Keep on dreamin'!
Figgins calls Will into his office to introduce the newest member of the school board - and it's none other than former glee club star and Will's old rival Bryan Ryan (played by Neil Patrick Harris
), who's in town to figure out which arts programs to cut. And naturally, he's got his eyes on the glee club. Apparently Bryan's show biz career didn't end up so well, and now he's settled down, married, with a "show choir conversion group." Bryan asks Will to have a talk with the glee kids. Will, of course, has no choice but to agree.
Music room. Will introduces Bryan to the club. Bryan asks the kids to take out a piece of paper and write their dream on it. note
Bryan then rips Artie's piece of paper off and crumples it into a ball, and tells the kids that Will's show biz dream didn't come true, and neither. Will. Theirs.
Tina meets Artie in the library and tells him that she saw what he'd written "dancer" on the paper. Tina offers to choreograph a dance between the two of them for this week's assignment.
Meanwhile, in the ballet studio, Rachel finishes up her ballet practice and sees Jesse at the end of the bar. She tells him she was just practicing her dream role. They make up for the "Run Joey Run" fiasco, and Rachel confides in him that it's one of her dreams to find her mother. Jesse tells her he'll help her achieve her dream.
In the choir room, Tina and Artie practice their dancing. Artie asks Tina to get the crutches he borrowed from someone with celebral palsy and explains that he's surely got enough upper body strength to try walking. And of course, he collapses onto the floor and breaks into tears, blaming it on Tina.
Home economics room, where Will and Bryan banter about the practicality of home economics in comparison to glee club. Meanwhile, Will invites him out for a drink to appeal to his sense of nostalgia.
Rachel corners Jesse in the library and tells her that she's found her mother, and shows him a bunch of articles "proving" that Broadway legend Patti LuPone is her mother. Jesse, like most sensible people, takes this with a grain of salt, and reassures Rachel that he'll help her find her mom.
In other news, we see Will and Bryan out for a drink. Will eventually gets Bryan to admit that he's always missed show choir, and that he often goes on "business trips" that are really "Broadway shows" and that he's got a bunch of playbills in his basement that are stocked like porn.
Will punches a bunch of buttons on the jukebox and gets Bryan to sing a duet of "Piano Man" with him. He gets Bryan to try out for the community theater's production of Les Miserables
Tina catches up to Artie, telling him that she's been researching on possible therapy for Artie's condition and kisses him.
Rachel's house. Rachel lugs two boxes full of baby Rachel Berry memorabilia. She and Jesse go through a bunch of somewhat creepy stuff note
He then picks up a cassette tape (that he had slipped into the box when Rachel's back was turned) which is apparently from her biological mom. He tries to get her to listen to the tape, but Rachel will have none of it, saying she's not ready. Jesse makes wounded noises but Rachel sends him out.
At the Lima Community Theatre, Will and Bryan are shocked to discover that they are both auditioning for the part of Jean Valjean with the same song. The director tells them to sing it as a duet, and we see them rocking out to Aerosmith's "Dream On."
Meanwhile, as Tina wheels Artie through the mall and offers to get him a pretzel. Artie tells her that the therapies have been working, and they launch into a fun, upbeat, Flashmob
dance sequence of "The Safety Dance." note
The song ends, and it turns out it was All Just a Dream
Sue and Bryan debate over the practicality of cheerleading in comparison to glee club note
, which somehow leads to the two of them having "angry sex."
Jesse slides into Shelby's car and informs her that Rachel won't listen to the tape. Shelby is upset and tells him that her listening to the tape was the whole point of his coming to McKinley. Jesse tells her that even though he saw his relationship with Rachel as an acting exercise at first, he really is starting to fall for her
, and sensibly asks why
she can't just walk over to Rachel and say "Hi, my name's Shelby. I'm you mom.
" It turns out that Shelby signed a contract with Rachel's dads and that she can't legally contact Rachel until she turns eighteen, and that leaving Rachel was her one big regret. Okay.
Artie wheels himself into Emma's office, who tells him that the therapies could take a long
time to work and that he probably isn't going to be walking anytime soon. Oh, well.
Bryan's talking to the glee club and informs them that he's been doing a little shopping. It turns out he's bought them a load of stuff, like sheet music and custom-made New Directions jackets, and everything's fine and good until Sue comes in, informs Will that he's got the lead in Les Miz
, and that Bryan's got a tiny part with one line. Bryan is not happy about it, and walks out, taking all the freebies with him.
At the Lima Community Theater, long story short, Will asks Bryan to take his part. The latter happily does so.
Rachel's room. She opens the door to find out that Jesse's probably broken into her house and gets her to listen to the tape. "Hi, baby," says Shelby from the speakers. "It's your mom." They then proceed to sing a duet of "I Dreamed a Dream."
School. Tina begs Artie to reconsider, but Artie is firm in his judgement that any of the guys (except Finn
) can dance better than he can. Tina asks Artie to at least sing the song.
Will announces that Glee won't be cut. He then asks Tina to show us what she'd been working on. Tina calls Mike to dance with her, and the Glee club congregates in the auditorium to watch Mike and Tina dance to Artie's singing "Dream a Little Dream of Me."
- "Daydream Believer" by The Monkees. Sung by Bryan Ryan and the 1993 WMHS Glee Club
- "Piano Man" by Billy Joel. Sung by Will Schuester and Bryan Ryan.
- "Dream On" by Aerosmith. Sung by Will Schuester and Bryan Ryan.
- "Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats. Sung by Artie.
- "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les MisÚrables. Sung by Rachel and Shelby Corcoran.
- "Dream a Little Dream" by The Mamas and Papas. Sung by Artie with New Directions.
Tropes present in this episode:
- Daydream Surprise: The flashmob sequence.
- Flashmob: Safety Dance.
- Among the people in the Safety Dance flashmob are Mike (who would eventually replace Artie as Tina's boyfriend) and Brittany (Artie's second girlfriend after his break-up with Tina).
- The only one who comforts Artie because he can't dance is Quinn — in season 3 she would similarly become paralysed in a car accident herself.
- The '80s: The flashback to Will's high school days. Doing the math, Will would have graduated in 1993; if Bryan was two years older, the scene takes place about 1991. The Eighties hangover, especially in smaller cities, was strong in the early 90s, and the acid wash, big shoulders, Cosby sweaters, and mullets in the scene are perfect.