First and foremost, if anyone hasn’t watched the revival yet, stop right there, go watch it, and then come back to us. Serious spoilers lie ahead. Alright, now you can’t say you weren’t warned. The Gilmore Girls started off in 2000 in a tiny Connecticut town with mom, Lorelai Gilmore and daughter, Rory Gilmore. We fell for the duo because they were not just mother and daughter, but best friends.
This friendship would come to flourish over the years as Rory’s life as a teenager and twentysomething emulated what Lorelai was going through as she was still trying to find her way. The riches to rags story started with Lorelai leaving her prominent Hartford home when she found herself pregnant with her future BFF at just 16-years old. Lorelai is the pregnant teen with the heart of gold that turns in the Mom that wants her daughter to have everything she didn’t and more.
Now then, that doesn’t mean Lorelai doesn’t want Rory to learn what it’s like to work for what you’ve got. She doesn’t dig privilege and entitlement unless it’s an entitlement to being served first at Luke’s Diner. The Gilmore Girls left our lives in 2007 with Rory graduating college and accepting a job covering Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, and Lorelai settling down with the diner owner that we always knew would win her heart.
In the revival, we pick up 9 years later. Rory is looking for a new career and Lorelai is running a busy inn — sans Sookie — alongside Luke who is still just her boyfriend. The four seasonal episodes will deliver viewers many moments that hammer home what motherhood is truly all about. The difficulties, the heart-melting warmth of it all; this revival doesn’t miss a beat. How will the world’s favorite mother-daughter duo end up this time? We’ll give you a hint: Rory isn’t done emulating Lorelai’s life, and Lorelai isn’t done figuring out what she wants.
15 The Very First Scene
Enter, Stars Hollow. You’ve just been transported back in time. Except you weren’t. It’s modern day and everything in the sleepy little New England town is exactly the same as it always was last time we saw it covered in a blanket of snow (New England is really like this FYI). Lorelai Gilmore is enjoying her coffee in the heart of the town while she waits in the gazebo for her daughter to get into town.
Rory! The back-and-forth mother-daughter banter we came to love in the 2000s is still there, as fresh and witty as ever. It is this very lingo that the Gilmore duo boasted throughout the series that captivated fans and made them long for a relationship like this with their own mother — one full of quick comebacks and just the right amount of friendship.
Lorelai is now the mother of 32-year old Rory who shows up looking too fresh to have just stepped off a plane. In true Lorelai style, she humorously chastises Rory for lacking the blotchy appearance she would expect her own self to have after a flight with ”people with consumption, diphtheria, scabies” and more. We couldn’t love her more for taking us right back to the same Lorelai and Rory that have been missing for the last nine years.
14 Rory Comes With Baggage
Our next favorite stop along memory lane isn’t too much farther into the revival. Lorelai and Rory head home where they find Luke preparing a Gilmore-friendly Christmas dinner complete with mac ‘n cheese parmesan cutlets of course. Over off the kitchen where it’s always been is Rory’s bedroom — left untouched mostly. The duo departs to the rising sound of the Tom Tom Club’s Genius of Love as Luke pleads with them not to turn on that song.
As Rory starts rummaging through her boxes, she realizes some of them are already open. While Lorelai coyly tries to blame it on the TSA, she remarks she was disappointed with what she found, or didn’t find. Yaaaaas! What mother doesn’t go through her daughter’s belongings? Alright, maybe when they’re 32 it could be construed as a little over the top and creepy, but that only applies to mothers who aren’t Lorelai Gilmore.
13 The Funeral
Hold up; you didn’t think Lorelai would be the only mother we swoon over in this saga, did you? Everyone from the star-studded cast returns in the revival, except for Richard Gilmore. Edward Herrmann, who played Lorelai’s father and Rory’s grandfather during the original series, unfortunately passed away in late 2014. The revival pays homage to him through a wall-sized portrait and a well-laid out funeral scene. After the burial, friends and family are invited to congregate at Richard and Emily’s home.
A short while into the post-funeral event, Lorelai reminds Rory of the time. Disgruntled and disappointed, she realizes she has to scoot off to the airport to catch her flight to London. Emily had been telling Rory all afternoon that she was fine and didn’t need a babysitter. Emily Gilmore wasn’t the type to fall to pieces, and she certainly wouldn’t be doing it in front of all of Richard’s colleagues and fellow members of the club.
