Welcome back fellow Gleeks! Glee finally returned today with a new episode. That’s right, just one! Next week will once again be a repeat but this week we have the much-hyped PROPOSAL EPISODE entitled “Yes/No”. While they haven’t really been subtle about telling us Shue and Emma will get engaged this episode there HAS been talk of another couple making it official. With several love connections on the show, it’s hard to know what could happen so let’s dive in!
We open with the Glee girls (Including Kurt and a suddenly-returned Sugar Motta) playfully grilling Mercedes about the glances with Sam they’ve noticed in the choiroom. Tina asks her to “tell them more” about their Summer Fling. Cut to Sam, telling the Glee guys all about it. This scene sure feels familiar as it launches into an all-out homage to “Grease” with Sam and Mercedes singing “Summer Nights” – cheesy double-exposure finish and all.
Cherrios co-captain Becky confesses to us (via HILARIOUS inner monologue voiced by Helen Mirren) that not only is she extremely confident (“I. Becky Faye Jackson, am the hottest bitch at McKinley High School”) but she is also head-over-heels for a new crush!
As she walks down the hall, she encounters many of our favorite New Directions men only to reject each one subconciously (and hits the nail we’ve been pounding for weeks about Puck’s mohawk RIGHT on the head). We learn the flame she carries is for Artie!! She tells Sue about her crush, who tells her to ask him out but warns that she thinks Becky can do better.
In another unexpected, off-camera moment, it turns out that Beiste and Cooter “The Recruiter” eloped and married on Christmas Eve. Sue walks into the teacher’s room and overhears her telling Emma all about it. This all, of course, leads into Beiste asking Emma what is happening with her and Will and if they’re planning to tie the knot. She confesses she’s not sure if Will wants to marry her. Emma’s uncertainty prompts Sue to tell her to stop living in the stone ages and propose to him herself.
Of course, this means it’s time for another song! In a rare Emma moment, she sings “Wedding Bell Blues” (originally by Laura Nyro) with Sue and Coach Beiste backing her up. For anyone who isn’t familiar, the lyrics couldn’t be more appropriate (“Will! I want you so… I always will…”) When the number ends, a bewildered Mr. Schue stares up at her and says “Emma, did you just ask me to marry you?”. Realizing she had unintentionally vocalized it, she runs off.
Schue realizes that the time has come for him to propose and decides to use it as this week’s Glee club assignment. In the choir room, he tells New Directions of his plans to propose (to much applause) and that their assignment for the week is to come up with a special number to mark the occasion. He also mentions he will be asking Emma’s parents for permission to wed their daughter.
Sam continues flirting hard with Mercedes and she continues to “resist” him, insisting it was just a fling and that she’s happy with Shane. (Did anyone else not remember the new boyfriend’s name until now?)
Artie approaches the fierce Ms. Motta in the hallway and asks if she might want to work on a number with him for this week’s assignment. Sugar, always as self-centered as can be, assumes he is asking her out on a date and she rejects him in the most polite way that a fierce girl with aspergers can! (“It’s not that you’re disabled. It’s that… I’m abled.” “I’m really worried that people are gonna think your legs look thinner than my arms.”) She leaves Artie in shock and then in swoops Becky for the kill, asking the already reeling Artie out on a date. (annnnnnnd.. commercial!)
Sam goes to talk to Coach Bieste (and I’m pretty sure he called her “Sir”) about getting onto one of McKinley’s sports teams. He wants a chance to get a letterman jacket so he can impress Mercedes. As it’s already halfway through the year, Bieste tells him it’s too late to join most of the major sports teams but seeing that he is desperate she tells him there is one team that is still looking for athletes.
Cut to trouty mouth in red swimming trunks. It turns out the one remaining team was McKinley’s synchronized swimming team (Wow, does this school have EVERYTHING!!?) In an unexpectedly delightful guest role, Real Housewives of Atlanta star Nene Leakes plays Coach Roz Washington, who ran away with many of the episode’s best lines. (“I’ve never seen lips like that on a white child… and one of your nipples is higher than the other. I bet you’ve had to overcome a LOT with those nipples.”) Coach Roz is an olympic medal winner and it seems she runs a tight ship! Truthfully, though, despite the amusement – the introduction of this character in this episode seems pointless plot-wise except to set up a musical number close to the episode finale.
