ALL THINGS GLEE
RECAP: Paltrow Sits in with the Cast of Glee
This week's Glee started out with a case of "monkey flu," which knocked Principal Figgins out of commission. In his place, Sue is put in charge, due to some crafty contract negotiations on her part. Of course, the malevolent Sue wants to cast the school in her image, and her first target is none other than the glee club.
Afterward, Will is struck by the same bug, and he begins feeling weird, hallucinating the club as little children. He goes home and finds his ex-wife Terri ready to take care of him. At first he blows her off, but she actually begins acting tenderly toward him, recommending he put on "Singin' In The Rain" as a surefire way to feel better.
With Will temporarily out of commission, Kurt goes to the substitute Ms. Holly Holliday (played by Gwyneth Paltrow), who's filling in for Will's Spanish class. Kurt asks her to come lead the Glee club in Will's absence, and she happily accepts. Right off the bat, it's cool to see Paltrow as a hip adult, instead of some fuddy duddy. In a lot of roles she's typecast as a bookish, morose character. Not here. When Santana doubts her knowledge of Cee Lo, Ms. Holliday breaks out into an awesome version of "Forget You." After that, she's got all the kids loving her.
Meanwhile, Sue tries to disband the football team, but Coach Bieste spoils her plan by asking who Sue's cheerleaders will root for. Humiliated, Sue decides to ban tots from the lunch room, because she needs something, anything to rail against as principal.
Next, Will comes back to school and orders Mike Chang to sing "Make "Em Laugh" with him. The whole number features a lot of slapstick comedy and 50's-era choreography, in line with Singin' In The Rain. Of course, it's just a fever dream, and he's awoken by Rachel, who visits to say that Ms. Holliday is getting too comfortable leading the club. Ms. Holliday and Sue are getting along a little too well for her tastes also, and it could prove to be disastrous. Will assures her it'll be ok.
Meanwhile, Paltrow portrays Ms. Holliday as a total badass. She tells Rachel that she's a square, and then gives Puck the answers to an upcoming pop quiz. She begins to get on Rachel's good side after she listens to her request to do an upbeat dance song. Later they take to the stage for a duet of "Nowadays Hot Honey Rag," from the classic musical Chicago. The two are dressed in matching bright red flapper dresses and doing speakeasy choreography. The number is way heavy on dance moves, which is interesting because that doesn't tend to be these ladies' strong suits. Nevertheless, their performance incites hoots and hollers from the rest of New Directions.
Will, still ailing, continues having more intimate conversations with Terri, and she gives him a mentho rub rubdown. One thing leads to another and they end up sleeping together.
One of the show's highlights came in the next scene, when Mercedes incites a tots protest in the lunchroom. Kurt keeps on trying to get her a boyfriend, but she's a crusader. The kids start chanting "TOTS TOTS TOTS," which provokes Sue to utter, hands on her hips defiantly, "So the tot wars have begun."
Will comes back to take control, but Sue fires him, because she's now the bona fide principal. Her popularity among parents skyrockets in response to her anti-junk food stance, and as a result, the school board fires Figgins. Sue's first order of business then, is firing Will. It's all pretty farfetched, but that's what we've come to expect from Glee.
Meanwhile, Kurt and his new friend Blaine are still getting along famously, and Mercedes rides along as third wheel. However, she's still pretty worried about the tots.
Things go wrong for Holliday and Mercedes after she excuses Mercedes from class to go shove tots into the tailpipe of Sue's luxury sportscar. Sue's pissed, and she suspends the student, while Holliday admits she doesn't know what she's doing. She goes to commiserate with Will, where we discover the reason for her freewheeling tude. She used to be an uptight math teacher, but finally loosens up after a troublesome student assaults her. Will realizes she's just lonely, but the two are interrupted by Terri, who's back with some soup for Will. She's mad as hell about finding Will with Holiday, yet Will tells her what they did was a mistake, and tells her not to come back.
Back at school, Mercedes sneaks in some tots, but Kurt gets real with her, telling her she's substituting food for love. She concedes this and decides to go talk to the guy he tried to set her up with, a wide receiver on the football team. Kurt then gets confronted by his jock friend in the hallway, who asks him if he's told anyone about their kiss (from last episode). Kurt tells him that he wouldn't do that to someone in his situation, and his new friend is relieved, but still threatens to kill him if he tells.
Will goes back to Sue for his job, and she grants it to him, saying that Holliday wasn't fit for the job anyway. He comes back and everyone's happy. He suggests the group take a stab at "Singin' In The Rain," but they all gripe at how dated the material is. So he gets his friend Holliday to come back and sing a mash up of the song with Rihanna's "Umbrella." At first, I didn't think these songs fit together that well, but watching it with the Gene Kelly-styled choreography and the rainy set had me changing my tune.
NEXT WEEK: It's a Glee wedding between Finn's mom and Kurt's dad, and Sue's getting married, but to who?