If you thought Glee was going to just remember Finn (Cory Monteith) once in the October 10 tribute episode and then move on... boy were you wrong! The presence of Glee’s beloved late quarterback has been felt throughout the season, and Finn’s mark felt particularly strong during March 11’s Nationals episode.
During Season 5, Episode 11: “City of Angels,” the New Directions headed to Los Angeles to compete in the National Show Choir competition. Everything they did, every song they sang, was all for Finn.
Each song was one of Finn’s favorites — all classic rock tunes — and the quarterback left his impact in each of them. The set started with Neil Diamond’s “America” and Boston’s “More Than a Feeling,” but it was the New Direction’s final performance that really hit home.
As the glee club sang U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” a series of flashback clips of Finn appeared on the screen. His mom’s wedding, an emotional moment with Will, a tender exchange with Artie. Memory after memory flashed across the screen, reminding everyone of just what a huge and lasting impact Finn had made on the glee club.
We saw him holding the New Direction’s first National trophy, his face covered in glitter. We saw him singing boldly in the shower when he thought no one else was looking. As the song came to a close, Sam held Finn’s drumsticks up in the air: a physical reminder that his presence was right there with them on stage.
With all this set-up, a happy ending seemed to be a given. But alas, it just wasn’t meant to be. In a surprising twist, the New Directions ending up losing the National competition, coming in second to — of all people — the group who wore creepy masks and danced to “Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto.”
To be honest, we’re still not entirely sure what happened. (But then again, what do you expect when you have a deaf actress judge a singing competition? We adore Marlee Matlin, we just wouldn’t think an actress who can’t hear as particularly well equipped to pick a winner of a musical event.)
But then again, we have to admit that the New Directions’ set list wasn’t entirely current. Did the decision to perform nothing but classic rock end up coming back to bite them in the rear? Perhaps they still could have paid tribute to Finn with the use of more recent songs. Or do you think the choice of classic rock was the best way to go?
We want to hear your thoughts. Head below to sound off about tonight’s big Nationals loss. Was it fair... or (to quote a line from Lea Michele [Rachel] and guest star Skylar Astin’s [Jean-Baptiste] Broadway hit, Spring Awakening) totally f—ked?