Gilmore Girls Ship Watch: Final thoughts

So, I’ve arrived at the end of my intense Gilmore Girls binge. Thank you to everyone who has joined me for the ride. It’s been quite an experience and I’m psyched to join the rest of the fans in eager anticipation of what is to come in the reboot. For now, though, let me take a moment to share some final thoughts on the three big romances of Rory Gilmore’s first seven seasons.

It’s important to clarify exactly what we mean when we ask the question, “Who is the best of Rory’s three boyfriends?” To me, there are two separate questions. The first is: Looking at each of Rory’s relationship, which one was the best, at the time it was happening? The second is: based on where the show ended, which, if any of them, would be the best one for Rory to wind up with long-term? For me, these two questions have two different answers.

As I mentioned in my previous post, after season 6, I believe Logan was the best overall boyfriend to Rory while they were dating. Dean always treated her well and I adored him for a while, but as time went on it became clear that they were mismatched and incompatible in a lot of ways. Jess had some strong qualities and the best of them came out when he was trying to impress Rory, but his general attitude and lack of maturity made him unappealing. He wasn’t ready for a real relationship at the time that he and Rory were together, even if his potential was apparent.

Logan, on the other hand, did a lot of growing up during the time he was with Rory. Considering where he came from and the circumstances under which he grew up, he was far less grotesque than he should have been. He may not have separated himself to the degree that Lorelai had, but he certainly saw his family for what they were and did what he could do break free from them. Logan and Rory had similar backgrounds and there was a lot about them that made sense in the long run. Plus, Logan was a total romantic and constantly impressed me with his ability to be there for Rory when she needed him to be.

Logan’s eventual decision to walk away from Rory because, at 21-years-old, she wasn’t ready to commit to marriage felt far-fetched and ridiculous. Logan and Rory had come so far, why wouldn’t he at least try long distance? Or invite Rory to come out to California with him as his girlfriend? Clearly, the powers-that-be wanted Rory to end the series single, signifying her individual strength and her ability to succeed on her own.

Even before news of a reboot, fans enjoyed speculating on who Rory may have wound up with down the line. After her time on the trail with Obama, after she’d established herself as a successful journalist, where would she find companionship? Would it be with one of her former flames? Now that the show is making a return, the question takes on more meaning. We will actually get a chance to see where Rory’s life has taken her. When it comes to this question, and the men that Rory dated on the show, there is only one answer. The only one of the three that Rory could realistically wind up with is Jess.

Rory’s story with Dean more than ran its course. The relationship ended, then suffered a revival that should never have been attempted, and then died a second death from which there is certainly no coming back. Logan’s decision to leave marked the end of that relationship as well and it’s hard to believe there was any more to that story either. Jess, however, was left open-ended. Real life has a funny way of circling back to relationships like that one that never quite had a chance to see its way to an ending. There’s no guarantee that the ending would be a happy one, but it seems highly likely to me that once Rory’s relationship with Logan was over she’d have found her way back to Jess at some point.

It’s also entirely possible that Rory found someone – or several someones – new in the time between college graduation and now. Either way, I’m psyched the have the show’s creator and writer of the first six seasons, Amy Sherman-Palladino back at the helm to tell the end of the Gilmore story the way she’s always intended it to be told. What are you hoping will happen?

And if you want to hear more talk about the ships of Gilmore Girls, check out episode 25 of The Shipping Room podcast, with special guest Keiko Agena, aka Lane Kim, and her Drunk Monk podcast co-host, Will Choi.


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