Glee bids farewell to Cory Monteith, who passed away on July 13 — and his character, Finn Hudson — with a tribute episode this Thursday (Oct. 10, 8/7c, Fox) that's been heavily guarded and also awaited with heavy hearts. "It's beautifully done," says Jacob Artist (Jake) of the hour, which brings back several veteran cast members amid news of Finn's death. "Everybody coming together for Finn and for Cory is the best way to heal." Here's what we'll remember most about the young man, who was taken from us too soon.
He was OK with being a goof. Over 6 feet tall and all limbs, the guy who went by Frankenteen on Twitter owned his awkwardness in Season 2's Lady Gaga—centric "Born This Way" episode by wearing a T-shirt that read can't dance.
He had range. Monteith handled Glee's comic bits like a pro, but he nailed the drama, too. Just watch Finn's search for spirituality in Season 2's "Grilled Cheesus" or Season 1's "Preggers," in which he tells Mr. Schuester (Matthew Morrison) that Quinn (Dianna Agron) is pregnant. Nobody man-cried better.
One word: Finchel. From the start, Monteith's chemistry with Lea Michele had us hooked. With her pipes and his puppy-dog adorableness, Rachel and Finn were the McKinley High grads most likely to make it. And when the pair went public with their off-screen romance, we loved the real-life duet as well.
He had a good heart. Whether it was at a fan event or during a one-on-one interview, Monteith radiated a friendliness that can't be faked. On the night of his death, the Internet was flooded by Gleeks and journalists singing his praises.
He cared about Finn as much as we did. "I love playing him as an evolving character," he said in his final TV Guide Magazine interview. "The more I can draw on the fact that he was a kid but he's not anymore — there's so much to work with." Even though that work will sadly go unfinished, Monteith will never be forgotten.
What will you miss most about Cory?