Thankfully, there is no one waiting in the wings to take over for Artie (Kevin McHale) or Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz). Sure, they aren't gone yet, but they might as well be. Glee would do well to focus on the characters that work the best, and one Artie and one Tina is plenty for this show's run.
With this new blood firmly established, it does seem a little strange to have the old people hanging around. Finn could slide into the teacher side of the cast (even though there should have been a few year jump to do that properly), but Mercedes, Mike Chang (Harry Shum Jr.), and Artie, who is still in high school, but feels more a part of the elder group, are mostly hangers-on. It's sweet they come back to help Finn find his way, but a satisfying turn of events would find each of them realizing their own directions and moving on sooner, rather than later. As much as I enjoy seeing Mike and Mercedes again, not everyone can stick around high school forever.
Relationship drama continues to pull focus in "The Role You Were Born to Play," as one would expect it to. Kitty and Marley fight over Jake, neither giving that must attention to Ryder, who will surely have a shot with either or both soon enough. Jake and Kitty's "Everybody Talks" is good, but most will still be rooting for Marley to get the guy. It's a little early in this drama to judge how well the various chemistries are working, or who will end up with who, but it is exactly the direction Glee always goes in, and should make fans happy.
This love fight culminates in a spirited version of "Born to Hand Jive" that is a highly memorable number for Glee. Anyone who has doubts about the selection of Grease as the fall musical should find them erased when confronted with such a show-stopping number that features many characters, and allows the drama to spill into the music, nicely pairing the two. This is merely an appetizer to what is coming.
Blaine (Darren Criss) is off on his own, separate from the others, mourning his breakup with Kurt. He does this to the Grease song, "Hopelessly Devoted to You." It's a heart-breaking sequence, and one just wants to give the poor guy a hug! Blaine is isolated without his support system now, and look for him to distance himself even further from the other New Directions soon. I smell a return of the Warblers!