Glee “Choke” Review

Tonight, on a very special Glee…the girls learn an important lesson about domestic abuse. Should I be joking about such a serious topic? Absolutely not. But neither should Glee strike us out of nowhere with “Choke,” one of the most depressing episodes of the show that I can think of off the top of my head.

What are we supposed to take away from this hour of television? Dreams don’t always come true because no matter how hard you prepare for something, there’s always the possibility that you will screw up royally? Cramming (and jamming) the night before won’t guarantee you an A on the most important test of your life? Abused spouses usually forgive their abusers?

Okay, so all of these things are true, but Glee is a show that only does well with reality in small doses. When too much of the real world encroaches on the happy song world Will has created, something always feels off. It’s like a balancing act. There can be one truth of the week (bullying/texting while driving/cheating is bad), but if there’s two or three, I suddenly feel a lot less willing to buy into the power of song.

Frankly, heading into prom and graduation, things seem grim. Rachel’s odds of joining Kurt in New York seem rightfully slim after she blew her audition with Whoopi Goldberg. Puck will probably not be allowed to graduate. And in a twist that packed a powerful punch, Coach Bieste’s husband hit her…and she went back to him.

Can I just say that while I hate this twist, in some sick way it makes sense? Bieste takes a lot of verbal abuse for her size and her weight; it’s not so much of a stretch to imagine she’d take a punch or two from the only man who’s ever shown her real attention. And, no, I don’t count Will’s pity-kiss. I just have this feeling that the story is going to end there. Glee isn’t known for plot closure; it’s entirely likely that her abuse will be forgotten after this episode. I sincerely hope, however, that I’m wrong about that.

As for Puck, while my heart goes out to him, let him stand as a lesson to high schoolers. You can’t make up for four years of slacking off in one night, even if you and your friends perform an awesome rock cover of a tune from “My Fair Lady.”

I have no doubt that Rachel Berry will rebound from her botched audition, perhaps by going with Finn and Puck to Los Angeles, perhaps by finding another performing arts school (there are a lot of them), or perhaps by bugging Whoopi so much that she finally just breaks down. Regardless, it was actually time that Rachel realized she’s always been her own worst enemy.

Oh, and thanks, Glee, for ruining “Music of the Night” for me, forever. It’s not that I don’t love Kurt or that I think he isn’t enormously talented, but the best moment of the evening for me was when he asked Rachel if he sang the song better than Michael Crawford…and she couldn’t think of anything to say. Stick to Oz, Kurt.

What did you think of the episode? Let me know below!