Glee Recap: Lords of the Rings [Updated]

Everything’s better with a little Helen Mirren — and Glee is no exception to the rule. Of course, everything’s also better with some righteous plot development that stays true to core characters, and that point was also driven home in “Yes/No,” the show’s first new episode of 2012, and (in my humble opinion) best episode of Season 3.

The news that Coach Beiste had eloped with Cooter Menkins over the winter break not only elicited a verbal barb from Sue Sylvester that was on par with any insult she ever spat back in her Season 1 heyday (offering her congrats to “Michael Chiklis in a wig”), but set into motion a surprising string of events:

* Emma wondered (accidentally aloud) if Will was ever going to make an honest woman of her, which prompted Will to go ring-shopping with Finn, assign the New Directions kids the task of concocting the ultimate show-stopping proposal, and ask Emma’s wretched, revolting parents for permission to pop the question. I’ll admit, I scratched my head over Will inviting Finn to be his best man (that has to cross some kind of student-teacher ethical boundary, and is also kinda tragique no?). But conversely, I was floored (in the best possible way) by that scene where Will and Emma sat down at the dinner table to confront the not-entirely-unjustified concerns her parents had raised about her marriage-readiness. Jayma Mays, in particular, broke my heart with her tearful assessment of her personal shortcomings: “Can I promise you I’m gonna get better? No. This is what you get. This incomplete person with toothbrushes and with rubber gloves and with so much love for you.” (Girlfriend, no need to agonize over what to put on your Emmy reel.) In the end, Will put aside his worries, walked Emma to the McKinley pool, and proposed after a showstopping mashup between glee club and synchronized swim team set to Rihanna’s “We Found Love.” If you don’t think this number belongs in the show’s all-time Top 10, then I question your ability to count to double-digits without using your fingers. (Oh, and Emma said “yes.” Yes!)

* A love triangle, of sorts, emereged when Artie asked out Sugar, and Becky asked out Artie. Yet while that first pairing went on a trip to Not-Happening-ville (“I’m really worried people are gonna think your legs are look thinner than my arms,” Sugar apologized), Artie did agree to take Becky to Breadstix after she informed him that letting her watch his sexy Jagger-esque rehearsal did not a date make. It was amazing to me how, in the course of an hour, the show’s writers turned two-dimensional Becky (till now, little more than an amusing lackey for Sue) into a fully realized character, while confronting head-on the dashed hopes and disappointments that can be a reality for a person with Down Syndrome. Putting Becky’s internal monologue in the voice of Helen Mirren was a fresh way to force viewers to take a second look at a girl whose desire to date boys isn’t so different from any other teenage girl.

I loved Artie’s terse disdain at his New Directions cohorts calling his hanging out with Becky “a little weird,” but even better was the way Artie himself grappled with the same issues when Becky sought to sexualize their relationship. Sue’s straightforward advice to Artie — “Why don’t you treat her like a real person and tell her [you’re not interested]?” — was beautifully matter-of-fact, especially peppered with a few classic Sue insults. (“Stop buttoning your shirts up all the way like a demented 90-year-old. You look like you’re auditioning for the lead in your nursing-home production of Awakenings.”) That final scene of Becky trying to fight back tears after Artie’s “just friends” speech — “Some days it sucks to be me. This is one of those days.” — gave me my first good TV cry of 2012. And the denouement of Becky and Sue sharing ice cream and “Lifetime television for ovaries” was just the ticket to end my waterworks.

* We got a brief glimpse of Mercedes finally admitting that Sam was more than just a summer fling. And we got a reminder that Sam’s not yet done trying to wrestle his woman back from Shane, as evidenced by his seeking out a Varsity Letter Jacket by joining the synchronized swim team. When Mercedes cleaned synchronized slushies from her ex’s face, and lingered a little too long after Shane’s invite to walk her to study hall, it seemed pretty clear that LaMarcus Tinker might be freed up to head back to Cougar Town before the season is over.

* And finally, we had the culmination of Finn’s deflated football dreams and murky college future, summed up by his fear of living up to the motto “High school: Hero; Life: Zero.” Initially, it struck me as odd that a kid whose stepdad just went from car mechanic to Congressman would have trouble envisioning some kind of successful future for himself, but then I remembered the one thing most high-school kids lack — perspective. So yes, why wouldn’t Finn consider following in his late dad’s footsteps and enlisting in the Army? Cory Monteith beautifully handled that scene where Carol and Bert (and Schue and Emma) confronted Finn’s desire to enlist, and while the revelation that his dad had died of a post-deployment drug overdose, and not as a war hero, detoured onto Melodrama Lane, that doesn’t mean it didn’t pull at the heartstrings. (Side note: Marriage certainly agrees with Carole Hudson, no? Romy Rosemont has never looked better on this show.)

