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Glee: Just Jossin' Ya

Well, if it isn't Kurt (Chris Colfer) that makes me cry on Glee, then it's Artie (Kevin McHale). The highly-touted one-two punch of guest-director Joss Whedon and guest-star Neil Patrick Harris weren't the only ones to deliver in "Dream On."

What an incredibly emotional, touching episode, and a long-overdue one at that! I don't know what I was sadder about: Watching Artie get his dreams crushed like six times, or knowing that we probably won't see Artie dance again, unless Glee decides to make Artie's daydreams into a recurring thing (a stretch, but I'd buy any excuse to watch Kevin McHale dance!). In any case, I was beyond thrilled to see Artie and Tina (Jenna Ushkowitz) get their due diligence in this episode. Tina kept up with Mike Chang (Harry Shum Jr.) pretty well in that tap number, no?

And Neil Patrick Harris! After watching him gush over boobs and suits for five years, it was both weird and nice to see him as a different kind of jackass, one that doesn't depend so heavily on slapstick humor and high-fives. And unlike Barney Stinson, Bryan Ryan (great character name, by the way) has more of an excuse to sing. I almost wish that Will (Matthew Morrison) and Bryan were written as brothers, because MM and NPH bare a striking resemblance to one another, but friendly rivals suited them just fine. And Aerosmith's "Dream On" did, too; both of them hit each note pretty perfectly, and what a wondrous treat to see them both share the stage.



And Idina Menzel! I like that she plays Shelby so ambiguously. You want to hate her, because she's the rival coach and she gave up Rachel (Lea Michele) for adoption and all that, but her facial expressions draw out a certain sympathy. It doesn't hurt that Menzel looks so much like Michele that they actually could be related, but whatever. It's brilliant casting any way you slice it. I just hope Susan Boyle was satisfied with their duet of her song.

This whole plot line about Rachel's biological mother could really open up a lot of doors for the character. Behind the first door is Rachel's personality; up until "Dream On," she was a despicable, mesmerizing robot-diva. But now we've seen her even more vulnerable than when she lost her voice, and that means that she might actually grow up a little, like a regular high-schooler. Behind the second is a complex conflict between her, Shelby (Menzel), and Jesse (Jonathan Groff). Once Rachel finds out that (a) Shelby is her real mom and that (b) Shelby was using Jesse to get to her, she could lash out at one or both of them. I asked Menzel in an interview if this would happen and she said, "It’s a lot more about meeting her mother and having not had her for her whole life. It’s more about exploring those emotions than the calculating manipulative thing that everyone thinks is going on with the opposing team and Jesse and all that." That's comforting, because most shows would take this opportunity to build cheap drama out of the whole "betrayal" thing (which Glee has done many times already). Behind the third are Rachel's two gay dads, who I'm guessing everyone is dying to meet. I also asked Menzel if we'd see them, and she said, "Probably, I think it would be a good chance for some great stuff." I can only hope that one of them is played by Taye Diggs. Please, Ryan Murphy. Please.

And Joss Whedon! His Jossness added his own special touches to this episode, from the grainy camera-phone shots of Artie dancing in the mall to the out-of-focus shot of Tina and Mike dancing behind him on stage, to the various angled shots of Will and Bryan climbing higher and higher onto the pile of assorted props as they duet-auditioned. It was a good episode to begin with, but Whedon made it great.

Without further adieu, the best quotes from the episode:

5. Bryan, to Will: "I have a box of playbills hidden away in my basement, Will. Like porn."

4. Sue (Jane Lynch), to Bryan: "I've got a secret room upstairs. Like Letterman."

3. Tina: "Do you want a pretzel?" Artie: "Hell yes, woman!"

2. Bryan, to Will: "You can't feed a child sheet music, Will. Well, I suppose you could, but they'd be dead in a month."

1. Not a quote, but too awesome to pass up: The face that Will sported braces and a shirt that even Bill Cosby would find ugly.

What did you think of "Dream On"?


