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Glee 5.01 "Love, Love, Love" Review: PS, We Love You, Finn

    Glee’s first episode of season five, “Love, Love, Love,” was written by Brad Falchuk and directed by Bradley Buecker. It was the first of two episodes to feature the music of the Beatles. The episode’s first song was Yesterday, fittingly sung by Lea Michele, and it was impossible not to feel that it was a tribute to Cory Monteith. Indeed, during the number, Rachel (Michele) looks at a picture on her phone of the Glee-gang, including Monteith. Of course, the real tribute to Monteith will come in the third episode of the season which will feature the death of his character Finn Hudson. Glee was not the first show I’d seen Monteith on, but I was tickled when I started watching the show in its first season and recognized him from a very small part on Supernatural. Finn quickly became one of my favorite characters and Monteith performed a number of my favorite numbers on the show – both solo and group. It’s still hard to believe that someone so young and talented has left us already.

    In some ways, this episode felt to me a bit like a return to form for the show. The musical numbers were solid – though it is admittedly pretty hard to go wrong with the Beatles. We had some nice socially relevant themes – Kitty (Becca Tobin) realizing that her love for Artie (Kevin McHale) needed to respect him and had to take precedence over her status at school and the epic acceptance of Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Blaine’s (Darren Criss) relationship and engagement and by extension gay marriage. Sue (Jane Lynch) was back at McKinnley and up to her old tricks.

    I’m not completely sold on Sue as Principal – after all, we already tried that. However, I do like that they’ve changed it up a bit and instead of Sue sabotaging Roz (NeNe Leakes) and Will (Matthew Morrison) at every turn, she’s actually going to be putting the pressure on them to win their national championships. So maybe that will set Roz up as one of the big obstacles to the Glee club. Meanwhile, Principal Figgins (Iqbal Theba) is now Janitor Figgins, and he’s not happy. Maybe this will be the thing to push him over the edge and he’ll be the one plotting Sue’s demise.

    I was happy to see some great guest stars in the New York storyline. The addition of Peter Facinelli (Nurse Jackie, Twilight) and Ioan Gruffudd (Ringer, Fantastic Four, King Arthur – hence the Lancelot shout out) have me particularly excited to see Rachel get the part! I thought Rachel and Santana’s (Naya Rivera) routine in the diner was one of the best of the episode. However, I hope that they exploit the New York storyline a lot better than they did last season. I haven’t found splitting the story between Lima and New York has worked very well up until now. Kate Hudson and Sarah Jessica Parker were great last season but were also very under used – sometimes you can have too many guest stars, especially when your main cast is already so big.

    It was great to see almost everyone back for the big proposal number at the end. I was particularly happy to see Mike O’Malley (Burt Hummel) show up to give Kurt advice – which was that his advice doesn’t matter. As always when those two share the screen, they really knocked it out of the park. It was fun to see the Warbler’s back with Sebastian (Grant Gustin) still leading them. Gustin, of course, if off to play the Flash in Arrow – and quite possibly continue the role into a spinoff series and onto the big screen in Justice League.

    As I said, in some ways this episode felt like a return to form, but it was not a perfect episode for me. Yes, the musical numbers were virtually all excellent – something that I used to take for granted, but that has been very hit and miss over the last two seasons. I also really enjoyed seeing Burt and Kurt share the screen. I have to admit that I agreed with Kurt that he and Blaine are too young – and it’s too soon after they just got back together – for them to be engaged. Does anyone else think Blaine seems unhealthily obsessed? Another peeve I had is what are they doing to Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz)? Seriously, Ushkowitz hasn’t had a decent storyline since season one. We had very little from the new main cast – Jake (Jacob Artist), Marley (Melissa Benoist), Ryder (Blake Jenner), or Unique (Alex Newell) – and I can’t say that that bothered me. I do hope we’ll see more of Artist’s mad dance skills, but I’m a bit tired of having Benoist act like an idiot, so I hope her storyline will be a bit more mature this season. As for Newell, it takes every bit of will power I have not to change the channel even when he’s in the background. I cannot fathom why he was kept on as a main cast member – he can’t act or dance and there are at least seven other cast members I’d rather hear sing. But maybe that’s just me...

    What did you think of the first episode back? Are you excited for more Beatles next week? Were you like me and couldn't stop thinking about Cory Monteith? Let me know in the comments...

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