Glee on Fox

2009, TV Show

Glee Episode: "Dream On"

Season 1, Episode 19
Episode Synopsis: Will's high-school rival (Neil Patrick Harris) shows up and causes trouble for the glee club. Meanwhile, Rachel struggles with a longstanding personal problem; and Artie's dream leads to an adventure.
Original Air Date: May 18, 2010
Guest Cast Neil Patrick Harris: Bryan Ryan Jonathan Groff: Jesse St. James Dijon Talton: Matt Rutherford Idina Menzel: Shelby Molly Shannon: Brenda Castle Stephen Tobolowsky: Sandy Ryerson
Full Episode
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Season 1, Episode 19
Paid | iTunes
Length: 43:59
Aired: 5/18/2010
Also available on Amazon Prime and VUDU
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Glee Episode Recap: "Dream On" Season 1, Episode 19

In this week's episode of Glee, Will's high school nemesis, Bryan Ryan (Neil Patrick Harris), returns to cause trouble for the glee club. Elsewhere, Rachel struggles with personal problems, and Artie dreams he can walk.

The episode opens with the introduction of Bryan Ryan, a former glee clubber and new school board member. Will flashes back to his time at McKinley High, where Bryan was the most popular guy in glee. All the girls fawn over him (NPH gets to do magic!) and he hates Will.

Bryan Ryan has returned to audit the school's curriculum and plans on cutting the glee club first. Bryan explains that he hates show tunes and Broadway now. He even runs a show choir conversion group, helping those who have trouble letting go, including characters played by Molly Shannon and John Michael Higgins.

Bryan asks the glee clubbers to write down their biggest dream. He rips Artie's paper away from him, saying all their dreams will never come true. "I'm not trying to hurt your feelings, I'm just trying to spare you disappointment," he says.

Though Artie tells Tina his dream was to become a director, she reveals that she read the paper Bryan had thrown away. Artie's biggest dream is to become a dancer. Tina is upset that their relationship is blossoming, but he won't share his feelings with her. She suggests that they come up with a dance number to test his moves.

Jesse returns from spring break, though not to a warm welcome. Rachel is stressed over her one true dream: Finding out who her real mother is — even if she doesn't get to meet her.

Elsewhere, Artie and Tina practice their tap number. However, Artie is upset because his tap wheels aren't cutting it. He tries to use crutches to lift himself out of the chair thinking his upper body strength will enable him to walk around. He makes it a few feet before falling on the ground. Artie begs Tina to leave, blaming her for pushing him to do this.

Will asks Bryan to come out for a drink so he can convince him he is wrong about cutting the glee club. Bryan reveals that the one girl who got away was actually Teri, Will's now estranged wife. Will explains that glee gave him the strength to finally get out of his bad marriage. Bryan finally admits that he misses Broadway so much.

"Three times a year I tell my wife I'm going on a business trip," he says. "I sneak out to New York and see a bunch of Broadway shows. I have a box of playbills hidden away in my basement, Will. Like porn!"

Will turns on Billy Joel's "Piano Man" on the jukebox and the pair sing into the night. Will decides that they're both going to try out for LIMA's production of Les Miserables.

Tina apologizes to Artie for his mishap the day before. She explains that she's been doing research online about spinal cord injuries, that Artie should not give up his dream of someday being a dancer. "If you can imagine it, it can come true," she says before kissing him.

With Jesse's help, Rach goes on an investigative hunt to find out who her real mother is. She rattles off a few Broadway stars that she hopes are her mother, but Jesse suggests digging into her fathers' files on Rach's life to find clues. Jesse secretly plants a tape that says "From mother to daughter" in her box and suggests she play it. Rach freaks out saying she isn't quite ready to hear it.

From rivals to friends and back again: Will and Bryan discover they're auditioning for the same role in Les Mis. Bryan tries to steal Will's song, but the director doesn't have time to hear both of them, so he suggests they sing it as a duet. Matthew Morrison and Neil Patrick Harris for the win: They sing Aerosmith's "Dream On."

Artie and Tina go shopping at the mall, where he buys tap shoes as an investment in his future. Tina goes to get Artie a pretzel, but he has a surprise for her: He went to the doctor yesterday and his therapy is already working. To Tina's surprise, he gets up out of his chair. What's the first thing you want to do when you can finally walk? Dance!

Turning on "The Safety Dance," by Men Without Hats, Artie starts a flash mob in the mall, a nice shout out to the Glee flash mob sensation popping up all over the world. (How long until this exact dance pops up on the net?) After an amazing dance number, we learn it's just a dream. Artie can't really walk yet. (Let me just note that this is probably one of my favorite numbers in Glee's short history.)

Sue yells at Bryan for not destroying the glee club. He tries to say that the arts are quite important, but she retorts that athletics promote teamwork and social skills. Still, he decides to cut her budget, giving it to the glee club. Despite all this, they head off to Sue's secret room upstairs ("Like Letterman," says Sue) to have anger sex.

Jesse's true motives are finally revealed: Yes, Shelby had asked him to befriend Rachel, but for good reason. She's actually Rach's mother. (Duh! If Ryan Murphy hadn't cast Idina Menzel to play Lea Michelle's mother he would've missed a perfect opportunity!) Shelby signed a contract preventing her from contacting Rachel until she's 18, so Rach has to figure it out on her own. Through her whole life, Shelby's only regret was not being able to be her mother.

Artie talks to Emma asking to meet with her once a week. He will need help adjusting to his new lifestyle once he can start walking again. Emma sadly reiterates that the damage to his spinal cord is irreversible. "I truly believe that there's going to be a doctor that finds a cure for what happened to you, but I don't think that's going to be for a long time," she says, adding that maybe Artie should meet with her once a week to work through this. He leaves the office and the research behind.

Bryan returns to glee triumphantly handing out sheet music from every Broadway play, custom-made New Directions jean jackets and more. "Everything a show choir needs to become champions," he says. Sue interrupts and reveals that Will won the lead role in Les Mis over Bryan, who storms out yelling that he'll be cutting the glee club.

Will goes to the theatre to explain to Bryan that he's killing the glee clubbers' dreams. He says that when a star dies, like someone's dreams, it creates a black hole that sucks the energy of any life around it. If Bryan takes away glee, he'll be creating 13 black holes. Will offers his part to Bryan in exchange for keeping the glee club alive. Done.

Rach finds Jesse in her room preparing to turn on the tape from her mother. "Hi baby, it's your mom. I think this pretty much says it all," Shelby says before starting to sing "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Mis. It turns into a duet of Shelby and Rach, mother and daughter, on stage. However, the episode ends without Rach knowing exactly who her mother is.

Just before the episode closes, Artie declines to dance with Tina for her project. She asks Mike to tap dance with her as Artie sadly sings Ozzie Nelson's "Dream a Little Dream of Me." Poor Artie.

What did you think of the episode? Are you surprised that Shelby is really Rachel's mother? How cute are Artie and Tina? Discuss in the comments.

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In this week's episode of Glee, Will's high school nemesis, Bryan Ryan (Neil Patrick Harris), returns to cause trouble for the glee club. Elsewhere, Rachel struggles with personal problems, and Artie dreams he can walk.

The episode opens with the introduction of Bryan Ryan, a former glee clubber and new school board member. Will flashes back to his time at McKinley High, where Bryan was... read more

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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. A "High School Musical" with bite created by Ryan Murphy ("Nip/Tuck"), "Glee" was one of the breakout hits of Fall 2009.

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