Glee Recap: A Farewell to Finn [Updated]

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Glee Cory Monteith Tribute EpisodeOne of Glee‘s greatest gifts over the past five seasons has been its ability to convey deep emotions and advance its storylines through its musical numbers.

Who can forget the dissolution of three central romances set to “The Scientist”? Or Kurt’s vigil for his ailing dad, as he sang the Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand”? And then, of course, there was Rachel’s sectionals triumph, a soaring, seminal moment thanks to Lea Michele’s spectacular “Don’t Rain on My Parade.”

RELATED | Glee‘s Lea Michele Breaks Her Silence: ‘I’ve Lost Two People — Cory and Finn’

Tonight, though, Ryan Murphy & Co. faced a two-pronged challenge that, both creatively and emotionally, had to feel almost impossible: Saying goodbye to central character Finn Hudson, the sweet, sometimes insecure, but ultimately steadfast boy whose participation in New Directions was crucial in the show choir’s transformation from downtrodden underdog to beloved champions. At the same time, Fox’s high-school musical had to give fans a chance to mourn the tragic loss of series star Cory Monteith, who died this past July at the age of 31.

PHOTOS | Cory Monteith’s 10 Best Glee Moments

Thankfully, though, in the midst of navigating their private grief, the show’s cast and crew somehow managed to bid a respectful, heartbreaking, and yes, even beautiful farewell to both Finn and Cory. Not surprisingly, the centerpiece of the aptly titled “The Quarterback” could be found — in true Glee tradition — in the music.

PHOTOS | How 22 TV Shows Handled an Actor’s Death

Let’s recap “The Quarterback,” then, in the same spirit…with a quick rundown of the plot, followed by a focus on its songs:

Glee Cory Monteith Tribute Episode The action opens with the New Directions kids (new and old) giving a solemn and lovely rendition of “Seasons of Love,” ending with all of them turning to face a screen with Finn’s McKinley football portrait. I don’t know about all of you, but it was at this point I realized I’d be crying for a full hour straight.

We then cut to Kurt, who explains it’s been three weeks since Finn’s passing — and that frankly, he’s tired of folks asking how Finn passed, since it doesn’t matter anyway. (Side note: I’ve got to say, I’m incredibly happy the show didn’t give us a cause of death, or have Finn die in the same sad way as Cory himself. Kurt’s explanation that the cause wasn’t at the heart of the matter rang so so so so resoundingly true, no?)

After that, we get snippets of our central characters going through the difficult period of mourning when life is supposed to be getting back to normal, when — to those for whom the loss stings most — normal itself has been altered in a way that’s still incomprehensible.

* In perhaps the toughest scene of all, Finn’s mom Carol (Romy Rosemont, jaw-droppingly incredible), stepdad Burt and brother Kurt separate the late quarterback’s items into boxes. Kurt quickly grabs Finn’s letterman jacket, Burt laments how he “should’ve hugged him more” and Carol breaks completely, explaining the brutal process of waking every morning and realizing she’s still a mother — just one without her son. Uttering the word “Emmy” seems almost ghoulish in the face of such tremendous grief, and yet it percolates in my brain all the same.

* Coach Beiste confronts a drunken Puck and forces him to realize he needs to be his own quarterback. “See yourself how he saw you,” she cries. “You’ve gotta make it good enough, because that’s all we have left.” Puck ultimately decides to enlist in the Air Force, after replanting the memorial tree he’d torn out with his motorcycle.

* Santana struggles with the mourning process — not wanting to share her fond memories of Finn for fear that her vulnerability will be seen as shameful. She assaults Sue in her office — Sue’s shock didn’t really register, given how many folks she’s assaulted through the years — but there’s resolution to come. Kurt tells Santana that “shame is a wasted emotion,” and leaves her with a generous parting gesture: Draping Finn’s letterman jacket around her shoulders, like a hug. Later, Sue (who’d been determined not to “make a self-serving spectacle of [her] own sadness”) and Santana make peace, but the Cheerios coach laments that, “there’s no lesson here. There’s no happy ending.” And then, “It’s just so pointless. All that potential…”

* Rachel arrives in the final act, not able to stay away from the memorial to her fallen love. “Nobody treat me with kid gloves, ok?” she implores, before breaking into a cover of “Make You Feel My Love” — the first song she and Finn would sing together in the car. Anyone doubting the emotional power of music alone — without any dialogue whatsoever — has never heard Lea Michele at her best, as she was on this number. Absolutely heartbreaking — but also cathartic. Rachel then brings a plaque to the rehearsal room with a photo of Finn and one of his quotes — “The show must go…all over the place…or something.”

