Glee 318 Recap: Choke-a-Joke

Well, if there’s anything I like more than lighting my armpits on fire, it’s a 10-minute cliche-ridden out-of-the-blue PSA about domestic violence starring a character I’d completely forgotten about until this week, intercut with tedious cock-rock and a baffling sequence of auditions for an imaginary theater school that apparently waits until high school graduation to select its incoming class of aspirant freshman!

this is what happens when you light your armpits on fire

No, but seriously — this episode was terrible. Its inconsistent tone, pervasive hypocrisy, out-of-left-field irrelevancy, casual misogyny and continued reliance on tired racial and sexist stereotypes was so horrendous that I had to mute almost the entire episode and, fifteen minutes before the episode’s end, turn the television off altogether to save myself from the pain of watching the last fifteen minutes more than once (to write these recaps, I watch the episode when it airs, and then again the next day to create my outline — so I thought I’d do myself a favor and eliminate part of Round #1).

That being said, none of these individual storylines were terrible on their own, but the juxtaposition of all three was an epic disaster and it’s unclear why, exactly, Glee wanted to do a domestic violence story this week, or at all. In fact, it’s pretty clear these three storylines weren’t even shot concurrently — girls and boys rarely appear in the same scenes, Rachel’s absent from all group scenes and Glee-Lady scenes and Quinn’s inexplicably missing for the entire episode.

Much like “On My Way,” this episode displayed a baffling commitment to tackling a “serious issue” over its commitment to continue telling the stories of and advancing the development of its main characters. This story didn’t come out of left field, it came from a whole different ballpark altogether! The only thematic issue it tied into was the thematic issue of good actors getting crappy lines — and Dot Jones acted the fuck out of what she got served this week, that’s for sure.

Furthermore, anyone with personal knowledge of the Domestic Violence Issue could easily attest that it’s not a one-off topic, it’s a mixed-up complicated treacherous thing worthy of an entire season-long arc, not one episode or even three episodes, which I believe is what remains in the season.

Also, seriously, where the hell is Quinn? I haven’t been warned about the dangers of texting while swimming yet today.


We open in the hallowed hallways of McKinley High, where Rachel Berry waxes poetic — employing multiple intergalactic space-and-fireball related metaphors — about her future as a big bright shining star, and she’s adorable, and Finn is bearable, and the jokes are pointed and clever.

i knew diflucan would do the trick

And, following those 45 seconds of bliss, we begin our slow descent into the ravenous black hole that is This Show.

The descent kicks off with a Finn/Puck “brovention” that would matter to me only if my brain had been removed by forklift and replaced with a giant pulsing wad of Jell-O Salad.

this is your brain on glee

Basically, Finn’s worried Puck won’t graduate high school, and Puck appreciates Finn’s Soupy Savior Complex but assures him that he’s got high school graduation is in the bag. See, all Puck’s gotta do is seduce some more silly lady-teachers into riding his pony to Tuna-Town, and A’s will come tumbling out of their vulnerable mouths right along with the “OH!”s.

also dude, let's be real, i graduated high school in 1998

Thus we slide over to Brit-Brit, who, three weeks prior to graduation and six months post-election, has just attended her first student council meeting.

Brittany: “You guys, I just went to my first student council meeting, and I found out that we have another prom this year. So as president, I need to come up with a theme. And I’m thinking if we do alien abductions, we could set up cornfields and probing booths.”

and then i was like, "wait, you've already had 45 meetings without me? i must have been busy fisting"

This brief foray into humor brought me back to that time Brittany said she’d lost her virginity to a guy who crawled into her tent, had sex with her, and called it ‘alien invasion,’ which’s only relevant insofar as that throwaway joke stands in stark contrast to the sudden hard line — flown in from wherethefuckever — this show’s about to take on jokes about assaulting women for the next 30 minutes.

Apparently, Coach Beiste is sporting a shiner, and apparently Santana’s turned remarkably wicked — even for her — and busts out with this undoubtedly tacky not-zinger:

Santana: “Aw Hell, looks like Mr. Beiste went all Chris Brown on Mrs. Beiste — What happened, Coach, Cooter put the smack-down on you ’cause you wouldn’t let him be on top?”

