Season 2 Episode 7

The Substitute

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Nov 16, 2010 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
393 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

After Mr. Schuester gets sick, a substitute teacher (Gwyneth Paltrow) takes over the Glee Club and becomes a new love interest and competition for Will.

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  • Will gets sick, Sue is principal and Gwyneth Paltrow guest-stars.

    This is more like it. I still feel like Glee has a long way to go before it reaches the great heights it reached last season, but this was a fun and harmless episode of television that had some good (and somewhat quirky song choices) and proved the show can still be fun and not jump all over the place.

    I feel like the problem with the show as of late has been how inconsistent it is with not just plot but with character. We focus on certain characters, are quickly introduced to certain plots and then sucked right out of them to focus on something else. The show feels like it's found its comfort zone, but at times, it feels stale and somewhat lame, something that I surprisingly never thought of the show as before.

    Enough of that though: this episode was enjoyable. If you put aside the idea that Sue was principal (completely insane and unbelievable), the episode actually was very fun. Gwyneth Paltrow was superb in a guest role here, and the three songs she did were great. She did Cee Lo's "Forget You," a song that is much more effective in its un-edited format, but was fun enough here with everybody but Rachel getting involved, a number from Chicago, the play, and a show-stopping performance of "Umbrella" with everybody, including Mr. Shue.

    I also have continued to enjoy Kurt's role this season. He has continued to improve from episode to episode, and the introduction of Blaine has given him a chance to be with somebody who understands what it's like to be gay and teased. The plot with the football player continues here, but it's barely referenced.

    If it weren't for Gywneth Paltrow, I would say this episode wasn't really all that great. She is the bright light in the middle of an episode filled with weird and random things. I've already mentioned the fact that Sue became Principal of the school, but that's just one of a few strange things. For instance, Will gets monkey flu from a student, stays home sick and is coddled and brought back to health by Terri, who he immediately has sex with and regrets it the next day. Not only is it unbelievable that they would do that, but it seems as if he forgot all the crazy stuff she did. Also, Merecdes' plot with the tots was stupid. It was random and I didn't understand the point of it until the end, where it felt as if they tacked it on just so they have an excuse to say "You use food as a substitute for love!" They've never referenced it before, and it seems like a stretch to claim this. But whatever.

    The point is, the episode was fun and we have a superb guest-star to thank for that. It'll be cool to see if Holly Holiday shows up again this season, although I doubt it, as Gwyneth Paltrow is a busy woman.moreless
  • It didn't thrill me.

    Okay, the scene where Figgins gets the flu is funny. His face especially. :D And not to mention how Sue tells it. I just adore her. Sometimes she is too mean and I can't understand why she is constantly acting like that but on the other hand she just brings to the show that thing it needs. She is great. I also liked the dialogue between her and Besite! Beiste really did get back to her. :D Overall, Sue being a principal - highlight of the show.

    The songs were... okay. I liked the last one - Umbrella and Singing in the rain together, that was really good. Cee-lo wasn't bad either. Very good actually. But the other songs - nothing special.

    I don't like how I can't find the storylines in Glee's episodes anymore. Especially in this. I don't know. What bothered me was also how for example Rachel and mr. Schue both didn't like Holly Holiday and then just talked with her for 10 seconds and they were already singing with each other, hugging, drinking beer... Whatever.

    Terri getting "back" with Will and then one night later "breaking up" ... Kurt's relationship with Blaine which has lost the spark... Also Mercedes substituting food for love... ?

    All that stuff just doesn't cope well with the Glee concept. I'm looking forward to seeing next episode anyway because I won't ever stop watching Glee and I believe there will be better episodes.moreless
  • Not my favorite one of the season.

    This week was one of great expectancy for us Gleeks, but I felt a little disapointed with it. Gwyneth Paltrow's special appearence didn't have anything special about it for me. Her character was that usual girl next door, full of smart asses responses and smart ass atittude. In the end, she wounds up being the god and nice and kind new girl that realizes she just stepped into something that she has absolutely no idea off and who pys the price of this situation? The Gleec club, of course.

    Jane Lynch was as good as always, but I think she didn't get all the spotlight that she should've.

    Did NOT like the plot with Mr. Shue and Terry again. Oh my God, old news guys. Please, move on. Songs choice of the episode was a little poor as well; Kurt totally ignoring Mercedes was so awful. She's pratically the only one that has his back and the minute he meets someone who is like him, she's history.

    Would like to see more of Rachel. I know she was the thing in first season, but the writers are putting her to the side and I just miss her. What about Emma? Didn't appear on this one. NOT GOOD.

    Let's just wait and see for the next episode.moreless
  • 2.07 guest staring Gwyneth Paltrow

    I was a bit skeptical about Gwyneth Paltrow guest starring because I thought the she is an actress (a good one and Oscar winer...just that!) but will she fits in a teen musical show. And to my greatest surprise it works!

    Ok that episode is not the greatest episode ever but Glee is back on track and start finding a balance between the singing and the story development.

    Terry is back and she is as crazy as always but Will can't resist to her...

    Sue is the new principal of the high school and she tries to make her own rules and that is so funny. The we have the emotional part between Kurt and Mercedes that was a bit hard for Mercedes when he told her that she is eating because she is missing something (a boyfriend for example...).

    The interaction between Holy and Will is so great and I hope she will be back or at least will influence the songs choice made by Will.

