If you've been watching Glee this season, then you know the first two episodes of the series' fifth season didn't acknowledge the departure of Finn or the death of actor Cory Monteith. I'm not even sure if Finn's name has come up at all so far this season, but there's been a lot going on, what with Rachel's Funny Girl dreams and for William McKinley High School, the prom. The series had already set up the two-episode Beatles tribute prior to Cory Monteith's death, so we knew going into this season that his exit from the series wouldn't officially be acknowledged until Episode 3, which airs next Thursday. Fox hasn't shared any photos from the episode, which is a bit out of the ordinary for Glee -- they usually share at least a couple of pics ahead of each new episode -- but they did include the above teaser after last night's "Tina in the Sky with Diamonds".
Star Lea Michele can be heard singing "To Make You Feel My Love" as we see the characters decorating Finn's locker in memory of their old friend. And there's also a glimpse of Rachel hugging Mr. Schuester. Yes, it seems Finn's death has reunited the cast, at least for one episode. It's unfortunate that it took one of the star's deaths to make this happen.
We know that Cory Monteith's death was due to a lethal combination of heroin and alcohol, but how did Finn die? Don't assume we're going to find out next Thursday night. Back in August, Ryan Murphy was quoted as saying that they're not going to tell us yet, "or maybe not at all."
The idea being, how somebody died is interesting and maybe morbid, but we say very early on in the episode, “This episode is about a celebration of that character’s life.” That might be weird for some people, but it felt really exploitative to do it any other way.
I wondered if the news of Finn's death might spread at the end of last night's episode, which would allow next week's to pick up in the memorial phase of this story. But like last week, it wasn't addressed. So it seems the characters will be in the dark until Thursday night. And unless Murphy and the writers changed their plans, there won't be any explanation as to how Finn died, just that he died. I expect it to be a very musical and very emotional tribute, as Glee tends to aim for both when they're tackling heavy subjects.
It'll be interesting to see what songs are chosen for the tribute episode. In the meantime, here's the full performance of the cast singing "Let It Be" for last night's Beatles tribute:
Catch some of the other performances here.