Anyhow, while it’s not certain Finn has put the kibosh on his military dreams, he certainly made clear his intentions when it comes to his love life, proposing marriage to Rachel in the school auditorium in a didn’t-see-that-coming cliffhanger of an ending. The look on Rachel’s face was more “Oh no what is he doing?” than “Oh yes, put a ring on it!” but we’ll have to wait till next week to see if she’s on Team Yes or Team No. (Full disclosure: As a realist in life and love, I’m on Team No.)

Anyhow, with the plot recapped, let’s get to the week’s best quotes (aside from Sue’s aforementioned Chiklis and Awakenings jabs):

* “Sweet, sexy, handi-capable like me, with a voice as velvety as my favorite Sunday church dress.” –Becky, describing Artie’s atributes (in her Helen Mirren inner voice)
* “I’ve never seen lips like that on a white child, and one of your nipples is higher than the other.” –Coach Roz, getting her first look at Sam
* Sam: Swimming is sexy!
Finn: Not if it’s synchronized.
* “What was your big move then: A Jumbotron that said ‘Hey, Terri, I wanna make a fake baby with you’?” –Santana, wondering about the start of Mr. Schue’s ill-fated first marriage

And now, let’s get on to the grades for this week’s musical numbers:

“Summer Nights,” Sam and Mercedes A sweet, fleeting homage to Grease that finally filled in the blanks on the Samcedes summer fling. Romantic longing looks good on Trouty Mouth and Miss Jones, no? Grade: B+

“Wedding Bell Blues,” Emma This song was so perfect for the scene, it felt like it could’ve been written just for the episode. Jayma Mays’ vocals were a breath of dewy spring air, and the 1-800-Too-Much fashion — Emma’s tulle-tastic gown, Sue’s Princess Beatrice Hat — only added to this amusing daydream. Grade: A

“Moves Like Jagger”/”Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” Artie A nifty little mashup, and one of Artie’s more appealing musical moments this season, though I have to admit to having a limited threshold for watching Will leaping about like a dime-store Baryshnikov in a black tank and red scarf. Grade: B

“The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” Rachel, Tina, Mercedes, and Santana I love when Glee takes a song and delivers it from multiple characters’ points of views (i.e. “Like a Virgin”). The vocals were pretty electrifying from all four ladies, as they remembered back on their specific moments of romantic realization. I also loved how this number revealed where Mercedes’ true affection lies. Grade: A-

“Without You,” Rachel A vocally stunning reimagining of the David Guetta-Usher dance number. Sure, it was pure Rachel Berry melodrama, but what high-school love affair doesn’t feel like the be-all and end-all to its participants? Grade: A-

“We Found Love,” New Directions A sublimely, ridiculously, excessively terrific production number. I loved everything from the synchronized-swim choreography to the jaunty, old-school red-white-and-blue bathing suits on the New Directions gals, to the absurdity of Artie rolling his wheelchair into the pool. It speaks volumes that I’m not exactly a fan of Mr. Schue, but still found myself gasping when Emma said “Yes.” In other words, resistance was futile! Grade: A+

What did you think of “Yes/No”? What was your favorite musical number? Ready, set, comment! And for all my Glee recaps and commentary, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. jen says:

    FINCHEL FOREVER – alf;dkjfal;skdjf;ldsakfjadls;kj;skladfjs;lafjkdl;kafjs;as

  2. mackenzie says:

    dear lord, please let Rachel say no.

    • Kim R says:

      I have to say I agree. Too young although I like the characters together. I guess I’m in the minority about the proposal “swimming” with romance. (get it??) :) I LOVED the first number & I was hooked after that. Loved the girls singing First Time…. The other numbers were all good, including the pool production but I just thought it was a weird way to propose. It didn’t make sense to me. ?? Totally enjoyed the episode though! :)

      • RubyRing says:

        I think the synchronized swimming was a nod to Emma’s OCD. It’s synchronized- nothing is out of place or “messy”.

    • melly says:

      I’m a total Finchel fan and even I want Rachel to say NO. They’re both too young.

  3. kelly says:


    • allie says:

      If this is ‘true love’ let me die now. The writers can try to make Finn out to be the golden boy, but in reality he is a dbag. He outs santana and never apologizes, he feeds his vegan girlfriend meat and doesn’t tell her, he doesn’t listen when Rachel talks,he is a major hypocrite etc. Secondly, why does everone act like he is some big catch. He is the weakest singer, the worst dancer, not very attractive, not in good shape, dumb as a box of rocks,and always looks constipated.This coupling doesn’t have anything going for it even on a proportional level he towers over her and they ahve to practically break their necks to kiss eachother.

      • sky says:

        Sucks for you!! doesn’t it? I’m excited and really enjoy a really happy and loving couple- Finchel. Opinions vary you have your right to voice your opinion but the general audience of which I am part are fans of Finchel. And there are many like me who thinks Cory is hot, fit, sings wonderfully(though not the best-Finn agrees), dancer he is not, Santana forgave him, Rachel loves him with all his faults and he loves her with all of hers(this is what people who really love each other does). For the record the extreme height difference represents vast different inn these 2 characters since the pilot-you know opposites attract. I think Finchel is an adorable couple who represent a high school teenage couple who really love each other. Well, people have difference of opinion and those who hate will hate.