Follow TV.com writer Stefanie Lee on Twitter: @StefAtTVDotCom

Comments (21)
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I agree. This episode was amazing. But one little thing: I Dreamed a Dream is NOT Susan Boyle's song. It's from the musical Les Miserables.
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YES YES YES!! Kevin was amazing. I can't believe they cast him in a wheelchair. He performed such an incredible dance routine and and now I feel tragically robbed of a talent that should be shared with the world.

NPH - okay, I havr to admit, i'm too young to be down with the whole "Doodie Houser" thing and I'm not into HIMYM... BUT I loved his guest appearances in the Harold and Kumar films and in this - what a champ. This is a guy who can obviously take a joke, have a laugh at himself and just go with hit. What a hoot!! "Hi! I'm your ne lead! So I've got a few stipulations. First I have a LOT of ideas. Second, I dont' take a lot of direction." Crack up!!
I agree with memizz - EPIC EPISODE!!!
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woah its almost like you took the words out my mouth! good review! the only thing you didn't mention was that note that NPH hit during Dream On..WOW
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epic episode!
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LOVED this episode!!!... More like this one, please!!!
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This was the best glee episode to date! The storylines of MM-NPH and Tina-Artie were wonderful and finally the musical numbers were perfectly integrated in the episode! loved "I Dreamed a Dreamed"
Joss Whedon and Glee --> match made in heaven!!
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I Dreamed a Dreamed is technically not Susan Boyle's BUT her 's Got Talent debut with it made it her signature piece...just clarifying.

The episode was wonderful! I want more Artie on the dancefloor!!! And I agree with the camera direction -- Joss Whedon did an awesome job directing the whole thing. And, uhm... more NPH please?
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Best episode ever. From the first when you can see NPH to turn around, I gapped air and knew that this episode is gonna be L-E-G-E-N-D-A-R-Y. And seeing Josh Whedon as director another "yey" moment for me. Also Safety Dance part was epic, song and dance and camera using. Josh Whedon has touch in geek and popular culture, and also if you haven't seen his "obsessions" to musicals, so this happening was just matter of time that he would ended up directing Glee.
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Artie is the best song on this show. Best singer, amazing actor and actually has depth! It's like Kurt and him are the only characters with more than one dimension to them. I WANT MORE ARTIE!
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I think this may surpass Vitamin D as my favorite ep ever. Oh God, ARTIE. We need more Tina, too. When she came on screen my mom (who's a newly converted Gleek) asked me "who's that?" If that's not a sign, I don't know what is.
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best-episode-e-ver!!!! and i just like glee (sometimes even just tolerate it)
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oooh i think will's voice is so beautiful :) and paired with NPH that was a wonderful treat!! :)
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artie dancing was cool and all but i kept having flashbacks of the NLT videos lol this was one of the best episodes though
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It was tongue-in-cheek. Thanks, ajcrowley. --stefanie
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I'm pretty sure the comment about I Dreamed a Dream being Susan Boyle's song was tongue-in-cheek. It's just that recently Boyle has pretty much owned that song. Loved this episode, though. But I love everything Joss does and LOVE hearing NPH sing. My only complaint about this recap is that I don't believe Rachel was given up for adoption - if I remember correctly, it was a surrogate thing. One of her dad's is actually the father.
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Onew of the best episodes, but not in the level of the Madonna ep.
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Well said, but 'I Dreamed a Dream' is from Les Miserables and NOT Susan Boyle.
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I actually found the Archie-Tina thing the most boring part of the story. It was dragged out to long. I would have loved to see more of Rachel and Shelby (I loved the twist that it isn't about competition, but purely about wanting to meet your child! Brilliant). And I would absolutely loved to have seen more of NPH. Dream on was great! And Joss has always been brilliant. Good episode!
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good episode really like artie dancing and dream on by bryan and will
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Totally agree with everything, except for one fact: "I Dreamed a Dream" is NOT Susan Boyle's music.
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Best Glee episode to date.
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