Glee! 1.09 Wheels

Aw, you guys remembered me!


There’s a new format so those of you that wanna get your inner Martha Stewart on can have printable recipe cards.

You’re welcome.

Today’s drink is:


(Right click on image and hit print.) 

(The free space is to drink whenever Sue Sylvester surprises you with her actions.)


The Cheerios work out a new routine sans Quinn involving jump ropes. Uh, okay. Quinn sits in the stands, watching, and maybe thinks to herself that she was kicked out just in time, before being sad about her current lot in life. Finn tries to make her feel better, because he’s that guy, but Quinn, because she’s that girl, wipes that “Golly Gee!” grin off his face by showing him a $675 bill for their sonogram, money they don’t have.

She starts bitching at him to fix everything, including miracling some money out of thin air, because she is demanding he be the father of her baby (and girlfriend, he ain’t, and you is wrong, wrong, WRONG.) Finn says he’s looking for a job, but since he has no skills other than Classic Rock balladeer and QB1 for a crappy team, Corporate America ain’t exactly knocking at his door.

Quinn takes this opportunity to tell him how stupid and dumb and awful and dumb and stupid he is, and he better shut up and start making it rain up in there and prove she “chose the right man to have a baby with.” Wow, girl, you just about let the cat out of the bag, there. Not to mention that YOU ARE AWFUL, QUINN FABRAY.

Will begs Principal Figgins for money so the Glee Club can have transportation for Artie’s wheelchair to Upcomingunals, but there’s no money to be had. If Will wants some, he’s going to have to raise it himself. Welcome to public schools in America, folks. (Hey, you could vote, you know. Stop electing assholes who won’t fund schools. I’m just putting that out there.)

In Glee Club, Quinn continues her harp-a-thon at Finn while Puck listens in. Sitting behind them is Kurt, wearing a taupe jacket with a linen scarf decorated with bright orange skulls, and an olive green military cap [those aren’t even in the same color seasons, taupe with those colors? DRINK.]

Will says a number for Performunals will be “Defying Gravity,” an awesome song from Wicked, and it goes to Rachel. Kurt wishes to sing it, but Will isn’t cool with that, it’s for Rachel, duh. William! You’re going against the very message of Glee, shame! [DRINK.]

Will tells the kids they don’t have enough money for a special bus, so they’re going to have a bake sale so Artie can ride with everyone. The kids are all dicks about it. Santana thinks bake sales suck, Brittany is just confused by recipes, Mercedes thinks Artie should just get his dad to drive him, what’s the big deal? Quinn seconds this, but we already know she’s awful. Artie is all chagrinned and hang dog, and just goes along with it.

He sings it out with Nouvelle Vague’s version of “Dancing With Myself,” which is the only version of the song I like, actually. There’s a hallway/performance montage with Artie rolling on one wheel like a boss, trying to fit in, but being on the outside. And oho, it seems Artie has a big ol’ crush on T-t-t-tina.

The next day, Kurt, who is wearing a Crips bandana, Cholo-style (I can’t tell if his right pant leg is rolled up, also, quit trying to make Kurt a baller, Ryan Murphy!) and DRINK, in case you haven’t already. He raises a finger in his “If I may?” gesture. Kurt would like to challenge Rachel to a diva-off for the “Defying Gravity” number. Though it has a high F, it’s still within his range. (But barely, most countertenors top out at F or G-5.)

Will chastises the group for not thinking of Artie. Mercedes is being a bitch this week as she continues with the “Pfft, Artie doesn’t care, his dad takes him everywhere.” Artie does care, I thank you. Now who’s the jerkface? Will tells them they’re all going together or they are not going to Nextunals. And they’re all going to be in a wheelchair for a minimum of three hours a day, every day for a solid week so they can get a taste of what Artie goes through. And number two! They’re going to do a wheelchair number at Singunals, so take that, kids.

Wheelchair montage! Finn is having a blast until he starts getting hit in the face with backpacks, etc. Rachel attacks the problem with zest until she can’t reach anything. Gosh, you guys, maybe wheelchairs aren’t so fun, huh?

Puck surprises Quinn in home ec with some leftover cash (leftover from summer pool money, minus nun-chuck and dip purchases.) It’s 18 smackaroos, but it’s better than what Finn has given her, which is a big fat nothing. She’s been pretty clear, she is not going to acknowledge Puck in any way, okay? Except for how he makes her tingly in her naughty no nos. Like right now. So it’s time for a sexy food fight of sexy feelings! Aaaaaand that’s when Finn rolls in. Puck bails, and Finn, blessedly obtuse Finn, notices nothing.

