Oh my gosh. Well, I cried twice during Yes/No. The first set of waterworks came when Carol broke down and told Finn the truth about his father–that, he didn’t die in Iraq, but from a drug OD after coming home from the war a broken man. Carol and Burt convened in Will’s office, in order to talk some sense into Finn after learning of his plans to enlist in the army. Finn’s anguished response to his mother’s revelation was heartbreaking. And I’ll say it one more time–Cory Monteith is the most underrated actor on Glee. When he’s given good material he shines like a star. Romy Rosemont, who plays Finn’s mom, was also fantastic. The two of them together were incredible.
The second time was The Proposal. The tears came when Beiste, and then SUE! handed Emma a rose as Will led her to the gym. The kids, with the help of the synchronized swim team, do a water ballet to “I Found Love” with Rachel and Santana on lead. The performance was over the top, cheesy, and full of joy. When Will, dressed in a white tux, literally walked on water to get to a waiting Emma–and then dove into the pool to swim to her, I’ll admit I lost it. The proposal was sweet, heartfelt and perfect. And Emma said YES.
Thank god the seed of doubt Emma’s creepy parents planted in Will’s mind about marrying their troubled (who’s to blame for that) daughter was only temporary. Mr. and Mrs Pillsbury were so gross, so ill and evil, it was as if they took a wrong turn on their way to Ryan’s other show, American Horror Story.
Thank god Rachel saves the day with an absolutely stunning version of Usher’s “Without You”. Lea Michele and the Glee cast are going to clean up on iTunes with what is easily the Glee star’s best pop solo to date. The song which begins in the choir room as a suggestion for Will’s proposal, quickly morphs into a fantasy sequence. The room goes dark, except for a lone spotlight on Finn as Rachel pours her deepest feelings into song. The emotional moment serves as an epiphany for Will. No matter the challenges in their relationship, he and Emma are meant to be together. Finn thinks he’s found his mate too, but he’s just a lost soul who sees Rachel as a beacon of hope. Oh Finn. Co-dependent heart break dead ahead. Rachel isn’t going to save you. You need to save yourself. Each of the Glee couples have a special little moment during this sweet and powerful performance.
The awesomeness of the Wemma love story notwithstanding. I’m still a little bothered by the weird teacher/student relationships in Glee. Will asks the kids to help him propose to their unsuspecting guidance counselor as a class assignment? INAPPROPRIATE. Will tells the kids he’s sharing the proposal news with them because they are like family? INAPPROPRIATE. Will tells Finn he’s taught him what it means to be a man after asking him to be his best man? INAPPROPRIATE. But this is Glee. Remember Artie helping Beiste sort out her man problems in “The First Time”? SO INAPPROPRIATE. It’s all pretty creepy. And kids, I don’t suggest you try it at home. Or at school.
But, as often is the case with Glee, the emotional moments are so, so satisfying, I can forgive the crazy-ass writing.
Sue Sylvester’s one-note shtick had long since grown tiresome. How many different ways are there to destroy the Glee club? Uh. Not many. Finally, the writers have devised a satisfying character arc for Sue. Perhaps it was working with the homeless, or the humbling loss in the congressional election to Burt Hummel that did it. But Sue has become…nice. Sincere, even, as she hands out relationship advice to Becky, Artie and Emma. Sounds boring? The mercurial coach hasn’t lost her bite. When she learns that her #1 booty call, Cooter, married Beiste over the holidays, she takes it really well, but still manages to land a little zing on Beiste, calling her “Michael Chiklis in a wig.” Sue’s advice to Artie is laced with so many hilarious one liners, I needed to rewind. Yet, her advice to Artie is so kind and sensible, he leaves her office with a smile on his face.
Artie, caught in a weird love triangle, can use the help. After his advances were rudely and weirdly rebuffed by Sugar Motta, he decides to say yes to a “date” with Becky the young student with down’s syndrome. The two handi-capable kids find common ground over pasta at Breadstix. If Becky hadn’t tweeted Artie those naughty photos and demanded they “do it,” maybe the two could have become friends. Instead, Artie is forced to break her heart as gently as he can. No matter. Lauren knows she and Artie will never date because of her down’s syndrome. The revelation is made all the more poignant said in a British accent, as Helen Mirren plays Becky’s “inner voice”. I had a mixed reaction to Helen’s voice over. The last bit where Becky reveals her heartbreak was wonderful, as were a few hilarious one liners, but for the most part, I found the British accent a little disconcerting. It didn’t quite work for me.
