Pass the tissues! Glee paid tribute to its late star Cory Monteith on the Thursday, Oct. 10 episode of the FOX hit, and none of the actors displayed more grief and raw emotion than Lea Michele, Monteith's real-life girlfriend who also stars as his TV love, Rachel Berry. Appearing only during the last 15 minutes of the hourlong tribute episode -- which featured Santana (Naya Rivera), Artie (Kevin McHale), Mercedes (Amber Riley) and the gang coming together three weeks after Finn Hudson's death -- Michele's Rachel poured her soul into a stirring rendition of Bob Dylan's "Make You Feel My Love" in the Glee classroom.
Later, once her former classmates were out of earshot, a heartbroken Rachel confided in Mr. Schue (Matthew Morrison) that her brave face was a front, and that she had no idea how her presumed fairytale ending -- with her acting in New York City and her boyfriend teaching at McKinley High -- would conclude.
"Maybe [you'll end up with] something better," her choir teacher said, comfortingly. (Watch the scene above)
"I just don't think that that's possible. I had it all planned out. He was my person," a teary Rachel replied. "But thank you so much for doing this [tribute]. I felt like I didn't know if I'd be able to sing again [without him], but now I know I can."
Filming the episode shortly after Monteith died in July from a "mixed drug toxicity" of heroin and alcohol, Michele was the consummate professional on set, Glee creator Ryan Murphy confirmed. "Almost everything in that episode is from the first take of every performance because the actors and the crew had a really hard time shooting it," Murphy told USA Today. "Everybody went into it with a lot of love."