The beloved series with a mother and daughter who act more like sisters, Gilmore Girls has returned as a four part event on Netflix. This long-awaited return to Stars Hollow is a welcome treat for fans. What’s been going on in the Gilmore Girls lives since last we’ve seen them in 2007? How much did Lorelai and Rory change? And are the residents of Stars Hollow still as quirky as ever?
The Miller Twins and The Nerdy Girl Express writers Stacy and Tracy Miller discuss the events of each season themed episode. What do these sisters have to say about the characters, actors and plot? Read on as we journey back to Stars Hollow and Gilmore Girls. You can come home again.
This article contains spoilers so if you haven’t seen Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life Episode 4 “Fall” please do not continue reading.
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life ends its story with “Fall” and this installment serves to thread together some plot points from its three predecessors as well as cook up a big surprise within the final moments. Mysteries apparently don’t hold the patent on suspense hooks. I feel that the underlining theme of “Fall” is that life marches on with the intent of coming full circle.
Lorelai’s Wild adventure, or as I like to call it “walking the path towards self discovery”, is not without challenges. Nothing good ever comes from over packing, but it seems that Ms. Gilmore never got that memo. So, we witness some hilarious moments with Lorelai waging a battle with a very stuffed backpack. A losing battle I might add. Items are overflowing determined to escape their confinement. While it is good to prepare for emergencies if you are planning a hike into nature, did Lorelai really need all of the stuff that she packed?
Back in Stars Hollow, Rory is still proceeding at her mundane task as an unpaid editor for the Stars Hollow Gazette (a career slow dance if ever there was one) when she is unexpectedly “kidnapped” by The Life and Death Brigade. Fans of the original series will remember The Life and Death Brigade as the secret society at Yale that uttered the Latin phrase ‘In Omnia Paratus’ and wore gorilla masks, before they spirited Rory away to an unknown location for some strange activities and daring stunts while she was dressed in a ball gown. A 1930s inspired ball gown I might add. This time around the gorilla masks are back but Rory knows the identities of the mystery men from the outset: They are Finn, Colin and Robert. Okay, confession time. I remembered Finn and Colin but I had no idea who Robert was. I started to think that he was a plot contrivance created just for the revival much like the very forgettable Paul. But I later learned that Robert had been a proud Life and Death Brigade member in the original series. My apologies Robert for forgetting you. But I digress. The final Life and Brigade member in this present day scenario is Logan. Soon the group is off to their adventure which includes rooftop golfing, dancing the tango in a club, and drinking. Later, Rory and Logan end their affair at a bed and breakfast.
Rewind a little bit: Logan offered Rory the keys to his family’s house in Maine so she can write her book. Rory refused this big gesture. However, she does end up writing her book at her grandparents’ house in Hartford. I loved the directorial choices in the scenes where Rory is walking through the various rooms of the mansion and we are treated to some voice overs and scenes from the original series.
Returning to the Wild, Lorelai bonds with other Wild participants (she learns their life stories and they learn a few details about her) before we are treated to a hilarious scene where Lorelai can’t find her hiking permit in her mess of a backpack. She tries her seductive charms to get the by-the-book park ranger to let her hike, but Mr. Ranger will not be “Gilmored”. It’s no hike for Lorelai and no coffee as well for the restaurant is closed. Lorelei continues walking before discovering a beautifully picturesque spot in nature. She calls Emily and offers a long guarded memory of a special moment she shared with Richard. Lorelai’s anecdotal tribute to her father is so poignant that I was crying along with her as she shared the tale. In addition, I felt that it was the right time to tell Emily this story. In a way, I think that it offered some healing for both mother and daughter.
Thereafter, Lorelai makes the decision to forget the Wild hike and leaves her uncooperative backpack behind before heading back to Stars Hollow. Anybody want some free junk?
At Casa Gilmore, Luke is feeding Paul Anka when he is surprised by Lorelai’s unexpected return. When she says that she has something to tell him, he misconstrued her intent figuring that she is going to break up with him. But this great Danes won’t go down without a fight; Luke offers a passionate appeal as to why they belong together. Yet, Luke’s anxiety proved for naught because Lorelai never planned to break up with Luke: she wants them to get married sooner rather than later. In fact, she made all of the arrangements.
