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'Glee' doesn't 'Choke' as season draws to a close: Preparing for the future

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Glee - "Choke"

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This week's Glee is called "Choke," a title that applies to different characters in different ways. Rachel (Lea Michele) and Kurt (Chris Colfer) finally get their NYADA audition, and one of them bombs it. The girls are ashamed to learn that their jokes about Bieste (Dot-Marie Jones) being domestically abused turn out to have hit on truth. And Puck (Mark Salling) contemplates dropping out of high school just before graduation, but if he decides not to, can he even pass?

Reviews for this episode: Domestic Violence / Preparing for the Future

At McKinley, the legendary Carmen Thibodeaux (the just-as-legendary Whoopi Goldberg) arrives in "Choke" to see if Kurt and Rachel have what it takes to join her first class at the famous NYADA school. The gravitas Goldberg brings just by appearing on screen in this part is impressive. Perfect casting!

Kurt ditches his rehearsed, safe "The Music of the Night" in favor of "Not the Boy Next Door." Having dancers on stand by and a fitting costume under rip off dress wear proves this is a decision Kurt considers before implementing it at the last moment, but that takes away nothing. This isn't the best song Kurt has ever done on Glee, but it's damn good, and should secure his spot under Ms. Thibodeaux's tutelage.

Dot-Marie Jones may win the MVP award for "Choke," but Lea Michele comes in a solid second. She crashes and burns while trying to perform "Don't Rain On My Parade," a Glee classic fans may remember from season one, and a tune Rachel has been practicing since childhood. Nerves are real and can strike anyone, even a born diva like Rachel. It's an earth shattering moment, as she watches her dreams crash and burn. That's probably why she gets worse as she gives it a second go, sensing her end is nigh, and devastated by the reality of the situation.

But Rachel's break down doesn't end there. Michele redeems her vocal talents with a tearful "Cry." If only the NYADA judge could see that, Rachel would ace her try out!

What will she do now? Certainly not give up. That's not like her at all. Surely she will formulate a come back scheme. Which should fail, because Rachel working as a struggling actress could be quite fun.

Finally, "Choke" sees Puck loudly vow to drop out of high school with a rocking "School's Out." It's a great number, but doesn't entirely fit. It feels like this isn't quite the direction the writers want to go with Puck, but can't resist such an alluring song.

Puck soon rethinks his ways after seeing his deadbeat dad (Thomas Calabro, Melrose Place), and asks his friends to help him study. Which they do while singing an updated "The Rain in Spain." Yet, Puck fails the test, and thus the class, anyway.

Poor Puck. He wants to do well, but doesn't want to show that he cares. His efforts are too little, too late, but that doesn't mean that anyone wants to see him without a future. Puck will probably never go to college or be rich, but he could build himself a respectable life, if he chooses to. It's too bad his efforts are half-hearted. Although, this might mean he could stick around for season four

Reviews for this episode: Domestic Violence / Preparing for the Future

Glee continues its build up to graduation Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on FOX. In Columbus, FOX is channel 8 (analog), 1008 (high definition cable), and 388 (satellite).

If you like my reviews, please follow me on Twitter! Click here for all of the Glee reviews I've ever written. To purchase Glee DVDs, streaming episodes, music, and more, please click here. Article first published as TV Review: Glee - "Choke" on Blogcritics.

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