Glee Recap: S03E10: Yes/No
Jabrams? Or Bartie Redux?
One such relationship is in its hopeful, beginning stages. That relationship? The merger that is Becky Jackson and Artie Abrams. We get a rare insight into young Becky’s mind as we hear her inner voice for the first time. An inner voice portrayed by the fabulous Helen Mirren. “You may be wondering why I sound like the queen of England,” she starts, “It’s simple. In my mind I can sound like whomever I want, so lay off, haters.” As she walks through the halls, Becky is on the lookout for a prospective beau, but she quickly eliminates glee boys Rory, Puck, and Mike. The fourth Glee boy she sees is the perfect choice, as she describes, “Sweet, sexy, and handicapable like me. With a voice as velvety as my favorite Sunday church dress. It’s decided. Artie Abrams, you’re my new boyfriend.” With that decision behind her, Becky goes to Sue for advice.
When Becky actually asks Artie for a date, he does accept, in a way. He invites her to see him “bring his sexy” when the boys rehearse Mr. Schue’s proposal, but Becky wants more. She wants Breadstix. What girl in Lima doesn’t? The straightforward Becky gets her way, and Artie finds himself enjoying her company. She is interested in movies and funny to boot. All the makings of a great friend.
News travels fast at McKinley, which means that the glee club has already heard of the “date.” Their response? “We think you need a Beckyvention,” Tina states boldly. The whole glee club is against any relationship between the two, but Artie stands up for Becky: “You guys talk a good game how it’s okay to be different. How it’s what’s on the inside that counts. But I think you’re just as narrow-minded as the rest of this school.”
Of course, New Directions is right to be worried about Becky getting the wrong idea. She propositions Artie by sending him a seductive picture of herself. Artie goes to Sue asking what to do. She tells him to tell it to her straight. So Artie clears things up with Becky, ultimately breaking her heart. But Becky has Sue to bring her ice cream, turn on “Lifetime television, for ovaries,” and help her through the pain. A burgeoning romance is stopped before it can even begin, for good or for worse. As always, however, Sue’s love for Becky shows her softer side, a side I do enjoy seeing.
Samcedes - A Summer Fling
While one romance is cut short, a failed romance may be sparking once again. The show begins reminiscing on the summer past, when Sam and Mercedes were an item. Summer lovin’ indeed! While Mercedes insists that their love was just a summer fling that is now in the past, Sam still pursues her relentlessly. And just like Grease, where two summer lovebirds find themselves separated, Sam believes that a letterman jacket is the key to Mercedes’ heart.
Unfortunately for Sam, when he goes to Coach Beiste begging for a spot on any sports team, only one team can accept him. Sychronized swimming! Sam needs to think of a nickname to embroider on his letterman robe. “Would Trouty Mouth work?” he asks innocently. Of course the path to true love is never easy. Poor Sam gets slushied for his trouble. Mercedes wipes the slush off of his face before Shane calls her away. She still cares for Sam, but she does not yet know how much. It is through their glee club assignment that she reaches this realization. It is when Mercedes is singing “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” that she sees the face of the one she truly loves. And it isn’t Shane.
Wemma - A Modern Love Story
The last time we really took a look at Will and Emma's relationship, she was hoarding bridal magazines and denying that they were hers. We also met her parents and got some insight into what may have triggered her OCD. Now, things seem to be going well, with each settled comfortably into the relationship and in their knowledge of each other. Adorably, Emma sits with Beiste over lunch simply because she wants to give Will some space, explaining, “Yeah, I’m just going to let him be. He totally tanked his fantasy football season.” And it is this decision to sit with her coworker that sparks the return to an old subject: marriage.
