'Glee': Coach Bieste and Rachel get emotional during 'Choke'

glee-choke-lea-michele.jpgDot Marie Jones just sealed her second guest actress Emmy nomination with her stellar performance in the Very Special "Glee" episode "Choke," right? Coach Bieste has shown a real vulnerability over the past two seasons, and Jones did a great job in the poignant material she was given as Bieste struggles with domestic abuse by her new husband Cooter.

It's a shame she went back to him in the end, and even sadder that she had to lie about it to Sue. If it's handled anywhere near as well as the recent teen suicide plot, this storyline could be truly awesome.

Now, on to the titular "Choke" -- Rachel and Kurt finally had their NYADA auditions, and Kurt took a risk and absolutely nailed it while Rachel choked on "Don't Rain on My Parade," a song she's been belting since she was a toddler.

Lea Michele was stellar, and frankly we're pleased that everything isn't going perfectly as planned for Rachel. That's not now life works out, and she should know that. We can't wait to see her as a struggling actress in Season 4.

While Puck doesn't resonate as much as many of McKinley's other characters, "Choke" gave him the biggest storyline he's had in the latter half of Season 3. His "School's Out" was pretty elaborately staged (and tons of fun to watch), and the boys jamming together on a rock version of "My Fair Lady's" "The Rain in Spain" was inspired. Plus, it's always awesome to see the study hard montage to not work out for a change.

But while it makes sense that Puck would fail his senior year, it is a little surprising because he seems like a prime candidate for Ryan Murphy to cut as he thins out the cast for Season 4. Not that we don't want any Puck, he just hasn't been getting the greatest stories as of late and could've run his course as a character.

Side note: Thomas Calabro seems to play a real piece of work d-bag father a lot, so it was totally natural to see him as Puck's deadbeat dad.

Other thoughts:

-Cougar mom's bathing suit was tres risque, no?
-What the heck was up with Rachel's last-minute hair and outfit change during the NYADA auditions? She was supposed to play Kurt's Christine, but then she straightened her hair and changed in about 30 seconds so she could slide out and watch Kurt in the audience? Come on.
-At this point, we're all okay with the non-seniors taking a back seat, right? It makes sense that the seniors would get the biggest storylines at this point in time and we're all for it.

Best Song(s) of the Night:
"Shake it Off," Santana, Mercedes and Tina

This acoustic cover was not only poignant and inspiring, it was GORGEOUS. The harmonies were amazing and their voices blended so well that we had goosebumps the entire time.

"I Am Not the Boy Next Door," Kurt
The Chris Colfer hour got a little old when he was the only one getting the important storylines (ahem, Season 2...and yes we're aware that is a little sacreligious to say)

"Cry," Rachel
Yep, more goosebumps. "Glee" has had no shortage of Lea Michele showcases, but this one was particularly excellent because we felt Rachel's pain -- truly heartbreaking stuff. Girlfriend is at the top of her game.

Worst Song of the Night:
"Cell Block Tango," Tina, Santana, Brittany, Sugar

Um, no. Just no. We're as happy for a Jenna Ushkowitz number as anyone else, especially a Broadway song, but...no. Nope. Not listening to this one again.
Photo/Video credit: FOX