The girls laugh, because girls are idiots, I guess. Yeah! Girls are so dumb!

i totally signed four petitions on facebook against Chris Brown performing at the grammys, FYI

Never fear, Roz Washington, like all McKinley athletic coaches, just-so-happens to be stalking the hallways searching for Sassy Retort Opportunities:

Roz: “What did you just say?
Santana: “Nothing, it was a joke.”
Roz: “So, men hitting women is funny to you?”
Santana: “Oh please, we obviously don’t think Coach Beiste was hit by anybody, I mean look at her, she’s a wall.”
Roz: “Let me tell you something. I’m Coach Roz Washington. I’m an Olympic Champion, and I do not suffer fools! Especially fools who think domestic violence is funny.”

we prefer more innocuous styles of misogyny at this school, ladies, so maybe just stop being so obvious about it

Roz then refers to the ladies as “Asian Horror Movie” (Tina), “Hatrack” (Brittany), “Li’l Oprah” (Mercedes), “Rojo Caliente” (Sugar) and “Salsa Caliente” (Santana) — and let the inconsistent tone game begin!


Although I ignore the Adult Parts of this show as a rule, lemme just give you the quick rundown: in the staff lounge, The Adults confront Beiste regarding the bruise, she makes something up about where she got it from, and Roz/Sue inform William his ladies are “making jokes about violence against women” and they all communally find this totally unacceptable because, you know — it is.

(Unlike “I can’t suspend someone for shoving you into a locker. He’ll  just say he tripped and accidentally pushed you. I use that excuse all the time,” which Sue said to Kurt in Episode 208.)

(Also, unlike that time Sebastian threw a rock-salt-laced slushie at Blaine’s head, essentially blinding him in one eye, and Will commanded the class to deal with it and not expect recourse.)

i feel like these two need a shipper name

See, we mock after-school specials ’cause they’re so insistently sentimental, so trite and cliche, so void of irony, so absolutely committed to the “cause” in question — but they’re like that for a reason, and it’s ’cause Serious Issues are indeed Serious Things and you can’t constantly make wacky jokes at the expense of fat people, disabled people, immigrants, people of color, women and gay people and then suddenly come down hard on one arbitrary type of risky joke each week. I’m all about edgy progressive offensive humor that shocks and discomforts people, but executing such things consistently requires better artists than the ones making this show. I don’t know if that makes sense, but hopefully you get what I mean.


Cut to the auditorium, where Kurt’s performing “Music of the Night” from Phantom (his NYADA audition number) for an audience of one. Kurt has raided The Pottery Barn and laced the stage with candelabras, hired Artie as a human fog-machine and Tina as a sort of futuristic robot Christine, I think.

Blaine’s gushing with adoration for Kurt’s performance but Kurt’s not sold. After all, Kurt’s whole life is riding on this audition. We know this because Kurt says, “my whole life is riding on this audition.” Maybe, Kurt suggests, he should do something more “fresh”! Like fresh fruit!

Besides, Kurt’s got 99 feelings about “Music of the Night” and “excited” ain’t one. In fact, as Kurt himself explains —

the feeling is mutual

Thus we smear over to a high school classroom where Puck’s attempting to seduce his gnarly way into the Talbots-inspired floor-length sweater set adorning his “lonely” “divorced” European Geography teacher (entire classes devoted to European Geography only exist on television, by the way), but he fails and she says he’s “not stupid, just lazy,” which’s true, and should maybe just try studying instead.

to be honest with you puck, i'd rather watch "criminal minds" with riese than do the horizontal mambo with you

The point of all this hooha is that it catapults the ever-patient audience into a super-gross unbearably Puckeled performance of  “School’s Out.” This unnecessary aggressive musical situation drags us throughout the hallowed hallways of McKinley High with paper fluttering through the air and eventually leads us to the football field, where cheerleaders with nice quadriceps temporarily relieve the burning pain of this episode by gyrating on astroturf in carwash skirts.

did anyone else think of that scene in "10 Things I Hate About You" when this happened

What do you think about this musical number, Kurt?


While the boys are rocking out with their cocks out, the ladies are indoors, filing their nails and thinking about alternative lifestyle haircuts as three such haircuts, adorning the heads of bodies who spent the morning shopping at Foot Locker, stand before them:

you think waterboarding is hard? no, domestic violence is hard

So the ladies — minus Invisible Quinn and Crazy Rachel — have been assembled for a Super Important Talking-To about how Jokes About Domestic Violence aren’t funny.

