Mercedes and Sam's relationship is explored further after their supposed 'summer fling' at the end of Season Two. Becky decides that she wants a boyfriend, having an eye for Artie. Emma really wants to get married, and to her surprise, Will decides to propose to her but needs help from the New Directions. He sets an assignment up to see what wedding song they can sing during the proposal. Finn is struggling as he wonders what he'll do about his future after the shocking discovery about his father.
Mercedes sits down to have lunch with the other girls in the glee club and Kurt, but Tina and a few others pressure Mercedes to finally tell them what happened with Sam over summer break. Mercedes relents and tells them that she and Sam spent a lot of time together at the lake and had a fling. The scene cuts to Sam and the rest of the guys in glee club sitting up in the bleachers, where they pressure him for more details. He leads the boys into Summer Nights, which intercuts with Mercedes performing with the girls and Kurt, recounting Sam and Mercedes' summer fling.
Becky decides that she needs a boyfriend, as told in voiceover (by guest star Helen Mirren). She explains that the reason she sounds like the Queen (Of England) is because in her mind, she sounds however she wants. Becky passes up Rory, Puck, and Mike before officially settling on Artie, who she feels she can connect with due to him also being handi-capable. Upon being told about Becky's new crush, Sue seems puzzled and she wonders what happened to Jason, the boy Becky took to prom and who also has Down Syndrome, to which Becky replies that he liked pizza and she liked hotdogs. Becky then says that she likes Artie now and asks Sue what she should do. Sue tells her that she could ask Artie out on a date, but she thinks she could do better.
Emma joins Shannon for lunch and makes a comment about her eating two chickens. Beiste explains that she is celebrating because she and Cooter eloped. She got the idea while in the Taco Bell drive thru on Christmas Eve. Sue and Shannon try talking Emma into taking the first step in moving forward with Will by asking him to marry her. Emma sings Wedding Bell Blues while reflecting on her relationship with Will. Her performance ends with her standing in front of Will and he asks if she asked him to marry her. Emma panics and tries to play it off, but not very smoothly. Will tells the kids in the glee club that he plans to propose to Emma and he wants them to help him come up with a great proposal number.
Sam tries to get Mercedes to give him another chance, but she shoots him down due to her dating Shane. Artie asks Sugar if she would like to work on Mr. Schue's project together, but she bluntly tells him that they would look weird together. Becky then approaches Artie and asks him out on a date.
Sam tries to get Coach Beiste to let him on the basketball team so he can score a letterman jacket and impress Mercedes, but she turns him down because all the teams are full and it wouldn't be fair to the others who've been practicing for months. Sam joins the synchronized swimming team and is comically insulted by his coach, Roz Washington, who makes fun of his lips and his apparently crooked nipples. After practice, Sam tells Finn that he joined, but Finn makes him be quiet because he'll be ridiculed. Sam is then slushied by the hockey team, who jokes that their slushies were synchronized. Mercedes tries to help clean him up, but is called away by Shane. As she walks away, Mercedes seems unhappy.
Artie brings Becky with him to the The April Rhodes Civic Pavilion on a "date" to watch him pitch his proposal idea to Mr. Schue. Artie and Mike convince Will to join in on Artie's idea. As Becky watches, Artie sings Moves Like Jagger/Jumpin' Jack Flash with Mike and Will dancing and Blaine, Puck, and Finn singing back-up. Will likes it, but remarks that working up a sweat on the song would trigger Emma's OCD.
Will and Finn so ring shopping for Emma's engagement ring, where Will asks Finn to be his best man. After Will convinces him, Finn asks him for advice with his future, suggesting he might join the Army like his father. Back in his office, Santana, Rachel, Mercedes, and Tina talk to Will about the first time he saw Emma. The girls sing The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, each reflecting on the very first time that they saw their respective loves. Mercedes leaves the stage and heads to the bathroom in tears. Tina comes in to check on her, followed by Santana and Rachel. Mercedes tearfully tells them that she didn't see Shane, she saw Sam. Rachel tells her to take it slow and listen to her heart.
Emma's parents come over to Will's house, where he asks for her hand in marriage, but her father says no. They convince Will that marrying Emma and having kids with her will push Emma over the edge with her OCD.
Meanwhile, the other kids in New Directions confront Artie about his date to Breadstix with Becky. Artie stands up for Becky and says that she gets him, is a great person, and is fun to be around. Artie then calls them out on their lack of acceptance towards her and commends Becky on her passion for life, despite what life has handed her. Artie then wheels himself out of the classroom, upset.
Will and Emma have called a meeting with Burt, Carole, and Finn in his classroom. Burt confronts Finn about his plans for the future and tells him he wants Finn to run the shop when he's off in DC because Kurt wouldn't be a good fit. Finn explains he wants to be a good man like his father. Carole is forced to tell Finn the truth about Finn's father, revealing she lied about his death. His father had broke and was dishonorably discharged, disappearing to Cincinnati due to a drug problem, and eventually dying of a drug overdose.
Becky hunts Artie down and tells him to meet her at her house on Friday, where they would "do it." She then tells Artie she sent him a taste of things to come. Artie reluctantly checks his phone, where he is shocked to discover that Becky sent him a nude photo. Artie takes the matter to Sue for advice. Sue tells him that he needs to remember that Becky just wants to be treated like everyone else and he needs to tell her the truth so that she can move on.
Will comes home to find Emma making an attempt to take down the Christmas tree, but she's barely accomplished anything at all due to having to obsessively clean and organize each ornament. Will tells her about his doubts for marriage, worried that a baby would make things too difficult for her with her OCD due to the fact that she can't control a baby. Emma tells him that she's taking her medicine every day and some days she has good days and some days she has bad days. Emma explains she'll attempt to get better, but with all the difficulties he gets with her, he also gets all her love for him and that he needs to be honest with her and himself.
