‘Glee’ Recap: Episode 19, ‘Dream On’

Joss Whedon, can you direct “Glee” every week? Hey, a Gleek can dream, can’t she?! That was, after all, the theme of last night’s episode. When Mr. Schuester’s old high school rival Bryan Ryan (guest star Neil Patrick Harris) showed up as the newest member of the school board, he becomes one of an increasingly long list of people insistent on taking the glee club down. Turns out, Will and Bryan made each other’s lives hell (in one scene, which I wish had gone on for far longer, we see a Cosby sweater-clad Bryan doing magic, singing The Monkees and busting on Will) in high school and as it turns out, neither men “made it” to the big time.

Now Bryan, bitter from not becoming the star he set out to be, is out to spread the word that “Show Choir Kills.” He meets with the wide-eyed hopefuls that are New Directions and asks them to take out a piece of paper and write their dreams on it. He promptly, and not-so-metaphorically, tosses them in the trash.

Of course, Will sees through Bryan’s act and digs a little deeper to find out that his old enemy just misses the spotlight. The two engage in what is, by far, “Glee’s” most realistic musical number (people actually do sing in bars) when they belt out a few lines from Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”. But, nothing even came close to the amount of awesome (Barney Stinson shout-out!) when the two vocally dueled while trying out for a local production of “Les Miserables.”

It was hard to figure out who sounded more like a rock star during their duet of Aerosmith’s “Dream On,” but Will wound up getting the part. That didn’t sit well with Bryan (who fired off a few Sue Sylvester-esque zingers at Will, such as “I’ve grown weary of your insults Will, they sting and they make me want to punch you in the face”) and he threatened to not only cut the glee club’s funding, but the Cheerios as well. Will sacrificed his role in the play to ensure that didn’t happen, while Sue, well, let’s just say she and Bryan negotiated.

Artie in particular took Bryan’s threat that dreams don’t come true to heart. As his girlfriend Tina discovered, Artie, though bound to a wheelchair and told by doctor’s that he’ll never walk again, dreams of being a dancer. She urged him to try dancing (he does, to no avail with forearm crutches) and seek new physical therapies. Between his dream sequence of Men Without Hats’ synth pop hit “Safety Dance” to the show-ending, heartbreaking take on Mama Cass’ “Dream A Little Dream Of Me,” Kevin McHale proved he was a forced to be reckoned with.

While we all know how much Rachel dreams of the spotlight, we found out after much prodding from her on-again boyfriend Jesse that what she really yearns for, is to find out who her birth mother is. Turns out, that’s the very reason Jesse has been planted there in the first place! As many of you speculated, Vocal Adrenaline coach Shelby Corcoran (Idina Menzel) is really Rachel’s mom! But, because of laws, she cannot contact her until she is an adult, so instead, she promised Jesse another title, if he gave Rachel a tape of her singing. He does, and the two women, who look so much alike its scary, duet on the goosebump-inducing “I Dreamed A Dream” from “Les Mis.” Pretty sure that’s what musical theater lovers’ dreams are made of.

What did you think of last night’s episode, Gleeks? Do you think Artie and Tina are the show’s best couple? How long until Rachel figures out Jesse has been lying to her or that Shelby is her mother? Which duet was your favorite? Let us know!