Kurt hangs with his dad at Burt’s auto shop, and Burt notices that his kid is down. Kurt fills him in on the song, the most favorite and symbolic song Kurt knows, and is being denied. Burt tries to cheer him up by saying, “You sing like a girl. You know, in a good way. This is really getting you down, huh?” Kurt replies, “I’m full of ennui.” …that means really down, right? Right. (Actually, it means bored.)

Burt takes it to Figgins, accusing him and Will of discrimination. [Burt is great. DRINK!] Will agrees that he’s not been fair, the diva-off is on! ( But he doesn’t call it that for fear of Burt’s reaction, one supposes.) Burt insists on fair judging by the other kids, not Mr. Schuester.

Rachel is not okay with this, it was her part! Also, no one really likes her (Finn: I do!) and Kurt is crazy popular with the ladies (not like that) and they’ll vote for him out of spite. Kurt rolls over elegantly and makes the rest of Glee promise to not be dicks, but to be fair. Agreed! They all roll out.

Will notices (after how many years there?) that there is but one wheelchair ramp in the whole school, and he demands the school put some in. Sue is adamant that will NOT happen, any extra funds should go to her Cheerios getting massages or personal assistants, or something. Besides, wheelchair ramps are lazy makers. Since she’s being so awful, Figgins decides that she needs to take a page out of Glee’s book and hold auditions to replace Quinn. Sue fights back a brain aneurysm.

The bake sale is sucking big ones. No one is buying anything from Puck, Finn, Santana or Quinn. Brittany comes over with Becky, a Down Syndrome student, and as they walk over, Quinn continues to show how horrible she is by being grossed out by a person with disabilities. Puck mentions that Brittany’s always cheating off Becky in math, ahaha.

Brittany gives Becky a dollar so she can buy something. Aww. Once they leave, Quinn attacks Finn for the bake sale sucking, because if there’s something wrong in the world, it’s Finn’s fault. He barks back at her and then leaves. Whoa, he does have spine!

Sue holds auditions and no one with any skill shows up. Becky comes in. Will, sitting in, mouths to Sue to be nice. Becky pulls out a jump rope (she’s the only one that seems to know what the Cheerios have been up to) and gives it her best. She’s… not great. Sue sits stone-faced until, “Becky? Let me stop you right there. You’re in.” Becky is over the moon, and Will immediately thinks Sue is up to something. Because she has to be, right? [DRINK.]

Puck and Finn roll down the hallway to class and get into a fight over Quinn and responsibilities. It turns into a total knuckle brawler, Will breaks it up, and Puck marches off. Finn is still not putting two and two together.

Artie shows the gang how to do some tricks in their chairs, and he engages in a little light flirting with Miss T-t-t-tina. The more they chat, the more she doesn’t have a stutter. HMM. Artie tells her that he was in a car accident at the age of 8, that’s when he was paralyzed. NOT HIS PENIS, THOUGH, he wants her to be clear. Ha ha, dude, no one asked, save that for Date #2!

While Kurt warms up and tries to hit F-5 (it’s a little rough, not gonna lie) Burt, at the shop, takes a phone call. Just as Kurt hits the note, the caller calls Burt’s son a fag. [That word hurts to write, by the way.] Anyway, y’all did notice that it’s an F he’s hitting? Kurt races to his dad to tell him, and Burt’s grumpy about the call. He tells Kurt (reluctantly) what happened, and in a moment that takes a bit to let it really hit you with the significance, Kurt tells his dad that “Oh, no big. That happens to me all the time.”

Wow. Poor kid. Burt, though, has never experienced this side of ugly, and he’s upset. He doesn’t know how to handle things. On one hand, no one will ever tell his son he can’t do what he wants [DRINK, I love this guy] but on the other, he loves his son because that is his baby and all he has left, and parents don’t want their children hurt, so we sometimes want to shelter them from pain. [DRINK again, I love Burt Hummel.]

Whether Kurt understands that, we don’t really know. That’s a pretty adult concept that kids/teens don’t understand, often. He’s not ashamed of you, omg, I promise.

In the music room, Finn fixes Rachel’s chair, and she takes the quiet moment to express her fear that she won’t be picked because she’s unlikeable. Finn tells her to work on that. Ahaha. But he likes her, so she’s got that working for her. Quinn barges in because it’s been a few minutes of happiness in Finn’s life, and she can’t have that. She has yet another Past Due notice and he had better FIX. THIS. (Can’t you get a job, lady? Good lord, it takes two. AND FINN WASN’T ONE OF THE TWO.)

