Sigh... It's all over. Spoilers for the "Gilmore Girls" series finale coming right up...
David Rosenthal knew. He obviously knew this would be the end. In form, if not always in style (because nobody could write Amy Sherman-Palladino dialogue as well as Amy could), this is exactly what a "Gilmore Girls" series finale should have looked like. Rory meets her idol and gets a lavish send-off from the town, Luke and Lorelai get back together (but not for such an extended period that we have to deal with whatever the hell has been going on with Lauren Graham and Scott Patterson all these years), Lorelai makes peace with her father and her mother, Lorelai sends Rory off into true adulthood, and we close with a mirror of the pilot, with Lorelai and Rory having coffee and an excessive breakfast at Luke's. Short of Amy coming back to write those legendary final two words (any guesses? "Shut up," maybe?), I don't know how much more we could have wanted.
In a lot of ways, it reminded me of "The West Wing" finale, another show where the chief creative voice had left the building and the product had suffered, and yet the replacement found a way to do right by the fans in the end. In particular, Richard's "It takes a remarkable person to inspire all of this" speech to Lorelai may have gotten me more misty-eyed than anything I've seen on television since Jed Bartlet said goodbye to Charlie. Even when "Gilmore Girls" had its problems -- and the last few seasons have given us many, many problems -- it was always worth watching for the interplay between Lauren Graham, Edward Herrmann and Kelly Bishop, and all three were in top form at the end. (As touching in its own way, if not as waterworks-inducing, was Lorelai realizing that her mother just wanted an excuse to keep having the Friday night dinners, and finding a way to agree without embarrassing Emily by calling her on it.)
Luke and Lorelai's reconciliation was very spare and nicely-done, with Luke's "I just like to see you happy" all the words that were needed. Interesting choice, though, to immediately pan up to show the party instead of the lingering kiss; were they giving the couple their privacy, or not forcing Lauren and Scott to smooch at length? (See? This is why I'm glad the show's not continuing, because I don't want to be thinking this much about off-screen rumors and whatnot.)
The hour wasn't perfect, of course, though again some of that is because of things that happened a long time ago. The Lane/Rory scene, for instance, would have had far more impact if Lane had actually been written as Rory's best friend the last three or four seasons, instead of the townie pal she left behind for Yale. (Still, it was nice to take a trip down Lane's love memory lane, including a Dave Rygalski shout-out.) And outside of Michel and Rory mocking Lorelai's behavior around celebrity guests, most of the humor didn't really work. A shame for such a historically funny show to go out so relatively flat.
Still, given everything we and the show have been though, Amy's absence and the fact that there had to be some wiggle room left open for one last season (which probably would have featured the return of Logan), this was about as good a finale as I could have hoped for. I'm bummed that Lauren Graham will likely never again have a part this good to show how amazing she is, but it's time. Bye, Stars Hollow. It's been fun.