With graduation looming for the Glee kids, a few of the characters have to do some prep for their futures this week. For Rachel and Kurt, it's their NYADA auditions, and for Puck, it's passing a test so he can graduate. While the kids get ready for their various challenges, Coach Beiste faces one of her own when we learn a revelation about her home life.
I should have known from the title that this episode would have someone failing, but I didn't expect it to have a disappointing ending for nearly every character who's highlighted. Let's go over all the bummers from "Choke" after the jump.
- For his NYADA audition, Kurt loses his original idea of performing a piece from Phantom of the Opera in favor of something fresher, "Not the Boy Next Door." Rachel gets wind of his risky choice and talks him out of it. However, when he gets to his audition, he hears that the NYADA scout is the tough Carmen Thibedeau (guest star Whoopi Goldberg), and switches back to his other song. With his powerful notes and gold-clad hip swivels, he impresses the scout (and me. It's so much more exciting than the snippet we see of "Music of the Night").
- Rachel is obsessively getting ready for her audition, taking every precaution she can to ensure the perfect performance. She decides to sing "Don't Rain on My Parade," a song she feels comfortable with. It's not enough, and she blows her audition, flubbing the lyrics twice. Thibedeau dismisses Rachel, who's despondent over her failure.
- Puck is in danger of not graduating, and he's so desperate to pass a class that he puts the moves on one of his teachers. When that doesn't work, he gives up (cue "School's Out For Summer"), but Finn and the guys refuse to give up on him. They don't have to use their elaborate scheme, because Puck's dad surfaces, pathetic and begging for money. Not wanting to make the same mistakes, he asks the guys to help him pass his last test. They have a rockin' cram session, but Puck also fails, getting an F on the test.
- Domestic violence becomes a theme when Coach Washington overhears Santana and a few of the girls making inappropriate jokes when Coach Beiste has a black eye. Roz and Sue team up to give them an assignment to take a song and make it about female power. They pick "Cell Block Tango" and while I agree that they missed the point, I loved seeing the girls do the big Chicago number. Point missed or not, the song gets to Beiste, and after she flees the room, she confesses to Sue and Roz: Cooter hit her. It's a heartbreaking turn for Beiste's storyline, and I'm a little irritated that her character couldn't just have been left happy. It gets sadder when she tells the girls what's going on with her (who thank her by serenading her with a lovely version of "Shake It Out") but then we see that she doesn't actually leave Cooter and gives him a second chance.
So, who else is as depressed as I am after watching this week's Glee? Surely a couple of these things will get resolved — perhaps Rachel will get another audition or find a different school, and if Donna Martin can graduate, so can Noah Puckerman. Let me know what you think in the comments.