'Glee': The Ultimate Season 4 Recap- Part I; New York and Lima

By Lauren DuBois,
What happened in both New York and Lima during 'Glee' Season 4

As fans eagerly anticipate the start or Season 5 of Glee, a show that burst onto the scene a few years back and stole their hearts (inspiring a small cult following), the wait is also tinged with some sadness.

Episode 3, also known as The Quarterback aside, this will be the first season that doesn’t feature star Cory Monteith. Though fans have had to adjust to beloved characters from the first three seasons mostly disappearing anyway as they went off to college, and had to start adjusting to a whole new crop of New Directions members, none were so tragically and suddenly ripped away from the show with no advanced warning the same way Monteith, and likewise his character, Finn Hudson, were. Because it’s the last time fans will get to acknowledge his presence on screen as a healthy and alive character, season 4 is just that much more poignant.

So the looming death of Finn aside, what can fans expect in Season 5? So far, nothing else has been revealed minus the Two-Part Beatles episode preceding the Tribute episode to Monteith, and the impending graduations of other fan favorites, including Artie (Kevin McHale), Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz), Blaine (Darren Criss) and Sam (Chord Overstreet). But maybe a glimpse back at the events of season 4 can help fans prepare themselves for what is sure to be a season full of surprises, sad goodbyes to other characters who mostly leave the show, and of course, the final goodbye to Finn Hudson.

Season 4-New York:

Season 4 was the first which introduced a split format in the narrative, with stories going on simultaneously in good old McKinley High, as well as in New York City, where fans saw Rachel (Lea Michele) arriving, solo, in the last moments of Season 3. By the season’s end, we saw her gain a few more familiar friends go through some relationship wringers, and learn about just how intense the New York crowd really is.

She gets some new roommates:

When the season begins, Rachel is living in the dorms at NYADA, and is really unhappy as a result. She has a roommate she never sees, and her bathing and bathroom routine is so intense that no one else understands it, and she has to take showers in the dead of night as a result. The only person who gets her at first is junior Brody Weston (Dean Geyer), who also has an intense ritual. But it’s not enough to stop Rachel from crying to best friend Kurt (Chris Colfer), over the phone. But then, before she knows it, even though he didn’t get into NYADA, Kurt is in New York to be with her, and the two get an apartment together in Brooklyn. Rachel still goes to NYADA, while Kurt works at Vogue and works towards his own acceptance to the prestigious school. Later on in the year, the two are joined by another surprise roommate. Santana(Naya Rivera)comes to stay with them as she figures out that New York is where she needs to be—she just doesn’t know what she wants to do with her future yet.

She learns that not all teachers are as kind as Schu:

When Rachel begins classes at NYADA, two of her professors show her that New York, and show business in general, really are cutthroat. During a vocal performance class with the intimidating Carmen Tibideaux (Whoopi Goldberg), Rachel watches as another classmate who doesn’t perform well during class is kicked out of the school—on the very first day. Thankfully, her rendition of “New York State of Mind” is good enough to keep her in school for at least one more day. However, not all of her professors are as easily appeased. Her dance class is taught by the infamous Cassandra July (Kate Hudson)… and Ms. July does not like Rachel at all, and makes it her personal goal to ruin Rachel’s life by undermining her confidence at every turn, even insulting her appearance by calling her “Schwimmer,” a reference to actor David Schwimmer. Cassandra remains a tough presence in Rachel’s life throughout the season.

She gets a little more risqué—in more ways than one:

Rachel also changes when she gets to New York, in more ways than one. First, she gets a sexy new makeover because Cassandra tells her she isn’t sexy enough. Then, she gets hooked up with Brody—who she moves into bed with very quickly. Almost as quickly, Brody is also living in the Brooklyn apartment, walking around naked and encouraging Rachel to participate in a student film where she removes her top, which she ultimately ends up not doing. When she heads back to Lima for Mr. Schu’s (Matthew Morrison) wedding, she and Finn (as well as several other couples) wind up getting a hotel room together and hooking up. And as Rachel frets afterwards because she thinks she’s pregnant (and doesn’t know if her baby’s daddy is Finn or Brody), she also starts learning some secrets about Brody.

Season 4-Lima:

Meanwhile, back in Lima, several graduates often returned, and the old faces of McKinley that had yet to leave started to adjust to being defending national champions, but without all of their old friends. Enter a new crop of young New Directions hopefuls: Marley Rose (Melissa Benoist), Jake Puckerman (Jacob Artist), Wade ‘Unique’ Adams (Alex Newell), a transfer from Vocal Adrenaline who fans met in Season 3, Ryder Lynn (Blake Jenner), and Kitty Wilde (Becca Tobin). Fear not fans—before the season ended, we learned that these kids all had their own fresh batch of problems that would only be solved by being in the Glee Club.

Who’s ‘The New Rachel?’

When the season begins, the kids of New Directions begin to wonder who will be the group’s new superstar, now that Rachel Berry has graduated. The ones competing for the title are Blaine, Tina, Brittany and Wade/Unique. They decide to have a sing-off with the song of summer 2012—Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.” The ultimate winner was no real surprise—congratulations Blaine!

Meet the New ‘New Directions!’

Of course the Glee Club needs new members, as always, but they haven’t had this big of a deficit since they started in Season 1 with only Rachel, Kurt, Tina, Artie, and Mercedes (Amber Riley). They’ve lost eight of their strongest talents thanks to graduation, and coming off of a National championship, that means there needs to be some really great new talent coming in—and lots of it. Very early on, the New Directions learn that Wade/Unique has transferred to McKinley from Carmel, which was hinted at in Season 3. No surprise there. The first episode also sees the auditions of new girl Marley (secretly the daughter of the new lunch lady), who blows everyone away with “New York State of Mind,” (sung simultaneously with Rachel, back in New York). There’s also “Just Jake,” who storms out of his audition—and is later revealed to be Noah Puckerman’s younger half-brother—who joins soon as well. In a move similar to Quinn’s when she joined the club in season 1, new mean girl cheerleader Kitty joins the club as well. Rounding out the newbies is Finn recruit, and new football stud, Ryder. Welcome to the club guys!

Who’s teaching the New Directions kids now?

Mr. Schu quickly exits so he can head up the Blue Ribbon Panel for fine arts education in Washington DC. So who takes his place to run the Glee Club and ensure they will continue their reign as champions? Enter Finn, who is back in Lima after both the army and New York didn’t quite fit. Perhaps because he is just that all-knowing about his students, Schu appoints Finn to replace him—putting Finn on the path towards realizing that what he wants in life is to be a teacher.

Check out Part II of the Season 4 Recap, "The Competitive Spirit"; Part III, "New Friends"; and stay tuned for Part IV, "...And Old Faces" and "The Ultimate 'Glee' Season 4 Recap: Love, Loss and Painful Break-Ups" coming soon!



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