The first couple of minutes of Glee was very sweet. I loved the song choice, “Seasons Of Love” from Rent, where the current cast members started the song and then the past members walked from out of the darkness to take lead. I found that part to be incredibly moving except for one thing... WHERE’S QUINN??? I don’t know what Dianna Agron’s relationship with the show is at this point but I really don’t care either. I find it hard to believe that Dianna hadn’t wanted to be a part of this episode, as it will go down as a pivotal moment in the show’s history and her character was Finn Hudson’s high school sweet heart. This was the start to my let down...
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This episode takes us through very different, very real reactions as we peruse through the lives of the cast members. Mercedes Jones starts us off with a beautiful rendition of “I’ll Stand By You” but gets very little screen time afterwards. Artie and Sam sing “Fire and Rain” but then aren’t really seen again either. Surprisingly, it’s Santana Lopez that gets a big storyline as she is the definitive light from this episode, in my humble opinion. We witness Santana go through some serious moments. I never realized it until tonight but Santana and Finn really went through a lot together. After Finn found out that his high school girlfriend, Quinn, was actually pregnant with his best friend, Puck’s, child, he slept with one of Quinn’s BFF’s, enter Santana. Well, Santana told Finn it would be a good idea to sleep with her, rather. Another huge moment in their relationship was in Season 3 when Finn called Santana out on being a lesbian in a scene that STILL sends shivers up my spine during an Adele mashup. Look that one up.
The relationship that they’ve shared has been a rocky one, at best, but the love that Santana has for Finn is absolutely real. When she began to sing “If I Die Young” I really felt, for the first time, some sort of sadness for Finn Hudson tonight. See, shortly after Santana began to sing, she ran out screaming and crying because she felt vulnerable for one of the only times since her character’s inception. When Kurt follows her to the auditorium, she reluctantly reads a note of nice things that Finn had done for her in their relationship, including letting her know when she had chocolate cake on her butt. She also completely blows up on Sue Sylvester for being hateful toward Finn while he was alive. She loses herself so much in a fit a rage that she finds herself pushing Sue into a big set of filing cabinets. She goes to apologize to Sue later but is told that there wasn’t any need because Sue completely agrees with what she says and feels horrible for how she treated him when he was alive.
Finn’s best friend Puck didn’t take too well to the situation either, having stolen the tree that was set up in Finn’s honor, and showing up to McKinley completely drunk and crashing through the locker room. He and Coach Beiste have a conversation about how he needs to accept the fact that his dear friend is no longer around and that he needs to be “his own quarterback” in life. Later in the episode the two share another conversation at a memorial to Finn at the school about how the dash between a person’s birth year and year of death is everything that has happened in between. I never looked at it that way, but it is so true, all the things a person works so hard to accomplish in their lives is simply indicated by a “dash.” Puck then lets us know that he plans on joining the armed forces in one way or another.
Will Schuester has yet to cry and his wife, Emma, has told him that she’ll be there when he is finally ready to let go. In one of the humorous scenes of the show, Tina Cohen-Chang says that Finn’s death has reduced her to “3 years ago Tina” referring to her days as a gothic vampire in the first year of the show. Emma then gives Tina self help guides titled “It’s Not About You,” “When To Stop Talking,” and my personal fave “Wait, Am I Callous?” and sends her on her way. Throughout the episode, Finn’s letterman jacket is given to Kurt who then passes it to Santana during her breakdown. While she was taking a “trauma-induced siesta” in the nurse’s office, the jacket goes missing, leading everyone to believe Puck is the culprit, but in the end, we find Will clutching to Finn’s jacket and finally letting go.
Finn’s “person,” Rachel Berry, kept an anticipation brewing for her arrival, finally showing up in the last 15 minutes, Rachel sings one of my favorite songs, “To Make You Feel My Love,” and finally adds some depth and emotion to the show. She and Will have a conversation about how Finn has touched their lives and Rachel bestows upon the choir room a framed portrait of Finn with a quote that he had once said: “The show must go on... All over the place. Or something.” A quote that I think really sums up the character of Finn Hudson. With all of this said, I find that the lack of Finn’s presence in the episode; old clips, more stories, SOMETHING... really made for a lackluster tribute. I did like that some characters kind of spoke up about how Finn had touched their lives, but I don’t think this was enough. Finn Hudson was a major part of this show’s success and I had really hoped for more.