Glee Wiki
Glee Wiki
This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the EP of the same name.

The Quarterback is the third episode of Glee's fifth season and the ninety-first episode overall. It is a tribute to the late Cory Monteith and his character, Finn Hudson. It premiered on October 10, 2013. After this episode, there was a 4-week hiatus until the following episode, A Katy or A Gaga, airing on November 7.

In the wake of Finn's sudden death, old friends return to McKinley to grieve in the only way they know - by singing. Kurt, Burt and Carole sort out Finn's belongings; Sue, Santana and Puck seek guidance as their anger and pain over Finn's death frustrates them; Will and Shannon assist in helping everybody else grieve, but Emma realises that Will isn't allowing himself time to cry and Rachel makes a return to McKinley, presenting the Glee Club with something meaningful.

The episode was directed by Brad Falchuk and co-written by Falchuk, Ryan Murphy, and Ian Brennan, with special assistance from Lea Michele.


Seasons of Love.jpg

The episode begins with a performance of Seasons of Love by New Directions and some of its former members (Kurt, Mike, PuckMercedes, and Santana), during which they wear black outfits and a picture of Finn is projected in the auditorium wall at the ending of the performance. 

In New York, Kurt is reflecting on Finn's death. He can't even look at the suit he wore to the funeral, and he mentions that he is going back to Lima for a memorial that Will has organized. Most of all, though, he doesn't want to remember how Finn died, but how he lived.

Will, Emma, and Shannon talk about how the school, and themselves, are dealing with Finn's death. Emma tells the two that she cleared her schedule to provide grief counselling, but no one attended. Sue mentions between insults that she had a tree planted in the spot where she caught Finn and Quinn making out for the first time.


Later, in the Choir Room, Will wants to have a memorial just for the Glee Club, during which they can sing anything that reminded them of Finn, starting the next day. Mercedes says that she can't wait, and sings The Pretenders' I'll Stand by You, because she remembered Finn mentioned he sung it to the sonogram of Quinn's baby when he thought he was the father.

Sue calls Kurt into her office and tells him the tree he bought for the memorial garden has been stolen, which is revealed to be Puck's doing. Sue asks for a refund to buy another tree, which Kurt gives to her. Afterwards, Kurt is seen with Burt and Carole sorting through Finn's things, deciding on what to keep and what to donate. As they sort, they find different items that remind them of Finn and events in his life. Kurt keeps the ball from the first football game he won with his brother, along with Finn's letterman jacket. He remembers seeing him walk through the hallways, and says that it was like watching Superman had arrived. Burt keeps a lamp from Finn and Kurt's redecorated bedroom. He is grief-stricken, feeling that he never showed enough affection to him and consequently Finn never understood just how much he loved him. Carole breaks down, unable to deal with the thought of no longer having her son.


At McKinley, students are signing a dumpster which Kurt had been thrown into during the first few weeks of his sophomore year. Puck demands Finn's jacket from Kurt, saying that he has a whole room to remember him, while Puck has nothing, but Kurt refuses to give him the jacket. The scene then cuts to Artie and Sam's performance of Fire and Rain.

Santana leaves in the middle of it to check out Finn's memorial in the hallway, where she sees Bree and other Cheerios turn off the candles. She demands they stop, but Bree informs her that Sue has ordered it. Santana demands that Figgins does something, but she finds out that he has been demoted to janitor. Enraged, she goes to Sue's office and has an argument with her, which ends with Santana shoving Sue. Tina goes to Emma because she's sad about her look, surprising Emma, who thought it would be for advice about Finn's death. Will comes in after this and Emma suggests that he isn't letting himself mourn because of his need to stay strong for the kids.


Afterwards, Puck has a heart-to-heart conversation with Coach Beiste. He feels that he's lost his way and no longer has Finn to point it out for him. Shannon consoles him, telling him that all they have now is Finn's voice in their hearts, and they have to learn to point out their way on their own.


The next to perform is Santana, who after giving a few "bitchy" comments, starts to performs If I Die Young, but breaks down before she can finish it. The New Directions realise how upset she is by the death of Finn, but when Will and Mike go to embrace her, she screams and flees from the choir room. She finds her way to the auditorium, taking a seat on the stage. Kurt follows her and has a heart-to-heart talk with her. She reveals that she wanted to surprise everyone by saying nice things about Finn, but she was embarrassed and ashamed by how badly she had treated Finn. Kurt asks her to say them to him and she refused until he convinced her to. She reads him a few anecdotes concerning Finn she wrote down and asks Kurt to leave. He does, but not before giving her the jacket as a gift to allow her to remember Finn.


