Gilmore Girls’ revival gives fans the ultimate closure on second try
Viewers who were disappointed with the original series finale back in 2007 should be happy with the Netflix sequel as Lorelai and Luke get the ultimate TV couple send-off
Every solid TV series has a will-they-or-won’t-they couple that drives the drama. For Gilmore Girls, that was Lorelai and Luke, the single mum and the grumpy eternal bachelor who seemed like soulmates from the very first scene of the very first episode.
So as you might expect, fans were furious in the sixth season when Luke (Scott Patterson) discovered he had a long-lost daughter, a 12-year-old named April (Vanessa Marano). Her arrival drove such a wedge between him and Lorelai (Lauren Graham) that April is considered by many the most-hated plot device in Gilmore Girls history.
After all of the April drama, Lorelai wound up sleeping with her ex, Christopher (David Sutcliffe), in the sixth season finale. Then creator Amy Sherman-Palladino exited the show. After the revelation of Lorelai and Christopher’s fling, she and Luke split up after several years of dating. Ultimately, they patched things up, and in the series finale, it looked like they might (maybe?) get back together.
Of course, that’s not even close to the closure that fans wanted. However, thanks to the Netflix Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life revival released on Friday (SPOILER ALERT), viewers got to see Lorelai tie up every loose end in her life, including the big Luke question.
When the revival opens, Luke and Lorelai are as happy as can be – in their typical fashion, anyway, as they bicker about Lorelai’s junk food habits and go on dates to the Black, White and Read cinema, watching creepy short films by Kirk (Sean Gunn).
They live together at Lorelai’s house, and we learn that they’ve been together for nine years, and still haven’t tied the knot. The person who really seems to take issue with this living arrangement is Lorelai’s mother, Emily (Kelly Bishop), who calls them “roommates” and doesn’t believe they’re really serious about each other. While that may be wishful thinking because she’s never thought Luke – a diner owner – was good enough for her daughter, Lorelai insists they’re in a real, solid relationship, but in no rush to get married.
That doesn’t stop them from thinking about the future. In the first episode, they talk about having kids. (Somehow, they have apparently managed to avoid all serious discussions about this, even though they’re both in their late 40s.) They go to their old pal Paris Gellar’s (Liza Weil) fertility clinic, where Luke is genuinely confused about the surrogate process, and thinks he’ll have to sleep with random women. Even though Lorelai clears that misunderstanding up, Luke insists he’s happy without children.
Eventually, things really go south, spurred by Lorelai’s semi-midlife crisis over the death of her father. She goes to therapy with Emily, and Emily abruptly quits after it’s a disaster, but Lorelai continues the sessions with the therapist – without telling Luke. Then, Lorelai’s father leaves Luke money in his will to franchise Luke’s diner, and he’s dragged along on a real estate adventure with Emily – and doesn’t tell Lorelai.
They start to realise that they tend to live separate lives, even though they live together. Luke insists that Lorelai, always afraid of commitment, wanted them to remain relatively independent despite being in a relationship. “I went along,” he said. “That’s how it works.”
Perhaps realising that she’s been subconsciously pushing Luke away, Lorelai decides to go on a soul-searching Wild-themed hike. As any Gilmore Girls fan knows, Lorelai hates nature, so the fact that she’s heading to the woods is a sign something is seriously wrong.
However, after two thwarted attempts to start her adventure, Lorelai has an epiphany and realises what she’s wanted all along. She travels back to Stars Hollow (but not before ditching her gigantic travel backpack, because did anyone really think she would actually hike?) and finds Luke to tell him something very important.
Before she can start talking, Luke assumes that she’s leaving him. He launches into a long monologue about how he can feel that she’s ready to bolt. “I know things aren’t perfect,” he says. “But this, right here, is all I’d ever need.”
Uh, slow down, Luke. Lorelai finally manages to get a word in: “I think we should get married.”
Luke is shocked.
“We waited too long,” Lorelai continues. “I already picked a date. It’s all set.”
That’s settled, then. Yet the night before the wedding, Luke and Lorelai get stressed at the thought of the ceremony and the party, and decide they should get married before the chaos. They grab Rory (Alexis Bledel) and head to town, which is already decorated for the wedding and looks like a magical secret forest covered in sparkly lights. After they frolic for awhile, Lorelai enlists the reverend to marry them in front of the gazebo, with their good pals Lane (Keiko Agena) and Michel (Yanic Tuesdale) as witnesses.
Just like that, the longtime Luke and Lorelai storyline ends with a wedding – the ultimate ending for a TV couple. Plus, over the scenes of the wedding, producers play Reflecting Light by Sam Phillips. For those who don’t remember, Luke and Lorelai shared their first dance in Season 4 in that song, when it became obvious they were about to finally get together. The addition of that detail, quite frankly, is some very impressive closure.