Tonight’s episode has Gwyneth Paltrow guest starring as Will Schuester’s substitute.
In tonight’s episode, titled, “The Substitute,” Sue takes over as principle after she gets Figgins sick with the monkey flu. It’s all part her diabolical plan to replace all chairs in the school. Sue rejoices when Schuester catches the flu, but Glee club struggles to find a substitute.
Kurt asks Schuester’s Spanish class substitute, Holly Holliday (Paltrow), to manage Glee club and she accepts. Holly encourages Glee club to perform modern songs in order to do well at sectionals. She encourages them to do the songs they want and not let Schuester decide for them. Her fantastic performance of “Forget You” by Cee Lo Green has everyone dancing, except Rachel who watches unimpressed. Besides Rachel, everyone else takes a strong liking to Holly.
Kurt keeps canceling on his plans with Mercedes so that he could hang out with Blaine. He offers to set her up with a football player but she refuses. When Sue goes on a spree against junk food, she removes tater-tots from the cafeteria which overly upsets Mercedes. She ends up shoving tots in the exhaust pipe of Sue’s car’s for revenge.
Terri insists on taking care of Schuester, and brings him his favorite movie, Singin’ in the Rain. Schuester has a dream of he and Mike performing,“Make them laugh.” Afterward, Rachel visits Schuester and warns him that everyone loves Holly and since Holly and Sue are friends, she might take over Glee club. While taking care of Schuester, Terri’s plans to seduce him work and they hook up.
In the halls at school, Holly tells Rachel,“You suck” and that she’s a drag. She encourages Rachel to loosen up and perform a song that she’s always wanted to do. Rachel agrees and invites her to join in. They perform “Nowadays/Hot Honey Rag” from the musical Chicago.
Schuester returns but Sue fires him, saying Holly has replaced him. Schuester confronts Holly who tells him that she gives the kids a voice so they don’t get bored. They argue about teaching methods, but Holly refuses to turn the job down.
When Sue finds out what Mercedes has done to her car, she calls her and Holly in, Sue turns on Holly for making fun of the situation.
Holly visits Schuester, crying that she’s a terrible teacher. They share beers as she tells him she never was this hip and fun with students. She recalls a horrible memory of a student punching her back when she was more structured in teaching. Holly also admits that since then, she keeps moving, not committing to anything. Holly decides to resign as Terri jealously interrupts and makes a scene. Will turns her away, and Terri swears he’s going to regret this.
Kurt makes Mercedes realize that she’s substituting food for love, as she substituted Kurt for a boyfriend. Mercedes agrees to talk to the football player. Meanwhile, Kurt’s bully threatens Kurt to keep their kiss a secret or he’ll kill him.
Sue informs Schuester that she’s giving him his job back because the kids said good things about him. Schuester happily returns to Glee club and tells the kids they could choose their own songs after sectionals. He suggests they perform “Singin’ in the Rain,” much to their dismay.
Schuester asks Holly for help in getting Glee club to modernize “Singin’ in the Rain.” Holly happily accepts and joins them in performing a mash-up of Rihanna’s “Umbrella” and “Singin’ in the Rain” to end the show.
First, I have to say that I was thoroughly impressed by Paltrow. She can definitely sing and looks like she’s having fun when performing. She brought a fresh change to Glee that I felt was needed lately. I would love to have her back on the show.
Tonight’s episode was a good balance between musical numbers and character development. The only thing that confused me was the tater-tots story with Mercedes. Was it that necessary? Couldn’t they have developed the point that Mercedes substitutes Kurt as her boyfriend without the whole tot incident? Why must the overweight girl be the one asking for the tots to calm her feelings? For a show that’s all about defying stereotypes and thinking outside the box, that was a too cliché of Glee and a little disappointing.
What did everyone else think of tonight’s Glee?