THE SHOW "Glee"

WHEN|WHERE Wednesday night at 9 on Fox/5

REASON TO WATCH Fall season finale

CATCHING UP The club nearly lost its shot at sectionals after cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) insisted they'd blown their amateur status by appearing in a mattress commercial. Instead, Mr. Schue (Matthew Morrison) stays home as the one technically disqualified. Meanwhile, Schue learned his dearly beloved, Terri (Jessalyn Gilsig), had been faking her pregnancy.

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WEDNESDAY'S EPISODE The sectionals arrive, and McKinley High's Glee Club will emerge as champs or chumps, although Sylvester has supplied proprietary info to the rival school club directors. If McKinley's club wins, they earn a shot at social redemption. If they lose - they may as well burn their yearbooks.

SONGS YOU'LL HEAR "You Can't Always Get What You Want"; "My Life Would Suck Without You"; "Don't Stop Believing"; "Proud Mary"

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WHAT'S NEXT "Glee" returns April 13, and there are a couple reasons for the four-month break. First, Fox (with "Prison Break") has a history of midseason breaks, so nothing to be alarmed about. Fox may have preferred a slightly earlier return, but co-creator Ryan Murphy is directing "Eat, Pray, Love." "'Glee'" will be fine," says Fox programming/scheduling chief Preston Beckman.

MY SAY A couple of weeks ago, the show's high-water mark (thus far) was reached: The musical number in which the McKinleyites and the club from a school for the hearing-impaired performed a version of "Imagine" brimming with youth, love, vitality, idealism and generosity. It was almost a distillate of an entire series, and a reminder why this may be the hottest show on TV right now.

This cast is sensational. Morrison (as anyone who saw him in "South Pacific" knows) is a future superstar; and the production numbers are captivating.

BOTTOM LINE Leave 'em wanting more, goes the show biz adage. "Glee's" timing couldn't be better.

TERM GRADE A

MORE READING: B'way's Lea Michele goes gleefully back to high school