Gilmore Girls [s7 ep22]: "Bon Voyage"
*** Spoiler Warning ***
In Brief: What's Good
- Surprisingly, it does feel more like a series finale than I was expecting (considering it was canceled *after* the "season" finale was already filmed).
- Nice to see pretty much every current character in the episode (except for Logan, since he and Rory broke up in the previous episode; Paris, since she was a part of Rory's non-Stars Hollow life; and April, since she's a predominately unliked recurring character attached to Luke's separate storyline; oh, and no Mrs. Kim either).
- Nice to see Luke up to his old ways of going above and beyond the call of duty to do something nice for Lorelai and Rory.
- A nice conversation between Rory and Lane.
- Glad to see Richard say something nice about Lorelai.
- Lorelai agreeing to continue Friday night dinners with Richard & Emily, even though Rory will be gone for over a year, shows she's come a long way with her parents.
In Brief: What's Not So Good
- Not enough closure nor progress in the Luke and Lorelai relationship. Yes, they seem to be back together, but the show won't be around any longer to see it. I don't think fans want to assume they gradually rekindle things with the possiblity of getting married someday (off-camera); they want to see it happen--or, more appropriately, wish it *already* had happened. [sarcasm] Thanks a lot, season six & seven. [/sarcasm]
- Despite wrapping things up nicely and being a better series finale than I expected, even this final episode did not carry as much humor, wit, and emotional gravity than some of the miscellaneous episodes of earlier seasons. Even though there are still nice moments and some redeeming qualities of seasons six and seven, the show started losing its "spark" some time in the last few episodes of season five. The last really excellent episode was probably season five's 16th episode entitled "So...Good Talk."
The episode begins with Rory getting to meet her idol in journalism, Christiana Amanpour (sp?). Amanpour is staying at the Dragonfly Inn. Rory doesn't believe Lorelai when she wakes her up tells her Amanpour is at the inn, so when Lorelai drags her to the inn, Rory ends up having to meet Amanpour in her pajamas.
Rory has prepared over 70 resumes to send out to what I'm guessing is every major newspaper in the country. (Who knows, with over 70, the Winston-Salem Journal might even be in there.) Rory is still lamenting having to turn down Logan's proposal. She says the sadness comes in waves, but she seems to be handling it well. Lorelai and Rory are planning a one month tour of roller coasters to celebrate Rory's graduation. Lorelai warns Rory of the town's graduation celebration for Rory that's happening in about a week.
Luke is preparing the food for the celebration. Liz and the baby come by begging for Luke to babysit, and Liz asks how things are between him and Lorelai.
Rory shows up to Emily & Richard's late for dinner because she was talking to someone about a job. She got a job as an online reporter covering Barrack Obama's campaign trail. She leaves in three days. The salary is low, but all her expenses would be paid for. Everyone is happy for Rory but also sad because Rory will be gone for, possibly, a year or more.
Lorelai tells Luke the graduation celebration is canceled as is the massive food order he put in. Kirk, Lulu, Babette, and Miss Patti are all upset that there'll be no party.
Luke goes to the inn to see Sookie. Luke proposes having an earlier surprise party for Rory and needs Sookie's help. Lorelai and Rory go by Patti's studio to borrow something, but Patti doesn't let them in. The whole town is in the studio to plan for the impromptu graduation ceremony. Taylor stresses out over all the codes and rules the town will be violating by having the party, but they revolt and plan it anyway.
As Lorelai and Rory discuss Rory's shopping list, the townspeople try to set up in the town square. When they see Lorelai and Rory nearby, they move everything back so quietly that Lorelai and Rory don't even notice. Rory and Lane are talking out on Lane's porch. Because Lane's porch has a view of the square, it's delaying everyone from setting up.
Rory starts to worry she won't be a good reporter or that she's rushing things. She's also freaked out about leaving Lorelai and that she doesn't seem too sentimental. Lane reassures her. Then, Rory and Lane talk about how much their friendship means and that they're like sisters to each other.
The whole town is busy setting up at night for the party. Luke is coordinating everything. Babette runs up panicked that it's going to rain because her ankles are swollen, something that always happens to her before a rain. Luke tries to figure out how they're going to have the party despite the rain.
Lorelai goes into Rory's room and just watches her sleep. She nearly cries.
Luke is in the diner stitching together every tarp and water-proof material he could find. He's determined to build a shelter for the party. He sees the necklace under the counter, the one he claimed to Liz was just a backup gift for Rory but is probably meant for Lorelai. He puts it in his pocket.
Lorelai is driving Rory through town in the jeep with it raining like crazy. The whole town is under the tarps Luke made. Zach and Jackson run out to them with huge umbrellas. Everyone is there and is applauding. Kirk presents Rory with a sash he made for her.
Emily and Richard are there too. They just found out about the party from Sookie last night and had to cancel plans to be there. Richard says the party isn't just a testimony to Rory but also to Lorelai as Rory's mother. He says, almost choking up, that it takes a remarkable person to inspire all of this.
Rory gets to make an impromptu speech. She thanks her mother, and Lorelai almost cries.
Emily brings up to Lorelai her idea to add a spa to the inn. She and Richard are willing to give Lorelai a loan to start it up, but they would need to discuss the business occasionally. Lorelai realizes it's just Emily's way of trying to stay in Lorelai's life, so Lorelai says they can discuss it Friday night at dinner. She's gotten used to the Friday night dinners, so she doesn't mind continuing, even without Rory.
Emily tells Rory that it's an honor being her grandmother.
Sookie tells Lorelai that Luke planned everything for the party and that he must have stayed up all night stitching together tarps, tents, and raincoats that he collected from townspeople. Taylor tells Lorelai to tell Luke that he's responsible for all the cleanup.
Lorelai goes to thank Luke. He says he just wanted to see Lorelai happy. Then, they kiss.
The next morning, Lorelai and Rory are back at home. Lorelai goes on about how she needs more time, like she feels ambushed (ironic since that's how I and probably a few other fans feel about the show being canceled *after* this "season" finale was filmed). Lorelai rambles off advice to Rory. Rory has to stop her and says, "You've given me everything I need."
At 5:00AM, Lorelai and Rory go to Luke's diner. He opened up early just for them. They order massive amounts of food, as usual. Rory noticed she's wearing a new necklace, no doubt the one Luke must have given to her off-camera. Lorelai starts rambling something about getting Rory a "World's Best Reporter" thrermos or mug to match her hat. Rory says something about the hat not quite looking right.
Meanwhile, the camera slowly pulls back outside Luke's diner. You can see, through the large front window, Lorelai and Rory, best friends, bantering about while Luke works on preparing food and coffee in the background. This shot closely matches the shot at the end of the very first episode, in some ways, bringing the show full circle.