This is full of spoilers, speculations, and puddles and puddles of sappy ass feelings.
This whole time I thought I was a Lorelai. Cute girl who moved to a small town, fell in love with a boy in a baseball cap, pop culture savant, who doesn’t want that life?
I was never a Lorelai. I am a Rory. The girl who breaks away from the small town, goes to a big college, thinks she is going to have a life so much bigger than her roots, but in the end, loves her small town and the exact life she wrongly thought she was better than. Okay she didn’t say all that, I’m projecting But watching Rory stumble through this season felt like I was watching myself.
That annoying thing she did where she wandered around uninspired, failing at the very things she was supposed to be good at? That is me at any given second. That feeling of frustration she was feeling, of worrying she’ll never measure up to that one really great thing she did once, I feel that every second of every day. I’m a Rory. I’m Rory.
I have read the reviews of plenty of people who didn’t enjoy A Year in the Life, but I did, so much. I liked catching up with people I loved, and getting the dirt on the people I didn’t. I loved seeing Luke and Lorelai turn a dreamy years-long courtship into an actual comfortable relationship, and then a tear inducing perfect wedding. I loved sitting in on the Stars Hollow meetings and listening to their problems. I loved watching Lorelai try and “book Wild,” and then realize she didn’t need to hike to figure out what she wanted.
Holy hell, I could go on forever, but instead, let me just pick 3 favorites and 3 not-favorites, and leave it at that.
Three things I loved:
- Life & Death Brigade. This was probably one of my most favorite moments of the entire season, and if given the chance, it’d be the one I’d like a chance to live. It was also a chance to see old Rory and old Logan, and recapture the unrealistic excess of their old relationship. Plus when she did her whole Wizard of Oz bye thing, I sobbed.
- Richard. Oh, Richard. I have been dreading this season because having to mourn Richard Gilmore felt impossible. He was such a huge part of this show, the most endearing and huggable antagonist that every existed. Even I was afraid of disappointing Richard Gilmore. But the show handled this so well. Instead of bowling us over with grief from the start, it built slowly, in pieces and memories, finally washing over you in the Fall. I cried from the start to the finish of Fall. I loved Fall.
- “Mom?” “Yeah?” “I’m pregnant.” The best four words. Suddenly so many things made sense. Why Rory was so sleepy in New York interviewing people in lines (yeah, doubt it was the Wookie), why the interaction with Christopher was so unexceptionably passionate, and why she felt so driven to write that story about her mother. Rory was emotionally nesting. (It’s a thing.)
Three things I could have done without:
- Berta. I didn’t hate Berta, per say, but it never really revealed why Emily went so far out of character with Berta and her family. And there was plenty of chances for her to, maybe admitting she was looking for a companion, or that it was finally a chance for her to be maternal, something she seemingly botched with Lorelai?
- The musical. Yeah, I agree with the entire population in that it was useless. I think it was basically just a random Easter egg somehow working Amy Sherman-Palladino’s other GG spin-off, Bunheads, into the mix. While I love the way Stars Hollow has it’s own plot line, often featuring Taylor running around like a weirdo, this was a little too large and loomed too much over the main plot. Like maybe it was supposed to be more profound, but then wasn’t.
- Celebrity chefs. Meh. The only person that matters in that kitchen is Sookie, and tossing celebrities in there just felt out of place.
In the end, Gilmore Girls mastered the series finale that two of my favorite shows in the world botched. The Sopranos fade to black, and the Big Love matriarch arch.
While Big Love brutally murdered Bill over some nonsense lawn plot line, making it all of a sudden seem like the story and strength was always about the women, anyways (um, it wasn’t), Gilmore Girls showed the evolution of Lorelai, Rory and Emily in a way more satisfying and believable manner. We watched Lorelai stop sabotaging her partnership with Luke, we saw Rory figure out who she was without chasing a boy, and then we saw Emily grieve and then flourish without her dominant spouse.
And unlike The Sporanos, Gilmore Girls left me with enough story that after it cut to black, I was able to piece together a story myself. In my head, Rory buys a home in Stars Hollow, writes her book, runs the paper, has a daughter that she raises on her own, and spends far too many years chasing Jess.