Winter || Gilmore Girls || Review

"I smell snow." - Lorelai Gilmore
Note: I can’t cover everything, not unless I want a 5000 word essay. Hopefully, you enjoy! J Please don’t get mad at me for being honest. I do love this show – but I really want to try critiquing television better, and I don’t think I’ll be able to do that with pure appreciation or only rants.

Before the episode starts, quotes from the original series are overlayed – building to a crescendo, and bringing us back into the Gilmore world so many have craved, with its fast-talking dialogue and endless emotional truth bombs. Now it’s time to return to Stars Hollow, in all its snow-covered glory as Rory returns home after a successful New Yorker piece. We see Lorelai sitting under the gazebo waiting for Rory, where they launch into their respective speeches before sharing a sweet hug.

“How long’s it been?”
“Feels like years.”
To all the Gilmore Girls fans that made it 3115 days, congratulations you’ve made it. It’s almost like nothing has changed – especially not when Lorelai breathes in and says, “I smell snow”. It’s a reminder that stings when we see how Lorelai and Emily’s relationship has changed (or not) in the timespan we missed.

The Gilmore Girls are dealing with the loss of the ultimate pillar of strength – Richard Gilmore.

Lorelai is coming to terms with the loss of a father she never really shared true familial experiences with. Speaking from personal experience, it’s already challenging enough to articulate love for your parents after they have passed, but it’s even more difficult when you don’t have the memories to explain that feeling. If there’s one thing the series emphasised, it’s how easily Emily and Lorelai slip back into old patterns when certain events occur. In this case, we’re reminded Lorelai is a serial word-vomiter (particularly while wasted), and when she makes the ultimate cringe worthy speech when pressed for a fond memory of her late father. Her words literally send the series back to the pilot, as Lorelai and Emily share brutal exchanges - years of tension and unresolved anger rising to the surface once again. The interesting thing about their exchanges is how Emily knows how to make Lorelai tick. She externalises Lorelai’s greatest fears, and it is heart wrenching to see Lorelai crumble under the realisations she generally tends to avoid. 

That’s not to say Emily is the ultimate villain; her life has been torn apart from the loss of her partner of 50 years but there’s a cycle of manipulation and secrecy in this family which manifests itself into toxic arguments when things begin to crumble.

That’s why it’s almost a relief when Emily manages to con Lorelai to attend therapy with her. Wait, what?! Let’s backtrack. If there’s one thing Rory is still handling well, it’s being the mediator in the endless Lorelai and Emily debate. When Lorelai finally steps up, she finds Emily completely unlike herself, dressed in Lorelai’s old jeans and a t-shirt (plus pearls, because she’s still Emily Gilmore). It’s such a sad scene, but having Lorelai support Emily during a time of such pain is special, to say the least.

“I don’t know how to do this – live my life. I was married for fifty years; half of me is gone.”
(However, I really wish the show would dispel the myth that a committed relationship isn’t enough – or have Emily come to terms with this, because it does not belittle her relationship in any way to admit this.)

Rory’s world couldn’t be farther from Emily and Lorelai in many forms - her is entire life in boxes scattered across three different states, she forgets Pete Paul constantly (a joke which loses its appeal very fast, to be entirely honest) while having a casual thing with Logan, and finds herself leading a vagabond existence as she chases her next big break (and potentially somewhere to settle).

“This is my time to be rootless and see where life takes me,” Rory insists. It’s a typical post-college experience, one I haven’t dealt with personally – but makes perfect sense, particularly with Rory’s career being in an industry which has reinvented itself in the aftermath of technological advancement and changing societal interests. However, it’s disorienting for someone like Rory – who consistently had a long-term goal in mind, and even her detours barely made a dent into her career prospects. To me, it feels like another reminder of Richard Gilmore’s absence, as Rory cannot seek comfort in the primary family role model she has (barring Luke, who is so proud of Rory’s New Yorker article he prints new menus).

‘Winter’ is a welcome start to a new era in the Gilmore world. It carries the same themes ‘Gilmore Girls’ did – but also reminds us that the loss of Richard Gilmore has ultimately shaken up the world we know. This episode pays homage to Ed Herrmann’s irreplaceable presence, by highlighting the emptiness each character feels without his constant guidance and existence that I, as a viewer, may have taken for granted.

Additional Notes:
  • Lorelai chasing after Rory as she frantically finds a phone which provides reception.
  • Ooo-ber: Kirk is the best. Fact. Dirk, however, has been a constant disappointment to the Gleason family.
  • No one paid for parking metres so they removed it. Taylor is anti-sewerage and the town chipped in to buy Kirk and Lulu a pig so they wouldn’t have kids. Stars Hollow in a nutshell.
  • I love playing ‘Spot the Actor’.
  • “His power is that you can’t remember him even if you spend a lot of time with them. Kind of like every Marvel hero ever.”
  • Luke lying about the WiFi password is an absolute joy, but Taylor completely steals the storyline when he snaps at the customers and wins Luke over long enough to get him on-board with the septic tank plan.
  • Michel’s married and potentially going to have a child with his husband.
  • “Full freakin’ circle” – We’ll get back to this later!
  • Luke really doesn’t understand the concept of surrogacy, does he?
  • Paris is back. And she’s divorcing Doyle?! I didn’t sign up for this. On the bright side, Paris’ career is flying.