This is the Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life spoiler filled recap for Episode 4, “Fall.” Now we can finally see how Amy Sherman-Palladino originally envisioned the series to end. It’s been 16 years, one month, and 20 days since the series premiered on October 5, 2000, and the end is in sight.
Without further ado, let’s finish up our journey with the Gilmores, shall we? Grab your tissues and a pillow to hug because you’re going to need them.
Fresh from her departure from Stars Hollow, we catch up with Lorelai in a typical through-hiker’s motel. Sparse on the amenities, but with enough space to fit six people on the floor if they don’t twitch much. She’s surrounded by everything that someone at the local Gander Mountain told her she’d need for her hike, and spends some hilarious moments trying to fit everything inside. She’s obviously lost in more ways than one, but the next morning, she gamely heads out the door on her way.
After meeting up with fellow book hikers (there’s an important distinction between book and movie hikers, after all), they are cautioned to not start out just yet by a well-meaning park ranger, played by Jason Ritter. Groaning, all of the hikers head back to their rooms for another night in the most comfortable motel in a hundred miles in any direction.
Back in Stars Hollow, Rory is unlocking the front door to The Stars Hollow Gazette, which is kept locked by Esther and Joe. As she boots up her computer, the mysterious words, “Get Ready” appear momentarily on screen. A few minutes later, Kirk’s pig, Petal, runs by with a sign that says, “Kick up a rumpus.” This episode is taking a decidedly David Lynch turn.
In an even eerier scene, Jess walks into a very quiet Luke’s Diner. Everyone is looking at their computer because someone got the actual Wi-Fi password. Luke is a little bewildered, still in shock from Lorelai’s abrupt departure. Jess sits him down and listens while Luke rambles on about Lorelai heading off to do the Wild hike and seeing a therapist on her own. He tells Jess that he’s afraid that Lorelai is going to leave him. As Jess leaves, he rips the Wi-Fi router out, sending the customers running for more bandwidth.
Back to the northwest and Lorelai, where she manages to bond with other book readers over box wine. The others are on the trip in an effort to restart their lives, while Lorelai confesses to feeling stuck. It’s okay Lorelai, we’ve all been there.
Back to Stars Hallow, where it’s night, and Rory is walking to the Gazette. Overhead, a neon sign that reads, “FLOWERS” flickers and changes to, “TONIGHT.” A fellow on a unicycle pedals past reciting a bit of Shakespeare, “By the pricking of my thumb, something wicked this way comes.” Overhead, a raven calls out Rory’s name repeatedly. Rory runs to the Gazette office, finding it unlocked, where Esther says ominously, “In Omnia Paratus.”
“I’ll be damned,” Rory says, as three masked figures walk out of the fog. It’s the Life and Death Brigade, here to take Rory out for an adventure.
Colin, Finn, Robert, and Logan hand Rory a blue Victorian-style dress and the five of them head out to the strains of “With a Little Help From My Friends” (The superb version from the movie Across The Universe). Along the way, they break into stores, leaving money scattered in their wake as they hit golf balls across streets, raid Doose’s for supplies, and eventually end up at a tango club.
Rory and Logan share a quiet moment, where he offers Rory the use of his family house in Maine. There’s a gardener who will care for her and a housekeeper who visits twice per week to do the shopping and cooking. Rory accepts the key as Robert purchases the tango club because he’s tired of listening to tango music. Instead, the club must now play all Rosemary Clooney, all the time.
Later, the LADB end up at an Inn that they have bought out. Logan rented Rory her own room because he isn’t sure where they stand. Rory decides to spend one more night with Logan.
In the morning, Rory is looking out the window, pondering the mysteries of the universe, and watching the sun come up while Logan sleeps. He wakes up and tells her to come back to bed for a while. He can’t stay because he has to catch a flight at noon. Rory makes the difficult decision and returns Logan’s key, saying she knows where she’s going to write.
She then bids adieu to the Brigade in a manner that’s meant to elicit strains of The Wizard of Oz, with Robert as the Tin Man, Colin as the Cowardly Lion, and Finn as the Scarecrow. She then bids a farewell to Logan, thanking him for her very own Mr. Toad’s wild ride.
And, in a move that crushed the hopes of millions of Team Logan fans worldwide, he carefully places her hat on her head, brushes some hair out of her eyes, and takes a pretend snapshot, “…just like that.” And with that, Logan and Rory are done.
Back to Lorelai, a new park ranger, played by Lauren Graham’s real life guy, Peter Krause, is standing there to view her permit. She can’t find her permit, and despite her wheedling and attempts at bribery, he will not let her pass. Defeated, Lorelai trudges back to the Halfway House Cafe in search of some coffee. Finally, she admits, “I hate nature.”
She climbs a small hill and discovers a gorgeous vista. Taking a deep breath, she calls her mother to tell her the real Richard story that she wishes she had told at the wake.
Lorelai admits to stealing her mom’s shirt on her 13th birthday and wearing it to Chilton, thinking she looked so grown up. There, her new boyfriend, Royston, told Lorelai that she looked cheap and that the only reason he was dating her was because he was mad at Angie Morgan, but he wasn’t anymore. Heartbroken, Lorelai fled to the mall, where she ran into her dad.
She waited for Richard to yell at her or to tell her how disappointed he was in her. But instead, he got her a giant pretzel covered in mustard and took her to the movies, and bought her popcorn and red-hots. Richard covered her with his sweater to hide the stolen shirt and they never spoke of it again. It was the best birthday she ever had.
Emily, clearly touched, simply says, “Thank you Lorelai.”