In a sudden turn of events, Beiste eloped with Cooter on Christmas Eve. She essentially proposed at Taco Bell. Emma, though happy for her friend, gets sad and pensive, as she thinks Will does not want to marry her. Oddly, it is Sue who encourages Emma to ask him herself. This prompts Emma to fantasize about just that, singing "Marry Me, Bill" with Sue and Beiste as adorable back-up singers (aka crazily dressed bridesmaids). When Emma awakes from her musical fantasy, she finds that not everything was in her head; she accidentally proposed. That gives Will the clue he needed. He announces to the glee club right away: “This is the kind of news that you share with your family, and you guys are my family...And this proposal needs to knock her well-washed socks off.” That is now the assignment of the week. Find a way to propose to the perfection loving Emma. The boys are up first with their offering. Predicting that the girls will choose a sappy ballad, Artie tries a different tactic. “I’m proposing you subvert expectations and lead with your hips," he states, "Unleash those moves you’ve been practicing on Miss Pillsbury and she will swoon.” Mr. Schue practices his "Moves like Jagger" with the guys, but he ultimately vetoes the song. Dancing means sweat, and sweat and Emma do not agree. Meanwhile, Mr. Schue is already planning his part of the proposal, the ring, and maybe a bit of the wedding as well. He brings Finn ring shopping and asks him to be his best man, claiming “You’ve taught me more about being a man than anyone I’ve ever known. You stand up for your friends. You’re not afraid to cry. And you’ll make sure I don’t do anything too stupid at my bachelor party.” Even though Glee gave Finn a father when Burt married his mother, Finn has often turned to Mr. Schue for what could be considered fatherly advice. Now it’s the girl’s turn. Tina, Rachel, Santana, and Mercedes do some recon first, asking Mr. Schue to tell them about why he loves Emma. His answer? He will never forget the moment he first saw her. Tina, Rachel, Santana, and Mercedes sing their selection for him, "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," under spotlights on the stage. It is a haunting and beautiful number that inspires the girls to think of seeing their own loves (is that the reason Quinn was not included in this performance?). It is when Will attempts to cross off the last item on his proposal to-do list, asking for the parents’ permission, that he encounters problems. He invites her parents to their apartment to broach the touchy subject. To his surprise, they say no. Her father’s explanation? “Son, marriage is messy, and the one thing Emma cannot handle is a mess.” Unfortunately, this comment sparks doubts in Will’s mind. Things come to a head when Will watches Emma take down their Christmas tree, a process that has taken a month to come close to finishing. He’s obviously considering what her parents said, and she senses his ambivalence. Emma decides to face her fear and asks Will if he wants to marry her. Emma’s hopeful, happy face is so sweet. But it quickly falls when Will assures her that he does but begins to bring up his concerns: “I love you. You know that. But what if we get married. What happens when we have a house and a baby? How are you going to handle spit-up on your special Wednesday sweater? Sweetheart, you can’t control another person. What if it’s all just too much?” Emma leaves everything she has on the table:
“Can I promise you that I’m going to get better? No. This is what you get. This… this incomplete person with toothbrushes and rubber gloves and with so much love for you. But if that’s not what you want, then you need to be honest with me and with yourself. And the sooner the better.”
Ultimately, it is Sam who figures out how to impress Miss Pillsbury. Emma is organizing the brochures in her office (conveniently titled “So You’re a Spinster,” “Dying Alone,” and “Happily Never After”) when Will comes in and takes her hand. He walks her down the hallway, where students, Beiste, and Sue each give her a single white rose. When they reach the pool, their final destination, she has an entire bouquet. At the pool, the synchronized swimming team and the glee club are waiting for them. At the end of an extravagant routine set to Rihanna’s “We Found Love,” Will, in a white tux with tails, walks across an invisible platform above the water before he dives right in, surfacing in front of Emma.
“Emma. You are the one. You always have been. Truth is, I feel like I’ve had to stop myself from doing this from the second I first saw you. The first time I held this hand, I felt like I’d held it a million times before. Like somehow, it’s always been here. Life is messy. It just is. And I know that’s hard for you. But that’s why you have me. To balance things out. But you have to realize: you do that for me too, everyday you. Loving you and being loved by you makes everything better. I love you with everything I am and everything I hope to be. So, Emma Pillsbury, will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?”
Naturally, she says yes.
Finchel - A Lesson in Commitment
While Will plans his future with Emma, Finn reels trying to decide where he will end up now that graduation is looming. Ring shopping prompts Finn to let Mr. Schue in on his current plan; he met with an army recruiter “I just want to something special, you know?” he explains, “Like my dad, but without the whole dying part.” Will tells Finn’s family about his plans and they stage an intervention. Burt, being amazing like he is, is not against him enlisting, but he wants to know why Finn has made that decision. So Finn attempts to explain: “My dad was a war hero. I have an obligation to him to be a good man. To make something of myself. To help people like he did.” Meanwhile, Carol looks distraught. She tells Finn the truth. His father did not die in battle. He came home after being dishonorably discharged; he succumbed to drugs and then overdosed in Cincinnati. Now Finn must rebuild his own self image, an image at least partially based on his false memories of his father.
