To celebrate Glee's
upcoming 100th episode, we're taking a look at the top six moments from the original six Glee
members: Mercedes, Tina, Artie, Finn, Kurt, and Rachel, in the days leading up to the milestone. Here are the top six moments for Artie, one of the original McKinley High glee club members.
Did you know Artie is the only character who's been in every single episode of Glee
? According to every Glee
-fanatic web source, it's true! And yet, Artie rarely gets to stand out in the glee club crowd.
Artie is one of those characters that every ensemble show needs--he has an interesting enough story without needing to overwhelm the plot, he doesn't have too much major drama with any character for all that long, and he meshes well with the group no matter who he's interacting with. It also helps that Kevin McHale has a great voice, whether he's doing a solo, lead on vocals, a duet, or singing backup.
All that aside, I think it's about time that we focus on Artie and his accomplishments during his journey at McKinley High. Presented here are six of the top moments for the guy who's been on Glee every week, since he first performed "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat" all those episodes ago!
When the team behind Glee decided it was time to pay tribute to Michael Jackson, in the third season episode "Michael," Artie was the character chosen to be a huge fan of the late pop icon. He comments at one point that he even said his first words while watching MJ perform!
Kevin McHale actually had quite a lot to do vocally for this episode. He sang the lead part on "Bad," and had a major singing role for "Black or White" at the end of the episode.
But the moment I decided was the best of his best in this episode is Artie's dream sequence number with Mike Chang. McHale got to show off his dancing skills, and we got to see Artie in a whole new way. It's one of my favorite Artie performances; visually and vocally, it stands out as a great scene, and one where the oft-ignored original glee club member really gets to shine.
In a more recent episode, Artie is accepted into film school, which is a huge accomplishment for him after all his directorial pursuits while attending McKinley High. But he wasn't as excited about the possibility of going as you might expect.
It's revealed that Artie doesn't want to leave his mom, who has gone above-and-beyond to give him everything since his debilitating accident as a child. But she reassures him that she'll be okay, and that she's sure he'll adapt to his new life just fine.
It's a touching moment between mother and son, and a well-done scene by McHale and guest star Katey Sagal. Artie's mom finally being introduced, and her urging him to go after his dream, was a nice way to give another layer to the character, and a natural way to prepare us as viewers for his eventual graduation departure from McKinley.
The musical number might not have been a solo piece for the nerdy Gleek, but it represents a turning point in his relationship with his fellow glee club members.
In the episode "Wheels," Mr. Schuester finds out that for their trip to Sectionals, the school won't provide transportation that would accommodate Artie and his wheelchair. But the other club members are not troubled by this, and Artie is upset that they don't seem to care.
The other students are then required by their teacher to ride around in wheelchairs for a week to put them in Artie's shoes--or rather, his wheels--in a very small, very temporary way. After this experience, his fellow Gleeks perform "Proud Mary" in his honor, and cement their loyalty and appreciation for their friend.
A Christmas Miracle
The most avid Gleeks remember a time when Artie did get the chance to walk again, in the very first Christmas-themed episode on the show.
At the time, Artie and Brittany were dating, and Brittany tells Santa that what she wants for Christmas is for her boyfriend to be able to walk again. Of course, everyone else knows that Santa isn't real, and that her request is an impossible one.
However, as it turns out, it's not so impossible after all. Thanks to a kind-hearted anonymous donor (my money is on Beiste), Artie is gifted with a ReWalk, an invention which mechanically gives him the ability to walk.
The glee club kids witness him using it and are visibly moved, Brittany gets her Christmas wish, and Artie's improbable dream comes true. Of course, we find out later on that the ReWalk breaks soon after this moment, and Artie is quickly back to his wheelchair again, but it was still an emotional moment on the show and a lovely moment for the character.
"The First Time"
You might wonder why I would choose something from the episode "The First Time" as a big Artie moment when he wasn't one of the characters experiencing a "first time." Well, it wasn't a first time in the sense that the show was implying, but it was the first and only time that Artie has had a voice-over on Glee.
And since there were so many little Artie moments that were pivotal for him in this episode, I'm just calling the whole thing a win. He directed the school's production of "West Side Story," which is a big deal for any student, but especially for one who wants to go into film and presumably directing as a career.
The other students in the play commend him for his excellent work, albeit after he has a bit of a freak-out, and it's one of the times on the show that really stands out as a moment where Artie gets the recognition for all his hard work that he deserves.
I don't know about all of you, but "Safety Dance" is easily one of my favorite covers that Glee has done to date. And Artie's lead vocals on the song are a big reason that it works.
Another dream sequence in which the character doesn't need a wheelchair, the whole performance was filmed in flash-mob style in an actual mall with plenty of onlookers, and it just looked like it was a ton of fun for everyone involved! Again, McHale got to show off his dance moves, and Artie got to show off his awesome voice.
I don't mean to imply that Artie's best musical moments are when we eliminate a major part of his characterization--his disability--and in fact, this sixth moment was a toss-up for me between it and the bonding he did with Quinn after she, too, was wheelchair bound. But that's harder to pinpoint, and this performance was just too good to leave off the list (it was just as excellent during the "Glee Live! In Concert!" performances, for the record!).
What say you, Glee fans? What would you claim are some top moments for Artie on the show? Comment below with your choices!
More 100 Episode Look Backs:
Be sure to check back next week for the next Glee character celebration piece! And make sure to watch the 100th episode of Glee, airing at 9pm on March 18 on FOX.
(Image courtesy of FOX)