In that moment when Rory realizes she has to depart, Emily bids farewell to Lorelai expecting her to leave at the same time. Instead, Lorelai remarks — with tears in her eyes — that she’s going to stick around. A surprised Emily responds, “You’re staying?” and looks both relieved and touched when her daughter says “yes”. This is exactly the kind of heartwarming scene Gilmore Girls fans chased in years gone by between Emily and Lorelai. Age and wisdom have served both characters well.
12 Another Emily Moment
Later that winter, Lorelai heads to her mother’s house to check on her and finds the house amuck with staff and moving men who are packing what appears to be all of Emily and Richard’s belongings in boxes. On the heels of a popular book (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up) Emily decided to go through everything she owns and get rid of whatever doesn’t bring her joy.
Lorelai recognizes this behavior as out of character for her mother, who wasn’t the type to give away Richard’s belongings so soon after his death. By the end of Emily’s ranting about the house and the cash she has in the safe that Lorelai should use to ship her body back to Connecticut from Washington where she one day plans to die with dignity if she should develop an illness, Lorelai has to ask why Emily is wearing jeans. Yes, Emily Gilmore in jeans and a worn out Candie's tee shirt.
Though it would turn out she resorted to borrowing some of Lorelai teenage-year wardrobe pieces after she gave away all of her own clothing, the irony seeing Emily in a distressed tee and faded jeans next to prim and proper Lorelai is charming. The scene digresses into a confession from Emily that she doesn’t know how to live without her partner. As Lorelai tries to convey empathy, Emily brings to light the debate we knew would surface sooner or later — that Lorelai can’t possibly understand how she feels because she and Luke aren’t married. Does it get any more motherly than that?
11 Therapy For Two
The first season of the revival ends with Lorelai and Emily on fairly good terms after the latter takes her daughter’s advice and starts seeking a therapist. She’s so thrilled with the outcome of her new experience that she wants Lorelai to meet the therapist she can’t stop raving about. Lorelai is thrilled to help and agrees wholeheartedly only to look back in disgust when Luke slams her with a reality check that she just agreed to go to therapy with her mother.
Partway into their first therapy session, Emily speaks up about how much it annoys her that Lorelai and Luke aren’t married. Lorelai goes to great lengths to try to defend her circumstances. After all, she isn’t her mother. She doesn’t need the certificate of marriage to affirm her confidence in her relationship or the solidity of their union.
Emily hammers back that it was their marriage that kept her and Richard together. To the novice viewer, it might seem like Emily is uptight and expects a couple who cohabitates to be married, but to the Gilmore Girls fan, we know this demonstration of anger and frustration on both their parts is about Lorelai foregoing marriage even if she wants it just in the name of being a little less like her mother.
10 In A New York Minute
New York City enters the picture in the spring when Rory takes Lorelai along for the journey as she attempts to write a piece for GQ Magazine on people who stand in lines. (It had more appeal coming from her). The trip leads to one very exhausted Lorelai heading back to the hotel early, sans Rory for a nap and a hot bath. Remember, she’s a wee bit older now, but she’s still got the wit of her former thirtysomething self.
Are you ready for this? Rory bursts through the door later that evening and confesses her sexcapade to her Mom. Yes, while she was out pounding the pavement looking for a beat on her story, Rory ends up sleeping with some random dude dressed as a Wookie. Fortunately, Amy Sherman-Palladino spared us from having to actually watch this part go down.
While Rory is venting about her experience, sharing her self-disgust and shame, Lorelai steps down from the motherhood role into the shoes of Rory’s best girlfriend and brings Rory back down to a state of calmness. In the world of the Gilmore Girls, there’s nothing a little room service or take-out won’t solve.
9 There’s More To The Story
Just when viewers are thinking the motherhood/girlfriend bonding session is over as soon as the Wookie conversation fizzles out, Rory brings up a much larger issue — an issue that Lorelai was unaware existed. Logan Huntzberger; or as Lorelai later calls it — the guy Rory just can't quit. Is he Rory’s Luke or is he Rory’s Christopher? It seems Rory herself is til battling to figure that out at this stage in the revival.
Having had a continual arrangement with Logan that she’d stay with him when she’s in London (while Lorelai thought she was staying with a female friend), Rory struggles to figure out what Logan means to her and is he should mean anything. After all, he’s engaged to marry someone else — a French heiress — as part of his family’s dynasty. Believe it or not, they actually use that word.
Lorelai points out that sleeping with Logan is “way sluttier than a one-night-stand” with a Wookie. This is why we love her. She knows her role, though. She bites her tongue because Rory isn’t an 18-year old girl anymore. She’s 32 and capable of making her own choices. So Lorelai holds back from what she wants to say about Logan, start right after she nags her about why she didn’t tell her until now.
