This summer, the world lost Cory Monteith (Finn) — a deeply loved Glee star, a friend, a boyfriend to Lea Michele (Rachel), and a role model to countless fans. During next week’s Glee Season 5, Episode 3: “The Quarterback,” the show will pay tribute to its leading man with a tribute episode.
FOX’s promo gives us our first look at the episode. Every second, every frame, gives us clues about what will happen during the emotional night. We’re breaking it all down, and piecing it together with what we’ve already learned about the tribute. Here’s a look at what we’ve found out.
00:01 — The music swells. It’s “Make You Feel My Love.”
Such a sad, emotional song. It’s tugging on our heartstrings already, and the words haven’t even yet begun. The mood at McKinley High somber. Everyone walks quietly through the halls. No. We will not cry. We are literally two seconds into this promo. It is way too early to start crying.
00:03 — Finn Hudson is dead.
The members of the New Directions all hold red drumsticks in his honor, tied together with a simple black bow. Finn Hudson, McKinley High’s beloved quarterback, glee club leader, and background drummer, has passed away unexpectedly. We don’t know how he died, and Glee creator Ryan Murphy says he made the decision to intentionally keep the circumstances surrounding Finn’s death vague. We might find out his cause of death later in the season, but we won’t find out during Episode 3.
00:06 — The singing begins.
Oh no. It’s Rachel singing. Finn’s real-life love and Cory’s real-life girlfriend. We don’t know how we’ll be able to make it through a 30-second promo of her singing this to him... much less the entire song when the episode airs.
00:09 — “I could make you happy, make your dreams come true.”
Finn’s football helmet sits on a stand, as the glee club joins football jocks and Cheerios to carry it down the hall. They’ve all set up a makeshift memorial by Finn’s old locker. Candles and flowers surround it. A hand quietly places a football down at the front of it all, right behind a single red rose. Lea Michele’s voice is soft, crisp, and full of emotion.
00:12 — The entire glee club stands in front of Finn’s memorial.
We’ve never seen them look so sad. The screen quickly fades to white. “The hardest word to say,” a message on the screen tells us, “is goodbye.”
00:15 — “Nothing that I wouldn’t do.”
Lea’s voice just keeps singing. We’re struggling to hold it together. “We’ll miss you,” a sign in front of Finn’s locker reads. “FINN - You are our star that left too soon. But we will always look up to find you. <3 Zach and Brooke,” says another.
00:21 — “Go to the ends of the earth for you.”
Kurt (Chris Colfer) is in tears. His step brother just died. He buries his face in Finn’s letterman jacket and sobs. Rachel leans her head on Mr. Schue (Matthew Morrison). They’re standing in the choir room, both looking at a plaque with Finn’s face on it. Rachel’s wearing a white dress. Her face is bare of makeup. Tears are streaming down her face.
We already know that she won’t appear until the final act of the episode. But when she does, she’ll sing “Make You Feel My Love,” and her entire scene is said to be extremely emotional.
00:27 — “To make you feel my love.”
A black and white photo of Cory flashes across the screen. Glee: Farewell to Finn, it reads. The music slows, and Lea Michele’s voice fades out. If you aren’t in tears at this point... just wait until the show starts.
What we didn’t see.
In this promo, we saw the faces of the New Directions, Kurt and Rachel. But don’t think that they are the only ones back for this emotional episode. Mercedes (Amber Riley), Puck (Mark Salling) andMike (Harry Shum Jr.) will all be there, too, along with Coach Bieste (Dot-Marie Jones), Finn's mother Carole Hudson-Hummel (Romy Rosemont) and his stepfather Burt Hummel (Mike O'Malley).
Brittany (Heather Morris) and Quinn (Dianna Agron) won’t be there, though. At the time of filming, new mom Heather was still pregnant with her son, Elijah. Dianna has said that the show did not ask her to participate.
Though Lea’s “Make You Feel My Love” was the only song heard in the promo, there will be five other songs featured in the episode, including “If I Die Young,” sung by Santana (Naya Rivera) and“I’ll Stand By You,” performed by Mercedes.
Read our full spoiler roundup for even more details. Glee’s Cory Monteith tribute airs on Thursday, October 10, at 9 p.m. on FOX.