Sugar points out that Sue is totes inapprops 24/7, and Sue responds:

Sue: “I admit I can be a little abrasive. And I admit I’ve fantasized about slapping each one of you square across the face with a sturdy, wet fish. But that doesn’t mean you deserve it. No one deserves to get hit.”


sugar is seriously contemplating doing "but he loves me" from "Oliver!" this week

When Mercedes and Tina assert that if their boys ever got rough, they’d clearly hit the road (Brittany and Santana remain mum, as LGBT domestic violence clearly escapes this episode’s radar, but does exist, and is very real and hard), Roz begins with, “I don’t think any of you know what violence in a home really feels like” — and, as someone who knows what violence in a home really feels like AND has dealt with the actual real-life experience of trying so hard to get a friend out of an abusive home/situation AND is totally disgusted that they’re really truly giving this “my aunt got beat up by her man” monologue to the one black woman on the show, I had no choice but to mute the rest of this terrible scene and relax in, you guessed it, CHILD’S POSE!

The scene ends with an assignment — the ladies will somehow turn “songs about violence against women” into “songs of empowerment that say, ‘if you lay a hand on me, it’s over.'” Yeah, I don’t know.

Can we just take a time out to note that despite the theme being “men committing violence against women,” there are no MEN present? Is Santana’s stupid Chris Brown joke really responsible for violence against women and women not leaving abusive relationships? Surely, if Sue and Roz truly worry that Harry Shum Jr or Sexy Sam could turn abusive at any minute, maybe they oughtta be present for this?


We mosey over to the Glee Muscle Club — where Glee Men go to punch punching bags while Glee Ladies absorb lectures on how to avoid getting punched in the face by Glee Men. Herein, Blaine’s fascinating/adorable hair-gel tip conversation with Mike Chang is rudely interrupted by Finn’s enormous bovine feelings regarding Puck’s absence, as apparently skipping Glee Muscle Club is a tell-tale sign of one’s rapid descent into not-graduating.

i mean truly men find that area really erogenous, that spot between the you-know-what and the you-know-what, you know?

Finn asks, “if we don’t all graduate together, then what was the point of all this?” and before someone answers that question with the 6,780 valid answers it inspires, he demands his bros adopt a “no man gets left behind” attitude and teach Puck geography, or something.

Finn: “We will get him to pass. By any means necessary.”

What a stunning Malcom X reference, douchebag. Regardless, how do you feel about this scene, ladies?!!!



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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3198 articles for us.


  1. “I’m all about edgy progressive offensive humor that shocks and discomforts people, but executing such things consistently requires better artists than the ones making this show.”

    Thank you. I have been having trouble pinpointing that for myself, so I am grateful.


  2. Honestly, riese, I’m amazed you made it through this episode without resorting to pouring-acid-in-my-eyes-and-ear-holes pose.

    Which is to say, brava.

  3. No Quinn = no show.

    I didn’t like the Whitney one but I kinda enjoyed this one despite all the inconsistencies. I feel like I’m going insane.

  4. I’ve got to the point where I can’t watch Glee anymore and just read your recaps. Honestly, it’s much better this way. This episode sounds like a shitshow.

    • I don’t watch Glee, I watch Tumblr watching Glee. I highly recommend it, as long as you don’t need normal emotions any time soon.

  5. I was bored the entire episode and totally missed the part where Beiste went back to Cooter because I was zoned out. But it’s fucked up that after all that talk about how serious domestic violence is they have her go back to him.

    Rachel totally choked because Quinn had strangely disappeared and Rachel was heartbroken that Quinn didn’t show up for her audition.

    • Perhaps if it had been on a different show, given Glee’s super problematic handling of EVERYTHING, the “her going back to him” storyline would’ve worked. That’s the very moment that stuck with me most of all out of the entire thing because when I was abused, I gave the guy a million chances. I didn’t break away. I did “go back.” So did my aunt. So did my best friend.

      Sadly in our culture we have a stigma against women who cannot break away from abusive relationships, but the fact is that it’s a very true statistic that a lot of women go back to abusive partners. Had it not been on Glee I think it could’ve worked much more effectively to raise awareness to the fact that women do not always get away and shaming them for it doesn’t help them at all.

      • yeah i felt like it was a pretty good example of how it can actually be harder to admit to people that you’ve gone back than it was to admit you were having problems in the first place — after getting all that support and being so open about it and speaking to young women as an authority figure who “did the right thing,” the shame of admitting after all that that you went back is immense, and I imagine she’ll just start lying again. but Glee won’t handle that properly, I know they won’t, and it didn’t fit into this episode at ALL. that’s why i was saying they need a whole season arc — and it’s been done! on degrassi, on beverly hills 90210, etc — not just a quick message thrown in to an unrelated episode.

        • I agree. I also thought that she had initially lied about leaving him, and that Glee was trying to be clever. HOW NAIVE AND HOPEFUL I AM.

          It was crass and poorly handled. Domestic violence is complicated, but I guess they thought they were being really OUT THERE because it didn’t happen to the african american character. Sigh.

      • I totally think a better show could have handled it better and had a more realistic portrayal of how difficult it is to leave, but Glee isn’t that show and at this point I don’t give them the benefit of the doubt that they might actually handle the story appropriately.

  6. “Aw Hell, looks like Mr. Beiste went all Chris Brown on Mrs. Beiste — What happened, Coach, Cooter put the smack-down on you ’cause you wouldn’t let him be on top?”

    I JUST CAN’T. There is no universe wherein this is okay.

    “I’m all about edgy progressive offensive humor that shocks and discomforts people, but executing such things consistently requires better artists than the ones making this show.”

    This. Thank you. Whenever I see a joke that attempts to be shocking and it’s not funny, that offends me even worse. Have something to say and mean the fuck out of it, don’t just toss in some throwaway about whatever the topic is.

    Also way to make domestic violence as one dimensional as possible. Because we all know it is ALWAYS cis men hitting cis women in hetero relationships. Men and trans people are never victims. LGBT couples are, as you say, “mum.” And it is ALWAYS HITTING. That last part almost upsets me the most because let me tell you, it’s the emotional mind fuck that usually hurts the worst and is the hardest to escape.

    Gaslighting, Glee! Google that shit.

    • Yeah, I was kind of wondering that if they were going to make the domestic abuse lesson all about how bad men are – and not acknowledge that women can be domestic abusers, too – then maybe they should have left the two queer girls out of it and brought the queer boy couple in instead?

    • YES also considering that literally this moment there’s the whole VAWA fuckery going on, it would have actually been cool for Santana to be like “um excuse me, can Brit and I leave? We don’t really do the whole penis thing so I think we’re good…” And then someone could have been like, well actually
      Then Glee would have been dropping some relevant knowledge and being all preachy in a helpful way, as it loves to be/think it is.

      • Well Brittany is bi and so she’s dated boys before and could theoretically date them in the future. (Not that I want her to be with anybody but Santana until the time, of course…)

  7. Ugh. It was all so bad. So so bad.

    Except for Shake It Out. That was wonderful.

    If there was ever an award for “Show that completely and utterly butchers staying true to their own characters and/or character development.” Glee would win hands down.

    I’d also like to congratulate Tina on having more screen time and lines in this one episode than she has all season.

  8. I write television and also hate Glee with a burning passion, so sometimes I tune into the particularly badly-received epidodes for the hate-watching.

    My thoughts:

    1) The incongruous tones, like you mentioned. None of the stories seemed to match each other in anything, and pairing these generally innocuous storylines about teenage failure with an actual frightening, scary issue made the scary issue less impacting and more “Oh, I guess we need something to be preachy about this episode, let’s do this!”

    2) I strangely liked the domestic abuse storyline in several ways:
    • The fact that Bieste was the one being abused was a nice touch; it demonstrated (to me, at least) the fact that not all women who are victims of domestic abuse are petite, or cute, or little, or unable to fight back physically. I liked seeing that Bieste, who is strong and tall and imposing physically, was unable to fight back not because of her physicality, but because she is broken. (Though “bringing her back” just to be a device is shitty; I’d have liked it had she been present throughout the season)
    • Also, I was GLAD that she admitted that she didn’t want to fight back physically, because that rings true. I was the victim of an abusive relationship (my first boyfriend ever, what a way to start off dating!) that was less about violence and more about sexual abuse. I could have left at any time… but I didn’t. Why? Because I had somebody who loved me, even if they hurt me day in and day out, and that was better than facing things alone. I had a weakness that he exploited. That didn’t make me weak, and it doesn’t make Bieste weak either.
    • I also liked the fact that she lied about getting out and went back to him. It was true. I’m sort of sick of the narrative of “woman gets abused, woman leaves, women heals.” That is not everybody’s story. A lot of abuse victims I know, myself included, gave second, third, seventeenth chances. We often see a narrative in popular culture of congratulated the woman who left and shaming the woman who stayed as if she is to blame for the abuse. She’s not. Women stay in bad relationships for a myriad of reasons, and representing that was good. The moment where the girls are hugging Bieste after their song actually tugged at me in a deep place; it reminded me of when I told my friends that was going to dump my boyfriend and they were happy for me, even though it was a total lie.

