'Glee' sneaks a sweet Cory Monteith tribute into Nationals episode 'City of Angels'

glee-city-of-angels-finn-tribute-cory-monteith.jpgOof, the big "Glee" 100th episode celebration isn't until Tuesday, March 18 but the FOX musical just sucker-punched everyone with a surprise mid-season tribute to Cory Monteith/Finn Hudson as the New Directions traveled to Nationals in "City of Angels."

Can we get a little warning if we're going to need multiple tissues as we cry through this thing? The episode was sweet and emotional for many reasons, the first of which is that it was natural. It was nice that the show acknowledged Finn again, and the glee club kids would be thinking of him as they flew to Los Angeles to finish what he started.

But then "Glee" brought in Burt and Carole (Mike O'Malley and Carole Hudson-Hummel), Finn's parents and two of the best actors to ever grace the "Glee" soundstages, and it turned into another lovely tribute to Finn's -- and Monteith's -- legacy.

Even aside from the Finn dedication, though, the episode was a winner. It's the best episode in a LONG time that featured only McKinley High kids. It's increasingly clear that we're not going to see most of their faces next year -- and we pretty much only care about New York at this point anyway -- but the excitement of Nationals, the rival Skylar Austin-led glee club, the absurd judges (Marlee Matlin, Jackee Harry and Johanna Rohrback, a.k.a. the Prancercise lady) and a sassy, campy Mercedes all felt like a nod to the glory days of "Glee."

This is why we love (or used to love, anyway) this show, and this is why we keep tuning in. Amid all the weird twists and turns, there are some real gems of episodes in there. Hopefully this momentum keeps going as the two-part 100th episode celebration commences.

What did you think of "City of Angels"?
Photo/Video credit: FOX