In another inexplicable move, Schue asks Emma's frankly awful parents for their blessing to marry their daughter, and they flatly refuse, then plant ideas in his head that a marriage with Emma wouldn't be good because of her OCD. When Emma opens herself up to Will about the possibility of marriage later, Will proves he let this get to him and hedges on if the stress of marriage and eventual children would sit well with Emma. She offers that Schue figure out what he really wants, and fast. And fast he does! With the help of the club and Sam's new synchronized swimming skill, they orchestrate an over the top proposal to Rihanna's "We Found Love" in the school pool, complete with matching outfits, underwater moves, and a see-through platform so Schue, dolled up in an all white tux, can walk on water before diving in and emerging in front of Emma to give an overlong proposal monologue while the club treads water rapt at his feet. It's the kind of insane, weird, "Glee" moment that goes all the way around of "I don't get it" to "I love it."
The final, potential shocker storyline this episode is Finn's. When he goes wedding ring shopping with Will (who asks him to be his best man… doesn't Mr. Schue have adult friends?) he admits that he met with a recruiter and is considering enlisting in the army. Schue immediately betrays his trust and brings in Burt and Carol to talk to Finn about his choices. While they aren't completely unsupportive of his wishes, Burt does note that he'd like Finn to take over the tire shop instead of enlisting, if he's interested. Finn keeps pushing that he wants to join the army to honor his father, who he believes died a war hero. Carol breaks down and admits truth -- his father came back from the Gulf war with PTSD, was a drug addicted who wandered off and overdosed in Cincinnati when Finn was a baby. This completely breaks Finn, who is angry for the betrayal of the lifelong lie, and angry for his shattered hopes about a proud life post high school.
He, Rachel and Kurt sit at Breadstixx and bemoan the approach of the real world and their unsure futures. As Finn complains about not having anything special in his life, Rachel begins to sing "Without You," transitioning from the table setting to the choir room, and then again to an imagined reality where it's just her and Finn alone in the room before the lights come back and the whole Glee club is there. This is also not the route Schue want to go, and so after the Rihanna proposal we get Rachel and Finn in the auditorium, a mirror of their first "date" as Finn sits her down and explain that he doesn't want to end up like his father, and wants to hang on to the one good thing that makes him feel like he has hope: Rachel. So he's opened up his first ever credit card to buy a ring and ask Rachel to marry him. "Glee" then ends with their new-found favorite trick, a suspenseful cut-to-black before Rachel can answer, although her face reads like a big fat "No."
Where "Glee" missteps in trying too hard, and trying to fit two completely different kinds of episodes into one. The heightened reality aspects of "Yes/No" remind of Season 1's greatness, and the very special episode aspects (ability and special needs impacting relationships and the idea of dashed expectations about your heroes) feel more like Season 2's high points, but together in Season 3 they make off-center and off-putting television. We can only hope in two weeks when Glee takes on Michael Jackson that they find a way back to balanced and good TV.