4:07pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Glee': Is Artie Trouble for Mike and Tina? Harry Shum Jr., Jenna Ushkowitz, Kevin McHale Sound Off (Video)
In a new deleted scene (below) from Glee's third-season finale, Mike was reassuring Tina that he was a "taken" guy and she had nothing to worry about when he moved on to the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago.
Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz), however, was not as confident that their relationship could withstand the demands and constraints that come with carrying on with a long-distance commitment with Mike (Harry Shum Jr.), worrying that she'd become an "old ball and chain" back at McKinley.
When Season 4 picks up, Artie (Kevin McHale) and Tina will be seniors at McKinley, holding down New Directions as the glee club looks to repopulate following the graduation of some of its core members, including Finn, Rachel and Kurt. But it's anyone's guess what happened to the couple over the summer. Can the couple survive?
"We're going to see what unfolds with time because I'm sure Tina is going to be the new dawg over at McKinley High," Shum told The Hollywood Reporter recently at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour. "There's only three or four guys around hundreds of girls in ballet and I'm sure temptation will rise. If you've ever been in a long-distance relationship, it's very difficult."
While Tina has been Mike's biggest champion -- encouraging him to pursue his dreams of dancing while his parents initially were less than receptive to a potential career in the arts -- the distance between the couple, as well as Tina and Artie's romantic history could be something that's tested.
"We left off with we're going to try [long distance] and to keep the relationship, but a lot can happen over one summer and since Tina and Artie are going to be spending a lot of time together, we'll see what happens," Ushkowitz told reporters at Comic-Con, ahead of seeing scripts for Season 4.
McHale, for his part, says he's totally up for seeing Artie try to redeem himself considering he broke up with Tina after learning that her stutter was fake in Season 1, with Ushkowitz joking that he made for a "bad boyfriend."
"He was! He had a moment!" he joked.
Shum, meanwhile, notes the distance as well as Mike exploring life post-high school will test the couple. "They have the strongest relationship out of all the glee club members that everyone has hooked up with but I think that's a real test: When you go away to a long distance and you're still in high school and you're out in art school? That's two different worlds, you're in the real world and this enclosed space. I think [their relationship is] strong but strong could be broken."
"They had this thing in Season 2 where they became friends again and I think that's going to be difficult if that ever happened again; I'm sure it'd be a fight between Mike being good friends with Artie and also him maybe taking his girlfriend. But awkward makes for good TV!" Shum laughed. For his part, Shum at the time had yet to see a script for Season 4, but said he's expecting to return in either the third, fourth or fifth episode of the season.
Do you think Mike and Tina will be able to make their long-distance relationship work? Hit the comments with your thoughts. Watch the emotional deleted scene with Mike and Tina and his sweet parents, below. Glee's fourth season returns Thursday, Sept. 13 at 9 p.m. on Fox.