Erika Rivera Senior Editor
Sarah Goddard Staff Writer
Clare Sidoti Content Editor
We here at PopWrapped were devastated to report over a week ago that our jukebox hero, Gleek and overall ultimate kind spirit, Cory Monteith, had passed away at the age of 31. A life definitely that was taken too soon from us, Cory Monteith has left an indelible mark on our hearts and souls. While others have decided to focus on the negative aspects of Cory’s life, we have decided to do the opposite for our Gleek hero.
We instead want EVERYONE to celebrate Cory’s AMAZING life, work, & public service, instead of focusing on his tragic & untimely passing. For that, I, Erika Rivera Project Cory: PopWrapped’s Tribute in Remembering Cory Monteith.
Erika Rivera, along with my family and colleagues of PopWrapped, have decided to dedicate the next few days to what we are calling
Project Cory: PopWrapped’s Tribute in Remembering Cory Monteith.
We shall never stop believing in you, Cory. This one is for you!
Sarah Goddard: Remembering Cory
When I was asked if I wanted to be a part of PopWrapped’s tribute to Cory Monteith, I couldn’t respond quickly enough. Of course I did, how could I not? Glee is such a huge part of my life that I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to honour his memory.
We were given the task of choosing our favourite Cory moments and saying why they meant something to us. Suddenly 4 years of Finn Hudson flooded my brain and now I’m stuck. I’ve been sitting here, fingers hovering over the keyboard for what seems like an eternity. How could I pick just one? Or two? Or even five?
So, I’m not going to limit myself in choosing moments or things, and I’m not going to make grand statements about why I have chosen them. Safe to say, if they’re on this page, it’s because they either made me smile, made me laugh, made me cry or yes, even made me angry.
I’m going to start with the one scene that has made me smile the most: Finn Hudson dressed like Lady Gaga.
Why do I love this scene? From the episode Theatricality (1x20) Finn had been an ass towards Kurt. He’s said some very hurtful things and indirectly called Kurt some awful names. But this episode is about being larger than life, being who you are and staying true to yourself; so when Kurt is accosted in the hall by Karofsky and Azimio for wearing his Lady Gaga costume, it is Finn, complete with Gaga outfit of his own, that redeems himself and his actions by defending Kurt and, as a result, the Glee Club as a whole.
Next up is a scene from Audition (2x01), where Finn tries out for the Cheerio’s. Finn gets kicked off the football team for daring to suggest that wheelchair bound Artie, try out for the team. Football is everything to Finn (next to Glee Club) and the thought of not being able to be a part of the team is something he just can’t bear. He just wants to be needed, liked and popular and he’s desperate to become those things again.
Furt. One word, one symbolic meaning. The moment that Finn and Kurt become brothers.
The entire Furt episode (2x08) for me is an ending and a beginning. It’s the end of Finn’s prejudices against Kurt, and it’s the beginning of Finn’s respect and admiration for his new brother. Kurt is still being harassed by the ‘jocks’ and the Glee Club men decide to take matters into their own hands, or rather fists, in order to stand up for Kurt, an event which Finn misses out on taking part in. Later on, Kurt is teaching Burt and Finn to dance, when one of Kurt’s bullies, Karofsky, sees the two of them dancing, leading to Kurt revealing to his father the extent and nature of the bullying. After Burt goes after Karofsky he confronts Finn asking “What the hell you been doing while this is all going on huh?” and we are left to see the look on Finn’s face as he ponders the question. At the reception of the wedding of his Mother and Burt, Finn takes to the mic to praise Kurt, not only for putting the entire wedding together, but for being his brother and letting him know that from this moment on, he will always be by his side.
Finn then rounds out the celebration with a song dedicated to Kurt, Bruno Mars’, Just The Way You Are.
Season 3’s finale episode Goodbye (3x22), is without a doubt, the one episode of Glee that I love and hate all at the same time, and it’s all Finn’s fault.
It starts off great. Mr Scheuster reveals that it was him that planted the marijuana in Finn’s locker in order to blackmail him into joining the Glee Club. After a few silent moments, where Finn sit’s stunned, and I sit wondering if he’s about to leap across the desk and knock Will out, he finally says “You are so much cooler than I ever thought you were.” I don’t know why this moment matters to me, but for some reason, it’s one of the few Finn ‘things’ that’s always stuck in my mind.