    3) However, they bungled it all to hell. The moment when it’s revealed that Bieste hasn’t left Cooter (is that really his name?) was done terribly. It was a quick shot of them and his line and then OH HERE’S RACHEL SAD BERRY BEING SAD! It made me as a viewer hate Rachel unfairly because it was like “BIG ABUSE STORYLINE!” to “sad girl failed her college audition boo hoo.” It juxtaposed it really badly. Also, it totally cheapened what could have been an AMAZING moment for the character and really solidified the storyline as something of note. What SHOULD have happened was that the Shake it Out scene is the last scene. The music continues playing as Bieste hugs them. It continues playing as we cut to a car pulling up in a driveway and Bieste getting out of it. The front door opens and Cooter is standing there. Bieste walks up to him. He kisses her on the cheek, and she goes inside. No dialogue, no nothing. Just an image with a beautiful song with one message playing over a sad image with another. She hasn’t shaken it off or shaken it out. That’s how to do juxtaposition, Murphy.

    tl;dr I know, but it really could have been a wonderfully done storyline that isn’t at all characteristic of Glee’s often terrible writing. It could have redeemed them from another “let’s bring back a random character and have them undergo a terrible thing” storyline they had with Karofsky. But instead, they travelled the same path: big impactful moments were cheapened by their placement in the show and their handling of it. It just proves to me once again that Glee could’ve been so much more, but at the end of the day, Ryan Murphy is a hack.

    • Valid points! I think it would’ve been even better if it had been someone other than beiste, though. they seem afraid to give these issues to their main characters, but that’s what gives a story WEIGHT, that’s what makes a writer really have to sweat and dig deep to make it work, when it actually impacts the storylines of OTHER main characters. you know? like they’ve got serious cast sprawl, and i feel like a writing teacher would’ve told the author of glee to tighten it up and take a REAL risk.

      also though, re:this – “The fact that Bieste was the one being abused was a nice touch; it demonstrated (to me, at least) the fact that not all women who are victims of domestic abuse are petite, or cute, or little, or unable to fight back physically.

      I would totally agree with you and I do, out of context of the rest of the season — but that seems to be the only point they’re ever trying to make with her, like her entire existence is devoted to the ideas that Big Girls Do Cry. Every episode about her rests on the paradox between her appearance/occupation and emotional/sexual reality. She may be a big girl who coaches football, but she’s not a lesbian! She may look hard, but she’s really a softie who wants a boyfriend! She may be large and in charge, but boys make her nervous and she’s never been kissed! She may be strong and athletic, but she’s being abused by her husband! You know?

      • So many snaps to this point. Yes.

        On a completely unrelated note: I want to know more about Mike and see his dance school auditions.

      • Totally agree! Every time they DO try to do something “big” with a main character, they don’t have the guts to follow it through. Hello, Quinn GETTING HIT BY A BUS AND THEN DISAPPEARING WTF. ahh sorry. Deep breaths.

          • My b. The fact that I “watch” this show aka fast-forward and mute and then memorize Riese’s recaps is showing, whoops.

      • I totally 100% agree with all of this. The basic point of my comment is that as a person who doesn’t watch Glee consistently and therefore isn’t sure of the seasonal arcs that have been put in place, that’s how I would’ve addressed things, and to that end, most of those comments were definitely out of context of the show.

        An interesting point my writing partner just brought up in regards to your main character thing: he said that he would make a main character (whatever one makes sense) struggle with an abusive situation, thus tying in more implications for the show rather than just making it a one-off situation like this episode clearly will be. He’d still utilize the Bieste aspect in the fact that she is also being abused, but her role would be to advise whatever younger main character is going through the abuse as well. Bieste would advise the girl (Quinn, for the sake of having a name) to get out of the relationship and respect herself and see herself as a person deserving of love and respect, not abuse, using her own abusive situation as a way to demonstrate the consequences of abuse. Quinn would take the advice gladly and would be shown ending whatever abusive situation she is in, having been booned by Bieste’s personal story and advice. The episode would end the same as my above edit: BIeste would go back to her house and would be shown being with the aggressor, thus complicating both of their characters further.

        Of course, something like this would involve rewriting a lot of Glee not only for plot, but to make it a show that isn’t so vapid it swallows itself. Simply put, at the point is now, even good writers can’t fix the terrible precedents they have set.

      • My favorite was when they were using the fact that Rory hasn’t tried peanut butter (because Ireland is on another planet, not across the ocean) as a reason you shouldn’t commit suicide. Really now?

  9. My impression was that the show wasn’t portraying Beiste returning to her husband as the right thing to do. Maybe I’m painting my own emotions onto that scene, but I remember her looking guilty while the girls were singing and she was having her flashback. Because otherwise it would make ZERO sense… which is actually more likely for Glee, I guess.

