12:32pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Glee' Preview: 10 Things to Know About 'Shooting Star'
Glee returns from its three-week break with an episode that unites New Directions in a way unlike the series has explored in its four-season run.
Here are 10 things to know about Thursday's emotional "Shooting Star" episode of the Fox musical:
1. It delves into current events, including the Catfish phenomenon that showrunner Ryan Murphy first hinted at on Twitter as Ryder (Blake Jenner) grows impatient to meet the woman on the other end of the texts and instant messages.
2. Despite the timeliness of the Catfish story line, that doesn't hold a candle to the story line at the center of the episode -- which is one of Glee's most intense hours to date and continues the show's history of exploring issues that teenagers are sadly forced to contend with in today's society. In the past, Glee has addressed socially relevant issues including eating disorders, dyslexia, pregnancy, coming out, bullying and suicide.
3. The episode takes place entirely in Ohio, and the event above impacts everyone at McKinley. Certain faculty members will be affected more than others.
4. Brittany (Heather Morris) helps set the theme for the week when she fears an asteroid is headed for Earth (again). The theme: Last Chances.
5. One couple gets back together, two different pairs will share "I love you" moments and Artie will film his most poignant piece yet.
6. Kitty (Becca Tobin) makes a long overdue confession to Marley (Melissa Benoist) -- and it brings them closer together.
7. Coach Beiste (Dot Marie Jones) returns and takes New Directions' Last Chances theme to heart to profess her feelings for someone who played a big role in her romantic life while sharing a Lady and the Tramp-themed dinner.
8. Lord Tubbington comes between Brittany and Sam (Chord Overstreet), the latter of whom finds a creative way to resolve the conflict -- and grow closer to his girlfriend in the process. It's another big episode for Overstreet, who continues to be McKinley's MVP this season.
9. Mr. Schue (Matthew Morrison) threatens to rap again and nearly everyone cries during the hour. (Don't worry, these are unrelated teasers.)
10. A familiar face last seen during Glee's May 2010 "Bad Reputation" episode reappears as a potential suitor for [spoiler].
Hit the comments below with your thoughts. Glee airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on Fox.