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“This one’s for you, Artie!”: Wheels (1×9) recap

November 12, 2009

Welcome back to my television screen, Glee! I missed you dearly, did you know that? Well, you were sure back in full form tonight, making me laugh, cheer, swoon, and sniffle, just like I wanted you to. This episode focused on my favourite underrated original Gleekster, Mr. Artie Abrams, and I loved it so much.

New Directions Bake Sale

In support of Artie and to help raise money for a handi-capable bus to take to sectionals, the Gleeks have a bake sale, which goes surprisingly well after Puck does the baking...

In order to help raise money to rent a handi-capable bus to take the whole glee club, Artie included, to sectionals together, the kids have a bake sale…with cupcakes! (Did you know that I love cupcakes, Glee fans? ‘Cause they’re another one of my key obsessions.) And to help the kids relate to their disabled friend, Mr. Schue makes all of the Gleeks spend three hours of the school day in wheelchairs, plus they perform a fantastic group wheelchair rendition of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary.” We also see Artie finally get some lovin’ when his wheelchair racing date with Tina C. ends with a smooch! Unfortunately their romance fizzles in rapid time when Tina confesses to him that her stutter isn’t real (it’s just a device she created in grade six to avoid a public speaking assignment), and Artie is offended that her disability can disappear at a moment’s notice, while his is life-long. Please, oh please, Glee writers, let Artie get over this offense and have these two get back together!

In other plotlines, Finn and Quinn fight about baby-related bills and Finn’s inability to help pay them. They bicker about this constantly throughout the episode, while Puck tries to prove to Quinn that he’s a better baby daddy by giving her some dough and monologuing about how “family comes first.” It’s adorable and I totally love Puck for it, but when Finn comes through with a job (that he gets by pretending to be disabled and wheelchair-bound, um, right), Quinn goes right back into his arms. Also, Rachel and Kurt have a diva-off to determine who should sing “Defying Gravity” from Wicked at sectionals, and Kurt has many adorable scenes with his dad which I detail below. And lastly, Sue holds open auditions for the Cheerios, lets a new girl who has Down’s Syndrome join the squad (thus making Will very suspicious of her actions, due to Sue’s lack of tolerance in the past if you recall her nicknames for some of the Gleeks in “Throwdown”), and then reveals her big secret…that Sue is…wait for it…human. Yup, we finally see the softer side of Sue when we discover that she has a sister with Down’s Syndrome who she visits regularly at a long-term care facility. A brilliant and fantastic twist, and so incredibly interesting to see this completely different aspect of Sue’s life.

Favourite moments, scenes, quotes:

  • Artie

    "This one's for you, Artie!" – Finn, in the intro to "Proud Mary"

    Artie finally gets a solo! He kicks total ass on Nouvelle Vague’s cover of Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself” in every which way. He’s popping wheelies, he’s checking out Tina C., and he’s all-around being adorable. I also loved that at the end of the scene they drop all the background music and it’s just him, alone, as always.

  • Artie to Rachel: “You’re irritating most of the time, but don’t take that personally.”
  • Quinn and Puck’s baby talk and food fight in the home ec room. They look adorable covering each other in baking supplies! Plus, awesome quote exchange! Quinn to Puck: “I don’t care if that baby comes out with a mohawk, I’ll go to my grave swearing it’s Finn’s.” Puck to Quinn: “It’d be pretty cool if it came out with a mohawk.”
  • The first Kurt/Burt sweet scene of the episode (yes, that’s right, Kurt’s dad’s name is Burt). First of all, their relationship is just fantastic. I adore Burt and how he’s all tough and manly yet still fiercely, and I mean, fiercely defends his gay son. Plus, their dialogue is amazing. Kurt to Burt: “I’m full of ennui.” Burt to Kurt: “So…it’s really getting you down?”
  • Burt’s subsequent storming of the principal’s office demanding that Kurt be given a chance to sing the “Defying Gravity” solo. Can you say “diva-off”? (Actually, Mr. Schue does use the term “diva-off” and it made me giggle.)
  • Finn and Puck’s hallway fight over Quinn and Finn’s inability to support her and the baby. The fight starts with them pushing each other’s wheelchairs, but descends into a full-on punching match. Huge drama!
  • Puck to Mr. Schue when he asks why Finn and Puck were fighting: “I’m just really stressed about the bake sale. I really like Artie, okay?”
  • Artie reveals the story of how he wound up in a wheelchair while having a bonding moment with Tina C.
  • Oh, wait, the bonding moment isn’t quite so sweet when it shifts to my favourite line of the night. Artie to Tina: “I want to be very clear. I still have the use of my penis.” HA!
  • Puck’s voice-over explanation about how he put pot in the second round of cupcakes to make them sell well. Not enough to make them hallucinate, but enough to give them the munchies and leave them craving more. Now, that’s a bit of a twisted way to help provide for your baby!
  • The diva-off! I had heard this song performed on the soundtrack (many, many times, because I adore it), but seriously it didn’t do it justice. Seeing the emotion and the determination in both these kids while they duke it out was just amazing. It was beautiful, it made me tear up, and it gave me chills. And then Kurt didn’t make the note. Oh, my broken heart! I was cheering for you so much, Kurt!
  • Artie and Tina’s wheelchair racing date! She kisses him! He has the most adorable smile on his face afterwards! And then it all goes downhill from there and I get teary-eyed and upset again. (Side note: I read somewhere that Artie/Tina shippers are calling them “Tartie.” This makes me laugh ridiculously.)
  • Kurt to Burt: “I love you more than I love being a star.” Seriously, these two are too sweet for words.
  • Sue reading Little Red Riding Hood to her sister. So touching and I love how Sue’s entire face looks softer and sweeter. Amazing work by Jane Lynch in this scene.
  • Proud Mary

    All the New Directions kids are so hardcore into the arm actions in this performance and I LOVE IT!

    The group wheelchair musical number! It doesn’t hurt that “Proud Mary” is one of my all-time favourite songs, but after an episode with so many sweet moments in it, seeing the Gleeks so united completely melted my heart. They all sing fantastically (including Tina C. with her few solo bits!), dance amazingly in their wheelchairs, and do adorable jobs of over-expressing themselves since they can’t move their legs. The jumping bit? Cutest ever!

So yes, I loved this episode! What about the rest of you Gleeks? What was your favourite moment? Who do you think should’ve won the diva-off? And who else wants Artie and Tina C. to get over their issues and start dating?!

Next week: Rachel is a stalker. No, seriously, she’s obsessed with Will and it’s really creepy. She’s even at his house! Also, Kurt wants to turn Finn off of girls forever, ha!

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