We’re in the home stretch of the season on Glee. Things are coming to an end for the seniors and for viewers like me who are only hanging in with this sub-par season so we can see how it ends. So, what happened in “Choke”?
F is for Futureless
Puck is in danger of flunking senior year thanks to a geography teacher who can’t be bought with sexual favors. This storyline was inevitable, wasn’t it? I mean, I suppose they could let Puck and Brittany graduate in an attempt to make a subtle critique of “No Child Left Behind” or something, but that’s not how Glee operates. No, this was just an excuse to let Mark Saling rock “School’s Out For The Summer”.
Puck was all set to head to L.A. early and kiss high school goodbye, but then his deadbeat dad showed up asking for rent money. It was a weird way to convince Puck that getting his diploma is important. So all the guys teamed up (Rory is still on this show???) to try and prepare him for the test. And then there was a weird punk version of “The Rain In Spain Stays Mainly In The Plain” with vaguely British accents.
Unfortunately, Puck still failed the test. I guess that’s what happens when you sing instead of study.
Santana made a Chris Brown joke when she saw Beiste with a black eye, and NeNe Leakes or “Black Sue” overheard them and went on a mission. I actually kind of liked this storyline, even though the tears in Beiste’s eyes clued me into where it was going on.
I don’t know that having the girls sing a song about killing husbands was the way to teach them about the horrors of domestic violence, but I love Chicago so much that I will turn a blind eye to that. But then Sue and NeNe (I cannot learn the character’s name) were so appalled, I was actually surprised that Glee had it right for once.
We saw Beiste flashback to a fight with Cooter during the performance, and she left before Sue and NeNe tore a strip off the girls. Then Beiste confessed the truth to them – Cooter had hit her, she didn’t hurt her face at the gym like she’d said. It was actually a really touching scene. Beiste bailed on Sue and said she moved in with her sister, and for a moment I thought maybe she was lying and that she’d stayed with her abusive husband. But then she bravely talked with the glee club girls who’d made the jokes so that they could truly understand the gravity of such a situation, and I assumed she’d been telling the truth.
The song the girls sang for Beiste, “Shake It Out” by Florence and the Machine, was really beautiful. And then in a heartbreaking twist, we saw more flashbacks from Beiste and discovered that she had been lying. She had gone back to her husband, she’d decided to give the man who hit her a second chance. It was so sad and made me feel sick. This is the kind of stuff Glee used to do so well, when you really cared about the characters and storylines made you feel things. I wish the show was more consistent and could do more things like this.
Finally, it was time for Kurt and Rachel’s final NYADA auditions. They were disagreeing over song choices. Rachel was going classic and thought Kurt should too with a number from Phantom of the Opera, but he wanted to throw on some tight gold lame pants to do a number from The Boy From Oz.
The NYADA alum who’d be judging Kurt and Rachel was apparently infamously tough, and she was played by Whoopi Goldberg. Right on stage, Kurt bailed on doing Phantom of the Opera and went with where his heart was, “The Boy Next Door”. I wanted the performance to be really spectacular, and up until that last note I was worried. But he killed it. I also appreciated that Kurt’s “back-up” were wearing dresses we’d seen at Regionals. It always bugs me how these kids seem to have unlimited costumes.
Kurt was praised for taking a bold risk, which meant Rachel might not fare so well with her standard “Don’t Rain On My Parade”. She couldn’t even get through it – she kept freezing and, eventually, the audition was cut off.
Rachel, of course, was devastated. She’d choked, and even though she was proud of Kurt she was crushed to see her dreams disappear. When Rachel sang “Cry” by Kelly Clarkson, it was actually a rare time when her super-emotional crying-while-singing face was called for.
That’s life – things don’t always go your way. What will Rachel do now? Will she still go to New York? Will Puck graduate or stay behind a year? He was always a better singer than Finn so perhaps his victory lap can be his moment to shine in glee club.
Overall, not a bad episode. Not a bad episode at all. What did you guys think?