* And then there’s the story of Santana going on the warpath — demanding the return of the letterman jacket that was stolen while she was in the nurse’s office taking a “grief siesta.” (Confession: Somehow, in the midst of all my sobbing, Naya Rivera’s “no me gusta” managed to make me howl.) Of course, it turns out to be Schue who can’t let go of the coat in question. The episode closes with the show-choir advisor — who Emma worried hadn’t shed a tear since Finn’s death — going home, clutching the jacket and sobbing. Then Emma walks in and consoles him.

Set List (I’ll be back shortly to update with some thoughts on each number)
“Seasons of Love,” from Rent (New Directions) | The number began with the newbies in black — and my heart dropped, worried about the core players who’d worked with Cory the longest. But my fear was fleeting and unfounded, as Jenna Ushkowitz, Kevin McHale, Darren Criss and Chord Overstreet — then Amber Riley, Chris Colfer, Naya Rivera, Mark Salling and Harry Shum, Jr. quickly joined in — and the waterworks began. Beautiful song. Beautiful performance. And Amber Riley’s ad-libs hit me somewhere about three inches beneath the ribcage.

The Pretenders’ “I’ll Stand By You” (Mercedes) | Mercedes shares with the New Directions grads and present class that Finn was “the first cool kid to be nice to any of us” — which is why she can’t wait another second to share her emotions through song. Amber Riley is a stellar vocalist, but this was perhaps her most genuine, deeply felt performance on the show ever. When she hit “nothing you confess, could make me love you less” — which felt as directed at Cory as it did at Finn — I had my first ugly-cry of the hour.

James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain” (New Directions) | But I always thought that I’d see you again… Not to be all hokey and heavy, but that’s a sentiment no one can really afford in this life, is it?

The Band Perry’s “If I Die Young” (Santana) | That a capella intro by Naya Rivera was as mesmerizing as her psychotic-esque break before the final chorus was riveting. Here, we got a portrait of a character crumbling with the inability to express her grief. And that followup moment of Kurt getting Santana to read her list of Finn’s kindnesses felt completely authentic.

Bruce Springsteen’s “No Surrender” (Puck) | I was really struck by the stripped-down quality of this number, and the way Mark Salling kept his eyes off to the corner of the room, almost as if making contact with any of his cohorts would’ve been more than he could bear. Pass the Kleenex, bro.

Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love” (Rachel) | This musical moment, perhaps more than any other, made palpable the mourning of the actors on the set, and served as much as a tribute to Cory as it did to Finn. Every one of Lea Michele’s/Rachel’s tears felt achingly real — I honestly can’t even fathom how she made it to the set, let alone shot this scene. But as a fan of Glee and of Cory Monteith, all I can say to her is “thank you.”

What did you think of “The Quarterback”? How many tissues did you go through? (Current count for me: Four Five and rising.) Take our poll below, then sound off in the comments with your thoughts on the episode — and on Cory Monteith in general.



Comments (331)

  • Naya Rivera was amazing. The best scene was definitely the one at Finn’s house, very hard to watch. I can’t imagine having to film that episode. I am completely wiped and I didn’t know the man. So sad and so unnecessary.

    Comment by Lisa – October 10, 2013 07:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Cried throughout the whole episode but when lea sang I lost it. She has shown such strength and beauty through all of this! I thought the episode got better as it went on. By the end with Corey’s dedication and the jacket I completely lost it. This cast is truly remarkable.

    Comment by Rea – October 10, 2013 07:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • the ep airs tonight in Oz, but reading this- I may just watch my first full ep of Glee in 2 season without fast forwarding though it.
    Has a feeling Puck would join some sort of military after reading that Puck would do something to honor Finn.

    Comment by Esromjk – October 10, 2013 07:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Mike and Romy broke my freaking heart. Shattered it. I don’t cry at TV, usually, but they gutted me.

    Comment by Sara – October 10, 2013 07:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That scene was brilliant. I totally lost it. And I’m not even a faithful watcher of Glee. I’ve seen maybe a dozen episodes.

      Comment by Scarlett – October 10, 2013 07:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Loved the episode – so real. The emotions were heartfelt and transcended the screen. I felt like they really invited me as a viewer into a memorial. A huge thank you to Ryan Murphy for not taking the bait to make this a preachable episode. Romy and Lea gave short, yet powerful and memorable performances.

    Comment by Tracy – October 10, 2013 07:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Mark Salling was amazing. The show was definitely lacking without Quinn. And while Santana is finally growing on me after all these years. I’m not sure why she had such a big part in the episode. She always hated Finn.

    Comment by Libby – October 10, 2013 07:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • No she didn’t. That was the point.

