Glee Season 3 Episode 10 ‘Yes/No’ Review/Recap: Yes! Yes!

Who needs a Valentines episode? Glee got the mush-making done in its spring semester launch with “Yes/No,” a show with more relationship issues, drama, heart-tugging,  meaningful moments and love songs than any formalized February event geared more to merchandizing than true love.

Was Yes/No one of Glee’s best episodes ever? If not, it was close.

But with so much happening, where do we start?

How about the end?

Finn’s surprise proposal to Rachel, for me, was no surprise by that point given the context. But though sweet, he did it all wrong. He made it about “saving me” instead of loving each other. He ignored Rachel’s Broadway dreams. He gave no plan at all, in fact. He was like Ben Braddock whisking away Elaine Robinson on a bus bound to — where? (Kids, look up The Graduate on Google and learn all about impetuous marrying impulses.)

Similarly, Becky’s play for Artie smacked of doom, though I loved Glee’s use of Dame Helen Mirren’s authoritative British voice in her head laying it out. Bravo! And Artie quickly got to see Becky’s view when he made a rebuffed play for a smugly “abled” Sugar.

Far better fates seem to await Will and Emma, and Sam and Mercedes.

Why Will would ask Emma’s hateful parents anything is beyond me. Waste of time. But the elaborate pool proposal with synchronized swimming was a retro treat, and Will’s words were eloquent and oh so romantic.

The Sam-Mercedes bit is harder to buy, though their shot-by-shot recreation — on the exact location — of Grease’s Summer Nights was a delight. If they reunite (not a big if), I figure it won’t be for the distance, but rather an extended version of the same fling thing they exulted about in song.

And let’s not forget Coach Beiste, whose post-Taco Bell elopement with recruiter Cooter lacked romantic delicacy, but hey, we’re talking Beiste here — gawd love her.

As for the music, it doesn’t get much better. And after so much Klaining of late, it was grand to wallow in some good old-fashioned boy-girl (or rather, girl-boy) balladry, led by Rachel’s soaring rendition of Without You, Emma’s cute if thinly sung Wedding Bell Blues (a ’60s 5th Dimension song which changed one letter, “Bill” to “Will”) (loved the royals-mocking bridesmaids) and especially Rachel, Mercedes, Tina and Santana’s tasteful, soulful singing The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.

What an arrangement — even if it was missing the second verse sung by Rachel in the full studio recording. And what a stirring performance for an achingly beautiful love song written by British folkie Ewan MacColl a half-century ago but not popularized until Roberta Flack hit big with it in ’72.

I just wish the telecast’s song had had more of Lea Michele.

Talk about her ego, her nose, her ambition, her red-carpet looks or whatever irrelevancies you want, but I prefer to embrace this: Lea Michele is the most sensational singing/acting talent to come along in many a moon. And that isn’t blind fanboy adoration. It’s a sober assessment by someone who’s seen it all, heard it all and learned to dismiss mere hype after covering show business as a journalist for three decades.

Lea Michele is the real deal, and we are more than fortunate to have her. We are blessed.

But back to business.

Rihanna’s We Found Love did the job for bouncy exuberance in Will’s big-splash proposal, but what the heck are those lyrics about? Yellow diamonds? Not getting it.

Yet for a show showcasing lovey-dovey doings, the night’s best number was an even more fun one: the mashup of Maroon 5’s Moves Like Jagger with (fleetingly) the Rolling Stones’  Jumping Jack Flash. I swear, Artie did as much dancing in his chair as an impressive Will and a rarely-spotlighted Mike did beside him — well done Kevin. Their performance  irresistibly bubbled with enthusiastic sass.

Thanks choreographer Zach Woodlee, music maestro Adams Anders and returning director Eric Stoltz. You guys have what it takes.

Now we only await Rachel’s answer to Finn’s marital question — which seems to be an inevitable “What’s the rush?”

But who knows? Glee’s mantra for Season 4 is that it will be “revolutionary,” so anything could happen.

We might even find love in a hopeless place.

— Bruce Westbrook

 

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