Score another one for the gays! Tonight on "Glee," special guest Neil Patrick Harris showed up as Will Shuester's worst nightmare: his old glee club nemesis, Bryan Ryan, who's now old and bitter and bent on shuttering glee club for good. The good news: Bryan Ryan's thinly veiled anti-glee agenda gave the show a hilarious new way to poke fun at homophobic America, one that doesn't require Kurt to make out with girls and wear flannel just to figure out how much happier he is in his own skin. (Please, let's have no more of that.)
The bad news? Despite being written by show co-creator Brad Fulchuk and directed by the King of Geekery himself, Joss Whedon, Episode 19 felt a little off-balance at times, thanks to an overabundance of Will Shuester-Bryan Ryan frenemy duets and far too fewer scenes of, well, anyone else. Rachel and Miss Corcoran's tear-jerking "I Dreamed a Dream" and Artie's two -- yes, TWO! -- musical numbers were more effective than Will and Ryan's two man-to-man duets, even if Matthew Morrison and NPH did hit those ridiculously high notes during Aerosmith's "Dream On."
And while the main theme (friends helping their friends achieve their dreams) followed NPH's ex-Gleek Bryan Ryan and Rachel Berry's mommy issues, the heart of tonight's episode belonged to Kevin McHale's Artie, whose dream to one day walk and dance again gave us an emotional rollercoaster of a through line. Artie may have risen and fallen a few too many heart wrenching times this episode -- literally -- but we finally delved deeper into the hopes and dreams (and realities) of McKinley High's resident wheelchair-riding Gleek. I can't wait to see how Artie channels Lady Gaga in next week's not-to-be-missed episode.
[Full recap of Tuesday's (May 18) "Glee" after the break…]