      Comment by meem – October 10, 2013 07:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Mark’s scenes with Dot resonated with me. They both had some great scenes with Cory over the years. I think that Coach Beiste and Puck were very believable and poignant in their reactions.

      Comment by MC – October 10, 2013 08:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • The whole part of Santana section of the episode was how bad she feels, how conflicted given how much a bad ass she was to Finn. They didn’t sugar coat it. Someone she knew is dead at 19. She feels bad. I felt it was more than Sue’s turn around to see how much potential Finn had given Sue put Finn through hell. Santana it felt more real!

      Comment by Stacey – October 10, 2013 08:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Well done, Glee. Not perfect, but raw and real. RIP Cory. You are deeply loved and missed.

    Comment by Melissa – October 10, 2013 07:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • beautiful done. The ending was so touching and emotional. Rachel’s performance was so powerful and intense. And the scene with Carole, Burt and Kurt was like really seeing a scene in real life when someone that you love leaves really soon. Really heartbreaking.

    Comment by thi86 – October 10, 2013 07:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sad and I did have tears in my eyes. But this episode basically proved that the series should have ended two seasons ago.

    Comment by Lia – October 10, 2013 07:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I thought the episode was amazingly well done. I went through half a box of Kleenex. My eyes are like slits and sting. My lips are chapped. I have a whopping headache. I guess, as everyone said, it’s doubly heart-wrenching because it wasn’t simply a beloved character on a beloved show … It is a beloved human being who is gone forever and will be missed. My hat is off to everyone, cast and crew, who made it through the filming of this episode, especially Lea, Romy, and Naya. RIP Cory … and Finn.

    Comment by Melanie – October 10, 2013 07:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • It’s pretty amazing that this kid and this show have brought so many people together to grieve together. I bet he had no idea what kind of impact he really had on people.

      Comment by Ruby – October 10, 2013 09:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m so happy that I got to meet Cory a few times, & see him perform w his band. He was such a sweet & amazing guy. I still remember the day he passed. I found out via text from a cast member before it was officially announced. He truly was a gift to so many people around the world. RIP Cory. You are truly truly missed.

    Comment by heathercnelson – October 10, 2013 07:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Oh, Cory. You seemed like such a lovely, warm, genuine person. I’m so sorry that you struggled with those terrible inescapable demons the way you did. I’m so sorry for the pain it must have caused you and your family. I’m so sorry for the way you went, and I’m so sorry for your loved ones who will carry you and miss you in their hearts for ever and always. I truly hope that now you are finally at peace, warm and whole.

    Comment by Sarah – October 10, 2013 07:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Just one thing though,
    Did Matthew Morrison holding the jacket at the end remind you of the scene on Brokeback Mountain!

    Comment by para – October 10, 2013 07:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Beautifully done episode. Yeah, they’re actors, but I feel there was very little acting going on… the emotions were too real… too raw.

    The Hummel-Hudson family scene, Rachel’s song, and Schue at the very end completely tore my heart into tiny little pieces.

    Comment by Kristy21 – October 10, 2013 07:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think I read they filmed Lea’s song first during filming. So the grief, and the reactions of the others must have extremely real. They did seem very real, and intense. Especially Mercedes, Sam, and Blaine. How Lea could get through it. And Will, WOW. Matthew really sold the last scene!

    Comment by Stacey – October 10, 2013 07:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Don’t forget Tina. Poor Jenna was a mess.

      Comment by judymhut – October 10, 2013 08:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think that the episode was mostly well done. I loved “Seasons of Love”. I think that was a fantastic opening. I also thought that the scene with Kurt, his dad, and Finn’s mom was heartbreaking and very well done. And I loved Rachel’s song (although I wish she had been in it more).

    There were two omissions for me. One was the absence of Quinn. I think that the show should have done anything to get her in this episode. Even if only for a short time. IT was a glaring omission. And two, I feel like it would have been nice to see Finn, not just his picture. A few flashbacks or a montage at the end. I was expecting it, but it never happened.

    Comment by Jen – October 10, 2013 07:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Quinn was a glaring omission, but Britney wasn’t? Hmmmm.

      Comment by uh huh – October 10, 2013 09:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Quinn was his girlfriend, much more so than Santana.

        Comment by Timmah – October 10, 2013 10:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Not sure why anyone missed Quinn.

          He hanging the background wouldn’t have helped the episode and giving her material wouldn’t have either cause she is not as good an actress or singer as Naya.

          Comment by kim – October 11, 2013 04:06 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I would have loved to see Britney too. But I know the actress was very pregnant. So I didn’t expect her there. Quinn was his girlfriend. So I think she should have been there.

