Now that Netflix has revealed the premiere date for Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life — November 25 — it is time to start seriously thinking about what the four feature length episodes could mean for all the Gilmore girls. So far, most of the focus has been on Lorelai and Rory, but after Richard's death it is Emily's story that has the potential to be the most powerful. Emily and Richard's stories were intricately entwined throughout all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls, but now Emily is going to be on her own. As difficult as it may be, Emily Gilmore will have to start a new chapter in her life, and there is one episode of Gilmore Girls that could be vital to Emily's revival journey.
The Season 5 episode "Emily Says Hello" pushed Emily way out of her comfort zone. Remember those dark days when Richard and Emily were separated? "Emily Says Hello" was the turning point episode for Emily. In the hour she decides to go on her first date in decades, and she has a wonderful time until she returns home to her big, empty house. The final moments find Emily standing in the foyer sobbing.
It is a completely gut-wrenching moment, and one that foreshadows where Emily may be in her life when the revival begins. The story is set to pick up a few months after Richard's death, so Emily will have spent some time in her home being well and truly alone. Where her separation from Richard was a choice in "Emily Says Hello," it will now be an unwelcome permanent state.
Still, the episode reveals so much about who Emily is independent of Richard, which is something she is going to have to explore in depth now that he is gone. Emily herself once noted how intrinsically she was linked to Richard. She devoted her life to being his wife and making their home, and she did not regret her choices, but it did leave her in a position where her days without him felt quite empty.
In "Emily Says Hello," Emily sees the possibilities of a life without Richard. She can be witty and independent, and there are other men out there who appreciate how amazing she is — at the time, all of these things only reinforced Emily's desire to repair her relationship with Richard, but now they could act as a reminder that she can move forward without dishonoring Richard's memory. Emily is not only going to have to figure out what she wants out of the next phase in her life, she is also going to be the head of the Gilmore family. Her life will be full of unexpected responsibilities even as she is still mourning.
While Emily is unlikely to rush back into the dating world, she will have to either learn how to fill the house with life, downsize, or become comfortable with the silence. The thought of her life without Richard has always frightened Emily. That is one of the reasons why the image of her crying alone in the Gilmore house is so affecting, but Emily has no choice but to go bravely into this new world.
"Emily Says Hello" gave fans a preview of Emily without Richard, and now the revival is going to expand on the idea in ways that are bound to both break fans' hearts and take Emily's character to surprising new places. Revisit the episode now and prepare yourself for Emily's sure to be emotional journey as she embarks on her post-Richard life.
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