Glee on Fox

2009, TV Show

Glee Episode: "Wheels"

Season 1, Episode 9
Episode Synopsis: It's Rachel vs. Kurt in a "diva-off" for the solo in Glee's rendition of "Defying Gravity." Meanwhile, the school can't pay for a wheelchair-accessible bus for Artie for the trip to regionals, so Shue challenges his charges to raise the money; Quinn's medical bills are beginning to pile up, and she challenges Finn to come up with money to pay them; and Sue must hold an open tryout for the Cheerios. Her selection has Shue scratching his head.
Original Air Date: Nov 11, 2009
Guest Cast Cheryl Francis Harrington: Nurse Lauren Potter: Becky Jackson Dijon Talton: Matt Rutherford Stephen Tobolowsky: Sandy Ryerson Jeff Lewis: Manager
Full Episode
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Season 1, Episode 9
Subscription | Netflix
Length: 43:59
Aired: 11/11/2009
Also available on iTunes, Amazon Prime and VUDU
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Glee Episode Recap: "Wheels" Season 1, Episode 9

Artie takes center stage in Glee's Wednesday night episode "Wheels," when the club is forced to wheel a mile in his shoes. Elsewhere, Quinn continues to push Finn to get a job in order to financially support their upcoming baby and a new glee club relationship sparks up...

Quinn kicks off the emotional episode by taking a look at the cheerios from the other side of the uniform. While Finn tells her she's just torturing herself by watching their practice, Quinn reveals that she's mostly upset that they don't have enough money to pay for her medical bills. She puts pressure on the football star to get a job and help support their upcoming child.

Mr. Schuster and the glee club are facing problems of their own. There isn't enough money in the budget to rent a handicap bus to transport Artie to sectionals. They have to raise the funds themselves.

Before Will reveals this bit of news to the glee club, he assigns another song for sectionals. Rachel is going to sing Wicked's "Defying Gravity" as a solo. Hold up! Lea Michele, who's the spitting image of Idina Menzel, the original Elphaba from Wicked, is going to belt this tune? Bravo Ryan Murphy! Unlike this writer, Kurt isn't too pleased that Rachel has been given the part and later asks for his shot, but Will denies his request, saying it's a girl's part.

The club is then given a mission: Raise money for Artie's bus by holding a bake sale. Complaining that bake sales are so five years ago, glee suggests that Artie's father take him to sectionals. Artie pretends he doesn't mind, but his solo, "Dancing with Myself" by Billy Idol, speaks for itself. During the number, we also learn that Artie has a crush on fellow glee member, Tina.

Furious with their insensitivity, Will forces the glee club to spend time in wheelchairs to get a feel for what Artie goes through on a daily basis. It turns out Artie was offended by the club's lack of support. "We didn't think you would take it personally," says Rachel. "Well, you're irritating most of the time, but don't take that personally," quips Artie.

Quinn takes the initiative to start cooking for the bake sale. Enter Puck, who brings a donation for their baby. "Just stop," Quinn tells him. "I told you before, I don't care if that baby comes out with a Mohawk, I will go to my grave swearing it's Finn's." I agree with Puck, "It would be pretty awesome if it came out with a Mohawk." This joke lightens the mood, kicking off a food fight and a near kiss for the pair. Too bad Finn catches this cute moment.

Elsewhere, Kurt's dad asks him why he's down in the dumps, though hoping it's not about a guy because he's not ready to have that conversation yet. Kurt tells him about his wicked woes, which infuriates his father. Time for daddy to yell at the principal and Mr. Schu for discriminating against his son, enabling Kurt to audition for the part. Rachel and Kurt will now have a diva-off to be judged by the glee club. Kurt makes everyone promise they will vote for the best singer and not make it a popularity contest. 

Since the cheerios lost Quinn Fabray, Sue Sylvester is forced to hold tryouts to find a replacement. Will sits in to make sure she's fair and asks that she "give them a chance to express themselves." Sue counters with, "I'm about to projectile express myself all over your hushpuppies." After a few disastrous tryouts, Becky Jackson takes the stage. In a surprising moment, Sue lets Becky on the team, though Will is scared that the cheerios coach is up to something.