        Comment by Jen – October 11, 2013 08:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I applaud everyone who put this episode together. It wasn’t used to become an hour long PSA and it driven by characters. I think it was the right decision to not make it about how Finn died but about the life he lived. It felt very season 1 Glee to me.

    Comment by Jenny – October 10, 2013 07:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • You can care and still be disappointed in the episode. No cause of death was a cheat. All people die of something. Kurt not singing at all was strange. No clips of Finn singing was odd. The music choices were mediocre. Yes, it could have been better. A missed opportunity.

    Comment by Goodbyenoway – October 10, 2013 07:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • You know, i felt cheated at first too with the no cause of death thing… but then I came to this recap, and saw that everyone’s comments were about the episode, the actors and their grief. No arguments over whether Finn died in “the way he should have.” And in that moment, I realized that the decision to not give the cause of Finn’s death was the best decision they could have made.

      Comment by KCatty – October 10, 2013 08:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • They can still reveal sometime down the line how he died. I assume it was a car accident. Since Carole talking about receiving the call (even though Finn was living at college). But I can see down the line, a talk by Rachel or Kurt revealing the cause.. But tonight was about honoring Finn in a way that wasn’t about how he died. As you said, if they had revealed how he died, people would have been fighting over whether it was appropriate to the character. This way it was all about saying good-bye. And not about how he died. Just like forever people will be talking about how Cory died. We may find out someday about Finn’s death. But it’s not important! It was about Finn!

        Comment by Stacey – October 10, 2013 08:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • To be honest, if you’re more worried about critiquing the episode and making your lofty opinion known online than just letting people grieve without all that crap JUST ONCE, then you’re just a jerk. “Care” all you want, you’re still a jerk.

      Comment by Ruby – October 10, 2013 09:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Are you really this angry over a stranger’s reaction to a tv show?

        Comment by all – October 10, 2013 11:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Ok he dies in a car crash. Does that make the the story more real, better now? No it is irrelevant

      Comment by kim – October 11, 2013 04:08 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • how he died is irrelevant, what mattered was that he lived.

      Comment by Peach – October 11, 2013 03:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Best parts or me were the scene with the parents with Romy Rosemont…that was so poignant and sad, made me really cry…lea michele was totally moving and her performance breaks for me all the rumors that the relationship was pr…that alone showed how much she cared for him, how can anyone not believe that…I thought the end w Will bawling his heart out was too much…they should have showed a short montage of Finn singing and some of his best moments…the end was a disappointment for me with Will being the center of attention…seeing the end with Cory Monteith birth and date of death was the most heartbreaking…to see it on screen made me bawl…I realized it was all too final, would never see more of him again…seeing him in Glee is not enough for me…but I prey that he is in a better place and is now free…RIP sweet Cory…

      Comment by Patsy Gonzalez – October 17, 2013 02:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agree

      Comment by Patsy Gonzalez – February 24, 2014 11:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Haven’t watched this show in two years, but felt compelled to see this episode. Extremely well done and a fitting tribute to a young man who in his short life had a talent that moved many. Thank you to the actors who shared their deep and personal grief with the world in order to make this happen.

    Comment by KCatty – October 10, 2013 08:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I don’t think I’ve ever cried this much during a TV episode. No exaggerations, I cried for a straight hour, from Seasons of Love to Will’s cries. I would’ve kicked out some of the scenes (the scene with Tina and Emma in her office was just… so unnecessary), but overall, it was a great episode.

    Comment by May – October 10, 2013 08:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Man I didn’t even watch the episode, but I figure it must’ve been hilarious because, after all, Glee is a comedy. /sarcasm

    Comment by A – October 10, 2013 08:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Not really the time or place man.

      Comment by Ruby – October 10, 2013 09:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Get over yourself, it’s a TV show. Guaranteed I’d be more moved by the most mediocre episode of Game of Thrones.

        Comment by A – October 11, 2013 04:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It was beautiful. I literally cried for the entire 60 minutes. The work that Lea and Naya did especially was just incredible. Lea Michele is one strong woman. I have so much more respect for her after this whole ordeal.

    Comment by Jillian – October 10, 2013 08:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I never cry at these things, but losing Cory really hurt so I tried to make myself do it. And it worked. Twice. The first time when Puck and Beiste were talking in the locker room, the second when Will pulled out the letterman jacket and cried. I’m so glad they decided to forgo the instant preview of the next episode and ran a PSA instead. RIP Cory Monteith

    Comment by LeahKittyS – October 10, 2013 08:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am SO mad at these idiots (RIB). Tonight it reminded me of why I used to love Glee. It’s heartbreaking that it took Cory’s death and a Finn tribute to make some of us remember that.

