EDIT: Well, the show has come to a close: tonight, May 15th, Gilmore Girls ended. For a full review of the kind of great finale, click on the link – “Reviewing the Series Finale…”
I’ve been holding out some hope in recent weeks that things were looking bright of the future of The CW’s Gilmore Girls. It was finally heading back towards its main story threads, Luke and Lorelai appeared to be back on track, and by all accounts the show was in much better shape. While there were rumours of this being the show’s last season, there was also talk of a shortened 13-episode season to close out the show’s storylines in a meaningful fashion. I, personally, took to calling this the show’s epilogue. And yet, with today’s news that Gilmore Girls has been cancelled, the show will be having its series finale on May 15th. And to be honest, I’m kind of pissed about it.
There are some good notes to this story: this is one more slot The CW needs to fill, and therefore one more slot which a revamped Veronica Mars could find itself in. However, that’s a bit of a stretch of a bright side, I’d say, considering that I’m oddly more concerned about Gilmore Girls. While I enjoy Veronica Mars, I feel more emotionally attached to the world Amy Sherman-Palladino created and abandoned at the end of last season.
I had resigned myself to the possibility of cancellation at the beginning of the season, which was admittedly a rough one. New producer David S. Rosenthal had a pretty huge mess to clean up with Christopher re-entering the picture, and it was…well, an exercise in futility of sorts. The show really didn’t get back on track until Chris was out of the picture, and this was only recently. In recent weeks it has been building up to Luke and Lorelai reuniting (Often with an incredibly obvious swing of the metaphor hammer, or the use of Dolly Parton songs), and Logan is asking to propose to Rory. Rosenthal built a season that, as it concludes, could have ended the show when we came to this point.
However, it can’t possibly end the show well. Sure, it is entirely possible for the series to end on Luke and Lorelai heading off into the sunset, but the idea of leaving this universe in the span of two episodes is insane for me. Whether or not things are building to a possible finale, an epilogue would provide the series to say goodbye to its cast of characters. Paris won’t get anything close to a true resolution within two episodes, and neither will Lane, or the fantastic Richard and Emily. Luke and Lorelai might be together, but I think there would be something kind of charming in seeing them get married, transition into a new life. An epilogue would have been the perfect opportunity to pay a little fan service, conclude things a little better, give everyone one last moment in the sun.
And now, we’ve got a series finale that was only a backup series finale. It was likely designed as a possible end, should talks over the epilogue break down, and sure enough that is our scenario. There will be no inside jokes as to its finale status (Like perhaps references to a large number of people being pregnant?), no truly definitive moments, and to be honest with you…it will just never be fitting enough. Even in its lowest points, Gilmore Girls has been a show that plays well with large emotional gestures and moments…and it won’t get a chance to really go out on that note.
A true finale could have reconciled Lorelai and her mother, or at least ostensibly done so. It could have allowed Rory some time to reflect on her past, and perhaps given her a chance to succeed. Instead, we get a finale which promises to leave us hanging, providing likely only a forced reconciliation of the show’s star-crossed lovers and Rory getting a chance to meet Christiane Amanpour.
Well, it’s a done deal now: the epilogue is dead. Gilmore Girls, for better or for worse, ends on May 15th at 8pm EST on The CW.