Today 7:00 AM PDT
"Gut-wrenching" and "so, so good."
We've talked to sources who have read the script for Glee's Cory Monteith tribute episode, which is scheduled to begin production today in Los Angeles, and by all accounts, it does not disappoint.
"You will cry from beginning to end," says one insider.
"I cried as I read it, on every page," says another.
No spoilers here, but we can tell you that the episode takes place in Lima, Ohio, and centers around the death of Cory's character Finn Hudson. As promised, it is not revealed how Finn died, but the episode starts off with the news of his death and then moves on to focus on all the characters remembering and mourning him, and celebrating his life.
We are told that Lea Michele (Rachel) does not appear in the episode until the final act. Her presence is limited but incredibly powerful. And yes, she does sing.
We can also tell you that Santana (Naya Rivera) has a great, memorable part in the episode.
And the final song? Get ready to ugly cry.
"Just read Cory Monteith memorial episode," Jane Lynch tweeted on Wednesday. "Most beautiful thing. Thank you, @MrRPMurphy @BFalchuk Ian Brennan."
Glee creator Ryan Murphy previously revealed he felt it best not to include Finn's cause of death in Cory's tribute episode.
"At one point, we were going to have his character die after an accidental drug overdose—that was something we had considered," he said. "But we have decided that we're not going to have him pass from that."
"Basically, what we're doing in the episode is we are not telling you yet, or maybe not at all, how that character died," Murphy explained. "The idea being, how somebody died is interesting and maybe morbid, but we say very early on in the episode, 'This episode is about a celebration of that character's life.' That might be weird for some people, but it felt really exploitative to do it any other way."
Murphy previously told E! News he had planned to shoot the Monteith tribute (episode three) and then take a break to regroup and figure out how to move forward with the series. The initial plan for Glee's season five was to have Monteith heavily featured, at his own request, so some of the story arcs must be reconfigured.
Glee cast, we are thinking of you.