8 I’m Not Back!
The summer season brings with it a new take on Stars Hollow, because we’ve never seen it in the summer before. Did you know there’s a pool and Luke is one of the lifeguards? Getting down to business, everyone keeps talking to Rory about how nice it is to have her back. She is back, right? Not according to her, and she doesn’t like the assumption, either. She went to Yale. She led her school newspaper. She wrote for The New Yorker. Certainly, her fate isn’t just to end up back home in Stars Hollow.
As everyone welcomes her back to town, she makes sure to correct each of them so they know she’s got no plans to stick around. Back in the day, when Rory was a teenager who was still unsure of herself, Lorelai would’ve stepped in in true Gilmore fashion and defended her daughter. She would’ve made sure everyone knew her daughter was destined for far more than Stars Hollow, and that’s exactly what she doesn’t do this time around.
Why? We aren’t sure. Perhaps it’s just more of Lorelai knowing her daughter is a grown woman now who can hold her own — and she can; Rory is a much more confident and outspoken woman now. Some might say she quite resembles Lorelai in that way. Or, it could be that Lorelai has some motherly foresight she’s holding on to — much like Emily often has — and knows her daughter ‘s life is going to turn out exactly how it’s supposed to. Either way, we love that Lorelai lets Rory take the reins now.
7 Mother-Daughter Drinking
Is there anything that marks the passage of time and the evolution of a mother-daughter relationship more than sharing a bottle of wine? Alright, for this pair it’s more like a bottle of scotch — a mature change for the coffee-obsessed duo. They vent about their troubles at work. Lorelai is struggling with the news that Michel is leaving the inn for greener pastures. Rory is struggling to run the Stars Hollow Gazette and get her first issue published — especially with complaints from Taylor about the traditional poem.
They reach for seconds and throw them back like two men at a bachelor party before going their separate ways to tackle the very predicaments that brought them together. The Gilmore Girls are good for that. They don’t need to whine on and on endlessly. They just need to get their troubles off their chests and their minds, offer words of encouragement and sympathy and go on their way. A lot of moms and daughters out there might want to take a page from this book, and a shot of scotch.
6 Paper Delivery Girls
It’s Rory’s first published edition of the Stars Hollow Gazette. She made some tough moves with the tiny paper, and we still can’t figure out who wrote all of the pieces that must be in it. After all, a staff of three — two of which don’t really work — isn’t much to work with. Was this foreshadowing all along that Rory would end up writing a book? Perhaps.
Nonetheless, she’s in a real bind with two elderly coworkers that barely move about the office when she asks who delivers the Gazette. Maybe she should’ve known this already being an avid reader of it herself. As luck would have it, it was her job to see that everyone in town got their copy. Who does she call on to help?
Lorelai, of course, who was in the midst of her own crisis at the inn. Luke is borderline berating her for needing him to host Burger Tuesday at the inn once again because Lorelai just can’t seem to find a replacement for Sookie that she deems adequate. Despite his dismay, she jaunts off — sneakers in hand — to help Rory with her first official delivery of the paper across town. Hey, what are moms for?
5 TV Dinners
Number five takes motherhood to another level: grandmotherhood. Rory swings by the Hartford mansion to check on Emily, who is busy wrapping up a DAR meeting. At first glance, we notice something is out of place. Rather, something has found a new place. We’ve rarely seen a television at all in the Gilmore household, so to find one in the main sitting room was surprising.
Rory knows her grandmother and eating dinner on a TV cart while watching a sitcom isn’t her style. She inquires what Emily has been doing to keep herself busy. She suggests she renew her membership at the club and get back into the swing of the activities she used to take part in when Richard was still alive. He is gone, but Emily is not, and Rory worries her grandmother will slow down and become a shut-in.
Motherhood comes full circle many times in this revival and the moments shared between Rory, Lorelai and Emily showcase what it’s like to watch someone grow up and then start to age. It wasn’t just Rory maturing all along. It wasn’t just about Lorelai trying to find her way. It was also about Emily coming into her own when Richard — the paramount figure in her life — is no longer here for everything to revolve around.
4 The Book
Rory’s penultimate moment is when she takes Jess’s advice — we know, of all people — and decides to write a book about her relationship with her mother. She reveals her plans to her mother at the cemetery while previewing the headstone that was made for Richard. Instead of the sentimental moment we expected, Lorelai gets defensive and surprises us telling Rory she doesn’t have her permission to share the story of her life.
Rory says it will be about their relationship, the “mother-daughter thing, the friend thing; it’s our journey and the journey you [Lorelai] took before I was born”. Lorelai disapproves; Rory tells her she must write this story and that her mom just needs to understand. Lorelai remarks that “for the last 32 years I have been the queen of understanding” and this time around, she can’t.
