"Glee" fans may never know how Finn Hudson dies.
"Basically, what we're doing in the episode is we are not telling you yet, or maybe not at all, how that character died," Murphy said. "The idea being, how somebody died is interesting and maybe morbid, but we say very early on in the episode, 'This episode is about a celebration of that character's life.' That might be weird for some people, but it felt really exploitative to do it any other way."
The memorial episode, a tribute to Monteith, who died last month from mixed drug toxicity involving heroin and alcohol, will be the third of the season. "Glee" returns for its fifth season Sept. 26 with a two-episode Beatles theme.
Murphy told Deadline that there have "been tears on the set" while filming the Beatles installment, but "the cast and crew have had solace in being together."
He acknowledged that the "really difficult thing," the Finn tribute episode, will begin shooting this week.
But the script, he said, "turned out to be a lovely tribute, and it's a very heartfelt look at how young people grieve."
"We loved Cory and we loved Finn and it feels like a huge loss and a huge heartache not to have either of them around," Murphy told Deadline. "We're trying to craft an episode that's not just about us grieving but about a lot of the young fans grieving."