York scenes -- all darkly lit, burnished and moody -- will remind you of "Smash" and "The Black Swan," and they're meant to. By contrast, the hallways of McKinley are, as usual, bright and airy -- all the better to see the petty cruelties in sharp relief.

There are lots of new characters to introduce, but each comes with a narrative hook that provides a bit of emotional texture. Jake Puckerman (Jacob Artist) is Puck's younger half-brother. He's the one with the very visible chip on his shoulder. Rachel's new pal, Brody (Dean Geyer)? He's the "straight" one (he announces, in an amusing aside at 3 a.m.). Marley (Melissa Benoist) is the lunch lady's daughter.

First came love. "Glee" was nothing like anything we'd seen on TV, and the characters felt fresh and funny; the storylines poignant. And the music! We sang along and downloaded the tunes.

In Season 2, though, the show was hitting sour notes. Theme episodes were annoying, and we'd begun to discover that the characters we'd enjoyed so much didn't behave in consistent ways from episode to episode or even scene to scene.

Click Here To Watch Full Episode

By Season 3, some former fans had bailed out, or were "hate watching," mocking the show on social media. But the problem, if you can call this a problem, was that "Glee" was still sometimes great, with moments to make us laugh and cry and care. The week-to-week rollercoaster ride was maddening, as we saw over and over how wonderful this show could be, when it wasn't horrible.

That's why I can't be too heartened by the fact that the Season 4 premiere is "Glee" at its best. The decision to have some students graduate was a smart one, and splitting the action between New York (where Lea Michele's Rachel Berry is attending NYADA, the New York Academy of Dramatic Arts) and Ohio (where the remaining members of New Directions are regrouping) turns out to have been even smarter.

Michele does some real acting as Rachel struggles in her new school, overwhelmed by the demands of her borderline-psychotic dance teacher, played hilariously by Kate Hudson. Boyfriend Finn is off in the military and took Rachel's heart with him -- but a cute new guy, Brody (Dean Geyer), helps to ease her loneliness.

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