Our Tuesday nights can once more be full of “Glee” as the hit TV show returned to our screens after a brief hiatus that seemed like forever. Last night’s episode, “A Night of Neglect” was one of the more restrained episodes, with no major song and dance routines. The story-telling was all the better for that, and everyone got a solo – even Mike Chang.
Gwyneth Paltrow returned, but with no real pomp and ceremony. Terri Scheuster was there too, for the first time in what seems like forever. And Sue was merely scheming and evil, violent and abusive. This was a welcome slow-down in an exhausting season.
The plot was a simple one: the glee club couldn’t access the Cheerio money they were given, so they put on a benefit to raise money to go to nationals. Others were raising money so their academic decathlon team could get to their regionals in Detroit.
A few nice sub-plots were set up. Karofsky got in Kurt and Blaine’s faces, until a belligerent Santana had him back off. Rachel told Finn and Quinn how much she hates that they’re throwing their couplehood in her face.
The episode focused on the benefit and Sue’s longing to disrupt it. In a nice little tie-up, Mercedes voices a wish to star for once, and the Glee club itself feels neglected, the benefit is named “A Night of Neglect”.
The disruption usually offered by Terri was sorely missed this week, as she tried to get over Will. So I applaud Sue employing her in her “Legion of Doom”, a smart way for the writers to include Jessalyn Gilsig without making her look blatantly transplanted.
Sadly, this episode marked the end of Gwyneth Paltrow’s appearances for a while. Of course, we knew that once Carl moved out, he and Emma were done, but why oh why were Will and Emma thrown back together, even if he was helping the OCD-er clean her grapes? The chemistry between Paltrow and Matthew Morrison was clear for all to see in just three episodes, while it wasn’t so obvious in two seasons of Morrison and Jayma Mays. Do we really want to go back there?
Gwyneth’s singing was great, as was Amber Riley’s in Mercedes’ cover of Aretha Franklin’s “Ain’t No Way.” Rachel challenged Mercedes to take the closing number from her if she wanted it. And boy did she do that!
Another highlight came in the form of the academic quiz team’s salute – pushing up imaginary glasses (or real ones in Artie’s case). It was good to see Charice return as Sunshine Corazon. “It’s the least you can do. You sent her to a friggin’ crack house,” Puck said to Rachel when she balked at letting her join their benefit. That was my favorite line all night!
I’m already hungry for more. How about you?