by Melissa Albert
Kate Hudson made a long-awaited reappearance on "Glee" last night, and it started out amazing. The thing we love best about Cassie July is the way she challenges Rachel's view of herself: as the world’s most special flower, to whom all Broadway must bend the knee. Rachel was better served when "Glee" made her an underdog—lately, it’s all we can do not to barf when yet another character pays her homage as Streisand reborn.
Which is why we were psyched to see Cassie. And tonight, after finding out from her hilariously bitchy NYADA spies that Rachel’s up for "Funny Girl," she delivers an incandescently mean speech. She’s fast, nasty and amazing, reminding Miss “David Schwimmer” that she isn’t the only wannabe star on the planet.
But then, Cassie lets us down. She lures Rachel to a practice room, threatening to give her a midterm exam right before her callback—then surprises her with a total lovefest. The room is full of NYADA students, who gyrate around pretending they aren't wickedly jealous, while Cassie sings "Up Tight (Everything's Alright)."
Turns out Cassie put her through hell because she “saw something” in Rachel. And thus, the last person who saw through Berry’s BS betrays us.
Rachel is the worst.
Schue, another Rachel enabler, declares it "Wonder-ful" week in glee club, to celebrate her exciting news. (Wonder as in Stevie Wonder, so we do have Rachel to thank for something.)
Other Wonder-ful news of the week: Brittany got early acceptance to MIT (Kitty: “That’s not true”), Schue and Emma are finally getting married (where have we heard that before?), and Tina’s finally accepting that maybe acting should be her second-choice career (Unique: “Bless her heart!”). And Artie’s got some fab news of his own, but he’s keeping it quiet: He got into the Brooklyn Film Academy, a secret Kitty wheedles out of him with her usual scary blend of cruelty and kindness. He asks her to keep it on the down low: He’s planning on turning it down, claiming that his mom isn't ready to let him go.
Oh, hey! Would you be surprised if I told you that several glee-club graduates returned to help the club prepare for regionals? Yes? Then you haven’t been watching "Glee" very closely. Choreographer Mike Chang and vocal coach Mercedes Jones descend on the rehearsal room just in time to see Kitty perform "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours," finally showing off her cheerios moves to awesome effect. She then announces Artie’s film school news, against his explicit request.
She takes it even further, paying his mom a visit. There, she learns that Artie was using her to cover for his own fear of leaving home. Together, they decide he’s got to say yes to Brooklyn. Think he might move into Kurt-chel-tana’s ever-expanding Bushwick pad?
Kurt’s in Lima waiting on what he desperately hopes will be wonder-ful news: He’s accompanying his dad on a doctor’s visit to see if he’s cancer-free. And when they learn that Mr. Hummel is officially in remission, it’s a genuinely moving moment, capped with Kurt’s celebratory performance of "You Are the Sunshine of My Life." Forget Finnchel: Kurt and his dad are the best glee couple ever.
Blaine wants to get back in on the Hummel action, and asks Kurt’s dad to meet him in the auditorium. There, he asks for permission to marry Kurt! Mr. Hummel, who very recently celebrated the fact that he’ll likely live long enough to meet Kurt’s hubby and kids, still manages to be the voice of reason, convincing Blaine that he and Kurt are way too young to marry. If their love is true, there’s nothing to worry about—and no need to rush in.
Mercedes’ wonder-ful news is that she’s home from L.A. to make a music video supporting her new album! Riddle me this: Why would a California-based artist fly to the middle of Ohio to record a video? Moving on!
Feeling cocky, she tries to get the glee kids to ditch their fears pre-regionals, with such proven vocal tricks as hitting them in the chest with a maraca. As if to taunt them with musical stylings they will never achieve, she sings "Very Superstitious," while Blaine shows off his Michael moves. And speaking of Michael moves, Mike Chang and Jake perform a killer "I Wish," going head to head on the dance floor.
But then, in a plot turn that we wish happened to Rachel, Mercedes’ album deal goes south. When she refuses to show some skin for the cover, she’s forced to ditch the label and go indie—like, “selling CDs out of her car” indie. In celebration of taking the higher ground, she sings... "Higher Ground."
Artie’s riding high after deciding to go to New York to fulfill his film school dreams, and he closes out the episode with "For Once in My Life." "Glee" officially did justice to the fabulous Mr. Wonder.
Song of the episode: Nothing but excellence here. All hail Stevie!
What did you think of last night's episode? What was your favorite song? Tell us in the comments and on Twitter!