‘Glee’ review: Dot-Marie Jones shines in tough, depressing ‘Choke’

Beiste's story dominated the hour.

Usually when you watch an episode of “Glee,” you find yourself smiling by the end of the hour — or at least singing along to some of the tunes. However, Tuesday night’s new installment may take the cake as one of the hardest, most somber hours of television in the show’s history.

Why? There were really three stories at the center of the episode, and none of them had anywhere close to a happy ending.

Coach Beiste’s domestic drama – When we first saw that the Beiste was the victim of abuse by her husband Cooter, we wanted to be cynical and say that it was unbelievable that a character we were made to like earlier this season ended up being someone who could do something like punching a woman in his own home. However, that is exactly the point — you never know what someone is like behind closed doors.

This powerful story should get Dot-Marie Jones her second Emmy nomination, as we watched her painfully admit to being a victim after first lying about it. Then, we witnessed something even more painful as Sue, Roz, and even some of the very students who first made jokes about her black eye rallied around her, only for her to lie again and say that she was out of the situation — even though in reality, she still went home to a man who she feared was her only chance at love.

While it is possible that people can change, there are also some things beyond forgiveness — and this move by Beiste is one that is unfortunately one that will have serious ramifications for her down the road.

NYADA – For about two minutes, we had a chance to celebrate Kurt giving a spectacular audition to the prestigious school courtesy of a number from “The Boy from Oz.” Unfortunately, this was marred by Rachel botching her chances of making it in the big city by forgetting the words of “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” a song that she could typically perform in her sleep.

While this failed audition does not mean that Rachel is for sure going to fail in New York, it does mean that she will have to work even harder to make her dreams come true. Will Kurt still attend NYADA without her if he gets in? Moving forward, that is one of the questions he is going to have to ask himself.

Can Puck turn it around?

Puck’s failure – After realizing that he needed to pass a geography test in order to graduate, Mark Salling’s went through a gamut of emotions — from determination to anger to ultimately a decision to walk away from McKinley and start up his pool-cleaning business.

Ultimately, it was seeing his deadbeat father (and giving him his entire savings of $500) that caused him to really buckle down and try to do something his dad never did in get a high school diploma. He genuinely tried his best to cram at the last minute with some help from his classmates (and a ridiculous performance of “The Rain in Spain” from “My Fair Lady”), but ended up failing anyway.

We want to hope that there is still a way for Puck to graduate, but we also have to be realistic here — not everyone who enters high school together leaves the same exact way.

Overall, this probably was the strongest actual episode of the show in 2012 thus far, even if it was one that was a tear-jerker and focused mostly on story over cheeky song-and-dance numbers.

Were you able to enjoy “Choke” despite getting so very choked up?

Photo: Fox

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