Although she wasn’t my personal cup of tea, I will begrudgingly admit that Gwyneth Paltrow’s fan-fave guest appearance on ‘Glee‘ last week would be a tough act for anyone to follow.
Enter Carol Burnett.
Sure, she didn’t bust out with a Top 40 megahit, but that would have been super weird anyway. Burnett is a class act, and she gave us a classic number in “Ohio” from the 1953 musical ‘Wonderful Town.’ Rather than center the whole episode around this week’s powerhouse guest star, Ryan Murphy gave us just a taste of Sue’s Nazi-hunting (non)mother.
It wasn’t overkill, that’s all I’m saying. It was just the right amount of guest star-rage to thrill musical-theater nerds (my people) without minimizing the appearance of the regular cast members or reducing them to stories about tater tots.
It was Mama Sylvester’s treatment of her “perfectly okay” daughter that actually moved Sue to … wait for it … do the right thing. As much as I’ve enjoyed Principal Sylvester, it was genuinely touching to see her resign her post in order to protest Karofsky’s pass from the school board. It’s too bad her sympathy wasn’t enough to keep Porcelain — uh, Kurt at WMHS.
Really, who can blame him for leaving New Directions behind? I mean, besides Rachel. Why face fear around every corner when he can run the halls of Dalton with a bunch of manic pixie dream boys?
But back to Sue and her nice streak. In a perfect combination of writing, directing, and acting, her character keeps developing new dimensions while firmly keeping her edge. From extreme taxidermy to championing the little guy, she’s anything but predictable.
And praise Cheesus, other people finally started standing up for Kurt, too. Too little, too late. But it was still super charming and adorable when Artie and Mike Chang confronted Karofsky and got all growly.
Even the supreme cheesefest that was “Just the Way You Are” had its merits. Basically, any scene that makes Chris Colfer light up that way is golden and impervious to criticism from me. Things may be coming together for him more quickly and neatly than they would for any real-life struggling teen, but what’s wrong with indulging in a bit of ecstatic fantasy? And with Kurt’s change of venue, sectionals just got all the more exciting!
What had me singing:
Best musical number: None of them blew me away, but they were all pretty enjoyable. “Marry You” was pretty adorable by the time the bride and groom got into it, and Schue nailed “Sway” with his fancypants microphone tricks. And again, the duet with Carol Burnett and Jane Lynch was lovely; they pulled off both feisty and sweet.
Best Sylvester line: This week, her Mama had all the good ones, like “I wrote you all those postcards. Granted, they were decoys…” And simply, “What in the G.D. hell?”
Best wedding: There were two, after all. I pick the Hummel-Hudson nuptials because of all the happily-ever-after implications. I heart Mike O’Malley.
And what had me squirming:
Worst number: None. They were all cute.
Most-missed funny girl: Brit didn’t have any outstanding lines this week! I know she said that thing about Artie just laying there, but that was kind of tacky.
Weirdest dialogue: What’s with some of the words that come out of Finn’s mouth? He wanted to be a “stud” at the wedding, and Furt = “brothers from another mother.”
Plotline I’m least looking forward to: Rachel is obvs going to find out about Finn and Santana. Have your earplugs ready for that blow-up.
Watch Tuesday Night’s Episode of ‘Glee’ on xfinityTV.com