Gilmore Girls for the First Time: The Epic Conclusion

I did it.  I made it to the top of the mountain.  I came, I saw, I watched the whole series.  We have a lot to cover so let’s get right into it!  Big SPOILERS below the fold!

The second half of this season had some fun moments, but overall I thought it wasn’t quite as great.  Mostly I found myself annoyed at choices that characters were making, up to and including yelling, “Grow Up!!!” at Lorelai about a million times.  Let’s break this down into major events:

Rory & Dean: Redux a.k.a. Rory & Dean: Part Barf

If it wasn’t clear before, this makes it absolutely clear: Rory makes terrible decisions and has terrible taste in men.  Married Dean and (still a virgin temporarily!) Rory sleep together and start up a romance, thus officially ending Dean’s super sad marriage.  Rory is a cheater and should be ashamed of herself.  She can lie to herself all she wants, but Lorelai is right about all of this – he wasn’t separated from Wassername and he had no immediate plans to be!  Dean comes off especially bad this time around because of course he wants to fight Jess when he shows back up (even his anger issues are boring!) but then he tries to fight Luke for basically being from Stars Hollow?  Just garbage all around.  Let’s move on!

Rory quits Yale!

This is getting ahead a little bit to explain it, but Logan’s family doesn’t like Rory because she’s a career woman, so his father gives her an internship out of guilt (probably), and then he tells her she can’t cut it as a journalist.  She flips out and quits Yale because the only reason you should go to an Ivy League school for free is if you know exactly what you want to do for a career and everyone you’ve ever talked to agrees that you’ll be great at it.  I didn’t know 20 year-olds could throw tantrums, but Rory really nailed it.  The whole time I kept thinking, “Do you know how lucky you are??” This is where Lorelai should have taken a page out of Mrs. Kim’s book and yelled, “This is not the daughter I raised!!”  First of all, most people have no idea what they want to do when they grow up and a huge number of people go to school to find out.  Take some electives, join some clubs, talk to people other than Paris and Logan, and get over yourself!  Second, ONE person said something kind of mean.  So take the criticism or get inspired to prove him wrong, or something!  Don’t just roll over and admit defeat!  It all comes down to me yelling “Grow up!” at Rory.  The other thing that bugged me most about it was that Logan’s family essentially didn’t like her because she wanted a real job and wasn’t going to be a country club wife and then the next thing she does is quit school (her career) and becomes a country club wife.  This tells you exactly what’s happening if nothing else will:

They’re basically wearing the same jacket.  Rory is becoming Emily.  However, the redeeming quality of this whole storyline was when Emily told off Logan’s mom and called her trashy.  Classic.  Rory decides to go back to Yale basically because Jess (whom she kisses!  Cheater!!) tells her she’s not being herself.  While it’s true, it’s just another instance of Rory letting the men in her life define her.

Side note: I loved how Emily decorated the pool house for Rory.  It’s probably the only time I’d agree with Emily’s choices.

Rory & Lorelai Fight!

Ugh.  This story.  This whole fight could have been avoided if Lorelai had acted like a grown up.  Don’t get me wrong, she was right, Rory shouldn’t have quit Yale, but she made it a fight because of how she reacted.  She made it even worse by not telling Rory she got engaged to Luke!  That, in my mind, was almost unforgivable because it was just petty.  I think it was natural that they were going to have a big fight sooner or later, but I still felt like Lorelai should have been the adult in the situation.  What was she even trying to do when she stopped by Rory picking up trash on the side of the road??

Rory & Logan: A Love Story!

