Fans of Gilmore Girls had a lot to be grateful for thanks to the long-awaited return to Stars Hollow over Thanksgiving break. But also for the excuse to not leave the couch for six hours and binge on more than just episodes (Looking at you, leftovers). While the series brought plenty of laughs, tears, and questions for fans, old and new, here are my seven favorite storylines from all four season.
1. Here’s To Love, Past, Present, and Future
While the heart of the show is always going to be the mother-daughter bond Loreali and Rory share, these ladies have had their fair share of love and heartbreaks. Many of the gentleman responsible for both made appearances during our year long visit to Stars Hollow. Here’s what they’re up to:
Logan: is still the #1 man in Rory’s life, but not because they’re married or even really committed in any way, shape, or form. It’s “okay” though because they have an understanding. When Rory is in London, they’re both willing to ignore that they have significant others, and cheat! Logan, in the form of a rich French heiress (#classic), and Rory in the form of a boyfriend that nobody can remember the name of (for the record, it’s Paul). So, throughout Winter, Summer, Spring, and Fall, we witness Rory racking up her frequent flier miles and sacking up with Logan. Eventually, she
grows a conscience realizes she deserves more and calls it quits for real. But not before having one final, epic night, with the Life and Death Brigade where they reenact The Beatles, buy a Tango Club, and sleep together one last time.
Jess: drops by the Stars Hollow Gazette (where Rory is tepmorarily working) and she tells him how she has no money, underwear, and ultimately, no more passion. Because Jess, despite his previously bad boy ways, has always been a guiding force for Rory, he’s able to get her back on track. How? By suggesting she writes a book. Trigger Rory ‘s PTSD from the book-that-never-happened-in-London. He tells her to write not just any book, but one with a point of view. About something she cares about. A book about her and her mom. Unfortunately this is the only real interaction we get between the two. The second is her telling him she completed her first three chapters. Yes, she took his advice. Luke witnesses this exchange and asks Jess if he’s over her. Jess insists that he is which was convincing until you see him wistfully looking at her through the window. And that’s it. There’s no real closure between the two, which could make a little (and I mean liiiiittle) bit more sense should there be more episodes (we’ll get to that later), but it felt a little… unfulfilled. It made me happy that Jess is the one who affected Rory’s future in such an impactful way, but as a fan of the couple, wished there was a little bit more closure or promise for ’em.
Dean: bumps into Rory (in true Rory & Dean fashion) at the grocery store and we find out he’s now happily married with three kids, and another on the way. It’s not his fault though, apparently Scranton is boring. She tells him that she’s writing a book about her relationship with her mom and then asks if she can put him in it. Understandably he asks she’d say and Rory is able to rattle off a list of things so easily because let’s be honest, it’s what she’s always wanted to say to him. Things like sometimes she wishes she met him later, when she was more mature, but if she had, she wouldn’t be who she is today. The moment is adorable, heartfelt, and true to the relationship they had. But more importantly, it’s a moment of closure, capped off perfectly with a reference to corn starch. And no, she didn’t shoplift it this time.
Christopher: The only time we see Lorelai’s ex/Rory’s dad is when she pays hims a brief visit before Luke and Lorelai’s wedding. She goes there to tell Christopher that Loreali is getting married, but really to warn him not to come (#AlwaysLookingOut). The result though is basically her getting some closure (or at least some answers) about why he wasn’t there growing up. In true journalist fashion she rapid fires questions like: Could he have tried harder? Was he okay with how things ended up? And in true Christopher fashion, he doesn’t really give her much. He says that things happened the way they were supposed to. And they did. But it’s definitely not the answer Rory was hoping for. It does however add some good conflict for that good ‘ol book of hers. Even he asks her not to make him too much of a villain.
Jason: At Richard’s funeral, Loreali bumps into Jason who’s there to pay his respects to the “lion” that was Richard Gilmore. The two share the witty banter they always had and he asks her if she’s happy. “Generally or today?” she asks. Fair question. Lorelai says she’s happy and Jason says he’s glad. And you can tell he genuinely means it. She asks if she’s seen her mother and he tells Loreali that he’s been keeping a living room’s distance from Emily. You can tell that he genuinely means that, too.
Luke: finally gets the girl! Things got rocky there for a little bit (Loreali left to go do “Wild” the movie, not the book, and left things pretty uncertain when she left). But in the final episode she returns with both clarity and a wedding date. It should go on record that Luke’s speech to her when she got back (thinking they were going to break-up) was adorable. Specifically when he slipped the engagement ring on her finger and told her the only way out was in a body bag. Pure romance. Even though they planned a “real” wedding, the two realize that they want it to be about just them and because it’s Bingo Night and Stars Hollow is small, track down the reverend and elope the night before. The private ceremony with just Rory, Michele and Lane in attendance, is a weirdly perfect ending for how these two close their final chapter.And you know, since getting the entire cast together for the actual wedding scene would have been impossible with scheduling.
