Revisiting The Gilmore Girls Series Finale: A Laterblog

“I guess so.” Those are the final three words Gilmore Girls fans had to live with for nearly 10 years when the original series came to a close on May 15th, 2007. Not really satisfying when you know that wasn’t how the show was suppose to end.

Who would’ve thought that nearly a decade later, we’d get a re-do. That Amy Sherman-Palladino would be able to write the finale she wanted to and finally reveal the final four words (as controversial as it was) she had been keeping secret for years.

So today, let’s look back at the finale that aired 10 years ago with this laterblog of our thoughts, feelings, and emotions (ALL the emotions), and revisit the finale like omniscient time travelers from the future.

*Ed. Note: We published this laterblog back in 2015, when we were prepping to go to the Gilmore Girls reunion at the ATX TV Festival in Austin – PRE-Revival news. Little did we know what lay ahead of us. Enjoy!


{Originally posted June 5, 2015)

It’s Friday, and you know what they say, “Friday night’s alright for fighting, get a little action in.” While we won’t be serving up any punches or dinners for that matter, we’re ending Gilmore Girls Week with the memorable, controversial, semi open-ended ending to the series – the finale.

We’ve done a number of live blogs in the past, but since we’re watching and recapping it almost exactly eight years later (give or take a month), it’s a laterblog of sorts. However, tomorrow what WILL be live is our reports from the #ATXFestival, where the gang is reuniting. Will there be talk of a real reunion? What does Scott Patterson look like now and IRL? And will Amy Sherman-Palladino ever reveal the final lines she planned for the show?

As this post goes live, we’re already in the thick of it, so follow us this weekend on Twitter & Facebook (links on the right) with the hashtag #CAndSTakeATX for Gilmore goodness and all things television! Now, let’s revisit the final episode of Gilmore Girls and grab the tissues, because we’re highly emotional people.

Traci: I’d like to preface this by saying like Friends, I have only seen the Gilmore Girls finale a very few number of times, as opposed to the countless times I’ve seen every single other episode. I usually stop my chronological viewings on the second to last episode, partly because I can’t handle my emotions, and partly because it gets me all riled up and frustrated that they had to end the entire series that way. But we’ll get to that part later.

In 2007, I made a date with my friend Caitlin to watch the finale together. We both love the show – one of our initial bonding moments in college was when we were studying abroad and us and our friends would get together to illegally watch new episodes of GG on my computer since we couldn’t get it in the Netherlands, obviously. We are both emotional people, so we couldn’t be with anyone else except each other. I went over to her house and I remember it going by so quickly, us both crying and snotting towards the end, and like that, it was all over. I’ve seen it maybe three – four, now – times since. Here we go.

Molly: I just got swallowed up into a flashback of trying to watch tv during study abroad. I had a homestay … and their apartment didn’t have internet. Anyway, it was a really good season of Mira Quien Baile that year. I think there were episodes of Gilmore Girls from that period that I didn’t see until I started rewatching it before ATX. Of course, we studied abroad during season 6, so no great loss there. I’ve only seen the finale once, and my recollections are hazy at best.

T: The coup of getting Christiane Amanpour, Rory’s idol since season one, is absolutely one of the most brilliant cameo castings to ever happen on television. Now that I’m thinking about it, it was probably a sign from the writers that Rory’s story – in this part of her life at least – is done being told. She’s ready to go work and be on her own, without being close enough to Lorelai to drive home to her in an hour. Christiane is a symbol of what Rory could be in the future, and she’s propelling her towards the right direction.

M: It’s really easy to read the Christiane Amanpour appearance as stunt casting, but Traci nailed it. From season one we’ve seen Rory pursue the life she wanted, getting sidetracked during some of those weird years (YACHT HEIST WTF), and this just shows she’s making it to where she wanted to be.

Possibly the most awkward picture taken of all time

T: Lorelai gets weird around celebrities like “Jane Pauley, Harry Belafonte and Marisa Tomei” – why are all these people visiting Stars Hollow??

M: It’s like in Full House where like of COURSE Little Richard and the Beach Boys want to hang out with the Tanners.  But if Norman Mailer is to be believed, the Dragonfly is a great place to sit around during lunch hours.

T: The Stars Hollow High School band is playing Pomp and Circumstance at the Rory’s Graduation Reenactment Ceremony. I’ve always said this – the town puts Rory on a pedestal, and it’s borderline creepy, even though you know they’re coming from a place of love.

Rory Gilmore: Ice Cream Queen

M: That’s true, and it makes me love early seasons Rory for not being a bratty teen when she has everyone fawning over her all the time. In real life, even those of us who were AP/Honors/community service/ extracurricular-type teens barely got more than an “eh, you’re sufficient.” I think I like Stars Hollow better. [Of course, this also makes me sort of dislike Logan-era Rory for turning into a cruddy rich kid.]