While at BreadstiX with Finn, Rachel and Kurt obsess over whether they will get into NYADA. Kurt is sure he won't get in and gets depressed. Rachel also agrees that she won't due to Figgins suspending her for trying to rig the school election. When Finn reveals that he feels there's nothing in his life that feels special, Rachel begins to sing Without You. Halfway through the performance, in the choir room, Rachel imagines herself singing to just Finn. As Rachel's performance comes to an end, Finn stands up and kisses her. Artie pressures Will to make a decision on what song to use to propose, but Will says he just needs more time.
As Will watches Emma obsessively clean a coffee pot, Sam approaches him and tells him that he has an idea for the assignment. Will goes and gets Emma, leading her down the hallway as various students, Beiste, and Sue hand her white roses. Will and Emma walk toward the pool as New Directions performs We Found Love set to an elaborate synchronized swimming routine, with Artie floating in an inflatable chair. Towards the end, Will appears in a white tuxedo, joining in as he makes his way over to Emma. He asks her to marry him, and after stunned silence, Emma agrees as the glee club cheers them on.
Artie confronts Becky and tells her that he just wants to be friends. Becky is heartbroken, revealing through voice over that she feels it was due to her Down Syndrome. She comes to Sue for comfort, and Sue is there for her. She tries to cheer Becky up by telling her they are gonna eat ice cream, watch Lifetime and wait for Beaches to come on. Sue takes Becky's hand and tells her they are gonna get through it together.
Finn is upset about finding out that his dad died of a drug overdose but Rachel comforts him. Finn asks to talk to Rachel, making her promise not to say a word until he's done. He tells her he spent his life trying to be half the man his father was, but now he's afraid he'll end up like him. After a speech, Finn gets down on one knee and pullsout a ring he bought with his new credit card, and asks Rachel to marry him. Rachel is left stunned, not yet answering him.
|Song Title||Original Artist||Performer(s)|
|Summer Nights||Cast of Grease||New Directions|
|Wedding Bell Blues||Laura Nyro||Emma Pillsbury with Shannon Beiste and Sue Sylvester|
|Moves Like Jagger/Jumpin' Jack Flash||Maroon 5 feat.Christina Aguilera/The Rolling Stones||Artie Abrams with Will Schuester and New Directions Boys|
|The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face||Roberta Flack||Mercedes Jones, Rachel Berry, |
Santana Lopez, and Tina Cohen-Chang
|Without You||David Guetta feat. Usher||Rachel Berry|
|We Found Love||Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris||New Directions|
- Also Sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss. Background music heard during Sam joining the synchronized swimming team.
- Looking Back by Kerry Muzzey. Background music heard during Finn's proposal.
- Mike O'Malley as Burt Hummel
- Dot Marie Jones as Coach Beiste
- Romy Rosemont as Carole Hudson-Hummel
- Chord Overstreet as Sam Evans
- NeNe Leakes as Roz Washington
- Lauren Potter as Becky Jackson
- Damian McGinty as Rory Flanagan
- Vanessa Lengies as Sugar Motta
- LaMarcus Tinker as Shane Tinsley
- Don Most as Rusty Pillsbury
- Valerie Mahaffey as Rose Pillsbury
- Emma accepting Will's proposal makes it his second engagement and her third.
- Summer Nights was filmed at the same school Grease was filmed at, namely the "Venice High School" in Los Angeles.
- This episode showed the jewelry shop called "The Diamond Basement." This shop was supposed to be featured in the Christmas episode Extraordinary Merry Christmas, but due to time constraints they cut out the entire scene, alng with the performance of Santa Baby, which was performed in the jewelry shop.
- The Aqualillies, a Hollywood-based water ballet show team, appeared as members of the McKinley synchronized swimming team.
- Glee's "For Your Consideration" mailer for the 2012 Primetime Emmys is a pop-up card version of the We Found Love scene from this episode. Source
- This was one of three episodes submitted for the 2012 Primetime Emmys, the other two being Asian F and Hold on to Sixteen.
- Kurt is snapping at the waitress in this episode. Blaine later says in Dance with Somebody that he hates when Kurt does this.
- In this episode, Sue says that Becky's prom date in Prom Queen was called Jason, but in Prom Queen's credits it says his name is Jared.
- This episode was supposed to be named The Proposal, but for unknown reasons it was changed.
- Carole telling Finn that his father died of a drug problem is the same way Cory Monteith died a couple of years later.
- When Rachel and Finn kiss after Without You, Rachel moves her hand to Finn's neck. When the shot is cut to Santana, her arm is fully wrapped around his neck.
- In Funeral, Emma helps Will clean out his closet and she comes across a vest that she thinks needs to be given to charity. He tells her that it's the vest he was wearing the first time he met her, however in this episode it flashes back to the first time Will ever saw Emma and he is wearing a different vest.
Santana: Well, I think you totally nailed the assignment. Oh, wait, the assignment wasn't 'Make everything about Rachel Berry' was it?
Roz: Sam Evans? I'm Coach Roz Washington. And you are one strange looking kid. I've never seen lips like that on a white child, and one of your nipples is higher than the other. I bet you've had to overcome a lot with those crooked nipples. Well, I know a thing or two about overcoming. When I was growing up, they said that black folks couldn't swim. But I had a DREAM! that one day I would get to the promised land. So I swam out there and got my forty acres and a pool.
Rachel Berry, will you marry me?