Thursday night was the much-anticipated (and emotionally dreaded) Glee episode in which the cast paid tribute to their lost cast mate and friend, actor Cory Monteith. Of course in the episode the characters were saying their goodbyes to Cory’s character Finn Hudson, and the episode was titled “The Quarterback” in honor of Finn’s skill at playing the position, which created the central conflict for him early on in the series.
As you would have imagined, the episode was an emotional tour de force, but it was handled with the thoughtfulness and gentle kindness that has earned this show such a fanatical following. Obviously the musical performances were moving (more on those in a moment), but for me the most touching scenes were when Lea Michele’s character Rachel was talking with Matthew Morrison’s character, Glee Club instructor Will Schuester, and then the closing scene of the episode of Will. I won’t say anything more in case you haven’t seen them yet.
UPDATE – The clip got deleted! Here are the two scenes in lesser quality broken up into two parts:
This show for me has always been about how to toughen up while keeping (or learning to grow) a huge heart, and those two scenes are the epitome of that. (I keep watching it trying to not cry at the end and I haven’t succeeded yet. I’ve got the big heart, I just need to toughen up!)
As far as the music, the song lineup was revealed earlier with a list of performances that included The Pretenders’ “I’ll Stand By You” by Amber Riley, James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain” by Chord and Kevin McHale, Bruce Springsteen’s “No Surrender” by Mark Salling and The Band Perry’s “If I Die Young” by Naya Rivera.
But of course the performance everyone was waiting for was that of Rachel Berry (played by Lea Michele), who performed Bob Dylan’s modern classic “Make You Feel My Love” (covered by Adele, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood and more) from his epic lovelorn Grammy Award winning album Time Out of Mind.
And here are the rest of “The Quarterback” Cory Monteith tribute performances from the Glee cast:
Seasons of Love
Fire and Rain
If I Die Young
I’ll Stand By You