Joys and Heartbreak of the Life and Death Brigade

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A Year in the Life saw the return of the Life and Death Brigade in a cinematic and surreal way we’d never seen before.  It was a gamble, with the sequence being quite long and elaborate, adding a bit of magical realism to a show that previously experienced few outright breaks with reality beyond dream sequences (such as the Dog Paul Anka/Singer Paul Anka dream).  Would people be bored, infuriated, confused?  But I feel it works like gangbusters because it’s unexpected and causes goosebumps seeing the gang back and “In Omnia Paratus” (ready for anything).

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Paste Magazine does an analysis dissecting the sequence as a homage to The Wizard of Oz; it is true there are overt references when Rory says goodbye to Logan, Robert, Colin and Finn (“I think I’ll miss you most of all.”) but really, Star Wars is also The Wizard of Oz.  These stories are cut from the same archetypes.  Amy Sherman-Palladino blends Oz along with many references, from Alice in Wonderland, Shakespeare, Wild Wild West, to the Beatles (four impish lads, plus use of “With a Little Help From My Friends”), to create something unique.

The fact this sequence exists at all is a bit of magic itself, as Tanc Sade (Finn) explained to TVLine:

We took a lot of time shooting that — it was done over a few months.

The actors were busy on other shows, so had to steal bits of time when all were available.  Matt Czuchry (Logan) who was still filming The Good Wife, was pleased despite the difficulty:

The Life and Death Brigade stuff was my favorite stuff to do.  I think that captured the best of who Logan is, the best of who Rory is, and the best of who Rory and Logan are together.

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I would agree with Zakiya Jamal of Romper.com who says that the while the sequence is amazing to watch, it’s heartbreaking because it signals the end of Rory and Logan’s relationship.  Or does it?

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24 thoughts on “Joys and Heartbreak of the Life and Death Brigade

  • December 9, 2016 at 1:49 am
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    I simply love that sequence, so much fun!

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  • December 9, 2016 at 9:55 am
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    Loved that sequence. One of my absolute favorite parts of the revival!

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  • December 9, 2016 at 10:44 am
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    I didn’t like that scene, but also I didn’t like all the Life and Death Brigade thing in the original Gilmore Girls.

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  • December 9, 2016 at 11:06 am
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    I loved it! Really a surprise in a good way. Very magical. So well done!

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  • December 9, 2016 at 11:30 am
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    It was my favorite part- pure magic- until Rory says goodbye to the people she is happiest with. She should have told Logan she didn’t want himto marry Odette, that they are at their best together. This isn’t her being strong, it’s her not fighting for herself. I hope she corrects this if there is any more GG.

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  • December 9, 2016 at 1:56 pm
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    One of my favorites. It provoked so much emotion so well done. It connected Rory to a side of herself that makes her happy but she continues to fight.

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  • December 9, 2016 at 2:27 pm
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    I liked all of it except the first part of the adventure. I hate that they stole from Stars Hollow and hit golf balls around the town. It felt so mean-spirited for Rory to be dancing around Doose’s with cash falling around.

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    • December 9, 2016 at 3:47 pm
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      All that cash falling around was them paying for it.

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  • December 9, 2016 at 3:40 pm
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    One of my favorite scenes in the revival!
    The Life and death brigade and the musical had both been discussed and speculated about a lot before the release, but while the musical was so very disappointing, this scene exceeds all my expectations!

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  • December 9, 2016 at 4:52 pm
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    It was one of my favorite scenes of the revival. This is when Rory appeared the happiest. I wish she’d have fought for the relationship but maybe she didn’t want it as much as we did.

