Follow along the whole rewatch here!
This is it, guys. Our final two episodes. I can’t thank you enough for taking this journey with me. For those of you who have been here every Wednesday morning for the past fifteen months, I feel like we're family now. You’re all my dear, quirky little Stars Hollow townies, and you’ve made this endeavor an absolute joy.
So let's wrap this sucker up (sob!), but first! A reminder of our drinking game rules:
The Gilmore Girls Drinking Game Rules
Drink once every time:
Lorelai or Rory drinks coffee.
Emily gets flustered by Lorelai's bizarre sense of humor.
Sookie is controlling about food.
Paris is controlling about anything.
Michel snubs a customer.
Luke is crotchety.
Taylor has an absurd scheme for Stars Hollow.
The girls acquire massive amounts of food and then fail to take even one bite.
Drink twice every time:
Kirk has a new job.
You see a town troubadour.
Emily gets a new maid.
On to the episodes!
7.21 "Unto the Breach"
Lorelai’s wigging a bit after two events from last week: Logan’s impending proposal, and her beautiful, embarrassing karaoke performance (one of my favorite moments of the series, I should add). She’s trying to focus on helping Emily and Richard plan Rory’s graduation party, hoping to think about anything else other than her serenade to Luke.
And that leaves her in a majority of one, because that’s all anyone else in town can talk about. Miss Patty, Babette, Liz, Rory – everyone wants to grill either Luke or Lorelai about what the serenade could mean. Luke tries to blow it off when he’s with Liz, there to buy some graduation jewelry for Rory, but he allows Liz to talk him into buying a necklace for Lorelai, as well. But later, Luke walks in just as Lorelai’s telling Babette and Miss Patty that the serenade didn’t mean anything – obviously, she’s just covering out of embarrassment, but Luke’s feelings are hurt, and he’s very curt with Lorelai, leading her to believe that he’s humiliated and annoyed that she made a spectacle of both of them. Oh man, this comedy of errors! Will these two crazy kids ever work it out? (Spoiler: yes. Really soon.)
Everyone in Stars Hollow is so excited to attend Rory’s graduation from Yale, but then they immediately become devastated to discover that Rory can only get enough tickets for Lorelai, Chris, Richard and Emily. Somehow Lorelai gets ambushed into throwing another graduation in Stars Hollow, recreating the pomp and circumstance and inviting everyone in town.
But first, Rory has to have graduation party #1 at Richard and Emily’s. Lorelai and Chris see each other for the first time since their breakup, and it’s nice. It will always be okay between these two, regardless of their history (or maybe because of it), and I'm glad. She tells him about Logan’s looming proposal, and they kind of wig together, which seems to break the ice. Richard and Emily wrote a song for Rory and sing it at the party, and it’s the most adorably cringe-worthy thing you can possibly imagine.
AND THEN. Logan strides to the front of the room and proposes to Rory in front of God and everyone. Logan! What are you thinking! Rory, stunned, asks him if they can talk outside, and oh man, I am so mortified for everyone involved here. Emily’s aghast that Rory isn’t immediately jumping at the chance to become a Huntzberger, naturally (“An offer like this doesn't come around every day”), but Lorelai is relieved that Rory didn't jump into saying yes. Rory tells Logan that she needs some time, and he seems dismayed but understands. Rory begs Lorelai for advice, which really should be her answer (I mean, if you have to ask your mom if she thinks it’s a good idea for you to get married…), but Lorelai wisely refrains from guiding her one way or the other.
Later, Lorelai’s wondering around Stars Hollow in a bit of a stupor, when she runs into Luke. She tells him about Logan’s proposal, and at first it’s a friendly exchange, before he starts talking about how wise it is that Rory’s taking time instead of jumping into a marriage, and Lorelai says there’s nothing wrong with jumping if you know what you want, and soon it’s clear that he and Lorelai are talking about themselves instead of their younger counterparts. Luke gives her Rory’s graduation earrings, but leaves Lorelai’s necklace in the drawer.
Finally, it’s Rory’s graduation day! She shares some champagne with Paris, Lucy and Olivia, and it’s a nice scene – but not nearly so nice as Paris’ speech to Rory right before they go onstage to get their diplomas.
We've been drafting off each other since high school, and now it’s each woman for herself. Who knows when we'll see each other again, right? You're gonna do such great things with your life, Rory. Unto the breach!
Lorelai’s fretting all through the ceremony, trying to make sure Emily and Chris are happy with their seats, wanting to get good pictures and note the exact time Rory receives her diploma, looking for extra programs for the fake Stars Hollow graduation later – when Richard stops her and makes me cry. “Lorelai, I will note the time. I will take the photo. You just sit there and enjoy your daughter’s graduation from Yale. This is as much your moment as Rory’s. Enjoy it.”
