Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 3, Episode 10 of Fox's "Glee," entitled, "Yes/No."
It's been a few weeks since we last caught up with the McKinley High glee club. In many ways, "Glee's" return episode, "Yes/No," was all about growing pains and life lessons. The kids -- and the adults -- are growing up, and so it's to be expected that some of that process is going to be bit awkward, or even uneasy, to watch.
We open with a straight-up theatrical moment ripped from the scenes of "Grease." Sam and Mercedes sing "Summer Nights," and dish to their friends about the ill-fated summer romance that neither of them can forget. Frankly, Sugar makes a perfect Frenchie. Is it me or are the writers turning Sugar into Brittany 2.0?
Then we finally get to see -- or hear -- Dame Helen Mirren's voice. She is, of course, Becky's inner voice, and we learn that the Cheerio captain has her sights set on Artie, who just so happens to have his sights set on Sugar, the girl with self-diagnosed Aspergers who makes an excellent Frenchie. Obviously, Becky goes to Sue for relationship advice.
Meanwhile, Sam is on a quest to receive a coveted McKinley High Letterman jacket. You see, using only logic that Sam himself could understand, he thinks that if he gets himself a Letterman jacket, he'll then get himself Mercedes.
Excuse me for thinking this, but regardless of plot, any storyline that involves seeing Chord Overstreet half-naked is semi-okay in my books. A football quarterback undressing in the locker room? Great! A male stripper named White Chocolate? Wonderful! A synchronized swimmer? Perfect! And now Trouty Mouth is more than just a cruel nickname: It's a Letterman legacy.
But let's be real. Having Sam join the synchronized swim team not only brought us some much-needed shirtless moments, it also brought us NeNe Leakes in her scripted small screen debut. Honestly, say what you want about this "Real Housewife of Atlanta," but she actually wasn't that bad as McKinley's no-nonsense swim coach.
In fact, there's a life lesson to be learned here kids: Don't pee in NeNe's pool, or she'll kill you. Actually, don't pee in any pool. It's just nasty.
So Sam thinks swimming is sexy, and Finn thinks being on the synchronized swim team is like wearing the scarlet letter. It turns out that being in both glee club and synchronized swim means that you get double the slushie facial.
Side note: Can someone please tell me why that red-headed hockey player is the coolest kid in McKinley? He's ugly, and I'm confused.
Back on the proposal front, Artie and Mike Chang tell Mr. Schue that he has sexy, Mick Jagger hips. This is obviously where the "Moves Like Jagger/Jumpin' Jack Flash" mashup starts. Obviously, if Will is going to propose to Emma, he needs moves like Jagger... and that super shiny red scarf!
Unfortunately for Will, Emma hates sweat ... and dirt ... and intimacy. Wow, if "Glee" took itself even a bit seriously, I would say that Will is totally pulling a Kim Kardashian right now, rushing into something a little too quickly. I mean, shouldn't Emma work out her issues first?
Unfortunately for Artie, Becky isn't taking no for an answer in terms of that date.
When it comes time to pick out the perfect engagement ring, Will couldn't think of anyone better to bring along than Finn. Seriously, he really couldn't think of anyone better. Will and Finn must share some sort of connection because the next thing we know, he asks Finn to be his best man. Say what?
Does Will have any friends? And does he know that he's inviting a bunch of potentially horny teenagers to his bachelor party? Doesn't this break some sort of law? I just have so many questions.
But Will wasn't the only one dropping bombs. Finn tells Will that he's meeting with an Army recruiter. You know, Finn wants to be like his dad. Well, not exactly like his dad because his dad died, and Finn doesn't want to die. Something tells me that Rachel isn't going to like this plan, especially after the way she poured her heart out in "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face."
Whether you're a Finchel, a Brittana, a Team Asian or even a Samcedes shipper, there was a little something for everyone in that sappy montage. It even brought Mercedes to tears -- and that's never a good sign.
Back in the choir room, the glee club holds a Beckintervention for Artie. Did they learn nothing from that Lady Gaga episode?
Meanwhile, Finn faces an intervention of his own. Will calls Finn's mom and Burt to tell them about Finn's plan to join the Army and be a soldier like his dad. The only catch? We finally learn the truth behind his dad's death: He didn't die in action. In fact, he was dishonorably discharged because he had a drug problem, and he died of a drug overdose in Cincinnati.
Needless to say, Finn is upset.