        • Haley says:

          You’re absoloutely correct – I love Finchel, and they’re a great high school couple, but the greatest period of change in a person’s life is between the ages of 18 and 25. You can’t promise to be with someone for fifty years when you don’t know who you’ll be in five years.

          Finn and Rachel are great kids, but as we saw with Terri and Schue, great kids who love each other very much can grow up to become adults who want different things from life.

      • Norma says:

        Guess what Allie, Santana never freaking apologized for all the abuse and bullying she’s put everyone through and she’s still bullying everyone. But no one complains about Santana getting a love interest that she constantly manipulates and takes advantage of. Santana’s not the victim. Rachel’s no catch herself, she’s selfish, demanding, a hypocrite, spoiled rotten, condesending, and a bitch. She’ll make any man miserable.

      • Lindz says:

        I feel sorry for any man who dates you. Not having a six pack does NOT make out out of shape. He plays a ton of sports and works extremely hard. And discriminating because he’s “too tall for her” is ridiculous and shows exactly how shallow a person you truly are. Not too many guys would stay with Rachel after her constant selfish behavior and her neverending need to be in control and more important than everyone else.

      • Orhan94 says:

        I don’t think he fed her meat… I think that he pointed out that it was meat substitute in a weird voice followed by “because I know you so well” back in “The First Time” because it really was meat substitute and he was drawing attention to the fact that he does know her, thinking it will help him get lucky… at least that’s my take on it… it sounded more like a “HEY I know what you like, because we love each other and know each other so well” rather than a “Oh crap, you don’t eat meat, I have to play along”…

      • jerry says:

        Unclench, allie, Unclench. LOL This is just a tv show and they’re just fictional characters. But I must say, you sound like a Faberrry shipper.

    • yep says:

      True Love-Say Yes but when we’re ready but we’re not ready yet. Finn was crushed by his new found disappointment in his father so no need to live up to old dad and the hero worship. All he had left “in his eyes” that made him worthy was Rachel. Making him feel the need to propose. But Rachel will say no. Finn needs to find out what his interests are to to fill his own dreams for his future outside of Rachel. Rachel already has hers-Broadway. Will and Emma pulled at my heart strings. Happy for Beiste. Artie was articulate in letting the ND know that their words of concern for him did not elude to the ND ways of accepting all people who are different. Mercedes now knows her true heart. Rachel and Kurt let their concerns be known about their uncertainty for NYADA. OMG, I still can’t get over Finn’s proposal. The music was beautiful and sung beautifully. We found Love was fun. It seems Monchele wasn’t acting just my observation maybe unfounded and it was just Lea and Cory’s really good acting skills. Ya know.

      • Kase says:

        You know, I hate when fans can’t seperate fiction from reality when it comes to coupling but I think you may be on to something with “Monchele”. . . .

    • Torkynn says:

      AMEN!!! PLEASE!

  4. BTY says:

    ugh. just ugh.

  5. Trish says:

    I thought there was supposed to be a scene that Brittana fans would be rewinding a lot. Is it in the next episode because it clearly was not in this one.

    • Ron says:

      Anything with Brittana will be a total let down. This show has completely given up on writing anything for them. They don’t even give Brittany any lines!!! I forgot what her voice sounds like.

  6. Casey says:

    Let me say this is the first Glee episode I have liked in a long time. I really liked Sue as a guidence figure and think she should retire the villian role for this one. I was hoping Hellen Mirren would be the voice for Lord Tubbington but I liked how Glee featured Becky. Man, I shed a few (I can’t believe I’m admitting this) during Emma proposing to Will, Becky/Sue’s scene in the end and the Finchel proposal. I wasn’t really sold on Finn and Rachel until this episode, they sealed it for me and for once I saw chemistry between the actors.

    I liked all the music too, my favorite was probably Without You, I had to roll my eyes at Santana’s comment, oh her. I rank Will’s proposal as one of the top ten in TV history. And for once, in a long time Mercedes and Quinn didn’t annoy me and there was little Kurt and Santana. Still not buying Samcedes, though.

    In my opinion, this was a pretty good episode.

  7. Brenna says:

    Definitely best episode in like a year and a half—hooray for Wemma!!!

  8. Viviana says:

    FOX & Directv SUCK!!!!!! They didn’t air it in Miami. :((((

    • CMG says:

      Could always hook a plain old pair of rabbit ears up to the TV. They do still broadcast “over the air.” You don’t even need a DirecTV subscription to receive it. :)

    • Jennifer says:

      Directv is trying to keep costs down. Fox is asking for a ton of money to carry their programming. They do it to every tv carrier which is why the prices for tv service keep increasing.