    • I agree with you. I thought she looked guilty and it was meant as a lead-in to another episode about her relationship. She caved (which is very real) and was embarrassed about it. I’m not saying the handling was great, but I’m hoping that wasn’t the end of her abuse storyline or the message would be really messed up.

    • no, i don’t think they were portraying it as the right thing to do to anyone with a brain. but the way they told that story was sloppy and they hit us over the head with every point they made, so for them to suddenly end it with something more complex and up-for-interpretation seemed irresponsible — like we all know what that ending meant and how it felt, but we’re adults, and it seemed like the rest of the story was written for children, so to suddenly get adult on us was confusing.

  10. Thank you for pointing out the way in which those gold pants seemed to highlight Kurt’s junk. I was so uncomfortable with that.

    Also, is it sad that I can forgive this whole terrible episode because of “Cell Block Tango”?






  12. 1) My grandma totally made that Jell-O salad. Yes, it is as disgusting as it looks.
    2) One time, I hugged Rachel Berry. I’d happily do it again since she’s having all these feelings.
    3) That was a really pretty version of “Shake It Out”.
    4) Sister Mary Clarence indeed.

      • Actually, it’s one of my best pick up lines. “Hey, wanna be in the arms that once held Lea Michelle?” It gets me lots of queer lady hugs. That, and telling girls they look a little like Ellen Page.

        • hahahaha that worked SO WELL i think i even put my whiskey down to hug you.

          (i can’t remember if it was whiskey or just something in my hand but it was camp so we’ll assume it was whiskey)

        • Yes. If you told me I looked like Ellen Page that would make me leap into your arms. You obvs have skills.

      • Umm excuse me I’m now BFF’s with Lea Michele’s friend, I think I win at life.

        (Hi Haviland)

  13. Also, unlike that time that Sue pushed the school nurse down the stairs and sent her to the hospital so Terri could take her spot. Remember that, all the way back in Season 1? Yeah, she’s the last person who should be lecturing anyone about violence.

    Also, I was totally dying at the stuff about “Glee Muscle Club.”

    I didn’t watch this episode because I have a class when it’s on and I usually only watch it on Hulu the next day depending on the A.V. Club rating, and they gave it an F! A grade they usually only give to a series once if that, but they’ve given it now three times to Glee (the other two were the Rocky Horror episode and this season’s Christmas episode).

  14. Also, how the hell does singing “The Rain in Spain” help Puck with a geography test? Because it has “Spain” in it and some random cities and counties in England?

    Why didn’t they just go to Sporcle and have him take this quiz?

    -queen of the geography category on sporcle

    • I can name the countries of Africa in 3 minutes thanks to Sporcle. And I resent the suggestion that time could have been spent on more useful things.

      I mean sure, I can’t change a tire, but if you need help identifying the Gambia I’m on it.

      • Is it just me or does Africa have a lot of countries that start with G? The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gabon… And so many Guineas because there’s also an Equatorial Guinea!

        • It also has significantly too many Republics of the Congo, but I feel like they probably aren’t going to take guidance on that issue.

      • It feels like the exact names for some of those former Yugoslav nations change every few years.

        Also I remember being really confused by Sporcle when I first started playing their geography games because they include Kosovo as a country. (There you go, there’s your free space, everyone!)

  15. i’m so glad i consulted paper0flowers before deciding whether or not to watch this episode, cause if i hadn’t i would have a tv with a shoe shaped hole in the middle of it right now and then how would i watch rachel maddow?

    but i’m totally gonna youtube shake it out.

  16. This show needs to stop trying to cover serious issues. Seriously Glee, just stop. They just handle things so sloppily and every time they do it just comes across as so self-congratulatory and it always seems like they are just doing it to have a token PSA message every few episodes or so. Rachel just would not have screwed up her audition. I’m sorry, but that was bs. Like Riese, I’m so sick of the contrasting stories thing – the girls are given a heavy story about domestic violence whereas the boys’ story for this week is just about how helping your friend study so that they can graduate is an act of friendship? Really, Glee? Obligatory Amy Winehouse song quote: WHAT KIND OF FUCKERY IS THIS?

    • This show needs to stop writing dialogue, period.
      Can’t they just sing?
      (I’m not really kidding).

      • basically i’ve noticed when writing these recaps that when it’s a music-heavy episode, i like it, and when it’s a plot-heavy episode, i hate it.

  17. I’m torn. I want Glee to continue if for no other reason than to read Riese’s tear-inducing, knee-slapping recaps, yet the show is typically so utterly terrible I can’t bear to sit through one episode.