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  • December 9, 2016 at 7:11 pm
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    You know what? During this whole promotion flurry and everyone repeating over and over again that this wasn’t a money grab got me really excited. I thought yes they have more to add to the story. There’s a big ending coming up that’s just going to blow our whole minds.
    But.. no. We didn’t get anything new expect seeing our favourite characters tarnished and finding out Rory was pregnant.
    She wanted us to focus on Rory’s career, but ultimately Rory still ended up jobless?
    She’s writing a book, yes. What happens once she’s written that one book? Is it just going to be like that one article she did in the New Yorker that really didn’t get her anywhere?
    She’s writing about her life with her mother, what’s she going to write about next? There’s only so much she can tell. She had no character development at all. She was even more selfish and childish and vain then believable for her character and why?
    Why not see that millions of your fans resonated with Rory? Why ruin her life and destroy everything that was good about her when we all see ourselves in her, we live sort of vicariously through her in a way. Yeah were interested in her love life because guess what? Love stories are freaking interesting Amy. Watching someone struggle for a job, no matter how much you want us to love it, does not make for good television.
    We turn to this show when were low and our real lives are spiraling to watch strong independent women thrive and have successful jobs and quirky lives and amazing relationships with friends and partners.
    It’s a TV show. A world she created to be a dream like place where everyone was like a snowglobe, Rory was an angel with interesting career goals, friends and boyfriends. She was an inspiration to be smart and successful and ambitious where other TV female leads were driven by partying and sex and alcohol, which is all good and well but Rory was different it was like a breath of fresh air.
    The boys all loved her and fought over her, she had her pick from numerous ivy leauge schools, she had amazing friends and a town that doted on her. It was good TV.
    It makes me wonder if the contributing writers on the show mixed with the Palladinos pushed Amy and Dan to maybe focus a bit more on the good shit and kept them, from in a way, torpedoing their own show.
    Like it or not Amy in the original series you majorly focused on Lorelai and her boyfriends. Lorelai and Luke. The whole show pretty much revolved around them. You also focused on Rory and her boyfriends. It was a show built on these two women and their relationships you cant just come back 16 years later and decide to make it revolve entierly about soul searching and a failing career, Yes TELL THAT STORY, but DON’T take a show built on relationships and then get the shits that your fans are more interested in that so completely deny them any substance of that and try to force them into watching stuff that shouldnt be front and centre.
    I love Rory and Jess yes. I wouldve loved to see more scenes with them than of dancing pilgrims.
    There’s so much she could’ve done. Had them run into each other at the picnic auction. Shown us Lorelai accepting him after he ultimately helped send Rory back on her way to Yale and repair her relationship with her mother. See him and dean and show us if the tensions still there or if they accept one another.
    It would have been cool to use the revival to visit Rorys past instead of only focusing on her failed career and failed love life.
    I also love Rory and Logan. But I don’t love what she did to them. She made them the worst possible versions of themselves. Both with no character development at all.
    She didn’t have to ruin Logan and Rory and she didn’t have to show Jess alone and pining if she doesn’t want him and Rory to be together. I understand she’s probably looping it round to be Logan is Rorys Christopher. Distant. Unattainable. Immature and selfish. And Jess will be her Luke pining after her for years to come until one day she realises that he’s there. That’s not fair enough for either the boys. They were both such strong characters they deserved better. Give Jess a girlfriend make him happy give him a great life the boy guy has been pining after Rory since he was 17 and she’s turned him down and we’ve seen him heartbroken and rejected too many times. It’s not fun to watch anymore.
    She had so much time to think about each individual character and yet everyone who walked by Lane, Zach, Paris, Doyle, Kirk everyone just seemed like a cameo. It was sad and upsetting and ultimatley just so disappointing.

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    • December 19, 2016 at 9:01 am
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      I think the LDB was meant for our visual pleasure. Actually everything was. Even the wedding was too “cliche” to be relevant in real life. Maybe its because i saw many GG scenes (from originial to now) as symbolism and aesthetic.

      I sort of agree with you especially wib Jess, he kind of deserve a happy ending because i cant imagine the hard work he mustve done to be where he is now. But i kind of like Rory being in a slump. Maybe its a bit Schadenfreude of me or even petty. But i see in this way: rory is perfect, educationally etc. She was a great shot in the real world, more than most. But she still failed. And that is human. I loved her breakdowns and failure because it keeps her humble. And it keeps us humble. It reminds us that we all have a chance to succeed as much as we have a chance to fail. Ivy league and whatnot. I think its a reminder for everyone that life has its own plan. We can work hard and harder, but sometimes it wont work out. It hurts, i know. But maybe it is because something better is waiting for us around the corner. Rorys successes make us happy, and her failures should inspired us, eventhough life is like a rollercoaster ride, we should never give up.

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    • January 2, 2017 at 7:37 pm
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      I couldn’t agree with you more!

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  • December 10, 2016 at 8:27 pm
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    I actually was a fan of the life and death brigade, it’s what Logan was all about. The season was pretty cool. Not a fan that it was in Stars Hallow though. I also didn’t like the whole Wild thing with Lorelai. I wish Emily would of been at her wedding. Overall the season was just OK. A little disappointed because I am a huge Gilmore Girls fan.

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  • December 10, 2016 at 9:12 pm
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    Not a fan too… I really don’t love the LDB.

