Earlier in this season’s run of Glee the Cory Monteith/Finn tribute episode aired and from the first few bars of ‘Seasons of Love’ a beautiful song choice from the musical Rent, I had goosebumps. The episode features so many cast members who wished to be a part of this episode and it’s a bittersweet moment to see so many come together.
The thing with Glee is that it doesn’t lose its uniqueness even when its mourning the death of one of their own – there’s still a few gags littered in the episode and it does cram a little too much into the episode – a lot of ideas and a lot of plates juggling at once that at times it almost feels not quite right. However, I suppose this episode was never about that: this was about saying goodbye to Finn Hudson – not just on-screen but off as well. You can feel the raw emotion of the cast as they sing and act their way through this and I easily got lost in the moment, until I found myself in floods.
During the scene where Carol, Burt and Kurt are sorting through Finn’s clothing is when I first properly broke down. Romy Rosemont who plays Finn’s Mom Carol broke my heart in this scene with the sheer grief and loss emanating from her character; you couldn’t imagine what it must be like for a parent to lose their child, but she gives such a moving performance, like she’s broken. The three of them really are amazing in this scene, and that final image of the three of them on the floor crying and holding one another is heartbreaking.
Naya Rivera’s Santana goes through many stages of grief in this episode; she’s numb with grief, she becomes extremely angry and honest with Sue, a scene which dazzles with passion and becomes so overcome that she can’t finish her song and runs hysterically from the room – something the audience is certainly not used to.
Matt Morrison’s Will I found one of the most heartbreaking; Emma points out to him early on in the episode that she is yet to see him cry about Finn’s death. Will believes he needs to be strong for the kids even though he admits he’s heartbroken. There’s a strand through the episode regarding Finn’s letterman jacket – it disappears and most people believe Puck to have stolen it. When it reaches the end of the episode, we learn that it was in fact Mr Schue who stole it. He completely breaks down clutching the jacket and being held by a crying Emma – this completely shatters my heart and is the final image we’re left with. To end on that note left me with tears streaming – it was a fitting and emotional tribute to the character and to the person – Cory Monteith.
Understandably, Lea Michele didn’t appear until about 10 minutes before the end of the episode, but it’s fair to say when she did appear, I truly started crying more then. The actress has lost far more than her cast member and friend, she also lost her boyfriend and she shows great courage here; her rendition of ‘Make You Feel My Love’ is beautiful, sombre and so wonderful. The raw emotion from it is easy to hear.
Off the back of this tribute episode, it was announced that after season 6 which Fox had already commissioned before Cory’s death, it would be the last season of Glee. While I can’t say I’m not surprised it’s bittersweet. It was also sad to hear that Murphy had a plan for the end of Glee and it included a reunion for Finn and Rachel. We’ll obviously never see that, but the talent and the generosity of Cory which he gave to his character Finn in the show can live on. I think this tribute episode was a beautiful way to celebrate his legacy.
RIP Cory Monteith
Carol: I always thought…how do parents go on when they lost a child? When I saw that stuff on the news, I shut it off because it was just too horrible but I would always think how do they wake up every day?…How do they breathe honey? (voice cracks) But you do wake up…and for just a second, you forget. And then…oh you remember…and it’s like getting that call again and again every time. You don’t get to stop waking up. You have to keep on being a parent even though you don’t get to have a child anymore (cries) (Glee, 5.3 ‘The Quarterback’)