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).
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.
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?