It's Gleefully good week. The Warblers' Glee album is pretty great, but I'll get to that later (like hopefully before the end of the week).
New Directions needs to raise funds for traveling to Nationals. They agree to also help the academic club, which most of the kids and Will didn't realize was made up of Mike, Artie, Tina and...Brittany. Will wants them to sell saltwater taffy as a fundraiser. If finances weren't hurdle enough, Sue calls on the Vocal Adrenaline coach, Dustin (hottie 30 Rock guest star Cheyenne Jackson), Will's predatory predecessor and Will's ex-wife Terri to concoct a plot to bring Will down. Will's girlfriend Holly (the ever fabulous Gwyneth Paltrow) convinces Will to hold a "Night of Neglect" fundraiser, during which they will honor neglected musicians.
Vocal Adrenaline member Sunshine Corazon (Charice) shows up and offers to help New Directions sell tickets for their fundraiser. The kids are skeptical that she's trying to derail them, but give her chance to try out.
Emma tells Will that Carl has left her and asked for an annulment. It's caused her OCD tendencies to resurface in a big way. He consoles her but doesn't notice Holly looking in from outside the window--and she doesn't look happy about it. Holly then dresses up as Wallace Simpson (!) for her class after which Dustin hits on her. Will sees and doesn't look happy about it. It leads to a little tiff and Holly backs out of doing a duet with Will at the benefit.
Mercedes decides to do Aretha Franklin and then turns diva, insisting on a green room stocked with green M&Ms, humidifiers and a puppy (for drying her hands) and uses Lauren as a sort of interpreter for speaking with Rachel. How very odd.
Kurt brings Blaine to McKinley High to show him around the school before the benefit when they run into the closeted gay football player. Santana shows up and lays the smack down on him. Sunshine tweets that she's not going to the benefit and neither will any of her 600+ friends she promised would show up. Despite that, the show must go on. Tina performs first, but gets booed off the stage by Sue's hecklers.
Holly levels with the hecklers and tries to get them to turn their energy into cheering. They all decide to take off instead, but at least they aren't booing New Directions anymore. When it's time for Mercedes to go on she's missing; Rachel finds her sulking in her car, upset that she's not as big a star as Rachel. Rachel gives her a pep talk to convince her to go inside and sing.
Holly gives an emotional performance of Adele's "Turning Tables," followed by the finale performance by Mercedes. Afterward Holly breaks Will's heart when she tells him she's moving on to Cleveland for a new job and breaks up with him, but not before giving him a push to get with Emma. His "come back and visit" plea leaves the door open for some future guest turns from Paltrow (good idea).
Not a bad episode, but not really a standout either. The gimmick of having lots of guest stars meant that Gwyneth Paltrow wasn't used as much as she could've been.
All By Myself (Eric Carmen/Celine Dion) - Sunshine. Sunshine tackles the Celine arrangement of this epic lovelorn ballad. She nails the big note (if you know the song--you know the one). She's good, but I don't see that this performance adds much to the show, considering that she's not a very interesting character. Then Mike dances, and the hecklers are silenced by spiced taffy.
I Follow Rivers (Lykke Li) - Tina. Bold song choice, as Lykke Li isn't particularly mainstream, although her album has gotten good buzz. Too bad we didn't get to hear much of it.
Bubble Toes (Jack Johnson) - Mike Change. Mike does a dance-only performance. He's really good although the part where he dances with a mop is kinda bizarre.
Turning Tables (Adele) - Holly. Gwyneth deserves some major credit for tackling an Adele song. That's not easy. And she sounds great on it. Performance of the night.
Ain't No Way (Aretha Franklin) - Mercedes. Wow. Mercedes looks stunning. And backed by a gospel choir too (where did they come from?). Definitely soul-stirring.
Line of the week (Dustin): "I'm handsome, good looking and easy on the eyes. Also, I'm gorgeous."