For a episode of “Glee” entitled “The New Rachel,” we were really surprised that she was not necessarily the one character that we found ourselves cheering for the most during this episode. Instead, it was a newcomer who brought a different story and energy to the show than we have seen before.
So who is Marley? She is a fantastic singer with big dreams of being a pop star, but she has a complicated home life. Her mother is an extremely overweight lunch lady, and she is also overprotective in making sure that no one knows that Melissa Benoist’s character is her daughter. Why? She wants to make sure she doesn’t get bullied like she has in the past, and she was even willing to sacrifice her own dignity to get her a seat at the popular kid’s table. While being popular is not necessarily a great end goal. It was nice to see this sort of love from a parent even if it was a little misguided. In just a few minutes, this easily because the best parent / child relationship on “Glee” since Burt Hummel.
What made this episode so interesting (and also so fun) was really the fact that we saw such a different side to many of the New Directions students compared to what we have seen from them lately. Instead of them being humble about their Nationals win, they were cocky, mean, and even willing to put down everyone around them … including Marley’s mom. This episode was really about her journey into the club, and also how another student in Jake (Jacob Artist) managed to make it on despite having a bad attitude coupled with the same last name as another guy in Noah Puckerman.
With all of this good stuff going on in Lima, in some ways Rachel’s life in New York almost felt a little bit like an afterthought. We knew that Kurt would end up there by the end of the episode, and that Cassandra would treat her like dirt. Without seeing Finn, this episode really did not feel like much of a complete showcase for her character at all. With that being said, Brody at least gave her a pretty great introduction into the adult world.
As a whole, this was actually a surprisingly good start to the season. We like how the focus was honed in more on a few characters, that New Directions is back to being underdogs, and even that they remembered that not everything has to be about romance. One major complaint, though? It was pretty awful to not even mention that Rory has moved back to Ireland or left in any shape or form.
Do you think that Marley was the star of the “Glee” premiere like we do? We want to hear some more of your thoughts below! If you want to check out more scoop about Finn and Rachel, you can do so by visiting the link here.