2002-era Rory would never have had a Birkin Bag plot device.

T: “Once a screamer also a screamer.” No context for you.

M: I’m actually only on late season 6 in my rewatch, so skipping ahead a bit, but they definitely changed Caesars somewhere, right?

T: I just really love the fact Luke has a sister. And I love that she’s weird. With Luke’s parents gone and him just being an all-around grump, the one person he always has unconditional love for is his sister, even if TJ is being, well, TJ.

M: Do the very wealthy really still dress up for dinner at their own houses, Downton Abbey-style, like Richard and Emily do?

T: I can see rich East Coasters living in like, Brownstones in the Upper East Side doing this.

Normal, casual, Friday night dinner

T: Edward Hermann 😦 So sad every time I see him on the show. Fact: I went to a play he was in in Boston just because he was in it, NOT because I was interested in the history of Aristotle (or whatever it was about).

M: For some reason I thought his character was older, and when Edward Hermann died I couldn’t believe he was only in his early 70s. Too young.

T: I’M JUST SO PROUD RORY GOT A JOB WITH THE FUTURE PRESIDENT

Rory Gilmore – still on the road with Barack Obama in 2012

M: Remember how buzz-y Barack Obama was a this time? It’s kind of like our Gilmore Girls playlist where you have to put yourself back in that time – we’d had 8 years of the same president and it sounds hokey, but we really all were looking for ~hope and change. Also I never saw those 2012 pics and that’s adorable!

T: Reminder this also happened season five:

T: AND CUE TEARS NUMBER ONE:

Emily: “So this is it – we won’t see you again for who knows how long?”

Lorelai: “After dinner drinks for sure”

Richard: “Here, Here.”

T: Everyone being upset about Rory’s reenactment party being cancelled is another Rory Pedestal example. They must have other people graduating this year??

M: Granted she’s not graduating this year, but I always wondered why the town didn’t make a bigger deal about Lane. She was also an exemplary teen/young adult with a single mom. Wait. Do we know anything about Lane’s dad? Or did Mrs. Kim just find her in a basket at a tent revival?

T: They reference Mr. Kim a few times in the early seasons, but falls into the category of folks like Al of Al’s Pancake World and East Side Tilly of Characters Who Are Often Mentioned But Never Show Their Faces

M: Got it, so he’s like the Cathy Santoni of Stars Hollow. Or Cousin Tino.

T: TEARS NUMBER TWO *more of a fangirl flailing and tear up*:

LUKE IS GOING TO SOOKIE TO SECRETLY PLAN THE PARTY ANYWAYS

#LUKEDANESDREAMMAN

T: Ok so the town secretly coming together is sweet and not pedestal-y, since they’re doing it because they actually care a lot about Rory and Lorelai. Clearly at this point, they’re doing it out of love. And that makes my emoji face all heart eyed.

M: I love that Luke brought Sookie in on it. I loved Sookie throughout the show, and now it’s kind of crazy to think we had this future star playing this great secondary character for 7 years.

T: Taylor really hates mylar balloons – noted.

M: Speaking of which, at what point did grocery stores stop selling mylar balloons at the register? And wasn’t it really expensive to keep them all inflated all the time?

T: THIS IS IMPORTANT. I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M JUST REALIZING THIS NOW!!! I just had a flashback to my local Wegmans (Look it up, everyone west of like, Ohio).

tiny mylar balloons in the back

T: I really wish I could make a gif of Luke and co. bringing all the grills and items to set up for the party, then spot Lor and Rory, then run away silently. There are people carrying a table and running.

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M: I wish I paid closer attention to the townspeople extras throughout the series. Did they reuse a lot of people? On a less heartwarming note, I hate when Jackson breaks out his Osh Kosh B’gosh. He’s also wearing some sort of a Little Rascals type cap.

NAGL unless you’re playing Shirley Temple’s boyfriend or something.

T: I think maybe? But also I don’t think I pay too much attention either. The only person I’ve noticed is the Asian guy.

T: DAVE RYGALSKI NAME DROP

T: TEARS NUMBER THREE:

RORY SAYING GOODBYE TO LANE

I’m so glad Rory and Lane got to have this scene together, especially since in the later seasons, it’s been more focused on Rory and Paris being best friends, since Lane had her own life going on.

M: During the initial Dean vs Jess debate – before it became clear that Dean was just a breathing trash-factory – my bias was always Team Just Hang Out With Lane, You’re 16. Seriously. 30-year-old 2015 Rory is definitely still friends with Lane, and doesn’t even have Dean’s number listed as Dean DontAnswer in her phone anymore. Do you guys do that? Use the surname DontAnswer to remind yourselves not to talk to some people if they call? That was MADE for people like Dean.

T: TEARS NUMBER FOUR:

Lorelai: “It’s too soon. If I start to think about you leaving now, I’m gonna fall apart. It’s too soon.”

