‘Glee’ Recap: Britney is Back! But What About Finn?

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The Season 4 premiere pushed FOX to No. 1 on Thursday.
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It’s Britney, b—h!

Hopefully, Britney Spears has a sense of humor because after watching this week’s episode of Glee, she’s either going to be overcome with horrible flashbacks or thankful for how far she’s come in the last five years. In “Britney 2.0,” Brittany has one epic meltdown — but can she stage the ultimate comeback?

Back in New York, Rachel and Brody get closer than ever, thanks to the power of Spears’ super steamy catalog. Is this the beginning of the end for Finchel?

Note: Spoilers if you haven’t watched Thursday’s episode, “Britney 2.0.”

Brittany S. Pierce (Heather Morris) is sad. She was kicked off the Cheerios by Sue (Jane Lynch) for turning her math tests into coloring books. Santana (Naya Rivera) doesn’t have time for their “scissor chats.” And Lord Tubington has ditched her for a gang! So to cheer up Brittany, Mr. Schue (Matthew Morrison) organizes yet another Britney week. After all, she is Brittany’s namesake.

Even Tina, Teen Jesus (Samuel Larson) and Sam (Chord Overstreet) get in on the Britney action. The trio perform the popstar’s ménage à trois anthem “3” — and dare I say it, it’s one of the best covers Glee has ever produced in its four-year run. Not only did I finally understand what Britney was saying (“Everybody loves counting” — who knew?), it highlights some of the glee club’s most underused voices. Say what you want about Richie Poor, but he has a nice falsetto.

Unfortunately for Britney, even the New Directions can’t save her from herself. Britney’s downward spiral mimics Spears’ public meltdown in 2007. She beats up JBI (Josh Sussman) with an umbrella, attempts to shave her head in the choir room and even puts the New Directions in jeopardy of losing their national title with a horrendous lip-synched performance (“Gimme More”) for the entire school. Cheetos, 72-ounce sodas and giant pop-tarts are also involved.

Thankfully, Sam is there to pick up her pieces — and initiate Brittany’s epic comeback, which includes tutoring sessions with Mr. Schue and Emma (Jayma Mays), getting herself back on the Cheerios and getting serious about being Class President.

Meanwhile, in New York City, Rachel (Lea Michele) and Kurt (Chris Colfer) move into a Brooklyn palace. Sure, it’s not Manhattan, but at least it’s not a shoebox. Not to mention that Bushwick is totally an up-and-coming hotspot for young New Yorkers. It’s only a matter of time before Kurt turns into a Pabst Blue Ribbon-drinking, vinyl-loving hipster. After all, he’s already vying for an internship at Vogue.

Feeling insulted by her dance instructor Cassie (Kate Hudson), Rachel enlists her new friend Brody (Dean Geyer) to help her sex up her tango. Without hesitation, he accepts the challenge, and I can only imagine that thousands of Finchel fans cringed at the site of Brody humping a table while Rachel belted, “I’m not that innocent!” Cassie, on the other hand, was less-than-impressed, dismissing Little Miss Schwimmer as a wannabe sexpot.

Rachel then lashes out at Cassie, saying that she’s just jealous that she lost her shot at becoming a big-time Broadway star because of her explosive temper. Unfortunately for Rachel, she didn’t have the upper-hand in this argument. Now Rachel, what did I tell you about throwing shade at your teachers?

In an effort to cheer her up, Brody visits Rachel — 45 minutes away — in Bushwick. (For those of you who don’t live in New York, this is a very big deal). “I’ve lived here for three years, and I didn’t even know there was a J train.” Oh, Brody. I already despise you. And that was before you ended up at Rachel’s apartment with an orchid and a proposition to take her on a date. I’m starting to really miss Finn (Cory Monteith). However, Rachel is starting to lose hope.

Back at McKinley, things are heating up between Marley (Melissa Benoist) and Jake (Jacob Artist) — affectionately known as Jarley. The two perform a lovely mashup of Britney’s “(You Drive Me) Crazy” and Areosmith’s “Crazy.” The chemistry between these two newcomers was so strong, I almost forgot Finchel even existed. Marley and Jake’s relationship is reminiscent of Rachel and Finn’s mutual attraction in Season 1. However, Marley is instantly more likable — and Jake is 10 times more interesting. I’m sorry, but who doesn’t like a good girl/bad boy love story?

“Britney 2.0″ also marked the return of some of the glee club’s graduated members: Santana (via Skype) and Puck (Mark Salling). After Jake gets into a lunch room brawl — he was defending Marley! — Mr. Schue sends him to the one person he thinks can get through to him: his half-brother, Puck.

He may have only been on-screen for two minutes, but Puck reminded us why he’s Glee’s unsung hero. Who else could wrap up an entire storyline in less than a minute? It’s not like he had that much time to talk to his bro anyway — he had a Bachelorette contestant waiting for him back in Los Angeles. Puck’s talk managed to knock some sense into Jake, who agreed to join the glee club after his brother convinced him that it made him “a man.”

But just when you think this means that Jarley has a shot, Jake goes and messes everything up by getting together with Sue’s “head bitch” Kitty (Becca Tobin). Of course, this makes Marley sad, and what do you do when you’re sad and in the glee club? You sing a song. For Marley, she chose her favorite Britney song, “Everytime.”

Did this remind anyone else of Rachel’s cover of Rihanna’s “Take a Bow” in Season 1? Marley is definitely the new Rachel — and I love it.

Buzz Moments

OMG!: Was I the only one who felt a tiny part of my heart die when Brittany stared at Santana’s unavailable status on iChat?

Thank you, TV gods: For bringing back Emma’s tell-all pamphlets! One of the greatest things about Glee is its self-awareness, and for loyal Gleeks, it was a nice touch that did not go unnoticed.

Awk-ward: Jake, how could you choose Kitty over Marley?! Especially after you two shared a Britney Spears-inspired duet? I. Am. Devastated. But not as devastated as Marley, who totally sang the sappiest Britney song of all-time in front of the entire glee club — and her crush.

Hotness: I’m sorry Brody, but not even your table-humping could distact me from Blaine (Darren Criss) and Artie’s (Kevin McHale) sexy mashup of Britney’s “Boys” and Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend.” These two show just join a boyband now. They already have the moves — and the similar fashion (sweater vest fetishes, anyone?).

Fab-u-lous: Now one throws a diva meltdown better than Kate Hudson. She could even teach Britney a thing or two.

Can. Not. Wait.: For things between Marley and Jake to finally heat up. Jarley may be my new favorite couple. (Don’t worry, Klaine is still my No. 1).

Celebuzz Meter (1-10): 8

Get the scoop on Glee newcomers Dean Geyer and Melissa Benoist below.