Cory Monteith‘s death changed the way Glee alums Jenna Ushkowitz and Kevin McHale felt about rewatching one season 3 episode of the series.

The pair discussed the “eerie” season 3, episode 9 story line during the Monday, January 7, episode of iHeartMedia’s “And That’s What You REALLY Missed” podcast.

The episode, which aired in January 2012, finds Finn learning his father died of a drug overdose. Monteith died of an accidental drug overdose in July 2013 at age 31.

The scene “hit a little too close to home,” Ushkowitz, 37, said during the recap while McHale, 35, agreed, “Way, way too close.”

Finn wanted to follow in his dad’s footsteps by enlisting in the army. He believed his father died a war hero, but his mom, Carole (Romy Rosemont), revealed that she lied to Finn about his father’s cause of death.

“He died in Cincinnati after being dishonorably discharged,” Carole said tearfully. “Honey, he had a drug problem that he tried to get over when he came home — for you, mostly — but then he would just disappear for a day or a week sometimes. One day, he just didn’t come back. It was an overdose.”

Carole explained that she lied “because your dad was so much more than the last few months of his life.”

Glee Stars Jenna Ushkowitz and Kevin McHale Say 1 Story Line Feels Eerie After Cory Monteiths Death
Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz David Becker/Getty Images for iHeartRadio

Ushkowitz and McHale had no memory of the arc, so they weren’t prepared to watch Monteith portray such a dark story line. “We probably don’t remember it because we thought it was just another story line for Finn that was really well done [at the time],” Ushkowitz explained. “But in hindsight, the whole through line of this story line — every line that he said about it — really just struck a different chord that resonated or mirrored his life too closely. It was just really sad to watch.”

McHale added, “Yeah, it felt really dark and morbid watching it. But obviously, there was no way to know what the future was going to be. .. it just felt very eerie.”

The podcast cohosts have been open about how Glee changed after Monteith and, subsequently, his character died. “Finn was the heart of the show and Cory was the heart of our group,” Ushkowitz, who played Tina in all six seasons of the musical comedy series, exclusively told Us Weekly in October 2022. (Finn’s death occurred in season 5, episode 3, but his cause of death was never revealed.)

“I feel like when Cory died, the show died with him in many ways,” she added. “It became a different show … it was really hard to do and it was never the same, for me at least.”

McHale, who portrayed Artie from the 2009 pilot to the 2015 series finale, added that he once received “flack” for saying as much in another interview. “People on Twitter and all these things were saying that I was, like, talking crap about the show,” he told Us. “I’m like, ‘No, no, no. I just said the show was never the same after Cory died because obviously it was not.’”

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