REVIEW: Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life – (Fall: Episode 4).
Amy Sherman-Palladino‘s much anticipated ‘final four words’ has pleased some and angered others. The four words, which were originally intended to conclude the original series, is finally revealed.
The “full circle” arch throughout this series comes apparent as the episode slowly reaches its end. During Fall there are laughs, cheers, tears and a heavy-set of nostalgia as we say farewell to the characters for (most probably) the last time.
Fall picks up from Summer, as Lorelai prepares for her Wild – the book, not the movie – adventure. Opening with Lorelai in this fish-out-of-water scenario already alludes to audiences that this finale will explorer richer aspects of the characters from Stars Hallow.
Rory, likewise, has a similar out-of-water experience as she picks up obscure clues in a noire-styled Stars Hallow. Ultimately it leads to the Life & Death Brigade to further enhance the nostalgic moments of this series. Their return is a fun callback to Rory’s glory days in Yale and it’s always a joy to see Colin and Finn babble onscreen. Yet it’s somewhat annoying that Logan returns despite Rory having the courage to end the ‘relationship’ in Summer.
It’s even more annoying to witness Rory casually have sex with Logan despite calling off their romance. Sure, it allowed Logan-shippers to have a satisfying ending, but surely this entire Life & Death Brigade escapade could have happened with the two as ‘just friends’ opposed to hooking up and then ending things.
“Every ride has to end” states Rory.
Lorelai of course doesn’t end up hiking. It would be hard to even imagine her in that situation. Instead coffee leads Lorelai to the self-discovery she had sought. A Year in the Life‘s writing has intelligently linked several plot-lines together, and it’s allowed truly raw material for Lauren Graham and Kelly Bishop to handle. As Lorelai recalls a story of Richard to Emily, it’s difficult to hold back the tears.
While this episode may seem histrionic with its various emotional moments, it works because as viewers we’ve become attached to these characters lives. For example, Luke professing his undying love for Lorelai is just a heart-melting moment, as fans can truly appreciate that the couple are actually happy together. Or how about that flashback?
Even moments like Miss Celine and Sookie returning can influence tears of nostalgia. They’re simple scenes but they work. Things are a “full circle” and never-changing, so much so that Emily recites Richard’s line “You need money” to Lorelai and makes her oblige to regular visits – just like the infamous Friday Night Dinners.
Much praise has been poured out to Kelly Bishop within these reviews. The way she characterised this newly fledged Emily Gilmore was fantastic. No one could ever have guessed how satisfying it was hearing Emily call out “bullshit” to someone with “big tits”. This is no longer Mrs. Emily Richard Gilmore, this is now Emily Gilmore, the independent woman who’s given a new purpose in life.
But now the story goes back to Rory. Lorelai has fulfilled her storyline by marrying Luke, and Emily has fulfilled hers by rediscovering herself. Now, Rory is the same age as we begun the series with Lorelai. She’s single, she’s attempting to write a book (similar to Lorelai attempting to start-up the Dragonfly Inn). Yet most important of all [SPOILER] she’s pregnant.
Much is undefined about Rory’s future, just as the show had started for Lorelai. When the show had started, we knew what the plan was for this little girl:
Study at Harvard, become a journalist at the New York Times and avoid the life which Lorerai had lived.
Whilst this may all be in-your-face, Rory’s plan failed and instead she’s followed the “full circle” to end up just like her mother was.
Is it a satisfying ending? Personally, I loved the open ending. It leaves us to speculate about what Rory’s future could be like. I also accept why others may disagree. But now, we at least know how Amy Sherman-Palladino intended Gilmore Girls to end.