The bake sale is now BLAZING. Ahem. Puck found an “old recipe” that apparently is addictive. Turns out that he bought some medical grade weed from Sandy Reyerson and put just enough in to give everyone the munchies. Ha. He is showing – in his way – that he’s capable of providing for Quinn, and of course, she’s moved. She’s all about the Benjamins.

Becky has her first work out with Sue, and Sue’s all business, harder, more, push it, come on! “Those better be tears of joy, Becky! You think this is hard? Try auditioning for Baywatch and being told they’re going in a different direction, that’s hard!” Will lurks in the background, angry. Finally Sue tells Becky to hit the shower, and she says, “Thanks, Coach!” and skips off, giggling. I love Becky.

Will yells at Sue for being terrible to poor, little Becky. “You can’t bully her, she’s not like everybody else!”

“I want you to listen to what you just said, William. You want me to treat this girl differently because she has a disability. When actually, it seems to me that she just wants to be treated like everybody else.”

“I know you, you’re up to something.”

Sue just stares holes in his face. “You don’t know the first thing about me.” [DRINK!]

Time for the Diva-Off! Finn wishes Rachel good luck while everyone else is huddled around Kurt. Um, he is wearing a fuzzy striped sweater with a massive spider appliqué on it, what the hell? [DRINK.]

Kurt starts, and he’s great. Clear and even, no show boating. They cut between he and Rachel, and she’s knocking it out of the park, of course, because she’s also equipped with that perfect clear voice – very reminiscent of Idina Menzel, and everyone should know that Chris Colfer and Lea Michele completely identify with Kristen Chenoweth and Idina, so this is their big moment. And it’s great.

Except for that damn high F. Kurt’s voice cracks all over the place at the top three notes, but what the hell? We heard him practice and he hit it! Rachel nails it. Both the note, and getting the part. Sad faces for Kurt Hummel, but he just smiles, he did his best. (Didn’t he?)

Puck gives Quinn a huge wad of cash. Sure he stole it from the bake sale, but he’s proving he’s inventive and capable. Quinn actually has a moment of goodness and says they can’t steal from their handicapped friend, but thanks. She tells him it’s a girl, Puck has a silly “d’aww!” grin, and tells her he wants it all: her, the baby, them as a family. She sweetly lets him down, but you can see the cracks in her resolve. And Finn rolls up with a check for her.

Rachel had a brain wave and sent Finn to a restaurant to get a job in his chair, otherwise her gay dads would somehow get in touch with the ACLU and sue them. Sure he’s always going to have to be in his chair while working, but for now, he’s making steady money. Quinn hops in his lap and he gives her a lift to class. She looks over Finn’s shoulder at Puck.

Puck gives the $1200 to Will, it’s more than enough for Artie’s bus rental, hooray! Except for how Artie is going to ride with his dad after all. WHAT? Well, you see, the school really needs ramps, and there’s no money. And it’s not like Artie is the only wheelchair-bound kid in the school, so he’s being an awesome person here.

When Will tries to give the money to Figgins, Figgins says it’s not necessary, because Sue came in earlier and wrote a check for three ramps, so Will can keep his money. [Drink!] WHAT IS HAPPENING. Sue is up to something, is the only conclusion Will can come up with. Figgins doesn’t care, he didn’t have to slash a budget today.

What is Sue up to? We see her checking in at a hospital-like facility, and the nurse praises her for always coming in and being generally awesome. Sue Sylvester, right? Sue’s there to see her big sister, Jean. Jean has Down’s Syndrome. Ah. It’s pretty clear that Sue worships the ground her sister walks on, and if you don’t get choked up seeing them hold hands while Sue reads her a story, then you are clearly dead inside. (More on this in Drunken Thoughts.) Also, DRINK.

Tina and Artie are at the school on a date, flirt-rolling. T-t-tina gets out of her chair and kisses him. Whoo hoo! He just loves that they have so much in common, like, you know, they’re both disabled. Um, she has a teensy confession. She actually doesn’t have a st-st-stutter. (BUSTED.) She faked it years ago to get out of a speech, and liked how it made people leave her alone. He gets it though, right?

UH, NO. Because he doesn’t want to push people away, the chair does that. He’s horribly hurt and offended and leaves her there to think about her actions. “I thought we had something really important in common.” (What about music, though? Love of X-Box? Surely there’s more to your crush?)

Kurt visits his dad at work and tells him how he threw the contest and botched the note. Burt is not okay with that, because he went to the mattresses for his kid! No, but see, dad, he’s used to being called slurs and mistreated and all of that (wah!) but that was the first time his dad has ever had to deal with it, and it broke Kurt’s heart. He’ll ease into this whole gay thing/acknowledging all of his awesomeness in public if only to help his dad get used to it. Oh, he’s not going back in the closet, he’s just saying he loves his dad more than he loves being a star.

