Gilmore Girls often foreshadowed twists before they occurred, but few fans caught a brief season 4 scene that set up Rory’s downfall in season 5.
The creators of Gilmore Girls often foreshadowed big twists before they occurred on the series, but few fans caught a clever scene in season 4 that set up protagonist Rory’s eventual downfall in season 5. Lasting 7 seasons and 1 divisive Netflix revival, Gilmore Girls was a critically acclaimed dramedy that followed the fortunes of the titular 2 generations of Gilmore women, self-sufficient mother Lorelei and precocious daughter Rory.
The titular heroines of Gilmore Girls faced many challenges over the years with the series following their tumultuous love lives, professional and academic achievements, and messy family drama. One of the most dramatic twists in Gilmore Girls’ 7 seasons was the surprise at the end of season 5 when Rory decides to drop out of Yale, but the show actually foreshadowed this revelation an entire season earlier.
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In much the same way that Jess’s first appearance teased Rory and Dean’s eventual break-up, season 4’s ‘Die, Jerk’ saw Gilmore Girls hint at Rory’s eventual fall from grace (in the eyes of her not-a-little-judgemental family, at least). In this middling installment, Rory uses her new position at the Yale paper to critically demolish a star ballerina’s performance. Despite the ballerina’s understandable upset at this gleeful hit piece, Rory’s grandfather Richard defends the review by noting that Rory has done this young performer a favor — now that she knows she has no future in ballet, she can pursue something more fitting thanks to Rory’s brutal dressing down.
This is exactly what Logan’s father/newspaper magnate Mitchum Huntzberger tells Rory after his (comparatively sweet and level-headed) meeting with her in late season 5. In this infamous scene, Logan’s father (played by future Glee guest star Gregg Henry) informs her she has no future in journalism (something the show’s revival proved him right about). Gilmore Girls treats this meeting as a devastating blow for Rory, and one which justifies her theft of a yacht in subsequent scenes, but it’s not too different from her brutal assessment of the ballerina’s lack of talent and unashamed dismissal of her professional potential (save for the fact that as a titan of journalism, Mitchum presumably speaks from a place of more experience and expertise than Rory has about ballet).
Gilmore Girls’ season 5 may be replete with some disappointing subplots such as Emily and Richard’s pointless breakup, but there’s no denying that this clever bit of foreshadowing paid off over a year after it was set up and proves that the show’s writers were capable of clever callbacks. It’s a dark slice of foreshadowing, particularly when Richard is later outraged by Mitchum’s unabashed confirmation that he did inform Rory of her lack of journalistic potential, with her grandfather failing to see any comparison between Mitchum’s advice and Rory’s hatchet job. The Gilmore Girls Netflix revival A Year in the Life proved Mitchum’s character assessment even more correct, with the younger Gilmore girl largely abandoning her journalistic ambitions and in the process becoming a character so shiftless and uncaring that some fans theorized Rory wrote the original Gilmore Girls series to make herself seem more interesting than she was. However, despite paying off Mitchum’s lecture years later, the revival lacked the clever setups of the original Gilmore Girls and failed to win its critical acclaim as a result.
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