Lorelai is touched, and as she watches Rory cross the stage, her eyes fill with tears of pride. So do mine, okay? Just assume I cried through pretty much the entirety of both of these two episodes, and also through the entire writing of this post. That would be a safe assumption.
After the ceremony and pictures, Rory sees Logan standing a few feet away, and she goes to talk to him. She tells him sadly, but so wisely, “Logan, I'm sorry. I can't. I love you. You know how much I love you. I love the idea of being married to you, but... there are just a lot of things right now in my life that are undecided. And that used to scare me, but now I kind of like the idea that it’s just all kind of...wide open. And if I married you, it just wouldn't be." Logan takes the ring and tells her goodbye, and it’s so sad, but it’s also absolutely the right thing for both of them.
The episode ends with Rory and Lorelai moving Rory out of her apartment. Rory tells Lorelai how much she misses Logan already, and Lorelai tells her she knows, but that she thinks she made the right decision. They leave, and Rory turns off the lights on her old apartment, and on her life as a college student.
How many times do I have to drink?
How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?
Gah, Logan’s proposal is great. Well actually, the part in front of everyone isn’t so great, but later, when it’s just the two of them and he’s telling her to jump with him like they once jumped together before – that part is great. Poor Logan. Poor Rory.
Best/most dated pop culture reference:
Lorelai says she thinks Henry Winkler would make a great graduation speaker. Richard: "You mean Henry Kissinger?" Lorelai: "Not unless he played the Fonz."
Sookie's best dish of the episode/Michel madness/Lorelai's craziest outfit:
Rory looks so pretty, just in time to break Logan's heart when he proposes to her.
He does a David Blaine-esque performance art piece called Kirk in a Box! Or, as Kirk hurries to correct Taylor: "It isn't a performance art piece. It is a feat of endurance - an attempt to stretch the bounds of human possibility." Okay!
Best Gilmore Gal witticism:
Lorelai, still regretting her drunken serenade: "I've given you the 'don't drink to excess' speech, right?" Rory: "Well, if you haven't, you've certainly taught me by example."
It’s interesting that after promising to factor each other in for the future, Logan and Rory end so abruptly, but I think it's a well-written development – sad but realistic, and absolutely earned. With Logan’s move to San Francisco, and Rory’s brave decision to face the wide unknown for the first time in her life, I think they’re both on really strong paths for the future. Those paths just don’t happen to be headed in the same direction - for now, at least.
7.22 "Bon Voyage"
The episode opens with one of my favorite scenes in Gilmore Girls’ entire run: Lorelai’s dragging a skeptical, pajamas-clad Rory into the Dragonfly to meet Christiane Amanpour! Rory, understandably, thinks Lorelai’s mistaken – but then she sees her, her hero! She goes up to meet her, and the great Ms. Amanpour is all courtesy and support. She even gives Rory her card. It’s a perfect way to open the final episode of this wonderful show – after all, Rory's been idolizing the foreign correspondent for seven seasons.
Rory’s keeping her nose to the grindstone, filling out and mailing 74 resumes before she and Lorelai leave for their post-grad trip: a roller coaster tour of New England! What a perfect trip for these two. Rory’s still feeling heartbroken over her breakup with Logan, but she's determined to stay cheerful and focused on the future. She asks Lorelai about Luke, and Lorelai says she’s done – she’s tired of making gestures (like the serenade) that Luke doesn’t reciprocate. She says they’re just going to be friends, and that’s okay – and then the scene is mirrored as Luke tells a questioning Liz the same. Sure guys. Whatever you say.
Lorelai’s at Friday night dinner with Emily and Richard, and Rory’s going to be a bit late because she’s having work drinks with Hugo, the editor of the online magazine that she's been writing for. Emily starts trying to convince Lorelai to turn the Dragonfly into a spa, and Lorelai politely declines, to Emily’s displeasure. Rory arrives in a flush: she has a job! She has to leave in three days! And what an incredible job it is – a reporter Hugo assigned to go on the Barack Obama campaign trail (cool!) dropped out, and he gave the job to Rory. She’ll be on the road for months, possibly years – but she’ll be doing something important and meaningful, getting tremendous experience and real press credentials. The salary is “next to nothing,” but all of her travel, lodging and food will be taken care of. Emily’s shocked, but Richard and Lorelai (clearly also sad about losing Rory so soon, but each of them putting up a brave face) are so warm and supportive.