Many of the New Directions are gathered at Finn's locker memorial and place red drumsticks in honor of him. Kitty remarks that it is cheesy, but Kurt appears with Rachel who says that it is "perfect." Puck performs No Surrender in the choir room, but Santana storms in after the song and begins arguing with him, accusing him of stealing Finn's jacket when she fell asleep in the nurses' office. Puck insists that he didn't take it and Will breaks up the fight. Kurt then tells Puck to give the jacket back as it is now Santana's. Santana pays a visit to Sue to apologize, but Sue tells her that everything she said was right, and that she feels destroyed because Finn died thinking that she hated him. She tells Santana that she knew Finn would be a good teacher and was looking forward to teaching alongside him for the next thirty years, but now, she just feels empty. Will then finds Santana hanging up posters for a $10,000 reward for the jacket, which she says is bait so she can beat up whoever stole it. She tells Will that she used to enjoy coming back to McKinley, but now, it just makes her feel sad because of everything she's lost. She then says that she won`t be coming back for a while, or maybe ever and the two of them hug.


Puck and Beiste have a heart to heart after he has re-planted the memorial tree about how in many years, nobody will know who the tree is for. Puck tells Beiste he is joining the Air Force and laments over no longer having Finn to tell him what to do. Beiste tells him to make the most of his life and he departs on his motorcycle. She then smiles, seeing that Puck had carved "Quarterback" into the tree.

Tumblr muheygLzJH1qd8eico1 1280.jpg

Rachel is standing in front of her friends in the choir room, telling them that she doesn't really know what to say. She says that she loved Finn and that she knows Finn loved her, too, and that he also loved everyone in glee club, past and present. She goes on, explaining that before Finn came into her life, she used to sing alone in the car and when she and Finn got together, the first song they sung while driving was Make You Feel My Love, which she then sings for Finn.

Glee.S05E03.The.Quarterback.720p.Vietsub.mkv snapshot 39.20 -2014.03.28 18.24.43- 副本.jpg

Later, Rachel finds Will alone in the Choir Room. When she asks him how he's doing, he says that he's "okay, but not okay" and asks her about her. Rachel says that she doesn't know how she feels, but that she used to have her future all figured out. She says that she was going to do some big Broadway work, he was going to be a teacher at McKinley and when they were ready she was just going to walk through the door of the Choir Room and say "I'm home." When Will asks her if she told Finn about this, Rachel says that she didn't have to tell Finn, that he knew. She shows Will a plaque with a picture of Finn and a quote of his, "The show must go...all over the place...or something," which she has made and together, they hang it up in the Choir Room.

Will arrives home and, sitting down on the sofa, pulls Finn's letterman jacket out of his bag. Emma returns home to find Will in the living room, clutching the jacket and weeping. Emma walks over and consoles him.

The episode ends with the words "Cory Monteith 1982-2013." 


Song Title Original Artist Performer(s)
Seasons of Love Cast of Rent Alumni and New Directions
I'll Stand by You The Pretenders Mercedes Jones with New Directions
Fire and Rain James Taylor Artie Abrams and Sam Evans
with New Directions
If I Die Young The Band Perry Santana Lopez with New Directions
No Surrender Bruce Springsteen Noah Puckerman
Make You Feel My Love Bob Dylan Rachel Berry
  • The Quarterback, an EP accompanying the tribute episode, was released October 7, 2013.

