Kurt and Rachel prepare for their auditions at NYADA, focused and determined to get in. Kurt decides to take a risk but when Rachel goes with her typical number, something unexpected happens, leaving Rachel's future hanging. Some of the New Directions Girls make fun of Coach Beiste's black eye and domestic violence which Coach Roz and Coach Sue aren't too happy about. When Roz and Sue find out that Coach Beiste was hit by Cooter, they decide it's time for her to move out. New Direction Boys assist Puck as he struggles to pass a history class test, because if he doesn't, he won't be able to graduate.
The episode was directed by Michael Uppendahl and written by Marti Noxon.
With their auditions for NYADA coming up, Rachel is focused and determined, while Kurt has a difficult time deciding what song to perform. Although he sings The Music of the Night by The Phantom of the Opera well, he believes he has a better chance with Not the Boy Next Door from The Boy from Oz. Kurt performs The Music of the Night for Blaine with Tina as Christine. Blaine applauded the song and listened to Kurt when Kurt was talking about how he needs to be his best. Blaine mumbles "Oh God, no.
No more candles." Rachel advises him that this is not the time to take a risk, and convinces him to go with
"The Music of the Night." While waiting in the wings for their audition, Rachel reveals that they will be auditioning for Carmen Tibideaux, a famous and exacting performer who is one of NYADA's most notorious alumnae and a newly appointed dean at the school. At the last minute Kurt decides to sing "Not the Boy Next Door," a song he claims is "something a little more out there, but much more me." Tibideaux is impressed by both his performance and the risk he took, saying Hugh Jackman himself would've been impressed as she was. Rachel sings Don't Rain on My Parade, but she forgets the lyrics and starts over. After she stumbles again on her second attempt, Rachel is devastated when Carmen ends the audition and leaves the auditorium. After talking to Kurt, she sings Cry.
Roz Washington overhears Santana making jokes about the origin of Coach Beiste's black eye and informs the girls that domestic violence is not a laughing matter. She teams up with Sue and Beiste—who explains that she was hit by a speed bag—to teach the girls a lesson about domestic violence, and Sue assigns them to sing a song about women getting out of abusive relations. The girls later perform Cell Block Tango, and Sue and Roz inform them that they completely missed the point of the assignment. Beiste, who walked out on the performance, tells Sue and Roz that Cooter actually did hit her when he was drunk and she hadn't done the dishes. She explains that she does not want to leave him out of fear that no one will love her again; Sue insists that Beiste stay at her place that night, but Beiste opts to go to her sister instead. Beiste then reveals the truth about her black eye to the girls. The girls admire the courage that Beiste has shown and sing Shake It Out for her; but she does not reveal that she has given Cooter another chance. Finn and the others help Puck with his test seminar by singing The Rain in Spain.
Finn is worried that Puck will not graduate. Puck tells Finn that he only needs to pass a European geography test to graduate, and that he plans to flirt with his teacher, Mrs. Doosenbury, to secure a passing grade. However, she rejects his overtures, telling him to study instead, and Puck decides to drop out of school. Which leads to the song, School's out. Later, while Puck is cleaning a client's swimming pool, his father—who he has not heard from in five years—shows up and asks Puck for $500 to pay his rent. Realizing that he does not want to turn out like his father, who is also a high school dropout, Puck enlists the other glee club males to help him pass his test. After studying with them all night, he takes the test, and tells them afterward that he feels confident about his effort. However, he fails the test; his future remains uncertain.
|Song Title||Original Artist||Performer(s)|
|School's Out||Alice Cooper||Noah Puckerman|
|Cell Block Tango||Cast of Chicago||New Directions Girls|
|Not the Boy Next Door||Cast of The Boy from Oz||Kurt Hummel with Brittany Pierce,|
Mercedes Jones, and Tina Cohen-Chang
|The Rain in Spain||Cast of My Fair Lady||New Directions Boys|
|Shake It Out||Florence + The Machine||Mercedes Jones, Santana Lopez,|
and Tina Cohen-Chang
- The Music of the Night by Cast of The Phantom of the Opera. Sung by Kurt Hummel.
- Don't Rain on My Parade by Cast of Funny Girl. Sung by Rachel Berry
Special Guest Star
- Dot-Marie Jones as Shannon Beiste
- Chord Overstreet as Sam Evans
- NeNe Leakes as Roz Washington
- Thomas Calabro as Mr. Puckerman
- Samuel Larsen as Joe Hart
- Vanessa Lengies as Sugar Motta
- Damian McGinty as Rory Flanagan
- Eric Bruskotter as Cooter Menkins
- Kathleen M. Darcy as Eleanor Doosenbury
- Rebecca Staab as Mrs. Collins
Absent Cast Members
- This is the first time Quinn is absent from an episode. The reason is because Dianna Agron, Quinn's portrayer, flew to France to audition for The Family.
- This is the first time Puck has sung since Yes/No and the first time he is featured in a full song since Extraordinary Merry Christmas.
- This is the first time since Pilot that Kurt sings a Broadway song that was actually written for a boy.
- When helping Kurt as back-up, Tina, Mercedes, and Brittany are wearing their first Regionals dresses.
- Second time the New Directions make fun of Coach Beiste and apologize through a song. The first one is in the episode Never Been Kissed.
- Second time this season that Will doesn't give the assignment. The first was the Lady Music Week Assignment that Finn gave. It's also the only time Sue gives one.
- Brad isn't playing the piano during Shake It Out, an unknown cast member is.
- This episode drew a 2.5 rating 18 - 49 with 6.01 million total viewers, the lowest for season 3. Source
- The scene where Rachel choked came from Lea's fear during the Glee Concert Tour. Lea claimed that she used to call the executive producer, Dante Di Loreto, and said to him that she was going to mess up one night and she was scared if it had happened.
- The clothes Tina wears during The Music of the Night is what she wore during the You and I/You and I performance in Mash Off.
- This is the third time that something bad happens to Rachel in the 18th episode, she suffers from tonsillitis in Laryngitis, got her nose broken by Finn in Born This Way, and chokes during her NYADA audition in this episode.
- This episode earned Dot-Marie Jones (Shannon Beiste) a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.
- Carmen Tibideaux mentions Being Alive from Company before Kurt auditions. In Swan Song, Kurt performs that song as his second audition for NYADA.
- The ending song Shake It Out by Santana, Tina and Mercedes was originally meant to be "Love the Way You Lie" by 'Rihanna' this song was recorded, but not released to the public, this was confirmed by Jenna Ushkowitz
- Puck's test answers are rewritten when he receives the test back.
- Rachel said that she was singing Don't Rain On My Parade since she was 2, but in Sectionals, she said she was singing it since she was 4. (Probably an exaggeration on her behalf)
- In the beginning of the episode, Rachel mentions that she won't drink any milk, as it makes her "too phlegmy." However, she is a vegan and doesn't drink milk. But she could have been instead referring to almond, soy, oat or rice milk, which she would drink like normal milk being vegan.
- When Finn is explaining the "plan of attack" on Puck, he accidentally points at Puck's stick figure instead of his own when he says "Blaine, Mike and myself"
- The Glee Club shouldn't have been able to stay in the school all night (unless they had permission from the principal)
- When Rachel sings Don't Rain On My Parade, the audio recorded on set is muted in editing and replaced with a studio recording. However, the original audio is reintroduced too soon in Rachel's second attempt at the song, causing her to sing the words "..sky's a.." twice with awkwardly overlapping vocals.