    At this point, I just hope for Santanna and Brittany to make out. What’s a girl to do?

  18. I don’t watch glee because I don’t have television, but I love reading the recaps. This one I kind nf don’t know what to think or feel because I’m dealing with my sister and brother-in-law going through this sort of situation right now, and I don’t know what to say or do or anything. I don’t understand it, because I can’t imagine consciously physically hurting someone you are supposed to care about.

    The thing is, my BiL is the one who does this. He has weird issues where he constantly tells their girls when the mom isn’t there that the mom is real mean to him etc etc, which I know isn’t true. He does it to justify how occasionally he gets into rages and attacks her b grabbing her and repeatedly bumping his forehead against hers, leaving her with long-lasting headaches and all the emotional scars. And while doing it he grabs her hands and tries to make her hit him back, saying that will make them equally as bad. It’s crazy what some humans do, incomprehensible. Of course I’ve told my sister she needs to call the police and everything else, told my nieces to call when it happens. What do you do? I don’t want her to end up with debilitating head injuries from it, which I think could happen. She also has a 4 year old severely autistic son she has constant care of. Other family have talked to both of them of course, and advised her to leave him or make him move out or report him or all of those things.

    Luckily he hasn’t done anything in the past 3 weeks since the last incident, but from what I’ve read of these sorts of cases they always do it again.

    None of it makes any sense to me

    • Hey, I don’t have any insightful advice beyond maybe looking up some domestic violence resources where they live (shelters, hotlines and the like) but I wanted to let you know you were heard. That’s terrible and isn’t just heartbreaking for the people directly involved, but for everyone around them as well. I hope it resolves as well as is possible.

      • Thank you :) The sad thing is nothing anyone around can really do. Sis will have to make up her mind to end the situation by referring to the proper authorities (when) it happens again, and getting herself and the kids out of the situation.
        He acts like such a nice guy with everyone around and outside of their own little family. You can just never tell who is going to be this way until you are involved it seems like.

        • I don’t have advice either, but ditto on letting you know people saw your comment and care and wish they could help.
          Gah the situation sounds terrible, so sorry you have to deal with that. It sounds like you’ve done all that you really can for now, aside from getting authorities involved, but it must be really awful to feel helpless when your sister is getting hurt.
          Also I’m sorry if stupid Glee/reading this recap was triggering for you.

  19. I’m not whining about it or anything, but even might just be me but that caption under the jell-o salad, I don’t think that’s how you spell brain? Or my bro Brian looks like that when I watch Glee. One or the other.

  20. The only good things about this episode were…

    -The very skimpy outfits in cell block tango
    -Naya’s very practised hand movements when saying the lines ‘ran into my knife ten times’. I’m sure that’s what HeMo, I mean Brittany, ran into ten times.
    -Heather Morris wearing very little clothes, legs wide open straddling a chair.

    But apparently I watch it for the plot which was bullshit this week! Some kind of tossa wrote this episode!

  21. was this episode supposed to be a hint to leave my abusive relationship with this show? cuz i really had fun watching the whitney episode and then they go and eff it up with this ish. the writers need to stop playing with my emotions

  22. So when this episode cut to commercial and I saw a girl talking about how “you can break free” and “you can finally let go” I thought it was some sort of domestic violence PSA. Turned out it was a tampon commercial. That’s how I felt about this episode. It was trying to be some sort of PSA, but it was as painful as watching an hour of tampon commercials.


    I didn’t watch this episode. Me. First time I’ve willingly not watched a Glee episode. I can’t. Just. Fuck you, Glee. Fuck you, Marti Nixon. YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO MAKE THINGS BETTER.

    • I know, right?! I can’t even get over how many times they’ve used that line. They’ve said it so many times it’s just become cringe worthy.

      The only time it worked was when Burt told Kurt “You and me, we made each other men.” But that’s only because Burt is flawless.

    • AHAHAHA you thought Marti Nixon would make things better?? Ahahahahahahahaha.

      #holding a grudge about S6 Buffy since 2002

  24. I can’t even comment on the domestic violence PSA of this episode.

    Riese, I agree: they should have had Rachel sing “Mama Who Bore Me” It would have been a nice nod to Spring Awakening and Lea Michelle’s professional past. Also, she sings it SO WELL! I thought that as soon as she started in with Funny Girl.

    Also, I feel like we’d heard Rachel sing her audition song before, so as soon as it started, we knew Glee was going to make her flop on stage. No surprise there.