Guest Cast

Guest Stars




  • The title card was made by a fan and Glee Wiki user, RamerV, and shows Finn's silhouette from Don't Stop Believin' in the Glee logo.
    Finn - Glee Logo.jpg
  • The title The Quarterback is a reference to the position Finn Hudson played on the football team.
  • Lea Michele helped write this episode
  • When Kurt is packing up to head to Lima, he briefly addressed the fact that we wouldn't learn how Finn died. Because, as he said, "Who cares? One moment in his whole life. I care more about how he lived."
  • One of the notes on the lockers says, "Finn - You are our star that left too soon. But we will always look up to find you. <3 Zach & Brooke." which is written by Zach Woodlee and Brooke Lipton, who are choreographers for the show.
  • This is the fourth episode ever to be written by all three co-creators, the other six being Pilot, ShowmanceLoser Like Me2009Dreams Come True.
  • All profits made from selling the music in this episode were donated to one of Cory's favorite charities: Project Limelight. Source
  • Almost every scene in the episode was filmed from the first take due to the actors and crew members having such a hard time shooting it. Source
  • Finn's plaque says "The show must go...all over the place...or something". This is a misquoted quote from the second season episode, A Night of Neglect. In that episode, Finn had actually said, "The show's gotta go all over the place.... or something".
  • This is the third time Time For Some Girl Talk doesn't play during the closing credits. The first time was in Pilot and the second time was in Shooting Star. However, in the Italian, Australian, Latin American, Brazilian, Philippine, Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Polish, and Turkish airing of the episode, the song was played. It's also included on the iTunes, Netflix, and Disney+ versions.
  • This episode marks the first time since Goodbye that Rachel and Puck have sung in the front of the Glee Club.
  • In the scene in which Burt, Carole, and Kurt are in Finn's bedroom, a photo of Finn and Rachel The Purple Piano Project is shown.
  • Rachel's plan of Finn being a teacher and she being a star and returning to McKinley saying "I'm home" was Ryan Murphy's original plan to be the last scene of the show at the end of Season Six. A line from Rachel in the same episode referred to this plan.
    • Coincidentally, Rachel becomes the co-director (together with Kurt) of New Directions in the episode Loser Like Me.
  • The episode gained a 7.4 million viewership and 2.9 rating, up significantly from the last episode, making it the most watched episode of Glee since Britney 2.0, and the highest rating episode of Season Five. Source
  • This episode marks the last appearance of Dottie Kazatori.
  • There are references to the 1986 movie "Top Gun" by Puck and Coach Bestie, when he says "Thought maybe I could be a Top Gun" and she says "I think they were actually naval aviators in that movie".
  • Heather Morris was not in the episode due to her pregnancy.


  • When Santana checks on Finn's locker, her nails are unpainted. But when she is in Sue's office, her nails are painted black.
  • When Kurt approaches Santana on stage, the folded piece of paper changes from flat to sticking up a few times between shots. This makes sense because they would have to fold it again when they shot the scene again.
  • When Santana is yelling at Sue in her office, she isn't wearing earrings. But when she is singing in the choir room, she is wearing them.

Deleted Scenes

  • The scene of an empty hallway and the Cheerios and football team walking down the hall remembering Finn which was shown in the promo, didn't end up being shown in the episode.
  • The scene with New Directions walking down the hallway, someone places a football at the memorial, Blaine puts down a pair of drumsticks and looks up at Finn's locker which was shown in the promo, didn't end up being shown in the episode.
  • TQ.png
    The scene where Rachel cries on Mr. Schue's shoulder after he put Finn's plaque on the wall, which was shown in the promo, didn't end up being shown in the episode.
  • A scene with Puck and military recruitment was supposed to involve some “nerdy” people signing up with the recruiters was supposed to be in the episode, but it wasn't shown.



He was the first cool kid to be nice to any of us, and he was our leader in here. We love you, Finn.

Mercedes Jones

Kurt: I marked these boxes so it'd be easier to separate things.
Carole: Thanks, honey.
Burt: You don't have to do this now. It can wait.
Kurt: There's no timetable.
Carole: No. We should do it now, or I'm afraid I'll never do it.
Kurt: Look. It's the ball from the first game we ever scored at. You should keep this, Dad.
Burt: That was the weirdest football game I've ever been to.
Kurt: Look, it's the faggy lamp from my Marlene Dietrich basement redecoration.
Carole: I think he kept it in here to prove a point to Burt.
Burt: You know, if it's, uh, okay with everyone, I think I'd like to keep that lamp.
Carole: No. It's not okay with me. That thing is awful.
Burt: I need a lamp in my office at the shop. I tore into him about this lamp. You know, I was right in principle, but, you know, come on. The kid didn't have a prejudiced bone in his body. I knew what he meant when he was calling it 'faggy'. I wasn't teaching him a lesson in tolerance, I was teaching myself one, and he was just unlucky enough to be there for it.
Carole: Finn knew how you felt about him, honey. He kind of liked it when you yelled at him.
Burt: I should have hugged him more, you know? There was always... I know we’d fist-bump and we’d high-five, but... I should have given him more hugs. You know, the last time I saw him, he was so bummed out about some test at school and I just, you know, told him to get back at it, you know, he's worth it. It was the perfect time for a hug. But for whatever reason, I just... I gave him a pat on the back. That's that. Now he's gone.
Kurt: (sees Carole putting Finn's letterman jacket in the Donate box) No, don't donate that. I want it. Seeing him come down the hallway wearing was like Superman had arrived. (puts the jacket on and sniffs it) God, his arms were long.
Carole: I always thought that when I, uh... How do parents go on when they lose a child? You know, when I would see that stuff on the news, I'd shut it off because it was just too horrible to think, but I would always think, 'How do they wake up every day?' I mean, how do they breathe, honey? But you do wake up, and for just a second, you forget. And then, oh, you remember. And it's like getting that call again and again, every time. You don't get to stop waking up. You have to keep on being a parent even though you don’t get to have a child anymore.