    When Glee puts a little effort into the writing; when it’s centered around the original characters we fell in love with (minus Quinn and Brittany, sadly); when it’s not a Klaine or Blam fest; when it manages to insert humor without getting awkwardly cartoonish and childish; when it’s not painfully obvious that they write stuff to cater to pre-teen viewers, when they chose songs to move the story forward and not the other way around: that is when Glee is good. That is when I remember having been a hardcore fan once.

    Tonight’s episode was not flawless, but it was respectful and heartfelt. I wondered for weeks how they would succeed in avoiding the cause of death narrative-wise. Shockingly, they did that pretty well. You don’t spend the hour focusing on that and wondering, you just go with the flow and feel all the emotions that come your way. I laughed. I cried (a lot). I was surprised (Santana/Sue might be one of the best scenes I have seen). Romy, Mike, Naya and Lea were absolutely outstanding. Sue made some room for Jane for a few secs and it was a good thing to see. Mike and especially Romy broke my heart. Matt at the end too (even it I saw that coming miles away).

    Still, even with so much display of (a wide range of) emotions, it was somehow tactful. I was not a Finn fan. I liked Cory a lot though. I’m super sad for the Finn fans and Finchel shippers. It’s hard enough to have your favorite character out of a show you love, but when the actor is gone irl too… Man, I’m so sorry for you guys :(

    If only RIB were able to give a single frack about what is wrong with their show and try to fix it… but that’s another story.

    Goodbye Finn, goodbye Cory. My heart goes out to real life Carol and real life Kurt right now.

    The show must go all over the place… or something :) (that made me giggle and genuinely smile, btw).

    Comment by Olivia – October 10, 2013 08:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree with your points especially at the beginning. It upset and angered me too that it took something like this for them to put some effort into an episode that was very Season 1. It was character driven stories where the music only enhanced the story instead of it being all about making the plot connect a bunch of random songs. There was a part of me concerned we would get a bunch of scenes on how the 2.0′s were dealing with it. Very glad it was about Finn and how the original characters were dealing with his death.

      Comment by Jenny – October 10, 2013 08:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • THIS! I knew I’d be somewhat emotional in this episode, but I had no idea just how much these characters and Finn’s character affected me. It really made me realize how attached to this show I have become over the years and how I have been willing to stick with it through the good, the bad, and the extremely bad.
      As I was watching the episode, from scene to scene, I kept thinking, seriously, it really took his death to remind RIB and writers how great they could make Glee be? I thought the writing was great and the episode was just gut-wrenching amazing. I just kept thinking, why can’t all of the Glee episodes be this awesome or of this quality? Why can’t they really invest themselves into the show and make it better? His death was obviously a special case and the episode really had to be exceptional, but this episode’s quality is what Glee should be striving for.

      Comment by abz – October 10, 2013 10:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Reblogged this on thehiltonburnellfiles and commented:
    The tonight’s episode of Glee with a farewell to Finn was emotional and amazing. R.I.P to Cory Monteith.

    Comment by Justin Burnell – October 10, 2013 08:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Couldn’t stop crying…this episode was both a beautiful homage to the individual Cory Montieth and a beautiful testament to the story of how grief effects loved ones.

    Comment by Anon – October 10, 2013 08:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • They did a wonderful job. I did think the comic relief moments were as much of a nod to Cory as the performances. I lost it when Rachel talked about her vision of what would happen when she came back to Lima, how lea was even able to get that out amazes me. The cast showed in those numbers how much Cory was the glue of that show. I as fan still will have to catch myself when they show that drum set and not see Finn there.

    Comment by Beth – October 10, 2013 08:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So they didn’t have a cause of death for Finn, just like Mr. Hooper on Sesame Street.

    Comment by steven – October 10, 2013 08:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Thank God it’s here and gone…now can we stop the hero worship? A drug addict died. We didn’t lose a national treasure. This is a prime example of what’s wrong with this country anymore. We put the damaged on a pedestal and worship them. And it’s wrong.

    Comment by Bill – October 10, 2013 08:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes Cory was an addict, but have you ever done something wrong in your life, and people tried to help you? The cast tried to get him help, they really cared about him, and despite his addiction, he was a good person. People deserve second chances, and his was cut short. I am not putting him on a pedestal, but addiction is a disease, and that wasn’t the only thing people saw in him. Yes what he was doing was wrong, but no one is perfect, not even you, so you have no right to judge anyone for caring about the person, because he was a person before he was addict. So go hate somewhere else, your comments are heartless, and have no place here.

