Image credit: Fox
NOT PICTURED: Viewers crying right alongside them.
If Mercedes’ performance didn’t get you choked up, the scene following probably did. Finn’s mom, Carole, was going through Finn's stuff with Kurt and Burt, and a few items triggered some seriously emotional responses. First, Burt decided he wanted to keep the “faggy” lamp that Finn held onto for Kurt, which led to Burt feeling guilty about how he acted with Finn. “I should have hugged him more,” he explained through tears. “The last time I saw him, he was so bummed out about a test at school, and I just told him to ‘Get back at it.’ It was the perfect time for a hug.”
When Carole placed his letterman jacket in a ‘Donate’ box, Kurt intervened and declared he’ll be keeping it. “Seeing him in the hall wearing this, it was like Superman had arrived,” he explained as everyone re-remembered how great season 1 of Glee was. This set Carole, off, and she gave a heartbreaking speech about how she doesn’t know how parents survive after losing a child. “You have to keep being a parent even though you don’t get to have a child anymore,” she sobbed. The scene was easily one of the roughest of the hour to watch; I’m sure many viewers felt like they were eavesdropping on people’s private grief.
Back at school, things weren’t much better. McKinley had planted a memorial tree (funded by Kurt) but someone (viewers saw it was Puck) had stolen it. Puck was struggling with his grief, first angrily trying to get the jacket from Kurt, then later drunkenly confessing to Coach Beiste, “If I start crying, I don’t think I’ll ever stop.” It was fitting that his honest moment came with Beiste; the two have helped each other through tough situations (like issues with Beiste’s ex-husband) before. In the choir room, Puck sang “No Surrender,” then replanted the tree he stole. He shared that Finn always helped him be a better person, and Beiste told him he was going to have to do that for himself now. Puck agreed, and announced he was joining the Air Force. And with that, Puck hopped on a motorcycle, ready to move on to the next chapter of his life.
People who weren’t ready to move on? Santana. After singing most of “If I Die Young” in the choir room, she got sad, then angry, then ran to the auditorium, upset with herself for not being able to resist making a few jokes prior to her performance. Kurt (clad in Finn’s jacket) went to talk with her, and the two had a very sweet heart-to-heart about the nice things Finn did for her. Side note: I understand this stuff isn't always possible, but it would have been nice to have Quinn and Brittany mentioned in passing if they couldn't be in the episode. Their presence was missed, particularly with Santana sharing memories. Before leaving Santana alone with her thoughts, Kurt wrapped Finn’s jacket around her arms.
NEXT: Rachel returns