Kurt Hummel, Carole Hudson-Hummel and Burt Hummel

Santana: You have no right to take down that memorial.
Sue: Well, as a matter of fact, I do, Sandbags. I've allowed that memorial to remain in the hallway for over a week.
Santana: Oh, please. You wanted that memorial gone because you're such a cold-hearted bitch.
Sue: What did you just call me?
Santana: A miserable, self-centered bitch who has spent every waking minute of the past three years trying to make our lives miserable. I'm officially over it.
Sue: I don't care for your attitude.
Santana: Well, I don't give a hot, wet monkey's ass what you care for. You are not my principal. See, I don't go here anymore, Sue. And that means I can finally tell you exactly what I think of you. I have hated you ever since the day I met you. You are a horrible person who never had a nice word to say about Finn Hudson, so don’t you dare think for a second that he didn’t hate you, too.
Sue: If I were you, I would choose my next few words very carefully.
Santana: What are you gonna do? You gonna expel me?
Sue: You get the hell out of my office.
Santana: How about you make me get the hell out of your office.
Sue: Donna, call the police.
Santana: Donna, you pick up that phone, and I swear to God, I will shove my foot so far -
Sue: That's assault!
Santana: No, this is assault! (pushes Sue really hard and Sue lands against a shelf)

Santana Lopez and Sue Sylvester

I feel more than I know how to express. I’m heartbroken. To be honest, I don’t even know how we’re all supposed to move forward.

Will Schuester to Emma

Puck: Hey, leave the jacket. Seriously, I'll pay you for it. I'm sure you have a room full of mementos. I've got nothing to remember him by.
Kurt: Well, you can't have this.
Puck: That jacket is reserved for people who've earned it. I'm not gonna let you bedazzle it with glitter and wear it like some Project Runway shawl.
Kurt: What are you gonna do? Beat me up and take it from me? Throw me in the dumpster? You can't have it.

Noah Puckerman and Kurt Hummel

Shannon: You're drunk.
Puck: You're beautiful.
Shannon: You puke in my locker room, you're cleaning it up.
Puck: Come on, what's the big deal?
Shannon: I get needing something to get through the first few days, but it's been a month. You don't have to be scared to have feelings.
Puck: That's crap! Of course I do!
Shannon: Why? We're all having 'em!
Puck: Not like mine! No one understands!
Shannon: Understands what? Tell me!
Puck: That if I start crying, I don’t think I’ll ever stop! (kicks locker and knocks over towel rack)
Shannon: Finn would've kicked over one of my chairs.
Puck: Yeah. That was his specialty.
Shannon: Sit down. (sits down on bench) Come here.
Puck: (sits down next to Shannon and begins to cry) I can't take it. What chance do I have of not being an idiot and hurting people without him around to remind me who I really am?
Shannon: You just got to do that for yourself now and see yourself how he saw you.
Puck: It's not good enough for me! It's not like when he was alive.
Shannon: You got to make it good enough, because it's all we got left. And I'm telling you this straight 'cause that's how you and I talk. He's dead and all we've got left is his voice in our head. I'm sorry, but it's time you, you got to be your own quarterback.
Puck: Do you think we could retire his number? Kurt has his letterman jacket. Maybe, maybe we could frame it or something and put it up in here. Other kids should know who he was. Years from now.
Shannon: Yeah. I can get that done. But you got to promise to put the tree back.
Puck: I didn't take the tree. (gets a look from Shannon) Fine, I took the tree. It was a garbage tree, though. It wasn't big enough.
Shannon: They grow, you know.

Shannon Beiste and Noah Puckerman

Okay, I know that Finn had his doubts about God but I am convinced that squishy tits is up in heaven right now clopped down to his new best friend fat Elvis hoping themselves to have picnic of baby back ribs smothered in butter scotch pudding in tater tark grease. So, this for you Hudson.

