Lea Michele Shows Incredible Strength as 'Glee' Cast Goes Back to Work

After the shocking death of Cory Monteith, his girlfriend and co-stars return to the set without him to start the new season

On August 6, Lea Michele returned to work on the set of Glee, and she tweeted a photo that said it all.

Sitting alone in her character's NYC apartment, with a mournful expression, the shot of Rachel Berry captured the still-fragile mood of the cast and crew as they returned to the set less than a month after Cory Monteith's death.

"Everything went as well as it could have," a source from the show told E!. "Very emotional but everyone is starting to move forward. Getting back on track." Meanwhile, producer Brad Falchuk tweeted a bleak photo of the school's empty choir room. 

Fellow cast members Darren Criss, Jenna Ushkowitz and Kevin McHale also posted photos about the first day back work -- which was undoubtedly a tough one for the entire Glee family.

Another key member of the cast, Chris Colfer, was not back on set yet (he is expected to start filming today) as he has been busy in NYC promoting his new book, The Land of Stories 2: The Enchantress Returns. However, he did speak about returning to work after losing Monteith on Live! with Kelly and Michael.

Colfer said, "It's been a rough couple of weeks, but we're hanging in there. We're doing good. We started on Monday, but I haven't been there yet myself. It will just be good to kind of reconnect with everyone."

Starting in the third episode, this season's storyline will be shaped by Finn Hudson's death, and a back story that will nod to Monteith's own, drug-addled teen years. Creator Ryan Murphy will also shoot PSAs with the cast that will "speak directly with the audience." Both Michele and her character Rachel have an emotional season ahead.

Of course many of those emotions will be expressed in song -- one of which she's already recorded. "Thank you Alex Anders and Adam Anders for a great recording session today. You guys are the best," she tweeted on August 5. "Couldn't have picked a more beautiful and perfect song to start the year with."

Glee will return on FOX at 9 p.m. on Sept. 26. Last week, Fox Chairman Kevin Reilly told reporters: "I would not anticipate [the show] going beyond two more seasons."

It goes without saying that it will be a very different show without Monteith.

Jennifer Graham Kizer is an iVillage contributing writer. Follow her on Google+.

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