Jonna Rubin sent her recap of last night’s Glee episode in late last night, and that was quite impressive. Recaps are no easy thing to put together, so thank you, Jonna! And, now, to the readers, just try not to enjoy this.
Let me just say, before I start, that if this episode makes me like Gwyneth Paltrow, it will be a shocking feat indeed. I am of the Gwyneth, uhhh, haters, if you will, after her remarkably self-absorbed and tone deaf endeavor, Goop. (Go ahead. Google. I’ll wait. Prepare a barf bucket.)
Are you back? Great. Now that you despise her as much as I do, let me also say that the woman has yet to demonstrate any real sense of humor about herself, which is surprising, given that her mom, Blythe Danner, actually seems to not take herself so damn seriously.
But I digress. Let us Glee!
It’s … Principal Sue? Thanks to the monkey flu from a loud cluster of bisexual primates that Sue masterminded the spread of via an unfortunate sick student, Sue somehow wangled her way into Figgins’ office while he’s off nursing himself back to health. Her first order of business is to destroy the glee club, natch.
Will is looking rather peaked in the classroom and hallucinates that his students are what, five-year-olds? Admittedly adorable and dead-on in the personalities of the club, albeit in toddler form. I might have squee’d, particularly at wee Mercedes. He heads home to watch … footage of raw oysters? Por que? And be nursed back to health by Terri (yay, Terri’s back!) who announces that she still loves him. Awww. I love Terri. She’s acknowledging that she might like him best when he’s weak (because he’s an ASS when he isn’t oh my GOD), and that she’s seeing a therapist and is medicated. Go Terri!
Unfortunately things go off the rails after that, because she continues to talk in a weird baby voice about getting an accurate reading of Will’s temperature and, oh my God, DIPS A THERMOMETER IN VASELINE. What … what? What is this? Look I advocated for Will and Terri in my essay, and still strongly believe they belong together, but I’m sorry, this solidifies it more than anything if the truth behind their weird relationship is for her to stick a lubed-up thermometer up his backside when he’s sick. Because strange anal sex innuendos aside, my God, I have a child, and doing that to a person is the equivalent of an enema and GAH GAH GAH SCHUESTER FETISH POOP, no one wants to think about this, oh my GOD, Glee, what hell have you wrought?
Mercifully, Will puts the kibosh on that and asks her to leave, but not before she pulls out his favorite sick movie, Singing in the Rain.
Kurt and Mercedes are in the cafeteria, and Kurt muses that it was a matter of time before Rachel tried to take over the glee club, cutting to a hilarious flashback of Santana threatening to kill an overbearing Rachel, armed with a dry-erase marker and a strident announcement. Cutting back to Kurt and Mercedes, the two muse over his relationship with Blaine and aw, Mercedes is already looking left out of this tight little friendship, when out of nowhere: TATER TOT PORN SHOTS, along with Mercedes scrambling for a serving. What? Something about making the overweight girl obsessed with tater tots isn’t sitting well with me in this episode.
Kurt has an ingenious idea for cutting Rachel out of the driver’s seat of glee club in Schue’s absence, and suggests the new Spanish teacher. Cut to …
Gwyneth, as substitute teacher Holly Holiday, with a monologue about the challenges of being a substitute teacher voiced-over her teaching Spanish to the kids while talking about the insanity that is La Lohan. Meanwhile, Kurt busts in to have a word, and what is he even doing leaving class and pulling another teacher out of hers? He offers her the glee club gig (WHY IS HE ALLOWED TO DO THIS?) and reminisces about her strangely musical turn during his English class the week prior. (She sang about conjunctions while dry humping a microphone.)
And Miss Holiday certainly makes an impression on the club, first by gracefully sliding on a buttered floor courtesy of Puck, then foiling the kids’ attempts at giving the wrong names by announcing that she saw their performance at regionals and giving an apt critique of their outdated song selections. She also asks the students what they want to sing, rather than what Schue wants them to sing, and cuts to a montage of all the times Schuester turned them down in favor of yet another Journey song. After a suggestion of Cee-Lo, Gwyneth — I mean Holly — dives headfirst into a flirty rendition backed enthusiastically by everyone but Rachel, who’s pouting in the corner.
Sue launches into the Beiste’s football practice (where she’s lecturing them about spraying foot spray into people’s faces) to announce that the team will be disbanded, when Beiste counters that the Cheerios would be without anyone to cheer for. Touche, Beiste! She then shoots foot spray after Sue, while simultaneously telling the team that it’s a bad idea.
I think the Beiste is my favorite, strange Schue kissing scene notwithstanding. (EW)
Sue mouths off in her diary for a bit, determining that the humiliation Beiste caused must be countered by some sort of cause, and asks Becky, who has become her office bitch, to help her ban tater tots.
Schue launches in to the stage door with Mike Chang at the piano and does a little ditty from Singing in the Rain, “Make ‘Em Laugh.” This turns out to be a sick hallucination as he wakes with a start to Rachel, who’s there to give him an earful about Holly Holiday. Will pooh-poohs her concerns until she warns him that Sue loves Holly, cutting to a hilarious scene with Holly and Sue, foils on their head, watching Hoarders and kicking back with some red wine.
Meanwhile, Kurt is telling Mercedes that he’s bailing on their plans to hang out with Blaine and the Cheerios are clearing the tots out of the cafeteria. Ouch, Mercedes. Busting through the red tape that is Becky, Mercedes confronts Sue, who calls her Jackee (HA!) and lectures her on nutrition, using a broccoli stalk as a prop.
