‘Glee’ Recap: 100th Episode Reunites Original Cast Members, Brings Back Gwyneth Paltrow
It’s been five years since the premiere of the first episode of Glee and lo and behold, the series has reached an impressive benchmark, airing the 100th episode Tuesday (March 18) night. A number of familiar faces returned to the place where it all began, Lima, Ohio’s McKinley High, continuing with the theme of the long goodbye we’re all anticipating when the show leaves its original setting and finally relocates to New York City for good.
But before that can happen, there’s one last assignment for New Directions: Take a song they’ve performed in the past and give it an overhaul while the gang’s all here.
Mercedes (Amber Riley) and Rachel (Lea Michele) are the first to face off in a return to visit McKinley. The old competitive spirit is clearly alive and kicking between the two divas. Another return guest of the show, April Rose, (Kristen Chenoweth), pops by and brags about owning her own island and generally being a kept woman. She’s arrived to to toast the glee club with a rendition of Pink‘s “Raise Your Glass.” Mr. Schuester (Matthew Morrison) is feeling jazzy in his plaid vest.
In his inner monologue, Air Force soldier Puck (Mark Salling) notes how much he has changed since leaving high school. That is, until he runs face to face with Quinn (Dianna Agron). They flirt and chat about the song they plan to sing but are interrupted when Quinn’s boyfriend, Biff McIntosh (played by Chace Crawford) playfully pinches Quinn on the rear. The two guys size each other up. Biff is very upper crust, old money, prep school. Puck is, well, Puck.
Former flames Brittany (Heather Morris) and Santana (Naya Rivera) reunite for a somewhat romantic rendez-vous. Brittany laments the monotony of her life as a professional mathematical genius. This prompts a reunion of The Unholy Trinity, Brittany, Santana and Quinn, for a performance of Britney Spears‘ “Toxic,” alternating between cheerleader outfits and Pussycat Doll-style costumes. Biff can’t stop text messaging on his phone long enough to see his girlfriend slutting it up.
This leads to Brittany hosting an episode of her show Fondue For Two with Mercedes and Rachel as guests. She barrages the two ladies with surprisingly hard-hitting questions and they reveal that they both plan to sing “Defying Gravity” from Wicked. There is to be yet another a diva-off! Even better: Brittany’s cats make out on camera. God, how we missed Fondue For Two.
Biff and Quinn enjoy a meal at Breadstix when he spots Santana, Puck, Mike (Harry Shum, Jr.) and Artie (Kevin McHale) and asks them to join them at their booth to dig dirt on Quinn. When the skeletons start to fly out of the closet, Quinn sends Biff to retrieve her purse from the car. She admits to the old gang that she hasn’t told Biff about Beth, the baby girl she and Puck gave up for adoption. It’s clear she’s not going to let Biff know the real Quinn.
April Rose and Will meet with Principal Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) in an attempt to save the glee club with one final effort. Shortly thereafter, Rachel, Mercedes and Kurt (Chris Colfer) duke it out as they sing “Defying Gravity.” The results of the diva-off won’t be revealed until the following day.
Santana interrupts Brittany playing human chess with the chess club in costumes for another chat to encourage Brittany to pick up dancing again because it’s her passion. Alternately, Rachel and Mercedes campaign for the title of the biggest star to emerge from glee club (not a real title).
Santana interrupts Puck’s performance with a surprise dance duet with Brittany. Speaking of interventions, I’m a little concerned that Santana’s wasting away to nothing. They perform the Amy Winehouse version of “Valerie” After some coaxing from Santana and Mike, Brittany joins her.
Puck has the group move to the auditorium for his rendition of Avril Lavigne‘s “Keep Holding On,” directed pretty obviously toward Quinn, just as Finn (Cory Monteith) and the original cast sang it to her in the first season. It literally has her clutching her pearls and brings her to tears.
The diva-off final vote count is interrupted by Santana giving a mean speech about Rachel that rips her to shreds. They bicker over the Funny Girl role before Rachel storms off. Mercedes follows her to find Rachel crying in the bathroom, where she laments that she still feels like she’s back in high school. (Well, of course, she is back in high school…) Mercedes tells Rachel that she uses the negativity to fuel her passion. They bond and hug.
Sue meets again with Will and April Rose and apparently, the money for glee club ran out six weeks ago after being used up by Will for all the over the top productions he’s been staging. Ha! As it turns out, April Rose is under indictment after her relationship with Bernie Madoff. April admits she’s a pathological liar who can’t be trusted and Will is devastated.
Puck catches Biff reacting to Quinn telling him about her tattoo and her baby. After Biff calls her a “dirty little slut bag,” Quinn pinches his nose and a fight breaks out between Biff and Puck. It ends with prep school boy in the dumpster.
The votes collected in the music room are about to reveal the results of the diva-off when Mercedes and Rachel announce that they don’t care who won. Well, that’s good for them, because they both tied with equal votes.
Gwyneth Paltrow returns as Holly Holliday and gives her muzak version of “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. Soul is overrated, y’all.
Puck visits Finn’s framed jersey and is joined by Quinn. Biff is going back to Yale without her. Puck calls Quinn his soulmate before walking away from her. Meanwhile, Brittany makes a play for Santana, who is hesitant to revisit their relationship. As Puck strides through the halls, Quinn runs after him and they kiss triumphantly for one last shot at love.
All gather in the auditorium to continue to say their goodbyes. Will breaks down with Holly and April watching from the rafters, and the two women plot to somehow save the club with only a few short episodes left. Will they make it happen?
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