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Glee: It’s Ok to Not Cry

So, I saw tonight’s episode of Glee. I haven’t watched the show in a while but it was on in the background and I quickly realized it was dealing with the death of Cory Montieth/Finn.

I thought the episode was very good and very touching right up until the end at which point I have a problem with it. I apologize for being nitpicky about an episode in tribute to a young actor who tragically died far too young but my problem with the episode is worth mentioning, in my opinion. Warning – spoilers to follow.

Throughout the episode, all the characters/actors have their chance to mourn the loss of Finn/Cory, some immediately overcome with grief and others fighting back the urge to cry (for fear of never stopping). Many of the moments were quite heart wrenching, powered of course by the actors’ genuinely feeling grief over the loss of their friend. One character – Will Schuester – however, is sad but isn’t moved to cry. Emma Pillsbury even tries to give him permission to cry but he doesn’t need it – he doesn’t feel the need to cry.

And I’m fine with that.

Just as it’s ok for someone to cry, I believe it’s ok for someone to not cry. The point is everyone deals with grief and loss in their own way. Many need to shed some tears but some do not. And that’s ok.

Given that one of the show’s core themes is about accepting people for who they are, including all of their differences, it seems like an obvious choice to address this in their tribute episode. It seems right. Unfortunately, in the final scene of the episode, they show Will sitting in his living room, holding Finn’s pilfered jacket, sobbing, as Emma come home. The show ends with her joining him on the couch for a good cry.

That really bothers me. Apparently it’s ok to cry but it’s not ok to not cry. Apparently the only right way to grieve is to cry.

It’s such a shame because the right choice was to not have him cry and make it clear that was ok. More so, it would have made that final scene much more emotional and powerful – show Will sitting on the couch, holding Finn’s jacket in silence as Emma comes home and sees him, realizing how heartbroken he is. End the show with her joining him on the couch, her crying while he continues holding Finn’s jacket in silent grief. That’s how the episode should have ended.

Again, sorry for nit-picking a tribute episode but, like I said, given that the show is about accepting people, including their differences, I was quite disappointed with how they handled this.

Aside from that, it was a beautiful tribute and I won’t deny, I shed a tear or three. And that’s ok.

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