Rachel walks through the halls at McKinley and gets herself psyched for her upcoming NYADA audition. Meanwhile, Kurt practices "The Music of the Night" from "Phantom of the Opera" but feels that it's not edgy enough for his NYADA performance. Elsewhere, the New Directions girls notice Coach Beiste has a black eye and crack jokes to themselves about domestic violence. Coach Roz reports the incident to Will, who is distressed that his students would make jokes in such poor taste. Beiste laughs it off and says that she was actually injured at the gym by a punching bag. Back in the halls, Puck tells Finn that he just has to pass one (impossible) Geography test to graduate. Puck visits with his teacher in private and tries to seduce her into giving him a passing grade. When she won't budge, he performs "School's Out" by Alice Cooper and says that he's leaving McKinley for good!
In the choir room, Sue, Beiste and Roz lecture the New Directions girls about the seriousness of domestic violence. Sue says that their singing assignment for the week is to sing songs about female empowerment. Meanwhile, in the locker room, the boys realize that Puck has gone missing. Finn says that all the guys need to work together to ensure that Puck comes back to school, passes his test and graduates. Back in the hallway, Rachel and Kurt feel stressed about their auditions at NYADA. They decide that they will perform "The Music of the Night" together for their NYADA audition. In the auditorium, the New Directions girls (minus Rachel) sing "Cell Block Tango" from the musical "Chicago." As they perform, Coach Beiste has mental images about being physically abused by Cooter. She gets up and leaves the auditorium.
Sue and Roz find Beiste and ask her why she left the girls' performance. Beiste breaks down and admits that Cooter hit her. Sue offers her house to Beiste during this difficult time. Meanwhile, Puck is finishing up with his pool cleaning business and has plans to skip town to head for California. He is shocked when his father [Thomas Calabro] appears out of nowhere, asking to borrow money. Puck realizes that he does not want to be a high school dropout like his father, and so approaches the guys to ask for their help in passing his Geography test. Elsewhere at McKinley, Rachel and Kurt get set to perform for the Dean of NYADA, Carmen Tibideaux [Whoopi Goldberg]. Kurt makes a last-minute change of plans and decides to perform "Not The Boy Next Door" from the musical "The Boy From Oz." Carmen says that it was a terrific performance.
Up next, Rachel is summoned to perform in front of Carmen. She sings "Don't Rain On My Parade" from the musical "Funny Girl." Rachel chokes near the beginning of the performance and starts over, only to choke for a second time! Carmen says that the audition is over and leaves Rachel crying onstage. Elsewhere in school, the guys help Puck prepare for his Geography test. As they discuss the subject matter, the boys bust into a rocking rendition of "The Rain in Spain" from "My Fair Lady." Meanwhile, Coach Beiste meets with some of the New Directions girls and admits to them that she was actually beat up by her husband. Beiste reveals that she's now safe and has moved in with her sister, and then thanks the girls for helping her to be so strong.
In Geography class, Puck seems to whiz through his test thanks to all the studying he did with the guys. He thanks his friends for being positive male role models for him, as his dad was never around. In the choir room, the girls sing "Shake It Out" by Florence and the Machine. As Coach Beiste listens on in tears, she thinks about how she has taken Cooter back and given him a second chance. Meanwhile, Kurt consoles Rachel about her failed audition. Rachel sings "Cry" by Kelly Clarkson, while Puck is shown receiving an "F" on his test.
The "Choke" title of this week's episode couldn't be more fitting, as that is exactly what "Glee" has done. With so much momentum going into tonight's episode, I feel that the story has taken a downward spiral in what was quite a disappointing show. The songs were downright boring. Sure, they were sung well, but there were way too many musical numbers for my liking. The domestic violence message lacked real "ummph," too, as it kind of seemed to come out of nowhere. Devastating topic, yes, but it came across as a little too rushed. We can celebrate one thing from this episode, though, which was Rachel's epic failure in front of the NYADA judge. Not that I want to see Rachel fail, but at least it sets up some drama for next week. We're on the road to graduation, baby! (But wait, will Puck be able to walk?...)
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