    For the singing, there isn't any song that was outstanding but I really enjoy the Singing in the rain/ Umbrella Mash-up and the choreography was one of the best. Then the other songs are nice with a special mention to the Mike and Will dancing duet on a song from Singing in the rain!moreless
  • Flu spreads around the Glee Club. Will falls ill so Holly Holiday (Gwenyth Paltrow) takes over and the kids love her.

    I had been waiting for this episode for a long time ever since it was revealed that Gwenyth Paltrow would appear and for me it didn't disappoint. I enjoyed the modern songs and I felt that a lot happened in the storylines, making me very eager to see them continue next week. I feel Gwenyth Paltrow stole the stage in this episode with her care free personality and her voice. However I feel that there was a lack in songs but that is probably because there was two mash ups and I'm just being picky

    I also was a bit disappointed with the fact that Emma did not appear. I think she is a great character and thought she would make the episode even better.

    Also when is Sue next going to sing? I loved her rendition of Vogue and her song with Olivia Newton John but that is it so far. I think she should do a duet with Will or Gwenyth. I think that would be a very funny moment to see

    Overall I enjoyed this episodemoreless
Lindsey Sims-Lewis

Lindsey Sims-Lewis


Guest Star

Loanne Bishop

Loanne Bishop


Guest Star

Ryan Heinke

Ryan Heinke


Guest Star

Chord Overstreet

Chord Overstreet

Sam Evans

Recurring Role

Harry Shum Jr.

Harry Shum Jr.

Mike Chang

Recurring Role

Dot Jones

Dot Jones

Coach Shannon Beiste

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • In the episode Throwdown Finn mentions special guest star Gweneth Paltrow, when he wants to name the baby Drizzle.

      Finn: Anyway, then I read that Gwyneth Paltrow named her kid Apple and I think that's so cool 'cause you know how much I love apples, right?

    • Music featured in this episode:
      "Singing In The Rain" / "Umbrella" by Gene Kelly / Rhianna
      "Forget You" by Cee Lo Green
      "Make 'Em Laugh" by Donald O'Connor
      "Nowadays" / "Hot Honey Rag" from Chicago

  • QUOTES (14)

    • Holly: It's not easy being a substitute teacher. Kids feel like they get the day off. They goof off, egg your car, cut class, break into your car, throw spit balls, put an alligator in your car. And I don't even have a nice car. So I try to relate to the kids, listen to what they have to say, make it fun for them. Because I'm the cure for the common class.

    • Brittany: Mr. Schuester taught me the second half of the alphabet. I stopped after M and N. I felt they were too similar and got frustrated.

    • Sue: (to Mercedes) Jackée, I'm like my idol Richard Millhouse Nixon regarding his time was petty, corrupt and penile he always had the best intentions of his people in mind.

    • Santana: What would you know about Cee-Lo because you're like … 40.
      Holly: Top 40s, sweet cheeks.

    • Kurt: You smell homeless, Brett. Homeless

    • Will: I thought we were friends?
      Sue: That got boring.

    • Holly: (to her history class) Mary Todd Lincoln in the house! My husband was probably gay, and I'm bipolar, which means I say random things like, "That teapot's spreadin' lies about me!" or, "That can't be my baby because I don't love it!"

    • Holly: Her name was Cameo. She was like an attractive Biggie Smalls.

    • Holly: (to Will) Your wife's kind of a bitch.

    • Sue: (holds up a piece of broccoli) Do you know what this is?
      Mercedes: A toilet brush.
      Sue: It's broccoli. When I showed it to Brittany earlier, she began to whimper thinking I had cut down a small tree where a family of gummy bears lived.

    • Holly: Names. Go.
      Puck: I'm Finn Hudson, quarterback for the football team.
      Santana: I'm Rachel, his loud, loud girlfriend.
      Brittany: I'm Mike Chang.

    • Will: When I'm sick there's only one thing that makes me feel good.
      Artie: Gin and juice...

    • Holly: I'm Holly Holliday.
      Terri: Are you a porn star or a drag queen?

    • Terri: You have to admit no matter how toxic our marriage was I was really good at taking care of you when you were sick.
      Will: That's because you like me best when I'm weak.

  • NOTES (5)

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic: Suplenta (Supply Teacher)

    • Gwyneth Paltrow guest-stars on the show as a Spanish substitute teacher. She actually does speak Spanish fluently.

    • Goof: When Will is facing the board (and the students are regular age) Quinn is not present in the front row. When Will turns around and the kids are toddlers, there is a mini-Brittney and mini-Quinn in the front row.
      Will says that "Singin in the Rain" first came out in the movie of the same title but in actuality in first came out in 1929 in the movie The Hollywood Revue of 1929.

    • Although credited, Jayma Mays (Emma Pillsbury) does not appear in this episode.

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Canada: November 16, 2010 on Global
      Australia: November 22, 2010 on Channel Ten
      Latin America: January 6, 2011 on FOX
      United Kingdom: February 21, 2011 on E4/E4 HD
      Sweden: March 2, 2011 on TV11
      Czech Republic: October 1, 2011 on Prima LOVE
      Slovakia: October 23, 2011 on JOJ


    • Norma Rae: Mercedes' stand with the "TOTS" sign is reminiscent of Sally Fields' portrayal of a union organizer in "Norma Rae" who does the same thing with a sign reading "STRIKE," galvanizing her fellow employees.