Sources confirm to TVLine exclusively that Ashley Fink’s screen time will be drastically reduced following the Sept. 20 season premiere, which finds her recurring (and somewhat polarizing) character, Lauren Zizes, abruptly [MAJOR SPOILER ALERT] quitting New Directions and breaking up with her steady beau Puck (Mark Saling), who spent much of Season 2 wooing the demanding, plus-sized tough girl.
The news comes a week after Fox released the show’s official Season 3 gallery pics, which featured practically every major cast member — including recurring performers Dot Marie Jones and Lauren Potter — but not Fink.
Lauren’s sudden estrangement from the New Directions crew marks a dramatic turnaround from Season 2, where her character was frequently front and center — fist-fighting with Santana, briefly serving as a manager to Mercedes, and even scoring a solo on “I Know What Boys Like.” In fact, Fink often had more screen time than established series regulars like Amber Riley.
So what’s going on? A Glee spokesperson declined to comment and Fink’s camp could not be reached. An insider, however, downplays the news, maintaining that as a recurring player, Fink’s storyline ebbs and flows much the same way Max Adler’s (Karofsky) does. Additionally, the show has to service 16 regulars, as well as arcs for four Glee Project winners. And that’s not even including new recurring castmembers Vanessa Lengies and LaMarcus Tinker.
Still, another source admits the decision to have Lauren quit New Directions and split with Puck — effectively severing the character’s only two ties to the show’s central action — is strange. “It’s odd to go from being the ‘It Girl’ last season to getting tossed on the backburner,” concedes the insider. “But this is Glee. Just when everyone thinks she’s out, they may pull her back in.”
Thoughts? Are you OK with this development? Or are you already missing Lauren? Hit the comments! And for more Glee scoop/spoilers, follow me on Twitter via @MichaelAusiello