  9. Lily says:

    Thank you for your recap. I can’t watch Glee but I am glad that the storylines are getting stronger. Poor Finn… and Congrats to Wemma. And good to hear that Artie is in the spotlight again…

  10. Brenda says:

    I have to agree with you, Michael… Best Glee episode in a long time! Loved it! (Both storyline AND songs.)

    • yep says:

      Totally, But I’m liking Sue and hope we see more of what we just saw guidance counselor Sue touching and real.

      • Lily says:

        I also like the role of snarky but sensible coach for Sue. In the Kurt bully story in Season 2, Sue Sylvester also gave a lot of interesting comments/advice about bullying, even though she kept her snarky tone… She explained among others why bullies act that way because she was a bully herself but she also watched her sister being bullied.

  11. Sunnydez says:

    Totally agree that this was the best episode in a LONG time! I loved the Summer Lovin’ song and the girls singing First Time. This is why I watch Glee!!

  12. litllewitch says:

    I seriously doubt about author’s sanity. This episode was probably the worst of this year season.
    And please, please! Let say Rachel no. It would be so lame if she answered yes. She’s gonna be star not Finn’s stucked-in-Lima wife.

    • Jon says:

      Why can’t Finn got To NYC not everyone who goes there is a star

      • Carrie says:

        Finn has specifically stated that he doesn’t want the life Rachel wants. Are people seriously forgetting this fact? He likes working in the garage and that’s great – I was actually happy that Finn found something he may actually enjoy and excel at after high school. I wish for once they’d focus on what Rachel and Finn want *individually* because their wants are so different.

        • Sean C. says:

          No, he doesn’t like working in the garage, or at least, it’s not something he wants to do for the rest of his life – he said as much in this episode. The whole point of his character in the pilot was that he wants out of Lima.

        • kate says:

          Finn has specifically said he wants to get out of Lima, just this episode. Heck, that’s what he’s been saying for the last two seasons!

  13. Daniel says:

    I loved Lea’s voice on Without You, but the Finchel was gag worthy. And seriously Finn saying you dont have anything special in your life with your girlfriend right there? That proposal was horrendous it’s basically Finn riding Rachels’coattails because he is a lima loser. If Rachel says yes I don’t know if i can keep watching this show anymore, the writers are completely ruining her character.

    • Brad says:

      Lima Loser? He wants out of there

    • Carrie says:

      I’m with you on this Daniel. Are people watching a different show than us? “Without You” was AMAZING – but the context was horrendous. People need to go and read the lyrics to that song. Also, the reasons Finn has for proposing are NOT good reasons to propose. Heck, read the interview Cory had with Kristin last night – he gives reasons why Finn would propose and none of them are decent. Finn and Rachel together wreck each other. He even admitted in this episode (once again) that he doesn’t listen to Rachel. There are so many issues with this couple together, and it boggles my mind that they are being presented as this glorious and epic romance.

      • Jane says:

        Cory knows perfectly well Finn’s reasons for proposing to Rachel were not totally right. And that’s the point of this storyline. That they’re too young for this. And that Finn is going to realize this. I seriously eye-roll at the people who think who think Finchel is really getting married and Rachel will be tied to Lima with Finn. That’s not the story the show has been telling. They wanted some conflict for Finn and Rachel without completely breaking them up and I think this is actually a good storyline for them.

  14. enn says:

    THIS EPISODE WAS AWESOME. I loved every minute of it! Especially all the Finchel scenes, I’m on Team Yes! But in the future. It’s obvious that they can’t get married right now. Best glee episode I’ve seen in a while.

  15. Amelie says:

    If Rachel, who has so much potential and has dreams to remember, actually accepts her high school boyfriends marriage proposal I will have lost all hope for this show.
    On another note, I’m still not feeling Samcedes. At all.

    • yep says:

      Hold on!!! Finn’s world fell apart as he once knew which affected how he sees himself now and his future(why live up in a hero worship for a dad like him)-feeling he’s worthless without the only person who makes him feel whole Rachel. This was a teenage boy who loves his gf showing how vulnerable he is and will become with his desperation to find something of interest to him to fill his own dreams for a future just for Finn. All of which would make him whole and be a better man for Rachel. She already has her dream-broadway. This is just PART of a soul searching story line for Finn. I’m sure Rachel will say no not now. Besides, alot was left unsaid til next episode.

  16. amanda says:

    I agree that this has been one of their best episodes in a while. Finn and Rachel scene at the end was really unexpected, but I’m loving it. Can’t wait to hear Rachel’s answer. It sucks that we have to wait so long!

  17. Dave says:

    Great episode – ridiculous ending. Way too much hype for a “game changing twist” that could be seen coming a mile away.

  18. CMG says:

    I would go one better than Slezak – I’d call it one of the best of the series so far. Not the best, but definitely up there. It managed to hit the right balance of songs, comedy, drama, and plot.

