Glee hits all the right notes with ‘The Quarterback’

by Kelli

I’d been mentally and emotionally preparing myself for the Oct. 10 episode of . The show was finally going to tribute the late Cory Monteith, who passed away July 13 from heroin and alcohol overdose. Glee did almost everything perfectly in this tribute episode, aptly titled “The Quarterback,” which centered on the cast’s coming to terms with the passing of Monteith’s center stone character, Finn Hudson.

What they got right:

  1. That opening number. The entire cast (sans Rachel, Brittany and Quinn, the latter two never appearing this episode) gathered in black to sing “Seasons of Love” from Rent. Mercedes took the lead, and with her chills-inducing voice, she started the episode on its theme: serious, emotional and full of love.

  2. Focus on the heart, not the cause. Glee made the monumental decision to not disclose Finn’s cause of death, rather focusing on the life he led and the loss that broke everyone’s hearts. The show proved that the cause truly didn’t matter to the storyline. Frankly, there was no storyline to this episode, which allowed the voices and passion of Glee to take center stage.

  3. Everyone came home. Almost every character made an appearance, even rarely seen Mike Chang and Puck. The reappearance of familiar faces reminded me that this show has been filming for four years, and through that time, a family has formed. All the newer characters were present and singing, but respectfully kept minimal roles—their storylines had barely crossed Finn’s, and those most affected got to sing the most. Of course, the few who were missing (Quinn, Becky, Brittany) did not go unnoticed, but didn’t take away from the amazing episode that came to be.

  4. The cycle of kindness. Glee chose to remember Finn’s (and, undoubtedly, Cory’s) never-ending kindness and generosity. Stories of Finn’s kindness provided comic relief but also reflection. Santana remembered his concern for her during sex (how long ago that seems), and Puck confessed he is lost without Finn pointing the way to the right decisions. Continuing Finn’s good heartedness, Santana makes amends with Sue after a physical confrontation, Emma offers grief counseling and Sue breaks down and admits she always liked Finn, and had hoped to teach alongside him for the rest of her career. Finn and Cory led lives of graciousness, which will never be forgotten on TV or in real life.

  5. Rachel’s late entrance. Rachel didn’t come home from NYC with Kurt, but I knew she would be back soon. She appeared in the last half of the episode, creating a larger impact than if she’d have been present throughout. Her single song to Cory was “Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan, and her tears were nothing but true emotion cracking the façade of an actress. Beautifully done.

What wasn’t so right:

  1. Was anyone else confused about Santana’s role in this episode? Yes, we know, Santana is human and has a good heart under those amazing biting insults. But her major role in this episode threw me off, from her being gifted Finn’s old letterman jacket, to the continued focus on her crying in her ridiculous clubwear. (Speaking of…Who wears Spandex miniskirts and stripper heels when visiting her alma mater? She looked great, but come on.)

  1. Glee punched me in the gut with announcing its hiatus. No new episodes until Nov. 7? How am I supposed to cope now? Oh, right, I own the first two seasons of Glee on DVD. Time to remember Cory through the many amazing episodes of Finn and his goofiness, friendliness and awful dancing skills.

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