Down another corridor at McKinley, Becky's inner voice is back -- and she's sexting. Yes, sexting. Where does Becky learn her flirting skills from, "Jersey Shore"? Artie freaks and goes to Sue, who essentially tells him that he just needs to talk to Becky. Of course, she throws a few zingers at him, but ultimately, I like the Sue Sylvester in this episode. She's helping, not hindering the plot, which means that her one-liners are more like added treats rather than overdone cliches.
On the proposal front, things aren't looking too happily-ever-after for Will and Emma. Of course, Will's chat with Emma's ginger supremacist parents didn't help matters, but Will finally confronts Emma about her problems. She promises that she can change, but he's not so sure, and honestly, I'm bored with this plot.
So let's focus on the kids! The McKinley High seniors are all sulking at Breadsticks. Rachel and Kurt are both upset because they think that their N.Y.A.D.A. dreams are crushed and Finn is still wrapping his head around the fact that his dad, who he idolized for 18 years, was a drug addict.
This obviously means that it's time for one of Rachel's overly-produced solos! Cue a slow-tempo version of Usher's "Without You," which ultimately resulted in Finchel, Klaine and Brittana moments.
But when it comes down to deciding what song to chose for his proposal, what does Will decide? Like you even needed to guess because when it comes to life's toughest situations, here are a few words of wisdom: Always go with Rihanna.
It's true. Not only does she make every song better, but add roses and synchronized swimmers and you have one epic proposal. Also, what I wouldn't give to have Darren Criss float by me on a raft during my proposal ... seriously.
However, I could have done without the whole "Will walking on water" bit. I mean, was that really necessary?
Side note: Once again Sam Evans saves the day. Why is he so perfect?!
While Will's was easily the most grandiose, the most shocking proposal of the night came from Finn, who applied for his first credit card to buy Rachel an engagement ring. Yes, he's asks her to marry him. But of course, we won't know Rachel's answer until next week.
This episode made me realize something. Lea Michele does not, in fact, do the most annoying lip-synching on "Glee." Sure, she makes some pretty ugly faces while hitting that falcetto, but nothing can be worse than the faces Damian McGinty pulled during that "Summer Nights'" opening.
"Yes/No" also made me root for Becky. However, that might have had something to do with her inner voice being Dame Helen Mirren. But that ending? I mean, bring on the tears. For once, I'm happy Sue had as much screen time as she did in this episode. Who else could Becky turn to after being dumped by Artie? Everyone needs a good girlfriend, one to eat ice cream and watch "Beaches" with. That's just a fact of life.
Best bit of the night? Becky's inner monologue: "You may be wondering why I sound like the Queen of England. In my mind, I can sound like whoever I want, so lay off haters. I could easily snag any dude east of the Mississippi. For instance, Rory grins too much. He looks like an insane person. Is that a mohawk, Puckerman, or did someone glue a squirrel to your head? No Chang do, I'm no rice queen. [Looking at Artie.] Now that's more like it. Sweet, sexy and handicapable, with a voice as velvety as my favorite church dress. Artie Abrams, you're my new boyfriend."
Redneck line of the night: "So there we were. It was Christmas Eve, and we were at the Taco Bell, and I looked Cooter right in the eye, and said, 'Coots, I think you're my soulmate.'" -Coach Bieste
Most swoon-worthy: "You're telling me that thinking about that Tilt-A-Whirl at the carnival doesn't make you smile?" -Sam
The line that probably made Anderson Cooper giggle: "I bet you had to overcome a lot with those crooked nipples." -Coach Roz Washington
Who said Artie was modest?: "I invited you here so that you can see my sexy, which you obviously did."
Excuse me, Finn, but it's actually three months salary: "According to Rachel, you should spend two months salary on the ring. Or is it two weeks? I zone out when girls talk about this stuff."
Biggest WTF?! moment: "Finn, I want you to be my best man." -Will
A little bit of foreshadowing: "Son, marriage is messy, and if there's one thing Emma can't do, it's a mess." -Emma' ginger supremacist father to Will
The I-shouldn't-laugh-but-I-am line: "My mom says I have Get Down Syndrome." -Becky
Sue's best one-liner: "Stop buttoning your shirts up all of the way like a demented 90-year-old. You look like you're auditioning for your nursing home's stage production of 'Awakenings.'"
The line that makes you want to go, 'Awwww': "Love is messy."
Follow Crystal Bell on Twitter: www.twitter.com/newyorkbell