As the sad and shocking news of Corey Monteith’s death made headlines in July this year, fans of the hit series Glee would have turned their thoughts towards Monteith’s character Finn Hudson and what was to become of him.
Glee’s long-awaited Corey Monteith tribute episode, aired in the US on 10th October, was set three weeks after Finn’s death and funeral. As Kurt, Finn’s on-screen brother, symbolically puts it “everyone talks about how he died but who cares. I only care about how he lived”.
Despite hinting at the sensitive issues surrounding Monteith’s death, there was no explanation of how Finn died, which has left fans a little disappointed. Creator Ryan Murphy explained that they are holding off Finn’s death as the cast are still coping with his loss. However, fans won’t be left hanging for the remaining series, as Murphy explains that fans will get their closure, just not any time soon.
“Everyone talks about how he died but who cares. I only care about how he lived” – Kurt Hummel
The episode opened simply and beautifully: the cast dressed in black singing ‘Seasons of Love’ from the Broadway musical Rent.
Unsurprisingly, the musical topic for the week was ‘Finn’ as Glee club’s founder Mr Schue asks each member of the club to evoke Finn’s memory through singing and performing. Each cast member was focussed on individually as the directors portrayed the different ways of dealing with death, whether through violence, suppressing feelings or alcohol.
Corey Monteith’s on and off-screen girlfriend Lea Michele, who plays Rachel Berry, makes an emotional appearance 10 minutes before the end to sing Adele’s ‘Make You Feel My Love’.
However, the most moving moment has to be at the very end. Having been a rock for Glee students old and new, Mr Schue finally breaks down in tears, clutching onto Finn’s American football sweater. As a viewer, you can’t but feel that every tear shed was genuine.
As the episode aired in the UK last week, Twitter filled up with hashtags such as #gleefarewell and #RipCoreyMonteith
— Lucy Symons (@lucyjaynesymons) October 18, 2013
However, Stateside there were a lot of mixed views over the farewell episode. Whilst People Magazine said the episode was “beautiful” and hailed the “dignified” decision not to specify how the character had died, Variety said “the sendoff is emotional and heartfelt, but also feels like a missed opportunity.”