WARNING: This post contains MAJOR SPOILERS for "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life," and reveals the infamous "final four words." Do not read on if you have not watched and do not want to be spoiled.
If you're a "Gilmore Girls" obsessive, you probably spent the day after Thanksgiving enjoying your leftovers with a hefty helping of binge-watching, too, devouring the four installments of Netflix revival series "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life." It was wonderful and a bit surreal to suddenly be back in Stars Hollow, picking up with Lorelai, Rory, and Emily nine years after the original show signed off, and finding out just where life had taken them in the time since we last saw them on our television screens.
With any revival of a long-dormant, much-beloved series, there are bound to be things that both delight and disappoint viewers in equal measure, and "A Year in the Life" was chock full of that dichotomy. Seeing Rory and Lorelai banter about coffee and pop culture again was great; seeing Rory cheat on her boyfriend with an engaged Logan, not so much. Discovering that Emily was born to be a museum docent (and swear up a storm in front of her buttoned-up DAR pals) may have been the best thing about the revival; finding out that Paris and Doyle are getting divorced, or that Lane had almost no lines at all, made us pretty sad.
But the biggest -- and most divisive -- plot line was saved for the very end of the series, with the last scene in "Fall" finally delivering the long-anticipated, much-hyped, now-legendary "final four words," with which "Gilmore" creator Amy Sherman-Palladino intended to end the original series before departing amid a contract dispute ahead of season seven. Here they are, as delivered by Rory (Alexis Bledel) and Lorelai (Lauren Graham):
Rory: I'm pregnant.
That shocking mother-daughter exchange raises some major questions not only for the characters themselves, but the future of "Gilmore Girls" going forward. Let's break down the biggest talking points:
Who's the father?
The answer to this one seems pretty straightforward, since Rory was consistently sleeping with Logan (Matt Czuchry) throughout "Winter," "Spring," "Summer," and "Fall," and only finally broke up with him for good a few weeks before making her big announcement at the end of "Fall." And her pregnancy sheds some new light on an earlier scene with her father, Christopher (David Sutcliffe), in which Rory asks if he regretted letting Lorelai raise Rory on her own, indicating she's debating whether or not she wants to involve Logan at all in her pregnancy and the baby's life.
Still, there are some who wonder if perhaps Rory's sad sack boyfriend Paul is the father (a possibility we're ruling out, since Rory never had time to see him, let alone sleep with -- or break up with -- him throughout the revival), or maybe that Wookiee she slept with while reporting her lines story (a timeline that just doesn't work out, based on the season of her pregnancy announcement). The most popular dueling theory is that Rory could be serving as a surrogate for Lorelai and Luke, using Paris's services to give her mom and new step-dad a baby. Judging by the surprise on Lorelai's face, though, and the urgency in Rory's voice when she broke the news to her mother, it certainly doesn't seem like a likely scenario (or that this pregnancy was planned). Logan is almost definitely the daddy.
What would have happened if the words were actually used when Amy Sherman-Palladino intended?
As noted above, much has been made about Sherman-Palladino having intended to use these words to end the show's original run. But if she had stayed on through season seven (the show's last before getting canceled by The CW), would it have made sense for Rory to get pregnant then? After all, she would have just graduated from Yale and been only 22 at the time. Would Logan have been the father? And would they have still been together, rather than breaking up after a rejected marriage proposal? A pregnancy would have made things a bit tricky for the aspiring journalist, fresh out of college and just beginning her career. Then again, at 22, and with a prestigious degree under her belt, Rory had many more options (and a lot more emotional and financial support) available to her than her mom did when she got pregnant at 16.
As part of her contract dispute that prompted her exit, Sherman-Palladino had wanted an eighth season to wrap up the story; perhaps she would have used those extra episodes to skip ahead into the future a bit, setting Rory up for a slightly easier time as a single mom. We'll never know, but it's certainly an intriguing aspect of the reveal to ponder.
Does this mean the show will continue? And should it?
Not even Sherman-Palladino knows yet whether or not we'll get another season of "A Year in the Life," and honestly, we're not sure whether or not we want one. On the one hand, of course, seeing more from Stars Hollow -- and getting some more resolution to Rory's story line -- is certainly a welcome prospect. On the other, Rory's revelation is truly a full-circle moment, a Gilmore girl potentially giving life to another Gilmore girl, and following in her mother's footsteps. (Not to mention the finality of Lorelai and Emily's story lines, with each of them seeming to come to terms with where they are in life, and finding personal peace.) And not for nothing, but it was always ASP's intention to have things end this way, finally and definitively.
But excitement for the revival was ridiculously high, and while the notoriously secretive Netflix probably won't be divulging viewing numbers, we feel confident that rabid "Gilmore" fans watched the new episodes in droves. It would be a no-brainer, then, for the streaming service to order up another installment of "A Year in the Life." Sherman-Palladino has hedged her bets a bit, telling The Hollywood Reporter that she wants to see how the revival performs before thinking about making more.
"We really had a very specific journey in our minds and we fulfilled the journey. So to us, this is the piece that we wanted to do. And the whole thought about, is there more, is there more, is there more — this has to go out into the universe now," she told THR. "And then whatever happens, happens."
Actress Kelly Bishop, who plays Emily, told the trade that wherever Sherman-Palladino led, she would follow (meaning she'd definitely do more episodes), while Scott Patterson, who plays Luke, said that he'd be willing to sign up to do additional installments every year or two. But even Patterson admitted that there was some finality to the end of "Fall."
"It was really rewarding and people got a sense that if this was going to be the last thing, that we now have some closure," the actor told THR.
Setting the final four words aside, there are still plenty of questions and plot holes that we'd like to see addressed should "A Year in the Life" get another order. A.V. Club critic Myles McNutt has suggested that there be more focus put on the supporting "Gilmore" characters (we're most interested in actually catching up with Lane, and perhaps seeing Paris and Doyle reunite). And that final look that Jess (Milo Ventimiglia) gave Rory in "Fall" indicates that he's still carrying a torch for her, setting up a future season in which they finally give their relationship another try as adults. (A popular fan theory is that Logan is Rory's Christopher, while Jess is her Luke.)
The jury is still out, though your personal opinion on the matter may depend most heavily on your answer to the next question.
Was the ending even good?
This will probably be the biggest debate among "Gilmore" fans, and we don't see the discussion over it ending anytime soon. For some, it makes perfect sense (see the full circle argument above). For others, it seemed like a cheap (and some say predictable) twist. It's hard to judge "A Year in the Life" on its own merits without factoring in the final four words -- they really do color much of the revival differently once you know them -- but we'd say that overall, we're certainly happy that it exists. (Again, the greatness of Emily's DAR rant can't be understated.) And no matter what you think about that last bit of dialogue, it's gotten us obsessing over "Gilmore Girls" all over again, after so many years without our beloved show. We'll raise a steaming mug of coffee to that any day.
Photo credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix