Gilmore Girls ‘Ship Watch: Season 6

I’ve made it to the end of season 6! I’m exhausted and, if I’m honest, a little Gilmored out. I haven’t used these columns to focus on Lorelai at all, but I often find her exasperating. I’d probably be feeling weary after watching this much of any one show this quickly, but Lorelai Gilmore is particularly tough for me to handle in such large quantities. Not that I’m not rooting for her. I am. I’m just….tired.

That won’t stop be from plowing on, though! A commitment is a commitment, and I’m here to stay. Now that I’ve finished the last of the Amy Sherman-Palladino episodes, I feel I am ready to weigh in on where my Rory-boyfriend loyalties lie. Here goes: I am unequivocally on Team Logan.

Before I dive into my reasons, let’s first discuss Jess’s triumphant season 6 return. I 100% understand why so many fans love Jess. He comes back to Rory at a time when she is spinning out of control. She is unrecognizable to anyone who knew her before her dreams were shattered and her spirit crushed. Logan is trying to be supportive of her choices, but it is Jess who calls her out on her bullshit. What is she doing dropping out of Yale? What is she doing with the DAR? These are not things the old Rory would ever have been OK with.

It’s particularly tempting to fall for Jess because his speech actually has an impact. If nothing else, we owe Jess for Rory’s return to her former glory. Also, I will admit that Jess suffers from a binge schedule that puts season 6 Jess only a few weeks after season 3 Jess. In real-time, Jess’s long absence followed by his sudden reappearance likely packed a much bigger emotional punch than it did for me.

That said, I can’t fully get behind Jess because I really didn’t like who he was when he was dating Rory. Namely, I didn’t like the way that he always thought he knew better than everyone else. And in truth, he exhibits that same quality when he comes back in season 6, it’s just this time much of the audience agrees with him. Logan has his worst self on display when the three of them go out to dinner. Jess’s assessment is based on this performance and it’s hard to blame him for drawing the conclusions about Logan that he draws. At the same time, Logan’s behavior that night was hardly worse than the shit Jess pulled in the years he was dating Rory. The difference is that for Logan, this was a bad night, brought on by the feeling of being blind-sided by Jess’s presence. Jess, on the other hand, was consistently pulling crap like that when he was with Rory.

It is also my sense that people dislike Logan because they don’t like who Rory becomes when she is with him. I don’t like who Rory is the first half of season 6 either, but putting that on Logan is a classic mix up of causation and correlation. Rory happened to be going through her identity crisis at the time she was dating Logan, but Logan did not encourage her or bring the behavior on (the argument could be made that without Logan there would have been no internship with Mitchum, which ultimately caused the breakdown, but it seems exceptionally unfair to put that on Logan). Sure, watching Logan and his Life and Death Brigade cronies do crazy things with few consequences is probably where Rory got the idea to steal a boat, and yes, it would have been nice if Logan had stopped her rather than agreeing to help her do it. But, if we’re going to claim to be fans and supporters of Rory Gilmore than we have to be able to see her as an independent woman who is capable of making her own decisions.

As I said after season 5, had Rory been on top of her game, Logan would have been the perfect yin to her yang. Unfortunately, he wasn’t the best partner to have around as she started to lose control. The flip side, though, is that Rory needed to hit this bump in the road. She needed to experience this awful few months to gain some clarity about where she wants to go and how she wants to get there. Logan was there for her the whole time. He let her do what she needed to do, and he always trusted she’d figure out her own way.

Now, let’s talk about the cheating. First, it’s important to remember who Logan was before he committed to Rory (not a fan of monogamy) and whose idea it was that they commit to each other (his). Second, Logan’s biggest crime is being an idiot. Why he’d assume he and Rory had broken up is hard to figure (though it could have something to do with his never having had a girlfriend before), but there is no question that he thought they were broken up. The way Rory found out about Logan’s dalliances over winter break was excruciating, but knowing what we know about Logan, it’s hardly surprising that he threw his depressed and lonely self into bed with the closest women he could find (remember college break ups???). I completely understand why Rory had a hard time stomaching the information, but saying Logan cheated isn’t exactly accurate. His sister even called Rory and told her she’d heard they broke up. Not to mention, it is Logan’s indiscretions over that break that led him to the conclusion that he couldn’t be without Rory and the Logan we watched post-break-up was an absolutely perfect boyfriend.

All in all, aside from money, Logan and Jess remind me a lot of each other. They are both damaged from their upbringing and have the potential to be total assholes. Both of them show the best side of themselves in their interactions with Rory. I think for many Logan’s rich boy smugness is less appealing than Jess’s hardened tough guy, but really they’re sort of variations on a theme. At the end of the day, Logan’s attempts to break free of his miserable family seem more noble and worthy of admiration. I will say I was pleased to see what Jess has been able to accomplish, but watching Rory and Jess kiss really felt like a case of “too late, that ship has sailed,” pun completely intended.

So that’s where we are. Many say this is where the real Gilmore Girls ends, since season 7 was penned by a newcomer and not the show’s creator. I will watch season 7 with that in mind and then we can discuss what we hope to see in the reboot.

Cheers for now.

And, if you are curious as to my thoughts after previous seasons, the rest of the pieces in this series can be found here:

Season 1, Season 2, Season 3, Season 4, Season 5.

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