      Comment by Angel – October 10, 2013 09:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Not everyone who tries to get over an addiction wins. That doesn’t mean they are defined by it, certainly not by people who loved them. Just because he was an addict, that doesn’t mean he wasn’t also a good person.

      Comment by Lyria – October 10, 2013 11:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Nicely put. Every person who ends up an addict was a person, with real feelings, before they chose to use, and people often forget that. Something happened to that person to make them chose to use in the first place, but their addiction does not define them and who they are to those around them who care about them.

        Comment by Angel – October 11, 2013 05:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I absolutely loved the opening “Seasons of Love”. The scenes with Chris, Mike and Romy were totally heartbreaking. Loved the moments between Puck and Beiste. And Shue breaking down was totally spot on. Great tribute without judgments or preaching. Sharing grief and healing, nothing else matters.

    Comment by Andrew – October 10, 2013 08:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This is pretty much the first episode of Glee I watch in a while. I debated about watching the episode, because while I liked Cory in interviews and other videos I wasn’t a big fan of his character Finn. I also didn’t think someone who died because of something of his own cause deserved to be memorialized and remembered. I sucked up my feelings and watched the episode, and I’m glad I did. It was a beautiful tribute episode. All of the casts sung their songs very well, and they were very heartfelt. My favorite would have to be I’ll Stand by You, Seasons of Love, and No Surrender. The scene with Carol, Burt, and Kurt had me crying so hard. The actress who plays Carol was the standout of this episode. I’m still mixed on having him remembered, but I understand that the people who knew him personally needed a way to send him off in a way where they could express their feelings and make their fans happy.

    Comment by Rachel Scott – October 10, 2013 08:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The opening with the glee logo with Finn raising his hand made me bawl. And then the silence with the credits rolling. Ugh.

    Comment by karenb – October 10, 2013 08:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Same. The end credits… It felt so final.

      Comment by Olivia – October 10, 2013 09:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • From the morning i turned on my computer and saw the news flash that Cory Monteith had been found dead, none of this has felt real. I couldnt believe it had happened, i didnt want to believe it had happened. I kept checking the news services and hoping it was a mistake. Then in the days and weeks that have followed the reality of it all has slowly settled in. The news articles of how Lea was coping, the twitter comments from cast mates and crew mates and other celebrities unfortunately confirmed the reality of it all but today after watching this episode the finality of it all has truely hit home. He’s gone.

        To Lea, i can only offer you my prayers for continued strength and that you will one day find true happiness in life and love once again. The cast, crew and creators of this show im sure realise they owe you an amazing debt, as do I as just one of the millions of Glee fans around the world.

        I hope that for you, the cast, crew and us the fans that continuing the show proves to be a catharsis for all of us and i hope that not only the past episodes but the remaining season and a half to come will serve as a tribute to Cory and in time to yourselves.

        Comment by AdamJ – October 10, 2013 09:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I stopped watching Glee a long time ago and really don’t plan on watching again(save for watching this episode on demand), but damn it, if reading this recap didn’t get me choked up…The episode is going to be rough to get through.

    One question though, and maybe I just can’t remember, but did Finn and Santana have a close relationship? I think they did date for a while, right? And she took his virginity? Or am I thinking of someone else? But they were never really close, were they? I just can’t remember and if I don’t figure it out, it will bother me when I watch :-/

    Comment by Josh – October 10, 2013 08:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Finn was the one that outed Santana (even if it was accidentally) and then she spent a good deal of time being extremely cruel to him out of anger but even after that he was the one that helped her accept who she was and that she shouldn’t be ashamed of it. I think that was the underlying theme of why she was so upset and angry.

      Comment by Tim – October 10, 2013 09:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Very well done. It was a farewell for Cory for all of us. My chest hurt really bad ( trying to holdback the tears) but the sceen when the mom stated what she said……..I lost it. I honestly dont know how his freinds ( cast) could be so strong and put on a good show. Great memorial show.

    Comment by Pam – October 10, 2013 08:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I would have rather heard Kurt sing instead of Santana taking up so much time. I’m not a big fan of Will’s but the ending with Shue was perfect. The story came full circle.

    Comment by judymhut – October 10, 2013 08:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • you mentioned puck looking off as to not make eye contact….did you notice the empty chair? thst is where finn always sat. it was lime he was singing TO him. thats where he was stareing

    Comment by heather – October 10, 2013 08:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • In the summer of 2009 I started watching reruns of this little show with a lot of heart. There was one character that I instantly adored– Finn. Throughout the good, the bad, and the really horrible plot points I always watched. Because I always wanted to keep up with Finn, and soon Rachel as well. I still can’t believe that Cory is gone and that there is no more Finn Hudson. But I’ll always have the memories of our sweet, lovable, Frankenteen (Nicknames given by Santana are always the best)

    Thanks Glee for doing a really great tribute episode. Not sure I’ll be able to really watch any more episodes, but this was a very thoughtful episode.

