The PBS station manager is meeting with Artie to discuss the special. And the meeting is taking place as they pedeconference down the hallway of the school. As are most PBS meetings, I understand. The station manager is thrilled that a differently-abled teenage boy is directing the special: "You're like a modern-day Tiny Tim." Artie agrees to let that slide, provided the station manager gives in to two iron-clad demands. "The first one came to me last night in a dream." And then Artie looks up and off to the left, just as the camera whisks us away to his dream. And said dream involves Artie in a full classroom while Chewbacca tells him (in Wookie, of course, with subtitles), "It's not Christmas without Chewbacca, Artie." Back in the hallway, Artie tells the station manager that the Wookie was right -- a Christmas special that doesn't call back to the notorious "Star Wars Holiday Special" is woefully lacking. Artie also insists that the special be shot in black and white, as an homage to the second-greatest holiday special of all time, "The Judy Garland Christmas Show." Two observations: First, I really wish they had more closely aped the Judy Garland special, because it would have meant Burt and Carol hosting a quiet family night while everybody dropped by, and we could have seen Kurt and Blaine do a number in which Kurt was desperately starving for Burt's approval. Second, I watched that entire special to prepare for this recap, and those dancing, high-kicking Santas are going to haunt my nightmares. Anyway, the station manager will give in to any demand Artie has, as long as he can make the special for less than $800. Commercials.
And then we come back to the auditorium, completely decked out with fake snow and Christmas trees, where Rachel is singing Joni Mitchell's "River." And then Artie tells her that if she thinks she's going to perform that depressing song on his Christmas special, she's got another think coming. She demands to know exactly what he's planning, and he tells us: "We begin in the Swiss Alps, in the village of Gstaad, in the perfectly appointed living room of Kurt Hummel and Blaine Anderson's chic, swank chalet." After describing the holiday decor, Artie tells them, "Kurt and Blaine, the perfects hosts, have invited their friends to drop in for an evening of Noel Cowardesque banter and fun, happy, cheer-filled songs." Rachel: "Are you telling me I'm not invited to Kurt and Blaine's for Christmas?" Artie: "Not unless you pick a happier song." He also tells them that the special will end with Rory, dressed as Itchy the Christmas Elf, reading the story of "Frosty the Snowman." Sam points out that Frosty's not exactly a happy story, seeing as how he dies at the end. Artie plans a rewrite, but Sam stands up to defend the idea of keeping the sad and melancholy in Christmas, since that's part of what holidays are about. But Artie insists that everybody buy into his vision of a super-cheerful Christmas. But Sam won't buy into it -- in fact, he's going to leave that minute to ring a bell downtown. Did he get a job as a hunchback? Oh, no, he's just going to collect for charity. He invites Rory to join him, but Rory is too tempted by the thought of playing Itchy the Christmas Elf, and he decides to stick around with the rest of the group.