What happened to Lorelai and Sookie's relationship in "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life" broke our hearts
Something that we knew would be an issue during the revival of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life was the character of Lorelai’s best friend Sookie (who is played by world famous comedian/actress Melissa McCarthy). McCarthy was a steady presence during the early seasons, but she understandably was having trouble making time for the revival with her busy schedule. How the creators handled her absence was unexpectedly real and heartbreaking. Instead of ignoring Sookie’s lack of screen time, Gilmore Girls: A Year in a Life draws attention to it. And the way they do it is completely heartbreaking.
In the revival it’s revealed that Sookie has left to take a 6-month sabbatical that has turned into over a year.
Lorelai is convinced that Sookie is going to come back home someday, but she is the only one who thinks so. We see through her talking with Michel that he doesn’t believe that she is coming back. When we talk to Sookie’s husband Jackson later in the episode he barely has any idea where she is.
Lorelai is understandably upset. She refuses to hire a new chef, and keeps running through quick hires (she finds petty excuses to fire them all). Rachel Ray even makes a cameo to be one of the rejected chefs! Lorelai even asks Luke to fill in even though he runs his own business! Truthfully, nothing is wrong with the chefs, except for the fact that they’re not Sookie.
We won’t lie, watching this part of the new episodes was hard. McCarthy understandably couldn’t make it to filming, but we’ve got to admit that it is super weird for Sookie as a character to be gone. It is completely unlike her to leave Lorelai’s side. And with Michel considering leaving The Dragonfly on top of all that, and we can see Lorelai truly floundering. She started the Dragonfly with Sookie, and it had been a dream of theirs for years. Having Michel by their side was also a given. It’s so hard to see how Lorelai, a woman who is driven by love and friendship, try to handle running a business without her closest friend by her side, and the other about to leave.
Lucky for us, Melissa McCarthy makes it all better with an awesome cameo at the end!
Toward the end of the last episode, Lorelai comes back to the kitchen at the Dragonfly, and finds it completely covered in beautiful cakes. That can only mean one thing — Sookie is back!
They have a beautiful reunion, and Sookie explains that she couldn’t pick a single cake for Lorelai so she made a bunch for her to choose from. (Which is probably the most Sookie explanation for anything ever!)
They also take some time to touch on their time apart. Sookie admits that she’s sorry that she missed the last two years, and Lorelai lets her know it’s okay, although she was greatly missed.
All and all, it was such a beautiful way to explain McCarthy’s absence and to create an interesting story of growth in Lorelai and Sookie’s friendship. Part of growing up is that we’re sometimes apart from the ones we love, even when we don’t want to be. The most important part is that you’re able to be real with each other, pick up where you left off, and still be great friends. Just like Lorelai and Sookie!