While they're in town, Finn ropes them in to a glee club meeting and assigns each of them a newcomer to mentor before New Directions perform a show-stopping rendition of Psy's 'Gangnam Style' for sectionals.
While most of the pairings seem to work okay, the combination of Quinn and Kitty spawns a frickload of trouble, the former slipping into her old bitchy ways as her Cheerios clone begins worshipping her like Jesus... literally.
One minute she and Santana are giving a show of unity, reforming the 'Unholy Trinity' for a dazzling Supremes performance with Brittany, and the next they're dishing out Dynasty-worthy slaps and reviving old feuds when Quinn defends Kitty for slipping Marley laxatives.
As this writer sees it the whole sequence, while admittedly pretty gasp-worthy and delicious, probably shouldn't have been included. The camaraderie and mutual respect between the veterans was really touching, plus it seemed like more authentic behaviour for a group of people who have been removed from the pettiness of high school and allowed to mature. Instead, those good vibes were sullied for a Quinn/Santana smackdown clearly only there just in case the opportunity for another one never arises.
Given how little it apparently takes to get the old gang at each other's throats, it's no wonder that Rachel and Kurt decide to snub Ohio for a modest Thanksgiving in New York.
Rachel's still upset with Brody for sleeping with her nemesis Cassie July, but turns out it's impossible to stay mad at someone when they take over your dance class and refuse to release you from a close waltz.
Even though Brody isn't exactly sorry for sleeping with Kate Hudson (fair enough), he does want to patch up his relationship with Rachel and charms her into accepting his offer to cook Thanksgiving dinner for her and Kurt.
Elsewhere in the Big Apple, Sarah Jessica Parker's back as sweetie pie Vogue boss Isabelle Wright, though really at the beginning of this episode they might as well drop all pretence and just call her Carrie Bradshaw. Her comment to Kurt that there's nothing greater than being single in New York is a proper nod to Sex and the City, and most of her dialogue in the same conversation about love, break-ups and forgiveness sounds like it's been nicked from one of those mid-episode monologues that formed the basis of Carrie's column.
But later, this so-far underwhelming drip of a character finally shows some sass by sending a bunch of drag queens and eccentrics to spice up Kurt, Rachel and Brody's low-key Thanksgiving dinner, leading them all in a Bohemian, dirty-fabulous rendition of the Scissor Sisters' 'Let's Have a Kiki', infused with some turkey-based holiday classics. Bizarre is not the word - Glee's casual viewers may find themselves wondering if someone's slipped something into their water.
After engaging in that randomness, Kurt drops things back into a serious gear by giving in and calling up Blaine, telling him in a teary phone call that he can't stand not talking to him, even though he's not ready to forgive him yet for cheating.
Kurt suggests they see each other at Christmas for a proper heart-to-heart and they express their love for each other. Topped off with a slow-mo hug from SJP, it's one heck of an arresting sequence.
Suddenly, it's sectionals and New Directions are facing off against The Warblers, who prove their worth by managing to make annoying radio favourites from Flo Rida and One Direction listenable.
Backstage, Marley is on the verge of a breakdown over the new-look glee club's first competitive performance. All throughout the episode Glee's been trying especially hard to solidify her as the new Rachel, but the character's determination to win sectionals becomes a little more disturbing than anything Lea Michele displayed within the first few seasons.
Rachel wanted to make sure she looked her very best for selfish, but understandable reasons. Marley's hysterical admission that she hasn't been sleeping and fears everyone will blame her if New Directions fail isn't about self-preservation, it's pointing towards an unhealthy obsession.
In fact, so deep is Marley's fear of losing that towards the end of 'Gangnam Style', her vision gets blurry, she starts to feel weak and passes out right there on stage as the episode cuts to black. As a climax, it's a bit of a failure. Marley's fainting feels underwhelming, especially since she'll probably be up on her feet again in minute one of next week's episode, while 'Gangnam Style' is still just a novelty song and is difficult to be blown away by.
The rest of the episode is generally more satisfying, thanks to the presence of the old Glee regulars. The danger of inviting the veterans back though is that they illuminate the newbies' flaws for all to see.
They weren't exactly crucial to the (admittedly, very thin) storylines of the episode, the biggest of which was Ryder and Jake attempting to preserve their friendship by giving up on Marley and a star turn respectively, and yet we were much more invested in what Puck, Quinn et al had to say. Their job here was to properly pass on the torch to the newbies, it's just a shame they had to show them up in the process.
'Thanksgiving' might not have aired on Thanksgiving, but it was certainly the type of broad episode rolled out over the holidays to please those non-fans looking for something to distract them during their turkey coma.
It was an exhibition episode where everything went on and yet really very little happened. Much like a Thanksgiving dinner that's been burnt, there's not exactly much to sink your teeth into, but it's still nice to spend time with people you love and miss. Although, hopefully, real family get-togethers don't involve a 2 girls, 1 cup joke.
What did you think of this week's Glee? Leave your comments below!