So Rory and Logan met when he was badgering her friend Marty about needing to work as a bartender (“He needs a JOB!  How quaint!”), so I pretty much instantly hated him.  Then when Emily & Richard flipped their shit about Logan’s family and how great they all were, I kind of doubly hated him.  He was just the quintessential entitled rich kid who had everything handed to him.  Let’s not forget that Rory was kind of into him before things were over with Dean (no surprise, CHEATER!).  All that said, he was better looking than the guys in Stars Hollow and had some very charming moments.  I appreciated that he knew what the right thing to do was (like when Richard was in the hospital) and took Rory’s side against his dad.  My biggest issue with Rory & Logan was the thing he did over and over where he acted like a dick to Rory, she got pissed, and he acted like she was in the wrong for getting pissed (“So I slept with like 5 of my sister’s friends, what’s the big DEAL???”).  Then, to make matters worse, she was such a pushover with him that she eventually agreed with him!  Some of the stuff he did was pretty typical for a guy that age, but he never seemed to grow up.  I was pretty glad when Rory said no to his proposal, mostly because of how poorly timed it was.  At Emily & Richard’s house?  In front of a bunch of strangers?  She didn’t even seem that sad when it was over.

Side note: how great was it when she told the priest that she’s already taken Logan to the Bone Zone?  Then when Emily & Richard freaked out about it!

Lorelai & Luke: A Love Story! a.k.a. Lorelai Barfs all over her life: Christopher Edition!

Oh boy, where do we even start?  I think this whole story would be more believable (or tolerable) if Lorelai were 22-26, but she’s a decade older than that!  I know I complained before that Luke was not dreamy enough, but I liked him a lot better once he and Lorelai were actually together, probably because he smiled more.  He was great to her and the fact that she freaked out and forced him to elope one night or lose her forever was never fair.  She told him that postponing the wedding was okay and by the time she made that weird demand, I don’t even think they had gotten to their original wedding date.  The guy just found out he has a 12-year-old daughter, cut him some freaking slack!!  Sleeping with Chris that night was a childish move.  Telling Luke about it was even more childish.  Getting back together with Chris was lazy (come on, Lorelai, maybe go to a singles event in a nearby city!) and eloping with him in France was impulsively immature (“we had sex and he paid a lot for the restaurant to open early!  Totes worth marrying, omg!”).  Don’t get me wrong, Christopher is just as immature (the “let’s make a baby right NOW or else!” conversation pretty much proves that) and I kind of think they deserve each other.  But once they broke up, I knew they’d get her back with Luke even though if Luke were a believably written character, I don’t think he’d ever be able to trust her re. Christopher again.  You could make the case that she had her chance with him and it didn’t work, but if I were him I’d always wonder about her feelings for him.  I was also very disappointed we would never get to see their wedding (where Rory inevitably cheats on whomever she’s with with Jess).

Lane & Band Guy: What’s his name again?

Oh Lane.  Remember Adam Brody?  Do you remember him?  Because this guy you chose is a sad comparison to Adam Brody.  I’m so sorry that you had bad sex once and ended up with two kids immediately.  Poor thing didn’t even get to have fun with it!  I’m glad the relationship with her mom got better (again, shout out to Mrs. Kim killing it with “This is not the daughter I raised!” and sending her kid’s band on tour!) and it really seems like she was happy at the end of the story.  Her husband does have his charms and he clearly loves her, so Mazel Tov!

Other Loose Ends:

One thing that became much more apparent in the 2nd half of the series is how often people throw money at problems.  I had real classist issues with Logan and the world Rory started to inhabit (I guess it comes with the territory at Yale but also she chose to be a part of that world), but I think my real issue was a storytelling one in that any time Rory or Lorelai had a real problem, someone comes in with a big pile of money and it’s just taken care of.  Richard had that money he invested at Lorelai’s birth that she used to pay back Emily and Richard, then Christopher inherits a bunch of money that just takes care of Rory’s tuition forever (right when she’s having issues with her grandparents!), and when she gets kicked out of Paris’ apartment, Logan just offers up his place (with him in it, to be fair) and Rory’s money problems just cease to exist.  They almost dealt with this the ONE episode when Paris finds out she’s broke (actually with some great comedic work and lots of Marx jokes) and she made a lot of really great points and then they literally never mention her money issues again.  Money problems don’t just magically go away, most people have to get a job and work extra to pay for school, housing, food, etc.  Sometimes I felt this was lazy writing and sometimes it was just a product of the privileged world Rory was born into.  It also bummed me out because clearly Lorelai was trying to keep Rory away from this by moving away and working to earn everything she has and Rory just fell back into the easy life.  When the judge gave Rory extra community service to make an example of her and her privileged life, I was on board.  Emily & Richard acted like it was some assault to nature and Logan probably deserved it more than Rory did (Rory’s was a first offense after all), but it’s not like she had to serve jail time.  It was probably really good for her to do some real manual labor.

