It's now been three months since Cory Monteith’s (Finn) passed away of a heroin and alcohol overdose on July 13, but the tragic event still feels very fresh in everyone's minds. Tonight, October 10, Glee is airing Season 5, Episode 3: "The Quarterback," it's Cory Monteith tribute. Finn Hudson must be written off the show, and he will have already passed away by the time the episode begins.
Show creator Ryan Murphy has already said that Finn will die, and Fox president Kevin Reilly has said that the Cory Monteith tribute will be accompanied by a series of drug-related PSAs from Ryan Murphy and various Glee actors. But that said, Finn will not die of a drug overdose. Though the show originally wanted to go in that direction, they ultimately decided to avoid it. In fact, drugs will not be a part of the episode at all.
"The new show opens three weeks after Finn’s funeral, and the entire school is grief-stricken," the New York Times says. "But there is no hint of how Finn’s life ended. There are no elliptical references to the dangers of substance abuse — not even an Amy Winehouse song."
Though we agree that Cory’s passing gives the show an opportunity to raise awareness about the seriousness of drug and drug addictions, we’re glad that this is the way in which Glee chose to handle it. Yes, there would have been a lot that young people can learn about this issue. Yes, Cory’s death has given Glee a platform to speak to many young people who might not otherwise listen.
But here’s the thing: Plenty of Glee’s other PSA-style episodes have gained criticism in the past. Quinn’s (Dianna Agron) car accident, and her subsequent paralysis and then near-miraculous recovery spring immediately to mind. Karofsky’s (Max Adler) suicide attempt, too, did not go over well with everyone.
In choosing to involve drugs in Cory’s death, Glee could have taken on a great responsibility. But sensitivity and a delicate hand would have been needed be needed. In the end, the story of Cory's death has had enough attention drawn to it. It, in itself, is a warning for the incredibly tragic way that drugs can cut short the life of someone so young, kind, loving, and full of promise. Cory's life told the story. Glee didn't need to drive it home with a story line tonight. All in all, we think they made the right choice.