Glee Recap: Cast Bids Emotional Farewell to Cory Monteith

The hour-long tribute blurred the line between performance and real life

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Danny Moloshok / Reuters

Actor Cory Monteith from "Glee" arrives at the 2011 People's Choice Awards in Los Angeles January 5, 2011.

The cast of Glee bid an emotional farewell to their co-star Cory Monteith on Thursday night in an hour-long episode that blurred the line between performance and real life.

The show opened three weeks after Monteith’s character, Finn Hudson, was laid to rest. The assignment for students was simply, “Finn,” written on a whiteboard. The students rose to the challenge with stirring performances of “I’ll Stand by You,” “If I Die Young,” and “No Surrender.”

Perhaps the most arresting performance of the night was Lea Michele’s rendition of “Make You Feel My Love,” sung in a voice that was both pitch perfect and heavy with grief. It was painful to watch, like much of the show that night, but it also served as a fitting tribute to Monteith and revealing of how much the cast had gained and lost from his four-year presence on the show.