January 18, 2012

Episode Review: GLEE, "Yes/No"

"Yes/No" might have been the oddest episode of Glee that I've ever watched. Between the random musical numbers, the slightly inappropriate student/teacher relationships, the bombs dropped on characters and the tonal whiplash, this one was probably the messiest outing to date, but I found myself enjoying most of it.

Now, that Sam's back at McKinley he's determined to win Mercedes back, and he was willing to do anything in his power to do so. Taking a page out of Danny Zuko's playbook (in more ways than one), he figured that having a letterman's jacket was his ticket back in to Mercedes' heart, but there was only one team he could join this late: synchronized swimming. Cue some random coach who was only brought in to subvert stereotypes while also reinforcing them. Whether Trouty Mouth's plan worked has yet to be determined.

While I wasn't 100% on board with Sam's character last season, I've really enjoyed having him back, and I think Chord Overstreet's been able to inject some life back into the show. Yet, I wasn't too psyched that Sam was going to be paired up with Mercedes so quickly. I always felt that the hint about their relationship at the end of Season 2 was an example of the writers grasping at straws, and I really didn't buy them as a couple. I'm still not quite sold on Samcedes, but at least she's in love with something other than tater tots.

Love was in the air all over McKinley because we found out that Beiste eloped with Cooter which got Emma thinking about marriage. After a twitterpated induced song number, she let it slip to Will that she might be ready to take their relationship to the next level. Will was on board with proposing, and he even recruited New Directions to help him come up with some grand gesture, but his plans hit a bump in the road after he asked her parents for their permission and was denied. Their reluctance had to do with the fact that Emma's condition would prevent her from being able to be a mother due to the ickiness that comes along with babies. Apparently, Will had never thought of that before and started to have second thoughts. Of course, he came to his senses (thanks to a Rachel Berry solo), and he popped the question while his students floundered around in a swimming pool. Despite being subjected to the worst sychrnoized swimming routine since Martin Short and Harry Shearer, Emma said yes.

It seems like it's been forever since Will and Emma were given an actual storyline, and "Yes/No" proved that they're better in the background, although I did find some of their moments charming. As always, my biggest gripe had to do with Will. Once again, he had to come off as a jerk even though his hesistations about marrying Emma were valid. If he wants to have kids, and she's not able to manage her condition enough to have them, then he needs to re-evaluate the relationship. Now, obviously people with OCD can have children, so the whole argument was silly to begin with, but that's Glee for you. I just wish the writers didn't once again assassinate Will's character for the sake of plot.

All of this talk about the future got Finn thinking about what he wants to do after McKinley. Since his football career's pretty much over, and he doesn't have the chops to make it to NYADA, he decided that joining the Army was his calling. He felt that his father's service made him a great hero, and he wanted to follow in his footsteps. Unfortunately, his mom had been keeping a dark secret from him. As it turned out, Finn's dad didn't die in Iraq. He made it home but couldn't handle what happened to him over there, so he became a drug addict who died of an overdose. Understandably, Finn freaked out and wondered why he wasn't entitled to anything special since the one thing that he thought made him special was a lie. Once again, a Rachel Berry solo reminded him that he does have some good things going for him, i.e. his girlfriend, so he decided to propose to her even though she told him that she was not going to let a man distract her from her dreams.

Finn's story was a hard one to process. First, the revelation that his father's backstory was a complete lie was one of those shocking moments that could change this show forever. The thing is, I don't know if it was necessary. I get that sometimes parents lie to protect their kids, but turning Finn's dad from a war hero into a junkie felt particularly cruel. Also, the fact that his mother used it as a way to dissuade him from joining the military felt manipulative and in poor taste. While I can never see myself serving my country in that way, I respect those who do defend our interests, and it felt like the show was telling us that enlisting is wrong. I'm all for progressive messages, but this one felt heavy-handed. As for his proposal, we'll see where this goes but it could be a deal breaker.

Finally, for some reason Becky decided that she wanted a man and had her sights set on Artie. At first, he was hesitant to interact with her, but he eventually gave in and realized that she's a very sweet person. Instead of being happy for Artie (or even finding out what was going on), the rest of New Directions decided to have an intervention to convince him to stop hanging out with her. While it seemed like some were afraid of how she would affect his reputation, some didn't want her to be led on. Regardless, it was in poor taste no matter how they rationalized it. Thankfully, Artie saw through their good intentions and called them out on their crap.

I've never been a fan of Artie's, and it's still hard for me to take Becky seriously because her role on the show still has a token feel to it, but I was glad that he spoke up and called his teammates out on their hypocrisy. I don't think that this storyline was necessary or relevant to everything else that was going on, but at least he acted like a normal person.

On the Music Front: "Summer Nights" was fun and had me smiling. "Wedding Bell Blues" was cute. I didn't even know that the song the guys sang was a mash-up of "Move Like Jagger" and "Jumping Jack Flash," and it was OK. Will's dancing around in a black A-shirt was distracting though. "Without You" was also pretty good, and I'm glad that the four best singers got a part during "First Time I Ever Saw Your Face."

Other Odds and Ends:
  • I'm glad that they used the Grease theme throughout Sam and Mercedes' story.
  • Speaking of Grease, this was probably the most "musical"-y episode of Glee in a long time, and that's why I liked it as much as I did.
  • Yup, that's Dame Helen Mirren in Becky's head.
  • Here they go again trying to make Sue into a human being. They're just going to switch her back to full-cartoon mode, so I'm not going to let myself get hopeful.
  • I know that Will gets crap for being too open with his students, and him asking Finn to be his best man was a little odd, but the rest of the episode was so surreal that I just went with it. You kinda have to with Glee. Besides, I missed their bond.
  • Why do I get the feeling that I'm supposed to care about the person who played the swim coach?
  • I knew that Will Schuester's the Messiah!
  • I'm sure there were some great lines, but they're escaping me at this moment. Maybe I'll add some later.
On paper, I should have hated "Yes/No." It continued to make some of my favorite characters come off as jerks, it tried to cram way too many storylines into a small amount of space and most of it didn't make much sense. The crazy thing is, the fact that it felt so much like an actual musical convinced me to cut it some slack. Nonsensical things happen in musicals all the time, so why should Glee be any different? I'll probably like this episode less and less each time I watch it, but for now I thought it was decent enough.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Updates Via E-Mail