Warning: This recap will tell you what happens in the Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life‘s fourth and final episode, “Fall.” If you don’t want to know, click elsewhere.
I had two very strong reactions to the last few moments of Gilmore Girls‘ final revival episode: Yes! and then NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO PLEASE GOD NO.
The Netflix continuation spends much of its fourth installment making repairs to, and ultimately strengthening Lorelai’s relationship with Luke — which is cause for celebration from this fan, who started holding men to a different standard way back when she first watched Luke pull a ratty horoscope out of his wallet. So seeing Luke and Lorelai tie the knot in a fairytale version of the already too-quaint-for-words town square feels like a perfect ending for the series.
But what about those heralded final four words? Well, they’re “Mom?” and “Yeah?” and “I’m pregnant,” and they most likely mean that Rory is at this very moment has a Huntzberger heir setting up house in her uterus. (You just know that kid’s already complaining to the management about the lack of turn-down service.) Logan? Logan?! With his French fiancée and his stupid good looks and his absolute wrongness for Rory?
And yes, I realize that Rory’s getting knocked up by the golden boy brings the show full circle: Lorelai, too, found herself inadvertently pregnant at an inopportune time after sleeping with a rich kid who wasn’t ready to be an adult. So it’s thematically perfect. WHATEVER.
At least I have that lingering look of yearning on Jess’ face. That gives me hope. And the ending to this episode? That just cries out for a little more Gilmore, don’t you think?
While you start your online petition for at least two more episodes, let’s review the major developments of “Fall.”
YOU JUMP, I JUMP, JACK | Let’s start with Rory. After a few very strange occurrences at work (Petal the pig runs by wearing a sign saying “Kick up a rumpus,” the computer screen showing a message that says “Get Ready”), Rory finds herself one night standing across the street from three men wearing gorilla masks and steampunk-ish hats and coats. “Well, I’ll be damned,” she says, smiling, because she knows exactly who they are: Colin, Finn and Robert, aka Logan’s friends and fellow members of Yale’s Life and Death Brigade. Oh, and look — Logan is there, too.
The guys are in town to show her a fun time, which they do. The evening includes an outdoor screening of Kirk’s indie film, a visit to a tango club (which Robert buys and immediately turns into a Rosemary Clooney tribute joint), and a road trip to New Hampshire where they crash at a bed and breakfast where they’ve booked every single room. (Side note: How gorgeous did this whole sequence look?!)
At the tango club, Logan offers Rory a key to his family’s empty house in Maine and says it’s hers for as long as she wants it; he suggests she can write her book there. She takes that key. Later, when he offers her another key that’ll unlock her own room at the B&B, she declines, kisses him, and runs upstairs with him.
But the morning shows us a very different Rory, who thanks him for “the perfect night” but hands back the key to the place in Maine. “I don’t need it. I know where I’m going to write,” she says, crying but resolute. And when she goes downstairs, she says farewell to the other three guys. (Are we supposed to find their man-boy act charming? Because stuff like throwing cash on the ground of Doose’s market and sighing “I love money” may be roguish and forgivable at 21, but it rarely flies in your 30s.) Logan reminds her that she can always call him if she needs help. “I think your days of rescuing me are over,” she responds kindly, and he says she never really needed rescuing in the first place. (Side note: I will give Logan this much — he seems to take her cutting ties with him rather hard.)
And when Rory returns to Connecticut, she settles down to work in the place that will serve her best: Richard’s study.
WILD N’ OUT? | Back in Stars Hollow, Luke is out of sorts. Jess makes him sit down and talk about it. As Luke lays out everything that led up to Lorelai’s decision to hike her feelings, Jess’ face gets grim: “It sounds like she’s leaving you,” he says when pressed to weigh in, and that’s exactly what Luke fears.
On the other side of the country, Lorelai fears that she won’t be able to fit everything she needs for the hike in her mammoth backpack. But it doesn’t matter the first day: She and the rest of the Wild-inspired wilderness women (book and movie) can’t hit the trail because the weather is going to be bad, says the park ranger played by Parenthood‘s Jason Ritter.
Lorelai bonds with some of the other ladies, including one played by Bunheads‘ Stacey Oristano, and then they all try again the next morning. But another park ranger, this one played by Parenthood‘s Peter Krause, can’t let Lorelai on the trail until she shows him her permit. And because she can’t find it… no hiking for her! Bummed, she goes to get coffee but finds the shop closed. So she takes a brief walk behind the building and runs smack into a gorgeous, green vista of mountains and trees and such. She has an epiphany. She pulls out her phone.
Lorelai calls Emily, which allows Lauren Graham to give an incredible reading of a monologue about how Richard made her feel better after she got publicly dumped on her 13th birthday. It’s the story she should’ve told after the funeral, and she knows it; Lorelai is crying throughout, and Emily just listens. “I just thought you should know,” Lorelai says in conclusion, and her mother thanks her, then holds the phone to her chest after they hang up. It’s a perfect cap to a damn near perfect scene.