The next day, Lorelai has to announce to all of the Stars Hollow townies that the party’s been canceled – Rory’s now leaving in two days, and they have way too much to do to prepare for her trip to also plan a party. Kirk, Lulu, Babette, Miss Patty – everyone is heartbroken, and Luke looks over at them and gets an idea. He goes to Sookie and suggests that they throw the party for Lorelai and Rory, and make it a surprise. Sookie smiles joyfully, knowingly – she thinks it’s a terrific idea, and so sweet of Luke. They get to work, with the ENTIRE TOWN in on it. They have a town meeting (our last one!) to discuss the particulars, and Luke is in charge of everything. When they learn it’s going to rain the next day, making a party in the town square seemingly impossible, Luke gathers tarps and tents from everyone in town and spends the entire night sewing them together to create an enormous canopy over Stars Hollow town square. It’s…well, it’s amazing. It’s perfect.
Rory goes to Lane’s for one last night together, and I’m so glad this jam-packed episode took the time to show these two besties saying goodbye. They marvel at how far they've come, and sip tea on the porch, and seem so much more grown-up than those two goofy girls gossiping about boys and bands together in the first season. Rory confides to Lane that she’s panicking, completely freaking out, and seems a little hurt that Lorelai is handling it all so well. She goes home and asks Lorelai how she can be so okay with everything, and Lorelai breaks my heart by saying, simply and sadly: “It’s too soon. If I stop to think about you leaving now, I'm gonna fall apart. We still have time left. It's too soon.”
The next day, Rory and Lorelai are driving through town in the pouring rain, wondering why no one is opening their doors so Rory can say goodbye to them, when they see...this. Oh man. I'm openly crying right now.
They walk into the party, amazed to find the entire town cheering for Rory. For both of them. It's beautiful.
They find Emily and Richard there, and Richard says something that makes me cry even harder. I have to say, post-heart attack Richard is my favorite (velour track suits and all).
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. I regret that you needed to. It takes a...a remarkable person to inspire all of this.
TEARS FOREVER. Fortunately, Taylor lightens the mood a little with a truly disgusting speech about how the town has birthed Rory, but then Rory chokes me right back up again with her speech, thanking everyone for the party. And then she says, with so much love, as Lorelai looks on with her eyes full of tears: "One more thing - to my mom, who is just everything to me and everything I am and who I'm going to miss so much." Imagine how filming this episode must have felt for Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel, who worked together so closely for seven years. Those tears had to be real, because this was a real farewell.
Think you're done crying? Not even! Emily comes up to Lorelai and starts talking about building a tennis court at the Dragonfly instead of a spa. "Now it's expensive, but your father and I have discussed it, and we are willing to loan you the money. All it would require is the three of us to sit down and hash out the details. Obviously we want to get together with you from time to time to see how things are progressing, but we wouldn't become pests about it." Lorelai realizes what this is about, and she looks touched. She smiles and says: "Mom, why don't we just talk about it Friday night at dinner?" Emily looks staggered, and so relieved, that Lorelai wants to continue the dinners, and Lorelai shrugs sweetly, "Well, I've kind of gotten used to it."
Oh don't worry, STILL CRYING.
Sookie walks up and Lorelai thanks her for throwing this amazing party. Sookie can't WAIT to tell her that it was all Luke, and Lorelai is stunned. She walks up to Luke in a daze and thanks him. At first he tries to blow it off as no big deal, but Lorelai just looks at him, and he says, in this impossibly lovely way, "I just like to see you happy." And then...they kiss! They kiss. It's perfect.
But that's not the end! We still have some crying to do here, people! The next morning, Rory and Lorelai are packing up the rest of Rory's stuff. Lorelai is just barely keeping it together, and I love these final lines as she gives some truly wise advice to her daughter:
I really just feel ambushed, you know? I thought I had so much more time. I thought I had all summer to impart my wisdom about work and life and your future, and I feel like I had something to tell you. Oh, on the bus, make sure you choose a good seat, you know, because people are creatures of habit, and the seat you pick in the beginning could be your seat for the rest of the year. Get a window seat, honey, 'cause there's so much to see. And you might want to sit in the back, because people there tend to be more chatty and friendly and - I don't know what it is about the front of the bus, you know, but people there just tend to be a little more bossy and uptight. It's just been that way since first grade. And, honey, I know what you're gonna say, but just don't wear shorts, okay, no matter how hot it is. It's not professional, and all that heat and those sticky vinyl seats - it'll be like ripping a band-aid off your thigh every time you stand up. Don't be too shy. Don't be too forward, but don't be too shy, 'cause you make a lovely first impression, but you really grow on people, too. You need ziplock bags. You should have them all the time, they’re so handy. And I'm gonna give you that orange sweater. I know you've wanted it, and you know what, I'm finally gonna give it to you.
Rory just says: "Mom" a few times until Lorelai finally stops talking, and looks at her. Rory says, with all the meaning in the world: "You've given me everything I need."
