of bridges, horse bits & spaceships
I’ve been watching and analyzing Gilmore Girls for so many years it’s hard to even imagine, but one thing that always struck me is that this show has more in common with SciFi shows I love like Farscape or BSG than it does normal family dramas. Maybe that sounds silly, but the world ASP created has overarching themes that play out over & over again, characters that fit into specific archetypes & roles that serve specific purposes rather than just fumbling through life. ASP uses parallels, circular stories and other devices to tell these stories over and over again, to write herself into messes and then back out again. But while she writes about the same themes over and over again, she never quite tells the same story twice.
What am I trying to say? Well, that the revival story of Rory & Logan fits very nicely into the overarching themes that ASP has been mining since she introduced Logan in 2004. Rory wasn’t ruined, honestly, her hairbrained ideas about things remaining hers long after she should be considering other people’s feelings is a character trait that dates back to s3 & Shane. Once she decides something is hers it always is. Once she realized she still loved Logan she doesn’t care about anyone else’s feelings. It might not be the greatest character trait and might make you scratch your head wondering why she doesn’t just go for it again with Logan when she clearly still loves him…well that ties to something I’ll talk about in a few.
Rory’s story has always been one about leaving Stars Hollow, being a bridge between Lorelai-Richard & Emily, both literally and figuratively. She’s not supposed to be one or the other, but all three, not a carbon copy of Lorelai ever. Which is why the thing I found most disturbing during the revival is not her being pregnant or them cheating on two characters I have zero investment in, but her landing back in the Hollow professionally. It’s where she started, not where she belongs or where she’s supposed to end up. It’s her launching pad.
But I’ve also long said that the way Lorelai brought up Rory made her codependent. Rory needs a partner in life. Someone with a stronger personality - Lorelai/Logan - to push her to be the person she can be. To be her sounding board and cheerleader. Otherwise she tends to flounder. Or if that person is floundering, she does too. Her greatest moments come when linked with a partner - FNAFF which directly leads to her getting the editorship of YDN or the activities of YJIJJ which are related to Logan. Then her getting into Chiton - Lorelai pushes this and it leads to Yale and the opportunities Yale represents. Rory is at her most lost and unhappy when she doesn’t have a partner, look at S4.
That’s not to say Rory’s not a strong person, she is. But she’s got a quieter strength than Lorelai or even Logan, who both are openly stubborn and revel in defying expectations. Rory is more of a pleaser. Also, she learned her lesson the hard way about defying Lorelai’s wishes in S6 - Lorelai cutting her out of her life when Rory was at her lowest & not getting back in her good graces till Rory was back on the Lorelai approved Yale track. My personal feelings have always been that Rory never really fully recovers from that shunning and decisions she makes subsequently and that she’s still making are influenced by what happened then. To anyone that thinks I’m being too hard on Lorelai - she was the parent, the adult and she was not the one that was having the massive crisis of confidence. That was Rory.
Also, while Jess might’ve given her the idea for the book, it’s Logan’s support to defy Lorelai’s not wanting her to write it that ultimately pushes her to begin writing - at Richard & Emily’s home. Lorelai’s prison once again becoming Rory’s refuge. It also ties into the ‘lucky dress’ which comes up again & again. It’s what she was wearing when she meets Logan in Hamburg - for what’s implied is the first time in probably years. Logan is tied to her being ‘lucky.’ He gives her confidence to do things she would otherwise not believe she could do - hasn’t he always?
Logan’s story has always been a good look into the life Lorelai would’ve had had she not left Hartford. Expectation, obligation, and a horrible home life married to someone you don’t love. That’s still his life when we meet him again. If you don’t believe me, rewatch their first phone call in Summer & final convo in Fall. They are him either begging Rory to change things or a redo of their couch convo in Partings - him asking her to not let him go into his predestined life and her not stopping him. In Partings I loved it. Here, I think she’s so self doubtful - perhaps thinking she has nothing to truly offer him - that she can’t make a leap with him again. We’re dealing with a late S5, early s6 self doubting Rory in the revival, IMO.
Finn, Colin & Robert aren’t just irresponsible friends of Logan’s he needs to grow up and leave behind - they’re a physical manifestation of his rebellion to his predestined life. They show the audience that while he might be working for Mitchum & might be planning on marrying the new Fallon - his Huntzberger approved wife - Mitchum’s bit still does not quite fit. Mitchum’s long glance at Rory in his one scene tells me he knows this & he knows as long as Rory’s part of Logan’s life, Mitchum’s not won this game yet. He knows Rory’s a threat - that Logan’s only true out is Rory, who Logan practically begs to push the escape hatch button for him. [This is one area that ASP does need to further explain what she took from S7 & what she didn’t. Because why IS Logan back with HPG to being with? Did he ever even leave?]
Where does Lorelai fit in all this? Well, they’re all named Lorelai for a reason. She may be the Reigning Lorelai, but here she plays the role of Lorelai I disapproving of Richard’s choice of Emily, championing the fiancée he chose to leave behind for the woman he loved and the life he chose. Rory turned Logan down not just because she didn’t want to get married so young. To have a wide open future. She also turned Logan down because she didn’t want to disappoint Lorelai - go back to the schism. Lorelai didn’t have to expressly voice her disapproval of Logan - she’d been doing it for three years already and Rory had heard her many sermons on similar subjects since infancy. Harvard, not Yale, Rory doesn’t make the final decision to go to Yale though it’s obvious that’s what she wants & the blue/grey/white theme has been around since the pilot, till Lorelai lets her know it’s okay, she’s okay with it. At some point Lorelai has to stop telling Rory she’s going to find someone who she’ll be happy with and realize - Rory already has.
Does a baby solve anything? No, not really. What it does is make everyone take another look at what they’ve done & the choices they’ve made. Why is the girl that had a CHOICE poster on her wall in college keeping this baby? Is a 34 year old man going to make the same choices as a 16 year old boy? Does an adult Logan who keeps trying to choose Rory over and over again really have the lack of commitment that a 16 year old Christopher had? What I do know is that ASP has talked about there being more story to tell since she started talking about the revival. Rory’s journey to happiness is that final piece of the puzzle and I have no doubt that it won’t be the same as Lorelai’s. Lorelai’s experience with bringing up Rory as a single mom is where we start, not necessarily where we end.
What this portion of the revival did was fit into themes that tie back to the pilot and weave throughout the show - as Rory and logan’s story always has. It’s about more than two people that have loved one another for 12 years having an affair. It’s even about more than the fact that they clearly adore one another and are one another’s best friends and touchstones - they know EVERYTHING going on in the others lives and he’s the one she can’t quit subconsciously calling when things are starting to get out of sorts with Lorelai. Those are the things that the Sophie since 2004 in me loved, but the fan of the show that’s been analyzing it for 16 years also sees the themes revisited, the through lines of their story that’s been part of them since WITS and especially YJIJJ. This all fits within those stories that have been told before or calls back to them, waiting for their twist and turn to make the outcome uniquely theirs.
To me Gilmore Girls has ultimately been not about Rory being Lorelai or not being Lorelai or Emily approving of or understanding Lorelai’s choices or not. It’s about these people ultimately accepting that they’re not just carbon copies of one another - Trix again - and being okay with the choices they each make for their own happiness. Emily has done that with Lorelai, it’s now Lorelai’s turn to do that for Rory. That’s the true completion of the circle and a story I’m eager to see.