We Say Goodbye

Right around 8 pm tomorrow, I fully expect I’ll be crying my eyes out. While Glee as a TV show has fallen far from the greatness of the first couple seasons and while Finn was far from my favorite character, he and his actor, Cory Monteith, hold a special place in my heart.

I admit, after the first few seasons of Glee, I lost interest. My favorite characters had graduated high school, which meant the show was about more than just a high school Glee club. The most disheartening thing that happened to Glee with each passing season was the decreasing number of musical numbers actually sang in a choir room. More and more, the songs played like dream sequences or music videos, complete with auto-tune that completely erased the illusion you were listen to a choir sing.

In the Spring, I encountered a string of days with a lot of extra time on my hands which I used to marathon-watch season 4 of Glee. They were okay shows, but I could really care less about the high school glee club at this point. Kurt is the best character on the show and anything happening with him or Rachel is something I want to see. So, I know where the story is at this point. I even made a point to watch the Beatles episodes just in case they play a role in tomorrow’s episode.

WARNING: spoilers below. Don’t read unless you want to have past Glee episodes spoiled.

If you haven’t seen it yet, here is the promo for tomorrow’s episode.

When I saw this last week,  a tear rolled down my cheek. I think about Finn, the insecure football player caught between his cheerleader girlfriend and his feelings for a dorky girl in the Glee club. I think about how much he looked up to his father, a trait he didn’t completely lose even when he learned the truth of his father’s death. I think about my favorite scene in all of Glee history, when he sang Just the Way You Are to Kurt. That moment, when Finn finally accepted Kurt into his family was fantastic. I was all smiles as they danced. Glee will never have a moment of equal greatness again. Cory is gone and he took Finn with him.

After initial shock and search for what went wrong, I started to deal with Cory’s surprising death the way I would a loved one. I thought of all the places I expected him be.  How would he react to Kurt and Blaine’s engagement or Rachel’s role in Funny Girl? He was supposed to be Kurt’s best man and work towards becoming a teacher. That will never happen.

Finn Hudson’s Wedding Speech: “I wanna propose a toast to my mom, who is so awesome. I mean, somehow without one in the house, you taught me what it means to be a man. In Glee Club, whenever two of us got together, we got a nickname. Rachel and I are Finchel. Rachel and Puck were Puckleberry. And today, a new union was formed: Furt. You and me, man, we’re brothers from another mother. And, quite frankly, no one else has shown me as much as you about what it means to be a man. And over the past few weeks, some stuff’s gone down, and I haven’t manned up like I should have. From now on, no matter what it’s gonna cost me, I’ve got your back. Okay? Even though it means getting a slushie in the face now and then. You put this wedding together by yourself, Kurt. So as a thank you, I had the Glee Club put together a little number in your honor.” 

What happened to Cory is a tragedy that reaches beyond his character on Glee. I saw a video where Jane Lynch told a story about Cory. He had heard of a sick child in a hospital whose one wish was to meet him. Out of his own pocket, he booked a flight to meet this young fan of his. That’s just the kind of guy he was. Cory’s was also a story of triumph, with a long history of drug use. From the depths of hell created by his addictions, he emerged as a successful actor on Glee. He was proof that even the gravest of demons could be overcome. Even though those demons led to the end of his life, I think he is still a model for conquering adversity. So, Cory died of drug use. Before then, he was a kind heart and an inspiration to people around the world. He raised money for the less fortunate and spoke candidly about his past in the hopes his story might help those in similar situations. That’s who he was and who we remember.

I don’t know if I will continue to watch Glee or not after tomorrow’s. The show is going on hiatus last I checked and a nostalgic part of me wants the show to go on. Even if it never reaches the grandeur of the first season again, I still have a soft spot for the show that keeps me coming back for more.

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