What ever happened to the spark between Mercedes and good, ol' trout lips, Sam? Was it really just a summer romance? Or do they still long for each other, like Danny and Sandy in Greece. If nothing else, it's a good excuse for the Gleeks to re-enact the song "Summer Lovin'" from the popular musical-cum-movie starring Olivia Newton John and John Travolta.
Becky is also filled with longing…for a boyfriend. As she stalks the McKinley halls, we hear her inner-dialogue (as voiced by Helen Mirren) account for her hotness (she's a cheerleader, after all) as she keeps an eye out for her next romantic conquest. She settles on her handy-capable classmate, Artie.
In the teacher's lounge, Coach Beaste announces that she and Cooter got engaged. Sue takes the news well and congratulates her. But Beaste's impending nuptials makes Emma worry that Will doesn't want to marry her, else he would have asked by now. Sue scoffs and says it's the 21st-century and a woman should feel like she can do the asking.
Having overheard Emma's musings on the idea, Will decides it is indeed time to pop the question and takes the prospect to the New Directions. This week's assignment is to come up with the perfect pop-the-question song.
Artie says leave it to me, Mr. Schue and stages a mash-up of "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5 with "Jumping Jack Flash" by the Rolling Stones. Fun, but not very romantic.
Meanwhile, Sam tries to get Mercedes back, but she insists it was all just a summer fling and she's with her new man now. Sam thinks it's because her boyfriend is a football player and thinks he needs to re-attain his jock status in order to win Mercedes back. Beaste says it's too late to join any of the major teams, but there's room on the synchronized swim team. Sam goes for it and on his first day of practice gets a spirited lecture from the coach, played by NeNe Leakes of Real Housewives of Atlanta.
While Kurt and Rachel lament their diminished chances of ever getting into NYATA, Finn starts to wonder what he's going to do in life that's special. Later, he confides in Schue that he talked to a military recruiter, because he wants honor his father's war-hero legacy.
Becky is doing her damndest to get things to progress between her and Artie. On advice from Sue, she makes the first move and asks Artie out. Just wanting to be friends, Artie asks Becky to attend the mash-up performance he directs and stars in. But Becky wants more and insists on a dinner date at Breadstix. Reluctantly, Artie agrees.
With his newly acquired letterman jacket, Sam thinks he's back on his game. But no one is impressed by his position, as evidenced by the synchronized slushing delivered by two football players. The abuse does compel sympathy from Mercedes, who helps him wipe the slush off his face, until her boyfriend tells her to come along. As she walks off to class, she looks back at Sam with genuine feeling.
When the girls take their turn to show Mr. Schue how to ask a woman to marry him, they give an emotional performance of Roberta Flack's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face." Afterwards, Mercedes rushes out in tears, as she is overcome by her latent feelings for Sam. Her friends tell her that maybe she should give things with Sam another chance.
Just when it seems like Schue and Emma will finally take the trip down the aisle, Schue gets cold feet. He goes to Emma's unsupportive parents to ask for their permission and they both deny him, saying that their little "Freaky-deaky" is not marriage material. If she can't handle the smallest of messes, how is she going to handle being married or having children. Later, Schue tells Emma he's not sure they can make it work in the end. Emma's hurt but glad he was honest.
Amid his on-and-off plans to ask Emma to marry him, Schue organizes a meeting between Finn and his parents. Finn's mad that Schue told them his intentions to join the military, but his parents want him to know the truth about his father before he goes forward. Turns out Finn's dad died not a war hero, but a drug addicted vet with post-traumatic stress disorder. It was all too sad and heavy to tell him when he was little, so his mom concocted the war hero story.
Though it seems like Artie genuinely enjoys hanging out with Becky, he isn't really interested in her romantically. His friends, and even Sue, advise him to be honest with her. All she really wants is to be treated like everyone else. When Artie delivers the news to Becky, she takes it well. As she walks away, we hear her eloquent Helen Mirren inner-voice say that she knows Artie isn't interested in dating a girl with Downs Syndrome and that sometimes it's hard being her.
Will has a sudden change of heart and realizes he can't live without Emma and comes up with the perfect marriage-proposal idea. He enlists all of New Directions and the synchronized swim team to put on an extravaganza worthy of Esther Williams and set to Rihanna's "We Found Love." At the climax of the number, Schue, dressed in a white tux, dives into the pool, swims across it, and jumps out in front of Emma and asks her to marry him. She says yes, of course.
The dazzling display moves Finn to make his own proposal to Rachel, but the episode ends before she gives an answer.