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'Glee' recap: No more neglect (but a lot of heckling)


After neglecting fans for five sad weeks, "Glee" returned from hiatus Tuesday with "A Night of Neglect," in which it not only presented us with songs by (sort of) neglected artists, but also with a bouquet of characters we've seen all too little of this season and performances by glee clubbers who are often overlooked.

The setup? Short on cash to go to Nationals (Sue has stashed the club's funds in offshore accounts on the Cayman Islands), the glee clubbers are looking to raise some bucks. A plan to sell saltwater taffy quickly stretches -- the Brainiacs, an academic decathlon team that includes Tina, Mike Chang, Artie and a Dots-fueled Brittany (an expert on cat diseases, as it turns out), is similarly neglected and in need of cash to compete -- and then gets swallowed up in another plan, this one proposed by perpetual sub and Will Schuester love interest Holly Holliday (Gwyneth Paltrow): a benefit show, featuring songs by neglected artists. (Aretha Franklin a neglected artist? Chew on that.)

Sue, meanwhile, gathers a quirky mix of woefully neglected supporting characters -- Vocal Adrenaline's Bluetooth-earpiece-sporting coach, Dusty Goolsby; uber-creepy former glee club director Sandy Ryerson; and Will Schuester's nutty ex-wife, Terri -- into a union she calls "The League of Doom," united in their quest to see Will and the glee clubbers undone. She gives them all silly nicknames -- most memorably Terri, whom Sue dubs "honey badger, nature's most ferocious animal," winking at this viral video: 

The episode was a similarly quirky mixed bag, packed with amusing bits and pieces but very little emotional (or musical) oomph.

Some highlights I mustn't neglect to mention (heckle me not):

Mercedes goes diva: With Lauren Zizes acting as her manager, Mercedes makes a play to get more respect from her fellow glee clubbers, issuing demands for fresh puppies on which to dry her hands and arrangements that will prevent her feet from ever touching the ground. (Carried in an egg? She's considering it.) After ditching the benefit performance in a huff, Mercedes is persuaded by Rachel to go on. Looking beautiful, Mercedes takes center stage (and captures Sandy's support) by singing Aretha Franklin's "Ain't No Way." It's a restrained rendition -- doesn't quite leave me reaching for a perfect Pomeranian with which to mop my brow -- but is prettily sung nonetheless.

Sunshine Corazon's triumphant return: When last we saw Sunshine Corazon (Charice), the exchange student from the Philippines with the powerful pipes, she had defected to Vocal Adrenaline after Rachel sent her to a crack house. Charice returns to the McKinley High stage in this episode, delivering a version of "All by Myself" that reminds us why Rachel was so threatened by her talent in the first place. Sunshine's reappearance, which will stretch several episodes, shines bright but raises questions about her motives. Will Sunshine prove to be a dark cloud on the horizon for New Directions?

Holly Holliday saves the day (again), then skips the scene (again): After five dates -- the best one, apparently, in the janitor's closet -- Holly Holliday is off to more exotic pastures, with a job teaching French in Cleveland. But before imparting a few lessons about Wallis Simpson (a hermaphrodite? No, despite the giant hands! A Nazi sympathizer? Yes!), how the Internet has bred a "culture of insults" that has made us all "comfortable with insensitivity" ("Preach!" says Becky), and the mysteries of the heart (memo to Will, you still love Emma, and she still loves you). If you're sorry to see Holly go (does this mean the Catherine the Great history lesson is off?), take heart. She's promised to come back and visit (the next time Gwyneth has a movie -- or possibly an album -- to promote).

The return of Sandy Ryerson: Now a successful medical-marijuana dealer and (apparently somewhat less successful) "predatory gay," McKinley High's former glee club director prompts one of the best lines of the episode. No, not the line about Will Schuester having "tiny baby hands" that prevent him from picking up a Big Mac and compel him to eat it "layer by layer" -- that was Dusty Goolsby (a.k.a. Sergeant Handsome), while trying to seduce Holly. I mean this line, from Sue: "Sandy, how do you manage to walk into a building without setting off all the fire alarms?" Ouch. Sandy, you just got poked -- poked, Pink Dagger!

Santana kicks booty: When that closeted bully Karofsky comes out of wherever he is hiding to pick on Kurt and Blaine as they tour McKinley High, who steps in to make him back off? A fierce and furious Santana. You go, J.Lo!

Emma and Will enjoy a friendly grape: Emma's OCD has kicked into high gear: Will finds her cleaning the counter with an electric toothbrush. Turns out Carl has left her and asked for an annulment, to which he is legally entitled since they have not consummated their marriage. Emma is feeling sad, defeated by her OCD, which she thought she'd have a handle on by now. Will cheers her up by donning a sterile glove and scrubbing her a grape. He promises her "no judgment … just a friend you can count on." Aw.

So what did you think? Was this episode all you'd longed for these last few weeks, or were you hoping for more? (A song from Rachel? Another Kurt-Blaine kiss?) Are you sad to see Holly/Gwyneth go? (Oh, those turning tables.) Happy to see Emma and Will poised to rekindle their romance? Looking forward to more Sunshine? And what were your favorite moments/lines? Please don't neglect to share your thoughts!