    Plus, they managed to hit the right note for Sue – blunt, but still HUMAN. She was willing to relate to Emma, and even willing to participate in Will’s proposal. This is the Sue I want on this show. (Man, I hope and pray they can can keep it up… but unfortunately, track record on this show would indicate that they’ll screw her character back up by next week.)

    Not sure how I feel about the ending yet, though. We’ll see how it turns out, I guess. :)

    • yep says:

      Season 1 Sue was a pivotal point of the show-hilarious snarky blunt the Sue til now. I loved her tonite. But I loved the whole episode the best of the season I’d say.

  19. Captain says:

    Rachel will say no but I’ll marry you Finn!

  20. corey says:

    Loved all the musical numbers tonight. Yes best episode of the season. I thought the girls singing “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” was moving.

  21. Marina Sabino says:

    #RachelSayNo is TT worldwide because Finchel, Finn and Cory Monteith suck.

  22. di says:

    the ending was my favorite part because I was totally expecting it. And I hope she says yes because they’re my favorite pairing on the show at the moment.

  23. STW says:

    Best episode of the season, and one of the best Glee episodes of all time; it epitomizes what Glee is all about: a lot of hilarity, a lot of heart, and a lot of great music.

    I agree that Rachel and Finn shouldn’t get engaged yet, and the show has done a brilliant job to set up how problematic that would be for both of them. Set aside the simple fact of their age (which is enough to urge a “no” from the perspective of a reasoned adult): the lead in to the entire proposal was carefully crafted to show both that they wouldn’t be doing this for the right reasons and that they both realize they are irrevocably tied and tethered to each other.

    First, Finn makes the offhand, unthinking comment that every dream he has bursts and that he has nothing special in his life. Then Rachel, hearing this, is taken aback, wondering why he didn’t seem to rate being with her as something that is right in his life. Since he is a part of what’s right in her life, and since she needs him in her life to make her the person she wants to be, she begins to sing “Without You” to him — a song that was sung with absolute beauty, that lyrically drove the story forward, and that was filmed flawlessly. Her singing is her declaration of what he means in her life; and, hearing her sing, Finn (who, as described by Cory Monteith, only tends to see & react to what is immediately in front of him) realizes that she IS the thing that is right in his life, that she makes him special, and that with her he can become more than he could ever be without her.

    So there is not a doubt – they love each other, and they are tied to each other, and they each recognize that they need the other in their life to be better than they are on their own.

    BUT Glee isn’t going to leave it there, letting the exchange of feeling be simply and beautifully capped with a kiss. It pushes the story forward, forcing a plot development that conventionally should wait for much later (just like many people said about the very first kiss Finn & Rachel shared in 1×02 Showmance,which was deliberately put into the proposal scene). And, like that kiss in Showmance did not resolve things, but instead spiraled the Finchel relationship on an emotional roller-coaster that led both of the characters to develop and grow, I image the response that plays out to the proposal across the remainder of the season will do the same thing.

    We were give strong clues that neither of them is yet ready to make this commitment for the totally right reason. In case we missed it in the beauty of the song, Santana makes clear to us the problematic part from Rachel’s perspective — her singing of “Without You” was about her, first and foremost — her way of saying “hey, I need you” in response to the inner question “don’t you need me?” that Finn’s comment, born of his world-view being shattered, sparked in her. And even before that comment started her singing, in classic flawed-Rachel-Berry fashion her thought went first to herself, not to responding to the immediate pain Finn was expressing. Her response to his talking about his dad, about what he’d believed about his parent all his life, and to the fear that he has “loser genes,” is to talk about her own fear about not getting into NYADA — a very typical teenage response (focusing on oneself first & foremost) and a very Rachel Berry response–not yet a mature, I-am-secure-enough-in-myself-that-I-can-focus-on-you-in-your-need response. As far as she’s come — and Rachel Berry has come very far in the world of relationships from the Pilot up to now! — she still has farther to go.

    And Finn’s proposal, while beautiful and touching and heartfelt and absolutely true, was written to reveal the growth he still needs to achieve for himself. The proposal was not that of a person who is secure-enough-in-himself-that-he-can-bring-his-own-individual-completeness-as-an-equal-partner-to-the-relationship; it was a proposal framed in terms of Finn saying he’ll only be OK if Rachel says yes and lets him keep on loving her, thus putting a pretty large emotional burden on their relationship when uttered by a boy who feels that his past has been taken away, who feels stuck in his present, and who fears his future. Asking another person to bear the emotional burden of your future is a heavy load; Finn needs to grow to the point where he believes in HIMSELF and finds the things in himself that will allow him to succeed. Then he can be with Rachel fully–not dependent on her as the sole source of his well-being, but as a full, independent half of a mutual, sharing, uplifting, and supportive relationship. And, as said above, Rachel needs to learn to continue to keep her strength and drive and focus on her future & her dreams without having her focus on self crowd out the concerns & needs of others.

