Spoiler alert: Tonight’s episode of Glee is one of the series best and most emotional hours to date. When Finn (Cory Monteith) sees a religious vision in his grilled cheese (the episode ain’t called “Grilled Cheesus” for nuthin’), he inspires the other New Directions teens — and even Jane Lynch’s Sue Sylvester — to contemplate their own views on spirituality. “I love when people see Jesus in bird droppings on the windows and then there are lines out the door and that seems to happen so often now,” says co-creator Ryan Murphy. “To me, it just shows everybody in our society, particularly young people, are just desperate to believe in something.”

“Grilled Cheesus” is also the series’ most provocative episode to date, and is almost certain to spur controversy. Murphy has always been able to push buttons (hello Nip/Tuck!), but he says that he (and his co-writers Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan) really wanted to provide a balanced depiction of faith and spirituality. “We went through and counted it word by word and line by line,” says Murphy. “Every time somebody said something anti-religion, we made sure somebody said something pro.”

For Glee fans, “Grilled Cheesus” will be a turning point for the season and a timely lesson in tolerance, given the recent rash of gay youth suicides. “This episode starts off our arc about tolerance and respecting other points of view,” reveals Murphy. “That’s what the whole season, particularly the first 10, are about: All our kids rallying around the different people in the glee club who are persecuted and bullied. It’s a very powerful subject, but also we’re doing it with humor.”

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