Meanwhile, Rory goes to see her father. The emotional detachment between Rory and Christopher is quite evident. Rory tells Christopher that Luke and Lorelai are getting married. She also updates him on her book project before asking him whether he was okay about being an absentee father. Christopher honestly tells her that Lorelai raising her as a single parent was what was meant to be. I was initially confused as to why Rory felt the need to revisit this ancient history. But we were given some foreshadowing here if the final four words of “A Year in the Life” are any indication.
Between wedding preparations, Lorelai discovers a possible location for the Dragonfly Inn’s expansion. She goes to see Emily. Emily Gilmore drops her own bombshell: she is selling the house and moving to Nantucket. When Lorelai asks her mother if she can use Luke’s trust account money to buy the Stars Hollow property she found in order to expand the Dragonfly, Emily agrees on one condition: The money is Lorelai’s if she agrees to come with Luke and spend a few weeks each summer and Christmas time with Emily in Nantucket.
The Nantucket pact is reminiscent of the weekly Friday night dinners that was the condition of the Gilmores lending Lorelai the money for Rory to attend Chilton. Lorelei agrees.
Later in Doose’s Market while picking up some items for Lorelai, Rory runs into Dean. This is the moment that Supernatural fans everywhere were waiting for: Jared Padalecki is back as the original Dean, Dean Forester! I can imagine that some Jared fans were impatient and fast forwarded the revival just so they could watch Jared’s scene first. But I was proud of myself because I weathered my impatience and watched each season of the revival in order before “falling” into the long awaited Dean Forester moment and his character redemption. I admit that I was somewhat distracted because Jared looked so much like Sam Winchester that I almost expected to hear him tell Rory that he was in Doose’s to pick up some pie for his older brother before they went off on a “hunting trip”. Instead we learned that Dean Forester was in town visiting his parents, he lives in Scranton, he has three children with his wife Jenny and that she is pregnant again with a girl and that his sister Clara is living in Berlin with some guy that Dean hates named Wolfgang who climbs bridges dressed as an ignition switch and calls Clara “Ra”. What I liked about this scene is that Dean sounded happy. He found a woman who loved him and he built a life with her. Rory tells Dean that she’s writing a book about The Gilmore Girls and that she wants to include him in the book. Dean is justifiably apprehensive but Rory plans to talk about him as being the best boyfriend. Thank you Rory and thank you Amy Sherman- Palladino and Daniel Palladino for giving Dean Forester the proper send off.
In the Gilmore kitchen, Lorelai returns Rory’s manuscript. She didn’t read the first three chapters that Rory had written. Rather, Lorelai gives Rory her blessing to finish writing the book and that she will read the completed product. One suggestion Lorelai does make is that Rory should drop the “The” in the book title and just call it “Gilmore Girls”.
At the Dragonfly, Lorelai walks into the kitchen and is treated to a slew of culinary masterpieces: gorgeous wedding cakes of various styles. Yes! Sookie is back! I loved Sookie and Lorelai’s brief reunion. It was both honest and quirky just like their relationship.
Luke and Lorelai’s wedding is destined to be a big Stars Hollow gathering but the couple makes the decision to have a smaller ceremony first. It was beautiful and magical and so befitting for Luke and Lorelai. Here’s to Mr. and Mrs. Luke Danes enjoying a long and happy life together filled with love and coffee!
In the final scene of “Fall” , Rory makes a revelation that I didn’t see coming: She’s pregnant!
Gilmore Girls has come full circle.
This is a cliffhanger if ever there was one. I really hope that the Palladinos and Netflix gives us a second season because as far as I’m concerned, where Gilmore Girls leads, I will follow.
Although I was excited to see how the year would end for the Gilmore Girls, I knew that with Episode 4 “Fall” the Gilmore Girls saga would be over (unless we get a second season…please Netflix and the powers that be?)
The episode begins with Lorelai in her motel room with all her life’s possessions a/k/a hiking gear. As any fan of Gilmore Girls knows, Lorelai is the queen of hoarders, her idea of spring cleaning is moving one item from one pile to the other without tossing anything. So, Lorelai has a battle of wills with her backpack. She’s going to get it closed, darn it. If it can’t go inside, outside of the backpack works too. After all, that’s what packing tape was invented for- to seal stuff in…and out. Lorelai is ready to hit the trail. She meets and gets to know the other hikers. Most of these women decided to go on the journey after life altering changes like a death in the family and an end of a relationship via divorce. One of the worst things about over packing is the inability to find what you need…like your hiking permit. And I have to say, I really enjoyed seeing Lorelai Graham’s fellow Parenthood actors Peter Krause and Jason Ritter as the park rangers authorizing the hikers’ entrances. Though Parenthood’s Adam Braverman would have never given Sarah the hassle that Ranger Krause gave Lorelai!
No permit, no hike. Lorelai stops at a diner to get some coffee but unfortunately, it is closed. Looking over the scenic view, Lorelai calls her mother. The memorable moment with Richard Gilmore story Lorelai shares with Emily is very poignant and shows that Richard was a loving father sensitive to his teenage daughter’s feelings. It made me love the character and miss the late Edward Hermann even more. Lorelai leaves her backpack with a ‘FREE’ sign taped and heads home.
Back in Stars Hollow, Jess notices that Luke is out of sorts. Luke admits that things have not been going well between he and Lorelai. They are keeping secrets from each other and now Lorelai is off on a nature hike, total un-Lorelai. So, Luke reasons that Lorelai is planning on breaking up with him. Jess offers an ear and his support. I love the mature Jess Mariano, he grew up to be a great man and Luke definitely should be proud.
Meanwhile, Rory sees some strange things going on outside The Gazette office. It’s almost like a real live Hitchcock movie. What could it be? The Life and Death Brigade of course! Colin, Finn, Robert and especially Logan are in Stars Hollow to give Rory a memorable night which includes getting provisions at Doose’s Market, (At first I thought they were stealing but then they rain cash down on the place) rooftop golf, watching Kirk’s movie in the park and finally going to a members only Latin Club. Logan offers Rory a key to a family home in Maine as a quiet place to write but Rory declines as she already knows where she plans to write. Rory says goodbye to Logan (Sorry Team Logan fans).
When Lorelai arrives home, Luke immediately assumes that she’s there to break up with him and gives a passionate speech in which he confesses his love and commitment. Lorelai’s doesn’t want to break up. “Let’s get married,” she says.
Rory arrives at her grandparents house to write her book. In a touching scene, Rory remembers Friday night dinners. It’s scenes like these that make the Gilmores feel like a real family. The next day, Rory comes to see her mother and gives Lorelai the first three chapters of her book and offers a deal: If Lorelai reads it and doesn’t like it, Rory won’t write anything further.
Emily is tired of the DAR (Daughters of the America Revolution) and the games they play when interviewing the latest “trophy wife” for admission. The usually refined Emily Gilmore’s language is enough for the organization to relieve her of her position. But Emily doesn’t care. In fact, she has decided to sell the Gilmore home and move to Nantucket.
Rory and first love Dean Forester get closure when they bump into each other at Doose’s Market. Dean mentions that he is in town visiting his family. They catch up and Rory tells him about her book and asks whether it is okay to include him. “Names changed to protect the innocent but you’ll know it’s you.” I like that Rory plans to tell the world that Dean was a great first boyfriend that she should have met when she was older and how he helped her become the person she is. One small nitpick – Dean leaves Doose’s Market empty handed. Why did he come in if he wasn’t there to buy anything? Dean Forester is happily married with three children and a baby girl on the way (Sorry Team Dean fans).
Preparations for the Lorelai Gilmore/Luke Danes wedding is underway. Kirk is depressed to verge of illness thinking he ruined the special day with his new decoration ideas. Jess is also at Casa Luke and Lorelai being Jess-like, making comments while reading a book. Jess leaves but looks at Rory through the window with a look of love and longing (Sorry Team Jess fans).
In addition to Jared Padalecki, the other person I wanted back for the Gilmore Girls revival was Melissa McCarthy. Although Sookie’s appearance was brief, it was great to see her play a part in Luke and Lorelai’s wedding by making several wedding cakes for them to choose.
Luke and Lorelai decide to elope the night before their actual wedding in a very romantic but small ceremony with Rory, Lane and Michel in attendance.
But it was the last scene of Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life that threw fans like myself for a loop: Rory announced to Lorelai “I’m pregnant.” A real OMG moment. We CAN’T be left with this huge cliffhanger… SEASON TWO MUST HAPPEN!!!
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