    If she says yes, I’m willing to bet that the engagement will be officially off by the end of the season; we’ll see them taking a different path than the one that Will & Terri set out on as high school students. BUT that does NOT mean that Finchel will be over — the story for this season, and for next, will continue to show them journeying to/with each other as the characters continue to grow and develop individually. They are tethered, and their journey/future is intertwined. And if she says no, we are still likely to see the remainder of season show them figuring out how to move forward into a mutual future, however that takes shape and form. As we heard articulated by the characters whose story has always paralleled theirs (Wemma), even though they continue to grow, they’ll never be entirely perfect (no one is, after all), and, from the very beginning, we’ve seen them learn that they balance each other out.

    Just as the kiss in 1×02 Showmance was only the beginning of Rachel & Finn’s story, the proposal in 3×10 Yes/No is likely to propel their story in another far-from-ready-to-be-resolved new beginning.

    As for music: I loved “Without You” (first full Rachel Berry solo of the year = pefection!); “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” was incredibly rendered by the four women and the integration of their love stories was lovely; “We Found Love” was exuberant and fun and a great comment on Wemma (and Finchel, and many of the relationships), and “Wedding Bell Blues” was absolutely perfect for Emma to sing, and Jayma, Dot, and Jane were hilarious. “Summer Nights” was cute, and because of the way Artie framed the performance, I ended up enjoying “Moves Like Jagger”, even though it, unlike the other five numbers, had no relevance to the plot other than to give Harry Shum, Jr. and Matt Morrison and excuse for showing off their dance moves and muscles while Kevin McHale sang.

    Fantastic job by Brad Falchuk, Eric Stoltz, and all the actors & music producers and crew. Please keep giving us this Glee perfection — it’s why we fell in love with the show, and why it holds our hearts so strongly!

  24. Dcwriter says:

    Will is a complete jerk. If the person who supposedly loves me most in the world calls me hopeless AND THEN sings that DESPITE said hopelessness he found love with me, I hope I would run the other way. This is not the first time Will has expressed his judgment that Emma is too “broken” for his liking and I am so sick of it. How good of him to condescend to be with her, how charitable. And now he walks on WATER? Please.

  25. Gleek says:

    thank soooo much for the summary u guyz rule

  26. karenb says:

    I thought this episode was all over the place. Definitely not one of my favorites. Can I add that Shu creeps me out and his dancing about put me over the edge tonight. Eww. And besides that, the whole scene with Will pointing out Emma’s “shortcomings” was just disturbing. Why does he think he is such a catch?

    As usual, I thought Finn and Sam were great. And I love that it appears that Mercedes may be headed back to Sam. And I loved the Grease tune!

    • dan says:

      All over the place? This episode actually brought several lingering storylines together (Will/Emma, Mercedes/Sam, Rachel/Finn) and gave us plotpoints that made sense to the characters/story (Finn’s dad didn’t die in combat, Emma’s parents continue to be ignorant, Mercedes & Sam’s summer fling coming full circle, Rachel seeing her unexpected “future” play out before her as she figures out Finn is proposing to her in the auditorium, Sue actually being human while still being Sue). I thought the writers did a great job bringing the show back to where it used to be with funny, dramatic, and interesting stories along with great music from different genres and time periods. I agree w/Slezak that this episode was one of the best.

      • karenb says:

        And I usually do agree with Slezak 99.99% of the time on all things glee, Idol and XFactor related. Just not this time. And I’m sure he’s ok with that! :)

  27. ACC says:

    Decent episode. Definitely not big and shocking like it was hyped up to be, but still enjoyable. The songs were amazing too! Something I have been noticing though in the past few episodes is the lack of Brittany. At least some fun lines here and there would be great. Seriously her parts made season 2 amazing, and the chemistry her and Santana have is great and the more fun scenes of them the better the show is.

    • Lovelysilksworth says:

      In some scenes, it looks like someone needs to give Heather Morris a nudge to wake her up. Sshe looking bored rigid during Rachel’s big romantic solo to Finn and only marginally less so when it came to the big handholding moment for Brittana.

      • AAC says:

        Totally true. It seems really out of character for her. Why can’t Brittana just be happy now that they are dating? I really do not even think its a big deal that they haven’t kissed, just let them smile at each other or something.

  28. Erin says:

    Don’t you mean an everyone-saw-that-predictable-lame-excuse-for-a-twist-coming cliffhanger?

  29. SuperGLEEK says:

    Haven’t seen the episode yet but basing from tons of great reviews scattered of the web, I believe it’s another epic episode! You go, GLEE!

  30. jennielyn says:

    Who really sings Without You? That was beautiful!

  31. Krista says:

    I’m right there with ya, dcwriter! Will was a total jerk. I was praying for Emma to throw his d-bag butt right back into the pool! And decline his pathetic offer. Spare me, Schu. You are not all that. Seriously.