I loved Luke’s daughter – so smart and funny and awkward!  I thought it was kind of a weird plot twist, but the character herself was so great!

Lorelai should definitely put a spa into the inn, even if just the option to have a masseuse come to one’s room.  If I’m going to a bed and breakfast, you’d better believe I’m booking the one where I can get a massage!

As for the rest of Stars Hollow, I still think Taylor needs to get punched a couple of times.  I was amazed that Sookie & Jackson didn’t have a bigger fight when she got pregnant a third time.

I’m happy I watched the series, finally, I just wanted so much more for some of these characters!  Also, it’s fun to watch it now, knowing that Rory will be on Obama’s campaign trail all the way to the White House!

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15 Responses to Gilmore Girls for the First Time: The Epic Conclusion

  1. Yeah, I’ve kind of blocked out a lot of the last half of the series. It started becoming more and more obvious that the writers were just throwing in drama for the sake of drama, and what had been charming quirkiness turned into irritating, unrealistic childishness in a lot of the characters. I still love Gilmore Girls 4 EVA, but I wish it had ended either sooner or stronger.

    • I do have to say though–as infuriating as Rory quitting Yale was, as a teenage overachiever who burned out pretty hard once I hit college, it did feel at least somewhat realistic to me. It wouldn’t have taken much to get me to quit back then, because I was already so overwhelmed and unprepared and miserable. (It would still have been a terrible decision, though.)

    • Agree that they were just throwing in drama. If they always wanted Lorelai to end up with Luke, why have them split up, her get with Chris, then get back together? It just makes you annoyed with the characters, and there are fun things they can do to create drama inside the L/L relationship – fun wedding! baby maybe! living together! It just would have been so much more real and satisfying.

    • Sota says:

      At what point was it that Amy Sherman Palladino left? Maybe we would have felt better about the ending if she had been the one to close out storylines and the show had ended when she left.

      • catweazle says:

        She was only gone for the last season by which time she had already kind of torpedoed Rory as a character and really bungled the Luke/Lorelai relationship. But even she wouldn’t have produced the mess that is season 7.

        • welcometocostcoiloveyou says:

          I’ve always wondered what the last season would have been like if Sherman Palladino had stayed on. I’ve seen message board posts that blame her for the disaster of the last season, saying that she sabotaged the show by leaving a mess that no one could clean up.

          I completely hate that Lorelai went running to Christopher because Luke was dealing with his own issues. It was perfectly ok for Lorelai to postpone their wedding because of a fight with Rory, but Luke wants to deal with some stuff? How dare he! Ugh.

          I would like to believe that Sherman Palladino had a plan. And I doubt that plan would have been for Lorelai and Christopher to elope in Paris. Ugh again.

          I also heard that Sherman Palladino always knew what the last 4 words of the show were going to be. As far as I know, she has never revealed those words. What are they Amy?

          I’ve of course seen things online about people wanting a movie. I don’t really care about that. I would however fully support a redo of the last season with the original writers.

  2. Sota says:

    I am in the middle of my re-watching…and its been super fun. I love this show and yes there are like a million things that are the worst (barf that dean thing noted above. ugh) but still. Its just such a nice enjoyable viewing…unlike some of the other shows I watch like GOT or any of the cop shows which tend to be more stressful.

    I was super disappointed that Jon Hamm didn’t make a more exciting appearance. He would have been a very interesting guy for Lorelai to date….you know if he had been given a personality.

    I think Lorelai and Christopher just always had a super childish and twisted relationship and there was nothing that was ever going to change that. Its wretched that she slept with him and he told Luke and yet it is perfectly in keeping with the characters they both were since the beginning. Those two have revertigo (Marshall Eriksen’s word?) everytime they are together.

