Hello, and welcome to the eighth recap of the fourth season of Glee, a show about a human-shaped pile of gnocchi and the rag-tag gang of total idiots he’s teaching how to dance. This week’s Thanksgiving episode was perhaps the series’ most anticipated holiday episode yet due to the obvious question we ask ourselves every November: will Finn escape the menacing claws of the potato masher once again, or will this Thanksgiving finally be his last?
On a scale of one to ten, I didn’t hate this episode! However, if a genie granted me three wishes, I’d use all of them to scratch this all-inclusive eating disorder storyline. Also, my girlfriend has totally lost patience with this show and therefore refuses to copyedit this post for me and it’s Sunday so I can’t bug anybody else about it. Sigh. I hope I spelled everything right! (Our wordpress spellcheck is dysfunctional, just like our relationship with this show.)
We open in the Awe-Inspiring Auditorium of McKinley High School, to which our Old Friends Who Can Actually Sing have returned to Actually Sing, starting with Quinn Fabray and her Amazing Technicolor Dreamscarf.
Unfortunately, our Old Friends Who Can Actually Sing have been gifted an upsetting mashup of “Homeward Bound” by Simon & Garfunkel and “Home” by Some Guy from American Idol, which seems like it should be outlawed by the Simon & Garfunkel estate, but apparently isn’t. Regardless, the tune serves to nicely harmonize with the version of Home by Some Guy From American Idol currently playing in the apartment above mine on near-constant repeat. I digress.
Quinn opens, as aforementioned, and is immediately joined by Old Man Puck and his fake guitar, at which point we begin to hear the sweet sweet sounds of Naya Rivera and Amber Riley echoing from the dusty chambers of this Auspicious Auditorium as Mercedes, Mike, Santana Lopez and Santana’s impressively-packaged rack join Quinn onstage. Before long Bloaty The Gravy Clown joins the team and judging by their matching cardigans it’s easy to conclude that Finn and Mike Chang are doing the horizontal mambo.
Then everyone hugs and smiles and laughs even though Finn probably reeks of turkey stock.
The takeaway from this scene is YAY THE OLD CAST IS BACK!!!!
Zoom on over to the Hallowed Hallways of McKinley High, where O’Marley’s recounting via monologue some childhood dream where she looked like Mary-Kate Olson.
In said dream, Marley-Kate-Olson stood onstage before a “full house” (GET IT?!!) of humans who’d trekked out just to see her perform, which’s a blinding stroke of good luck considering nothing’s worse than performing for a “full house” who’d trekked out just to see Cloud Atlas and therefore have no clue what Marley-Kate Olson is doing up there with that dramatic lighting.
Marley-Kate goes on to monologue that Mom’s lost 12 pounds but unfortunately Marley-Kate has not lost quite so much, perhaps because she’s already rocking a skeletal frame and, at this point, could only lose additional weight by severing a limb.
Again, as someone with a storied personal history of EDs and an uncanny knack for dating or best-friending people with severe eating disorders and a sick habit of reading eating disorder memoirs, I can say equivocally that this storyline is profoundly stupid and I hate it and everything about it sucks. So, as I said two weeks ago and Lizz said last week, I cannot abide this storyline. Also — seriously if the writing team can’t come up with a better segue into this Very Special Issue than Marley-Kate being so stupid that she doesn’t notice that all her regular clothes fit while her costume keeps getting tighter, then I can’t come up with a better segue into this Very Special Issue than making fun of it. ONWARD.
Cut to Breadsticks, where Our Old Friends Who Can Actually Sing have gathered to suck down some soft drinks and deliver exposition and a bit of fandom-pandering.
They acknowledge that Rachel and Kurt didn’t keep the “promise” to come home for Thanksgiving, which means Finn’s gift of a turkey made out of venison, pork, lamb, beef, chicken feet and freshwater salmon will go untouched by its intended recipient, Rachel Berry The Manic Pixie Vegan.
Quinn: “Well, [Rachel] basically emails me every other week to remind me that I still haven’t used that train ticket she gave me. It’s just that I’m just, I’m trying to keep straight A’s. And I just got tapped to be in the only female secret society at Yale.”
Well maybe if Quinn just forfeited that un-used ticket back to Rachel then Rachel could sell that motherfucker on the CL and get her ass to Lima for a steaming hot pile of Tofurkey. Anyhow, Quinn says that alumni of The Lady-Skulls include Hillary Clinton and Jennifer Beals, which means it’s the perfect club for Quinn Fabray, because just like Hilary and J-Beals, Quinn is a lady a lot of lady-loving ladies like involving in their Lesbian Fantasies.
Smear to the Glee Club, where Finn’s lost his damn mind and Santana’s dressed like The Nanny but still looks hot:
Finn: “Do you realize that standing before you are legends?”
It’s basically like Rock of Ages in there. Anyhow, Finn, always the clever opportunist, has decided to pair the younger squirrels with older squirrels for a “mentoring” relationship!