    Comment by Lauren – October 10, 2013 08:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • IIRC, Frankenteen came from that Vocal Adrenaline nazi coach… Dakota something? But yes, Santana always comes with the best nicknames lol. The only one who can compete is Sue ^^

      Comment by Olivia – October 10, 2013 09:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • By the summer of 2009…only the pilot had aired. I think you mean 2010.

      Comment by Chris – October 11, 2013 08:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It was a moving tribute that focused on what it should have. I think that Naya and Lea’s songs brought me to tears the most and Seasons of Love made me cry as one of the most amazing group performances I’ve seen on Glee

    Comment by anice – October 10, 2013 08:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The only thing i don’t get about this episode is Santana’s reaction and how she talks about what a wonderful person Finn Hudson was.

    Don’t get me wrong, i get how Naya felt about Cory. But lets not forget Finn OUTED Santana, and that is something i find COMPLETELY UNFORGIVEABLE. So for her to be upset as she was makes no sense to me.

    Comment by D – October 10, 2013 08:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • He outed her ACCIDENTALY while he and her were arguing because she started a fight with him. It’s not like he did it on purpose. There’s a big difference. She gave him a lot of grief and directed a lot of rage and anger towards him afterwards but it was ultimately he who told he she should accept who she was and not be ashamed of herself (and then sang a song of course) that helped her accept who she was and find peace with it. It’s not like the characters hated each other.

      Comment by Tim – October 10, 2013 09:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Well, he didn’t out YOU, so stfd. You’re more worried about it than FICTIONAL CHARACTER Santana ever was, yeesh.

      Comment by Ruby – October 10, 2013 09:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Which is an indictment of the writers.

        Comment by Sean C. – October 11, 2013 12:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Just because you can’t forgive doesn’t mean Santana can’t.

      Comment by kim – October 11, 2013 04:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Santana didn’t “forgive” him, because the show never acknowledged that he did anything wrong, and presented him as a hero. That was the whole problem.

        Comment by Sean C. – October 11, 2013 12:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Seasons of Love and I’lll Stand By You had me sobbing. Finn’s mother’s grief was amazing and cathartic. I wish they’d have had Schue in near fetal position with the coat, the sitting on the couch was just too easy. It was a really tough line for the writers, I’m sure. I was disappointed many times with how things came across but realized that nothing could be enough. I was less “into” Lea’s performance than I expected. One thing I kept waiting for was the “how” he died because I thought that the writers gave the impression throughout the season leading up to this episode that it would be “directly related” to how Cory died. So I was waiting to hear it. However I fully agree–I’m glad they didn’t say it. Then again, it seems odd not to know. Like a blank spot in the story, one that was so powerful. One thing I kept thinking was how Lea and Cory’s relationship actually moved me more than Finn and Rachel’s, if that makes sense. As I said before, nothing the writers could do would be enough to pay tribute to Cory Monteith.

    Comment by Jodi Horner – October 10, 2013 08:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I thought it was done well. The show did what was needed. They honored and said goodbye to their friend and cast member. In a very respectful and kind way. And I as a fan of GLEE truly appreciated the way it was done.

    Comment by Jill – October 10, 2013 08:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My favorite part of this ep that no review managed to catch yet? In the photo frame, the way Finn was looking awkwardly into the distance with an awkwardly cute quote JUST LIKE ALL THOSE OLD (and passed away since) GLEE CLUB TEACHERS from years past that the show would make slapstick jokes at in earlier seasons. It was incredibly subtle, and very ironic (that this is a tribute episode and yet there is humor in it). And that’s why I loved that small nod.

    Comment by ag – October 10, 2013 08:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I haven’t been a fan of Glee since the first season. I loved the first season, but the 2nd for me, just didn’t grab me. But I had to watch this. And I sobbed through almost the entire thing. Speaking as someone who has lost a lot of loved ones in her life, Finn’s mom losing it in the bedroom absolutely tore me apart because I’ve had exactly that kind of break down after my mum passed away. She should totally win an Emmy for that because that kind of emotion really can’t be faked. I don’t think ANYONE is that good of an actress to pull that out without having some real pain in her life to draw from. She was amazing. I thought it was a tremendous farewell not only for the character but for Cory as a person outside of the show. Puck was right on about that little line between birth and death. that one little line will be the one thing that says we had a life and that we were here…and it’s up to us to make the best out of that dash between being born and dying. Have to make it count. Again, being an outsider for so long…it was amazing to see this done so tremendously well and I’m hapy they didn’t focus on how he died…but rather…how he lived and made them all better. Amazing.

