When Glee was putting together the Cory Monteith tribute, “The Quarterback,” they consulted Lea Michele (Rachel) on everything they did. In fact, after her boyfriend Cory died on July 13, creator Ryan Murphy even asked Lea if she wanted the show to go on at all. So, when the much-anticipated episode came on, and Rachel wasn’t front and center, we could see how that would be confusing for fans.
Don’t worry, though. Rachel isn’t gone from Glee for good. Her role in the episode simply doesn’t come until the final act. Because Season 5 Episode 3 opens with the news that Finn Hudson has passed away, and features mostly memories of the quarterback from the characters’ varying perspectives, we would have hated for Rachel’s own thoughts about his death to get lost in the mix. Having her show up in the final act, singing the song Lea Michele likely chose for herself, is an incredibly powerful statement.
We don’t know how the Glee cast and crew even made the episode, considering all that it represents. Though it is still bothering us that Finn’s death feels so random, we are glad that they spent an episode on his and Cory’s losses to the Glee family. Had Rachel been more central to the episode, it may have felt like the grief was mostly hers.
Though Lea and Cory were together in real life, and Finn and Rachel were endgame on Glee, Cory’s death and Finn’s loss have deeply affected everyone involved with the show. So, while we know that a Rachel-centric episode would have been beautiful, emotional, and deeply personal, having her sing what she did and be in the episode just for a limited time made her moments onscreen feel that much more intimate and real.
How did you feel about Rachel / Lea Michele’s role in the episode? Should she have been in more or less of it, or did it feel just right? Share your thoughts below.