Marley-Kate is with Santana, Unique’s with Mercedes, Ryder Bieber-Strong’s with Mike Chang, New Puck’s with Old Man Puck, Fake Quinn’s with Real Quinn and Finn’s with a bowl of tater-tots.
Fake Quinn creams in her On Gossamers over being paired with her hero, and then Finn announces that Marley-Kate & Blaine will duet at sectionals and for the “showstopper” they’ll be doing “Gangham Style,” a song I managed to know absolutely nothing about until Thursday night when my girlfriend told me about it as we watched this show.
However, I had no intention of viewing the actual video (mostly because I was afraid the song would get stuck in my head like every song in every viral video I’ve ever seen) until an article on Rolling Stone declaring “Gangham Style” the most-watched YouTube video of all time drew me in its direction. Therefore at 4:30 PM on Saturday, December 1st, I watched the “Gangham Style” video for the first time and although I couldn’t make it to the end, I’m 95% sure that we’re all fucked. Like, as a civilization. Anyhow.
Santana: “Okay, Lumps, let me just say out loud what everyone here is thinking: you finally got an okay haircut, you’re not doing that annoying half smirk as much as you used to but you’re still an idiot and no one in this room can tackle a massive dance number except for Brit, and that includes your little hand jive that to me looks more like a hand j—”
She’s interrupted by Teen Jesus, who wants Schuester to come back, but Finn insists that he’s “got this” and a “big dance number” is what they need to blow the Warblers out of the water. I’m sure Blaine could blow the Warblers. Or, let’s be honest, Ryder Bieber-Strong.
Finn says Mike Chang will train the hell out of some boy’s lucky unit and everything will be okay.
Cut to the hallowed hallways, where Ryder Bieber-Strong and New Puck are chatting about the upcoming dance-off, Mike Chang’s esteemed career at Joffrey, and their feelings for Marley-Kate, who New Puck says is “special” or some crap. Bla bla bla.
Ryder Bieber-Strong says it’s okay if New Puck steals the apple of his eye, but jokingly requests New Puck let Ryder Bieber-Strong win the dance solo because ”you don’t get to get everything at this school.” Just ask the lesbians, they don’t get jackshit!
Cut cross-country to the wilds of New York City, where The New Rachel and Kurt are pattering about their decision to spend Thanksgiving in the Rockaways helping with storm relief JUST KIDDING in their Barbie Dreamhouse Bushwick Loft talking/thinking about themselves.
Rachel: “I just feel like every time we go home it just makes me feel sad and like we’re not moving forward, you know? And even though we don’t have our boyfriends,we still have our dreams and our ambitions.”
Kurt: “And each other!”
Rachel: “You are the only significant other I need in my life.”
This would be saccharine if it wasn’t totally honest and didn’t bring me back to when I was an 18-year-old aspirant living in New York City with a gay best friend who wanted to be an actor and we strolled around with our arms linked and talked about ourselves and the ex-boyfriends who would only hold us back from our dreams. We liked to imagine that we were in movies because all the hard parts of being young in New York City seem glamorous when you can place those parts within a grander narrative and that narrative has a happy ending. I mean, so much THIS:
Rachel: ”We are on the verge of becoming the best versions of ourselves! Can’t you feel it?”
Kurt: “For the first time, probably because it’s easier just to drink your Kool-Aid than go against you, I know what you mean.”
If you can’t drink the Kool-Aid, you can’t survive in New York City, an that’s the truth.
We then traverse back to the heartland of Ohio, where a bunch of gay dudes are playing Dance Dance Revolution for Mike Chang, who declares Ryder Bieber-Strong the winner of The Dance Solo.
Cut to Girlville, where the ladies have gathered to watch a short film about puberty JUST KIDDING to worship The Sirens of McKinley High: Brittany S. Pierce, Santana Lopez and The Real Quinn Fabray.
Brittany: “Along with being beautiful, the three of us are National Showchoir Championship Goddesses.”
Santana: “We are winners, which is why Finn has asked us to come and shower you with the inspiration that is the Unholy Trinity.”
They tell the New Girls about how back in high school, the Unholy Trinity were so in sync and totally indestructible and could communicate via body language, like Ursula. It appears the Unholy Trinity has fallen prey to the same rose-colored hindsight problem we all currently suffer from: the idea that way back in the day, everything that happened on this show was way better. I believe this idea is the result of an imaginary reality we’ve constructed out of our very best memories. Ultimately, however, the imaginary reality is all that matters, and I will gladly relish in the joy of them being back together, delivering their sexual-subtext-laden winks/nods and being hot and presenting sweet moments of pure poetry such as: ”The judges love the feminine quality, and the Warblers just don’t have it.”
Anyhow, all of this is just a set-up for a beautiful threesome number reminiscent of Season One’s “Say A Little Prayer”:
The Unholy Trinity, indeed.
