There is much to be thankful for in this week's episode of FOX's Glee, "Thanskgiving," even if it aired a week late. (I can gripe about that because Glee, unlike most shows, actually aired an episode on Thanksgiving, but it wasn't this one.) In the episode, most of the recent McKinley alumni return home to assist Finn (Cory Monteith) in getting the New Directions ready for Sectionals. They work with the newer students, helping to ease the transition.
It's easy to complain about the frequent appearances by recent grads on the show this year. As I've said before, the writing has allowed Finn an unbelievable reason for sticking around, but at least it serves a purpose and furthers the character. The others, on the other hand, just seem unwilling to move on with their lives, refusing to let go of their high school glory. However, in "Thanksgiving," because it is a holiday, and because they are there to help their friend Finn with an important milestone, it doesn't feel as forced.
The episode opens with Puck (Mark Salling), Mercedes (Amber Riley), Mike (Harry Shum Jr.), Santana (Naya Rivera), and Quinn (Dianna Agron) returning to the McKinley stage (and Finn) with a performance of "Homeward Bound" / "Home." Musically, it's pretty good, and in terms of staging, it works very well. The number is pleasant, and gives a satisfying reintroduction, especially for Quinn, who is the sole graduate no longer in the main cast, and "Thanksgiving" marks her first return this season.
It still bothers me that Artie (Kevin McHale) and Sam (Chord Overstreet) are not part of this, though. Without having specific dialogue on hand to prove it, I am pretty sure that it was established that Artie was in the same grade as the others, and I know that Sam returned from Kentucky for his senior year. Plus, how could Sam, as a junior in high school, work as a stripper? It's this little inconsistency that eats away week after week.
And Brittany (Heather Morris), who has a valid reason to still be in school, should be included in the reunion. These are her friends, too, and she was in their grade for thirteen years. Does that not matter?
But what is most strange is the way that the alumni act like they are so much better than the current students. Finn declares his classmates heroes, and the glee club cheers adoringly. Isn't this beyond patronizing? Most of the current members were in the group during the Nationals win, too. Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) and Artie were two of the first members of the New Directions. This arc should really have been held back a couple of years, though one wonders if Glee will still be on in that much time.