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  • December 11, 2016 at 10:09 am
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    it is wise to choice to select Light Emitting Diode christmas lights becaue they are not fire hazard’

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  • December 11, 2016 at 10:23 am
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    I didn’t like these sequences that much, felt a lot like it was there without any purpose just to fill in the time and do something spectacular. And as someone earlier here mentioned, it was a lot out of Rory’s character to vandalize (even just a bit) her beloved city.

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  • December 11, 2016 at 11:56 pm
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    Seemed like Rory occasionally appreciated a little minor vandalization within the SH city limits. For instance Jess’s tape outline of the nonexistant murdered citizen and also who can forget a delicious devil egging as rebuttal to Sherry’s baby shower??

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  • December 12, 2016 at 4:54 am
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    I loved the sequence which really surprised me because I never cared much about the LDB. I think it closes that part of Rory and Logan’s relationship. It ended what they were having until that moment. Considering the ending (if Logan is actually the father), I believe they could/would have another relationship (not necessarily a romantic one).

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  • December 16, 2016 at 10:45 pm
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    Did anyone else watch the original 7 seasons again to get back in GG mode before the new episodes aired? Of course, people are going to age with an additional decade and a half under their belts, but I found the first few scenes hard to adjust to as I realized that time stands still for no one!

    I think Rory should tell Logan that she is pregnant, but she won’t. I think Logan should dump Odette and ask Rory to marry him again, but he won’t. That’s because it’s too easy and predictable, and that’s not good tv. There has to be struggle, stubbornness and illogical thinking. This talk of coming full circle is not really true. When Lorelai told her parents she was pregnant, she was a 16 year old high school student who ultimately left home with her baby to raise her as a single parent, go to night school, and do so without any help until Chilton came along. Rory is 32, the same age as Lorelai was when we first met her in Season One all those years ago. Two completely different scenarios, and not a cull circle. Although Rory is searching for employment at the moment, she still has her education, she has a trust fund from her father and probably something from her grandfather’s estate. She has more options than she realizes. Rory’s mother is not like Lorelai’s mother, in that she will have all the support she will need without the guilt and condescension attached. But I want to hear the conversation about letting Logan know and make an informed choice about his involvement. Maybe this piece of news would give him the push he needs to be with the love of his life.

    I didn’t like the musical. I was okay with LDB scene. The Wild scene seemed an excuse to bring in cast from Parenthood. (??) The wedding was incomplete, in that Sookie should have been there, not Lane. I don’t know. All of Emily’s scenes were awesome, especially the one interviewing the newest applicant for the DAR! But I guess I built up the whole thing in my head that it was going to go a certain way, and it didn’t. My mistake.

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  • January 4, 2017 at 4:39 am
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    I didn’t really care for the characters involved in the LDB in the earlier episodes (except the umbrella jumping)but surprisingly loved it in the revival! Not because of the details like stealing and running around town, tango club, and (amazing) costumes but because it took a nostalgic turn and showed how much Logan still cared about Rory -how worried it made him that she was not ok. He dropped everything to make her the center of his world again in his always grand style -even if just for a short while-his thoughtful planning from bringing in the LDB to make her laugh and lift her spirits..much like Mr Toads Wild Ride(Disneyland) , Alice in Wonderland, Wizard of Oz-where the impossible seem possible and the world is at your feet……..to gifting her a place to stay, to encouraging her to write, proved how he must have loved her. Above all else, she broke his heart so long ago, yet he was willing to treasure what little time she gave him -answering her call every time and still being there for her to share her worries…and still loving her enough to understand he wasn’t enough. Bittersweet….like when you love one another but have been apart too long and grew in different directions yet still know that nostalgic part of the relationship was the happiest you have been. ….sigh-too much?

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  • February 3, 2017 at 9:08 am
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    It seems to me, Rory is still in love with Logan. But I just don’t get. Did Amy Sherman-Palladino take into consideraton the 7th season at all? Cфuse, as far as I heard, she didn’t watch it . So, how should we understand Rory and Logan’s relationships? Did they split up at the end of 6th or 7th season?
    So I have 2 theories regarding her behavior. As if their relations didn’t work after Logans moving to London, it seems he never proposed to her and she is not sure about them. Like he never had a nerve to fight for her.
    But if season 7 was taken into consideration, so she isn’t sure about them either. Becфuse she broke his heart, and she feels like she does not have a right to tell him about her feelings and wishes. So she is just waiting. And Logan, to my mind, is afraid to be heartbroken again.
    I love this LDB part. It was magical. I misseв Colin, Finn and Robert. I would like to learn more about their life.
    And some references to their past 9 years would be great. Couse now people have even more questions then before the revival.

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