This post contains spoilers to Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. Proceed at your own risk.
In Part 1 I discussed the ending, most particularly Rory’s pregnancy. Now let’s talk about Jess.
Jess has always shown up when Rory has needed him. Important people in your life have a way of appearing right when you least expect, but exactly when you need them.
And that is Jess. His entire purpose is appearing when Rory needs, and saying what she needs to hear. Jess was the aloof boy that Rory befriended and eventually dated in her teens. He saw Rory for who she was, and not in an ideal fashion that Dean did. But at a young age, they weren’t right for each other. At least not during that time. It was Jess who got Rory to go back to Yale; not her parents, Luke, or her grandparents. Jess.
For the revival Jess shows up just in time. They drink over their careers, and their shared family. Its a bittersweet moment.
And he tells Rory to write a book.
What has gotten most fans talking (perhaps raging is a better word) is when Jess leaves to go stay with his mom the night before the wedding. He heads out just as Rory celebrates writing her first few chapters. Jess is clearly happy for her. Luke mentions Jess’ pining for her, and Jess denies it. And then he stares at Rory through the window of the house as she settles in with Luke and Lorelai. Fans rage that that is the final moment we see Jess. Pining after Rory.
However I don’t think he’s pining. I think there is a lot to be said about Jess’ character. Out of anyone in the series, Jess has the best character growth.
In the original series, Jess is moody, and emotionless. He’s going through all the difficult aspects of being an aloof teenager who isn’t being raised by his biological parents. The first time he shows up when Rory needs, Jess seems to have his life somewhat together. He’s got a job in Philly, and he wrote a book. Before he disappears again, Jess talks to Rory about her not being at Yale. His brief speech convinces her to go back after she realizes she’s not doing anything with her life.
In the revival, Jess has his life together. And he’s so much more comfortable showing emotions. He picks up on Luke’s distress with Lorelai, and solves the diner wifi problem.
Jess still loves Rory, but they have separate lives and careers. Maybe he’s afraid of getting rejected, but Jess has conceded to being apart from Rory. If there’s a continuation of the revival, perhaps we’ll see him come back into Rory’s life.
But for now, he’s living his life. And Rory is living hers back in Stars Hollow.
What are your thoughts with Jess and his character development? How do you feel with his appearance in the original series and in the revival?