2. Small Town, Big Names
We know Stars Hollow is home to an eccentric cast of characters (Sup, Kirk), but the revival brought some new, but very familiar faces to the small Connecticut town. The highlights for me was seeing Lauren Graham reunite with her other TV fam, The Bravermans & Co. We saw Mae Whitman reunite with her TV mom. Peter Krause reunited with his on-screen sister, but IRL girlfriend (yeah, it’s weird). And Jason Ritter, another former boyfriend. Outside of the Bravermans, we saw Rachel Ray mixing things up in the kitchen. Carole King singing and playing piano (but not the theme song for whatever reason?). Sutton Foster on a smaller stage, but belting out show tunes nonetheless. Dan Bucatinksy still rocking a bowtie. And Paul Anka as… you guessed it. It wouldn’t be Gilmore Girls if Lorelai didn’t have weird dreams.
The Gilmore Girls
Like mentioned above, it’s Jess who gives Rory the idea to write a book, one that she quickly found was just been sitting in her head, waiting to be put to paper. While the story itself is the easiest thing Rory has ever wrote, breaking the news to Loreali doesn’t prove to have the same level of ease. At first Lorelai gives the book a firm pass. She worked really hard to keep her life private, and doesn’t want her dirty laundry aired in a book (mainly that she once left Rory in a bucket.) So. Many. Questions. Rory ends up writing three chapters and gives it to her mom with this deal on the table: read it. If Loreali still hates it, she’ll throw away the pages. Well, Lorelai never reads it, but she promises that she will… when Rory finishes it. And then, even though it’s Rory who is the editor, offers her just one note: lose the “the” in the title. And with that Rory’s first novel will appropriately be titled: Gilmore Girls. Sounds pretty fitting to me.
4. Oy with the Poodle Already
Part of what has always made Gilmore Girls so much fun to watch is trying to pick up on all the quotes and one-liners inspired by Pop Culture. The revival proved to be no exception. In-between sips of Brandy and Coffee we had references about: Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. Scarface. Gold Digger. Hamilton. Batman V. Superman. Jerry McGuire (courtesy of Emily no less). The Breakfast Club. Lifetime Movies. Wild (the book and the movie). And so much more. Seriously, you name it, these ladies probably covered it and gave a nice reminder of what has always made the show special: its ability to take what’s current and weave it into their fast-talking world.
5. Still Best Friends?
In real life there was a lot of drama surrounding whether Melissa McCarthy would make her triumphant return to kitchen at the Dragonfly Inn. And, well, she did — bright colored bandana and all. The night before Loreali and Luke’s wedding, Lorelai walked into the kitchen (previously home to random pop-up chefs) and saw the kitchen was filled with cakes and instinctively new her bestie had returned. After a very pornographic “release” of frosting (Some things never change), Sookie rattles through all the different cakes she made for Lorelai’s “Luke” wedding (including one that literally said LUKE). The cake has to be perfect because this is the day they’ve all be waiting for. And let’s face it, us too. The two reminisce about all they created together with tears in their eyes, and let’s face it again, our eyes too. Then, the emotional moment is ruined in perfect Michel fashion, causing him and Sookie to start arguing off-camera and Loreali looking more full and happy than ever.
6. Gone, But Not Forgotten
With the passing of Ed Herman before the revival, many fans wondered how they were going to treat his absence on the show. The answer was simple: by making his presence felt. A job that was probably made slightly easier through the use of an 18 foot self portrait, but I digress. All four episodes were filled with nods and memories that honored his memory. We saw all three generations of Gilmore women mourning the loss of the most important man in their lives. It was heartbreaking to watch, but even outside of the funeral, mentions of him were everywhere. His study was where Rory wrote the first three chapters of her book. He was there when Emily began getting rid of everything that didn’t “bring her joy” in her ripped JEANS and Candies t-shirt. He was there when Loreali asked if she could take the money he left for Luke (to franchise the diner) and use it to expand the Dragonfly Inn (which she will). But more importantly he was there, when Lorelai stood on a hill and finally shared an incredible memory to her mother, about how her father was there for her and gave her the best birthday she ever had. It was a beautiful moment of closure between Emily and Loreali and a beautiful way to lay the character to rest. Though jury is still out on whether it will be with a tombstone. Hopefully number six will have the correct quotation marks and proper attribution.
7. Full. Freakin. Circle
Lorelai referenced it multiple times throughout the episodes, namely when it came to her and her mom, but the show itself came full circle with the reveal of the much anticipated “final four words.” After the wedding, Loreali and Rory are sitting on the gazebo, drinking champagne instead of coffee, and talking about what’s next. Loreali’s suggestion is that they both become married ladies now. She throws out some options for Rory, like PeeWee Herman, and it;s then that Rory gets a text from Paul breaking up with her. Looks like he’s off the table now, too. It’s this development that causes Loreali to turn more serious. She promises Rory that it will happen for Rory not only when it’s right, but when it fits. It’s then that Rory drops the bombshell that will make you want to hold up your cat while singing along to the Circle of Life.
Rory: I’m pregnant.
And with that, the end credits rolled, jaws dropped, and questions arose. Mainly: is Logan the father? Fans of the show will know that the creators always saw Logan as Rory’s “Christopher” and him as the father leaves the perfect opportunity for Rory to find her “Luke” in Jess. Either way, there’s a weird, ironic, beauty to this idea of history repeating; to the fact that now their will be yet another generation added to the Gilmore legacy. Here’s hoping it’s a girl.