Instead of doing a Gleecap tonight, I’m going to another opinion post. Call it part of my grieving process…
“The Quarterback”, Glee’s 3rd episode of season 5 was devastatingly perfect. It showed the various ways people mourn — through anger, through sadness, through control, through fear of the unknown… Each and every character played a different role tonight in the grieving process, but they all had one thing in common: their love for Finn Hudson.
The show throughout, was tasteful, emotionally draining, and filled with pure love. It was something so special and I know Cory Monteith would have been so proud of it.
As I watched the show, I told myself “watch it, as if you are just watching these characters — not the actors who play them.” It started that way. “Seasons of Love” was one of the greatest group numbers that the New Directions has filmed, and as the backdrop of Finn Hudson in his McKinley Titans shirt faded in, I was reminded — just as Lea had said earlier this week — we didn’t just lose Cory, we lost Finn too.
But… As the show progressed, and the more I thought about it, the more I felt this connection to the actors that play these characters. Just because they’re acting in character doesn’t mean that the tears, the emotions, and the feelings aren’t real.
By the end of the episode, I didn’t know who I was saying goodbye to. Was I saying goodbye to Finn? Or was I saying goodbye to Cory? Millions of tears, and an hour later, I decided that it didn’t matter. Because both represented something really special.
After I watched the episode the first time, I decided to torture myself, and watch it again. I was less sad this time. I knew what to expect, and I knew what was going to happen… It was sad, but I didn’t cry as much.
Instead, I began to ponder: “What if”.
What if Cory never made that audition tape? What if he never made the 20 hour drive from Vancouer to L.A. for the live audition? What if Cory had been cast for a different role? What if Finn was never even written into the show?
Call it what you will… I think it’s something special. Maybe it’s God’s mysterious way of working in our lives. Don’t believe in God? Maybe it was his destiny to play THIS character on THIS show. Maybe it was fate. Maybe it was purely a coincidence.
Regardless, he was cast on this show. And in a short 4 years time, he taught us a lot about life. He taught us to be kind. He taught us to be a leader. He taught us to stand up for what’s right. He taught us that it’s okay to make mistakes. He taught us that it’s okay to get overwhelmed. He taught us that every problem we face is a speed bump in this road map called life.
But… If he hadn’t been our Finn, we never would have been taught these lessons in the same way. Maybe someone else would have played the role and the message would have come across… but there’s a reason Cory was our Finn. No one else could have been.
I thought the best conversation of the whole episode came between Puck and Beiste, when Puck said “See that dash? That’s his life.” My cousin, Bri, shared a poem that she had heard immediately after the episode tonight. It’s called… fittingly enough… The Dash Poem.
I read it. And at first when I read it I read it as to how it pertained to Finn’s life. Then I re-read it and thought about how it pertained to Cory’s. I said earlier this week in my “Remember the Love” post that life isn’t measured by the way someone dies, but rather the love that the person shared.
This poem sort of reiterates that. What really matters in life is how we live and love. It’s how we spend time in our living moments. Cory spent his time giving us Finn. And for that, I’m forever grateful.
The last time I read the poem, I read it as it pertains to my life. I am living. I am breathing. I don’t do drugs. And I try to stay out of trouble as best as I can. But am I spending my dash in a way that would make people proud? Am I spreading enough love? Am I living?
Cory, In the short time you lived, you made us proud and you give us more love than you could ever even know. I hope that at my eulogy, I’m as proud of the things people say about me as I am of the things people say about you. If I can spread have of the love… If I can live half of the life… I’ll be more proud of my dash than anyone could be.
Thank you for all of the memories.
And to the actors, cast and crew, thank you for such a beautiful, heartfelt, devastatingly beautiful tribute. It couldn’t have been more perfect. YOU could not have been more wonderful. We all look up to you, and we all admire your strength and bravery.
Please feel free to share your thoughts, comments, opinions, and messages to the cast/crew in the comments below. Otherwise, you know where we live on Twitter: @TroutyMouthBlog.
-Bonnie & Whitney
P.S. Please remember, the proceeds of all songs from “The Quarterback” go to Project Limelight — a charity very close to Cory’s heart. You can also donate $10 to Chrysalis by texting “CHANCE” to 50555.