‘Glee’: “The Quarterback”

A box of tissues and a pint of ice-cream were certainly needed for last night’s tribute to Glee’s Finn Hudson. What’s great about the episode is that the creators wanted to celebrate Finn’s life. Finn was a true leader in the glee club and a true quarterback hence the title. Millions of fans have idolized him since day one. No one will ever forget him singing in the shower to “Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore” or performing his first routine to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.”  Not only was his death so sudden, but Cory Monteith/Finn Hudson had so much potential. Having “Glee” been his big break, all his fans were hoping to see him pursue other adventures. We grew up with the character and felt like he could have easily been a friend to us all. By keeping Cory’s memory alive, all the proceeds of the songs played will go to Cory’s charities of choice.

Within the first five minutes, emotions rose quickly. The New Directions begin singing a beautiful rendition of “Seasons of Love.” What made the episode even more moving was seeing some of the original cast members come back and support their Glee family. Once they look behind the stage, they see a picture of Finn in his quarterback uniform.  Soon after, the glee graphic automatically came up on the screen, the creators replaced the letter “L” with a black and white silhouette of Finn from episode one. He was performing “Don’t Stop Believing” in season one. If that didn’t start the waterworks, I don’t know what will.

Everyone has a different way of grieving. Some are in denial, others get very emotional, and there are some who just make jokes trying to lighten up the situation. Finn’s mom was a wreck as any parent would be. She still has to be a parent even though her son isn’t here anymore. You don’t wish for any parent to go through that. Kurt puts on Finn’s football jacket and smells it by giving off the memories of him. He mentions that “Finn had long arms.” Puck vandalized the memorial by taking the tree away with his his motorcycle.

The touching moments of last night’s episode came from the original members of the glee club. Mercedes begins singing an emotionally charged version of “I’ll Stand By You.”  The emotions were raw and personal. I’ll never forget that moment because I had chills that were radiating all over my body. Santana goes on a rampage by taking her emotions out on everyone and feeling angry about the whole situation. Emotions flare and the dialogue between these two characters is just painful to watch. Santana’s breaking point was when she assaults Coach Sue in the principal’s office. She is destroyed and heartbroken that Sue has been out for Finn since day one. She begins to sing “If I Die Young” from The Band Perry and the lyrics truly spoke for themselves. There was so much potential in this young man and it was pointless that he was taken away so soon.

Puck was another character that truly made the episode so poignant. Coach Beiste noticed that Puck decided to drink because he wanted to hide the pain. Puck and Finn had a bond that no other character shared. Not only were they glee buddies, but they were roommates at college and played football and basketball together. Puck starts kicking chairs in the locker room and starts getting very hostile. Coach Beiste mentions “Finn would have kicked my chairs” and Puck said “that was his specialty.” Puck was afraid that he had no mementos of Finn and Kurt had everything. Coach Beiste’s best advice of the night was saying “you got to be your own quarterback. See yourself how he saw you.”  He sings Bruce Springsteen’s “No Surrender” and notices an empty chair in the choir room. Since Finn joined the army in season four, Puck decides he wants to enlist in the air forces.

The glee club makes a little memorial surrounding  Finn’s locker and they start placing drumsticks, candles, teddy bears as a little reminder of who Finn was. Kitty says “this is so cheesy,” but Rachel comes back to McKinley High by saying “it was beautiful, I just had to see it. Ideally, I would have liked seeing her in throughout the whole episode, but the way they put Rachel in was tasteful.  Rachel said “I loved Finn, he loved me, and he loved all you guys.” She got very emotional when talking about singing “Make You Feel My Love” because it was personal to her. Lea Michele actually suggested to Ryan Murphy that she would sing this Bob Dylan cover because it brings up memories of her on/off screen boyfriend Cory Monteith. The heart, passion and the tears were real. At the end of the episode, Rachel gives Mr. Schuester a little present for the choir room. She gives a plaque with Finn’s picture on it and an engraved quote which Finn said “The show must go…all over the place…or something.”

Having shown everyone passing Finn’s jacket was like the dream jacket, a symbol of Finn, because everyone still wanted a piece of him. It gives the students a sense of comfort as if Finn is still here and wrapping his arms around you. At the end of the episode, there was one PSA showcasing Jane Lynch, Matthew Morrison, and Kevin McHale talking about addiction.

For me this episode had its moments of highs and lows. I understand that you want to celebrate the life of a young man, but I felt it was more important to teach a lesson about this matter. I know the creators of Glee didn’t want to exploit the situation, but fans need to be aware. Ryan Murphy wanted to keep the episode vague and not shed light on any drug issues or an overdose. However in reality, students in college and even in high school have been doing drugs. Cory had fans of all ages, but mainly young viewers. I thought it would have been a good opportunity for families to gather around the TV with their kids and have these discussions. Cory Monteith was not a bad guy, he just happened to make some bad choices. Glee has addressed suicide, bullying, and texting while driving episodes, but not this. Also, I would have liked seeing more PSA’s on the subject matter than the commercials. Glee should have had other actors mentioning about the PSA’s or even sharing their favorite memory of Cory. Ideally, an hour I felt was not enough and didn’t do Cory or the topic justice. Six songs and no flashbacks of Finn Hudson made me feel disappointed.  I would have wanted to hear his voice one more time and see his face. Soon after they showed a graphic saying “Cory Monteith: 1982-2013.” The glee community will come through and get through this tragedy together. Cory/Finn will forever be in our hearts. Even though he’s gone, he will certainly never be forgotten.

Posted on October 12, 2013, in ABC, Network Television, Primetime and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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