OKAY BRING ME TISSUES. Um, I was told this was a comedy, and here they are with all of the awesome heart-felt moments.

Burt knuckles away his tears and asks Kurt to help him swap out some tires, but Kurt needs to change out of his horrid Alexander McQueen sweater (whatever, that thing is fug) and get his coveralls on. Ha ha. Burt and Kurt Hummel, best father-son on television.

Back in Glee the kids work on their big wheelchair number, “Proud Mary,” the only version that counts, the one by Ike and Tina. Artie and Mercedes rock out the part [DRINK!] with everyone else providing mobile back-up. You can tell they’re all struggling with the chairs, and behind the scenes this was a monster of a production (and lots of them were hurt flipping out of the chairs, rolling off the ramps, etc.) but it’s nice. It’s a little awkward, but then, it would be, wouldn’t it?

Come on, toot, toot, toot, TOOT, toot, toot, toot, TOOT, toot, toot, toot!


Drunken Thoughts: So we finally see that this is more than just a satirical look at high school, bully culture, and musicals, there are actual messages that can be shared. My favorite, because it echoes my own experiences with a mentally disabled sister, are the Jean/Sue moments. I know that was a big criticism people had, that it seemed out of character for someone so awful to have something sweet and good about her, but hey, even Hitler had puppies, you know?

I think for Sue, she hates people that aren’t honestly themselves, and people that are weak – that don’t try. Everyone is treated on those terms, regardless of race, sex, culture. Oh, she makes all sorts of horrible statements that are racist and sexist, but it’s a defense mechanism to keep people away. The more back story we get on her and Jean, the more we realize that she saw people at their worst, why would she want to connect with anyone?

I love that she gives Becky a chance. And why not? Becky showed up ready to try, and had done her homework (the jump rope.) Becky was willing to work as hard as she was capable of working, and Sue respects that. Plus, she doesn’t have curly hair, Sue’s one true prejudice.

PROTIP: if you are around someone with a disability, try talking to them like you would anyone else. Because they are. Even if they’re a non-verbal person with autism (like my sister) they are still HUMANS.

Also, it was about time that Artie got some attention, because Kevin McHale is excellent in the role, is a fantastic singer (especially when they keep it in his wheelhouse, soul/pop/R&B) and thank GOD T-t-tina stopped that horrible, stereotypical stutter. That bugged the hell out of me. (Oh, you don’t say?)


(Episode 10, Ballads is right here!)

Please like & share:
  • Pingback: Glee recaps rewatch review season 1 | Hey, Don't Judge Me()

  • Suzanne

    Upcomingunals I laughed at all of the -unals, but that was my fave.

    Between the Kurt/Burt and Sue/Jean scenes, this episode killed me. And I really loved the moment when Sue called Will on treating Becky differently.

    I knew Rachel was going to get the Wicked song, but I *so* wanted Kurt to. Mainly, I supposed, because he was defying gravity. And I forget you’re all musically edumacated, what with the composer dad, and all.

    This was probably my favorite ep of Season One, and I’ll drink to that.

    • Be sure to wear a panty liner when you read about Worldunals, I wouldn’t want you to wreck your pants. :D

      This episode was SO sweet, right? Whenever people are dismissive of this show for being ridiculous, this (and Funeral, and oh my god, I need to be held when that one comes around) is a great episode to show them just how great and thoughtful it can be. And it’s PERFECT that it’s Sue calling people out for being different. If she’s tweaking people’s moral compass, then…

      That song is one of my favorites, hands down, regardless of genre. And the message is so wonderful, especially for Kurt, trying to be who he really is, regardless of other’s perceptions. (IDK if you’ve heard his full version, but that was released on iTunes. Might be worth a dl, if you’ve not done that already.)

      *clinks glass with you* CHEERS!

  • I don’t watch Glee, but I loved this review. From the clips I’ve seen, I had no idea Sue had a sister with disabilities! That’s really interesting – and extraordinary that they pulled it off well – moving & believable.

    Also, I’d love a masterpost of just the cocktails, they’re a really fun idea.

    • Hello, darling! And they really pull of her having Jean as a sister. It’s made all the more poignant when you realize that most people with Down’s don’t live beyond 30. The actress that plays Jean is in her 50s. She’s so wonderful, and Jane Lynch adores her – their chemistry is plain to see. I absolutely loved that storyline. LOVED.

      Oooh, I’ll have to recap the season’s cocktails! We’re about half-way through.