Full Show Tracker coverage of "Glee"

-- Amy Reiter

Photo: Lauren (Ashley Fink), at right, helps Mercedes (Amber Riley) demand respect in the "Night of Neglect" episode of "Glee." Credit: Adam Rose / Fox

Comments () | Archives (9)

I was so excited for the return of Glee. It wasn't a fantstic episode, but it was okay. I figured the Holly Holiday saga would have to end sometime, Gwyneth can't do Glee forever. But for me, her whole departure was kind of weird. That song, the way she kind of acted with Will..then her odd disapperance down the hallway.

I liked Mercedes whole DIVA thing! She's one of my favorites and I love when she plays both the sensitive teen and the all out bad-ass diva that she is! Good job Amber Riley!! I liked her take on 'Aint no way.' But sadly, all I could literally compare it was Christian Aguilera's performance of the song at the Grammys...she..wore..that..song out! So good.

All in all, I hope Glee is better next week. It wasn't quite hcomeback episode I wanted, yet I respected the very important message about heckling via technology.

Loved seeing Sunshine back. That song was soo good! She gives me goosebumps everytime!

This episode did not really do it for me. I enjoyed the storyline and the songs, but I wanted more. Santana was fantastic. You go girl!!Mercedes killed it as the diva. Love her!The only thing I want is for the writers to give her some kind of love interest. She deserves a cutie who can sing and loves confident, thick girls ;) go thick girls!

I'm glad the Will and Holly thing is over, we knew it wouldn't last. I want someon else for him. I like him and Emma, but not yet...he needs someone cool. But next week, I'm sooo glad Kurt is back! Oh yeah....

"Night" was an OK episode.
I liked the League of Doom even though it didn't really go anywhere.
Liked the hecklers.

LOVED the Kurt/Blaine/Karofsky scene (lots of emotion there and all three guys were GREAT).
LOVED the Will and Emma grape scene (one of the most touching scenes ever in Glee.)
LOVED hearing Mercedes in the spotlight, finally.

Not so thrilled - Sunshine is a great singer but has thin acting skills. Really getting tired of Holly Holiday coming in and going nowhere. I was frustrated that there was so little Kurt and that he wasn't it the first half at all. I miss Finn. When was the last time his character even mattered (Furt, maybe?) I thought the math error was stupid and insulting to teachers and public school students.

Truly the best part of the episode was the previews for next week. Kurt is BACK!

Loved Mercedes, hated the way they edited 'Ain't No Way'. They would've done better to start at the 3rd verse of the song ["I know a wonan's duty..."] and run it straight through instead of cutting out the meat of this powerful ballad. Man I was irritated by that, but hey, the kids don't know. I'm sure the iTunes version will have the complete rendition.

Overall, entertaining episode.

RE: Sunshine's motives...Vocal Adrenaline coach did say he pulled her out of performing, so it is possible she intended to help the Glee club but was barred (Holly accidently slipped that he loaned them a singer which the VA coach didn't know about as he was trying to seduce her...and coming up with other synonyms for how good looking he is). Likely, her character will turn it around somehow in the future.

-Are we done with the Tina bursting into (badly acted) tears after starting a song? It's like they were thinking "Hey, we haven't done anything with that character for awhile....I know....." Once is enough, twice is annoying ...plz don't let there be a 3rd.
It's like the "asian" this and "asian" that thing they had going with the two asians earlier on in the season. They seem to know how to flesh out the gay characters but then resort to stereotyping the three racial minorities (Tina, Mike, Mercedes...and let's not forget the black male football player from 1st season...sorry forget his name)

-Although I enjoyed her previous two episodes, Holly's character in this one seemed more of a device to move the plot along. It's as if they created a character that was never intended to be re-used, but was so well received, they hurridly fleshed her out. We should be grateful that Holly is not a regular character.

-Ooops I forgot to mention Santana as a racial minority, maybe because they actually have given her character more dimension recently, or maybe I view the Cheerios, Brittany and Santana (Britana or Santany), as their own subset. Also, in a past episode was Brittany refered to as a minority? Those Swedes!!!

I just want them to not take the "easy" route when have scenes involving Tina, Mike and Mercedes.

The insertion about the brainiacs in the second paragraph renders the entire thing quite awkward and nigh-on unreadable. Just make a separate sentence!

I want more Klaine! That's the only reason anyone's really watching anymore...I mean, they weren't even acting in love while watching Mercedes. Finn had his arm around Quinn but Blaine didn't have his around Kurt. SO glad Gwyneth is gone, I'm tired of her self-indulgent self-promotion detracting from the sheer talent of the kids. They are SO much better at acting, singing, dancing, and connecting with a character. I'm just so tired of Will Schuester plots in general. He is soooo bad he can't act and their attempt to make him personable and righteous just leaves him looking pretentious. Marry him off to Emma (WE KNOW IT'S GONNA HAPPEN), they can pop out some ginger, square-chinned babies, and then he can retire.
I hope we get another Klaine kiss soon! Or Kurt could loose the big V!!!!

In no universe should Gwyneth cover Adele. Also, I don't want to be lectured, I just want escapism.


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