Jesse St. James: A dream is something that fills up the emptiness inside. The one thing that, you know if it came true, all of the hurt would go away.
Sue Sylvester: [to Will and Bryan] I came over here to congratulate you on your new role. Local director Herb Duncan does the dry clean for the cheerios, and he let slip that you just landed the lead role in Les Mis!
[Will looks overwhelmed, and Bryan lets go of his smile]
Sue Sylvester: Congratulations. I'm ecstatic! And the good news just keep coming, because you got a part too, Bryan. The exciting role of Townsperson. You got a line too. Right back here in the second act, you get to say... 'Hooray!' Congratulations to both of you, I can't wait for opening night!
Will Schuester: Tina has something she wants to share with us, but first I have an announcement to make. You've all been reprieved. Bryan Ryan isn't cutting Glee.
[all the members applauds]
Noah 'Puck' Puckerman: Did he die?
Will Schuester: No. He didn't die. He, uh, is going to be distracted for a couple months making his star turn in "Les Miz". He got the lead role.
Quinn Fabray: But I thought you got the lead.
Will Schuester: I resigned. It was the price for keeping the club.
Finn Hudson: Sorry you had to do that, Mr. Schue.
Will Schuester: I'm not. You know, th... the way I see it, I'm trading my one dream for the chance that all thirteen of you might find yours.
Will Schuester: Hey, Bryan. Can I talk to you for a second?
Bryan Ryan: Make it quick. I'm rehearsing. You know, reviewing my single line.
Will Schuester: I want to take one last shot at convincing you not to cut the program.
Bryan Ryan: Give it a rest, Will. You think you're helping these kids, when all you're doing is setting them up to be jaded and bitter.
Will Schuester: You're right. Cut the program, and they're certainly more likely to turn out like you.
Bryan Ryan: I've grown weary of your insults, Will. They sting, and they make me want to punch your face.
Will Schuester: You remember high school? Remember what it's like? Those kids get labeled the second they walk through the door freshman year. Geek, punk, jock, queer. I've seen who these kids in Glee Club really are.
[showing him the club's picture in the Thunderclap]
Will Schuester: No labels, no preconceptions, their true spirits. Yes, most of them are not stars, but they shine like them. Do you know what happens when a star dies, Bryan? It doesn't just disappear. It turns into this black hole, this giant energy-sucking mass that doesn't just collapse on itself; it takes away any light that comes close down with it. You take away Glee, you're not just putting out those kids' lights; you're creating thirteen black holes.
Will Schuester: I want you to take my part. You should play Jean Valjean. I want you to understand how important the arts are for a person's soul. You're a black hole right now. Maybe this will help you remember what it's like to be a star.
Bryan Ryan: So what you're saying is you'll give me the part if I don't cut the program.
Will Schuester: Exactly.
Bryan Ryan: Cool. Deal.
Jesse St. James: She has the tape. She won't listen to it.
Shelby Corcoran: What? She has to listen to it. That's the point of all this.
Jesse St. James: I'm doing my best! Look, when you told me to seduce her...
Shelby Corcoran: "Befriend" her was the word I used, actually.
Jesse St. James: Whatever. The thing is I was into it because I thought it would be a good acting exercise, but now I think I kind of like her. I don't want her to get hurt.
Shelby Corcoran: Look, one more week, this will all be done; you can come back to Vocal Adrenaline where you belong.
Jesse St. James: I don't understand why you don't just go up to her and say "Hi, my name's Shelby. I'm your mom."
Shelby Corcoran: I signed a contract. I can't contact her until she's eighteen. She has to come to me. That's why she has to listen to the tape. Once she hears it, she won't be able to sleep until she finds me. I answered an ad in the paper. Nine months work here would make me enough money to live in New York for two years. Her dad seemed like nice guys, so I went for it. I never got to hold her. And I only saw her for a second when they were cleaning her off. It was through a bunch of nurses, but she turned her little head, and she looked at me. I've failed as an actress. My walls are lined with trophies instead of wedding pictures, but through all of that... I only have one regret. You get her to listen to that tape.
Sue Sylvester: I thought you were gonna take a hatchet to that Glee Club.
Bryan Ryan: I was, but you may have heard I plan on making my return to the stage next month in a local production of "Les Miz", and I've had something of a personal awakening. So I've decided to examine all of the extracurricular activities here at this school, and Sue, your Cheerios budget is out of control.
