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First look at heartbreaking Cory Monteith tribute

Glee's third episode will lay fan favorite to rest

Glee creator Ryan Murphy leaked the first look at plans to say goodbye to cast mate and friend Cory Monteith via his Twitter feed yesterday, just hours before the Season 5 premiere.

Glee Hardest word to say is goodbye

Season 5 of Glee premiered last night without one of its central characters, Finn Hudson. Finn was brought to life by Cory Monteith who tragically died of an overdose earlier this year on July 13.

Glee star dead at 31 >>

Both Monteith and Hudson were integral to their respective Glee families, and there was an outpouring of grief from those close to him and fans across the world as people wondered why such a tragedy would occur.

Monteith seemed to have it all — youth, talent, the love of his beautiful co-star Lea Michele — but whatever personal demons he was trying to escape through his hard partying won out in the end.

Lea Michele's thoughts on Cory Monteith's Emmy tribute >>

That loss left a hole bigger than Monteith's death, as Glee the series — a title one would never associate with a tragedy the likes of which occurred with Monteith — had to come up with a plan to send both their friend and Finn Hudson off by honoring the man he was, and not the ghosts that had overtaken him.

While many of the characters in the senior class had been written off the series after graduation, Monteith's Finn was considered too integral to the success of the show, and he was going to stick around as a teacher. Series creator Ryan Murphy made the decision not to deal with the issue immediately in the season, but to wait for the third episode to address Finn's death, the cause of which will remain ambiguous.

Ryan Murphy opens up about plans for the memorial episode >>

As a reminder of that decision, prior to the premiere last night Murphy sent this Tweet to his followers, featuring a promotional graphic with a simple message we can all understand: "The hardest word to say is 'goodbye.'"

The first two episodes of Glee's Season 5 will be a two-part Beatles spectacular — but that doesn't mean we won't notice slight nods to Finn and Monteith. Last night's opener featured Rachel (Lea Michele) singing "Yesterday."

During the lyrics, "Oh, yesterday, love was such an easy game to play. Now I need a place to hide away. Oh, I believe in yesterday," she paused to look at a photograph on her cell phone of her old high-school friends, which included Finn Hudson.

Jane Lynch calls memorial episode 'most beautiful thing' in Tweet to fans >>

Of the tribute episode, insiders on the hit series shared with E! News that "you will cry from beginning to end," and called the episode "gut-wrenching," while another declared, "I cried as I read it, on every page."

While details have been kept very close to the vest, E! News also revealed that the hour would take place in Lima, Ohio, and focus on the aftermath of the death of Finn Hudson as his friends mourn his loss. Lea Michele's Rachel won't make her entrance until the hour nears its end.

The tribute episode will air Thursday, Oct. 10 at 9/8c on Fox.

Image courtesy of Ryan Murphy Twitter feed
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