by Melissa Albert
In the time warp that is Lima, Ohio, it’s still Thanksgiving, and "Glee"'s prodigal children are home for the holidays. Look, it’s Quinn! And Puck! And Santana, Mike, Mercedes and Finn! The No. 1 besties (most of whom could barely stand each other in high school) sing "Homeward Bound/Home" (Simon & Garfunkel/Phillip Phillips), while the rest of us consider how this reunion scene would be a lot more moving if 5 out of the 6 kids hadn’t already returned a million times. Still, this is by far the best episode in weeks—partly because of the familiar faces, partly because human sweater vest Finn stayed in the background.
Thanksgiving means sectionals around these parts, and the team is gearing up for victory against diabolical teen geniuses the Dalton Warblers. Finn calls on the graduates to mentor the active glee kids, then announces his sectionals pick: Psy’s "Gangnam Style." Sam "White Chocolate" Evans immediately offers to lend his amazing skills as top dancer, but Finn isn't visionary enough to give him every lead in the show. Would we love Sam less if the show used him more? All we know is, every time he opens his trouty mouth, something awesome comes out.
The "unholy" Cheerios trinity, Brittany, Santana and Quinn, show the junior glee girls the moves that made them the winningest cheer team in Ohio. In honor of Quinn’s easy-listening vocals, they go into Motown mode, performing the Supremes’ "Come See About Me."
It's all fun and games until someone with a burgeoning eating disorder can’t even get through the performance without nearly keeling over. Poor Marley lacks the zesty self-confidence of, say, a young Sam Evans, and preparing for sectionals is making her fall apart at the seams. When Santana discovers that Kitty’s been feeding Marley laxatives, she goes to Quinn for help. But Kitty considers former head cheerleader and all-around Stepford Bitch Quinn to be the second coming (possibly literally), and Quinn’s let the idol worship go to her head. After she accuses Santana of just being jealous of her (wha-huh?), they trade soap opera slaps and completely forget about starving hand-puppet Marley.
Marley’s footmen, Jake and Ryder, also fail to see just how dire her situation is. The boys are still buddy-buddy, and they’re trying to keep it that way. Since Jake’s pulling ahead in the Marley race, he deliberately throws his dance audition with Mike Chang, letting Ryder win the Gangnam solo.
Rachel didn’t have his luck in her first off-Broadway audition, but nothing can bring her down: Kurt’s finally applied to NYADA! And they’ve decided to throw their own “orphans” Thanksgiving in Bushwick, while trying to forget about all the guys who’ve broken their hearts.
This becomes difficult for Rachel when Brody stands in for a hungover Cassie as her Dance 101 instructor. He pairs with pouty Rach on the fox trot, reminding her that she was the one who rejected him, running off to Finn while he stayed behind and dried his tears with Cassie. (Not that she was a consolation prize. Brody is quick to sing the praises of her fine behind.) But, “We’re not in high school anymore,” he reminds Rachel—then promises not only to not sleep with Cassie anymore, but to do the cooking for Bushwick Thanksgiving.
Kurt’s got a wild card guest of his own: lonely Vogue editor Isabelle, whose usual plans were interrupted by, of all things, the death of Gore Vidal. She casually asks if she can bring a few friends (uh-oh), then tries to convince Kurt to get into the spirit of the season by finally forgiving Blaine.
Will Kurt and Blaine’s reconciliation be a Thanksgiving miracle? The day’s finally arrived, and over at Kurt and Rachel’s pad, the turkey’s on the table, the Rachel/Brody flirtation is at an all-time high, and Isabelle and her clubby entourage have just arrived. What happens next appears to have come straight from the brain of "SNL"'s Stefon: an insane performance of the Scissor Sisters’ "Let’s Have a Kiki," combined with kids’ song “Turkey Lurkey Time” and festive circle dancing that wouldn’t look out of place at a Jewish wedding.
Kurt sneaks onto the fire escape to call Blaine, who’s already backstage at sectionals. He tells Blaine that, though he’s not ready to forgive him, he misses him and is willing to see him over Christmas. The two then reaffirm their love for each other...but it’s unclear whether it’s a best friends love, or whether they’re getting back together. All we can say for sure is that Darren’s performance in this scene proves once again that he’s the best actor on the show.
Everything might be looking up for Blaine, but it’s looking hopeless for Marley. She’s sweaty, she’s sleepless, she’s cracking under sectionals pressure. She eats a single Tic-Tac for dinner, and is nearly brought to panicked tears by the Warblers’ performance of Flo Rida’s “Whistle” and One Direction’s “Live While We’re Young.” Ryder’s got his own (lesser) problem: He knows he’s not good enough to take the “Gangnam Style” dance solo, and passes it to Jake right before the club goes on. Tina takes vocal lead, and it’s pretty freaking cute—but the choreography is sloppy, and the chorus is so chipper it hurts. Though the confetti guns don’t hurt, it’s a pretty blah performance by the New Directions.
And they’re about to have a bigger problem on their hands. Her vision failing, and awash in a disorienting sea of confetti, Marley finally collapses right before the curtain drops. Cliffhanger! We smell retribution coming for Kitty, and a Very Special Episode of “Glee” for the rest of us.
Song of the episode: The Warblers’ “Whistle,” but only because Kurt and Blaine’s phone call wasn’t technically a song.
What did you think of last night's episode? Sound off in the comments and on Twitter!