Sue Sylvester: Let me remind you of something, Mr. Ryan. The Cheerios sell tickets.
Bryan Ryan: Not enough to offset your costs.
Sue Sylvester: I am very tired of athletics always taking a back seat. When daily P.E. was cut at this school, no one batted an eye. But cut a dance program, cancel the school musical, and suddenly there's an uproar.
Bryan Ryan: I did a little research, Sue. Did you know that studies have shown that reading Shakespeare might help kids learn physics? That singing helps you learn pitch, which makes learning a foreign language easier? That when a kid picks up a clarinet or a trumpet, every region of the cerebral cortex is stimulated?
Sue Sylvester: Well, that's all very interesting, but did you know that a third of American teenagers are obese, and only 2% of high schools require any form of daily physical activity? Where's your outrage about that, Mr. Ryan? Sports teach kids how to work together, teaches problem solving and social skills, it improves attendance, not to mention grades, particularly among those students deemed most at risk.
Bryan Ryan: You've done your homework.
Sue Sylvester: I'm an educator. Now, I realize my methods are unconventional, but my record speaks for itself. Is it a tad over the top to bill the district for skydiving lessons to have the Cheerios parachuted onto the football field? Perhaps. But what I do here makes a difference.
Bryan Ryan: Sue, you're an impressive woman. I can't tell you how much you turn me on right now. You ever heard of the term "anger sex"?
Sue Sylvester: It's the only kind I know, Bryan.
Bryan Ryan: I should tell you I'm married.
Sue Sylvester: Not a problem for me.
Bryan Ryan: And I'm still cutting half your budget.
Sue Sylvester: Eh, you win some, you lose some.
Bryan Ryan: Should I lock the door?
Sue Sylvester: No. Got a secret room upstairs. Like Letterman.
Artie Abrams: I can't believe I just bought tap shoes.
Tina Cohen-Chang: Think of them as an investment in your future. Do you want a pretzel?
Artie Abrams: Hell, yes, woman.
Tina Cohen-Chang: They're upstars. Do you mind waiting down here while I go get them?
Artie Abrams: As long as you're buying.
Will Schuester: Hey, buddy. Glad you showed up.
Bryan Ryan: Please don't distract me. I'm trying out for the role of Jean Valjean.
Will Schuester: So am I.
Bryan Ryan: Really? What song do you plan on singing?
Will Schuester: I was going to sing "The Impossible Dream".
Bryan Ryan: Wow, really? Interesting. So am I.
Will Schuester: But then I decided on Aerosmith's "Dream On".
Bryan Ryan: Yeah, me, too. That's what I'm gonna sing.
Will Schuester: Are you kidding me right now?
Herb Duncan: Is there a problem out here?
Will Schuester: Yeah, there's a problem. This guy just stole my song!
Bryan Ryan: Uh, I don't know this man. His caretaker just stepped away. I overheard her mention he's a sex offender.
Will Schuester: Oh, you're gonna need a caretaker in a second, buddy.
Herb Duncan: I run a dry cleaner's. I can only keep it closed for thirty minutes at a time.
Bryan Ryan: Thank you.
Herb Duncan: Sing it as a duet.
Jesse St. James: What's this? "From Mother to Daughter."
Rachel Berry: Oh, my god. She wrote this. She held this in her hand.
[he takes the cassette]
Rachel Berry: Wh... what are you doing?
Jesse St. James: Playing the tape.
Rachel Berry: No!
Jesse St. James: Why not? She wanted you to hear this.
Rachel Berry: [stammering] I... I... I'm not ready. Look, this is all happening too fast. What if she's singing on the tape? What if she's terrible? Or worse, what if she's better than me?
Jesse St. James: What took you so long? Your dads will be home soon.
Rachel Berry: There was so much stuff in the basement, it's like a shrine. It's creepy and flattering at the same time.
Will Schuester: Do you know what gave me the strength to... finally get out of a terrible marriage? Music. Meeting those kids. Coaching Glee Club. No, you're right. I'm... I'm never gonna be on Broadway. And maybe the same is going to go for most of those kids. But that's not the point. Glee Club... it's not just about expressing yourself to everyone else. It's about expressing yourself to yourself.