  32. Spencer says:

    I have to admit, this episode was VERY good. Music: great. Storylines: very good.

    I loved Helen Mirren’s ‘cameo’ and I love how they decided to take a very succesful jab in the right direction for Becky’s storyline. I usually hate Will, but I have to admit I could not stop grinning with the pool scene, and I nearly cheered when Emma said yes.

    Although improbable, I have to be honest and say I liked the Finn/Rachel/engagement dilemma, simply for the soapiness of it all!

  33. shane says:

    Um, no actually, you can’t. You have to have a converter box.

  34. Rick says:

    PRO: The whole Sugar-Artie-Becky storyline. The Helen Mirren part was a hilarious touch. Even though the love triangle came out of left field, they did a good job with it. Sugar treated Artie the way Artie ultimately treated Becky (even though I don’t know if Artie even realized it), and I actually felt for Becky at the end. Rarely does “Glee” actually evoke emotion like that, and somehow, Sue always seems to be involved . . .
    CON: Finn wants to join the military to be like good ol’ dad, then decides to propose as a high school teenager. All of these things were supposed to be sweet, but they all came off kind of . . . wrong . . .
    PRO: Cory Monteith’s acting when he finds out about his father’s actual fate. Possibly one of his best moments on the show.
    CON: “Summer Lovin'” as a scene-for-scene “Grease” rip-off,” cheesiness included.
    PRO: Little awkward Irish Damian McGinty as a Thunderbird.
    CON: The “First Time I Saw Your Face” montage. No way did all of those people “know” they were in love the first time they saw each of their loves. Mercedes was into Kurt, Tina was into Artie, and Santana wasn’t a lesbian. Almost too literal of an interpretation, I think, but the Mercedes revelation that she thought of Sam first was definitely a key plot point and must have been why they bothered with it.
    PRO: The Tina/Rachel/Santana reaction to Mercedes breaking down. So sweet.
    PRO: “Moves Like Jagger” / “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” – Artie sings, Mike and Will dance, and Blaine, Puck, & Finn sing = win.
    CON: Rachel’s “Without You” – didn’t work for me. Nice effort with the rearrangement, though.
    PRO: Santana’s reaction to “Without You.” I wish she wasn’t gay so she would be with me forever.
    PRO: Sue Sylvester is back . . . in a good way!
    CON: Will’s awful reaction to Finn’s military news. Instead of talking to him like a man (he IS your “best man” after all) to see how serious he is about it, he goes straight to his parents and the guidance counselor for an intervention.
    CON: More Brittany, please. And where is Santana living after her grandma booted her?
    CON: NeNe Leakes – funny lines, but really? NeNe freaking Leakes? Didn’t Trump fire her last year?
    PRO: The Will-Emma proposal. I hate that Rihanna song, but this was a great scene, even though I half-expected this to end in traditional “Glee” style with Emma saying “no.” Wish we saw more of the courtship, though – would have made the moment more, well, momentous.
    LINGERING QUESTIONS: Is LaMarcus Tinker on the way out already? Did Quinn and Shelby kill each other, or do they just no longer exist? Is that it for Artie and Becky? Are we supposed to still be rooting for Artie and Tina, or are Mike and Tina a done deal? Is this a good place to stop asking random questions that may or may not ever be answered?
    OVERALL: Solid episode. Came in pessimistically because over-hyped episodes tend to be let-downs, but this was good.

    • ACC says:

      I have to agree with pretty much every con or pro on your list. Especially liked the Becky stuff too, and this is the first episode in a long time that I have liked Artie. Also, I think Santana actually lives with her parents and just had a really close relationship with her g ma.

      • Rick says:

        Thanks! As for Santana, I always thought her stories were about growing up with her abuela in Lima Heights, but I could be wrong.

    • Haley says:

      “Santana wasn’t a lesbian.” Pretty sure that quote alone made me laugh harder than most episodes of Glee this season. Just because she hadn’t named it, didn’t mean she wasn’t.

      • Joshie says:

        It’s true, though. I’m pretty sure Santana wasn’t ever intended to be a lesbian until people commented on her chemistry with Brittany. Remember she was a maneater in Season 1 (and clearly enjoyed herself), then suddenly the writers made her a lesbian because people liked the Brittana makeouts cene.

        • Whaa says:

          This is very frustrating to hear people talk about. First, you can date guys in high school and still be gay. “NO” you say? Well, let me explain it. When you’re in high school it’s not so easy to come out, therefore you try to fit in and hide who you are. Actually, dating a lot of guys is a way of trying to prove yourself wrong, so it actually fits. Did you ever see Santana in love with a guy in season 1…?

          • Joshie says:

            I wasn’t commenting on homosexuality, so much as inconsistent writing on “Glee.” Santana was originally intended to be a straight, promiscuous cheerleader, as writer interviews way back when have indicated. The writers came up with the lesbian storyline due to chemistry between characters, not because it was part of the original plan for Santana.
            I get that you can be gay and not realize it, or not want to show it, but it was the writing I was talking about.

