This is a tough one.
When I came up with this list of emotional moments, one of the first scenes I wrote down was the breakup scene between Finn and Rachel from Season Four of Glee. When that episode first aired, I found myself sobbing almost uncontrollably when the couple I’d been rooting for since the pilot ended their relationship for good. I cried because Lea Michele was so raw, real, and absolutely devastating. I cried because this scene perfectly encapsulated the pain of walking away from your first love. I cried because Cory Monteith gave such a subtly heartbroken and lost performance. And I cried because even though this was a breakup scene, it was filled with so much chemistry and so much love that you could practically feel it through the TV screen.
Now, though, I’ll cry even harder every time I watch this scene because of what it means after Monteith’s death. In this scene, he was Michele’s rock, and that’s who he was in all of his scenes on Glee—a rock for his costars and a relatable presence for the audience. Monteith was Glee’s everyman, and the show will never be the same without him. But what really breaks my heart is thinking about how the people who loved him will never be the same without him. It’s clear watching this scene how connected and in love he and Michele were. Throughout the show’s run, he gave her the strength and confidence to go to emotional depths she never reached opposite any other actor. That kind of support and partnership produced her best moments, such as this scene. My heart aches for her when I think of what she lost.
This scene is about the very real heartbreak of the end of a relationship even when love is still clearly there. With time, it will only get more painful to watch as we remember the real-life love story that ended even more painfully than its fictional counterpart.
R.I.P. Cory Monteith.
It’s interesting, just yesterday morning the Glee version of “Like a Prayer” came up on my iPod and it just made me think how central Finn was to the emotional core of this show and how sweetly and sincerely Monteith played a character who could have simply been naïve and foolish. He gave Finn a depth that obviously came from his personal experiences and difficulties. It is so sad to think of his early passing and just how hard it is for that cast of friends. Jane Lynch on the Tonight Show I thought spoke so well of the closeness they all shared. The music was actually hard to listen to, I said to a friend, I truly feel for the writers of the show who have to navigate honoring his memory, moving the show forward and rerouting a major plot while remaining sensitive to Lea Michelle. Awful all around.
When it comes to the show, for me the moments that always struck me with profound joy and emotion was the interactions between Kurt and his dad. However, the day of the wedding between their parents was a terrific moment not only for the show but for one of the best storylines Monteith shared. The evolution of the friendship to family that Kurt and Finn go through, culminating at the wedding to me is a legacy of this young man and from the outpouring in the last week a mirror into who the man was.
Just thinking about Kurt and Finn’s friendship is making me cry all over again. It was one of my favorite things about Glee.
I understand what you mean about it being hard to listen to music from the show right now. “Faithfully” came on my iPod while I was driving today, and I found myself in tears thinking about how his life had so much promise and so much love in it only for it to end too soon.
This was such an emotionally powerful scene for the show. Lea Michele did a phenomenal job making the emotions feel so incredibly realistic. I’m sad that Rachel will never get her happy ending with Finn now, but I’m more heartbroken for what Lea has lost in real life. Cory seemed like such a good man and I can’t imagine what she and the rest of the cast must be feeling right now to lose their friend.
“I’m sad that Rachel will never get her happy ending with Finn now, but I’m more heartbroken for what Lea has lost in real life.”
That’s exactly how I feel right now. My heart is broken for Lea. I can’t even imagine being as young as she is and having to deal with losing the man you love. He truly seemed like such a wonderful person, and my heart hurts for those who loved him. If I feel this sad over his loss, I cannot fathom what they are going through.