The news of Cory Monteith’s tragic death was the last thing I read before I went to bed last night. An RIP post on Tumblr tipped me off. I Googled Cory’s name hoping to find it was a rumor or a hoax. Instead I found a full page of links confirming that this beautiful, talented man who was the same age as me had been found dead in his hotel room. I put my Heath Ledger flashbacks to rest, went to bed, and desperately hoped there was some chance I’d wake up to find out the whole thing was a rumor. Didn’t happen.
But that’s exactly the kind of thing that would happen on Glee. Glee, I don’t know how to tell you this because you apparently love making Very Special Episodes so much, but…you suck at it. You really, really suck at it. So far your numerous efforts have included a suicide episode with no suicide and a school shooting episode with no school shooting. To be fair, your heart attack episode and cancer episode did feature a real heart attack and real cancer, but the patient (the same guy? really? what did poor Burt Hummel ever do to you?) still turned out to be just fine in the end.
Glee, you cannot handle real, long-term, lasting tragedy. So please don’t try.
It’s not a bad thing. Like you’re constantly telling your characters and your audience, know who you are and embrace it. You are fun, campy, bubbly, over-the-top, ridiculous, not-remotely-reality-based escapism. That’s what I’ve always loved about you. When you play to your strengths, it’s wonderful. But when you try to be something you’re not, it’s painful for everyone. Not in the touching, poignant way you’re going for, but in a bad American Idol audition way. So, please, don’t try to deal with Cory Monteith’s death by dealing with Finn Hudson’s death. You cannot pull it off. You just can’t.
Especially after the train wreck that was Finn’s season 4 character arc. I spent the whole season trying to figure out what you were punishing Cory for. It felt like you were going out of your way to portray Finn as a loser. And you gave him such a strong send-off at the end of season 3. He set Rachel free to pursue her dreams and to explore the world outside of Lima, OH and McKinley High. He went off to do the same thing himself by following in his late father’s footsteps and joining the military. In his final moments Finn was the man he’d spent the last 3 years becoming. Even though I was a die-hard Finchel shipper, I thought that was the best ending you could’ve given them.
But, no. You had to bring Finn back just to show him as a pathetic slacker who’d gotten kicked out of the military, had no job prospects beyond those offered out of pity, tried college just to party, occasionally rejoined Rachel for weird scenes that made me wonder when he’d be wearing her face for a mask, and broke up his mentor’s impending marriage by kissing his fiancee. Please, Glee, I’m begging you, don’t let this be the way Finn’s story ends. Cory Monteith’s story was cut tragically short by terrible, self-destructive decisions. Finn Hudson’s doesn’t have to be. Give Finn the offscreen ending he deserves.