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'Glee' tribute to Cory Monteith ignores drug use, leaves fans in tears, with questions

There wasn’t a dry eye left in front of a TV set Thursday night, as the cast of FOX's “Glee” gave a heartfelt tribute to late actor Cory Monteith the best way they knew how—through song.

From Monteith’s off-screen girlfriend Lea Michele’s soul-wrenching rendition of “Make You Feel My Love” to Kevin McHale and Chord Overstreet’s cover of “Fire and Rain,” viewers’ reactions, above all else, were to the lack of acting and instead the true emotions displayed on screen by Monteith’s cast mates and real life friends.

But the plot did leave fans with one big question: How did Finn die?

Some were curious or confused, while others felt they needed an answer to finally find closure. They know how Monteith died at age 31 in July, from an accidental drug overdose in his Vancouver hotel room after a stint in rehab for his addiction, but they've been waiting ever since to find out what would happen to Finn. Would he meet a similar fate? It seems “Glee” doesn’t want viewers to ever know, focusing on his life rather than his passing.

"Everyone wants to talk about how he died too, but who cares?" Kurt, Finn’s stepbrother, played by Chris Colfer, says in the episode. "One moment in his whole life — I care more about how he lived."

But by ignoring the cause of Finn's death, some say "Glee" missed out on an important opportunity to educate its young fans on the dangers of drug use. Some chastised the show for failing to use its platform to prevent more untimely deaths to substance abuse, some even claiming that it "glorified" drug use by memorializing Monteith without mentioning his follies.

The cast did film a PSA acknowledging Monteith's fatal flaw and warning viewers to stay far from his path. 

"Cory didn't look or act like an addict. He was happy, successful, and seemingly had it all," Jane Lynch says in the video, leading to Matthew Morrison warning about the "serious disease" that addiction is.

And by the time the episode came to a close with Mr. Schue (Morrison) breaking down while grasping the fallen quarterback's varsity jacket, some fans felt that the loss of the actor was a lesson in its own right, regardless of his character's plot line. Some were angry, most were sad. Some demanded answers for Finn. And, of course, there were those too busy looking for a second box of tissues to care. We pulled in a sampling of their reactions.

 

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