‘Glee’ Recap: Cory Monteith Tribute ‘The Quarterback’

'Glee' Photoshoot
The cast of 'Glee' gathered for a season 5 photoshoot.
“He was our quarterback.”

That’s one way to describe how many Glee fans felt about the deceased actor, Cory Monteith. He was so charismatic. His smile was contagious, you could tell he was a genuinely good person, and he was hilarious to boot. We all know his dancing was horrendous, but I’m pretty sure his other qualities overpowered that one somewhat negative one. There is no denying that we’ll all miss seeing him on our screens. It was such a pleasure to tune into the show and see his handsome face.

Last night’s episode was appropriately titled, “The Quarterback”, and it was the long awaited (and dreaded) tribute for Monteith.

There are spoilers ahead. Read on at your own risk! Plus watch all six musical performances below.

Right at the very beginning of this highly anticipated episode, we had the privilege of hearing a wonderful rendition of “Seasons of Love” from the popular play – and movie – Rent. As expected, this cover was full of beautiful, genuine emotion, showing just how treasured this extremely talented actor was. In spite of unfortunate circumstances, it was great to see Amber Riley, Harry Shum Jr., and Mark Salling return. A somber episode started off amazingly, especially as the song concluded. We had the opportunity of seeing a lovely, large poster of Finn on the football field in his football gear.

Mr. Schue, (Matthew Morrison), who we know was Finn’s best friend decided to have a special memorial service of sorts for just those of his friends who were part of the Glee Club. I imagine it was much more intimate than the character’s funeral was. It gave our cast favorites an opportunity to mourn in a new way, both in character and out of character. In a recent interview with TV Week Australia, Lea Michelesaid, “We had a beautiful memorial for Cory in the auditorium and some of the cast members sang and people spoke about him. It only felt right that we would do the same thing for Finn, so I felt it was very therapeutic.”

During season one, Monteith covered The Pretenders’ song, “I’ll Stand By You”. Cast member, Amber Riley was the lucky friend who got to give us another taste of this wonderful song. The rest of the members presented in the room chimed in for the chorus, making this even more meaningful. As sad as this episode was, it was a definite improvement from the mediocre start to the season.

The second most heartbreaking scene followed, (the first being at the very end of the episode), where Kurt (Chris Colfer), Burt (Mike O’Malley), and Carole (Romy Rosemont) began cleaning out Finn’s old bedroom. This was their intimate, very touching scene which, despite the sadness, I enjoyed very much. In his room was Kurt’s old, “faggy” lamp which Finn kept to make a statement. Burt said he wanted to keep it because he needed it for his office at work. Throughout this episode we saw that everyone wanted something of his as a memento. I would assume it was there way of trying to keep him close even though it was gone.

Following the lamp comment, Burt spoke about how he wished he would have given his stepson more hugs. Unfortunately, during the grieving process you think of all the things you could have, and should have done differently. No pain is comparable to the pain of a mother after losing her child. Carole said, “you have to keep on being a parent even though you don’t have a child anymore.” That commented was absolutely heartbreaking. Even though it’s just a character in a show, my heart definitely went out to her.

A tree was planted at McKinley High in honor of Finn; but unfortunately, someone stole it. Soon enough we discovered it was Puck who stole the tree. It seems as though he’s desperate to cling onto anything which could help him remember his former best friend. The newly sentimental character requested for Finn’s football number to be retired and his Letterman jacket be hung in tribute. In the locker room, he spoke to Coach Beiste about how he was worried that if he started crying he wouldn’t be able to stop. Very frankly, as they speak, she said, “he’s dead and all we’ve got left is his voice inside our heads.”  Just moments later Puck’s mini-breakdown ensued, causing all of our hearts to ache for this strong character. In another scene, he replants the tree and tells Beiste that he has decided to join the Air Force. Finn always helped in make decisions, and now that he’s gone, Puck has to choose his own path.

Characters continued reflecting on their departed friend in gorgeous ways. Santana (Naya Rivera) told Kurt about how one day Becky Johnson put a piece of chocolate cake on her chair in class. After she sat on it, Finn walked behind her until she could get out of school so no one could see it. Sue, after a screaming match with Santana, admitted she cared about him and hates the thought of him dying thinking she didn’t like him. Truthfully, she cared about him immensely. While in the hallway with Mr. Schue, Santana confessed that she doesn’t know if she’ll return to Lima. It’s just a place that reminds her of all she has lost.

The most glorious song of the night was Lea’s rendition of “Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan, and also sung by Adele. It was a song Rachel and Finn sang while driving around together. Following this, she and her former Spanish (and Glee Club) teacher had a chance to speak privately. Rachel told him she could still hear Finn’s voice in her head, and she was worried that someday she would forget it.

Just like any dreamer, the bright star had a plan for her and her beau. Due to his unfortunate death that was obviously halted. Witnessing her speaking made me think of the real relationship between the former co-stars; and it was beautiful and heart-wrenching at the same time. Definitely a bittersweet moment!

A mystery surrounded Finn’s missing Letterman jacket. We know Kurt took it from Finn’s room and then gave it to Santana. Santana went to the nurse to have a nap and it disappeared. People assumed Puck stole it because he wanted a memento. I personally expected it to be Sue since she was mournful while still being closed off. It was a classic case of whodunnit? At the very end of the episode, it was revealed that Will Schuester took the jacket. Emma entered their shared apartment to see her husband finally sobbing over the jacket. In order to grieve properly, tears need to be shed, so hopefully now Will can properly mourn.

This tribute was exactly what the fans of the show needed! I think they could have used better song choices, but I still enjoyed the ones they chose.

Glee is now on a short hiatus. They’ll be returning on November 7th with guest star Adam Lambert! He is definitely who I’m most excited to see on the show!

How many tears did you shed last night? What were your favorite, or least favorite parts of the episode? Sound off in the comments below!