Glee, S4 Ep8 – “Thanksgiving”

Some graduates return to Lima to spend the holiday - and Sectionals - with the New Directions
Some graduates return to Lima to spend the holiday - and Sectionals - with the New Directions

When in Lima, always go to Breadstix. Bad food, good friends.

Glee fans get two Thanksgivings this year – an episode aired on the U.S. holiday, and then a week later, we have “Thanksgiving” in Lima, Ohio and New York City, where old and new friends gather together to celebrate.

This episode combined returning graduates, continuing stories (Marley’s food issues, the break-up), and the always exciting Sectionals – probably the most roller coaster of all the competitions since season one.

Our first song of the night is a mash-up of “Homeward Bound” by Simon & Garfunkel and “Home” by Phillip Phillips, sung by a group of McKinley High alumni.

We open with Quinn on the darkened stage, soon joined by Puck. Santana, Mike, and Mercedes join from the audience and then Finn arrives on stage. Their voices sound great together – rich and warm, though the song has a bit of a melancholy tone. Makes sense; you can go home, but you can’t go back in time. And home is never experienced again the same way after you leave.

Marley has a dream and a voice over. It involves her walking onto a stage when she’s seven and into the spotlight (we see a baby!Marley doing just this). Beautiful dress, full house, all eyes on her. And now, thanks to Glee club and Sectionals, her dream is coming true. Well, except for the part of about Skeet Ulrich giving her a bouquet of kittens. Oh Marley, you liked bad boys even when you were seven? Now we understand the Jake thing.

She twirls for her happy mother – who has lost a bit of weight. Marley hasn’t accomplished the same, much to her dismay. But she’ll keep starving herself, feeling it’s the only way to succeed. And she really wants to do well; she watches New Directions in the choir room, singing and playing around. They need her to be perfect, they are depending on her, and like Mama says – “Marley Rose, don’t blow it.”

The pressure Marley has put on herself is jeopardizing everything.

Marley is about to crack – just in time for Sectionals.

Anyone else have a bad feeling about this? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

The returning grads are crowded into the only place in Lima to eat food: Breadstix. There is laughter and fun, but also an acknowledgement of the friends who aren’t there – Kurt and Rachel, who are staying in New York for the holiday, for mature reasons. And probably to avoid their exes because if Lima only has one restaurant, I imagine it’s easy to run into people just leaving your house. Everyone gives Finn sympathy faces, and Mike updates on the, “Blaine texts Kurt, Kurt doesn’t answer” scenario. (It’s nice to see Mike and Blaine are keeping up their background friendship).

Finn brings the grads to McKinley for some Sectional Coaching of the newbies. They’re paired off by hair color (it’s Finn, I’m assuming), as Marley gets Santana, Kitty gets Quinn, Jake gets his brother, Ryder gets Mike, and Wade gets Mercedes (finally, confirmation for Brittany that Mercedes cloned herself). The rest of the kids are old pros and will do other things while the mentoring occurs. Finn gives a pep talk that is heartfelt and scattered, then Sam does “White Chocolate” stripper moves. Choir room is fun again.

Jake and Ryder have a broment; Jake fesses up that he took Marley out. He likes her a lot, but if dating her is going to make them enemies again, he’ll step aside. Awwww. Ryder gives his blessing – but Jake better not sneak away the Sectionals male dance lead from him too! Fair enough trade, I suppose…

In New York, Rachel and Kurt wear nice coats and drink coffee in front of the library. As they do. Rachel didn’t get the off-Broadway role, but she’s psyched about the Winter Showcase and is happy to be spending Thanksgiving in New York, so she can practice. And avoid awkwardness in Lima where her ex-boyfriend lives. Kurt agrees, somewhat begrudgingly. Why should they have to go home for a family holiday and Sectionals? Pshaw. Mmmm…Rachel Kool-Aid. Anyway, he’s put his new NYADA application in and it’s all good. They have each other, they have their careers. Who needs boys, anyway?

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