As if life in Glee-land wasn’t exciting (and wet) enough, with slushies, tear jerking scenes, and more slushies, the creators of Glee gave us an extraordinarily “hip” episode with A-list actress Gwyneth Paltrow as the “too-cool-for-school” substitute teacher, who eventually “kicks it” in the rain with Mr.Schue.
But first things first: this episode is all about power structures. Principal Figgins and Will Schuester get some third-world disease courtesy of Sue Sylvester’s evil tyrannical plans.
When she announces to Mr. Schue that she is now defacto principal, she also announces that “my first order of business destroy the Glee club.” When Mr.Schue replied, “But I thought we were friends?” Sylvester characteristically answers, “That got boring.”
Cut to Mr. Schue so insanely sick that he envisions the New Directions kids as mini-versions of themselves. We wish this part of the episode had been longer and they would have made the kids get into their respective personalities more, but you have to admit–they are freakin’ adorable.
We haven’t seen Schue’s ex-wife, the terror-inducing Terry (thank god), but because the thematic core of this episode is “power,” Terry comes to take care of Mr.Schue while he is vulnerable, preying on his weakness. She slips in his favorite movie, Singin’ In the Rain, and woos him with stories of therapy and anti-depressant drugs.
Schue doesn’t fall for it–yet. But thousands of years of male/female gender training and manipulation plus the limits of television mean that Mr.Schue will fall for Terry’s sickbed trap.
Our third “power” story arc comes with Kurt, Blaine, and the “straight” third wheel…Mercedes. She doesn’t understand why Kurt is hanging out with Blaine so much and why it’s so “nice to have someone to talk to.”
Speaking of having someone to talk to, Gywneth Paltrow’s character, the hip, hot substitute teacher Holly Holiday claims that she is the “cure for the common class” and after seeing her do a jazzy version of “Conjunction Junction” for his English class, Kurt recruits Ms. Holiday to be (more power tripping!) the substitute for glee club, so that Rachel doesn’t attempt to hijack–you guessed it–club power.
Not huge fans of Gywneth Paltrow in general, we actually think she did a fantastic job as Ms. Holiday. Or rather, with opening lines “should we toke up some medical grade marijuana?” and “let’s get some tacos!” we just wish she would be our BFF. But that’s sort of the point.
Like how Puck gives the cute substitute the once over and there is allusion to the fact that Mr.Schue wouldn’t let him do [lastfm]Cee-Lo’s[/lastfm] “Forget You.” Ms. Holiday gets excited and the snarky voice of reason, Santana, proclaims “‘scuse me what you know about Cee-Lo, cuz you’re like 40.”
Miss. Holiday replies “Top 40 sweetcheeks.” Everyone jumps around as if they are actually having fun (no outrageously choreographed scenes here) and Rachel sits there looking miserable because her glee club power was usurped. Girl. You better recognize.
Meanwhile, Sue Sylvester is wandering around trying to disband the football team, taking away Mercedes’ sacred tater tots, and becomes best friends with the clueless, Ms. Holiday. As Sylvester writes in her diary, “reality is, I’m a champion. And once I get power, I do not let it go.”
While we think that Sue Sylvester is always hilarious, we are tired of her badass beeyatch image; we’ve seen her kind and compassionate. Her scare tactics don’t have the same hilarity as they once did.
Mr. Schue is so delirious that he dreams that he is performing “Make ‘Em Laugh” with hottie Mike Chang. He’s also so delirious that he let’s Terry rub him down with menthol stuff and then, ummm, give him what baby likes.
You know. Use your imagination. Basically, taking advantage of a sick man always works. It’s history. It’s biological. It’s psychological. It’s life.
Of course, Rachel tries to get her power back and is met with Ms. Holiday’s completely inappropriate statement: “Rachel you suck. Oh my god. You’re like a total drag…when is the last time that you did something, just because you thought it was a blast.”
For some reason, Rachel doesn’t get hurt by that statement or complain to anyone…she convinces Ms. Holiday to do a professionally-polished version of Chicago’s “Nowadays/Hot Honey Rag” with her instead. In glamorous black-sequined robes with red fur.
How does New Directions afford new costumes when budget cuts are so extreme, that in every other episode they are worried about getting disbanded?
Whatever, it doesn’t matter, because that’s the power of television. Whoa. That was meta.
Sylvester uses her power to fire Will Schuester from his position by saying: “No, literally. There’s no reason for you. The kids prefer the substitute and so do I…Figgins has been fired and I’ve been formally offered the position…as my first official act as full-time principal, you are fired.”
Then Ms. Holiday and Mercedes stick some tater tots in Sue Sylvester’s tail pipe and well, Ms. Holiday is fired and Mr.Schue rehired. Ms. Holiday and Mr. Schue stomp around in the rain and make up to a very wet version of “Singing In The Rain” and [lastfm]Rihanna[/lastfm]’s “Umbrella.”
Everything seems fine, until…Kurt’s closet-football player bully asserts his brute power and asks Kurt if he’s told anyone about their little kiss. Kurt says no and football player says “Good, you keep it that way. ‘Cuz if you don’t…I’m gonna kill you.”
We are left with slack-jawed Kurt. And a foreboding sense of doom.
- What did you think of this week’s Glee episode? Let is know in the comments!