Cory Monteith’s Drug Addiction and Death to be Acknowledged on Third Episode of Glee

People across the globe were shocked and saddened by the untimely death of Canadian-born Glee actor Cory Monteith. On July 13, staff at a Vancouver hotel found his body after he failed to check out on time. Monteith was only 31 when he died, and his death was determined to be the result of a deadly mix of alcohol and heroin.

Monteith’s passing left a lot of questions for fans and viewers of the show. How would the show handle such a loss and could they even carry on? Ryan Murphy, co-creator of Glee, was also left with those same questions regarding what to do and how to proceed. Options included delaying filming till January, replacing Monteith’s character with another actor or even canceling the show entirely. In the end, the cast and directors decided that it was in everyone’s best interest to continue the show and move forward with filming. It would provide an opportunity for those who loved him to be around each other, grieve together and receive closure.

Glee will start its fifth season starting on September 26, a week later than it was originally set to premiere. The new season kicks off with a tribute to The Beatles. Kevin Reilly, who is employed as chief of Fox Entertainment, says that the show will directly address Monteith’s death in the third episode. According to Reilly, the episode may even include previous snippets of the actor.

While it is known that Monteith’s character, Finn Hudson, will be written out of the show, what isn’t clear is if he, too, will die of a drug overdose. One report states that the show’s writers have teamed up with the late Monteith’s real-life girlfriend, Lea Michele, to address Monteith’s passing and the outcome of illicit drug abuse. According to the show’s producers, Finn’s Hudson’s final episode will directly confront the issue of dependency and substance use.

Reilly said that the emotional episode will include several public service messages from the cast acknowledging Monteith’s overdose and the consequences of drugs. Per information from US Weekly, Lea Michele wants the episode to address the truth and convey that addiction can lead to dire results. Reilly conveyed that he didn’t feel the show would persist beyond a couple more seasons. Filming for the new season is expected to be delayed through the beginning of this month.

On July 25, the cast of Glee attended a private memorial to pay tribute to the late Monteith. The memorial included songs and stories and overall was a celebration of his life. The third and last episode for character Finn Hudson will be done in an upbeat way says Murphy, citing that the cast members should not have to continue living out their grief. The episode is meant to help young audience members work through their own feelings and gain an understanding that drug abuse can have a very real impact.