ALL THINGS GLEE
RECAP: Glee - A Night of No Respect
Glee returned last night after a month off, and fresh from their victory at Sectionals, the group threw a benefit show to raise funds for their trip to Nationals in New York City. Meanwhile, Mercedes diva complex reached critical levels, and Sue Sylvester gathered up a gang of thugs to get in New Directions way.
At rehearsal, Will suggests selling salt water taffy to raise funds for their trip, but the Brainiacs, the academic decathlon team that Mike, Tina, Artie & Brittany are a part of, complain because theyre always overlooked. The glee club agrees to help them raise money for their club as well.
On a dinner date, Holly (Gwyneth Paltrow) pitches Will the idea of holding a benefit concert to raise travel finances. The couple is still going strong, yet you can tell things are getting dicey between them. Making matters worse for Will, his heart is pulled in the opposite direction when Emma tells him that Carl has left her. He tells his longtime crush that she can always count on his friendship.
Will agrees to hold A Night of Neglect, featuring songs from lesser-known artists. But Sue Sylvester, the consummate villain, gathers up a team of henchman (The Legion of Doom) to throw their little show off course.
Sunshine Corazon (played by Charice) returns to the club, eager to make peace and sing for a good cause. Rachel's upset by this, but Puck is quick to point out that it was she who sent Sunshine off on a fool's errand to a crack house in the season opener.
Sunshine sings "All By Myself," and you're left wondering just how this pint-sized vocalist could conjure up the breath to pull off these notes. They accept her into the group, which irks Rachel to no end.
Meanwhile, Lauren approaches Mercedes with a proposition after she once again takes the back seat to Rachel, conceding a better slot at the show. Lauren tells her that she'll be her manager in order to help her gain the respect she desires. As such, Mercedes starts making wild demands. However, it turns out Mercedes as an uber-diva isn't that much different from Mercedes as a regular diva.
Things between Will and Holly continue to sour when one of Sue's minions, a rival glee club coach she dubs Mr Handsome, approaches Holly to see if she wants to get nasty with him. She sends him on his way, but the damage is done, and she and Will get into a squabble.
Before the benefit begins, Kurt shows Blaine around McKinley High, and they run into Karofsky, the closeted bully. A melee almost breaks out, but luckily, Santana comes in and threatens him off. (Shes still raging because he slushied her earlier in the halls).
The benefit is attended only by Sue's gang, who heckles Tina off the stage as she's singing Lykke Li's "I Follow Rivers." The gleeks feed them saltwater taffy to shut them up, and during the lull, Mike delivers a fantastically choreographed contemporary dance routine.
When it's time for Mercedes to take the stage, Lauren tells everyone that they haven't met her demands, so her talent is holding out. As the group searches for Mercedes, Holly tries some Jedi mind tricks on the hecklers, pleading with them to try not being so cruel. They refuse, but fortunately they leave the show.
Holly sings Adele's "Turning Tables," and while Paltrow has come off with some less than stellar performances, this song really fits her register. She turns in a very nice rendition, even managing to pull off some of Adele's vocal nuances. It's a climactic performance however, and ultimately the end of Paltrow's arc on the show.
Rachel finds Mercedes and offers her platitudes about Aretha Franklin, but Mercedes rebuffs her, simply asking why Rachel always gets the spotlight. Rachel has no answers, but tells her friend that if she wants the closing slot at the show, she needs to go take it from her. Mercedes comes back and sings the Queen of Soul's "Ain't No Way" with a performance so sweet that Sue's henchman can't help but melt at the powerful cover. He defects and joins the Gleeks cause. Fortunately, the henchman also happens to be a proprietor of medical marijuana, and gives them the cash they seek, adding that its a fantastic way to launder drug money. Sue's pissed, so she tells Will's ex-wife (whom she calls the "Honey Badger") that it's her turn to throw the glee club into disarray.
Holly tells Will that the show was "amazeballs, but then informs him that she's accepted a substitute teaching gig in another state. Adding insult to injury, she says it's probably for the best since he's in love with someone else. Will asks the question on everyone's mind- whether she would ever return. "I thought you'd never ask," Holly responds.
Next Week: Glee makes up for lost time with a 90 minute episode, promising a heavy helping of Lady Gaga along with some Barbra Streisand.
Justin Starling (@CitadelNow) for Citadel Digital © 2011
Image: Adam Rose / FOX