I honestly don’t know what to say about what happens next, it’s the reason I hated Finn and the reason I loved him.
Finn picks Rachel up to drive them to their wedding, but instead of going to where they were supposed to get married, he takes her to the train station. He tells her that she is leaving, without him, to pursue her dreams in New York City. He loves her so much he has to let her go. He is so certain that she is something special, that the thought of her staying with him and not being the star she is destined to be, makes him sick and in order to make sure she can’t follow him, he’s leaving too, he’s joined the army to seek redemption for his father.
He tells her to surrender, to let go, to let the universe do its thing and if they’re meant to be, they’ll be.
Rachel gets on the train and as it pulls away, Finn chases it along the platform until he can go no further.
I hated Finn for making that decision and for making Rachel’s decision for her, but I understood why he did and I loved him for loving so selflessly that he would give up the one thing in his life that meant more to him than anything.
“I am that sure that you’re something special. That this is just the beginning for you. That you’re going to do amazing things. But to get there you’ve got to have these experiences on your own.I’m setting you free.You’re going to get on that train. And you’re gunna go to New York. And you’re gunna be a star. Without me. That’s how much I love you.”
After hearing the news of Cory’s passing, there was one thing that played over and over in my mind and I couldn’t turn it off, and it’s this. I’m adding it in at the end, not for its Finn moment, or its significance to Finn’s character, but simply because it’s beautiful.
Clare Sidoti: A ‘Fine’ Friendship
When trying to think about what I wanted to talk about for this piece, there were so many aspects of Cory’s life and the character of Finn that came to mind. Luckily, these are all being covered by one of my other colleagues. The fact that every time someone would mention an aspect of Cory’s character or a scene from Glee that we would remember Cory by, a number of us agreed immediately reflects the impact and legacy Cory left on his fans. As a big Darren Criss fan, I decided to look at a scene between Finn and Blaine that stands out to me as being the beginning of their friendship.
One of the joys of season 3 for me was the growing bromance between Finn and Blaine. Though they got off to an extremely rocky start at the beginning of that season, following the heart-to-heart in the eighth episode, “Hold On To Sixteen”, the friendship developed into the one we saw in season 4 where they work together and rely on each other as the ones left behind in Lima. The Fine scene in the McKinley gym is where this begins and is a perfect example of Cory’s amazing acting, his interactions with Darren, as well as Finn’s kind-hearted nature and ability to recognize and rectify his mistakes. This scene made me love both Finn and Cory even more and leads to some great moments between the two later in the episode and in seasons 3 and 4.
Up until this point, Finn had been a right arse to Blaine ever since he transferred to McKinley in the season’s premiere. Neither had spent much screen time together as Blaine’s scene’s were mainly with Kurt and the Warbler’s in season 2 and the animosity from Finn kind of came out of no where. However, this scene explained Finn’s behaviour and showed the true measure of the man… it may take him a while, but when he knows that he’s wrong, he does everything he can to make things right as soon as possible.
Many assumed that Kurt would have been the one to track down Blaine after the choir room blow up, but the fact that it was Finn was vital as it illustrated the complete acceptance of Blaine into the New Directions. As others will discuss in this piece, Finn and Cory were leaders, both for New Directions on screen and the Glee cast off screen, and this is another perfect example of the quality. It also shows the vulnerability of Finn as a character and Cory as an actor. The way that Finn lets Blaine in and Cory bares his soul to Darren lends so much credibility and power to the scene and Blaine and Darren play off it so well. He doesn’t say much, but it’s all in Cory’s eyes and his body language how uncomfortable this is for him, but also how sincere he is being. He’s the bigger man and able to suck it up and put aside his feelings for the good of the Glee Club. And this is not the first time we’ve seen this as the scene certainly echoes his return to New Directions at Sectionals in season 1 after the fall-out of finding out Puck was Quinn’s baby daddy.
This is how I want to remember Cory and what I will remember of Finn. Both were strong enough men to realise when they were wrong or needed help and weren’t scared to go and seek it out and attempt to fix what was broken. That takes enormous strength and courage and something that should be commended, remembered and emulated.
Check back with us later on today for Part Two of Project Cory!