M: Total throwback to The Lorelais First Day At Yale, when Rory had a week less time than she thought before starting college. Remember that feeling, like no time would have been enough but they just weren’t prepared for it to be THEN?

T: OMG why have I never noticed the random Asian townsperson finally got to say a line?!!? BRAVO.

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M: There’s my answer about recurring extras!

T: TEARS NUMBER FIVE:

LORELAI SNEAKING IN WHILE RORY’S SLEEPING TO TUCK HER IN AND SAY A SILENT GOODBYE

It’s weird – we’re at that age now where a lot of our friends are either about to get married, are already married, or are married with kids, and watching this scene, I had more of a sympathy with Lorelai, thinking to myself how hard it must be to say goodbye to your kid – the one you’ve raised for so long, and now you have to finally set them free. Before, I was just thinking how awesome it was that Rory was going to go on the road with Obama for this great job, which makes sense, because this aired towards the end of my junior year of college. Perspective, y’all.

M: Agreed. I had a moment a few years ago when I realized I was closer to Season One Lorelai’s age than Rory’s. Even though we don’t have kids, I think we’ve made that shift from seeing ourselves as kids – where your place in the world is being someone’s kid, right? – to autonomous adults. So now when I watch things from when I was younger, like Gilmore Girls, I relate to the “adults” more than I could before. DAMMIT TRACI. TEARS NUMBER ONE.

T: NOT EVEN SORRY FOR THE TEARS.

T: TEARS NUMBER SIX:

LUKE SEWING ALL THE TARPS TOGETHER TO MAKE A TENT FOR WHEN IT RAINS

apparently someone has the same feelings as me

T: UGH I HAD TO PAUSE THE EP ONCE THEY LOR STARTED DRIVING IN HER JEEP IN THE RAIN BECAUSE I HAD TO BRACE MYSELF FOR WHAT’S COMING.

T: TEARS NUMBER SEVEN (JUST A STEADY STREAM AT THIS POINT, TBH):

HEARING THE CHEERS FROM UNDER THE TENT

ZACH AND JACKSON RUNNING OUT WITH UMBRELLAS TO GET LORELAI AND RORY

THE SCAN ACROSS EVERYONE CHEERING FOR HER LIKE A FINAL GOODBYE TO THE CAST UGHHH HOLD UP WHERE IS MICHEL

EMILY AND RICHARD SHOWING UP – WAIT LUKE HAD TO CALL RICHARD AND EMILY TO INVITE THEM!! JUST REALIZED THIS NOW.

Richard: “I don’t think this is all for Rory. I think this party’s a testament to you, Lorelai, and the home you’ve created here. It takes a *crying rn* a remarkable person to inspire all of this.

Lorelai: Thanks, dad.

TAYLOR: “BIRTH YOU FROM OUR COLLECTIVE WOMB” YOU’VE CROSSED THE LINE, YET AGAIN.

M: I DON’T LOVE TO HATE TAYLOR. I just hate Taylor. Also he said “gestated” and “nourished” and I haaaate hate hate hate both those words.

T: RORY THANKING LORELAI

M: Reminder that I’m a huge cryer: during Rory’s speech all I can think is I wouldn’t be able to do that without sobbing. I’m real fun at weddings, funerals, days when my friends post pictures of their children on instagram, etc.

T: EMILY TRYING TO GET LOR TO KEEP GOING TO FRIDAY NIGHT DINNERS BY BUYING HER A SPA

M: Also there’s my answer on the dress code! “Don’t wear jeans.”

Emily: “It’s an honor to be your grandmother, Rory Gilmore.”

LORELAI PASSING BY KIRK AND TAYLOR AND BABETTE ONE LAST TIME

OBVIOUSLY THIS REUNION KISS

ME: 

M: UGH Speaking of Titanic, when Rory walked into the party it was like when Old Rose dies or whatever, and she’s back on the ship being greeted by everyone. Except Rory’s not dead, though she is embarking on life on the political campaign trail, so same dif. For some reason I was really excited to see Gypsy.

T: OKAY BUT FRREAL THE ONE LINE I WILL NEVER FORGET AND IS ETCHED IN MY MEMORY SURROUNDED BY A FLOOD OF TEARS:

T: I JUST HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS ABOUT THIS EPISODE AND THIS SERIES THAT IT’S ACTUALLY WEIGHING DOWN ON MY HEART

M: We’re blogging this in advance because when this post goes out we’ll be at ATX, and maybe we should have waited to watch this together because my dog looks concerned and I don’t think she “gets it.” When I think of finales I’ve gotten emotional about – this one, Parks and Recreation, The Office, Parenthood – they’re all shows about love and about how there’s genuine good in people. IT’S JUST REALLY LIFE AFFIRMING I’M OKAY.

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