They’re back! On Friday, November 25, the Gilmore Girls revival dropped on Netflix, and fans got to see Lorelai (Lauren Graham), Rory (Alexis Bledel) and the whole Stars Hollow gang again after almost a full decade away! So what happened on Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life? Well, there was some romance, some mourning and a few surprises.… It was a year in the life! (Needless to say, prepare for spoilers galore!)
Here’s everything you need to know — including those shocking final four words:
Winter: Living Across the Atlantic, but Not Quite Writing for It
It all started when Rory came home to Stars Hollow from London, where she was working. She had previously been living in Brooklyn, and even got a piece published in The New Yorker, but now she was “rootless” (aka homeless) after giving up her old apartment and traveling to work. She was getting ready for an interview with Condé Nast when she met up with her mom for one night in her hometown. Sadly, she got a call when she arrived saying her upcoming piece for the Atlantic had been cut. Worse yet, Condé Nast kept pushing her interview back.
No matter, of course, because she was working on a book deal! (OK, she was commissioned by an eccentric English trailblazer to be her biographer and split the profits 50/50, but it’s still a book!)
Rory’s new boyfriend, Paul (Jack Carpenter), showed up for dinner. Well, he wasn’t new, but Lorelai didn’t remember him at all, in spite of meeting him before. She swore it was his “superpower.” Luke (Scott Patterson) didn’t remember him either. Oh, yeah! Did we mention Luke and Lorelai were now living together? Anyway, they didn’t like him, and it didn’t really seem like Rory did either, because every time she was in London, she was meeting up with her secret lover, Logan (Matt Czuchry), who was engaged to a French heiress!
The show addressed the real-life death of Edward Herrmann, who played Lorelai’s father, Richard, with a flashback to a funeral scene when Lorelai and Rory went to visit Emily (Kelly Bishop). A tipsy, sad Lorelai loudly told stories about her father that made him and the family look bad, which led to Emily icing her out for months. After Lorelai suggested counseling, Emily started going and invited her daughter. Bam! Just like that, Lorelai and her mom were in therapy.
The rocky relationship with her own mom led Lorelai to consider having a kid with Luke. They sought out a surrogate at a very fancy, highly successful surrogacy center owned by none other than Paris (Liza Weil), “the Pablo Escobar of the fertility world.” Ultimately, Luke turned that idea down, and their relationship continued in an unremarkable, unchanging way, which wasn’t for the best.
Wondering what Kirk (Sean Gunn) has been up to? Well, he and Lulu (Rini Bell) wanted to have a baby, so the whole town chipped in to get him a pig. Lorelai explained they thought it would buy them a few years. His lack of a child didn’t stop Kirk from starting a new business, which was a ride-sharing company called, uh, Ooo-ber. Once Uber sent him a cease and desist order, he went into filmmaking. Oh, and Michel (Yanic Truesdale)? He was as grumpy and determined to grow the Dragonfly Inn as ever, and Lorelai was doing her best to hold back his efforts and keep the place from getting too “cool.”
Spring: Firing Without Hiring
Lorelai and Emily had a really rough time at therapy together, while Rory was harassed by a woman who wanted her to write for her nascent blog, Sandee Says. Rory’s work on the biography wasn’t going well, either, as her subject was way, way too zany. Luckily, Logan was around to help her through it and encouraged her to take the blog job, even though it was several steps below other places that she had her sights set on. She received a second job opportunity that also didn’t meet her lofty writing expectations: She was invited to come back and teach at Chilton, if she ever got a master’s.
Finally, she gave in to Logan’s dad, Mitchum (Gregg Henry), who offered to call Condé Nast and get them to expedite her meeting with the hiring department. The media company offered her a GQ story on the psychology of standing in lines, which was good because the eccentric woman Rory was doing the biography for had cut her loose. Weirdly, while working on the “standing-in-lines” story, Rory had a one-night stand with a man dressed as a Wookiee, standing in line for a collectible item. (Poor, poor Paul!)
Meanwhile, Emily invited Luke over for dinner without Lorelai, asked him if he had a will so he wouldn’t leave his girlfriend penniless when he died, and then told him Richard had left him money in his own will. The money was intended only for the expansion of the “Luke’s Diner Empire.” Gilmore Girls fans will know just how much Luke did not want to franchise his business.
Rory ended up having a major panicking fit over being a “big, fat Wookiee-humping loser with no future” who didn’t have a job and was cheating on the boyfriend she never spoke to, saw or even remembered she had until he texted her. That led to her following up on Sandee Says, only to find out that the site she had looked down upon wasn’t willing to hire her because she hadn’t bothered to prepare for her interview.
