In the wake of the tragic passing of castmember Corey Monteith, Glee is moving forward into its fifth season and has just started production on the special tribute episode to the young actor. The third epsiode of the new season will revolve around the death of Monteith’s character Finn Hudson, a staple of show since its first season. In an intimate gesture, no cause of death will be revealed and the episode will instead focus on each character dealing with the aftermath and celebrating the character’s life.
Episodes dealing with the death of a series’ actor can work to bring closure for viewers both in terms of the loss of the actor and the character he or she portrayed. That loss permeates and layers the show: at once, we are watching characters dealing with death, as well as watching castmates losing a comrade. Keeping the heavy performativity of Glee in mind, the episode is said to be “gut wrenching,” with reports that “you will cry from beginning to end.” Performances from Naya Rivera, as well as Monteith’s girlfriend on and off the screen, Lea Michele, are reported to be particularly memborable, with both actresses having close bonds with the performer. Costar Jane Lynch tweeted Wednesday that the episode is “the most memorable thing,” inspiring hope that it will provide the send off fans are looking for.