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Glee: Dream On

Spoiler Alert!


Last night was another feel-good episode.  Okay, so Artie's storyline wasn't that happy, but as someone who pretty much relate to this character, I can tell you he'll be okay.  At least he has Tina.  Neil Patrick Harris guest starred as Bryan Ryan, former rival to Will Schuester when they were in the glee club together.  And, in a coincidence that I don't think was entirely a coincidence, he guest starred in the episode in which Rachel began looking for her mother (as in "How I Met [My] Mother," with a twist of Glee).  Oh...and the episode was directed by none other than Joss Whedon.

So, here's what happened on Glee...

Figgins' Office
Figgins asked Will come to meet a new school board member who is reviewing the school budget.  It turns out to be Bryan Ryan, Will's competition for solos when he was in glee club.  Will, in voice over, bitterly reflects on their glee club days while we see a hilarious flashback with Bryan singing "Daydream Believer" in a Doogie Howser-style mullet all the gleeks of that time wearing almost clownish clothes and hairstyles.  It was pretty funny. 

Bryan has become bitter and is set on cutting the glee club entirely from the budget.  He hit big as " a featured soloist at King's Island in the Doodledie-Doo Musical Review."  Then he played the cruise ship circuit for three years, but that dried up.  He became a crack addict, but then he "was introduced to Jesus," his Honduran social worker.  Now, he conducts "Show Choir Conversion" group therapy sessions to help people break their addiction to singing show tunes " because "show choir kills."  He wants to talk to the current glee club members to make sure they're not getting their hopes to set on a life in show business.

Practice Room
Will introduces Bryan to the gleeks but cautions them that his opinion is just one of many.  Bryan takes the floor and asks them to write down their biggest dream, one that they're afraid to admit to themselves.  Rachel writes "big star."  Puck writes "3 some."  Quinn writes "no stretch marks."  Bryan rips Artie's paper from his notebook and throws it into the trash.  He starts his rant about how their dreams will never come true unless it was "to work for a mid-market health insurance provider or find an entry-level job in an elderly care facility."  He tells them show business dreams are the most unrealistic of all dreams.  When Tina protests, he says he's just trying to spare them disappointment.  Will tries to stop him, but Bryan just uses him as an example.  Will was going to be a star one day, but instead he's just trying to live vicariously through them.  Tina's crying by now, and Will really puts a stop to it and tells him to leave.  Bryan leaves but says that Will's disrespect made his decision to cut glee club easier.

School Library
Artie is trying to reach a book on a shelf that's just a little too high, and Tina comes along and pulls the book down for him.  He thanks her.  She notices the book is by a French New Wave director so she tells him that since he'll never be a performer, he's thinking about becoming a director instead.  After all, Christopher Reeve directed a movie after his accident so why not?  Tina asks him if that was the dream he wrote on his paper, and he lies and says yes.  She knows he's lying because she went back and his paper out of the trash.  She asks him why he's always talking about "getting with" her but is not honest with her.  He tells her that he still a guy so, basically, he's a little superficial.  But, he also says that his dream, to become a dancer, will never happen, so why pursue it?  Of course, Tina doesn't like that answer so she asks him to do a dance number with her since Will hadn't given them an assignment for the week.  He agrees.

Dance Studio
Rachel is practicing a ballet routine from Oklahoma when Jesse appears.  He asks her what she was practicing, and she gives a Rachel Berry-style answer.  The dream that she has is to play the title roles in Evita and Funny Girl, and Laurie in Oklahoma.  She was practicing the latter's big dance number.  Jesse tells her that that isn't a dream.  "Singing 'Don't Cry for Me Argentina' in front of a sold out crowd isn't a fantasy.  It's an inevitability."  He says a dream is the one thing that would make every hurt in one's life go away.  She hugs him desperately, and he's got her back.  As they leave the studio, he asks her again what her dream was.  He prods her to think because he'll do everything he can to make it happen.  When he asks what's missing from her life, she simply says, "my mom."  She almost looks surprised that she said it.  She says she'd just like to know who she is.  She doesn't even really have to meet her.  She never asked her dads about her because she didn't want to hurt them.  Jesse suggests that look for her without telling them because he wants to make all her dreams come true.

Practice Room
Tina is tap dancing while Artie waits for his cue to basically move around a clack is wheels on the floor.  He stops the music and says it sucks.  Tina says it sound good, but Artie says only she sounded good.  He asks her to bring him some braces that are leaning against a speaker.  He's borrowed them from a kid with Cerebral Palsy.  He wants to try to dance with them using his "superhuman upper body strength" (believe me, you don't get that from using a wheelchair).  He succeeds in standing on them, but as soon as he tries to move, he falls.  Tina tries to help him, but he just tells her to leave him alone, blaming her for pushing him to try something he couldn't do.  So, she brings his chair closer to him and leaves.

Home Ec Room
Will finds Bryan in the lab trying to figure out how to expand the home economics program.  "You can't feed a child sheet music, Will.  Anyway, I suppose you could for awhile, but he'd be dead in a month."  Will offers to buy Bryan a beer.  He wants to try to convince him not to cut glee club.  Bryan doesn't think it's possible but seems to agree for old times sake.

Commercial break

Jesse is studying when Rachel approaches announcing she has found her mother.  It's Patti LuPone.  Rachel has always had a connection with Ms. LuPone because of her choices in roles, and so she did the math.  Ms. LuPone was doing a traveling show with Mandy Patinkin in 1994, the year Rachel was born.  They were in Akron, OH 9 months before Rachel's birth in December.  Jesse exposes the absurdity of theory by painting a picture of Rachel's dads impregnating Patti LuPone in the Marriott in Akron.  "Was Mandy Patinkin in on it?"  She sees his point, and asks if he'd like to hear her reason for believing that Bernadette Peters is her mother.  He wouldn't.

He asks why she doesn't want to know the truth, and she says she doesn't want her mother to "turn out to be a teenage trollope like Quinn or, worse, some skanky girl who'd do anything for money, including giving me up."  Jesse says maybe her mother had a good reason for what she did.  He says they need to do a real investigation and find out the truth.  Rachel says there are boxes of mementos of her early life in her basement:  "It's sort of a little Rachel Berry museum."  They should start there.

Bar somewhere in Lima, OH
Will and Bryan are drinking beer, and Will is reminiscing about how Bryan was such a big deal at McKinley.  All the girls wanted him, and all the guys wanted to be him.  Bryan says there was one girl who didn't want him.  When he says who it was, Will chokes.  The one girl Bryan couldn't get was Terri Delmonico.  Yes, that Terri.  Will tells Bryan that they married but "they grew apart," which I suppose is a very simplified version of the truth.  He tells Bryan the reason he had the courage to move on from his marriage was the glee club.  He says glee club is "about expressing yourself to yourself."  Bryan drops his head to the bar, not because of the cheesy line but because it actually hit home.  He confesses that he misses performing.  He sneaks away three times a year to New York to see a bunch of Broadway shows.  He has a bunch of Playbills hidden away in his basement "like porn."  It seems to Will like it's a good time for a song ("Dream Weaver" has been playing the background).  So, he starts Billy Joel's "Piano Man" on the jukebox.  He encourages Bryan to sing along (he sang it at Sectionals in 1992).  Will starts to give him a boost, and when Bryan joins in, they're both inspired.  Will tells Bryan about a production of Les Mis at the local community theater.  They both decide to audition, and Bryan hugs Will.

Commercial Break

School Parking Lot
Tina flags down Artie and, after apologies are made, tells him about some experimental treatments for spinal injuries that may eventually result in restoring movement in his legs.  She thinks he can again one day.  They kiss bathed in sunlight.

Rachel's Bedroom
Rachel enters carrying two boxes from her "creepy and flattering at the same time" basement shrine.  They're the boxes with the earliest dates.  They find her baby teeth, a sonogram ("It looks like you.  I think you're in fifth position"), and her first singing trophy from when she was eight months old.  When Rachel isn't looking, Jesse sneaks a cassette tape into the box he's looking through.  A few seconds later, he pretends to find it.  It's labeled, "From Mother to Daughter."  He grabs it from Rachel to play it, but she stops him.  She's just not ready, and, besides, "What if she's singing on the tape.  What if she's terrible, or, worse, what if she's better than me?"  She asks Jesse to leave.

Lima Guild Theater
Auditions are in progress.  Will is warming up his voice.  He's going to audition for Jean Valjean, the lead.  Bryan approaches and announces that he, too, is planning on playing that role.  They get into another argument.  Will was going to sing "The Impossible Dream," but when Bryan quickly decides he was going to sing that, Will changes his mind and says he's going to sing Aerosmith's "Dream On."  Of course, Bryan changed his mind, too..  The director interrupts them and says they'll sing a duet, mostly because he has to get back to his actual job in less than 30 minutes.  They do.  It's angry and impassioned, but the director seems unimpressed.

Commercial break

Lima, OH Mall
Artie has just bought tap shoes.  Tina is pushing him, and she asks him if he wants a pretzel.  They're upstairs so she volunteers to go get them.  He agrees if she's buying, but before she goes he says there's something he wants to say.  He tells her that he's started the therapies she had researched, and they're working.  He steps out of the chair and stands up.  Cue the dance number, including all the dancing gleeks (Brittany, Matt, Mike, Mercedes, and of course Artie dancing as if he never had an injury).  Of course, it's all just a daydream, and when it's finished he's all alone waiting for Tina to come back with their pretzels.  He's optimistic.

