After waiting nearly 10 years, the Gilmore Girls have finally returned to the small screen and the town of Starts Hollow, and there is a lot to be said about the revival.
The return of Gilmore Girls is divided into four seasons, starting with Lorelai’s favorite: Winter. Throughout this first episode, the audience views how Emily, Lorelai and Rory cope with the death of Richard and how their grief impacts them in different ways as a wife, a daughter, and a granddaughter.
Emily begins to wonder who she is and what brings her joy in life in a world without Richard.
Lorelai is also starting to struggling after a confrontation with Emily. Lorelai begins to question whether her mother was right. Is she is being selfish and compartmentalizing pieces in her relationship with Luke?
In the season Spring, we see Rory starting to struggle in her own way, grasping to find her identity within her career. Her studies and her career have always come first for Rory, with intimate relationships coming in second. Rory is questioning which direction she want to follow as a journalist.
Rory’s unstable situation in her work life is paralleled in her love life, establishing a no-strings relationship with Logan Huntzberger. Logan has always represented fun and a freedom for Rory. However, it becomes apparent that this roaming free lifestyle in Rory’s work life and personal life isn’t something she can sustain forever.
Lorelai and Emily are seeing a therapist together, which is a major break for these two characters who have never been mediated together. This opportunity gives them the chance to mend their issues in the tense relationship that has build up over years.
In the Summer season, Rory steps up and decides that she is going to save the Stars Hollow Gazette, taking on the role of editor. She is ready to use her skills and education to benefit the town, and to keep a historical piece of Stars Hollow alive. The Stars Hollow Gazette has also helped to inform and shape Rory herself into the person she is today. Rory recognizes this and makes it her responsibility to return the favor.
Lorelai also worries about the structure of her career. She has lost Sookie as a chef and can’t find anyone who is up to Lorelai’s standards to replace her. Now, in the season of Summer, Lorelai faces the potential dilemma that Michel may be leaving. She fears that the team that was the foundation of her business seems to be falling apart.
Jess returns to Stars Hallow and it is evident that he is able to maintain his friendship with Rory. His advice helps to shine a light on a situation she couldn’t see herself. He provides her with insight on her career and what direction she should consider taking. Jess suggests that Rory write a book, about her and her mom and their life together.
However, Rory’s decision to pursue the book idea causes a divide between Rory and Lorelai. Lorelai has always tried to maintain her private life and keep her relationships separate; whether it was her distancing herself and Rory from Lorelai’s parents, or Lorelai keeping the men in her life at arms length from Rory growing up. It always seemed as if it was her intention to protect Rory.
Yet, Lorelai is also trying to protect herself. This parallel is also shown in Luke and Lorelai’s relationship strains. Luke claims that Lorelai has always called the shots in their relationship. The only option Lorelai has now is to take a break and to embark on a journey alone to figure out how she feels and what she wants.
During the final season of the four part series, Fall, the issue of communication arises. Jess addresses the situation between Luke and Lorelai and communication withinin their relationship. Through this, Luke comes to the realization that he may lose Lorelai.
This is not only a significant moment for Luke, but for Jess as well. Here, we see Jess’ progress in the communication department in his adult life. This is essential and allows him to break down the barriers he put up. It allows Jess to establish true friendships with Rory and Luke, people he once pushed away, and to even help them.
Logan, Collin, Robert, and Finn also return to Stars Hollow. With them, they bring back that sense of fun and freedom that they provided Rory with during her college years. They allow her to take a break from the seriousness and the stress of life and to just enjoy the stupid stunts that can make living in the moment fun. But the fun has to end at some point.
Finally, Rory runs into Dean, her first love. Her depiction of him as her first boyfriend is so important. It shows how Dean has impacted Rory’s life, regardless of fans who don’t approve of Dean. Rory highlights how he taught her what safety felt like, a valuable lesson she needed in her life. Rory claims that she’s glad they met when they did because she wouldn’t be the person she is today. This is a great example that shows how the people of Stars Hollow – from The Stars Hollow Gazette, to Dean, to Lorelai – have greatly shaped Rory’s life.
