Glee season 1 episode 19 review

Joss Whedon. Neil Patrick Harris. Glee. A combination that makes Carley very happy...

19. Dream On

When a series of cuts from after school programmes begins to take place, it is up to Bryan Ryan (guest star Neil Patrick Harris) to make the final decision. And after being king of the glee club back in the day and failing to realise his dreams, he decides it is the Glee Club that will be cut. Some Den Of Geek readers would be glad to see that happen, too.

Before he tells the club of his decision, he gets them all to write their dreams on a bit of paper and promptly throws them away, claiming that their dreams can never be realised and the sooner they realise this the better.

Indignant that Bryan feels this way, Will, who was in Glee Club the same time as him, decides to take him out for a drink and to talk about old times. When Bryan reveals that he still misses the bright lights, Will encourages him to audition for the local community production of Les Miserables. When they both audition for the same leading role and Will wins it, Bryan cuts the Glee Club’s budget and only restores it when Will offers him the role, as he would rather forgo his dream to save the thirteen of theirs.

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And there’s more.

After discovering that Artie’s dream is to be a dancer, Tina attempts to encourage him not to give up and supplies him with tons of research with regards to gaining the ability to walk again. After having a vivid daydream about getting up and dancing in the mall, he approaches Emma for guidance and she gently lets him down about the real state of his condition. With the realisation that some dreams just cannot come true, Artie sadly lets his dream go and lets Tina dance with another member of the Glee Club.

After confessing that her dream is to find her birth mother, Rachel is shocked when Jesse finds a tape in her baby box marked from mother to daughter. The tape was given to her by Vocal Adrenalin Coach Shelby who, it turns out, actually is Rachel’s real mother, but due to a contract she signed at birth, she is unable to contact her directly. Blimey. The shock of finding out her mother has been in contact is too much for Rachel and it takes a nudge from Jesse for her to finally listen to the tape and hear Shelby sing a song for her, which in turn, breaks Rachel’s heart.

Since Glee started, then, I have been waiting for this episode to air. Directed by one of my all time favourite all rounders, Joss Whedon  and guest starring Neil Patrick Harris, there were a lot of expectations riding on the final result, which I am glad to say was pretty brilliant.

Taking a huge step away from the farcical comedy that usual dictates the direction an episode takes, it is instead injected with a real sense of emotion and actually moved the entire season arc so well without pushing too hard. You can begin to see everything being lined up nicely for the finale, which if I were a betting person, will have something to do with the revelation of Rachel’s real mother. Once again it is great to see Idina Menzel back on screen as scheming Shelby and it is great she has finally been revealed as Rachel’s mother, something the fans have been going on about for ages!

Also nice this week was the focus on Tina and Artie, two characters which are totally underused. (Jenna Ushkowitz’s rendition of True Colours during the first half of the season was outstanding and she has earned another solo by now, I think.

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Artie’s real heartbreak about his situation was so subtly done and acted so well that Kevin McHale should be proud of himself. Not only has he shown true acting skill, but he also managed to bring the character of Artie is life in such a way you feel he has been the centre of the show since day one.

The main attraction of the show this week, however, was the introduction of Bryan Ryan and the guest starring of Neil Patrick Harris. With all the hype that surrounded this episode I do have to say I am slightly disappointed that he wasn’t in it as much as I would have liked. However, when he was on screen he did steal the show and bounced so well off Matthew Morrison I hope he can make a return and the two can carry on with their rivalry.

Dream On was one of my most anticipated episodes of any show this season and I am glad to say it has delivered on all fronts. 

Read our review of episode 18 here.