Synopsis: As might be assumed from the title, this Gilmore Girls revival follows Lorelai, Rory, and to a lesser degree, Emily as they try to find themselves ten years after the conclusion of the show. Lorelai is finding herself unsatisfied as more of her friends move on from the small town life; Rory is still trying to plant herself as a successful journalist, even when that doesn’t seem to be working out; and Emily is learning to be her own woman following the loss of her husband.
You finished it? Good. Now we can talk. Given that I told you to watch it, I assume I don’t need to also tell you “spoilers,” but just in case, this will contain spoilers including those final four words.
This show has been my life for a very long time. I can’t even remember a time when I didn’t know every scene and line and joke and reference. So watching brand new episodes was something I looked forward to. It was such an odd sensation to have the girls make pop-culture references that are actually current. These episodes were a gift.
Now, it wasn’t a perfect show. Some of the actors seemed to have an issue slipping back into their characters (particularly Alexis Bledel), but others seemed to seamlessly slip into their characters as if no time had passed at all (Scott Patterson still is Luke).
Overall this storyline struck a chord for me. I feel these women’s pain. Am I doing enough with my life? Do our degrees matter? Maybe the most important thing is that we rely on the people around us for support. It is people who make life worth living, and I think that is what each of the Gilmore Girls was trying to teach us.
Lorelai’s story follows her relationships with everyone around her. We follow her and Luke as they make slow progress towards a wedding; her and Emily as they find a balance between the mother/daughter dynamic they have always had and grieving mother/daughter dynamic they now have; and her and Rory as the two struggle with their own life journeys, causing temporary fractures between them.
She struggles with her place in the town as her closest friends seem to be leaving her: Sookie (Melissa McCarthy) has left for some sort of soil research (?) and Michel (Yanich Truesdale) needs to leave in order to have a higher income.
Rory is wandering in the freelance journalism world. She wrote one successful piece, but is now struggling to find her voice. She is in many ways the entitled girl that she grew to be through the progress of the original series. She is also Logan’s (Matt Czuchry) mistress.
This storyline makes sense from Rory’s perspective, but it definitely reveals the fact that Amy Sherman Palladino did not watch the final season of the original show, because Logan seems to be right back to where he was in season 6, not season 7. But regardless, Rory works to find herself through her writing, eventually taking over the Stars Hollow Gazette and beginning to write a book.
Emily (Kelly Bishop) is learning to be single. As we know, she has never lived on her own, and through this series we see her gain a larger and larger “family” to care for in the form of her maid and her family. This may be my favorite story of the series. Watching her gain her own sense of self and finding a new life in Nantucket with the most epic museum job ever. I would listen to her tour.
For side characters, Kirk (Sean Gunn) is as perfect as ever with quirky jobs and a baby pig. We even get a sequel to a Film by Kirk. It was a worthwhile wait. Lane (Keiko Agena) and Zack (Todd Lowe) are living the rock life, playing at the Secret Bar and raising their adorable twins. And we finally see Lane’s dad.
Luke is as Luke-ish as possible. He is grouchy, handing out fake wifi passwords, and yet, still managing to be totally lovable (definitely more lovable then he was in the last couple seasons of the original series). Paris (Liza Weil) is in absolute perfect form, with the most captivating performance of the show in the form of a bathroom meltdown. Logan is gorgeous. That’s probably not what we are supposed to take away from it, but he is.
He has fallen in line with his family’s wishes, even to the point of being engaged to a woman they deem worthy. And Jess (Milo Ventimiglia). Perfect Jess. He’s the one character who seems to have matured in the last 10 years. He is stable, showing serious concern for Luke, and, as always, doling out advice to Rory when she won’t listen to anyone else.
The final episode, Fall, leads these characters down their final paths. Lorelai leaves on a Wild hiking adventure, although she never actually hikes, but she does make final peace with her mother, sharing her favorite memory of her father.
Rory finishes three chapters of her book, Gilmore Girls, deciding that this is the path she plans to take. She will write her experiences rather than chasing stories she may not have an interest in. She has one final adventure with the Life and Death Brigade, before deciding that she has to make her own life now; she can no longer sit idly by in Logan’s. She will write her way out.*
The episode and series ends with the most tear-inducing wedding between Lorelai and Luke as they elope, sans leaving the town, the night before their actual wedding. This was the perfect way to demonstrate that Luke is ready. He can jump. He doesn’t need to plan or wait. He and Lorelai are meant to be.
After a truly magical and whimsical scene, we return to the dynamic mother-daughter duo we have always been so attached to. They sit on the steps of the gazebo, taking in the town. “Mom?” “Yeah?” “I’m pregnant.” Those final four words. This show truly has come full circle. Rory is now the reigning Lorelai. Logan is Christopher. Jess is Luke. She truly has become her mother, but at a more opportune time in life. She always said, “the person I most wanted to be was her.”
I think that if the original series had ended like this, I would be disappointed. It would have felt cheap. Rory needed the chance to be her own person. To decide on the life she wanted. And she got that. Now she has a life. She is writing a book, running a newspaper, and living in the quirkiest town imaginable. She can now raise the newest Gilmore Girl (or Boy!). The circle is now complete.
This show wasn’t perfect, but let’s be honest, the original wasn’t either. But what it did capture was the heart and emotion and feel that we all love. I am glad to have this opportunity to return to Star Hollow. I am happy to see these characters who are real to me move forward with their lives. This show was worth the wait.
*Had to throw in a Hamilton reference given the crazy amounts of them in this series. But what in life can’t be improved with some Hamilton?