Remembering Cory Monteith: What Finn Hudson Meant to Glee
When McKinley High's star quarterback Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith) joined the glee club in the pilot episode of Glee, he had one goal: to make his mom proud. Unlike Rachel, Kurt, Mercedes, Tina and Artie, who all eagerly auditioned for New Directions to find an avenue for their talents and to be a part of high school to call their own, Finn needed no such things. He didn't want to sing on Broadway or cut an album — he was just trying to avoid the weeks of detention Mr. Schue had blackmailed him with.
But that was the beauty of Finn. In a show so geared to the underdogs and the outsiders, Finn may have been the show's closest thing to the insider. While Quinn dealt with her very public teen pregnancy, and Santana and Brittany struggled with their sexuality, Finn gave a voice to those who didn't quite feel like an outsider, but who also weren't defined by just one role or one clique. And it was this special role that made Finn, and the late Cory Monteith's touching portrayal of the character, so memorable.
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Throughout the first four years of Glee, Finn's story was always unique. In Season 1, he struggled with maintaining one foot on the football field and one in the choir room: He initially let his jock friends throw Kurt into the dumpster (after letting him take off his Marc Jacobs jacket), but then refused to let them lock Artie in the porta-potty. Although he became one of the glee club's leaders, he never lost focus on football. It was Finn's diverse talents that also made his career- and soul-searching journey after high school in Seasons 3 and 4 one of the most interesting. It was a foregone conclusion that his fellow graduating seniors, aspiring performers Rachel, Kurt, Mercedes, Mike and — eventually Santana — would find a way to do just that. But Finn considered sports, acting, the Army, teaching and being a car mechanic all within a two-year span.
Glee has always been a show about following your dreams, but what about those who still need to figure out what their dream is? Finn represented the millions of viewers who didn't know exactly what they wanted to major in the day they graduated high school. Midway through Season 4, Finn seemed to have finally found his calling in teaching and serving as the new Mr. Schue. But then he kissed Mr. Schue's girl and partied too hard at college, and his future suddenly seemed murky once again. For all of Glee's hopelessly predictable story lines — Coach Sue will always find a way back to McKinley and find a new reason to hate the New Directions — Finn's had been anything but.
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Monteith voluntarily checked into rehab in March and was subsequently not featured into the last two episodes of the season. Which means the last time viewers saw Finn, he was telling Brody to stay away from his future wife and, later, talking to said future wife about her Funny Girl audition.
The loss of Monteith means that Finn will never fulfill his certain destiny of marrying his love Rachel — a heartbreaking fact in its own right — but also that fans will never get to see the outcome of Finn's uncertain professional future. Would he have stayed in college? Would he have become a teacher? Monteith's life was cut tragically short and now Finn's story has been cut tragically cut short as well.
What will you miss about Monteith and Finn?