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Tuesday, Glee said goodbye to one of their own. They paid tribute to Finn Hudson, played by the late Cory Monteith, who unexpectedly passed away in July at 31-years-old. In “The Quarterback,” former and current members of the New Directions gathered at McKinley High School for a sentimental memorial organized by Mr. Will Schuester. With lots of emotion and a hint of comedy, the writers created a moving but not quite fulfilling episode.

The Players:

  • Director: Brad Falkchuk
  • Writer: Ryan Murphy, Brad Falkchuk, and Ian Brennan
  • Cast: Chris Colfer, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, Heather Morris, Amber Riley, Naya Rivera, Jenna Ushkowitz, Mark Salling, Matthew Morrison, Ashley Fink, Chord Overstreet, Harry Shum, Jr., Cheyenne, Darren Criss, Jayma Mays, Jane Lynch, Dean Geyer, Melissa Benoist

Episode Title: “The Quarterback”

The McKinley gang celebrate the life of former quarterback and New Directions member Finn Hudson. The episode mirrors the real-life death of actor Cory Monteith.

The Good:

  • Carol’s Sadness: While sorting out Finn’s things, Kurt, Burt and Carol start reminiscing about their brother and son. Burt cries as he regrets not hugging Finn more while he was alive. Carol breaks down when she starts talking about no longer having a child. “You have to wake up everyday,” she says, “You have to keep on being a parent even though you don’t get to have a child anymore.” Finn’s mother was a secondary character on this show, and we hardly ever saw her, but it was nice of the writers to give her a grieving scene of her own.
  • Dealing With The Pain: Finn was close to everyone. Like his stepfather said, he didn’t have one prejudice bone in his body. Even though he was the popular jock, he stood up for the freaks and for that he was loved. It’s understandable that most of the almost everyone would have a hard time with his passing. They did a good job at letting everyones grief show in their own unique ways.

Best Lines:

  • “He was the first cool kid to be nice to us, and he was our leader in here. We love you Finn.” –Mercedes

The So-So:

  • Cause of Death: Right off the bat, the show makes it clear that they’re not telling us how or why Finn died. In an earlier scene, Kurt mentions that it doesn’t matter, because he prefers to remember how he lived. That’s a nice thought, but it doesn’t help us at all. Finn’s cause of death is a crucial plot point that needs to be addressed, sooner rather than later.

The Music:

  • “Seasons Of Love,” Rent – Mercedes, Santana, Kurt, Puck, Tina and Mike kick off the episode with a gloomy performance.
  • “I’ll Stand By You,” The Pretenders – Mercedes offers a cry-worthy rendition of “I’ll Stand By You.”
  • “Fire And Rain,” James Taylor Artie and Sam pay their respects.
  • “If I Die Young,” The Band Perry – Santana breaks down as she sings “If I Die Young.”
  • “No Surrender,” Bruce SpringsteenPuck remembers his best friends with a sentimental solo performance of “No Surrender.”
  • “Make You Feel My Love,” AdeleRachel makes a last minute appearance and sings Adele’s “Make You Feel My Love.”

Overall:

Like most Glee episodes these days, this one had its ups and downs. Carol’s grieving scene was definitely the most memorable moment of the night. She said the right things and channeled an authentic feeling of loss that was lacking most of the episode. The songs were nice and the performances were full of emotion, but the fact that the writers didn’t reveal why Finn died made the tribute less effective. (Still, R.I.P. Cory Monteith. The Gleeks will miss you.)

Rating: 7/10

Glee airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on Fox.

What did you think of last night’s episode?