Retroactively, every moment of the show is stained with sadness and finality — the last time Rachel and Finn kiss, the last time Finn sings (side note: Monteith’s Glee run is bookended by performances of “Don’t Stop Believing”), the last time Finn stands in the choir room, the last time Finn hugs Kurt, the last time Finn seeks guidance from Mr. Shue, the last time Finn stands in a show choir circle with all of his friends, the last time Finn smiles. The death of Cory Monteith affects all of these moments and obliterates the mystery of a happy ending — there can’t be one. Monteith’s death is a booming reminder, loud and clear, that teenagers don’t spontaneously break into well-rehearsed song and dance. Costume changes don’t regularly occur. Not all dreams come true. Happy endings are never a guarantee. As someone raised on Disney movies, that’s a hard thing to digest. Monteith’s passing is a resounding reminder of much darker realities that exist in our plain world. And now, when we escape to Glee, those darker realities have encroached. I’m sure there’s some symbolism in there about growing up, but I can’t find the energy to put my finger on it.
For those who believe it to be disrespectful to mourn the loss of a character more evidently than the loss of an actor, let me say this: when a beloved actor suddenly dies it’s confusing and complicated. I know Finn Hudson — I’ve had consistent access to his thoughts, his words, and his actions for four years. I don’t know Cory Monteith beyond the few behind the scenes exclusives I’ve seen and the love I saw him share with his cast mates. This confusing Finn-or-Cory mess isn’t a bad thing, though. Finn was my access point to Cory, and allowed me to love Cory for portraying Finn in a way that was vulnerable and honorable and flawed and layered and relatable. It doesn’t prevent me from being sad about the death of a real-life live-and-in-color person. If anything, it perpetuates that sadness, and allows me to grieve the loss and celebrate the life’s work.
Mike Astuccio x (via tiltingaxis)