At the first Friday night dinner in the Gilmore Girls revival on Netflix, an over-large portrait of Richard Gilmore breaks the tension surrounding Edward Herrmann's death. However, it soon becomes clear that Emily and Lorelai have had yet another falling out, and the death of the family's patriarch played a major role. Flashbacks to Richard's funeral on Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life in the premiere episode "Winter" reveal what happened between the two of them, and it's one of the most emotional and devastating Gilmore Girls scenes of all time. There are spoilers for Gilmore Girls ahead, so look away unless you're too curious to wait.
The funeral itself is respectful, with memories of Richard in every detail. Luke is poking around, keeping himself busy with repairs. Digger appears, for a brief cameo. Then, later in the evening once Rory has left town, Lorelai is alone with Emily and Richard's Yale pals. Everyone is several drinks in, and someone suggests that they go around the patio and tell a story about Richard. Lorelai chokes, and ends up rambling through several stories about Richard humiliating or neglecting her. Now, Lorelai's childhood and relationship with her parents was always strained — and Richard certainly had a better relationship with Rory, but this was definitely not the appropriate time. The drunken outburst lead to a chilling fight between Emily and Lorelai that also covered her relationship with her parents and her current, loosely-defined relationship with Luke. Emily called Stars Hollow a town full of "carnies and misfits," which was rude, but definitely about to be the name of my memoir.
Funerals are weird for everyone. It's not surprising that this is a source of drama and pain in the Gilmore family. Some people are more prepared to mourn and remember than others. I totally get where Lorelai was coming from. I tend to be unnaturally chipper at family funerals, because they mean catching up with cousins that I don't see that often. Lorelai messed up, but I totally relate to her feeling flustered, pressured, and unable to craft an "appropriate" response at a moment's notice.
So, this is what sets up the dramatic arc for Emily and Lorelai in the revival. It's not money this time, or problems with Rory. The two women start going to therapy together, and are finally working on their mother/daughter relationship. It's an excellent way to kickstart the character development on Gilmore Girls and hopefully bring it to a close.
Images: Robert Voets/Netflix