Gilmore Girls owes Logan Huntzberger (Matt Czuchry) an apology. Team Logan supporters should have been thrilled that Rory’s (Alexis Bledel) college ex played a major role in the 2016 Netflix revival, but the Logan Huntzberger who appeared in A Year in the Life wasn’t the Logan we knew from the original series.
When Logan was first introduced in Season 5, it was easy to brush him off as a spoiled rich boy who was deathly allergic to anything resembling responsibility. But as time went on, it became clear that he was the most understanding, intellectually stimulating, and emotionally mature partner Rory ever had (that is, until poor, forgettable Paul).
Sure, Logan took some missteps with Rory along the way (it was his first relationship, after all), but he learned from each one and was always self-aware about what he needed to do to become a better boyfriend. Logan inspired Rory to take risks and challenged her assumptions about the world and herself. And from the very first moment Logan and Rory became monogamous, Logan was hopelessly devoted to Rory and his fidelity was never a question (and no, the bridesmaids don’t count. He genuinely believed they were broken up — a miscommunication which he was not wholly to blame for). But above all, Logan was honest — sometimes even to a fault. So why is the Logan we saw in A Year in the Life a liar and philanderer?
Because he needed to be to fit the ending.
Creator Amy Sherman-Palladino decided how she wanted Gilmore Girls to end over a decade before the revival aired. But when she and her husband Daniel Palladino were forced out ahead of Gilmore Girls‘ seventh and final season, she never got the opportunity to end the series the way she envisioned, with those fated final four words. Instead, fans got a much-contested seventh season that ended with Rory turning down Logan’s proposal rather that Sherman-Palladino’s ending in which Rory reveals she’s pregnant, presumably with Logan’s child.
Sherman-Palladino’s ending, which she finally got the opportunity to use in A Year in the Life, relied heavily on creating parallels between the present and the past. “I always wanted [the story] to end in a Life Repeats Itself kind of way. The daughter following in the mother’s footsteps,” Sherman-Palladino recently explained.
Rory’s unexpected pregnancy is an obvious nod to Lorelai’s (Lauren Graham), which resulted in the then-16-year-old moving to Stars Hollow to raise Rory without Christopher (David Sutcliffe), who wasn’t mature or caring enough to face the responsibilities of fatherhood. Given the circular nature of the ending, many fans were left speculating whether or not Rory — if she decides to keep the child — will make a similar decision to Lorelai’s and opt to raise the baby alone. But while Rory mirroring Lorelai makes perfect sense given the pair’s enviable closeness, the mere implication that Logan may be fated to mirror Christopher — and that any part of Rory is uncertain about whether Logan should be involved in their child’s life — is insulting to both Logan and the fans who love him.
There’s no denying Logan and Christopher share certain similar qualities: They both come from controlling, image-obsessed families. They both have enjoyed a life of wealth and privilege. They both have been kicked out of more boarding schools than either one can count. And of course, they both passionately love a Gilmore girl, but never seem to be able to give her what she needs.
But this is where the parallels stop. Because while Logan and Christopher come from similar backgrounds, the ways each of them handled their respective responsibilities and relationships couldn’t have been more different.
Over the course of the series, Logan never stopped maturing, eventually leading him to break free from the claustrophobic restrictions his family placed on him. In the final season, Logan left his father’s business and moved to California to start his own, because, much like Lorelai, Logan was determined to be nothing like his parents. If he was going to make it, he wanted to make it on his own terms. And Logan repeatedly proved that he had the ambition, motivation, and work ethic to do just that.
Christopher, on the other hand, repeatedly proved just how little he matured over the course of the series, abandoning his second daughter, Gigi, in Season 7 and telling Rory in the revival that, even with 32 years of hindsight, he didn’t regret allowing Lorelai to raise her alone.
Unfortunately, none of these differences mattered because when Sherman-Palladino created the character of Logan, she designed him with the sole purpose that Logan would be Rory’s Christopher. “We wanted Rory to date her father,” Sherman-Palladino said. “Every girl has a father issue, and Logan was Christopher. Logan was charming, smart and not quite the dependable soul that you need.”
At the time that Sherman-Palladino left the show, Logan was still on track to be a younger version of Christopher. In the Season 6 finale, which was the last episode Sherman-Palladino oversaw, Logan was very much in love with Rory, but still under the thumb of his controlling family. And even though he begged Rory to make him stay, Logan ultimately went to London under his father’s orders to take his place as the family heir.
If that was where we left Logan, then it would be entirely believable that Logan would still be working for his father today and that he would have become the type of man who would marry a French heiress as part of a “dynastic plan.” It would even be somewhat plausible that Logan’s love for Rory would be so strong, he would push aside his integrity to become an unrepentant cheater who takes phone calls from his side chick while his fiancée lays sleeping in bed (emphasis on “somewhat”).
But whether Sherman-Palladino likes it or not, Season 6 isn’t where we left off with Logan. In the seventh season alone, Logan grew more as a character than Rory did in the nine years between the series finale and the revival. However, Sherman-Palladino never saw Logan’s inspiring evolution in Season 7 because she refused to ever watch it. This at least explains why Sherman-Palladino didn’t feel it was necessary to explain why Logan devolved so dramatically in A Year in the Life, but also makes the revival’s treatment of Logan that much more frustrating.
Logan was a cad in the revival, because Sherman-Palladino decided he was going to be a cad a long time ago. It’s as simple as that.
However, it doesn’t have to be. Just because Sherman-Palladino says that Logan is Rory’s Christopher, doesn’t mean we have to listen. With all the implications of Rory’s pregnancy reveal left hanging, we now have the opportunity to fill in the blanks ourselves. So instead of validating the notion Logan could ever become as unreliable as Christopher, let’s take full advantage of the cliffhanger to write our own next chapter in which Logan immediately leaves Odette and moves back to the States. There, he will return to being the honest, charming, and admirable person we fell for in the series (only now with way better abs).
Hell, maybe Logan is even the one to raise the baby on his own, because we all know that if anyone is like the aimless, self-involved and entitled Christopher, it’s Rory. And to be honest, she never really deserved Logan in the first place.
Gilmore Girls is available to stream on Netflix.