Amber Riley Amber Riley

Damn, when Glee is good, it is goooood.

Last night, after the new season's "meh" first two outings, the musical got back its groove with a dazzling hour that dared to develop characters, present numbers that beg to be rewatched, and pull on our heartstrings — all in the same episode. It was like we were watching the show we fell in love with when it premiered in 2009.

Except back then, there never would have been so much attention paid to Brittany, Mike Chang, Emma and Mercedes, who all got to shine alongside regular plot-drivers Rachel and Kurt, not instead of them. Essentially built around Mike getting an "Asian F" in chemistry (an A-minus to the rest of us), the episode wisely widened the spotlight to also fit in Brittany's Beyonce-inspired bid for senior-class president, a heartbreaking visit from Emma's ginger-supremacist parents, and Mercedes' long-overdue emergence as a vocal super-power threat to Rachel's reign as resident leading lady. So much emotion, so much juicy stuff for the whole cast. It was near-perfect. Our only nit to pick is that Santana didn't have nearly enough to sing, but even that we can forgive in light of the combined awesome of the full-blown Dreamgirls number and the Rachel-Mercedes Maria-Off. That business was just divine.

Even better, all of these story lines key up a ton of potential drama going forward, as things will surely get heated during the gang's production of West Side Story, the class election and, of course, the evolution of Shelby's new show choir. With so much division and competition, we're not sure if New Directions can make it through senior year in one piece. But if Glee stays in this fine a form, we'll happily stick with them 'til graduation to find out.

How about you? Is Glee getting back on track the best news you've heard since "Breadstix delivers"?

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