The memorial episode did not disappoint, having the fullness and depth that could allow each and every fan have some closure on the tragic death of Cory Montieth. The Quarterback lived up to the hype and has marked another unforeseen turning point in the larger story and development of Glee.
In no less than 15 minutes into the episode we are given a great moment of catharsis. The episode takes place three weeks after Finn’s funeral and nearly the entire cast assembled at McKinley for a special tribute. (Although, it felt a little odd that both Quinn and Brittany were not present.) With Kurt’s arrival in Lima, we find him, his dad, and Finn’s mom, all in Finn’s old bedroom deciding what needed to go and what needed to stay.
It was a deeply emotional moment, where we got a glimpse into the grieving process of the family that remains. Between Kurt and Burt’s memories of Finn, in particular Burt’s regret for not being more affectionate and supportive of Finn, is enough to bring most men to tears. Ending with Finn’s mom Carole breaking down about how to move forward, being a parent without a child, really hit hard too.
This entire episode was very perfectly crafted. The grieving process was very well shown in all its many forms. The way this event has changed the lives of those in the story was both profound and, somehow, nothing of lasting consequence.
What I mean, is this: while the death of Finn had an effect upon all those in the New Directions, it only has a lasting impact upon Kurt, Burt, Carole, and Rachel. As in real life, everyone’s lives will continue to move forward. The grief will end and people will be able to move on in their lives. Having new adventures, new loves, new ups and new downs, but this does not diminish either Finn Hudson, nor Cory Montieth. Rather it is the celebration of life and the recognition that those who have left this world are not gone, nor did they leave us unmarked.
When Glee was ramping up for its debut, I watched the clips of the cast members and their audition process. In the original conception and pitch for Glee, there was no Kurt Hummel character. There was supposed to be an Indian character instead, but when Chris Colfer auditioned, everyone was so impressed with him that they created Kurt specifically for him to play. I bring this up because the sudden death of Cory Montieth is not the first time that something beyond the conception or control of the writers has shifted the direction of the show. It is a living thing.
Beyond that, it is amazing to think about the journey the entire show has had up to this point. It has been amazing, beautiful, heartbreaking, and not too unrealistic; although, television is inherently a caricature of life. Now, the show is becoming something new, not entirely, but subtlety for sure.
As Glee continues to move forward, it would be useful for every fan to remember that this is an evolving process, an unfolding that, like life, takes sudden and unexpected turns. Watch the show, from this episode forward, with new eyes, like you did for the first time. The Quarterback has provided the closure we’ve all needed, now we can step into the bold new world.
Written by: Iam Bloom