Sue Sylvester's Office
Sue is expressing her disappointment in Bryan Ryan for not cutting the glee club.  He informs her that he's had a change of heart, and her Cheerios income isn't enough to offset its costs.  When she complains that athletics always take a back seat to the arts, he recites several reasons why the arts help make a well-rounded academic career.  She counters with obesity statistics.   He's turned on by her speech.  She is too, and she invites him to her Letterman-like secret room upstairs,

Commercial break

Parked Car belonging to Shelby Corcoran
Jesse gets into the car and informs Miss Corcoran, director Vocal Adrenaline, that he has given Rachel the tape.  But, she won't listen to it.  It seems that this is the whole purpose of Jesse's mission for Miss Corcoran.  She is Rachel's mother (Idina Menzel really does look like an older version of Lea Michele), and all she wants is to meet her.  She thinks that if Rachel hears the tape, she'll look for her and find her.  Jesse had started out thinking this was a good acting exercise, but he kind of likes her now.  Of course, Miss Corcoran had only asked him to become Rachel's friend.  Jesse had taken it a step further.  So, maybe he's not gay, but maybe that's part of the acting exercise.  Anyway, Shelby, per the contract she signed in exchange for enough money to live in New York for two years, can't contact Rachel until she's 18, but she wants Rachel to contact her.  She just wants to meet her.  Her only regret was not the failed acting career but that she didn't get to know her baby girl.  It seems to me that this means that New Directions and Vocal Adrenaline will actually compete on fair terms at Regionals (unless Sue has something up her sleeve).  I think that'll be a welcome switch from Sectionals.  I liked that storyline, but it'll be interesting to see how they do up against each other fair and square.

Emma's Office
Artie has come to talk to Emma about setting up sessions with her because he's going to start the experimental therapies, and he wants her help in adjusting to his new abilities when they come.  She tries to let him down easy because she realizes that even if the therapies work, they'll take a long time to even get to the human testing stage.  Artie leaves her office resigned to the fact that he has to find a new dream.

Practice Room
Bryan is enthusiastically opening a box filled with new costumes for the glee club.  He has siphoned off funds from the Cheerios and increased their budget.  Everyone's happy until Sue enters and informs them that Will got the lead in Les Mis over Bryan.  Bryan gets a bit part with one line ("hooray"), and his dream is crushed once again.  He takes back the show choir supplies, and storms out but not before he says he's cutting the glee club.

Commercial break

Lima Guild Theater
Bryan is practicing his one line when Will enters and tries one last time to convince him not to cut glee club.  He turns Bryan's argument that their won't come true on him by saying that if the club is cut, they'll turn out like him.  Bryan is insulted so Will tries another tact.  He gives up his lead role if Bryan won't cut the glee club.  He agrees.

Rachel's Bedroom
She enters from her bathroom to find Jesse there.  She's surprised, and he forces her to listen to the tape.  The tape is of Shelby Corcoran (Rachel doesn't appear to know who it is) explaining that she's Rachel's mother.  She sings "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Mis (not Susan Boyle).  Of course, it turns into a duet.  Rachel is determined to find her mother.

School Hallway
Tina is encouraging Artie, again, not to give up.  He tells her that he's okay with his decision to put aside his dream to dance.  He asks her to find another dance partner for her number so she agrees.  He agrees to at least sing the song.

Practice Room
Will announces that the glee club is not being cut, and when pushed he admits it's because he gave up his part.  The gleeks are once again surprised and grateful that he sacrificed for them.  He tells them that his place is to help them live their dreams.  To me, this seemed almost too over-the-top but not really.  The world does need teachers and competent ones so these seems believable.

He calls Tina forward for her song and dance number.  She chooses Mike Chang has her dance partner, and Artie sings while they dance to "Dream a Little Dream of Me,"  The other gleeks sing backup, and Quinn, in another small step in her reinvention, pats Artie on the shoulder when he looks a little sad.

This was another episode light on the Sue so again no quote recap for her.

Favorite Line
Artie:  The fact is any of the guys in there could dance my part better than me without even rehearsing...well, except Finn.

I forgot the music recap last week....oops!  It was really good too.

Music Recap
"Piano Man" by Billy Joel--This isn't officially a Glee performance, I guess since the original Billy Joel version was playing in the background, but I thought Matt Morrison and Neil Patrick Harris (NPH) did a good job with this.

"Dream On" by Aerosmith--Officially, this was the only duet between Matt Morrison and NPH, and they did a great job.  NPH can really belt the high notes.  He may not be as good as Matt, but he's good.

"The Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats--This was mostly about the miraculous dancing, but Kevin McHale can sing (he has a previous life as part of a boy band).  I guess the casual Glee fan (Is there such a thing?) may not have known that Kevin McHale is not actually disabled so this put that question to rest.

"I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables--What can you say about a duet sung by Idina Menzel (Wicked, Rent) and Lea Michele?  Simply amazing.

"Dream a Little Dream of Me" by Mama Cass--I really thought this was a good ending song for this episode.  The dance was fun, and, again, Kevin McHale can sing.
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