Episode PremiereJanuary 17, 2012
Show Period2009 - now
Production CompanyRyan Murphy Productions
Cast and Crew
- Matthew Morrison as Will Schuester
- Lea Michele as Rachel Berry
- Jane Lynch as Sue
- Chris Colfer as Kurt Hummel
- Naya Rivera as Santana Lopez
- Darren Criss as Blaine
- Kevin McHale as Artie Abrams
- Chord Overstreet as Sam Evans
- Jenna Ushkowitz as Tina Cohen-Chang
- Jacob Artist
- Becca Tobin
- Melissa Benoist
- Blake Jenner
- Alex Newell
- Cory Monteith as Finn Hudson
- Jayma Mays as Emma Pillsbury
- Dianna Agron as Quinn Fabray
As Mercedes and Sam separately recount the details of their summer fling for their friends, the talk quickly segues into a song-and-dance sequence, with the exes performing "Summer Nights" from "Grease."
We hear Becky's unexpectedly cultured-sounding inner monologue as she begins her day at McKinley (she sounds uncannily like Dame Judi Dench as she informs us, "If you're wondering why I sound like the Queen of England, it's my head and I can sound like anyone I want, so back off, haters"). The very selective Becky makes a survey of the young men of McKinley, bypassing the likes of Rory, Puck, and Mike before deciding that her new boyfriend will be Artie. She expresses her desire to Sue, who, while thinking that Becky can do better, advises her to ask Artie out on a date - the worst he can say is no.
Emma joins Coach Beiste for lunch in the teachers lounge and is surprised to hear the coach's revelation: She and football recruiter Cooter Menkins impulsively eloped after she confessed that she felt he was her soul mate. Sue, who'd been dating Cooter but hadn't heard from him in weeks, takes the news in stride, but it rattles Emma: she doesn't think Will wants to marry her. Sue scoffs and says that it's 2012, and if Emma wants to marry Will she should ask him herself.
Emma drifts into a fantasy musical number, singing Laura Nyro's "Wedding Bell Blues" (replacing "Bill" with "Will"). When she comes out of the fantasy sequence, she's standing in front of Will, who wants to know if she just asked him to marry her. Flustered, Emma denies it and dashes off. Energized, Will dashes into the choir room and announces to the glee club that he plans to propose to Emma and he's recruiting them to help him pull it off perfectly.
Meanwhile, Sam continues his pursuit of Mercedes, though she insists that she's happy with her boyfriend, Shane, and what happened between them, though enjoyable, was just a summer fling. At the same time, Artie makes a play for Sugar Motta, inviting her to work on a song with him. She declines, saying that because he's disabled and she is "abled," she doesn't want them to be ridiculed by the other students. Just then, Becky invites Artie out on a date.
Sam tells Coach Beiste that he wants to try out for the basketball team, even though tryouts have already come and gone. Sam wants a letterman jacket to impress Mercedes, and he wants to make it happen fast. The coach informs him that all the school's teams are full - except one, but she doesn't expect him to be interested. Sam is interested though, and he joins McKinley's synchronized swimming team, headed by the outspoken Olympic bronze medalist (for individual synchronized swimming) Coach Roz Washington, whose commanding presence nearly overwhelms him.
Finn thinks that Sam's membership in the synchronized swimming team and glee club is akin to a social death wish. As if to prove Finn's point, Sam then gets slushied by some football players just as he's approaching Mercedes, who's drawn away from comforting Sam by Shane.
Hoping to subvert any glee girls' attempts to make Will's proposal overly mushy, Artie wants to up Will's swagger by suggesting a proposal number built on Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger" with the Rolling Stones' "Jumpin' Jack Flash" mashed up in it. Will likes the premise but is afraid that the sweaty results might trigger Emma's germaphobia. Becky praises Artie's performance, but while he thought he could play off their date by inviting her to watch, she insists on a "part two": dinner at BreadStix.
Finn helps Will shop for an engagement ring, and Will reveals his nerves about getting into this relationship after his first failed marriage. Will asks Finn to be his best man, telling him that he's taught him more about being a man than anyone else. Finn reveals that he wants to do something special with his life, so he's made an appointment with a military recruiter to explore serving his country, "like my dad, but without the whole dying part."
