'Glee' Recap: Damian McGinty Makes His Debut

The New Guy

This new face will be familiar to anyone who watched The Glee Project. Damian McGinty co-won the competition and will star as Irish foreign exchange student Rory Flanagan. "Glee isn't a competitive environment so it's much more enjoyable than The Glee Project," McGinty told THR about his experiences on both shows.

STORY: 'Glee' Celebrates Its 300th Musical Performance

PHOTOS: 'Glee' Season 3: Back to School Pictures

The Glee Project co-winner Damian McGinty made his long-awaited debut as Rory Flanagan on Tuesday’s “Pot O’ Gold” episode of Fox’s hit Glee, while Santana and Brittany grew closer and Burt faced off against Sue as the series unspooled its fourth episode of the season.

[Warning: Spoilers ahead if you haven’t watched Tuesday’s episode.]

The episode brought Finn front and center as leader of the glee club and picked up on story lines from Seasons 1 and 2, including Santana’s feelings for Brittany and put scene stealers Kurt and Rachel on the back burner. Here are The Hollywood Reporter’s top moments from “Pot O’ Gold.”

PHOTOS: 'Glee' Season 3: The Episodics

McGinty’s Rory didn’t take long to make an impact on Glee. With a serious crush on Brittany, Rory both helps and hurts New Directions when, in a bid to get into Brittany’s “pot o’ gold” he winds up being forced to grant Santana a wish – that Brittany leave the glee club and join Shelby’s new all-girl group. Later, Finn brings the star-struck 15-year-old to audition for New Directions. His performance of “Take Care of Yourself” by Teddy Thompson was, as Rachel said, “magical.” His bromance with Finn is fun and will hopefully lead to more screen time for the New Directions leader.

Picking up on Santana’s lesbian story line from Season 2, she inched closer to coming out during a date at Breadsticks when she asked Brittany to hold her hand. Early in the episode when Mercedes floats the idea of Santana joining Shelby’s group, Santana notes that the biggest reason she stays in Mr. Schue’s club is to keep an eye on Brittany, saying: “That special place where she lives, yeah, it’s beautiful, but someone’s gotta help her cross the street.” Santana later takes advantage of Rory’s crush on Brittany to get her to drop New Directions and join the Shelby-led Troubletones in a selfish move that’s ultimately rendered moot when Finn insults Brittany and gives her the ammo she needs to leave the club on volition. Plus did you catch the Lord Tubbington note in Santana’s locker? Awesomeness.

STORY: ‘Glee’s’ Damian McGinty: Santana’s ‘Not Rory’s Biggest Fan’

While Quinn’s early personality changed as frequently as Kurt changes his looks, it’s nice to see Quinn show what she’s really made of: evil. In a bid to get full custody of her biological daughter, Beth, back from her adoptive mother Shelby, Quinn hides evidence in Shelby’s apartment that would have the new McKinley teacher rendered an unfit mother. Puck initially goes along with her plan because he, too, wants his daughter back but he ultimately changes his tune after Shelby helps him land a pool cleaning gig (in yet another nod to Season 1’s long-forgotten plot points). Dropping by to thank Shelby for her recommendation, Puck removes Quinn’s evidence and helps calm a crying Beth down by singing Foreigner’s “Waiting for a Girl Like You,” that ends up being one of the episode’s – and season’s – sweetest moments thus far. However, things go a bit too far after Shelby confides in him that being a single mother is hard and lonely and the do share a May-December-December kiss.

PHOTOS: 'Glee' Season 3: Back to School Pictures

After learning that McKinley’s rendition of West Side Story was canceled after Sue shared the play’s budget on the air in a bid to win votes for in her race for Congress, Burt comes in to save the day with some local (and morbid) business owners. Noting that the arts saved his son’s life last year when he was being bullied, Burt tells Will that he’s running – as a write-in candidate – to oppose Sue and protect the arts. He takes his pro-arts stance on the air and reveals Sue’s spending on the Cheerios in a compassionate speech to voters that riles his opponent.

In an effort to cheer up his depressed New Directions teammates, Blaine performs Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night (TGIF)” in a number that was both fantastic and completely out of place. While the song didn’t really fit with the theme of the episode – or anything else for that matter – Blaine proved yet again that he didn’t need the Warblers to stand out.

What did you think of “Pot O’ Gold”? What were your top moments?

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit

‘Glee’ Recap: Shelby’s Back and Everyone’s a Unicorn

‘Glee’ Recap: Mercedes and Rachel Face Off

‘Glee’ Season 3 Premiere: Hits and Misses