Word spreads quickly that Sam has joined Synchornized Swimming. He’s so happy to be on a sports team, he hasn’t really considered that Synchro might not be seen as the coolest sport and after boasting about it to Finn, he receives a face full of red slushie in the hallway from Rick “The Stick” and his cronies. Mercedes sees the attack from her locker and comes to his aid, but boyfriend – whom we suppose we can now call Shane since he won’t be around much longer – sees the sparks flying that we all LOVE SO MUCH and tells her she needs to get to Study Hall and that Sam can sort himself out.
Artie presents his idea for the assignment to Schue with all of the guys while Becky looks on from the audience. He says that Schue should woo Emma with his smooth dance moves and not some sappy, predictable love song. The song he chose is a mash-up of Maroon 5′s “Moves Like Jagger” and “Jumpin Jack Flash” by the Rolling Stones. For a guy with his legs strapped down in a wheelchair, Kevin McHale sure can dance his ass off! (Can someone send a memo from Tyra Banks to Matt Morrison to stop letting “all his fierceness go to his lips” when he dances. That face he keeps making is seriously obnoxious.)
After the performance, we learn that Artie’s approach to Becky’s proposal was to invite her to the performance. Becky insists that part 2 of their “date” be dinner at the only restaurant in Lima: BreadstiX!
Cut to the jewlery store, where Finn has accompanied Shue to pick out a ring. He asks Finn to be his best man. I know this isn’t the first time, but would any REAL school allow such personal relationships between teachers and students? In an unexpected moment, Finn confides in Schue that he’s been thinking about his future and he’s planning to join the U.S. Army after high school.
Now Rachel, Santana, Mercedes and Tina pitch their idea and just as Artie expected, it’s a sappy and predictable song: “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”. As the girls sing, we get painfully brief scenes showing a moment in time when they set eyes on the object of their affections. We get a couple of cute ‘ship moments with Finchel, Mike/Tina Brittana and Samcedes. Evidently we’re supposed to be wondering why Mercedes isn’t thinking about Shane since she becomes upset and confides in Tina, but we mostly find ourselves wondering why Tina and Mike don’t have a cute ‘ship name yet. (“Tike” and “Mina” sound lame, I’mma call em “Chang-Chang”).
Will meets with Emma’s parents and it goes just about as well as their first meeting did. Emma’s Father refuses to give his blessing for Will to marry Emma and he and his wife warn Schue that Emma won’t be able to handle all of the challenges that come with marriage and starting a family with her OCD.
New Directions, meanwhile, are staging an intervention for Artie as they heard through the grapevine that he was seen at BreadstiX the night before with Becky. Upset that all of them seem to think that Becky isn’t as mature and capable as they are when it comes to dating, Artie defends her and tells them all how closed-minded they are before leaving.
Finn enters Mr. Schue’s office to find his mom, Burt Hummel and Emma there along with Will waiting for him. Mr. Schue apologizes for telling them about his plans to join the army but he was concerned as it’s a big decision. Finn says that he wants to honor his father, who was a war hero, by walking in his footsteps. His Mom has something to tell him: his father didn’t die in the war as he had always thought. She tells him that his father served in Iraq but he was dishonorably discharged and developed a drug habit upon returning to Ohio. He was in and out of rehab and their lives for a while before dying of a drug overdose.
Becky decides it’s time to take her and Artie’s “relationship” to a new level and she SEX’Ts him! Artie is understandably concerned because while he had a lot of fun with Becky at BreadstiX he’s not insterested in anything further with her. He seeks the counsel of Sue Sylvester who tells him that Becky needs him to treat her like any other person and he needs to just come clean with her.
Will arrives at home to find Emma taking down the Christmas Tree. She wants to talk to him and tells his about Sue’s suggestion that she propose, asking finally whether or not he wants to spend his life with her. Still feeling defeated by the words of her parents, Will pulls off yet-another douchey moment when he asks her if she can handle all of the mess that comes with marriage and family with her OCD and confesses that while he understands it’s not her fault she has this disease that he sometimes feels like it’s “hopeless”. Then, this:
Yep, this is the exact moment that Emma’s heart breaks, but she stands up for herself and tells Will that he needs to figure out whether or not she is what he wants and he needs to figure it out quickly.
Again we find ourselves at BreadstiX, where Finn, Rachel and Kurt are lamenting the futures they all thought they would have. Kurt and Rachel have yet to hear from NYADA, despite knowing that acceptance letters have gone out. Finn feels like he has “loser DNA”; he’s lost hope and wishes his Mother hadn’t told him the truth. In a moment of self-pity he says he wishes he could have just one special thing. Kurt looks at Rachel as a song begins; She looks at Finn with love and concern as she sings the opening lines of the 2011 David Guetta hit: “Without You”. The song ends in the choiroom, with Rachel singing to the group but looking Finn in the eyes as you can see some of his spark return.