In a moment of clarity, Lorelai is finally able to reflect on the one instance that stood out to her about Richard. This scene finally gives Lorelai a sense of insight, understanding and closure to Lorelai’s relationship with her father. She is now starting to embrace the journey of coping through seeing her father more clearly now after he is gone.
When Lorelai returns to Stars Hallow, Luke lays it all out on the table for her. He is willing to sacrifice anything for her, telling her she can’t leave, that he needs her most of all. Lorelai responds by asking Luke to marry her. This idea of marriage has been a uneasy subject for the two and their history together. But it is this point in Lorelai and Luke’s relationship shows how valuable and meaningful time and patience are. “It needs to fit,” Lorelai states at the end.
Lorelai’s complications with her work life also receive a sense of closure when Sookie returns. It shows that Lorelai, Sookie and Michel’s relationship with one another hasn’t changed. Even if they aren’t working together anymore, their bond displays how their business was always made from the foundation of friendship; and how that friendship intertwined with creating a business.
Rory eventually returns to Lorelai on her own terms. She doesn’t apologize for the book idea, because it is something she believes in and wants so desperately. Instead, Rory offers Lorelai a proposal. This scene displays exactly how Rory’s relationship with her mother is more important than her career. And in that moment, we the audience, realize that Rory’s relationship with her mother has always and will always be the number one, most important thing in her life.
Even Christopher, Rory’s father, knows that Lorelai’s relationship with Rory is exactly the way it was supposed to happen. “From the first moment I saw you two, I knew no one was getting between you two,” he says. Rory is no longer the 16 year old girl who so desperately wants her parents to be together. Rory finally understands that her relationship with her mother is more special and more important than her parents being together.
Emily comes upon her own realizations and the need for changes. She makes the decision to sell her and Richard’s home. Emily is finding who she is and who she wants to be after the loss of Richard. She finds her passions and pursues them and accepts and embraces the changes that comes with that. It is interesting to see a character who is so against change welcome it into their life. Emily not only supports the idea of change, but she needs it. Change helps Emily to keep living her life and not let “it die with Richard.”
Towards the end, Lorelai tells Rory that she is not going to read Rory’s book until it is complete. By allowing Rory to follow through with her passions, this act displays the trust Lorelai has in Rory as a daughter and as a friend to write their story with honor, integrity and truth.
Finally, the final four words the creator Amy Sherman-Palladino are released into the world:
Rory: “I’m pregnant.”
Similar to Lorelai situation when she was pregnant with Rory, Rory is now pregnant. She isn’t married, nor does she have the support of a partner. But she has something that Lorelai never had: the unconditional and full support of a mother. A mother who will help her get through this pregnancy and to help raise this child, if that is what Rory chooses to do.
Gilmore Girls always focused on the mother-daughter relationship between Lorelai and Rory. Their bond, their friendship, and their little family was always what the story was about. Rory’s decision to re-tell that story in the past through the present is deeply meaningful to these two characters and their journeys, both together and apart. But the potential to continue that story with Rory’s child allows the Gilmore Girls story to come full circle while still continuing on their journey together.
In addition to the amazing job of the writers in the Gilmore Girls revival, it is extraordinarily commendable how these actors brought life back to these beloved characters. Lauren Graham returns as Lorelai, seemingly without even missing a beat. It is as if the fast talking, quick witted, bantering coffee addict never left. The growth and relationship between the characters and how these scenes were carried out is truly admirable. The banter between Lorelai and Rory seems natural, as if you can see Rory becoming more and more like her mother in her witty manner of speaking between the duo.
Although there was a scene or two there that may have been shortened, such as the 10 minute scene devoted to the Stars Hollow musical, it all great impacted the story. To some viewers, there were scenes that may seem less important or may even be deemed as ‘skip-able’. But it is important to remember that every scene that involves the people of Stars Hollow is essential. These scenes bring back that same life and rhythm by the people of Stars Hollow. It brings back the same feelings to a show that began 15 years ago. But this story isn’t just about Lorelai and Rory. It is all the characters that were brought to life and made the show the great story that it is; and the great story that it will be as Rory’s book, Gilmore Girls.