Rachel and Holly have a hallway confrontation wherein Holly rightfully calls Rachel a drag, while (not so) sneakily handing off the answers to the Spanish pop quiz to Puck. Holly encourages her to let loose and have a little fun. Rachel tells Holly that she HAS always wanted to do an upbeat, glamorous song with a nice dance beat, but that she needs a partner. Holly, natch, thought she’d never ask.
Terri’s kicking back with Will and some soup, talking about how the meds make her feel like she could be happy for the first time. Meanwhile, she’s FEEDING HIM THE SOUP, people. He seems oddly touched, and even says (GROSS), “Baby likes the soup!” Now look, I realize that every marriage has its quirks and that out of context they seem … bizarre, but really? Baby? A BABY? This goes back to the whole notion espoused in the always-funny How I Met Your Mother wherein the characters deconstruct the phrase, “Who’s your daddy?” with the idea that as a sexual turn-on, it’s essentially … screwing your daughter. GROSS.
Do you really want to infantilize your husband and have … sex with a baby? Please shoot me.
I want to die now, thanks, Terri and Will.
Terri also announces, ahem, that she has something else baby likes, and when she pulls out the Vapo-Rub, I am genuinely afraid. But no, she just wants to … rub it on his back? Do these people not know that rubbing it on your CHEST relieves congestion and that Will is going to bust out with the worst case of backne since middle school?
He acquiesces, she strips down, they get it on and … oh God, the Vapo-Rub is still out. Also, his only protest is that he doesn’t want to get her sick? Oh, Will.
Cut to the cafeteria, where Kurt attempts to smooth things over with (and distract) Mercedes by setting her up with one of the few black students at the school. She bristles and pulls a Norma Rae with a sign bearing “TOTS!” and pulls the entire cafeteria into a chant.
Back at the old glee club, I am relieved to find that Gwyneth can’t dance, as it turns out that Rachel’s hot little dance number is … some sort of Nowadays/Hot Honey Rag mashup? And Holly and Rachel giddyap awkwardly around the stage in flapper wear? Oh, Rachel.
A threatened Will hauls his feverish tush into the school where Sue summarily dismisses him, explaining that the kids and she prefer the substitute. Oh, and by the way, her stance on nutrition has secured her place as principal full-time.
Out at Breadsticks, Mercedes is out with Blaine and Kurt, where she is very obviously the third wheel, and oh Mercedes. I feel for her. She perks up only to order some tater tots. Poor girl.
Will and Holly have an odd confrontation packed with useful statistics, wherein Holly actually appears on the ball, and apologizes that she can’t turn down the job, despite her opinion that Will is a good teacher.
In Sue’s office, Mercedes and Holly are confronted with Mercedes’ decision to jam tater tots in Sue’s tailpipe. Holly’s inept response leaves Sue to realize, and present Holly with, the fact that she has no idea what she’s doing. Holly concedes.
In Will’s living room, Holly sobs that she is a terrible teacher — oh, and Will has expensive beer — and she recounts the situation in Sue’s office. Her understanding that she doesn’t care leads her to recollect the incident that changed her — a bizarre confrontation with a student named Cameo (“She was like an attractive Biggie Smalls!”) who, unfortunately, punched her in the face and stole her Air Jordans. The incident led her to a temporary life full of transient pleasures, and oh my God, when she says she lives on one-night stands, for one horrific moment, I am POSITIVE that Will is going to get into her pants, and people, it is at this precise moment that I asked God to strike me dead.
Fortunately, he doesn’t. I lived. Small mercies.
Their conversation leads to her deciding to resign just before Terri busts in with more soup and — God save us all — more baby talk. Terri is back to her usual crazy self and she attacks Will and Holly for having a date (which it isn’t, but remember, Will wanted to get into her pants! I am sure of this!), repeatedly and awkwardly. Will asks her to leave and for a moment, she returns to lucidity and truthfully, I feel awful for her, because she acknowledges her crazy, and also Will? YOU SLEPT WITH HER LAST NIGHT. WHAT DO YOU EXPECT? He cruelly dismisses her by announcing that it was a mistake, and tells her never to return. She promises this is his last chance, and leaves.
Mercedes has sneaked in some tot contraband, which leads Kurt to tell her that she’s substituting food for love, and that she’s been substituting him for a boyfriend. Oh, and he’s not breaking it off with Blaine. Whoa, Kurt. First of all, way harsh. Second of all, Mercedes is your FRIEND. You used HER until you found someone you could relate to better, and how about that hot potato? Does it feel good to just toss it around? He then has the audacity to lecture her on self respect AND tell her that look at him! Look at how HE found someone! OMFG, Kurt. I love you, usually, but you are really acting like an asshole. A cold, unsympathetic asshole.
Which makes it sort of strange that the next moment, the kissy Neanderthal football player is strong-arming and confronting him with certain death if he shares the details of their kiss.
Oh, look! An ad for Country Strong. Nope, Gwyneth, sorry. You have not won me over with this episode, so I will not be seeing your film. Perhaps you should have considered this before you launched GOOP! Kisses, Jonna.
Sue reinstates Will, citing the students’ kind words about him. He returns, triumphant, and brings the students into this decade with … Singin’ in the Rain. He enlists the help of, you guessed it, Holly Holiday to make it modern and she delivers, creating a compelling (and wet) mash-up of Singin’ in the Rain and … Umbrella. It’s smashing, except for the fact that Will and Holly take it upon themselves to handle the lead roles, usurping and upstaging the very students they purport to advocate for and fear not, I still want to punch them both in the face. All is right with the world.