Goodbye Gleek-y Gwyneth. Well, for now anyway.
Last night's brand new episode of "Glee" marked the departure of Holly Holliday (recurring guest star Gwyneth Paltrow) and the return of many a long-forgotten character (including Charice's Sunshine Corazon).
Things started, as they so often do, with Sue scheming ways to take down Mr. Schuester and his glee club. This time around she enlisted a tribunal of Will haters called "The League of Doom," which included disgraced pot-smoking teacher Sandy "Pink Dagger" Ryerson (the always hilarious Stephen Tobolowsky), Will's ex-wife Terri (Jessalyn Gilsig, who will probably strike later), whom she dubbed the "Honey Badger" and his rival glee coach Dustin Goolsby, a.k.a Sgt. Handsome (Cheyenne Jackson).
But before "The League of Doom" could interrupt their fun, the glee kids had some issues of their own. First, they had to raise $5,000 to go to Nationals (that's 20,000 pieces of salt water taffy if you're keeping count) and an additional $250 to help out Artie, Tina, Mike and Brittany (yes, Brittany, who is apparently well-versed in cat diseases and can be bribed with Dots) for their academic decathlon, the Brainiacs.
As per Holly's idea, the group decided to hold a benefit—aptly titled "A Night of Neglect"—to raise money for them. The only problem was, no one besides Blaine and Kurt and Sue's group of hired hecklers attended (wouldn't a few of these kids' parents come out to support them?!). Not even Sunshine, who showed up earlier in the episode promising to sing a number for the event (she proved she meant business with her stirring rendition of Eric Carmen's ballad "All By Myself"), came by.
Still, the "the show's gotta go all over the place," as Finn so delicately put it. Poor Tina got heckled during her performance of Lykke Li's "I Follow Rivers," but boyfriend Mike got no jeers during his dance routine to Jack Johnson's "Bubble Toes." This was for two reasons: One, the audience was given salt water taffy and anyone who has been to the Jersey shore can tell you there's absolutely no way to boo, let alone talk, with a wad of that in your mouth, and two, his dancing is awesome.
Holly performed heckle-free after giving a lesson (hey, it wouldn't be a "Glee" episode without one) on why being mean to others—be it in person or on the internet—is bad. Of course, I'm about to go against everything she taught me by writing this. Gwyneth is a nice enough singer, but she in no way has the chops to cover Adele's emotional "Turning Tables." Still, it was a pleasant note for Gwynnie to leave on, as this was the end of the road for Holly at McKinley High. She's left for greener pastures (Cleveland!) leaving a lovelorn Will behind (though, lucky for him, Emma is single again!).
One person who definitely wasn't hearing anything from haters was Mercedes. She demanded—well, in addition to a small barrel of green M&M's and a puppy to dry her hands on—a little r-e-s-p-e-c-t, and not got it from diva-rival Rachel. Mercedes finally cut the drama and did what she does best: sing her heart out. Ms. Jones brought the house down with her version of Aretha Franklin's "Ain't No Way." It was so good, in fact, Sandy went from Sue's minion to glee and academic club donor.
All in all, I'd say this was a pretty decent episode. The numbers—all solos, no less—all had about the same effect, and while Gwyneth's story line got wrapped up perfectly, Charice's presence felt kind of pointless again. I must say, the best parts of the evening came courtesy of all the delicious one-liners. I know so many Gleeks love the show for their songs (natch) and the relationship drama (like Finn and Quinn being an item yet again), but I became hooked because of its crazy sense of humor. Check out the funniest lines and moments from "A Night of Neglect":
"Is it because two of them are Asian and Artie wears glasses?"—Puck in response to why Will assumed Tina, Mike, and Artie were in the Brainiacs
"That guy has tiny baby hands. Seriously, it's weird. I saw him try and pick up a Big Mac and he couldn't do it. He had to eat it layer by layer."—Dustin to Holly, about Will
"Oh, and also, I have razorblades hidden in my hair. Tons, all up in there."—Santana threatening Karofsky
"I don't care. You're hunky and I'm what they call 'predatory gay.'"—Sandy to Dustin, after he tells him he's single and straight
"You just got poked....poked by the Dagger!"—Sandy's signature catch phrase
"Aretha is my Kryptonite"—Sandy, after Mercedes' number
...Okay, so, pretty much everything Sandy said or did last night! Seriously, can't he be on every week?
Check out Jim Cantiello's musical "Glee"-cap!
What did you think of the latest episode of "Glee," Crushers? Should Mercedes be a bigger star than Rachel? Will Holly ever come back for Will? Or is he destined to be with Emma once and for all? Let us know in the comments below and on Twitter!