Episode Recap: Glee S01E19 Dream On

Bryan Ryan holding the Show Choir Conversion Group (similar to an AA meeting)
Bryan Ryan holding the Show Choir Conversion Group (similar to an AA meeting) | Source

What's the matter Schuester, cat got your talent?

The episode started with Principal Figgins summoning Will into his office to introduce him to the newest member of the school board – Bryan Ryan (guest star Neil Patrick Harris). It turned out Will knew Bryan Ryan before. They were both in McKinley’s Glee Club back in their high school years and being two years older, Bryan always got all the solos as well as all the girls. Bryan was there to audit the arts program and was probably going to cut some programs, specifically the Glee club. He revealed that after graduation, he was living the dream as a performer on a cruise ship before he got addicted to crack and believed show choir was the reason his life turned out the way it was. He now ran a used-car dealership as well as regularly holding a show choir survival group (much like an AA meeting). Bryan wanted to talk to Will’s kids to make sure Will wasn’t building their hopes up.

In the glee practice room, Bryan asked all the kids to write down their biggest dream. Before they even finished, Bryan crumpled Artie’s piece of paper and tossed it in a trash, saying their dreams would never happen. He said that 91% of them would be stuck in the town and told them they were going to be disappointed. He then went on to say that most of their dreams probably involved show biz and that show biz dreams were the most unrealistic of them all. His rant made Tina cry and fed up, Will ordered him to leave. Bryan simply pointed to Will as an example of show biz dream failure and went on to say Will had just made his decision about which program to cut a lot easier.

In the library, Tina approached Artie and asked him what he wrote down on his piece of paper. He said that he wanted to make it big behind the camera but Tina knew he was lying. She had gone back and got his paper out of the trash can and it turned out Artie’s biggest dream was to become a dancer. Artie said it was a stupid idea because he was never going to become a dancer and his legs were never going to work again. Tina decided that since Will didn’t give them a Glee assignment for the week, they should do their own assignment – a dance number.

Rachel was practicing in the ballet room and spotted Jesse watching her. Jesse came back from his Spring Break trip and the two of them got back together. While together, Jesse pushed Rachel, asking her what was her biggest dream. When asked what she thought was missing when she lies awake at night, Rachel said “her mother.” She really wanted to know who her mother was but never asked her fathers because she didn’t want to hurt their feelings. Jesse suggested that they go and look for her mother’s identity behind their backs.

Meanwhile inside the Glee practice room, Artie and Tina practiced a tap dance routine (Artie had taps on his wheels). Then Artie borrowed a pair of crutches and tried to walk, with Tina’s support. However, after a few steps, Artie fell and embarrassed, asked Tina to go away, saying she pushed him to do this.

Rachel and Jesse looking through Rachel's baby stuff
Rachel and Jesse looking through Rachel's baby stuff | Source

Do you wanna hear my research that proves my mother is Bernadette Peters?

Over a couple of drinks in the bar, Will and Bryan took a trip down memory lane, with Bryan revealing that he used to have a crush on Terri, calling her “the one that got away.” Will, after choking on his drink, told Bryan he married her but things didn’t work out the music was what gave him the strength to walk away from that marriage. Bryan broke down and admitted that he had been living a lie and he was miserable ever since he stopped performing. To cheer him up, Will sang a duet with Bryan “Piano Man.” Afterwards, Will convinced Bryan to audition for the local production of “Les Miserables” on Friday night with him.

Rachel, meanwhile, was convinced that her biological mother was either Patti Lupone or Bernadette Peters, producing outrageous research on both women. Jesse asked her why was she so afraid to find out the truth, Rachel admitted that she didn’t want to find out her mother was either a teenage knock-up like Quinn or a loose woman who would do anything for money. Jesse suggested that perhaps, her mother gave her up for neither of those reasons and they should start looking in her house for clues.

Artie apologized to Tina for his previous behaviour. To cheer him up and provide him with new hope, Tina did some research online about current research on stem cells regenerating damaged spinal cords in rats. The two of them shared a kiss. The next day, the two of them went to a shopping centre to buy Artie a pair of tap shoes. While Tina was just about to go upstairs and get them a couple of pretzels, Artie told her that he went to the doctor and get started on the therapy Tina researched on, adding that the treatment was working. He then stood up and performed “Safety Dance” in the shopping centre. Then at the end of the song, Tina walked to Artie with the pretzels and it turned out the whole dance and walking bit was just in Artie’s head. Artie commented that he was going to dance one day and smiling, Tina said she knew he was.

Rummaging through boxes retrieved from the attic, Jesse and Rachel found all sorts of things like Rachel’s sonogram, her first trophy for a singing competition at 8 months and her baby teeth. While Rachel was preoccupied with one of the boxes, Jesse secretly slipped a tape into one of the boxes and pretended to discover it. It was apparently a tape from Rachel’s mother to her. But panicked, Rachel refused to listen to it.

Artie singing "Dream a Little Dream" with Mika and Tina dancing in the background.
Artie singing "Dream a Little Dream" with Mika and Tina dancing in the background. | Source

Dream a little dream of me

When both Will and Bryan turned up for the auditions, they found themselves fighting for the same role (the male lead) and they planned on singing the same song. The director, running short on time, made them sing it as a duet. So they sang “Dream On” with each trying to outshine the other.

Jesse was shown slipping into a car with Shelby, the director of Vocal Adrenaline, inside. It turned out Shelby was Rachel’s biological mother and this whole time, Jesse was in it for the acting experience. Shelby told Jesse that Rachel had to listen to the tape because Shelby signed a contract, agreeing not to contact Rachel until she was 18. She believed that once Rachel heard the tape, she won’t be able to sleep until she found Shelby.

Excited about show choir again, Bryan dipped into the Cheerios’ fund to pay for a lot of expensive costumes and sheet music for the Glee club. Just as he was handing them out, Sue walked in and announced that Will had just landed the lead role in “Les Miserables” while Bryan got one line in the second act “Hooray.” Disappointed once more, Bryan took back the gifts and said he was cutting the Glee club.

When Rachel returned home one day, she found Jesse in her room. Shocked, she didn’t have time to react when Jesse slipped the tape into the tape player. On the tape was Shelby singing “I dreamed a dream” and Rachel joining in, as if the two of them were together on the same stage.

Artie signed up for weekly counselling sessions with Emma to prepare himself for his lifestyle which will change dramatically once he starts treatment to start walking again. Emma looked at the research Artie had and told him that a testing process for medical protocols takes at least 10 years before they even start on human trials. Disappointed, Artie thanked Emma and left the room, leaving the research papers behind.

Will went to Bryan and told him that if he cut the Glee club, he’ll turn 13 stars into black holes, sucking light from their surroundings. Will offered to give Bryan the lead role because he was already a black hole and needed to be reminded what being a star felt like. Bryan agreed to not cut the Glee club.

Artie told Tina to perform their dance number with another guy in Glee, saying any of them (with the exception of Finn) would probably dance the dance better than him without even practicing. Tina said she wanted to dance it with Artie but Artie said it was okay for him not ever being able to dance, he needed to focus on dreams that he could make come true. The episode ended with Artie singing “Dream a Little Dream” with Tina and Mike doing the dance routine. 

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