Santana Lopez

Santana: I had this whole plan to surprise everyone and not be a bitch for once in my life, and say all these nice things about Finn, and then at the last minute I chickened out. I even wrote them all down.
Kurt: Would you read it to me?
Santana: No, I can't. It's too embarrassing. They're, like, really nice.
Kurt: If there’s one thing I’ve learned from Finn dying, it’s that shame is a wasted emotion. I'm sure Finn had secrets, too, but who cares now?

Santana Lopez and Kurt Hummel

He's dead. And all we've got left is his voice in our head.

Shannon Beiste to Puck

Emma: Tina, I'm really glad you took the time to come and talk to me today. I know a lot of young people have trouble expressing feelings of sadness.
Tina: I just don't know how much longer I can do this.
Emma: Do what?
Tina: I just don't know how much longer I can wear black. I feel like this look is so Tina two years ago and I spent so much time transitioning away from goth and look at me it's like I'm back at that look.
Emma: Okay, yeah, I'll see what I have in my drawer here. Alright. So, why don't you have a look at these on your way out. Okay?
Tina: Okay.

Emma Pillsbury and Tina Cohen-Chang

Santana: I owe you an apology.
Sue: Have a seat.
Santana: (sits down next to Sue) Okay, look, all I can say is that I'm really-
Sue: Shut up. You were absolutely right. Everything you said, you were right. I was horrible to that kid, and I'm utterly destroyed that he died thinking I didn't like him.
Santana: Well, maybe, this, uh, could be a lesson. You know, maybe you could start being nicer-
Sue: Oh, cut the crap, will you? I don't care about that. I don't care about people. I care about him. He was such a good guy. And I'll never get to tell him. There's no lesson here. There's no happy ending. There's just nothing. He's just gone. He would have made an excellent teacher. I thought I'd spend the next 30 years teaching alongside him. I thought I had all the time in the world to rail against him and his dopey little Glee Club. Oh, it's just so pointless. All that potential.

Santana Lopez and Sue Sylvester

I used to love coming here. But now this just reminds me of everything that I’ve lost.

Santana Lopez to Will

He was my person.

Rachel Berry

He was smart, just in, you know, in an untraditional kind of way.

Rachel Berry


v - e - d

Glee Episodes

Season One
PilotShowmanceAcafellasPreggersThe Rhodes Not TakenVitamin DThrowdownMash-UpWheelsBalladHairographyMattressSectionalsHell-OThe Power of MadonnaHomeBad ReputationLaryngitisDream OnTheatricalityFunkJourney

Season Two
AuditionBritney/BrittanyGrilled CheesusDuetsThe Rocky Horror Glee ShowNever Been KissedThe SubstituteFurtSpecial EducationA Very Glee ChristmasThe Sue Sylvester ShuffleSilly Love SongsComebackBlame It on the AlcoholSexyOriginal SongA Night of NeglectBorn This WayRumoursProm QueenFuneralNew York

Season Three
The Purple Piano ProjectI Am UnicornAsian FPot o' GoldThe First TimeMash OffI Kissed a GirlHold on to SixteenExtraordinary Merry ChristmasYes/NoMichaelThe Spanish TeacherHeartOn My WayBig BrotherSaturday Night Glee-verDance with SomebodyChokeProm-asaurusPropsNationalsGoodbye

Season Four
The New RachelBritney 2.0MakeoverThe Break-UpThe Role You Were Born to PlayGleaseDynamic DuetsThanksgivingSwan SongGlee, ActuallySadie HawkinsNakedDivaI DoGirls (and Boys) on FilmFeudGuilty PleasuresShooting StarSweet DreamsLights OutWonder-fulAll or Nothing

Season Five
Love, Love, LoveTina in the Sky with DiamondsThe QuarterbackA Katy or A GagaThe End of TwerkMovin' OutPuppet MasterPreviously Unaired ChristmasFrenemiesTrioCity of Angels100New DirectionsNew New YorkBashTestedOpening NightThe Back-Up PlanOld Dog, New TricksThe Untitled Rachel Berry Project

Season Six
Loser Like MeHomecomingJagged Little TapestryThe Hurt Locker, Part OneThe Hurt Locker, Part TwoWhat the World Needs NowTransitioningA WeddingChild StarThe Rise and Fall of Sue SylvesterWe Built This Glee Club2009Dreams Come True