Now that we've all had a chance to binge Netflix's Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, it's time to get real about something: this needs to be the end.
In light of the final episode of the revival ending on something of a cliffhanger and because of the show's resurgence in popularity thanks to Netflix, there has been a lot of speculation recently about whether the show will continue. But we don't need more episodes of Gilmore Girls. In fact, if we're being honest, we probably didn't need these four new feature-length episodes either, but it's a little too late to argue about that point. They happened and we watched them and we were happy to have them because we like Gilmore Girls and we like shiny new things even if they're really just shiny old things dressed up to look new. And because for all the revival's flaws -- and yes, there are many -- returning to Stars Hollow was still a cherished delight fueled by nostalgia for many fans. But this is where the beloved show needs to end.
The reveal that Rory (Alexis Bledel) is pregnant with her first child -- and it's almost certainly Logan's (Matt Czuchry) because simple math rules out the Wookiee, Jess (Milo Ventimiglia) didn't magically impregnate Rory with his eyes and Paul (Jack Carpenter) was never a serious contender -- is only a cliffhanger if you want it to be one.
It's true that on one hand this feels like a bomb so big that it can only be the beginning of another chapter of this story. But on the other more practical hand, the reveal, which occurred the morning after Lorelai's (Lauren Graham) wedding to Luke (Scott Patterson), is the right place to end a series that has always been about the relationship between mothers and daughters, and specifically about the bond between a mother and daughter who are best friends. With the conclusion of Lorelai and Rory's journey comes the conclusion of the show.
That is not to say there isn't potentially story left to explore in the wake of this development, just that it wouldn't be as the show known as Gilmore Girls. For instance, we can see how this unplanned pregnancy changes Rory -- who became even more insufferable in her entitlement in the revival and spent thousands of dollars on multiple transatlantic flights despite being "broke" -- as well as how it affects her relationship with Lorelai. Would she check her privilege and find a paying job? Would she finish her novel and become a best-selling author? Would she finally accept she's not special or perfect simply because her mother, grandparents and the entire town of Stars Hollow told her she was?
There's also room to explore how the pregnancy changes -- or doesn't change -- her current relationship with ex-boyfriend Logan, who is engaged to another woman and living in London. Rory appeared to have ended their affair of at least a year following an evening with the reunited Life and Death Brigade, but in light of her conversation with her father, Christopher (David Sutcliffe), about Lorelai's decision to raise Rory on her own, it's unclear how Rory will proceed with her own child. Still, it's worth pointing out that although the revival drew clear parallels between Logan and Christopher -- not just that they both come from money but that despite their feelings they're apparently incapable of being the men the Gilmore women need -- the truth is that the former, for all his faults, is a much better man than Rory's largely absent father ever was. It's hard to imagine Logan would allow Rory to raise their child alone even if they didn't reunite in the wake of her news.
But then there's the Jess of it all. It was implied that if Logan was Rory's Christopher that bad boy-turned-author Jess could be, and probably is, her Luke. After all, he pushed her to return to Yale in Season 6 and he pushed her write the story of her life with Lorelai in the revival thereby giving her life some kind of meaning. If we weren't supposed to interpret these actions as Jess knowing Rory better than anyone, and if we weren't supposed to interpret his longing look through the window at Rory taking care of Kirk (Sean Gunn) as his feelings for her still remain 15 years after he arrived in Stars Hollow, then what was the point of including it at all? You can make the argument the revival included a lot of things unnecessarily, but that look was not one of them. It means something.
So yes, there are definitely enough threads left dangling that it's possible to continue this story. There are more than enough complications that could arise from the situation to potentially produce something worthwhile. Basically, there's room to grow in theory. But Rory's pregnancy announcement, no matter how you feel about it personally, allows the series known as Gilmore Girls to come full circle. If the show were to continue beyond these four episodes it's unlikely it would be the same show fans fell in love with. It would, like Rory's unborn child, be the next generation, as Lorelai and Emily's (Kelly Bishop) arcs, which were as important to the show's narrative as Rory's own story, reached something resembling a natural conclusion in "Fall." It's difficult to see how series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino could create something as compelling as she did here in the wake of Richard's (Edward Herrmann) death, with Lorelai and Emily reaching a new place in their relationship and Lorelai finally marrying Luke. The series we know and love is effectively over with these developments.
We can debate until we're blue in the face the problematic way we reached this particular destination -- the pacing of the revival was all over the place and Sherman-Palladino completely ignored the character development Logan went through in Season 7, which was the only season she and her collaborator and husband, Daniel Palladino, weren't involved in. We can even debate whether or not it's believable that Rory would be this directionless at 32. But what we shouldn't do is ask for more episodes.
As far as we know, Bledel and Czuchry are fairly free to sign on for more (Ventimiglia currently stars on NBC's popular family drama This Is Us), and Netflix seems to have more money than it knows what to do with, but just because we can do something doesn't mean we should. So perhaps the biggest argument against continuing Gilmore Girls is something the show itself struggles with: knowing when to say when.
Knowing when to call it quits is a problem that plagued the series in the revival; the musical in "Summer" went on at least eight minutes too long and there was absolutely no reason to bring back and recast Tristan if Chad Michael Murray wasn't going to return (and honestly, does CMM think he's too good for Gilmore Girls now? Because he's not). We've also seen what happens to shows that return to the well one too many times in an attempt to recapture former glory -- yes, we're looking at you, Sex and the City.
As it stands, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life was a poorly-paced revival that ignored whatever it wanted to ignore in order to tell the story its creator had always wanted to tell. Its narrative required characters' lives be stagnant since the last time we'd visited Stars Hollow and that was problematic given that it's been 10 years onscreen and nine off. But it was also exactly what we needed it to be. It was wacky and weird and wonderful. It was an escape from the real world that was refreshing in its simplicity. To return to Stars Hollow now and be reunited with all our favorite friends was like picking up our favorite worn paperback and slipping back into its comfortable warm embrace. But to return again now that Amy Sherman-Palladino has told her story -- even if it's one many fans may not agree with -- would simply be too much. Let's not be greedy. Let's just appreciate it for what it was and then move on to the next great thing.
All four episodes of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life are currently streaming on Netflix.