GILMORE GIRLS: A YEAR IN THE LIFE Recap: “Fall” Into the Finale

Warning: Spoilers are ahead for Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life episode “Fall.” If you haven’t watched it yet, get back into Luke’s Diner and have more coffee; come back when you’re ready.

Alas, the final episode of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life arrived way too soon. “Fall” brought the journeys of Emily, Lorelai, and Rory to a close… for now. Each of them went through serious transformations in the past year. Emily said goodbye to her partner, Lorelai faced herself and her quest for happiness, and Rory dealt with career and love decisions.Let’s begin with Rory. When I started watching Gilmore Girls all those years ago, I related to Rory. She was like Belle, with all the reading and books. She was fastidious about her schoolwork and her career path. And I’m not saying she’s not allowed to screw up–we all do. It makes life interesting. But Rory, you’re still going to get caught up in Life and Death Brigade antics? Come. On. Charming as the group may be, the wealthy and spoiled secret society got a weirdly large amount of screen time in “Fall.” Logan surprised Rory with a night of frivolity, and it was her last hurrah and wake up call. Thank goodness it was a wake up call. ““I think your days of rescuing me are over,” she told Logan. About time, Rory.

Instead of taking Logan’s offer to use his house in Maine to write her book, Rory went to Emily’s. Her grandmother was in Nantucket, so Rory used Richard’s study to work on the first few chapters of The Gilmore Girls. She told Lorelai writing had never been so easy and shared the completed chapters with her as a spec. If Lorelai didn’t like what she read, Rory would move on. As Rory ran into other familiar faces, she asked them about being in the book as well. There was Christopher, who doesn’t look like he’s aged, and Dean. The latter was visiting Stars Hollow when he ran into Rory at Doose’s. I was never Team Dean, but back in the beginning of their relationship, he treated Rory the best of any of her beaus. Like she pointed out, Dean taught her what the word “safe” meant.

They get bonus points for the cornstarch nod.

As I mentioned, Emily found a place to love in Nantucket. She brought Berta and Berta’s entire family to the seaside locale and seemed to find peace. She ultimately decided to sell her and Richard’s home and move to Nantucket full time, which I think is delightful. She’s found what’s made her happy–emphasis on her. Watching Emily come into her own has been a carefully written, thoughtfully explored ride. She has a new guy (played by Ray Wise), but her life isn’t about him. She’s processed things by herself. I never thought I’d find myself seeing Emily as my favorite Gilmore, but here we are.

The Nantucket announcement came after one of the most sharp and entertaining scenes of the entire series: Emily losing it with the DAR. She got fed up with all the bullshit. Emily’s learned time is precious and no one has time to waste it on being fake. She’d likely have been okay with sticking with the DAR if it wasn’t for all their going through the motions for the sake of being proper nonsense. She shut them down. Maybe it made an impact on them, but I’m guessing not. It doesn’t matter though. Emily found her way to clarity, and perhaps they will too.

Also, was there anything better than watching Emily terrify children and adults as a docent at the whaling museum? The answer is no.

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Then there was Lorelai. Inspired by the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed, she took to the Pacific Crest Trail. Lorelai loading up her pack for a backpacking trip looked exactly like you thought it would. Everyone needs a funny packing montage now and again. When Lorelai headed out to go on the trail, she wasn’t alone. Half a dozen or so other women were suited up and ready (?) for the trail ahead, also motivated by the book or film adaptation of Wild–which are apparently very different experiences. The ordeal offered some amusing bonding and discussions, but the highlight was when the park ranger pointed out going on an intense hike because of a book/film was hazardous. It poked fun at all the people who try to find themselves by going on someone else’s journey.

Lorelai never made it to the trail. She had her epiphany by a diner overlooking a beautiful, lush vista. Of course. She called Emily to share her favorite memory of Richard, and the whole conversation was heart shattering. It was performed to perfection by Lauren Graham and was another lovely tribute to Richard and the impact he made. With amends taken care of with Emily, Lorelai headed back to Stars Hollow and told Luke, who was busy blowing off Paul Anka’s freshly seared steak, they were getting married. Oh! And she asked Emily for a loan to expand the Dragonfly.

I can’t tell you much about Luke and Lorelai’s wedding because I cried through all of it. Kirk hasn’t had the chance to score many wins throughout the series, so I was pleased to watch him get the opportunity for a slam dunk with setting up the town square. Aww. The pre-wedding elopement was a touch on the whimsical side, but hey, whimsical goes with Lorelai. They amplified the emotion by playing “Reflecting Light” (Luke and Lorelai shared their first dance to the song at Liz and T.J.’s wedding), but they barely needed it because the heart and feels were already there. The characters have waited a long time and so have we.

Then, the final four words:

Rory: “Mom.”
Lorelai: “Yeah?”
Rory: “I’m pregnant.”

That’s about as full circle as it gets, huh? Rory is probably going to be a single parent, but at least she’s not 16 like Lorelai was. Unless the baby belongs to Wookiee suit guy–which is unlikely because she’d probably be showing by now–it’s Logan’s. Their Huntzberger-Gilmore kid is going to want for nothing. Plus, can you imagine the hilarity that will be Rory and Logan co-parenting? It would bring some stress and drama, too, but oh, the laughs.

It’s over. Maybe we’ll get more of the Gilmore Girls and meet Rory’s kid. But if we don’t, do you think A Year in the Life gave us a fitting ending for the series? I want to hear from you in the comments.

Images: Netflix, Fernanda/Tumblr

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