She moved back in with Lorelai.
Summer: Words, Both Written and Screamed
Rory called Logan and asked if she could come out to see him, only to find out that his fiancée had moved in. Then she found out that the local Stars Hollow paper, the Gazette, was getting shut down. Finally, no one in town would believe that she hadn’t moved back permanently. Summer was not going well!
“It’s just so stressful being here,” Rory sighed.
Furious about the Gazette and extremely bored by the sleepy town and hot weather, she decided to volunteer to be the paper’s editor, saving it from destruction and taking it in a new, more modern direction. Elsewhere, Michel quit his job at the inn, which Lorelai had been fearing he would do for months. Who would she work with now?
Guess who showed up while Rory was working at the Gazette? Jess (Milo Ventimiglia)! Rory’s ex appeared in her office, listened to her complain about how her life was a mess and told her to write a book about her life with Lorelai. Then he was gone. She took his advice and got to work right away by looking up old articles about her mom in the Gazette’s archives.
Lorelai, though, wasn’t sold. She told Rory not to keep writing the book, saying simply, “You don’t have my permission.” They ended up in a huge argument at Richard’s gravesite as Lorelai railed against having her secrets spilled. Rory stormed away. When Lorelai walked into Luke’s Diner later that night, she and Luke got into a gigantic fight about their lack of communication.
When Rory went to vent to Lane (Keiko Agena), she found herself calling Logan, then beat herself up for turning to him in a time of crisis. After she had him on the phone, she told him she wanted to break up, but they couldn’t even break up because they were never anything real.
Could the kid catch a break?
Could Lorelai catch one, either? She told Luke she was going away for a few weeks to hike the 2,000-mile trail from the book Wild “because it’s never or now.”
Fall: The Final Season, the Last Four Years
The final episode began with poor Lorelai alone in a miserable-looking motel room. She called Luke and got his voicemail, so she and her hiker’s pack headed out to the trail. When she realized her permit was packed too deep in her rucksack, she called Emily, made amends and left. Back in Stars Hollow, Rory was finding weird messages everywhere. “Get ready” appeared on her computer. “Kick up a rumpus” was written on a sign taped to Kirk’s pig. What did it all mean?
Duh! The Life and Death Brigade — complete with Logan, who “did not like the way [they] left things” — showed up and took Rory out for a night on the town. They ran around Stars Hollow, golfed off of the tops of buildings and messed up a local store. Logan gave her a key to his family house in Maine, so she could go work on her book. Naturally, they spent the night together, but she gave the key back in the morning as she started to cry. They said a choked-up goodbye that felt pretty final.
While Rory was saying goodbye, Lorelai and Luke were getting engaged. Yeah, when Lorelai got back from her trip, they made up, too, and got engaged!
As he slid a ring on her finger, Luke said, “The only way out is a body bag.”
“Now we don’t have to write our vows,” Lorelai shot back.
Next up, Rory got closure with her dad, Chris (David Sutcliffe), getting him to say that his lack of involvement in her life was “exactly what was supposed to happen.” He insisted he loved her regardless.
Also getting closure was Emily, who stormed out of her club and sold her house in an effort to get over her mourning. While watching her mom pack up, Lorelai revealed she was expanding the Dragonfly Inn to an annex location to keep Michel interested in working there. She revealed she wanted to use Luke’s franchise money from Richard. Emily agreed, as long as Luke and Lorelai would come visit her new house in Nantucket on a regular schedule. Family progress!
Within moments of each other, there were scenes that showed Rory reuniting with Dean (Jared Padalecki), and Lorelai reuniting with Sookie (Melissa McCarthy)! Rory told Dean that he had been a great boyfriend and positively impacted her for life. Lorelai just squealed and hugged her friend. Um, so sweet. Get Us a tissue.
Make that a whole box of tissues, because next was the big wedding scene. But before she tied the knot, Lorelai told Rory to go ahead with the book.
After the wedding, Lorelai and Rory sat in the square. Paul texted Rory, telling her that their conflicting schedules meant they shouldn’t be together anymore. (Uh, he was in one scene in the first episode, so yeah, we agree.) Lorelai told her daughter not to worry, that she’d meet the right person one day, and he’d fit with her like she and Luke fit together.
Then we got the final four words:
Tell Us: Who is the father? It has to be Logan, right? What does it mean? More sequels? Are you freaking out?
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life is currently streaming on Netflix.
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