Rachel Berry’s whole life has been leading up to this episode. Her fate lies in the hands of one Carmen Tibideaux, played by Whoopi Goldberg, who will ultimately decide if she has what it takes to be a student at NYADA. Last night’s episode of Glee, titled “Choke,” was huge for Rachel and Kurt. The two performed for the intimidating Dean of Vocal Performance in hopes of securing their spot at NYADA. Did they nail it? Will they be heading to New York next year?

Find out in our review of “Choke”…

The Players:

  • Director: Paris Barclay
  • Writer: Ross Maxwell
  • Cast: Dianna Agron, Chris Colfer, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Heather Morris, Amber Riley, Naya Rivera, Jenna Ushkowitz, Mark Salling, Matthew Morrison, Ashley Fink, Chord Overstreet, Harry Shum, Jr., Cheyenne, Darren Criss, Jayma Mays, Jane Lynch, and Mike O’Malley

Episode Title: “Choke”

Kurt and Rachel get ready for their NYADA audition, and are thrown off when they discover they’ll be performing for the school’s dean, Carmen Tibideaux (guest star Whoopi Goldberg). Puck’s father shows up in Lima, which results in Puck making a decision about his future. Coach Beiste reveals a secret and gets help from her fellow coaches Sue Sylvester and Roz Washington.

The Good:

  • Kurt Goes With His Gut: At the last minute, Kurt switches out his audition song from “Music of the Night” to “Not the Boy Next Door.” It was the best decision of his life and he blew away the Dean. It was a bold and risky move, but Kurt is a brave character. It makes sense that he would pull something like this. Bravo!
  • Rachel Chokes: Unfortunately, things don’t go so well for Rachel. As the title of this episode would suggest, she chokes. She forgets the lyrics to a song (“Don’t Rain On My Parade”) she’s been singing since she was a toddler. Lea Michelle, who plays Rachel, gave a stellar performance. This must’ve been a tough episode for the actress, who had not one but two emotional scenes. And she aced them both.
  • Original Recipe Sue: Every Glee episode needs a little Sue in it. She’s the comedic relief whenever the show gets a little too dark.

The Bad:

  • Domestic Violence: For this week’s after school special we got a message on domestic violence. Coach Roz catches the Glee girls making a Chris Brown joke when they see Coach Beiste with a black eye. Sue and Roz then lecture them about domestic violence and make them sing a song about empowerment. The truth eventually comes out and Coach Beiste reveals that her husband, Cooter, got drunk and slapped her around. It’s not that domestic violence isn’t a deserving topic. We should all know that it is a serious issue, but Glee didn’t handle it right. This episode covered lost hopes and dreams, and then to also cover abuse, it just felt too heavy. Also, Glee has this bad habit of not giving storylines proper closure, and it feels like that will be the case here.
  • Puck Fails: Alright, so maybe Puck deserves to flunk out of high school, after all, he’s gone to jail, impregnated a teen girl and had an affair with a teacher. But after coming so close, it was very sad to see him fail. Even after getting help from his buddies and cramming for 20 hours, he got an F. Looks like he won’t be graduating with the rest of the Glee kids.

The Music:

  • “The Music Of The Night,” The Phantom Of The Opera – Kurt prepares for his NYADA audition. The best part about this performance is his attire – Phantom garb and mask.
  • “School’s Out,” Alice Cooper – Puck rocks out to Alice Cooper. In the end, he lights an electric guitar on fire. Talk about hard core.
  • “Cell Block Tango,” Chicago – Mercedes, Tina, Santana and Britney give an embarrassing performance.
  • “Not The Boy Next Door,” The Boy From OzKurt goes with his gut and gives one of the best performances of the night. Hugh Jackman would have been impressed.
  • “The Rain In Spain,” My Fair Lady – The Glee boys turn this classic Broadway number into a jam session.
  • “Don’t Rain On My Parade,” Funny GirlRachel’s defining moment starts off great, but ends quickly as she forgets all the words to the song.
  • “Shake It Out,” Florence + The MachineThe acoustic cover of “Shake It Off” was outstanding. It was probably the best performance by the Glee girls this season. It was emotional and inspiring. The girls’ voices blended so well together.
  • “Cry,” Kelly Clarkson – Full of emotion for failing her NYADA audition, Rachel takes the stage with a powerful performance of “Cry.” And that she does.

Overall:

There were plenty of defining moments in last night’s episode, but things got a little too dark. This is suppose to be a comedy, and Sue can’t carry all the laughs on her own.

Rating: 8/10

Glee airs Tuesdays at 8 PM on FOX.

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What did you think of last night’s episode?