Becky is brave in the face of heartache, but breaks down in Sue’s office. I loved the image of the two, hearts broken, eating ice cream while watching “Beaches” on Lifetime.
The rest of tonight’s songs: Kevin McHale manages to be a compelling dancer even as he’s confined to a wheelchair. His take on “Moves Like Jagger/Jumpin Jack Flash” was soulful and sexy. Flanked by the superb Matt Morrison and Harry Shum Jr., I still couldn’t take my eyes off him. Easily, one of the best male vocalists in the class. He needs more solos. Stat.
“Marry Me Will” (or Bill in the Laura Nyro original) was a cute bit of fun. The costuming and set design were definite highlights. “Bridesmaids” Sue and Beiste looked like giant bugs in their blue dresses and head pieces. Emma made both a beautiful and weird bride.
“The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” was beautifully arranged and sung, and served the plot well. Will Mercedes return to her summer love, her 1st love, Sam? Or will she stick with her football-playing boyfriend Shane? Of course, I’m rooting for Sam. If the Glee writers had written a fuller character for LaMarcus Tinker, maybe I’d care a fig for Shane. But as it stands, I just want him off my TV. If Chord hadn’t left the show, Mercedes and Sam would have been together when the Season began. So lets just correct that little mistake as soon as we can, OK?
The episode begins with Sam and Mercedes dishing the deets of their summer romance via a faithful re-enactment of “Summer Love” from Grease. The number (as well as the pool scenes) were shot at Venice High School, where the 1978 film was filmed. The concept was cool, but the bleachers and the cafeteria were so obviously not McKinley High (you could see Venice Beach in the background) it was a little ridiculous. Still, Kurt as Rizzo and Sugar as Frenchy were pretty perfect.
NeNe Leakes has a small role as the coach of Sam’s synchronized swim team. She does a lot of hollering and not much else. The “40 acres and a pool” joke was lame, if not a little racist. I hope this arc doesn’t last very long. Sam’s scheme to join the only team that will take him in order to win a letterman jacket and eventually Mercedes heart has comic possibilities, but I cannot take that NeNe. Sorry Chris and Lea. NOT a Housewives fan.
The big twist at the end? Finn, who is more confused than ever, proposes to Rachel. There were clues all through the episode, so it wasn’t all that shocking. And we know how that’s going to end. Not very well. Or I hope so. Because if Rachel leaves her dreams of stardom behind to marry Finn? I will cut a bitch.
Tonight’s Glee will include the most incredible proposal you’ve ever seen, a recreation of the iconic scene, “Summer Nights”, from Grease, a guest turn by Atlanta housewife, NeNe Leakes, a few crushes, and a big, giant twist at the end.
Critics who have seen the show already say it’s one of the best of the season–up there with “Asian F” and “The First Time”. This week’s show will be pivotal for a couple of Glee couples–namely, Will and Emma and Rachel and Finn.
Glee is back from a month long hiatus tonight. But don’t get to comfy. The show is off next week too because of the presidential address. The big Michael Jackson episode will air the following week on January 31. Check out the promo below featuring a few scenes from what should be a pretty epic episode.
As always, I’ll be back with a longer recap
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- Summer Nights (Mercedes and Sam w Glee)
- Wedding Bell Blues (Emma with Sue and Beiste)
- Moves Like Jagger / Jumpin’ Jack Flash (Artie with Will and Mike. Boys on backup
- The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (Santana, Rachel, Tina and Mercedes)
- Without You (Rachel)
- We Found Love (Rachel and Santana with Glee club)
Michael Promo #2
Michael Promo #1
Moves Like Jagger/Jumpin Jack Flash
Sam tries to impress Mercedes
NeNe Leakes Meets Sam Evans
Finn proposes to Rachel