The glee club girls try to help Will craft his proposal, prompting him to remember his first encounter with Emma. His impression inspires them to stage a number in which they sing Roberta Flack's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," and they each recall magical moments with the ones they love. Moved by the song, Mercedes is surprised to find herself thinking of Sam instead of Shane.
Will meets with Emma's parents to ask for their blessing, but they refuse. They warn him that marriage and children are messy, and with her issues Emma will not know how to deal with it.
Meanwhile, the glee club stages a "Becky-vention" for Artie after he was spotted having dinner with her and no one can figure out what he's up to. For his part, Artie enjoyed his dinner with Becky, pleased to find out how funny and charming she can be. He rejects their opinions, suggesting that despite their supposed celebration of differences, they're as narrow-minded as the rest of the school.
Another kind of intervention comes when Finn is confronted by Will; Emma; his mom, Carol, and stepdad Burt after Will felt obligated to bring them into the discussion. Burt reminds Finn of the offer he's made him: he'd like Finn to take over running the auto shop one day. Finn explains that he was hoping to honor his father, but they tell him that he doesn't have to prove that he has his dad in him - everyone already knows what kind of man he is. But Finn wants to be tested by walking in his footsteps.
Carol then reveals that Finn's father didn't die a hero's death in Iraq as he'd previously believed. Instead, problems with drugs after a dishonorable discharge and led to his death by overdose in Cincinnati. Finn is shaken and sick at the news, but Carol tries to tell him that his father was much more the last few weeks of his life. She intended to tell Finn when she thought he was ready, and he tells her that he wasn't ready to hear it now.
After Becky tries to excite Artie by sending him a provocative text, he turns to Sue for help. Sue asks if he enjoyed their date enough to want to go out with her again, and he admits that he doesn't. Sue offers a "radical idea": Artie should simply tell her the truth, because Becky just wants to be treated like everyone else.
Will and Emma have a serious discussion, during which Emma offers a pointed question: Does Will really want to be married to Emma? He answers honestly: he's worried that her condition and need for control may have serious repercussions on their relationship and any future children. Rattled, she explains that she's been doing the best she can to manage, with some days better than others, but Will worries that it all seems to be hopeless. Tearfully, she tells him that she is who she is, and he needs to be honest with her and himself about wanting to be with her - the sooner the better.
At BreadStix, Finn commiserates with Rachel and Kurt, who are worried that they've been passed over for admission to New York Academy for the Dramatic Arts. Finn is upset that he doesn't haven't something in his life that's special and meaningful. Rachel sings David Guetta's "Without You" to remind Finn - and Will and the glee club - that it's important that they get through things together. Then Sam approaches Will with what he thinks is the perfect idea for proposing to Emma.
As Emma contemplates a future of spinsterhood, Will approaches her and asks her to join him. He leads her down a hallway where students and faculty members each hand her a white rose as they enter the school's natatorium. Rachel leads New Directions in singing Rihanna's "We Found Love" as the glee club and the synchronized swimming team perform in the pool.
Suddenly Will appears, dressed in white tie and tails, walking across the top of the pool toward Emma. He dives into the water and emerges in front of her, telling her that she is the one. He professes his love for her and asks her to marry him, and she accepts.
Artie approaches Becky to tell her that he doesn't think they should continue to date. She asks him if it's because she's too intimidating, and he tells her yes. As she walks away, we hear her inner voice speaking again, saying that she didn't ask him if the real reason was because she has Down Syndrome - because she knew the answer was yes. "Some days it sucks being me," she reflects. "This is one of those days."
Becky tries not to let the other students see her cry, allowing herself to tear up once in Sue's office. Sue offers ice cream, Lifetime television, and holding her hand as a comfort, telling her, "You and I are going to get through this together."
Finn studies a photo of his father, telling Rachel how he used to try to find himself in his father's face when he was a boy. Finn recalls his nerves when he and Rachel first started dating, and he admits that he's nervous now. He's afraid of ending up like his father, or a high school hero-turned-zero. But he believes the thing that sets him apart is Rachel, and as long as he has her everything is going to be OK. Then Finn pulls out a ring, which he admits is not as impressive as Will's display, gets down on one knee, and asks Rachel to marry him.