'Glee' recap: Singing, fainting and other forms of traditional 'Thanksgiving' insanity

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Sometimes, "Glee" gives us a fun and weird episode that successfully blends the fantasy world of musical theater with the reality of high school and day-to-day life. And sometimes, "Glee" gives us an episode like "Thanksgiving."

Episodes like this don't work out quite so well. After all, when you spend most of the episode staring at the screen with your mouth hanging open in confusion, it's safe to say that the story didn't come together. 


"I just feel like every time we go home, it makes me feel sad and not like we're moving forward, you know?"

The alumni are back! They are excited to be back. Like really excited. We're talking about singing a "Homeward Bound"/"Home" mash-up in the darkened theater while they hug and smile and stuff.

Listen, I went back to my high school after I graduated. And it was mostly to see band friends, because I was a music geek just like these guys. You know what? At no point did I want to break into song or engage in group sentimentality. Move on, kids!

At least Rachel ( Lea Michele) has finally realized that living in the past keeps you from moving forward.


Mentoring toward Sectionals

The alums aren't just back for turkey. Oh no, they're also back to mentor the younger kids, because no show is complete without mentors these days. Finn ( Cory Monteith) pairs Quinn ( Dianna Agron) and Kitty ( Becca Tobin), Puck ( Mark Salling) and Jake ( Jacob Artist), Santana ( Naya Rivera) and Marley ( Melissa Benoist), Mercedes ( Amber Riley) and Wade ( Alex Newell), Mike (Harry Shum Jr.) and Ryder ( Blake Jenner).

Yes, he paired them by appearance.

Fortunately or unfortunately, we don't get time to actually see much mentoring. That's because it's Sectionals, and singing takes up a lot of time.


Non-Sectionals plots in "Thanksgiving"

Let's just sum up the non-Sectionals plots to get them out of the way:

  • Marley is still purging and taking laxatives because of course she is too fat. It's only gotten worse since the girl has convinced herself that the entire glee club will fail if she is not perfect.
  • Ryder asks Jake for the lead dance part, even though Jake has ballet training and is amazing. Because Jake got the girl (Oh, in case you missed it, Marley and Jake are dating again.), he agrees to this.
  • Eventually, Ryder realizes that Jake is the better dancer and gives up the position to his friend. With no practice, Jake kills it.
  • Kitty spends a lot of time sucking up to her idol, Quinn. Kitty has a photo of Quinn in her locker. Somehow, no one thinks this is weird.
  • Quinn, Santana and Brittany (Heather Morris) show the youngsters how to work together by singing a Supremes song. Then Quinn and Santana get into a slap-fight.


Thanksgiving, New York-style

Notably missing from the grand reunions of McKinley High School are Rachel and Kurt ( Chris Colfer). This is because Rachel has decided that it is better to stay in New York, moving forward with their lives, than to continuously return to their hometown to relive their show-choir glory days.

Kurt kind of agrees. But you can tell he wants to go home for Thanksgiving.

What will these forward-looking young people do instead? Obviously, the time is right for an Orphan Thanksgiving!

It's not just Rachel and Kurt though. New York City is full of orphans -- that's part of what lends the city its charm. Rachel invites Brody (Sure he slept with Cassie, but he can cook!), and Kurt invites Isabelle ( Sarah Jessica Parker, who seems to think that "Les Miserables" is about the French Revolution. It's not. The story centers around a post-Napoleonic rebellion in the mid-19th century. Just sayin').

Of course, Isabelle is fabulous and simply must bring more of her fabulous friends to the party as well. And we all know what that means -- DANCE PARTY!!!

Because what says Thanksgiving better than a choreographed dance number featuring Studio 54 rejects?

However much Kurt loves his flashy holiday craziness, something is missing. He leaves the dancers and turkey behind to make a call to Blaine ( Darren Criss) from the fire escape. It seems that the boy is finally ready to hear his ex's apologies. There may be hope yet for these two crazy kids!


Misogyny, thy name is "Glee"

OK, I'm not saying that "Glee" is anti-woman. Not usually anyway. But "Thanksgiving"? This particular episode does smack of a bit of misogyny. Examples of this?

  • The continuation of the whole Marley-Kitty bulimia situation is of course a very negative one.
  • When Rachel confronts Brody about sleeping with Cassie -- which is kind of icky, even if it's not a betrayal -- he mocks how snippy and silly she's being. Then he condescends to make promises and offer Thanksgiving dinner. She melts, because that's what silly little girls do.
  • On the word of the devious Kitty, Quinn goes nuts on the Puckerman boys. Good to know that the Ivy-League girl turns into a nasty idiot when faced with boys.
  • Actually, she turns into that nasty idiot when faced with girls too. Why exactly do Quinn and Santana get into a fight about sleeping with professors and being cheerleaders? And why does that fight immediately devolve into slaps?

Oh well. This is "Glee." They'll probably be back to girl power by next week.


The wisdom and confetti of "Gangnam Style"

Stop and think for a moment: What does "Gangnam Style" mean to you, really. Because "Glee" seems to want us to believe that there is deeper meaning there.

Whatever. Distract yourself with singing. That's always a better plan on this show.

Once Sectionals finally arrive, we get to see the evil Warblers perform first. Thanks to the proliferation of boy bands these days, the Dalton guys have some great songs to choose from and are kind of awesome. The Warblers are followed by the previously unknown Rosedale Mennonites. They're wholesome and stuff.

Finally, it's time for the Korean craziness of New Directions. Although no one can quite repeat the sheer genius of Psy when it comes to this song, the kids sure give it a try. They even sing in Korean! And give Tina ( Jenna Ushkowitz) a solo!

The show-choir spectacle ends in a hail of confetti! This is fortunate since the falling bits of paper totally distract the audience from noticing Marley's collapse to the floor.


Oh that's it? Is Marley dead? What is the deeper meaning of "Gangnam Style"? Will Kurt and Blaine get back together? Share your theories and comments below!

Photo/Video credit: FOX
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