It’s still unclear what will become of “Glee” after the first three episodes of Season 5. Following the tragic July death of star Cory Monteith, the writing staff has had to course-correct their season while they, along with the entire cast and crew, mourn the death of their friend and colleague. What we do know is that “Glee” will return on Thursday, Sept. 26 at 9/8c on FOX with the first of its two Beatles tribute episodes, followed by an episode dedicated to the passing of Finn Hudson (and the man who played the quarterback-turned-reluctant glee club star).
While the series breaks for the baseball playoffs, the writers will continue to figure out how the show will go on without its most beloved cast member. Until then, here’s a look at what you can expect from those first three episodes of “Glee”:
1. The Beatles. The first two episodes of Season 5, “Love, Love, Love” and “Tina in the Sky With Diamonds,” are the long-awaited tribute to The Beatles. That means you’ll hear “Glee”-ified versions of everything from “Drive My Car” to “Hey Jude,” from “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” to “All You Need is Love.” All 14 of the covers will appear on the “Glee Sings The Beatles” album, out Sept. 24.
2. High-School Drama. While plenty of time during the Beatles episodes will be taken up by our fresh-faced McKinley students singing Fab Four tunes, there will actually be storylines, too. The first episode deals with Kurt and Blaine thinking about their future together and Rachel chasing her New York dreams, while the second one follows Tina as she alienates her supporters after being nominated for prom queen.
3. New Love Interests. With Brittany out of the picture, Santana is getting a new lady love in the form of Demi Lovato, who plays Dani, an artist friend of Santana and Rachel’s in New York City. “Figuring out how to represent [the LGBT] community … it’s been pretty awesome to represent that on primetime TV,” Lovato told MTV News of her role, which will last at least six episodes starting with the second Beatles tribute. The “X Factor” judge will also duet with Adam Lambert, whose character will also be a part of the show’s New York City storyline. Romance is in the air for Sam, who will hit it off with Penny Owen, a college sophomore interested in nursing school. Penny will be played by Phoebe Strole, who costarred in “Spring Awakening” with Lea Michele.
4. A Cory Monteith Tribute. Monteith died July 13 of a heroin and alcohol overdose, and his passing will be addressed in the third episode of the season. The episode will be called “The Quarterback” and will start off with news of Finn’s death, although his cause of death will not be revealed. Michele, Monteith’s on- and off-screen love, will not appear until a heartwrenching song in the final scene. Star Kevin McHale told TVLine the “extremely emotional” shoot was “hard to get through,” but it will be a beautiful episode. “There are so many incredibly well-written and powerful scenes,” he said. “When [the cast] got the script, we were all reading it together and we were like, ‘Did you get to that one scene?’ And when you see it everyone will know what that one scene is.”
5. Familiar Faces. Coming back to pay tribute to Monteith are Amber Riley, Harry Shum Jr., Mark Salling, Jayma Mays, Dot-Marie Jones, Mike O’Malley, and Romy Rosemont, according to E! Online. Absent, however, will be Heather Morris, who is currently very pregnant, and Dianna Agron, who told the New York Post that she wasn’t asked to return but has, along with her friends and former cast members, struggled with Monteith’s passing. “This year I’ve had some of the biggest cries of my entire life. … It hasn’t completely hit in yet,” she said. “It’s one of the strangest things that has ever happened to me. I don’t know how people do it over and over again throughout their lives.”
The fifth season of “Glee” premieres Thursday, Sept. 26 at 9/8c on FOX.