Bryan Ryan: I'm living a lie.
Will Schuester: What?
Bryan Ryan: [sniffling] I miss it so much! I am miserable. Ever since I stopped performing, I cannot stand my life! Three times a year, I tell my wife I'm going off to a business trip, I sneak out to New York, I see a bunch of Broadway shows. I have a box of Playbills hidden away in my basement, Will. Like porn.
Rachel Berry: I found her.
Jesse St. James: Your mother? Where?
Rachel Berry: In the library. I've been researching her all morning, and as I suspected, my intuition has been proven correct. My mother is Broadway legend Patti LuPone.
[flashback, with Rachel narrating in voiceover]
Rachel Berry: I've always had a deep connection to Ms. LuPone; her choice of roles and songs. I decided to do a little math to see if her being my mother was even possible. I was born December 18, 1994. 1994 was a big year for Mother. She was a sensation in "Pal Joey". "But that was in New York; I was born in Ohio," you say. Well, Mother took many breaks from the show to tour with Mandy Patinkin. That April found them at the EJ Thomas Hall in Akron, Ohio for a standing room performance nine months before I was born.
[return to real time]
Jesse St. James: Are you saying that your fathers impregnated Patti LuPone in the Marriott in Akron? Was Mandy Patinkin in on this?
Rachel Berry: [wanting to believe her mother is Patti LuPone] All you have to do is look at pictures of her in her performance in "Master Class" in 1996. Look at the pain in her eyes and the hurt she's feeling for giving up her obviously talented little girl.
Jesse St. James: One question. What was in it for her?
Rachel Berry: Money, a sense of charity for those in need?
[deflating as she sees his skepticism]
Rachel Berry: I don't know. Guess you're right. Do you want to hear my research that proves that my mother is Bernadette Peters?
Jesse St. James: Why are you so afraid about finding the truth?
Rachel Berry: I don't know. I guess I just don't want to think that my mother is some teenage trollop like Quinn, or worse, some skanky girl who would do anything for money, including giving me up.
Jesse St. James: Why does it have to be one of those choices? Maybe she had a really good reason for doing what she did. We need to do a real investigation. Like "CSI" real. Do you have any baby stuff in your house, something that might give us a clue?
Rachel Berry: My fathers kept every piece of paper related to my life in files and cabinets in our basement. It's sort of a little Rachel Berry museum.
Jesse St. James: Perfect. We'll start there.
Artie Abrams: My tap wheels suck.
Tina Cohen-Chang: I thought we sounded pretty good.
Artie Abrams: Yeah, you did. I sound like someone put tap shoes on a horse and then shot it.
Artie Abrams: [gesturing to a pair of crutches] Will you bring me those? I borrowed them from John Hubner.
Tina Cohen-Chang: The kid with cerebral palsy?
Artie Abrams: They're his extra pair. Help me get up on them.
Tina Cohen-Chang: Have you ever used anything like these before?
Artie Abrams: No, but I have superhuman upper body strength from using my wheelchair. If I can just get up, I think I can use my arms to get around the room. Come on. You said we were gonna kick it up a notch.
[she helps him out of his wheelchair]
Artie Abrams: Dreams aren't supposed to be easy. I'm gonna try to take a step.
Tina Cohen-Chang: Okay.
[he takes a couple of "steps" forward]
Tina Cohen-Chang: Artie, you're doing it.
[he then collapses to the ground]
Tina Cohen-Chang: Are you okay?
Artie Abrams: [embarrassed and ashamed] Go away.
Tina Cohen-Chang: Let me bring your chair over.
Artie Abrams: Just go... away. You shouldn't have done this to me. You pushed me to do this.
Artie Abrams: I'm sorry.
Tina Cohen-Chang: Just go away, please.
Will Schuester: Hey, Bryan.
Bryan Ryan: Hello, Will. Just taking stock of the home ec supplies. You see, our home ec program teaches practical skills like food service preparation. Can't feed a child sheet music, Will. I mean, I suppose you could for a while, but... they'd be dead in a month.
Will Schuester: I'd like to buy you a beer.
Bryan Ryan: Oh.
Will Schuester: No, no, no. I want to convince you that you're wrong.
Bryan Ryan: You won't.
Jesse St. James: What were you just rehearsing?