    • Erika says:

      The Christopher and Lorelai relationship reminded me of a lot of people I know in real life who are perennially in relationships with people they don’t really connect with. It goes something like: Two people who are kind of boring together are in a relationship. They break up like you would expect them to. Then they keep getting back together over and over; I can only assume because they hate being alone and they’d rather settle for a dissatisfying relationship.

      So, in that sense, I guess the mind-boggingly stupid Christopher/Lorelai break up/make up story line is actually kind of realistic. But I don’t want that kind of realism in my entertainment. I want to see true love and happiness, not “I’m going to settle for you because I don’t think I can do better”. That Lorelai attracts the attention of every attractive single man in Connecticut makes her settling for Christopher that much more dumb.

  3. catweazle says:

    Whoever took over the show in season 7 sure had some weird ideas about acceptable pregnancy plotlines. I loved that Toast article about fictional characters who should have gotten abortions because it was so right about Lane. I love Lane and Zack even though Zack is kind of an idiot and nobody can quite fill the shoes of Dave Rygalski. Hep Alien 4ever.

    Rory is so frustrating in the later seasons and I just do not understand the decision to make her date Logan for SO MANY SEASONS when she could have had a perfectly nice relationship with Marty or someone like him. I think a lot of my hatred of Logan comes from the fact that when those seasons were airing I was in a similar situation of being a non-rich person at a preppy east coast school full of overprivileged shitbags and never in a million years would I let a Logan anywhere near me. I was glad that Rory ended up single though I think it would have been nice for her to have another go with the kinder gentler Philadelphia edition of Jess.

  4. Ok, I swear I’m going to read this but right now I am listening to Serial. So very quickly hear are 2 things I’ve noticed in my rewatch:

    1. Zach and Lane are the best. Just the best.
    2. I know Logan is the worst, but in rewatching I feel like he’s a very accurate portrayal of dudes I’ve met in their early 20s. I kind of like that Rory has to deal with a realistic crappy relationship instead of finding her perfect man when she’s only 20. It just feels more authentic. In high school I hated it but now I’m like “yep, this kind of thing totally happens.” You fall for a guy and think you can change him but he ends up being a bit of a shithead.

    • I think #2 is incredibly accurate. Because, come on, we’ve all dated that guy, probably at that age. I’m sure there’s a college-aged version of that girl that every dude has dated. Also I really liked that she kind of resisted him and then insisted that he didn’t really want a relationship and that she was okay with that. But still, at some point she was better off alone than putting up with that shit. Of course then she probably would’ve had to get a job to pay for an apartment…

  5. Erika says:

    As I’ve mentioned before, Lorelai annoyed me basically from the beginning, especially since she’s much harder on her parents than they usually deserve. One of the only things that deserved such severe blowback was Emily trying to torpedo Luke and Lorelai’s relationship. Most of the rest was either not that bad or was the type of thing many parents attempt with their adult children, but that the adult children can easily ignore since they’re *adults* and they don’t have to do what their parents tell them. Duh. It kind of felt like Lorelai never really matured past 16, at least in regards to how she deals with her family, parents and child.

    But the absolute worst to my mind was when Rory was going through a real crisis, prompting her to drop out, and Lorelai’s way of handling this was to refuse to talk to her daughter for several months. I guess it makes sense since that’s Lorelai’s solution to every problem, but if there was a time when her daughter needed her, it was then. Like I said: 16-year-old mentality.

    • welcometocostcoiloveyou says:

      I’ve seen most episodes of the Gilmore Girls multiple times. Lorelai and Rory didn’t bother me the first time I saw the show, but on repeat viewings, I find the main Gilmores more and more annoying. I love the show, but considering the character flaws of Lorelai and Rory, it’s somewhat surprising that everyone in their lives wants their love and attention.

  6. welcometocostcoiloveyou says:

    Not sure how many of you are watching Jane the Virgin, but there are enough similarities between Emily-Lorelai-Rory and the three generations of Villanueva ladies that I think Gilmore Girls fans would appreciate the way the family interacts and the story lines between them.

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