|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 begins with a performance of Seasons of Love by New Directions and some of its former members (Kurt, Mike, Puck, Mercedes, 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.
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.
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. She rushes over to comfort him, and they hug, crying together.
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.
- Amber Riley as Mercedes Jones
- Mark Salling as Noah Puckerman
- Jayma Mays as Emma Pillsbury
- Harry Shum Jr. as Mike Chang
- Mike O'Malley as Burt Hummel
- Dot-Marie Jones as Shannon Beiste
- Romy Rosemont as Carole Hudson-Hummel
- Iqbal Theba as Janitor Figgins
- Erinn Westbrook as Bree
- Chelsea as Jordan Stern
- 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.
- The title The Quarterback is a reference to the position Finn Hudson played on the football team.
- 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, Showmance, Loser Like Me, 2009, Dreams 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, and Philippine airing of the episode, the song was played. It's also included on the iTunes and Netflix 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Kurt: I marked these boxes so it'd be easier to separate things.
Santana: You have no right to take down that memorial.
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.
Shannon: You're drunk.
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: 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.
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.
Santana: I owe you an apology.
I used to love coming here. But now this just reminds me of everything that I’ve lost.
He was my person.
He was smart, just in, you know, in an untraditional kind of way.