Later at Breadstix, Kurt, Rachel, and Finn lament about their futures. Finn, still angry at his mother’s confession, questions, “Why did she have to tell me that? And why can’t I have something in my life that’s special? That means something?” Sadly, Finn’s anger has made him forget the one thing in his life that is going well: his relationship with Rachel. She is the good thing in his life, and she makes sure to let him know it through the Glee club assignment by singing Usher and David Guetta’s “Without You.”
Finn gets the message loud and clear, and runs with it to its logical conclusion. He might just have sped up the process a bit. He meets Rachel on stage and chooses a new path for his future with her:
“I just feel like all my life I’ve been wondering if I was going to be as much of a man as my father was. Now all of a sudden I’m up at night worried that I’m going to become the man he was. Let’s face it; I got high school hero, life zero written all over me. Except for one thing: you. You’re like a beacon of light guiding me through the darkness. You’re like this big gold star, and for some bizarre reason you chose to let me love you. And I feel like if I can just convince you to let me keep doing that, I’m going to be okay. Everything’s going to be okay… It’s a promise. A promise to keep loving you for the rest of my life. All you gotta do is say yes. Rachel Berry, will you marry me?”
Of course, we have to tune in to the next Glee (a fabulous Michael Jackson tribute episode) to find out how she answers.
Summer Nights - A-
Much was said about the sudden departure of Chord Overstreet's Sam from the Glee cast after some supposed contract disputes. This very quickly put an end to the budding romance between Sam and Mercedes. This song is the perfect way to address the plot hole that was left in the wake. This is a faithful adaptation vocally and visually (they shot the guys on the same bleachers used by Grease). Though I prefer Glee adaptations to differentiate themselves from the originals, this song gets a high score for being an homage that fits perfectly into the plot at hand.
Wedding Bell Blues - B
The lovely Jayma Mays gets her first solo since "Touch a Touch a Touch a Touch Me" from a Rocky Horror Glee Show. Her voice is sweet, and not used often enough on the show, so I appreciated that they gave her a solo once again. The song chosen fit nicely with the theme, but I found it a bit dull, and the dream sequence a bit odd. In comparison to the other songs from the episode, this one fell short.
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Moves Like Jagger/Jumpin' Jack Flash - A
How Kevin McHale can have moves like Jagger when he is in a wheelchair is beyond me, but he succeeds wildly in this mashup. At first listen, I thought the combination of songs, while it made sense, was odd, the arrangement quickly grew on me. And just like the original Maroon 5 song, this one is simply contagious. I adored the marvelous dancing from Matthew Morrison and Harry Shum, Jr. (though I could have done without the gratuitous shots of Matt dancing on his own), and the vocals were spot on. Now I finally understand what makes moves like Jagger so attractive!
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face - B+
While beautifully sung, this would not be my favorite version of this song (see the video below of David Cook’s rendition on American Idol). The speed of this version is a bit plodding, and the way in which the girls’ voices blend is more mournful than romantic. When each sings solo, however, it is beautiful, and I love the vignettes that highlight each romance. From a classic song such as this one, I just expected more.
Without You - A+
Only the wildly talented Lea Michele can take a popular song and make it even better (although Darren Criss does have that effect when it comes to Katy Perry songs). "Without You" is brilliantly sung by Usher, but Michele really brings the pathos to this song, a tribute to Finn that lets him know that he does have a future to look forward to. It was by far the best vocal of the episode, leaving me nearly in tears. Brava, Miss Michele!
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We Found Love - A
And finally we come to the proposal song. “We Found Love” in its original form is my least favorite Rihanna song. It is a bit one note, which when repeated frequently (as it is) becomes annoying. Bringing two brilliant voices with the inclusion of Lea Michele and Naya Rivera adds interest to the song that was not previously there. And when you consider the spectacle of the visual performance, the song in its entirety is a wonderful end to the episode. The water choreography, the cute little outfits. Everything just works with this number.