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  • Published Sunday, April 11, 2010, at 12:04 a.m.

It's a good thing I was home alone in December when I watched the midseason finale of "Glee" — Fox's sharp-witted, musical comedy about a high school glee club, its hunky teacher, and the cheerleading coach bent on their destruction.

I wouldn't have wanted anyone to see me gleefully rewinding the final four minutes of the episode over and over and over and over again.

A recap of the last four minutes, which I have committed to second-by-second memory, thanks to my repeated viewing:

Will Schuester, the glee club founder, hadn't been allowed to accompany the group to sectionals, but they won the trophy anyway.

To celebrate, the students staged a surprise performance for Mr. Schu — a rockin' choir room rendition of Kelly Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You."

As the students danced, bounced and harmonized, Mr. Schu realized that he couldn't let go of Emma — the school guidance counselor who'd decided to quit rather than suffer the pain of her unrequited love for him.

He ran down the hallway, in slow motion, and grabbed her as she was about to leave, finally planting a kiss on the wide-eyed waif. End scene.

"Glee" returns to Fox, cable Channel 4, at 8:28 p.m. on Tuesday (a bizarre start time, so start thinking now about how to force your DVR to cooperate).

The second half of the season promises just as many re-re-re-windable moments as the first half. In Tuesday night's episode, the glee club — fresh from its sectionals victory — is preparing for regionals.

High-maintenance Rachel starts romancing the star of the rival school's glee club, and cantankerous Cheerios coach Sue Sylvester — played by the hilarious Jane Lynch — returns from her hiatus in Boca ready to exact revenge on Mr. Schuester and the glee club.

"I will not be burying any hatchets," Sue tells Will in a clip from the episode. "Not unless I get a clear shot to your groin."

The coming episodes also will explore Will and Emma's budding romance and will include a whole slate of musical guest stars, including the return of Kristin Chenoweth and a role for Chenoweth's "Wicked" co-star, Idina Menzel, who will play the rival club's coach.

Also to appear on the show: Olivia Newton-John and Neil Patrick Harris. And an entire episode will be devoted to Madonna.

The episode is said to containe performances of "Express Yourself" and "Like a Prayer." And it also, of couse, includes classic Sylvester zingers.

Sue's critique of her Cheerios after they perform a routine to a Madonna song:

"Somewhere in the English countryside in a stately manor home, Madonna is weeping."

"Glee" aired on Wednesdays the first half of the season, but its regular slot will be at 8 p.m. Tuesdays the second half.

When we last saw them...

* Sue Sylvester: The sharp-tongued Cherrios coach was removed from the squad and suspended from school. Hallway threats toward Will — and his curly hair — immediately followed.

* Will Schuester: The sexily earnest glee club coach left his pregnancy-faking wife and chased his true love, guidance counselor Emma Pillsbury, down the hallway for a heart-stopping kiss.

* Emma Pillsbury: She'd been ditched at the altar, quit her job and cleaned out her office. But will doe-eyed Miss Pillsbury really leave now that she's had a hallway moment with Will?

* Finn Hudson: The quarterback-turned-glee club star had learned that he wasn't the father of Quinn's baby after all, leading him to attack his former friend (and the real father) Puck.

* Rachel Berry: Having led her club to sectionals victory, Rachel had just one job left — ratting out the truth about the paternity of Quinn's baby and revealing it to her crush, Finn.

* Terri Schuester: Will discovered his wife's baby bump in the undies drawer, revealing Terri's fake pregnancy. She begs him not to leave, but it's too late.

* Quinn Fabray: The pregnant cheerleader's secret is revealed — dunce Puck is the father of her baby, not her boyfriend Finn. By episode's end, she'd decided to go it alone.

* Puck Puckerman: Puck finally decides to step up to his fatherly responsibilities. But he may be too late.

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