Glee paid tribute to their quarterback, their leader, in an emotional episode titled “The Quarterback.” It allowed those who were close to him to grieve and mourn together. They shared memories, tears and laughter as they remembered their friend and son.

Seasons of Love

It’s been three weeks since Finn’s funeral, and everyone’s back at McKinley for a special tribute Mr. Schue wants for just the glee kids. They can sing whatever they want to express themselves and to remember Finn. 

Everyone deals with grief in different ways, and the episode moves well between somber moments, the all-out ugly crying moments (me, not them. Well, all of us.) and yes, even laughter. It’s Sue who surprisingly erects a memorial tree — right at the spot where she caught Finn and Quinn fooling around. But then the memorial is vandalized, and the tree is stolen.

I’ll Stand By You

Mercedes recalls the time Finn told her he sang The Pretenders song to his baby’s sonogram (well, when he thought it was his baby). The lyrics take on new meaning this time as she sings it for Finn. Everyone else sings along except Kurt, but he at least has a small smile on his face.

At home, Kurt, Burt and Finn’s mom go through Finn’s things in the bedroom, and it’s a nice trip down memory lane: the football from when Kurt played, the “faggy” lamp. His letterman jacket.

Burt regrets not hugging his stepson more. The last time he saw him, Finn was stressing out over a test, and he just gave him a pat on the back. Carol wonders how a parent lives on without their child … and the tears just won’t stop. 

Fire and Rain

Puck is angry, dealing with his grief by vandalizing Finn’s memorial, and Santana takes it out on Sue by yelling that she’s always hated her, and then pushes her. Tina’s tired of wearing black because she thought Goth Tina was so two years ago. 

And Will? Well, he doesn’t need grief counseling. But he hasn’t cried either. He says he’s heartbroken but says the people around him have to be taken care of. Always the caretaker, Mr. Schue.

Santana and Puck’s reactions are poignant because they’re two tough people who don’t cry — they especially don’t let others see them cry. But Puck breaks down in front of Coach Beiste, while Santana stops singing and just cries. When others try to console her, she screams and runs out of the room. A little dramatic? Probably, but it’s so Santana. That’s what feels so real about this episode, is that even though grief is dealt differently, it’s how I see these characters coming to terms with Finn’s death.

Santana eventually calms down a little, after sharing with Kurt the nice things she actually meant to say about Finn in front of everyone. She also apologizes to Sue, who reveals that she wishes she told Finn he was a good guy, and she thought they’d be teaching together.

Santana doesn’t want to come back to McKinley (or Lima) after this because it’s just a reminder of what he’s lost. Puck, meanwhile, plants the tree again, shares a root beer with Coach Beiste, and, having lost the compass to his life, wants to join the Air Force. 

Make You Feel My Love

Kitty and the rest of glee club are in front of the large — and growing — memorial in front of Finn’s old locker (poor kid whose locker it actually is this year) when she comments on how it’s getting cheesy.

That’s when we see Rachel for the first time, arriving with Kurt, saying that it’s beautiful.

In front of the glee club, Rachel’s song is the one she and Finn first sang together, and it’s gut-wrenching. But even she has to start to move on, and she later shares a lighter moment with Mr. Schue, where she hangs up a photo of Finn in the music room, along with one of the funnier quotes that he said.

At the end of the school day, Mr. Schue comes home — he’s got Finn’s letterman jacket that he stole from the nurse’s office when Santana was sleeping (Kurt had given it her). That’s when he breaks down, crying into the jacket as Emma comes home before the episode ends.

Overall, the episode both felt short and long, as I wanted them to keep singing and keep remembering, but then it felt exhausting, all the crying. But it was a beautiful tribute, and even though they didn’t explicitly say how Finn died, I’m okay with that. 

Glee is back with all-new episodes starting Nov. 7, when it’s a Katy/Gaga sing-off, and Adam Lambert makes his first guest appearance.

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(Image courtesy of FOX)

Esther Gim

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV