Best scene in last night's 'Glee' tribute to Cory Monteith had no music

Written By Sun-Times Wire Posted: 10/11/2013, 11:11am

I expected Thursday’s tribute to late “Glee” star Cory Monteith to be packed with emotional singing performances by his former classmates.

What I didn’t expect was the most heart-wrenching scene to take place not in Lima’s McKinley High School, but in Finn Hudson’s bedroom.

That’s where Finn’s mother, stepfather and stepbrother embarked on the nightmarish task of packing away the remnants of a life cut short at age 19.

“I should have hugged him more,” stepdad Burt Hummel (Mike O’Malley) said as the trio sorted through Finn’s belongings, assigning them to various boxes. “Now he’s gone.”

O’Malley was nominated for an Emmy in 2010 for his guest role on “Glee,” and his brief but powerful performance Thursday showed why.

The biggest kick-in-the-gut line came from Finn’s mother, Carole (Romy Rosemont), in that same scene.

Everything about Rosemont — from her body language to her tear-stained face and shaky voice — emanated a mother’s grief. No hysterics or overwrought emotions. Just the sad resignation of a woman who’s life is forever changed now that she’s the parent of a dead child.

“You have to keep on being a parent,” she said, “even though you don’t get to have a child anymore.”

Monteith died of an accidental drug and alcohol overdose this summer at age 31.

His on-screen and off-screen girlfriend, “Glee” star Lea Michele, not surprisingly could barely keep it together during her performance of Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love.” (Video below.)

Watching Michele cry her way through it made me feel guilty, as if she shouldn’t have been made to do this. For all I know she wanted to do it. And from a story standpoint she had to do it. But it was brutal nonetheless.

“It’s just so pointless,” the reliably no-nonsene Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) said during the episode, referring to the fate of both Finn and the actor who played him. “All that wasted potential.”

What did you think of “Glee’s” tribute?

Lea Michele sings Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love”