"Glee" The Quarterback (TV Episode 2013) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • The New Directions remember Finn.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • The episode opens with virtually every member of the cast, dressed in black and singing "Seasons of Love" from Rent. Towards the end of the song, they turn together to look at the back of the theater and stare at a portrait of Finn.

    The next scene opens three weeks after Finn's funeral. Kurt is preparing to return to Lima for a memorial organized by Will. Kurt is clearly struggling with the loss of his step-brother.

    Sue is making jokes about Finn in front of Emma and Coach Beiste in the teacher's lounge. She says it's the only way she knows how to grieve. Emma talks about how the students need to deal with their feelings. Sue thinks the only way to honor him is to move on.

    Will tells New Directions, and the alums who have returned, that this week they will memorialize Finn by singing about him. Any song, any day. Puck is having issues with the situation, pointing out that singing won't bring him back. But Mercedes steps to the front, saying she has to or she won't ever stop crying and sings The Pretenders' "I'll Stand By You," which Finn had sung to (what he thought was) his baby's sonogram (before he discovered that Quinn was not carrying his child).

    Sue sits with Kurt whom she addresses as "Porcelain." She says the tree he planted on the school grounds at Finn's memorial has been removed by a vandal and will have to be replaced. Kurt doesn't understand why someone would do that and forks over another $20 to Sue. We eventually see that it was Puck who stole the tree.

    Next we see Kurt at the family home. He is there to help Burt and Carole clean out Finn's room. They talk about his history of acceptance and tolerance. Which belongings to keep. Kurt asks to keep Finn's varsity jacket. And Burt says he regrets not hugging Finn more often, especially the last time he saw him.

    Later, at the school, the kids are painting a memorial of sorts on the old dumpster where the "Jocks" used to dump the Glee kids before the school became more tolerant. Kurt is thinking about how that changed because of Finn. Puck says he wants Finn's varsity jacket but Kurt won't give it to him. Puck clearly isn't handing his grief well.

    Artie is sitting with the group and sings James Taylor's "Fire and Rain" with help from Sam. Santana leaves the room quickly after the song ends. Santana goes to Finn's old locker, which has become a shrine. The "new" Cheerios come to blow out the candles, on the orders of Sue and Santana is furious. Figgins is standing there, now just a janitor, and though he is sad, he says he can't stop them. Santana then marches into Sue's office and calls her a "cold, self-centered bitch". She goes on to tell Sue what a horrible person she is and says Finn hated her as well. Santana eventually pushes Sue into a piece of furniture.

    Tina goes to see Emma, mostly concerned about how much black she's wearing after she worked so hard to end her goth-phase. Emma hands her brochures about being callous and "it's not all about me." Will comes in; he's her next scheduled appointment.

    Emma points out to Will that he hasn't cried once, not even at the funeral. He responds that he's focused on making sure everybody around him is being taken care of. Emma tells him that eventually he's going to have to deal with his feelings, but assures him she'll be there when he is ready.

    A drunken Puck wanders into the locker room and gets into an argument with Coach Beiste. Puck thinks if he starts dealing with his feelings, "I'll never stop." She sits him down and he begins to cry. Puck thinks he won't be able to be a good person without Finn around to tell him how to do it. She tells him he'll have to find the direction on his own now and assures him he can. Puck suggests retiring Finn's number and framing his letterman's jacket to hang in the locker room. He wants to be sure Finn isn't ever forgotten. She wants him to put the tree back.

    Santana, imagining that Finn is in heaven with Elvis, gets up an sings The Band Perry's "If I Die Young" in front of the group. She breaks down near the end of the song and runs away, especially when the others attempt to comfort her.

    Kurt finds Santana in the auditorium, sitting all alone on the stage. She is upset that she wasn't able to follow her plans. She wanted to return to Lima and say nice things about Finn. She had even written it all down. Kurt asks her to share them with him. She reads things from her list to him and begins to cry and asks him to leave. He stops just long enough to take off the varsity jacket, and drapes it over her sobbing shoulders.

    Puck is in the rehearsal room and sings Bruce Springsteen's "No Surrender." Afterwards Santana comes in the room and accuses Puck of stealing Finn's jacket. Puck says it wasn't his, but nobody believes him. She is furious. Will asks everyone to calm down.

    Santana returns to Sue's office. Only this time, she is there to apologize. Sue sits with her and opens up, saying she's "destroyed" by the fact that Finn died thinking she didn't like him. She always imagined he would be a wonderful teacher. She thought she would teach another 30 years with him at the school.

    Rachel makes a surprise appearance. She tells the other students not to make a fuss. She tells them how much she loved Finn and that she knew the he loved the rest of them as well. She decides to sing the first song they ever sang together driving in his car, "Make You Feel My Love" by Bob Dylan.

    Santana hangs posters all over the school offering a $10,000 reward for the return of Finn's jacket. She tells Will she's returning to New York soon and may never return because that is her home now. Will comforts her.

    Puck re-plants the tree and shares a root beer with Beiste. She asks him what he plans to do next. Puck says he's thinking about the Air Force. She tells him not to get shot and they hug. As he rides away she notices he carved "Quarterback" into the tree and she smiles.

    Rachel and Will are in the rehearsal hall, talking about Finn. She's worried that some day she'll forget him. Her plan had been to live happily ever after with him. First she'd make it big on Broadway, maybe do a movie, then come home to Finn. She's not sure what is next for her in life. She tells Will she had something made and asks if she can display it there. They hang a portrait of Finn on the wall. It is engraved with his name, dates and a Finn Hudson quote: "The show must go...all over the place...or something."

    Will comes home and sits down on the couch. He looks exhausted. He opens up his briefcase and we see that he was the one who stole Finn's jacket. Emma comes in to find Will sobbing into the jacket. She sits next to him on the sofa and holds him.

    The episode ends with a memorial screen: "Cory Monteith: 1982-2013"

    *Note: The producers were originally quoted as saying this episode would deal directly with Finn's death, the cause of it and address substance abuse issues in some way. The cause of Finn's death is not mentioned. Public service information which was intended for display, to direct people in need of help, was not included either. In at least one Asia airing (specifically a re-run in the Philippines), the episode did include a brief "get help if you need it" announcement by some members of the cast, although there were other airings that omitted that.

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