Rachel Berry: A guy came to Glee Club to talk to us about dreams. Luckily, I've known mine since I was four. I'm going to play three roles on Broadway: Evita, Funny Girl, and Laurey in "Oklahoma!". I was just practicing her dream ballet with Curly. It's what I do when I'm feeling a little stressed.
Jesse St. James: You singing "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" in front of a sold-out crowd isn't a fantasy. It's an inevitability.
Rachel Berry: [holding him] I thought you'd never come back.
Jesse St. James: And miss all your drama? Never.
Jesse St. James: So, what is it? Your dream.
Rachel Berry: I don't know.
Jesse St. James: Well, then go inside, find it, and ask it what it's gonna take.
Rachel Berry: Why are you pushing this?
Jesse St. James: Because you're my girlfriend, and I want to know all your secrets. When you lie awake at night, what's missing?
Tina Cohen-Chang: Goddard on Goddard?
Artie Abrams: He was the master of the French New Wave. I was figuring that since I'm never going to become a star as a performer, maybe I could become one behind the camera. Did you know that Christopher Reeve directed a movie after his accident? "In the Gloaming".
Tina Cohen-Chang: Didn't see it.
Artie Abrams: Oh, me neither. Too depressing.
Tina Cohen-Chang: Is that what you wrote as your dream?
Artie Abrams: Before Bryan Ryan crumpled it up and tossed it in the trash? Yes.
Bryan Ryan: Take out a piece of paper. And on that paper, I want you to write down your biggest dream. A dream that means so much, you're afraid to admit it even to yourself.
[as the students write, Bryan takes Artie's, crumples it up, and throws it in a trashcan]
Bryan Ryan: Your dream is never going to happen. 91% of you will spend your entire lives living in Allen County, Ohio. So unless you wrote down that your dream was to work for a mid-market health insurance provider or find an entry-level job in an elderly care facility, you're going to be very disappointed.
Mercedes Jones: This is really depressing.
Bryan Ryan: I'm going to guess that a lot of your dreams involve "showbiz". Well, let me tell you. Showbiz dreams are the most unrealistic of them all.
Tina Cohen-Chang: But... that's what I want to do with my life.
Bryan Ryan: Oh, look, I'm not trying to hurt your feelings, I'm just trying to spare you disappointment.
Will Schuester: I think we get your point.
Bryan Ryan: Aw, well, Schuester here's a prime example. He used to have that glimmer of hope in his eyes that I can see right now in all of yours. But he couldn't make it happen for himself, so he now has to try and convince you all that it will happen for you. Guess what? His dream didn't work out. And neither. Will. Yours.
Will Schuester: Okay, you're done here.
Bryan Ryan: You would be wise to show me some respect.
Will Schuester: You've said your piece. Now get out.
Bryan Ryan: Well, Schuester, I should thank you. You've made my decision about which program to cut a lot easier.
Will Schuester: Hey, you wanted to see me?
Principal Figgins: William, there's someone I'd like to introuce you to. He's the newest member of our school board, and he'd like to speak to you. Will Schuester, meet Mr. Bryan Ryan.
Bryan Ryan: [smirking at Will] We've met.
Will Schuester: [voiceover] Bryan Ryan. We went to school together, and he made my life a living hell. He was two years older. Dated every girl I liked. Got every solo.
[flashback; Bryan and another student finish singing "Daydream Believer"]
Bryan Ryan: What's the matter, Schuester? Cat got your talent?
Bryan Ryan: I'm here to do an audit of our curriculum, Will. We may need to cut some of our district's art programs.
Principal Figgins: It's really just a formality, William.
Bryan Ryan: No, it's not. We'll probably cut the glee club.
Will Schuester: What? But... but you were in the glee club. Show choir was your life.
Bryan Ryan: It was, Will. And after I graduated, I hit the big time. I was a featured soloist at King's Island in "The Dooble-Dee-Doo Musical Revue". We were a smash. Then for three years, I did the cruise ship circuit. But when that dried up, I realized I had been sold a bill of goods. Nine years later, I woke up on a urine-stained matress in the West Lima crack district. Then... something amazing happened. I was introduced to Jesus. He was my Honduran social worker. I straightened up, put down the pipe, met the love of my life, Wilma, and now I run a successful used Hummer dealership. Don't make that face. Global warming's a theory.