‘Glee’ ‘Choke’ Recap: Facing Failure and the Reality of a Bad Situation

Glee season 3 continues with episode 18, “Choke.” In preparation for her NYADA audition, Rachel’s taking some precautions and getting support from Finn. Finn tells Puck he overheard him saying he might not graduate, but Puck says he was just saying that. He just has to pass the European geography test to graduate and he has a plan. It’s not a good one.

Glee Tackles Domestic Violence

Photo Credit: Mike Yarish/FOXAfter Santana makes a comment about Cooter hitting Beiste when she sees her with a black eye, Roz intervenes. Santana says it was just a joke, but the girls end up on her list. That leads to Roz and Sue telling Will about the girls, but Beiste then says it happened when her timing was off hitting a speed bag at the gym.

Kurt’s practicing for his NYADA audition with Phantom‘s “The Music of the Night,” and while Blaine loves it, Kurt thinks it’s too safe. Puck tries hitting on his Geography teacher to pass, but she tells him to study. That leads to him saying he’s out of McKinley forever with a performance of “School’s Out.”

Roz tells the students about her aunt who didn’t get out of a domestic violence situation until a trip to the ICU. Their weekly assignment is to turn songs about the subject into songs of empowerment for women. Mike asks Blaine for gel advice in the locker room. Finn interrupts and points out that Puck’s been MIA. They’re going to help him pass his test so he can graduate. Rachel tells Kurt he can’t sing “Not the Boy Next Door” for his audition because it’s too controversial and he hasn’t practiced it enough. They can’t afford to take risks.

Mercedes, Tina, Santana, Sugar, and Brittany perform “Cell Block Tango,” during which it’s revealed that Cooter did lose his temper and hit Beiste. She walks out. Sue and Roz tell them they didn’t stick to the assignment before finding Beiste, who confesses what happened. Sue tells her she has to leave him, but Beiste doesn’t think she’ll find someone else who loves her. Sue tells her she’s staying with her for the night.

After seeing his father for the first time in five years, Puck joins the guys in the choir room just as Finn was explaining his elaborate plan to the other guys to get him there to study. His father wanted to borrow rent money, and he gave it to him so he’d never have to see him again. He realized he didn’t want to end up like him, so he has to pass this test to graduate.

Who Choked During the NYADA Auditions?

Backstage, Rachel tells Kurt Carmen Tibideaux is judging them. Her wrath is well known. Though Kurt originally says he’ll be performing the song from Phantom, he realizes she hears it a lot. She agrees, and he changes it to “Not the Boy Next Door.” Fortunately he had both Tina, Mercedes and Brittany on stand by and a costume change underneath his Phantom one. It turns out to be a good idea because Carmen’s impressed and congratulates him on taking the risk.

When it’s Rachel’s turn, she tells Finn she’s not nervous backstage. She begins singing “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” but she chokes—twice. Carmen tells her the audition is over and walks out as Rachel begs for another chance.

It’s 3 a.m., and the guys are still in the choir room trying to help Puck study. Joe asks Finn about Rachel. Her fathers are sitting shiva. They turn back to geography, leading into a rock rendition of “The Rain in Spain.” They still have a lot to do.

Sue finds Beiste after she didn’t show up at her place the night before, and Beiste tells her she spent the night moving in with her sister. Sue admires what she’s doing. Beiste then tells the girls what really happened and thanks them for maybe saving her life. It’s test time for Puck, and after taking up a large part of the exam with a drawing, he gets down to it. He thinks it’s easy, but he’s just writing down the lyrics to the song. After, he tells the guys he thinks he passed and thanks them for what they’ve done for him.

The girls bring Beiste in to apologize and let her know they’re proud she got out. They owe her a song, and that’s “Shake It Out.” However, it turns out she’s lying to everyone and she went back home to Cooter. She thanks the girls for the song, and they hug her.

Kurt finds Rachel at her locker and says Carmen should’ve let her start over again. He thinks she could be accepted just by what she sang, but she knows she can only blame herself for what happened. She tells him he was amazing and thinks he and Finn have New York to look forward to. He tries telling her she can still come with them, but she doesn’t want to talk about it anymore. After he walks away, she sings “Cry.” If that had been her NYADA audition, there’s no way she wouldn’t get in.

So how did Puck’s test go? Unsurprisingly, he failed. So what’s coming next for him?

What did you think of Glee season 3 episode 18 “Choke”?

Photo Credit: Mike Yarish/FOX

© Meredith Jacobs 2012

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