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How should ‘Glee’ handle Cory Monteith’s death?

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Cory Monteith on "Glee." (FOX)

The world is still trying to come to grips with the untimely passing of “Glee” star Cory Monteith, who tragically died in his Vancouver hotel room last weekend. But while fans are still mourning the loss of the 31-year-old Victoria native, writers on his hit Fox show have reportedly held an emergency meeting in order to decide how to deal with his character, Finn, next season.

While Monteith’s character was absent from the season four finale due to the star’s stint in rehab, Finn was reportedly set to play a major role in Season 5’s opening episodes. But with production slated to start in just two weeks time, series creator Ryan Murphy and the show’s team of writers are faced with the unenviable task of deciding how to tackle the loss of one of the show’s main characters.

So, what are some of "Glee's" options?

Cancel the show
Monteith was without doubt one of the show’s biggest stars and his death has justifiably led some people to discuss whether “Glee” can go on without him. However, the news out of Fox is that it’s a scenario that’s incredibly unlikely. For starters “Glee’s” always been an ensemble show -- one that they think can certainly go on even without one of its biggest names. It’s also something that we suspect neither Fox nor the fans would ultimately want to see happen.

Tackle it head-on
Despite its candy-coated characteristics “Glee” has never shied away from touchy issues. After all, this is a show that’s dealt with everything from teen pregnancy to school shootings via disabilities and sexuality, so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility to imagine it taking a similar tone to Monteith’s tragic death. Of course, delicacy and taste are important if the show is going to tackle such weighty subject matter, and the writers will have to be at their best if they decide to tackle the tragedy head on.

Do nothing
Even beyond what it might mean for his girlfriend and co-star Lea Michele, the “Glee” cast are a close knit family and it’s hard to imagine how they are going to cope with his death -- we can't imagine how difficult it would be ask them to act out their reactions to his fictional alter-ego’s passing in front of rolling cameras. So while “Glee” is often praised for its efforts to tackle real world issues, it’s also hard to imagine how the show might do justice to such a serious subject. It's entirely possible the writers may simply write Finn off the show by saying he moved away, which would spare the cast and crew from having to relive Montheith's passong on screen. However, this tactic runs the risk of upsetting fans who don't think Finn would do such a thing. It's a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" kind of situation.

Pay tribute
A seam of togetherness has always been central to “Glee’s” storylines, and it’s perhaps inconceivable to see how the show can move forward without acknowledging the tragic loss of one of its brightest stars. Perhaps the opening episode will provide the cast and crew and opportunity to step outside of their characters and simply pay a prime-time tribute to Monteith.

How do you think "Glee's" writers should tackle Monteith's death? let us know your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below.

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