Season 3 Episode 18


Aired Friday 8:00 PM May 01, 2012 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
107 votes

By Users Episode Review


    Glee: All Choked Up

    "Choke" was a story about failure. It was insightful. It was also really freaking sad.

  • Episode Summary

    Kurt and Rachel get ready for their NYADA audition but are scared when they find they will be performing for the school's dean; Puck makes a life decision when his father shows up in a Lima; Sue and Roz help Coach Beiste when she reveals a deep secret.


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    • One of the better episodes of this season so far

      Finally, the episode where Rachel and Kurt audition for NYATA. I'm so happy that Kurt was finally given the spotlight again. And he killed "Not the Boy Next Door." This is the only single from this season that I have downloaded. Chris Colfer, if he is typecasted once Glee ends, can always go to Broadway!

      The backup story with Coach Beiste is heartbreaking. I'm so happy that she has been made a regular character on this show. Dot-Marie Jones is marvelous and she deserves an Emmy for her performance. Spousal abuse is a terribly important issue and I'm glad that Glee is covering it.

      Song selections for this episode, aside from Kurt's, are a bit ho-hum. "The Rain in Spain" was incredibly weird, and didn't work for the boys. "School's Out" is a nice hard-rock song for Puckerman, but there was nothing really special about his performance. I did not feel any sympathy at all for Rachel during "Cry" -- not to poo-poo on her performance, because Lea Michele can certainly sing. I just wasn't feeling it with this number. I really don't care for any of their covers of Kelly Clarkson or Taylor Swift songs. The songs themselves are mediocre. Finally, the girls' choice to sing "Cell Block Tango" was incredibly inappropriate for their assignment, and (for the characters) quite idiotic. Here, the song was so truncated that the full impact of its decadent message is lost.

      The story and the drama compensated for the lack of great music in this episode.moreless
    • Choke....

      wow.... what a great episode... a little slow with the abuse topic though then it got interesting i can't believe she went back to him... the girls are going to be PISSED! as well as Sue ... i couldnt believe how caring Sue was in this episode.. i guess that comes from " being pregnant" if shes still pregnant but that was a very different side of her and i hope to see more of it.

      now to the Kurt audition WOW!!! i cant believed he changed his song at the last possible second the kid has alot of guts doing that... honestly for me personally i wouldve stuck with Phantom only because its personal to me and i just LOVE that song :)

      on to the next Rachel: i felt so bad for her yea she's always been a pain in the ass but she deserves to get into that school just as much as Kurt does i was honestly hoping for her to show up again in the episode and give her another chance but she let me down with that :(

      i loved how all the boys helped Puck study eventhough he failed at the end but an effort was made it was just an okay episode couldve been better but i still gave it a 10 bc i LOVE this show :)moreless
    • failures

      Even if the word "choke" is used explicitly in the episode only by Rachel, this is actually a tale of three failures. And contrary to other episodes of Glee, where it can be fun to see some of the characters in trouble or where a bad thing is approached in a light, almost farcical, way, this episode leaves a strong bitter aftertaste.

      The emotional focus is, of course, Beiste's story, one of the harshest themes ever touched by Glee. The rendering is especially effective because the authors wisely chose a pretty subdued approach (contrary, for example, to the bullying episodes). The way the girls' class was involved was not so clever and it didn't produce exciting musical results - I was not taken at all by the Cellblock tango, that I usually love, or by Shake it out - but the whole story arch and the bitter conclusion were very powerful.

      Puck also has to deal with failure - his, and his dad's. Even if the storyline is a bit obvious, and even if a last-minute save is not really a great message (don't worry to study for the whole year, because at the end two words of a song will make you pass!), it is still a disappointment, especially because of the scene between Puck and his dad which was short but meaningful. I am a bit unhappy for this choice that means probably that Puck will come back for next year... Mark Salling really starts looking too old to play the high school kid!

      The most clamorous failure is, of course, Rachel's. It is really cruel from the authors' part to make her fail the only really important audition in these three years! But I guess it's important to maintain some tension, considering that in this moment Glee has very few storylines really open. Speaking of which: why did Quinn disappear?

      Globally, this was an episode focused on quite strong storylines more than on pretty weak musical numbers (I save only Kurt's audition and Rachel's Cry) - at least some minor characters had some singing! -, and provided strong emotions, in the best Glee tradition.moreless
    • Bravo Glee - you brought it back!

      I have to say this was my favorite episode in a long, long time (as evidenced by the fact that I haven't written any reviews in months). It had everything going for it - really good music, good acting, and - best of all - a series of great plot lines. And Whoopi!

      Some of the musical numbers, IMHO, were fairly weak (like the "Rain in Spain" number) but I'm sure there are folks out there who loved it. Rachel's "Cry" was so heartfelt, so emotionally raw that it was spot on and apropos for the moment. All I could wonder was how she must have felt after "choking" and boy did she answer. Kurt's "Not the Boy Next Door" was really well done and showed off Chris Coffer's talent. I wasn't too wild about the "Cellblock Tango" number, but the pared down "Shake it Off" clearly made up for it.

      The Bieste storyline was terrific. Roz and Sue's support was really amazing (hearing Sue actually call someone by their real name and act humanly in a time of crisis!) and totally believable - something that Glee often asks viewers to suspend, but not this time. So totally unexpected and something Glee needs to do more often. I was literally sitting with my mouth open when Bieste admitted that Cooter had actually hit her. Wonderful.

      Now we head to the season finale in a few episodes. This is going to be a tough balance - how to make it poignant, meaningful, fun, and Glee without going to any one extreme. I hope they can continue the success of recent episodes and reclaim some of Glee's lost glory.moreless
    • Glee Choked Up BIG Time!

      This episode was okay.

      I loved Beiste's storyline I liked how it was realistic and the actress playing her did a really amazing job.

      Kurt's audition was adorable, but poor Rachel I hope she can bounce back.

      Whoopi Goldberg's cameo was fantastic.

      Puck's storyline was truly great, I felt super bad for him too.

      The "Bro-tervention" was cool, it was great seeing most of the Glee Guys together.

      The songs were as usual amazing to watch and listen to.

      All in All I thought this episode was a solid episode of Glee.

      I cannot wait for next week and the Senior Prom dinosaur themed episode!

    Thomas Calabro

    Thomas Calabro

    Mr. Puckerman

    Guest Star

    Eric Bruskotter

    Eric Bruskotter

    Cooter Menkins

    Guest Star

    Kathleen M. Darcy

    Kathleen M. Darcy

    Eleanor Doosenbury

    Guest Star

    Dot Jones

    Dot Jones

    Shannon Beiste

    Recurring Role

    Chord Overstreet

    Chord Overstreet

    Sam Evans

    Recurring Role

    NeNe Leakes

    NeNe Leakes

    Roz Washington

    Recurring Role

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (2)

      • As Rachel is listing off her pre-audition routines and superstitions she mentions that she doesn't drink milk because it can make her too phlegmy. It's already been established several times that Rachel is a vegan, and vegans don't eat anything that comes from animal products, meaning no dairy products at any time, not just before important auditions.

      • Music Featured in this Episode:
        "The Music of the Night" from The Phantom of the Opera
        "School's Out" by Alice Cooper
        "Cell Block Tango" from Chicago
        "Not the Boy Next Door" from The Boy from Oz
        "Don't Rain on My Parade" from Funny Girl
        "The Rain in Spain" from My Fair Lady
        "Shake It Out" by Florence + the Machine
        "Cry" by Kelly Clarkson

    • QUOTES (3)

      • Rachel: Um, this is insanity.
        Kurt: Wait, why are you talking to me? I thought you were saving your voice for your audition.
        Rachel: No, I vowed not to speak with you unless William and Kate got pregnant, Liza passed or unless one of us was in grave danger.
        Kurt: Tell me Liza's okay.

      • Sue: (talking to Beiste) Shannon, listen. You're gonna stay with me tonight, okay? If you don't have a change of clothes, I have a tent you can wear.

      • Rachel: (thinking) Deep in space there are giant interstellar clouds. Most of them just float through the universe, content to be balls of gas and space dust, but there are special ones. Maybe they collide with a supernova or are just made up of something extra amazing, but one day they just get too big for the nebulas they're in and with the sheer gravitational force of their awesomeness, they become a star. I am that amazing cloud. My whole life has led to this moment. My NYADA audition is this week. All of the singing and dancing lessons and hours spent until late into the night practicing my Oscar acceptance speech into a mirror are just about to come home to find purchase. My fiancé couldn't be more excited or supportive. I have some simple rules when I'm getting ready for a big performance. First, no milk - makes you too phlegmy. Second, no doorknobs - they spread infections. So do kisses. So what if I have some superstitions, too? I never step on cracks and sometimes I walk backwards, and everyone I see becomes a metaphor for the things that could stop me. I just give each one my gold star death stare. None of them stand a chance. You are a star, Rachel Berry, and in just two days from now you are going to shine so bright on that stage that the sun is going to cry with envy. You know when your time is, and it's now.

    • NOTES (3)

      • As Rachel is listing off her pre-audition routines and superstitions she mentions that she doesn't drink milk because it can make her too phlegmy. It's already been established several times that Rachel is a vegan, and vegans don't eat anything that comes from animal products, meaning no dairy products at any time, not just before important auditions.

      • Dianna Agron (Quinn Fabray) and Jayma Mays (Emma Pillsbury) do not appear in this episode. This marks Dianna's first absence from the show.

      • Original International Air Dates:
        Canada: May 1, 2012 on Global
        United Kingdom: May 3, 2012 on Sky1/Sky1 HD
        Norway: July 8, 2012 on TV2 Bliss
        Czech Republic: November 11, 2012 on Prima LOVE

    • ALLUSIONS (0)