Credit: Janet Mayer/Splash News/    
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Lea Michele as Glee’s Rachel in Central Park: Then and Now — Sad Changes!

It seems like not long ago when Glee’s Rachel (Lea Michele) and Finn (Cory Monteith) went on a magical all-day date in NYC during the Season 2 finale. But now that Season 5 Rachel has returned to the same bridge in Central Park where she once stood with Finn, it’s clear how much has sadly changed since then.


The first time Lea was filming on Bow Bridge, it was April 2011, and Cory — who passed away suddenly this July — was right there by her side. At the time, Lea and Cory weren’t even dating yet in real life. Lea was seeing Theo Stockman of Broadway’s American Idiot back then. In fact, Lea and Cory’s real life romance wasn’t revealed until that February, though rumors first appeared in November.

But from the way that Cory and Lea were looking at each other on the bridge, it’s clear they had some serious chemistry. Their smiles — as they both stand on the bridge — remind us of how happy they were together, even before they were officially an item.

This is quite a contrast from the photos taken on Monday of Lea alone on that same bridge. We don’t yet know if her visit to Bow Bridge was filmed for the tribute to Cory in Season 5, Episode 3, or if it’s where she’ll be singing the Beatles song “Yesterday” in one of the Season 5 premiere. But it’s clear that Rachel will be reflecting on Finn while she’s there.

Credit: Janet Mayer / Splash News    

Without a doubt, things have dramatically changed in Rachel’s life since Finn first texted her to meet at that bridge. Rachel and Finn strolled through the park as part of their adorable date, culminating in a moonlit stroll through the West Village to the tune of “Bella Notte,” which led to Cory dramatically kissing Rachel onstage at Nationals. In fact, that onstage kiss was one of our all-time favorite Finchel moments.

Sadly, Finchel parted ways at the end of Season 3 and officially broke up in the beginning of Season 4. They stayed apart most of the season, except for a brief hookup during Will and Emma’s (attempted) wedding . However, it’s clear that the Glee characters were meant to be together, and Finn even referred to Rachel his “future wife” while defending her honor.

We’re looking forward to the start of Season 5, when we’ll finally know why Rachel has returned to the site of such a cherished Finn memory. Regardless of her reason, we know it must have been tough for Rachel and Lea to be back at Bow Bridge once again. One thing’s for sure, this will make for an incredibly powerful scene.

Ryan Gajewski is a writer at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow him on Google+!

09.10.2013 / 12:00 AM EDT by Ryan Gajewski
Related: Glee, Features, Rachel Berry, Lea Michele and Cory Monteith, Glee Season 5

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