It's the Gwyneth Paltrow episode, finally! Of course, though we've all been frothing at the mouth for this day, Glee has upped the ante by promising a wedding next week. And Carol Burnett! Maybe I'm the only one excited about that. But still! But wait, we're on this week's shizz. Here goes.
Shue gets the flu. His horrible ex comes by to take care of him, but he throws her out when she declares her love for him with a Vaseline-covered anal thermometer in her hand. She woos him throughout the episode, revealing she’s on meds and continuously remembering all the little things he loves. Dirty little trick.
Meanwhile, who’s in charge of Glee Club? The same substitute who’s a hit covering his Spanish class ... Holly Holliday, played by Gwyneth Paltrow. (Oh my, she says she’s the cure for the common class ... is that a Mad Men reference?)
Does this count as Musical Number #1? We see how beloved Holly is when we see that she sang “Conjunction Junction” when she was covering an English class.
She immediately wins over New Directions by asking them what they want to sing, then grants Puck’s finest desire (while he checks out her butt) by singing Musical Number #2, Cee-Lo’s “Forget You” (we all know what the real words to "Forget You" are). Everybody kills it. The Cheerios sparkle, Finn almost looks animated, and Rachel’s furious! Hooray!
Musical Number #3 is an amazing dream sequence: inspired by the Singin' in the Rain DVD Terry left for him to comfort-watch, dream-Shue and dream-Mike-Chang do “Make 'Em Laugh.” Gorgeous and fun, though nothing beats the original. He wakes to Rachel tattling on the fun substitute.
Musical Number #4 is Holly’s way to woo the only member of Glee Club resistant to her charms, Rachel, by pairing with her to let her do her must-desired number, “Nowadays/Hot Honey Rag” from Chicago. It’s terrific! Rachel is too sparkling to be annoying, and Gwyneth is charming. I’m bothered, though, that their names don’t appear in the lights after they machine-gun them like in the movie.
Did I mention Sue Sylvester has replaced the principal in a coup d’etat? Shue tries to return to school, but Sue has been hard at work. She’s had the principal fired; she’s fired Shue and sends him packing. She takes tater tots off the school menu, inspiring a coup.
But Holly realizes she’s in over her head when Mercedes gets in trouble for shoving tots up the tailpipe of Sue’s LeCar. Holly tearfully turns up at Shue’s place and bemoans the way she didn’t know what to do in the face of crisis. Terry storms in and goes all “OMG, I’m his wife!” (and btw, they totally did it) and Shue sends her packing.
Sue abruptly gives Shue his job back, after the LeCar/tater tot debacle. The Glee Club gives him a hero’s welcome, though they’re bummed that he returns to his tradition of old song choices with a song from Singin’ in the Rain. He calls in Holly to make “it more relevant,”and they close the episode with Musical Number #5, a mash-up of “Singin’ in the Rain” with Rihanna’s “Umbrella.” It’s visually stunning, but the mash-up doesn’t work for me. But honestly, it’s too fabulous across the board, so giant thumbs up for Gwyneth on Glee.
Image via Fox