Here’s what you missed on Glee: Brittany landed a scholarship to MIT and left high school in the middle of the year to pursue her secret Ravenclaw dreams. Rachel got a callback to play Fanny Brice in the revival of Funny Girl on Broadway. Blaine bought an engagement ring from a lesbian couple who afflicted him with Immediate Forever Syndrome. Sam developed an allergy to scissors. And New New Directions won Regionals with one of Sweet Marley Rose‘s original compositions. (The one about puppies and kittens frolicking over a rainbow hand-in-hand with baskets of sprinkle-cupcakes for homeless people.)
Rachel Berry kills at her Funny Girl callback because she has been practicing for this exact moment for all of her whole life, but the director cuts her short and the leading man blows off her fawning because she is only 18, after all, and her one major accomplishment in NYC so far is making Cassandra July cry. She overhears them talking about how she’s awesome but green, so she takes a walk around the city and leads us into Beatlemania with “Yesterday,” a song that was always going to be haunting even if we weren’t all thinking about Cory Monteith‘s tragic, tragic death as she croons “Why he had to go, I don’t know…” and “Yesterday, love was such an easy game to play.”
Actually, that’s really the accidental, over-arching theme of this season five premiere. Despite all the razzle-dazzle Beatles tunes and legitimate character growth and actual narrative consistency, we know what the characters don’t know: That they’ve gotta love, love, love as hard as they can right now because today is going to be yesterday for them really soon, and unspeakable tragedy is on the way.
In the school year that will never end — according to Kitty Wilde, the new voice of the People — Mr. Schue tells New New Directions that it’s time to hunker down and concentrate on The Beatles for two solid weeks, an announcement that makes Tina furrow her brow and scratch her head and go, “Like, story continuity, you mean? That feels … impossible.” Kitty is dubious that teenagers can relate to the greatest selling musicians of all time, but Blaine shuts her down. And then she learns about the timelessness of that ol’ English rock band from the ’60s when Artie gives her a ride on his chair while they duet on “Drive My Car.”
They’re in the hallway! They’re in bumper cars at a carnival! They’re on the tilt-a-whirl! A carousel is there! Some teacups! The Skycoaster! The Skydiver! Swings! Swings! Swings!
Kitty and Artie’s adorability is interrupted by Bree and the Cheerios. Bree is New Santana, which, frankly, is the most ludicrous and offensive New New we’ve seen so far. I mean, she’s pretty and bitchy and everything but only Naya Rivera can deliver a zinger like Naya Rivera. Don’t send a housecat to do a lion’s job. Bree frenemies Kitty about how cute she and Artie are together and are they dating and boy she sure hopes so on account of she just Instagrammed a photo of them together. After Bree bounces, Kitty turns to Artie and goes, “Clearly, we’re more than friends…” (And his heart soars!) “…buuuuut, I need social capital and you’re kind of a liability on that front, so let’s keep quiet about this whole me-and-you thing.” (And his heart drops!)
Santana has traded in her job at Coyote Ugly for a whole new kind of exploitation at Spotlight Diner, and she’s managed to pull a couple of strings to get Rachel a job too. Because Rachel wants to pay her dues and also her rent. Five seconds into her first shift, she’s all, “We’re basically working actresses!” Oh, Rachel. Old Rachel. It’s so good to see you again.
Back at McKinley, Kurt is straight-up dressed like The Joker and enjoying a farewell picnic in the quad with Blaine, who is dressed like a Sunny Delight commercial. Before Kurt leaves, Blaine’s just gotta know: What’s up with that New York Guy? Kurt goes, “Who, Adam? Yeah, people liked the idea of us together. Kadam, they called us. And it was like, ‘Yay! Finally Kurt will have a boyfriend who won’t cheat on him!’ or whatever, but, I mean, look at us. Me and you, I mean. Look at me and you. Just seeing us with naked eyeballs from outer space, you’d know we were soul mates.” Blaine wants to be boyfriends again (because it’s the next step in his masterplan, which is: husbands) and he promises, promises, promises to never, ever, ever cheat on Kurt again. Kurt’s willing to give it a go, so long as Blaine signs one of those no-cheating contracts from Oprah‘s website and also so long as Blaine agrees that Kurt is the Goldie in the Goldie Hawn/Kurt Russell thing they’ve got going on.
To celebrate their official boyfriend-ness, and the fact that the writers let them have a legit two-sided conversation about their relationship, Blaine has prepared a song. But Kurt rolls his eyes and goes, “Oh my God, while you’re on Oprah’s website, will you please see if you can find some tips on basic solo-hogging decorum!” They’ve both prepared to sing “Got to Get You Into My Life” and they’ve both booked marching bands for their performances, so it’s a lot of running and jumping and ducking and diving and zigging and zagging. Kurt’s always been good at that zag, just when you expect him to zig. At the end of the song, Kurt grabs Blaine and they smash their faces together in a real-live, on-screen, close-up, open-mouthed kiss. Hot damn! (Your move, Modern Family.)