FINALLY! | And just like that, Lorelai is ready to come home… which shocks Luke when she walks in right as he’s blowing on a steak so it’s cool enough for Paul Anka to eat. As usual, she takes way too long to get to her point, and Luke cuts her off so he can make an impassioned plea for her not to give up on the two of them. “I am not unhappy. I am not unsatisfied,” he says emphatically. “This, right here, is all I would ever need.” Other swoon-worthy lines include: “There is no one who will be more here for you than me,” “You need the space, and I need YOU,” and “You can’t leave. You just can’t leave!”
Finally, she gets a word in: “Luke! I think we should get married.”
Maybe it’s just my fuzzy memory, but I don’t think we’ve ever seen Luke look as happy as we do when he runs to get Lorelai’s old engagement ring. That he knows exactly where it is makes me happy. “I’ve gotta tell ya, before this thing goes on, the only way out is in a body bag,” he says, holding the ring above her finger. “And now we don’t have to write our vows,” she coos. They kiss. I kvell.
RED VINES AND RECONCILIATION | Rory shows up in the middle of the night days later, brandishing the first three chapters of her memoir. She asks her mom to read it; if Lorelai hates it, Rory will abandon the project. Lorelai reluctantly agrees. They make up and eat lots of food.
Rory also visits her dad, and it’s totally weird and awkward as she asks him, “How did you feel about mom raising me alone?” He makes a big show about what a force of nature Lorelai is and was, and how could he possibly go against her? But Rory refuses to let him off the hook. “You let her do it,” she says, and it seems like she’s close to tears the whole time. Christopher tells her he thinks everything turned out exactly the way it was supposed to, but it does not comfort her. Before the final four words, I thought this scene was very odd and kinda superfluous. But now it seems rather clear that Rory knows she’s pregnant at this point and she’s figuring out what to do, no?
IN WHICH EMILY IS EVEN MORE AWESOME | Meanwhile, the other Gilmore girl is making some big changes. First, she quits the Daughters of the American Revolution in spectacular fashion, declaring the entire thing “bulls—t” several times and drops the word “t-ts” casually into conversation before walking out of a meeting while munching on a cookie. I HAVE NEVER LOVED HER MORE.
Then, she decides that she’s going to sell the mansion and move to Nantucket. She’s already bought a house called The Sandcastle. When Lorelai questions the twee name during a visit to Hartford, Emily deadpans, “Well, the previous owners called it The Clam Shack. I guess Vagina House was taken.” Guys! Guys! This is amazing.
Lorelai is there to ask for money to buy a property in town that will serve as an annex for The Dragonfly Inn. Emily doesn’t need convincing. But Lorelai wants to use the money from the trust for Luke’s franchise, because he has zero interest in expanding his business that way. Emily agrees, with a condition: The soon-to-be-weds will spend two weeks with her each summer and one week at Christmas every year. Lorelai’s eyes shine as she says yes. Aww.
‘STILL BEST FRIENDS’ | Now it’s time for some blasts from the past! First, Rory runs into Dean at Doose’s. He’s home visiting his folks; from their chat, we can tell he’s married and living in Scranton, Pa., with three kids and a fourth on the way. She asks if she can put him in her book, but he’s hesitant until she says some really nice things about him, including “You taught me what safe feels like.” They part, and it’s warm. And if you ever want to re-live that scene, you can probably find it in the dictionary under “bittersweet.”
Over at the Dragonfly, Lorelai walks into the kitchen and immediately knows Sookie is there. Yay! The inn’s co-owner has baked exactly 4 million wedding cakes for her pal, and they reminisce a bit… before Sookie literally sniffs around and realizes that other chefs have been on her turf. Regardless, the two of them are good. “Still best friends?” “Still best friends.”
WHY WAIT? | And then all that’s left is for Luke and Lorelai to get married! But they’re so jittery the night before, they decide to jumpstart the festivities and get secretly married right away, before all the guests arrive the next day. “You’re exhausting,” Luke says to his bride right before they take off for the town square, but it’s said with so much love that I well up.
This whole episode has the whimsy cranked to 11, and the sequence that finds Luke, Rory and Lorelai riding downtown and traipsing through a twinkly-lit and flower-filled green pulls back just in time to stop it from going over the top. (So I loved the ballerinas. So sue me.) Luke and Lorelai are married in the gazebo by Rev. Skinner, with Lane and Michel as witnesses, and it’s perfect.
Hours later, as the sun is coming up, Lorelai and Rory sip Champagne on the steps of the gazebo. Paul finally breaks up with Rory via text. “Who?” Lorelai asks. (Heh.) When Rory seems sad about her current romantic state, her mom assures her that “It didn’t fit. It needs to fit, believe me.”
And then Rory drops the preggo-bomb, which leaves Lorelai aghast as the screen cuts to the credits.
Now it’s your turn. Grade both “Fall” and the revival on the whole via the polls below, then hit the comments with all of your thoughts, feelings, reactions and such. Can you even believe it’s over already?!