Rory & Jess' Story In The 'Gilmore Girls' Revival Is Fittingly Bittersweet
There are certain parts of Gilmore Girls that all fans have been dying to find out in the Netflix revival — the famed last four words, who Rory ends up with, if Luke and Lorelai live happy ever after, whether or not Mr. Kim exists. But as a dedicated member of Team Jess, one question has truly plagued me for the past nine years: what happened to Jess after Gilmore Girls' series finale? Obviously, I always hoped that the answer involved him reconnecting with Rory to get their book-filled happy ending, and though Jess' ending in the Gilmore Girls revival wasn't quite that, it was very fitting and open-ended enough to leave me hopeful for the future. Spoilers for Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life ahead.
When we first caught up with Jess in the third episode, "Summer," we found out that he's still working at his publishing house, which is pretty successful, and though he calls his personal life "stable," also says there's "nothing permanent." He then gives Rory the idea that helps her change paths and find the confidence she needs to get her life back on track: write a book about her life with her mom. The second half of the revival shows Rory embarking on that task, and by the end, she's written the first three chapters. Jess pops in and out from that point forward, supporting Luke as he worries about his relationship with Lorelai, giving him a pre-wedding pep talk, and having a last moment with Rory in "Fall." And it's not that moment that will break your heart, but what comes after.
As Jess leaves to go stay at his mom's house before the wedding, Rory stops him on the porch to excitedly tell him that she's written the first three chapters of the book. When she goes back inside, Luke asks Jess what was happening and he says it was "a thing between us ... a work thing." When Luke asks Jess if he's over Rory, he's "long over" it, but once Luke goes inside, Jess hears Rory laughing and looks through the window of the Gilmore house. Tell me, is this the face of someone "long over" it?
I don't think it is. Clearly, there are still some lingering feelings here, and it gives me hope that even if we never get to see it happen, Jess and Rory will find each other again. The final four words left Rory in an unsure place too, and though some may view her surprising news as a sign that she'll end up with Logan, I don't see it that way. I think that Rory is going to follow in Lorelai's footsteps and raise her child as a single mother.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, co-creator Daniel Palladino compared Logan to Christopher, and the end of A Year in the Life only increases their parallels. Logan might be the father of Rory's baby (though it's not guaranteed), but that doesn't mean she's going to run to him and get married. Rory was raised to be independent and becoming a mother herself won't change that.
So, how does all of this relate back to Jess? If Logan is Christopher, Jess is almost certainly Luke, and I think that once Rory settles into life as a mother, they could reconnect a bit later in life, just like Luke and Lorelai didn't fall in love until they'd both been involved in other serious relationships. And in a recent interview with EW, when asked to tease the revival, Milo Ventimiglia simply said, "It's never over." I hope that's true of Gilmore Girls, and full believe it's true of Jess and Rory.
Images: Saeed Adyani/Netflix, Netflix