The season 4 premiere of Glee is just one week away, and it has a little bit of everything you love about the show. There are catchy songs, emotional moments, intense battles, harsh insults, slushies and a bunch of new characters.

The episode, titled “The New Rachel,” tells two stories. First is Rachel’s hard life in New York, dealing with the brutal criticism of dance teacher Cassandra July (Kate Hudson at her absolute bitchiest). Second is back in Ohio where the New Directions, basking in the popularity of winning Nationals, look for new members.

So what can you expect to see? Well, here are nine spoilers from the episode to get you excited for Glee‘s return.

Who’s Missing?

Rachel and Kurt are the only two graduated seniors who appear in the season 4 premiere. There are brief updates on Mike Chang and Santana, but there’s absolutely no new information on the status of Quinn, Puck, Mercedes or Finn, so don’t hold your breath. Emma is also oddly missing and there’s no mention of her and Will’s wedding.

McKinley Is Like Game of Thrones

For the first time ever, the members of New Directions are popular, eating at the same table as the Cheerios and football stars (which I guess is supposed to be new even though last year New Directions had about half its members on the Cheerios or the football team). However, the balance of power is very delicate because it’s just like Game of Thrones where the glee club is the Stark family and the popular kids are the Lannisters. And winter is coming.

Brody Is Bland But Hot

The new man in Rachel’s life is Brody Weston, a junior at NYADA who she meets when he steps out of the dorm shower. Sure, he’s hot, but he’s not particularly interesting or compelling. This could be a problem because we all know the fans are going to HATE him because he could come between Finn and Rachel. Brody needs to get a lot more interesting if he doesn’t want to be dismissed as the most useless character ever. He has the potential to become the new Nikki and Paulo from Lost.

Marley Rose Is a Star

One of the more surprising revelations of the season 4 premiere is how gosh-darn likeable new star Melissa Benoist is as Marley Rose. Her character’s big secret is a bit of a cliche, but it’s still quite touching and it’s impossible not to instantly fall in love with her. I’m definitely a fan and I hope to see a lot more of her family in the future.

Kitty Has Claws

If you thought McKinley without Santana would be dull, never fear, because Kitty, Sue’s new “Head Bitch” Cheerio, is basically Santana without the sweetness. More accurately, as Sue describes her, she’s Quinn without the teen pregnancy and mental problems. She’s cold, bitchy, and she has an insult aimed at Unique that is on par with the best Santana insults ever.

Just Jake Is Sexy

Jacob Artist plays Jake, Puck’s half-brother, and while he definitely has the same attitude as Puck, he does NOT have the same voice. His performance is quite surprising and has two completely different New Directions members lusting after him. But one New Directions singer does not like him at all. I sense a potential love triangle.

Burt Hummel Is the World’s Greatest Dad

As if you didn’t already know this, there’s a very touching scene between Kurt and his dad that will definitely make you tear up and cheer.

Sam Does a Taylor Lautner Impression

I love Sam’s random celebrity impressions, and he does one of the hot werewolf from Twilight that left me in hysterics.

There IS a New Rachel

The episode boasts a competition between Tina, Brittany, Blaine and new glee club member Wade “Unique” Adams to be the new leading vocalist of New Directions. I was pretty sure the show would cop out and do the standard “We’re all stars!” nonsense, but I’m happy to report that a new Rachel is chosen. And it’s probably the person you think it is.

Glee season 4 premieres Thursday, September 13 art 9pm on FOX.

(Image courtesy of FOX)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.