I AM ALMOST CRIED OUT. And then they have one last stop to make before the airport. They go to Luke's, and order way too much breakfast, and he pours them two cups of coffee as they chat and goof around, and the camera pulls away through the window into the street, mimicking the end of the very first episode of this wonderful, beautiful show.
And that, my friends, is that.
How many times do I have to drink?
How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?
GOD, that scene with Luke. It's the perfect cap to their relationship. It manages to convince us that, after everything, this really will be the time that they stay together, passionately in love and deliriously happy, forever.
Best/most dated pop culture reference/Michel madness:
Rory and Michel are worried Lorelai's going to embarrass herself (and them) in front of Christiane Amanpour the way she once did when Marisa Tomei visited the Inn. Lorelai: "Marisa Tomei's mother's best friend is my hairdresser's cousin's roommate! That's just freaky."
Sookie's best dish of the episode:
She makes a bevy of pies for the party: cherry, blackberry, sour cream peach.
Lorelai's craziest outfit:
I'm giving it to Ms. Amanpour! She just looks casual and classy and cool as hell.
Turns out he's a DJ! Of course he blows out his eardrum at the party.
Best Gilmore Gal witticism:
Emily, trying to convince Lorelai to open a spa: "Spas are exploding!" Lorelai: "Sounds dangerous."
As happy as I am that Luke and Lorelai share that amazing kiss, I'm even happier that it's not the final scene of the series. This show, even with all of the romance and drama, is ultimately about the love these two women have for one another. And it ends the way it should: with the two Gilmore girls laughing over coffee.
And I leave you with a question, my dear FYA readers: what's your favorite Gilmore Girls moment of the entire series? Mine is Rory's high school graduation speech.
And I'm also going to leave you with a little addendum!
I got most of my gifs from the following sources (other than those I found via Google):
I used this Gilmore Girls transcripts site every single week. It was a lifesaver.
And I could only do this entire rewatch because of the great Mandy J. She introduced me to Gilmore Girls, she loaned me the discs, she joined me for every finale and she subbed for me when I was out of town. She's the Paris to my Rory.
A quick "best of" our categories!
The episode with the most drink rules: 6.22 "Partings" - 66 drinks! That's the episode with all of the troubadours, and it's two drinks for every troubadour, so.
The episode with the most cups of coffee: 3.12 "Lorelai out of Water" - 16 cups! That's the episode where Lorelai goes on the coffee date with Billy Burke.
The episode with the best flirtation quota: 4.22 "Raincoats and Recipes" - WELL DUH. Luke and Lorelai's first kiss:
The episode with the best pop culture reference: 2.20 "Help Wanted" - the first time Gilmore Girls theme song singer Carole King showed up as Sophie Bloom.
The episode with Sookie's best dish: 2.13 "A-tisket, A-tasket" - the picnic basket Sookie made for Jackson! Four kinds of pesto and three different desserts, a pineapple-cranberry chutney, "plus, the entire basket is an edible pretzel with a goat cheese filling."
The episode with Lorelai's craziest outfit: 2.07 "Like Mother, Like Daughter" - I called it an all-timer even back then. This bedazzled, ridiculous, racist-ass shirt.
The episode with the #1 outfit MVP: 3.07 "They Shoot Gilmores, Don't They?" - and it also happens to be my favorite episode of all time. These dresses! Their hair! Their makeup! Their shoes, too, though you can't see them here. Knockouts.
The episode with the most insane Kirk insanity: 2.19 "Teach Me Tonight" - A Film By Kirk, y'all! A Motherfreaking Film By Everloving Kirk.
The episode with the maddest Michel madness: 5.17 "Pulp Friction" - Michel goes to LA, gets botox and veneers "from Nick Lachey's guy" - and gets saddled with a gigantic RV he won on The Price is Right.
The episode with the best Gilmore Gal witticism: Gah, really no way to choose. The one that consistently makes me laugh, however, is in 1.19 "Emily in Wonderland" - when Lorelai's complaining about the complex Emily gave her about her "unusually large head" as a child. Lorelai: "The best thing about it was that she would tell me constantly. My first complete sentence was 'Big head want dolly.'"
And finally, the episode with my all-time favorite gif: 2.05 "Nick & Norah/Sid & Nancy":
And that is the end of our Rewatch Project, my dear, dear friends. Thank you so much for joining me on this long, twisty road - and as a token of my appreciation, I have a silly little gift for you. I made an emoji re-telling of the entire series of Gilmore Girls, season by season. I just posted it on FYA, so check that out and know that it's for YOU.
Oh, one last thing! Come back in October, when I'm going to start a brand new Rewatch Project - The O.C.! Dave Rygalski will ride again.