With that, Lorelai tapes a “free” sign to her backpack, abandons it by a dumpster and heads home.
She walks in on Luke as he’s blowing on a steak for Paul Anka and starts to ramble at him in typical Lorelai fashion. Luke stops her and goes off on a rambling rant of his own.
“You’re getting ready to leave me, and I have to tell you it’s a big mistake…I don’t care what anybody says. Needing space is never a good thing. Ever. I needed space before. I needed space with Nicole and we got divorced. I mean, that’s what ‘needing space’ means. It means, ‘I need space and an attorney.’…this right here is all I will ever need. I never thought that it would happen. That you and me… that we would happen. But we did. Listen, I know I am not the easiest guy in the world to build a life with and to share a house with, but there is no one who will be more here for you than me. I will never leave. I will never think about leaving. I will do whatever it takes to fix what’s wrong…”
Lorelai interrupts Luke’s rant and tells him that she wants to get married. She’s already picked out a date and it’s all set. Luke tromps out of the room and gets the ring. The same ring that he had given her during their first engagement. It’s okay if you’re getting a little weepy here. Everyone is.
We then zip over to Emily, who’s on vacation with Jack in Nantucket. She pretty much kicks him out when he says he has to go back to Hartford on business. She heads out to a whaling museum on her own, wandering around and seeming to find something she likes. She then leaves a message for Rory, telling her that the house is empty and free for Rory to use.
Rory heads into the house and we walk through memories with her. Super-imposed images of early episodes combine with voice-overs that remind us of everything that’s happened in that house. There’s a note on a chalkboard from Richard that Emily has left, saying, “Emily, I beg of you. Cheese!” Eventually, Rory ends up in Richard’s study, where Rory’s painted portrait hangs. She pulls out her laptop and starts typing with a vengeance.
A quick cut to the interior of The Dragonfly where Michel is helping Lorelai interview his replacement. Michel doesn’t like anyone, of course. Lorelai heads out and discovers that Pretty Pastures, a local retirement home, is closing. She grabs a one-sheet on the property, but not before being told that Katy Perry is interested in the place.
That night, Rory and Lorelai reconnect over a reconciliation feast of Red Vines, leftover Chinese food, strawberry Pop-Tarts, ice cream, and, of course, coffee. Rory hands Lorelai the first three chapters of her book, telling her to read it. If Lorelai doesn’t like it, Rory won’t write it. But nothing has ever come that easy to her.
After the reconciliation, we get to see Emily sitting bored in a DAR meeting. The ladies are interviewing a prospective new member, a buxom blonde in a cleavage-exposing dress. Emily gets tired of the entire process and it’s amazing. She says bulls*** a bunch of times, scoffs at the new trophy wife’s big hair and breasts, and proceeds to school the new wife on her place in this world. Afterward, the rest of the DAR board tells her she’s out, to which Emily just replies that the DAR has been dead to her since Richard passed.
Flash to Rory visiting Christopher at his office. In hindsight, this entire awkward conversation makes so much sense, but at first viewing, it’s just a little wince inducing. Rory asks him how he felt about letting Lorelai raise Rory on her own, and Log..err..Christopher admits that it was for the best.
The rest of the two-hour episode flies by. Emily begins to pack up the old house in preparation to move to Nantucket. Lorelai visits and asks for money to buy the retirement home to expand The Dragonfly. Emily adds her own hook, telling Lorelai that she has to agree to a week in Nantucket over Christmas and two weeks in the summer. Everything is coming full circle.
Dean makes his cameo in a bittersweet meeting with Rory where she admits that Dean taught her what safe felt like. Next, Sookie pops up and shows off the ten different designs for Lorelai and Luke’s wedding cake. There’s a brief story shared between the two of them that makes us wish that Melissa McCarthy hadn’t become such a big star, because the easy rapport between them is so wonderful.
Later, Kirk shows up, lamenting that he has ruined the commons and the decorations. Lorelai and Rory sit at the kitchen table and Lorelai gives Rory her blessing to finish the book. Rory shows the chapters to Jess excitedly, and as Jess and Luke leave, Luke asks him if he’s over her. Jess says that he’s way over, but there’s a long glance through the window that gives lie to that. Maybe there’s hope for Team Jess after all.
Later that night, Lorelai and Luke are comparing notes about how they’ve each prepared flash mobs for the impending nuptials and about how nervous they both are. Lorelai reminds Luke that Reverend Skinner is up late on Bingo Night.
Waking Rory, Luke and Lorelai head to the town square where the decorations that Kirk feared he had ruined were actually perfect. Lorelai and Luke say their “I do’s” and share a waltz set to Sam Phillips’ “Reflecting Light.” This is the same song that they first danced to at Liz and TJ’s wedding before they were a couple. Everything is coming full circle.
Dawn breaks, and Rory and Lorelai are sitting at the steps of the gazebo where we first saw them in “Winter.” Rory gets a text from Paul where he breaks up with her and after some banter, we get those final four words.
Rory: “I’m pregnant.”
And with that, everything has come full circle. Fade to black. End.
So, Rory is still single, and there’s still some question as to who the father of her baby is. We suspect it’s Logan, but who knows. For as many threads as this revival tied off, it left just as many loose and waving around. There is a feeling that Logan would react a lot differently than Christopher in this situation, so would Rory even tell him?
Here’s hoping that the revival is popular enough that Netflix will greenlight a second revival. For all of its ups and downs, for all of the unevenness of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this was an amazing journey back to Stars Hollow and one well worth the price of admission.
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life is currently streaming on Netflix wherever Netflix is available.
[Featured Image by Netflix]