At the number’s end everybody’s had multiple orgasms except Marley-Kate, who looks like she’s swallowed a little E-Coli with her Maalox.
Santana: “You look like you’re gonna hurl.”
Marley-Kate: “Um, I think I’m just really tired from all the rehearsing.”
Marley-Kate dashes out to take care of her Wal-Mucil situation.
Back in the Hallowed Hallways of McKinley High, Fake Quinn corners Real Quinn to gabber regarding Fake Quinn’s incredible affection for Real Quinn and delight over their pairing. Sidenote, wouldn’t she have been on the Cheerios with Quinn last year and maybe also the year before and possibly also the year before that? Where did this bitch come from? —
Kitty: “You’re Quinn Fabray, and I idolize you. You’re Cheerios royalty. Can I show you something?
Fake Quinn: “Every day I ask myself “what would Quinn Fabray do?”
Real Quinn: “It’s really nice to know that people still remember me.”
Fake Quinn: “Remember you? Oh no, we aspire to be you, me especially.”
Fake Quinn, unawares that you can’t con a con man and possibly totally awares that on Glee, anything is possible, responds to Real Quinn’s subsequent inquiry on Marley-Kate’s pallor with a flaming lie — that Marley-Kate’s been distracted by New Puck, who’s pressuring her to hand over that cherry and let him pop it.
This is obviously a lie, but Real Quinn falls for it.
Elsewhere in the hallowed halls, Marley-Kate’s telling New Puck how stunned she is that he’s not gonna be dancing the lead and he explains “honor between bros” to the vacant shadow of her character. New Puck admits that he forfeited his chance to follow in Mike Chang’s point-shoed footprints in order to potentially play hide the salami with Marley-Kate in the den after Suburgatory.
New Puck wants to walk Marley-Kate to lunch but she’s gotta rehearse, otherwise known as “not eating.”
Thus we soar boldly across many large, great states of America and topple blindly into the expansive lofts of Fake Julliard, where Geyerdean’s teaching Dance 101 ’cause Kate Hudson is off this week, which riles up The New Rachel, who’s still upset at Geyerdean for banging Kate Hudson.
Geyerdean: “And why do you care who I sleep with?”
The New Rachel: “Do I really need to answer that?”
Geyerdean: “Hey, I’m the one who came onto you, remember? You broke off our date to see another guy.”
The New Rachel: “Yeah, well, that’s over now.”
Geyerdean: ”And what, so I’m supposed to have retroactively known that that was gonna happen and not slept with Cassie?”
They foxtrot while Geyerdean delivers a lesson in Adult 101, of which the takeaway is that he can’t read The New Rachel’s mind, this isn’t high school anymore, but that he won’t fuck Kate Hudson again ’cause he doesn’t wanna upset The New Rachel or her bangs. She invites him to Orphan Thanksgiving at The Barbie Dreamhouse Bushwick Loft and he volunteers to cook a giant bird she won’t eat.
Cut back to the Hallowed Hallways of McKinley High, where Old Man Puck and New Puck are strolling and chatting when an incensed Real Quinn shows up for a verbal smackdown: she accuses New Puck of pressuring Marley-Kate to have sex and likens this pressure transparently to what Old Man Puck was using to take advantage of a certain Jesus-lovin’ Ohio cow gal who just wanted to “fit in and be loved.” New Puck says he’s innocent.
Real Quinn gets super-intense about sectionals, declaring in an apocalyptic tone that they’ll lose sectionals if Marley-Kate’s not “at her best” and so New Puck needs to “stop distracting her.” Yeah I think Marley-Kate needs to have that conversation with a box of Ex-Lax.
Over the river and through the woods, to the turkey fields we go, the horse knows the way to carry our gay through white and drifted snow, hey-ho we’re in New York City!
Back in The Offices of VOGUE, Carrie Bradshaw and Kurt Hummel exchange cutesy banter about Christmas movies. Kurt uses the word “fantabulous,” and Carrie Bradshaw says she’s got no plans for Thanksgiving this year ’cause Gore Vidal died.
Kurt invites Carrie Bradshaw to Orphan Thanksgiving at the Barbie Dreamhouse Bushwick Loft, at which point she magically acquires friends and asks if she can bring them, and he says okay. Carrie Bradshaw notes Kurt’s perky attitude and asks if he’s gotten back together with Blaine but Kurt says that he hasn’t and wants to stop thinking about it.
Carrie Bradshaw: “Well look, nothing is better than being single in New York City, but you know, if he’s been reaching out to you…”
Kurt: “To assuage his guilt? No, sorry, cheater. This petal needs to move on.”
Carrie Bradshaw: “In my experience, its’ always easy for me to move on if I’ve had my apology accepted or, in your case, accepted an apology. You know, sometimes it’s the not forgiving that holds us back.”
Or, in Carrie Bradshaw’s case, it’s the forgiving that enables disasters like Sex and the City 2.