  • Katy

    Burt and Kurt Hummel, best father-son on television.

    This times a billion. Kurt and Burt rock my socks. And if both Chris and Mike don’t get Emmy noms (or hell even the win in Chris’ case) there is something WRONG in the world.

    • How great (and what a surprise for this low-key character actor!) is Mike O’Malley? I think there is an entire generation of gay adults that wish they had a Burt Hummel in their house while growing up. he’s honest, but nothing gets in the way of loving his kid. That more parents should be that devoted, right?

  • Lisa

    Wheels is hands down my favorite season 1 episode, so I was totally looking forward to this recap

    • I think this is when they really began to pick up steam as a show. (And thanks, glad you were excited to read it!)

  • Comedy Quiche

    I really loved this episode. Man, the first season was so killer! That Sue curveball really caught me off guard, and not many shows can do that these days. I wanted to smack Quinn so manyh times, tho. Why ‘choose’ the father of your baby and then berate and belittle him all the time? Me thinks the crazy doth protest too dang much. Also, I know lying is bad, but i’ve always been irked by Artie’s reaction to Tina. She tells him the truth, trying to be honest and grow closer, and he verbally smacks her down. Dick move, bro.

    • It’s not easy to trick an audience like they’ve managed to do with Sue Sylvelster. I think that people wanted her to be written in bold strokes without any finesse, but how much better is the character when she has different levels? So much better!

      Oh, I had COMPLETELY forgotten why Quinn Fabray had been Queen Bee of the school, this rewatch has been a shocking reminder. Not that she’s all sweetness and light now, but good hell, she was such a bitch! The pregnancy stories were two of my least favorite, just because they were so awful to witness such deception. For a show that’s mostly satire, those stories more often than not were played true to life, and it made me too squirmy.

      I read an article about Keven McHale, where he said that he, too, thought that Artie over-reacted, but was told that Artie had never had anyone reach out to him like Tina, and she was able to because they were both different. Now she’s not, she lied, and what else might she be lying about? I can kinda go along with that. Kinda.

  • I love me some Burt. Every time there’s a moment between he and Kurt, I’m left wishing Burt were my dad.

    I have no clues on what music is supposed to sound like or what key/note anyone’s singing in. I just know what I like and I love Kurt’s voice. I was able to get the version of Defying Gravity that is sung just by Chris Colfer and it was fantastic (though no one will ever beat Idina Menzel at it).

    And Jean/Sue’s relationship just does me in completely. As well as her relationship with Becky. I love that Sue has a soft side, even if it is kinda weird.

    • I just said something similar to that in another comment: there are many gay folks out there wishing they had a Burt Hummel. What a great character, and I love that he’s so butch – no dad has an excuse now!

      I love Kurt’s voice, too. You can see tremendous improvement from ep 1 to now. He was raw talent that was ready for hard core vocal work. I love love LOVE this song, as well.

      I, too, love the softer side of Sears. I mean Sue. (Same diff.)

  • Shosh

    /pops around the corner to, finally, cease lurking
    There are a handful of things in Glee that actually bring/brought me to tears, and every single one involves Sue/Jean or Kurt/dad. I can’t wait until you get to the next season!…

    • Hello! De-lurking is our favorite.

      And that was the same for me, Kurt-Burt and Jean-Sue moments always promised the goodies. I can’t wait until Season 2! Almost halfway through S1, trying to time it so when the recaps are done, we’ll be ready for Season 3 to start in September. Yay!

  • De-lurking to say that Burt is my fave t.v father.

    And drinking games!! I love fandom drinking games! XD

    • Hello! Delurking is my favorite. And how anyone can disagree with us that Burt Hummel is the greatest TV dad ever, (You hear that, Michael Landon? EVER!) is beyond me.

      Drinking games just make everything better, holla! Lol.

  • fm

    There’s so much greatness in this episode (especially Hummels and Sylvesters), but my favorite part is the meta aspect, that Chris wasn’t allowed o sing “Defying Gravity” in his own high school but does – and beautifully (man, his solo version is lovely, and I can only imagine what it would sound like in his s3 trained and matured voice) – here. It’s not a triumphant moment for Kurt, despite the important character development that he cares about people he loves more than he cares about being a start, but it’s a hugely triumphant moment for Chris.

    • Oh, how wonderful would it be to hear him sing it now!!

      And you know, up to this point we’ve had a very selfish (and young) Kurt. It’s understandable, but he was very self-focused. I loved him putting someone else before himself, especially as it’s Burt. <3

      But oh, Chris. CHRIS!! How can I love that kid more? I don't know that it's possible.