At the bake sale, glee is having trouble selling cupcakes, sparking another fight between Quinn and Finn, but it's the latter and Puck who later throw punches in the hallway. Puck is sick of Finn complaining about trying to support Quinn's baby.

At glee rehearsal, Artie teaches everyone how to spin in a wheelchair. Tina and Artie catch a moment alone and we discover how Artie ended up in his chair in the first place. He was in a bad car accident with his mother, which left him paralyzed from the waist down. "I want to be very clear. I still have the use of my penis," Artie adds.

While Kurt is practicing for the diva-off, his father receives an anonymous phone call, only hearing choice words about his son before the man hangs up. Disheartened by this, he tells Kurt that he doesn't want him to end up getting hurt.

In a private cheerios practice, Sue is pushing Becky very hard to get better. Will sees this and says she shouldn't bully her because she's different. "I want you to listen to what you just said, William. You're asking me to treat this girl differently because she has a disability, when actually it seems to me she just wants to be treated like everybody else," retorts Sue. Does the tin man actually have a heart, or does Sue really have an ulterior motive?

At the diva-off, Rachel and Kurt swap off singing "Defying Gravity." Let me just add that I'm a huge fan of Wicked and this is now my No. 1 favorite Glee song this season. Once more, Bravo! Not so perfect on Kurt's side, though, as he purposely blows the high F to protect his father from having to deal with more anonymous phone calls.

After Puck adds some special ingredients to the cupcakes, i.e. marijuana, they sell faster than...well, insert bad drug joke here. Puck's then able to donate a sizable amount of money to the Quinn baby fund. Puck finally steps up and supports their baby, while Quinn says she's sorry for calling him a L.I.M.A. loser, but turns down the money because it belongs to Artie and the glee club.

Earlier in the episode, Quinn told Finn that she would cut off their relationship if he doesn't get a job to pay for her medical bills. This cues a light bulb over Rachel's head as she suggests that Finn try to get a job while in the wheelchair, ensuring they won't turn him down. Now Finn's the one who's able to give baby mama Quinn the desperately needed financial support. Poor Puck loses the girl once again.

Artie decides that although the club was able to raise the funds for his bus, the money should go to the installation of new ramps at the school. Artie's selfless act is not needed though, since Sue Sylvester ends up writing a check for three new handicap ramps. Artie gets his bus after all. Why is Sue acting so nicely? The biggest reveal of the season: Sue's older sister Jean seemingly has a disability similar to Becky. The evil cheerios coach does have a softer side! Sniff, excuse me while I grab a tissue.

Another sad moment of the night? Tina and Artie's date, and first kiss, is marred by Tina's reveal that she's been faking her stutter the whole time. Affronted, Artie tells her, "I thought we had something really important in common...I'm sorry now you get to be normal and I'm going to be stuck in this chair the rest of my life and that's not something I can fake." Sniff, another tissue please.

The episode closes with the glee club singing Tina Turner's "Proud Mary (Rolling on the River)" while in wheelchairs, popping wheelies and all. One last time, bravo to the cast of Glee for another heartwarming episode that brought me to tears.

Did you enjoy the episode? Are Tina and Artie the new couple to root for? Who wants to see Quinn leave Finn for Puck? Sound off in the comments.

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Artie takes center stage in Glee's Wednesday night episode "Wheels," when the club is forced to wheel a mile in his shoes. Elsewhere, Quinn continues to push Finn to get a job in order to financially support their upcoming baby and a new glee club relationship sparks up...

Quinn kicks off the emotional episode by taking a look at the cheerios from the other side of the uniform. While Finn tells her she's just torturing herself by watching their practice, Quinn reveals that she's mostly upset that they don't have enough money to pay for her medical bills. She puts pressure on the football star to get a job and help support their upcoming child.

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Premiered: May 19, 2009, on FOX
Rating: TV-PG
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Premise: Musical comedy-drama about the misfits who make up a high-school glee club and teacher Will Schuester, the one-time glee-club star who leads them and must constantly protect "glee" from the malevolent schemes of diabolical cheerleader coach Sue Sylvester.

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