After Rachel’s song, the New Directions ask Mr. Schue if he knows what song he would like to use to propose to Ms. Pilsbury. He doesn’t mention the discussion he and Emma had the previous evening and says he needs to think it over more. Sam later approaches him in the hallway and says that he thinks he has a perfect idea…
Seemingly resigned to a feeling that it won’t work out for her and Will, Emma is making some new brochures when Mr. Schue enters and asks if she has a moment. He extends a hand and takes her into the hallway as the opening melodies of Rihanna’s “We Found Love” begin. Anyone who knows the song and has been watching the episode immediately realize now why this song works (i.e. “We found love in a HOPELESS place…”).
As they walk through the hallway they encounter a couple of people we don’t know and Coach Beiste and Sue. All of them hand Emma a single white rose as she walks along, bewildered.
They walk into the McKinley High pool, where New Directions and the Synchonized Swimming team are performing the number. Schue shows Emma to her seat and disappears. Personally, I found the way the number was filmed and performed to be gimmicky and overall a bit boring, but I give them points for creativity! The real highlight here was the ACTUAL proposal. Mr. Schue, clad in a white tux and top hat, “walks on water” before diving in and swimming across the pool to get down on one knee and make the whole world cry with his beautiful words. He tells her that he may be a source of comfort and healing to her OCD, but that she does those things for him too and that she’s the one. She (obviously) accepts his proposal, and the entire world SQEEEEEEees with delight.
Later, Artie approaches Becky in the hallway and tells her that he thinks they shouldn’t date. Becky does her best to take it gracefully but we revisit her inner monologue to hear her say that she wanted to ask him if it was because she has Downs Syndrome but she already knew the answer was yes. She goes to Sue for comfort, who is also feeling rejected that Cooter stopped calling her and eloped with Coach Beiste and the two lean on eachother.
With only a moment left, we cut to the auditorium where Finn has taken Rachel because he has something important to talk to her about. He says that he’s spent his whole life wanting to be half the man his Father was only to find out that his Father wasn’t quite the role model he’d dreamed. He goes on to say that while the world’s dealt him a bad hand, she’s a “big gold star” and that if she will keep letting him love her, that he will be okay.
It seems that Finn’s ideals of what makes a”good man” may have transferred to Burt’s example, or maybe even Mr. Schue… in a mind-blowing cliffhanger, he confessed that he applied for his first credit card and pulls a ring from his pocket and asks a very speechless Rachel Berry to marry him.
Overall, this episode was PRETTY FREAKIN CUTE and AMAZING for the following reasons:
- Getting to know more about Becky (played by the adorable Lauren Potter) was a treat and the Helen Mirren voiceover as her inner monologue was INSPIRED. (“You may be wondering why I sound like the Queen of England. It’s simple: in my mind I can sound like whomever I want. So lay off, haters! Ok, let’s get realz…”)
- We got to see a surprisingly mature and even NURTURING Sue Sylvester sustain personal rejection and still effectively council not only Becky, her friend, but Artie as well. I’m sure this calmer, more sensible Sue is only a passing fad, but it was well-done.
- NeNe Leakes was HILARIOUS. Sadly, I have a feeling we won’t be seeing much of her after this episode and as a one-off it seems like her entire scene was a tad pointless. I haven’t honestly done my research on tis one
- Any episode with an Emma Pilsbury song is TOPS in my books.
- The songs balanced old and new well and there was a big variety of vibes. The Pop Gods would like to offer their condolences to David Guetta and Usher, who are surely feeling a little bit slayed after Lea Michelle ruined their version of a song forever. “Without You” was spectacular.
- It’s completely minor, but I don’t know why a tiny sentence couldn’t have been thrown in to explain away Sugar Motta’s absence in the last episode. As I’ve stated, I believe several episodes were filmed simultaneously and possibly out of order and that keeping Sugar might have been a last minute decision, but it’s bugging me that she disappeared for the Christmas episode and they didn’t even say anything about it.
- Still no Lauren Zices… No, I’m really not giving this up. I feel the same way about Karofsky! Why have these great characters been ABANDONNED! Ryan Murphy hear our prayers!
No new Glee next week. (I know, right?) but it returns on Tuesday, January 31st with the much-hyped Michael Jackson Tribute episode entitled simply: “Michael”, which is SURE to be EPIC! As always, I’ll be here blogging about it!
Thanks for reading. It’s 5:20am. I should probably sleep now.