In an Emmy-timed interview today, Glee co-creator, Ryan Murphy, revealed plot details of the Cory Monteith tribute episode. The cast will begin shooting the memorial episode this week. “We’re just now finishing it,” said Ryan, “and at the end of the week we’ll send it to [the studio 20th Century Fox Television] to get their approvals.”
The hard part for all of us is that the past week we’ve been holed up writing the memorial episode. There were a lot of things that we had to decide — how are we going to deal with his death? At one point, we were going to have his character die after an accidental drug overdose — that was something we had considered. But we have decided that we’re not going to have him pass from that. Basically, what we’re doing in the episode is we are not telling you yet, or maybe not at all, how that character died. Cory Monteith The idea being, how somebody died is interesting and maybe morbid, but we say very early on in the episode, “This episode is about a celebration of that character’s life.” That might be weird for some people, but it felt really exploitative to do it any other way.
I’m really happy that Ryan has decided NOT to have Finn Hudson pass from an accidental drug overdose, just like the actor who played him. It would have been totally out of character for Finn, and too on the nose. It would be keeping within Finn’s character to have him do something a little rash and unwise, but heroic–attempting to save a drowning child from a strong riptide, for instance. Finn had a big big heart, but often acted before he thought out the consequences.
But I hope Ryan DOES reveal the cause of Finn’s death at some point. How can a fan properly grieve the passing of a character that they loved without learning the circumstances of his death? It’s part of the grieving and process of coming to closure to understand how and why he died.
Ryan also spoke a little bit about how the cast is coping as the new season of Glee begins shooting without their beloved friend and co-star:
The cast and crew have had solace in being together. They’ve been holed up doing those Beatles numbers. There’s been tears on set. It’s been hard for a lot of people. But the really difficult thing is coming.
“I think it turned out to be a lovely tribute,” said Ryan, “and it’s a very heartfelt look at how young people grieve.”
After the memorial, the cast will take two or three weeks, “to get our heads together because it’s been a really hard thing to write.” said Ryan. He added, “We loved Cory and we loved Finn and it feels like a huge loss and a huge heartache not to have either of them around. We’re trying to craft an episode that’s not just about us grieving but about a lot of the young fans grieving.”
The tribute episode is the third episode of Glee season 5, and is set to air on October 10. The show premieres on September 26 with part 1 of a two part Beatles tribute.