    The funniest moment was–by far–in the locker room when Sam congratulated Finn for losing “the last 5 pounds!”

    I’m only watching Glee now because they have been adding in auto-tune free songs which are bomb-dot-com. “How Will I Know” in the Whitney episode and “Shake it Off” on this episode were both youtube worthy.

  25. I think the writers just confuse Finn with Jesus Christ cuz he’s always walking around saving people. WTF.

    Rachel was so BACK for a glorious moment! Sigh.

  26. “We mosey over to the Glee Muscle Club — where Glee Men go to punch punching bags while Glee Ladies absorb lectures on how to avoid getting punched in the face by Glee Men.”


    Christ of Nazareth, your accuracy for hitting nails on their heads is astounding. What a mess of an episode. There are gem lines or scenes sometimes, but too often, they get obscured due to the disasters created by these horrendous writing landmines.

    In fact, every week (with the exemption of the rare good/half-decent week) it seems I’m saying “that was the worst episode yet”, but I RETURN. EVERY. WEEK. I think this is just so I can come here and have my feelings validated.

    MY GOODNESS. *throws up*

  27. You know who Roz Washington should be saying is cray-cray.The person who wrote this episode, because singing Cell Block Tango about domestic violence is not nearly as bad as putting it into an episode of Puck’s sexcapades and Kurt and Rachel’s theatrical dreams.

  28. “when Beiste packed a vintage suitcase and cried and drove somewhere with lots of nice brownstones” TEARS

    Honestly. I watched this episode and finished thinking “So glad Santana hasn’t taken her GED and started her fist semester at college early.”

    Because she was the only saving grace for me. Cell Block Tango and Shake It Off.

    Speaking of Shake It Off, I thought Naya sang it beautifully. While I thought Jenna was a bit tense and shaky and Amber was too overpowering.

    Shake It Off (Acoustic) is one of my favorite tracks on Ceremonials and it sounded like Naya was the only one who appreciated it and the way Florence approached it. ijs…

  29. Remember in the Babysitters Club Movie where Claudia had to pass that test so they wrote her a song? The Glee Writers totally stole that for this stupid Puck storyline.


    (this recap was funny. props for getting through it alive.)
    If nothing else, next week we’ll get to see Britt-Britt and Santana dancin’ together at the prom. No way to ruin that.

  31. I kind of want to throw all of Season 3 in the trash and ask Ryan Murphy if he’ll let the Autostraddle ladies rewrite it.

    • I want HeMo and Naya to rewrite it. Brittana would basically be having sex in the aisles.

      • Just broke my “Don’t say ‘HeMo’ outside Tumblr” rule.

        Oh well.

        this comment was edited by the autostraddle managerettes to include the actual gif (because, let’s face it, you needed to see that chicken).

  32. Next week, 43 minutes of Blaine, Kurt, Finn, Artie, Sam, Mike, Irish Breakfast, New Guy With Questionable Bathing Habits, Will, and Ryan Murphy masturbating fully nude while Beiste, Sue, Santana, Brittany, Rachel, Tina, Quinn, Mercedes, Sugar, and Emma watch and take notes. There will be no music, only musical fap fap fapping and the scritching of a symphony of number two pencils on paper. Afterwords, they will be tested via scantron on what they’ve learned. And then they will all be married to Finn Hudson and penned in a compound of cap n’ bonnet 18 century American dress dressing sister wives. And then the boys will fist bump. And then I will die inside. The end.

  33. First Fappers: fap fap (rest) (rest) fapafapa
    Second Fappers: fap fapafap fap fap fap fap
    Third Fappers: ffffffap fffffffap fapfapfap ffffffap

  34. Speaking of fapping… This recap sent me to the Shake It Off video on Youtube, and from there I found one called Santana Hand Clap… You guise, I think I just realized I’m not as hetero as I thought. (The first sign probably should have been how much I love AS.)

  35. A+ recap as always Riese (I enjoyed it better than any of the actual show, yes even the one good Florence singsong bit).

    And can we all just address the fact the “it’s hard not growing up with a Dad” it that I took particular offense to, it was like four seconds of ‘LOL FUCK YOU SINGLE MOMS AND GAY LADY PARENTS HAHAHAH YOUR KID WILL GROW UP BROKEN LIKE ME, PUCK, WHO FAILS AT EXAMS AND AT LIFE IN GENERAL LMAO!”

    That bit was especially stupid because the only Glee staff writer that has kids (as far as I’m aware) is Ali Adler. A lesbian.

    Double facepalm to you Glee, double effing facepalm.

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