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Let’s Discuss All the WTFs of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

By Katie Hoffman @katienotholmes
WARNING: Every spoiler that could exist is in this post. If you hate surprises, keep reading. If you haven't finished watching Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, come back later.

While everyone else was out throwing elbows for a discounted blender, I was on the couch with a box of Dunkin' Donuts munchkins and a Venti peppermint hot chocolate queuing up Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. In my defense, binge eating while binge-watching felt like the most authentic way to honor Lorelai and Rory.

I'm a recent G ilmore Girls convert: I watched all seven seasons (if you recognize the seventh season as part of the Gilmore Girls canon) this past summer to be ready for the revival, and this series sucked. me. in. I've watched all four episodes of A Year in the Life, and there are so many WTFs to discuss. If you haven't watched it yet and you're a TV purist, stop reading now before I ruin your life.

WTF was Stars Hollow: The Musical????

I'll admit: I was concerned four episodes wouldn't be enough. As a series, Gilmore Girls was always as engrossing as a good book you didn't want to end, but I think the revival focused on packing nostalgia, character cameos, and current pop culture references into every minute rather than advancing the plot, and this was never more clear than during that musical segment during the Summer episode, which specifically name-dropped Hamilton and inspired Lorelai to go on a soul-searching hike à la Wild (the book version). And speaking of the musical...

And why Emily and Lorelai's therapist audition for the musical?

It was refreshing to see Emily and Lorelai talking to a professional about their grief from Richard's death and their relationship in general, because I think some objective mediation is what they've always needed. But then their therapist loses all credibility when she auditions for Stars Hollow: The Musical, and the whole therapy storyline seems retroactively farcical.

I liked that the therapist wasn't part of the Stars Hollow universe, because I think the series sometimes normalizes Emily and Lorelai's relationship too much. Of course their mother-daughter spats are comical and drama is part of the Gilmore family crest, but sometimes the passive aggression and emotional manipulation is genuinely problematic. The therapist's appearance in Stars Hollow to audition diminishes the troubling dynamic of Emily and Lorelai's relationship.

Rory hooking up with Logan in London for some reason...

Fooling around with a married/soon-to-be married man isn't new territory for Rory, nor is she an amateur "friends with benefits" participant, but this messy ongoing Logan situation? I literally can't. Rory's affair with Dean was such a disaster that I was really surprised to see her back with Logan in London of all places, because Rory sure travels an awful lot for a broke journalist?

I want to like Logan, but let's call a spade a spade: Logan has the financial resources and connections to help Rory be successful, but he's a jester. It always seems like Logan is pantomiming being a good boyfriend. He has his moments, and at times, Logan has been exactly what Rory needed, but transience is Logan's speciality. He has unpredictable bursts of larger-than-life spontaneity and thoughtfulness that can never be sustained. I'm glad Rory has (hopefully) come to her senses and cut her relationship with Logan off once and for all, because Logan is Mr. Big without the follow-through.

Even Yale grads go to job interviews unprepared.

I appreciated that A Year in the Life gave Rory some real life challenges to deal with that weren't all prompted by her relationships with men. During Gilmore Girls, most of Rory's existential crises were brought on by Dean, Jess, Logan, or Christopher, but A Year in the Life really focuses on Rory figuring out her future (kind of) on her own.

The guys are still there, of course, and they pop up at important moments (Jess with the book idea and Logan with the Life and Death brigade outing, most notably), but we finally get to see Rory stress-tapping her way through career disappointment and grief. It was refreshing to watch Rory be a little fish in a big pond in the real world outside of Chilton, Yale, and Stars Hollow, learning that showing up to a Condé Nast meeting without pitches and going to unprepared to an interview at Sandee Says is not okay.

That guy... What's his name?

I have a couple theories as to why poor, forgotten Paul was introduced. The most obvious one: He's there to confuse us about who Rory's baby daddy will be. Even though we only saw Paul once, he and Rory dated for two years, so presumably they were hooking up off-camera, but I think his character might also be symbolic.

When news first broke of the Gilmore Girls revival, fans immediately started speculating who Rory would end up with. Would it be Jess? Dean? Logan? Someone new? Even though Rory's "It's Complicated" relationship status wasn't what I expected or what I was initially hoping for (Team Jess), in hindsight I'm kind of glad her love life isn't resolved yet. I think Paul's presence in the background was a not-so-subtle reminder that Gilmore Girls has never really been about who Rory or Lorelai end up with, even though their relationships matter to fans.

Gilmore Girls has always been about Rory and Lorelai's evolution-together and individually. Paul's omnipresence on the periphery of the Gilmore Girls world is a manifestation of the expectations we put on women of a certain age to define their relationships and settle down. The more complicated Rory's life becomes, the less we hear about Paul. As the need for Rory to have a Paul diminishes, so do Paul's appearances.

WTF is a vegetable cult?

Call me cynical, but I could have done without some of the cameos and unnecessary character name-drops. The most noteworthy example of this? Liz and TJ joining a vegetable cult. I already know that Liz and TJ are eccentric-give me more time with Lorelai and Rory. Or maybe more than a two-minute grocery run-in with Dean?

So is Rory going to go on Maury now?

Ending with Rory's pregnancy cliffhanger in the last episode reaches Game of Thrones levels of TV sadism. I think Logan is the father of Rory's baby (assuming she's not going to be Lorelai's or someone else's surrogate?), but let's not forget it could also be Paul OR the Wookiee one night stand! Or possibly Jess? Just because we didn't see them hooking up on camera doesn't meant it didn't happen. My money's on Logan mostly because of timing, but I also think that the impromptu conversation Rory has with her dad could be another clue that Logan is the father.

Of all the men in Rory's life, Logan is the most like her dad, and I think dynamic between Rory and Logan is similar to what Lorelai has with Christopher. Considering his relationship status and his father's history, I think there's a good chance Logan would be amenable to Rory raising the baby solo. And have you considered this shocker: What if Rory has a little Gilmore Guy? Named after Richard, perhaps?

Image via Netflix

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