Glee began with a heavy emphasis on Finn and Rachel, and from what series creator Ryan Murphy says, the Fox musical dramedy would have ended that way as well. Unfortunately, the plan has changed in the wake of Cory Monteith’s death earlier this year, however an excerpt from a eulogy Murphy gave at a memorial for the actor reveals how the ending of Glee would have played out.
EW shared Murphy’s touching eulogy, which included the following regarding how Murphy wanted to end the sixth and final season of the series:
At the end of season 6, Lea [Michele]‘s Rachel was going to have become a big Broadway star, the role she was born to play. Finn was going to have become a teacher, settled down happily in Ohio, at peace with his choice and no longer feeling like a Lima loser. The very last line of dialogue was to be this: Rachel comes back to Ohio, fulfilled and yet not, and walks into Finn’s glee club. “What are you doing here?” he would ask. “I’m home,” she would reply. Fade out. The end.
Murphy’s mental image of how the show would have ended sounds like it would’ve been an appealing option for fans of the series who were waiting for Finn and Rachel to get back together. The characters’ relationship status had hit a rough patch during the show’s fourth season, which had Finn joining the army (then leaving it) and Rachel setting off for New York to study the theater. Things weren’t going so well for their relationship, but it seemed expected that the two characters would eventually find their way back to one another.
In the wake of Monteith’s death, his character Finn was written off the show this season, having died of unspecified causes. As of October, Murphy said they were still trying to figure out a way to end Glee without Finn, and that he’s aiming for something that he thinks will be satisfactory and “kind of in [Finn’s] honor.”
At the very least, Murphy and the writers have plenty of time to change course and build up whatever arc they want to develop to lead to the series’ conclusion. Glee is midway through its fifth season, which means it has a season and a half to rev up for its finale. Still, given what a central character Finn was and how invested fans were in Finn and Rachel’s relationship, finding a way to close out the series satisfactorily without that element may prove to be a challenge.
Glee isn’t alone among current projects that have had to change course after the sudden death of one of its leads. On the feature side, actor Paul Walker’s tragic death last month has left the Fast & Furious franchise in an uncertain place. Production on the seventh film has been halted, however it sounds like Universal is almost ready to get things started again, as a new release date was announced for the film this week.