They’re back! All our old friends who we haven’t seen for so very long!

If you think I’m joking about how much I missed Glee, you should probably just take your juicy, vine-ripened chest fruit and get the hell out of my office. Because we’ve got some serious catching up and recapping to do, and I don’t want the deafening sounds of your stretch marks distracting anyone from the glory that is the return of our favorite teen musical dramedy.

So let’s get up in the Panther’s business, lady.

Jewish blogger Jacob uses his big Jewish microphone to catch us up on what happened during all the different Glee clubbers’ “Big Gay Summer.”

glee1-brittanysewers.jpg“People thought I went on vacation, but actually I spent the summer lost in the sewers.” Big Jewish mic, big awesome Brittany. WE’RE BACK!

We learn that …
– Rachel and Finn have been dating all summer, and Rachel is still herself (bossy and narcissistic).
– Puck got a vasectomy (there go all my dreams of mothering his next make-believe baby).
– Quinn’s got her fetus-less swagger back, her empty womb now filled with dreams of rejoining the Cheerios. But not if the newly big-busted Santana (whom we will now refer to as BOOB JOB) has anything to say about it.
– Tina and Mike Chang are an item since their time together at “Asian camp,” and Mike is rewarded his first line: “Totally racist.” Poor Bill Cosby-sweater wearing Artie is sad about it.

Also: HOLY ABS, Batman!

glee1-mikechang-ABS.jpg“TAKE OFF YOUR SHIRT!” – Me every time Mike Chang is on screen now. Because I have no shame.

Will knows they will need new members in Glee if they’re ever going to win against Vocal Adrenaline, but no one is signing up for his wide-open, audition-less club. Sue convinces Will that auditions are necessary to lend your club a feeling of elitism.

glee1-cheerios-nofatties.jpgCheerios: NO FATTIES! Good advertising.

And OMG, did you guys sign up for the totally awesome “texting competition”? Because that is a thing that exists (it doesn’t) that anyone in their right mind would want to win (they wouldn’t)?

Sue’s campaign, of course, has been all sorts of successful: “See this? Court summons. Child endangerment. There’s been a line of would-be Cheerios out there since late July. I guess they lost their humanity a little bit. One girl ate a pigeon. Several others started worshiping a possum carcass as their lord. That’s how much they want to be Cheerios.”

But there are two things that stand in the way of Glee becoming the “wall of sound” that it needs to be to beat Vocal Adrenaline.

1) THE BEISTE. The intimidating and appropriately named new female football coach, Coach Beiste (“It’s French”) calls herself “The Panther” and doesn’t take any crap. (Ken Tanaka had a nervous breakdown. The Beiste is more likely to break your spine.) Beiste gets up in Sue’s face with her red lipstick and redder rage when Sue protests to her and Will’s budgets getting cut to make way for a winning football team. 

glee1-beiste-thepanther.jpgIt’s a MAN-LADY SHOWDOWN.

Sue convinces Will that they need to team up to take down the Beiste and restore their budgets through some “good, old fashioned schoolyard bullying.” (The same kind that killed all her ghost friends.) The sweet taste of Nationals in New York City on his tongue, Will agrees to turn to the dark side. For the kids’ sake.

2) Social Stigma. They’re still losers who get ignored by everyone, regardless of whether they are seriously, loudly embarrassing themselves by wearing gold chains and rapping about rolling hard in a city they’ve never been to:

glee1-empirestofmind-3.jpg“What is this, ear detention?” – Everyone on the school steps who doesn’t give a care

If the Glee club budget can afford custom screen-printed t-shirts and gold wallet chains for every member to wear during an impromptu lunch time number, isn’t the Glee club budget BIG ENOUGH?

During “Empire State of Mind,” two new kids who don’t know any better than to look and listen, Sunshine and Sam, exchange flirtatious glances with Rachel and Finn (respectively), who independently decide to seek them out and tell them to audition.

Sam Evans is a super sexy new stud in the McKinley High corral, who has never, ever had any balls in his mouth (YET) and, exactly like Finn in the pilot last season, has bad grades and enjoys singing 80s hair band hits in communal shower scenarios.

glee1-sam-everyrose.jpgSinging in the shower is this show’s version of entering the lunch room and having everyone whisper “Who’s that?”

Finn creepily spies on singing naked Sam and later, when his clothes are on, convinces him to come to the music room and sing Travis McCoy’s “Billionaire” with all the Glee guys. Artie throws down his second rap session of the night (his stomach may not have abs, but his tongue does! … sorry, that’s gross) while Mike Chang does an interpretive dance. Despite both of these developments, the jam session proves to Sam that Glee is “fun” and “cool,” and he says he’ll audition.

Rachel gets the new exchange student Sunshine, played by the disgustingly talented Charice, alone in the bathroom, where she proceeds to repeatedly violate her personal space and make threatening facial contortions when she discovers Sunshine wouldn’t just be a backup hummer. The girl can SANG.

glee1-rachel-sunshine-telephone3.jpgBitchy Rachel is back.

And yet, in spite of Rachel’s getting totally, patronizingly racist and constantly looking like she wants to bite off Sunshine’s face during their battle duet of Beyonce and Gaga’s “Telephone” (the summer hits playlist continues …) sweet little Sunshine in the She’s All That glasses still wants to audition for the club. But Rachel decides she doesn’t want Sunshine taking away her spot light, so she gives her “directions” to the audition that lead the girl to a crack house. Granted, a non-operational crack house, but still.

Will, who apparently doesn’t teach Spanish anymore because he has all the free time in the world to set up juvenile pranks on fellow faculty members, and Sue put their plan in motion to humiliate Beiste into leaving the school. By ordering her 40 pizzas. And denying her a seat at their lunch tables. (Like adults.) At first Will is Micky D’s LOVIN’ IT:

glee1-suewill-pizzaprank2.jpgBut then the “UH OH” dominoes start falling on his ego-inflated flaxen hair-helmet.

Upset about getting bullied by Sue and Will, Beiste reacts quite poorly to Finn’s suggestion that Artie try out for the position of “medieval battering ram/human cannonball,” and kicks Finn off the football team for being “insubordinate.” But Artie just wanted to impress Tina and get some abs! Too bad. When Will tries to help Finn get a second chance, Beiste doesn’t budge. PAYBACK.

So Finn tries out for Cheerios to try to regain any sense of social status. Though not his dignity. He displays his embarrassing dancing “skills” to “I’ve Got the Power” (he doesn’t). 

Quinn is more successful. She convinces Sue to let her back on the Cheerios with the promise that church groups will donate to a squad who helped “rehabilitate” a girl who got pregnant. Confetti canons are once again a go. Sue demotes Boob Job to the bottom of the pyramid, literally and figuratively, for lacking the self-esteem to leave her fun bags well enough alone.

Sue takes it too far, as Sue is prone to do, when she accuses Beiste of “inappropriately touching” Brittany. There must be a lot of inappropriate touching going on at McKinley High, since Principal Figgins has a perfect doll-likeness of every student at the ready for all his “point out where he/she touched you” meetings.

glee1-brittanydoll.jpgEither that, or he’s really into voodoo.

Will steps in and gets poor, simple, amazing Brittany to tell the truth (she’s the one who wanted to touch Beiste’s boobs), and, as Will is prone to do, he feels guilty, sees the errors of his ways and apologizes to Beiste for being such a curly-haired Sue puppet-of-evil.

But it’s too late, and the chain reaction of damage set off by their bestial cruelty has already been done. And now he’s gone and pissed off his brief BFF (they even fist-bumped!), Sue. This will not end well.

Tina and Mike find out that Rachel sent Sunshine to a crack house (“the Asian community is very tight”). Will forces her to make it right by inviting Sunshine to a real audition, where she FREAKING KILLS IT with a rendition of “Listen” from Dreamgirls.

glee1-sunshine-listen-hands.jpgHer voice is almost as good as her hand motions, which are PRO. Like, Celine Dion pro.

Finn goes back to Sam and asks why he didn’t audition for Glee. Sam says that after seeing how Beiste treated Finn, he doesn’t want to deal with the social stigma (he’s already the gay football player! I mean …), and, BTW Finn, he’s the new quarterback. So suck on that.

Will goes to Sunshine to officially welcome her to Glee club, but learns that Vocal Adrenaline’s new coach, “Dustin Goulsby,” has snatched her up with the promise of a condo and a green card. Because Sue called him. PAYBACK X 2. And thus Will learns a life lesson: “Shoulda gone along with the poop cookies.” Stitch that on a pillow and sit on it.

Dustin carries Sunshine’s Hello Kitty backpack out of McKinley, all the way to Regionals, where we will see Sunshine again. OH YES, we will see her again.

The Glee kids are now”Code Red” pissed at Rachel that her selfishness has once again screwed them over so badly, but Finn convinces them not to kick her out. As if they could. Rachel wants to apologize, but first she needs to have a cute moment with Finn where they promise to never break up with each other (super cute, but also yeah right) and then take some “alone time.”

glee1-rachel-alonetime2.jpg“Alone time” means singing “What I Did for Love” to your own engorged ego while creepily looking in on your friends like a peeping tom.

Thus plot equilibrium takes hold, and the Glee kids end up right where they started: Social pariahs. No new members. Sue out to destroy them and systematically ruin Will’s life. Quinn as Cheerio captain. Rachel selfishly sabotaging everything except the songs while wearing homely dresses with knee socks. Business as usual.

And yet, tonight’s episode displayed a refreshing sense of self-awareness (No. More. Will. Schuester. RAPPING!) that I hope will serve the Gleeks well as the season goes on. And the addition of all these new characters means things won’t stay the same for long.

Plus, there’s all sorts of new to look forward to next week: The Stamos. BRITNEY!

What did you think of the Glee season 2 premiere, “Audition”? Favorite moments and quotes? Stay tuned for my best quotes slideshow coming at you tomorrow. Until then, tell me what you thought in those comments down there, and vote for your favorite song of the night!

(Images courtesy of Fox)

Meghan Carlson

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Meghan hails from Walla Walla, WA, the proud home of the world’s best sweet onions and Adam West, the original Batman. An avid grammarian and over-analyzer, you can usually find her thinking too hard about plot devices in favorites like The OfficeIt’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and How I Met Your Mother. In her spare time, Meghan enjoys drawing, shopping, trying to be funny (and often failing), and not understanding the whole Twilight thing. She’s got a BA in English and Studio Art from Whitman College, which makes her a professional arguer, daydreamer, and doodler.