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I stopped watching Glee when all of the original New Direction members graduated. I don’t care about the new glee club members. However, when the Finn Hudson tribute episode aired, I jumped back on the bandwagon and gave it another chance.
Knowing that I hadn’t watched Glee in a long time, I wasn’t expecting to get the emotional response that most fans would. I tuned in because I was curious how they were going to deal with the loss of Cory Monteith and his character. The episode was written so beautifully that I felt the grief and sobbed along with the rest of the Glee fans.
In the episode, the characters never shared how Finn Hudson died. Kurt, Finn’s stepbrother, mentioned that it didn’t matter how he died, rather how he lived. It was a rather deep and haunting message. It was that message that showed that the cast weren’t just showing their sadness for losing Finn; they were showing their heartache from losing their real-life friend.
Lea Michele, who plays Rachel Berry, made a small appearance in the episode but her scenes were some of the most heartbreaking. Because I hadn’t watched recent Glee episodes, I’m not sure if they were a couple. However, the way Rachel spoke, it was clear that the two characters belonged together. She said that she had a plan for their future and now that can’t happen.
Rachel’s final scene, she cries and tells Mr. Schuester that she can remember Finn’s voice but is petrified that she’ll forget what he sounds like. Her tears weren’t just acting. As a viewer, it seemed as if she was crying for the loss of Monteith - rather than just Finn.
The scene that brought me to tears, however, was the scene of Finn’s mother, Carole Hudson (Romy Rosemont), stepfather and Kurt cleaning out Finn’s room. They were dividing the deceased teenager’s things into boxes, deciding what to keep or donate.
Before the episode, I had always heard that a mother’s grief cannot be explained in words but Finn’s mother’s breakdown was believable and I commend the writers on the skill it took to show that. Carole broke down on the ground, sobbing, stating that she had to continue to be a parent, even though she didn’t have a child. I felt like I was watching a real mother.
The new glee club members didn’t speak or sing in the episode. I think that was the right move on the writers’ part. I don’t know how involved they were in Finn’s life but the tribute episode wouldn’t be right if the focus wasn’t on the original New Directions club.
The song choices were beautiful. The entire cast sang "Seasons of Love," starting out the episode by showing a picture of Monteith behind them. Mercedes sang "I’ll Stand By You," a flashback to the earlier season when Finn sang the song to a sonogram. Artie and Sam sang "Fire And Rain," a sweet but sorrow song. Santana sang "If I Die Young" and stopped midway through the song because she was too upset to finish it. An emotional Puck sang "Surrender" and played his guitar.
Rachel’s song was the most powerful. She sang with tears rolling down her face and barely hanging on. The song she chose was Bob Dylan’s "Make You Feel My Love." Watching her sing brought tears to my eyes (ok, I was sobbing) because it was clear how much she was hurting.
Grab some tissues before you watch Michele’s performance in the video below because it is very sad.
It was a great episode. It was probably the best episode of Glee that I have ever seen and I’m not sure how they can top it. However, just because the show made a wonderful episode, it wasn’t enough to pull me back in to watch.
I’m not a Glee fan but I fully admit that the episode was great television. They honored Monteith's memory without completely selling him out. The question is, what now?