The moment is marked by profound bitterness on Lorelai’s part. She adamantly says no and even tries her hand at the same kind of passive-aggressive behavior Emily often engages in that infuriates her so much. Rory and Lorelai part ways at this point in the story for a while. It reminds us a lot of the earlier years, such as when Lorelai didn’t approve of Rory losing her virginity to a married Dean. Later that year, Rory gives Lorelai the opportunity to read the first three chapters and if she disapproves, Rory agrees not to write it, but instead Lorelai understands and tells her she’ll read it when it’s done.
3 Richard Gilmore
In the winter chapter of the revival, we witness Richard’s funeral and the gathering in the Gilmore home afterward. When Lorelai stays to comfort her mother that day as most of the other guests depart, we’re left with a small handful of his closest chums and colleagues surrounding a record player on the patio. Emily asks before everyone goes if they’ll share their fondest memory of Richard. Lorelai — caught off guard and intoxicated — shares a tale of embarrassment and shame instead.
The faux pas marked the first argument she and mother would have in the year-long whirlwind revival. By the time we reach the autumn season, Lorelai has gone off on her own to find herself. She may have looked a little too deeply into the book The Wild and decides she needs to take the trip through the mountains and across those same trails for herself. Her plans for hiking don’t exactly work out, but her hopes of realization and peace do.
As she walks to a local coffee shop only to find them closed, she climbs the hill behind the shop to find a beautiful vista laid out in front of her. It is there where her fondest memory of Richard comes to her, and she calls to share the tale of her embarrassing moment in school as a teen when her boyfriend broke up with her and how Richard found her at the mall food court and took her to the movies. Emily says thank you with a smile and hangs up the phone, and that is when we know Lorelai and Emily are going to be okay and really get each other.
2 Dom Perignon
Talk about coming full circle. Lorelai realizes she cannot bear to lose Michel when she’s already lost Sookie. But Michel desires a larger lodging experience. The inn has been a quaint home for a long time, but he’s ready for fancy hotel patrons and spa services. Lorelai was feeling trapped because it is bordered on all sides by protected lands, and the first place she goes is her mother. In the past, Lorelai would’ve shuddered to need to borrow money from her mom, and now she is readily asking for it.
The exchange wouldn’t be that simple, though. Emily wants something in return: Lorelai and Luke in Nantucket — where Emily will be moving — for two weeks each summer and a week every Christmas. Again, much the opposite of how she once was, Lorelai readily agrees. She wants to spend time with her mother. Emily wants to spend time with Luke and Lorelai. But they both go on pretending it can only happen out of a business exchange, and that’s just how this family works.
Emily and Lorelai smile at one another and toast to the circle of life. Emily remarks that Lorelai looks very happy, and her daughter responds, “I am, I really am”. Emily exits at this point to fetch a bottle of ’69 Dom Perignon, noting it’s a time for celebration. We can’t help but think she wants to celebrate her daughter’s happiness.
1 The Pregnancy Reveal
Gilmore Girls fans have waited years — literally — for this moment. The moment that Luke and Lorelai get married. While the plan was a traditional ceremony — hot dogs a la carte — with the whole town watching, that will have to wait because a spur-of-the-moment elopement takes place instead — one that Kirk carefully crafts for Luke ahead of time.
The Alice In Wonderland-like theme reminds viewers that while Lorelai’s wardrobe is lacking the mid-drift-baring brightly colored tees she once boasted, the teen mother is still young at heart and as quirky as ever. Rory wasn’t the only Gilmore who was growing up in the culmination of this moment. She and Lorelai — mother and daughter — grew up together. Even Emily has let go of her role as the dutiful wife and the overbearing mother as she comes into her own on the shores of Massachusetts.
This series has shown us the entire journey of motherhood through the eyes of three mothers. Yes, three. Emily Gilmore was everything Lorelai never wanted to be, and yet she ends up just like her in only the best ways. Rory wanted to be just like her mother and more, and it looks like she will be as she embarks on the same journey herself. Those last three words of the revival leave us breathless as Rory turns to Lorelai and says, “Mom, I’m pregnant.”
Will we see more of the Gilmore Girls? The fate of this series is still unknown, but we’re grateful Amy Sherman-Palladino and hubby Daniel Palladino brought us back in time to see our favorite TV mother-daughter twosome once again. Reportedly, Amy actually wanted the series to originally end with Rory announcing her pregnancy. Looks like things have come full circle indeed.