    Comment by Becka – October 10, 2013 08:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I don’t watch Glee. I was flipping through the channels to find something to watch, but as I was channel surfing I caught the opening of them singing Seasons of Love. I’m taking all credit for that. I really wish I could find where I posted it months ago (I think it was somewhere on this site), but I totally said they should open the memorial episode singing Seasons of Love. So, yeah, totally taking credit.

    Comment by Ron – October 10, 2013 08:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I was crying from the first number and Lea Michele just broke my heart to pieces. I’d nominate Romy Rosemont for an Emmy any day.

    But can I say that I hated that Mr. Schue ended up with the jacket? He stole it from grieving students, from Finn’s brother. For all we know, Rachel could have wanted it as a memento. And yet he took it home and let everyone blame Puck? It just seemed so unnecessary. I would have preferred everyone getting to wear the jacket after singing their number, with Rachel taking it home. Then just a shot of Will crying at home after holding it together at school for everyone before Emma comes in to comfort him.

    Comment by Jess – October 10, 2013 08:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • There’s no reason to think Mr. Schue will KEEP the jacket. He just needed a moment alone with Finn. I predict that jacket will appear framed on the wall of the locker room in future episodes, just as Puck suggested.

      Comment by uh huh – October 10, 2013 09:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • ITA. It was clear that Mr. Schue would not keep the jacket, but simply wanted it for one night in order to confront his own grief.

        Comment by MC – October 11, 2013 02:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Carole’s scene where she breaks down on the floor, and Rachel’s line where she asks if she’ll ever forget his voice broke my heart. I

    Comment by Allison – October 10, 2013 08:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I really hope Emma has a pamphlet for me called, “So you’re the only cold hearted bitch that didn’t cry during the Finn Memorial episode of Glee.”
    I felt like it was a hot mess, which honestly OK that is how you feel when you’re left behind by a loved one…and OK they weren’t trying to make it the best episode ever, but I wanted to feel sad and get some closure for Finn (you did make a valid point about the cause of death not mattering, I didn’t catch the poetic touch there until I read that) and instead I got to see this cathartic episode of people crying and singing songs depressed. I’m actually really disappointed.

    Comment by Sarah – October 10, 2013 09:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I am honestly wondering how you could have watched that scene in Finn’s bedroom (to name just one) and not felt sad.

      Comment by uh huh – October 10, 2013 09:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Oh, please. It’s clear that you wouldn’t have been happy no matter what they did.

      Comment by Ruby – October 10, 2013 09:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Not true. I kept waiting for some kind of montage of Finn or something like that with one of his performances while the other characters sang. The episode just felt like it was missing something for me. I’m not saying it was horrible, or that I didn’t feel sad. I’m just saying it didn’t make my cry, it wasn’t what I was expecting and I’m disappointed. There were missed opportunities to make it better in my opinion.

        Comment by Sarah – October 10, 2013 10:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Actually, you DID say you didn’t feel sad. Read your post.

          Comment by uh huh – October 10, 2013 10:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • I’m sorry if my original post wasn’t clear. I was sad, I can admit there were a couple touching moments, but it in no way made me cry like it seemed to do for many other commenters. It wasn’t as good as I know Glee can be.

            Comment by Sarah – October 10, 2013 10:28 PM PDT  
  • Schue writing FINN on the board in the choir room 😢

    Comment by karenb – October 10, 2013 09:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I haven’t watched the show in over a year. But tonight how could I not. I’m a 22.5 year grown man, and I sobbed like a newborn baby the entire hour. It really was just beautiful to me. Whether you are/were a fan of the show, the entire Glee family lost one of its rocks, and even though none of us (obviously) go to McKinley, I don’t think there was one moment where I didn’t feel like I was right there with everyone. Lea was heartbreaking, Schue was heartbreaking, Finn’s mom was heartbreaking. It was just one of the most heartbreaking yet beautiful tributes, in my opinion.

    Comment by Matt – October 10, 2013 09:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The scene with the mom, dad, and Kurt had me bawling. And the moment I saw Lea, looking so small, and so fragile, I was sobbing so much I could barely see.

    But the rest of the episoe… I don’t know. It seemed so artificial to me. Like they didn’t actually mean it. I don’t mean any offense to anyone… I just didn’t get a sense of actual mourning the way I got it from Chris and Lea.

    Regardless, RIP Cory. It’s a shame.

    Comment by Babybop – October 10, 2013 09:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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