    • Sean C. says:

      “No way did all of those people “know” they were in love the first time they saw each of their loves. Mercedes was into Kurt”

      Mercedes’ crush on Kurt was nearly a season before she met Sam.

      “And where is Santana living after her grandma booted her?”

      She never lived with her grandmother; she lives with her parents.

      • kasey says:

        i think the point was that mercedes wasn’t interested in Sam when she first met him, so they’re really stretching things here.

  35. KSM says:

    They aren’t going to get married. But this isn’t as uncommon as some of you seem to think. High school kids are irrational, and everything seems like it is going to change your life. Especially in a small midwestern town where everyone is trying to get out and very few will.

  36. lauren says:

    just say yes rachel! just say yes!

  37. madhatter360 says:

    Funniest part of the episode, was during the Wemma proposal when Artie rolled into the pool and him wheelchair just bobs for a second.

  38. Mike says:

    I am a Finchel fan but she got to say no, they are too young. But they should still stay together.

  39. sky says:

    I have to say I loved everything about this epi. It was about all emotions of the heart. Every character was touched in some way.

  40. JW says:

    “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” was probably the best performance on this show, ever.

  41. Liz says:

    I loved the ep but didn’t anyone else notice Puck kissing Sam’s hand at the beginning of Summer Lovin and wonder wtf?

  42. Liz says:

    Can someone please finish the quote by Emma? It starts with “Can I promise you I’m gonna get better? No. This is what you get. This incomplete person with toothbrushes and with rubber gloves and with so much love for you” but there’s an end part that I’m looking for.

  43. Nate says:

    My biggest complaint is that there was, as has often been the case, too much crammed in to one episode. There were many good things (Helen Mirren’s voice-over being that of Becky, Sue’s actual (rather than contrived, as is often the case) warmth, and especially the all-too-rushed PTSD storyline) and many bad things (Kurt singing as “one of the girls” (again?) and Will using the glee club “assignment” for his own personal exploits), but this is stuff that could have been developed over the course of several episodes, even amidst glee club competition (which seemed to fall by the wayside this week). I also like that the show is trying to use more of its ensemble (in particular Becky, and even Sugar, as I think that she got more lines than Quinn and Puck this time), but I fear that these are more glimpses than sustained quality.

  44. Kosha says:

    Loved the episode – they addressed a lot of relationships in a healthy way and still managed to keep the perspective of the “age group” each person was in. I loved every musical number and especially loved that Rachel was the only one with dry hair at the end of the number in the pool! My six (nearly seven) year old son loves Moves Like Jager and sang along and danced to the number!

  45. jaime says:

    Is Heather Morris still on this show? Did she get demoted or something? Brittany hasn’t spoken or had anything to do half the season.

    • ACC says:

      I don’t know what is going on, but they really need to get her character back on track. Seriously,Heather Morris made season 2 great, and I had my hopes up with her being president, but we have not heard her speak since she was elected!

  46. Karen says:

    Not too sure about that proposal, Finn.
    But this episode really sealed the deal for me, that I desperately WANT Rachel and Finn to stay together. I have to say the kiss and moment they shared during and after ‘Without You’ was breathtaking, and truly showed how much they love each other. But as much as I believe in soulmates, I believe even moreso in timing, and marriage shouldn’t be in the cards for them right now. Here’s hoping they still stay together in the instance that Rachel says ‘no’.

    All in all, this episode was AHH-MAZING!!! Loved Helen Mirren/Becky (awesome casting for both parts), Artie, Sam and Will/Emma.
    The episodes are always way better when we get so many different stories in just one episode :)

  47. Kittie says:

    I spent most of the time cringing and facepalming, so I wouldn‘t exactly describe this as the “best episode in season 3“. I really loved Helen Mirren‘s voiceovers for Becky and Lea‘s solo was great (as long as I try to forget the scene that was attached to it). But that‘s about it.

  48. Kelly says:

    Kudos for Cory Monteith and his stellar acting on this episode. Give him more scenes like this! Cory has been getting great reviews and I love it!

  49. smh says:

    Some of you really don’t get it, do you. Do you seriously think the show is going the way of getting Finchel married? LMAO. They cooked up this storyline so that it will give conflict for their main couple, the two leads, without breaking them up. And Rachel is not going to remain in Lima, they’re not even letting Finn remain in Lima. That’s not the story they’ve been telling for the last two years. Read between the lines!

    Also I suspect they sneakily wanted to rile up some of the fans and get them talking throught the long hiatus, and I think they’re really succeeding based on some of the passionate responses I’ve seen on this site and others. You know Finchel is still the couple with the biggest storylines and the most screentime and that’s never gonna change.

  50. Julie W says:

    Did anyone else notice that Sam was wearing a Letterman jacket when Mercedes flashed back during “First Time…”?