Gilmore Girls fans will have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving as GG will make its return the next day (November 25) in four 90-minute installments on Netlflix. What better way to work through a food coma than with a Netflix binge?
One of the questions the creators/writers/directors husband and wife team of Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino have promised answers to is Rory’s love life. For the last 9 years we’ve been left to wonder what Rory has been doing and who she has been seeing and all three of her ex-boyfriends — Dean, Jess, and Logan — have been confirmed to be in the Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life revival.
As a long-time fan of the show (Rory and I are the same age), I am dying to find out the answers to this, and many other, questions. And from the moment Jess Mariano stepped off his bus from New York City and into Stars Hollow, I’ve been firmly #TeamJess. having studied and contemplated this character and the other men in Rory’s life, I have often wondered which one is most likely to become Catholic. I think it’s Jess, and without further daydreaming, here are 6 reasons Jess Mariano is the most likely of the men in Rory’s life to convert to Catholicism.
1. Jess had more growth on the show than any of the other guys
Throughout the five seasons of GG Jess appeared in, we watched him grow from a punk with an abrasive devil-may-care attitude to desperate and confused to stable and sure of himself, all while learning to open up, let people in, and show his feelings. He still doesn’t care much for conventional society nor elitists, but his maturity is real. On the other hand, Dean never matured, still throwing hissy fits when he doesn’t get his way, using Rory (they had an affair while he was married!!), and not caring to understand the hopes, dreams, and feelings of those around him. Then there’s Logan. While he did show some growth, was still too caught up in his fairy tale world and having his fairy tale girl by his side to come out of his bubble and see Rory’s wants and needs clear enough to make any balanced decisions.
2. Jess is extremely well-read, so he’s probably read some Lewis, Tolkien, and Chesterton
You just can’t read any G.K. Chesterton without starting to get interested in Catholicism at least a little bit. Might I suggest Orthodoxy or the Father Brown stories as a jumping point?
3. Bigger bad boys have been converts and even gone on to become saints!
St. Paul, St. Augustine, and St. Francis of Assisi come to mind…Anything is possible! The grace of God knows no bounds.
4. Jess always comes back, just like the prodigal son
At the end of season 2, Jess leaves Stars Hollow for his hometown of New York City after totaling Rory’s car and breaking her arm without saying goodbye, but he came back. At the end of season 3, Jess again leaves Stars Hollow without saying goodbye, but this time for Venice Beach, CA to meet his father. He came back in season 4 to retrieve his car and told Rory, for the first time, that he loves her. Jess, in a moment of passion, also tried to persuade Rory to go with him on the road and leave Stars Hollow and Yale behind, but she (rightfully!) refuses. He again came back in season 6 to show Rory the book he wrote and got published and helps set her head straight about Yale. Throughout all this time, he also reconciles with his uncle Luke and comes to see the value in the opportunities Luke gave to him. When Jess sees that he’s made a mistake or hurt people he cares about, he goes to rectify it.
5. When Jess is convicted of something, he goes after it full-tilt
Jess is a passionate guy and when he sees something he wants or is very interested in something, nothing can stop him from getting or achieving it. When Jess and Rory first met in season 2, he was convicted about being with her and so pursued her (I know, I know, even though she had a boyfriend) all season until they were finally able to be in a relationship in season 3. When his father, whom he hadn’t seen since he was a small child, showed up in season 3, Jess followed him all the way out to California to get to know him. In season 4, when he finally understood the depths of his feelings for Rory, he went after her again. And in between that time and when we next saw him in season 6, he got a job at a publishing house and published his first book. He also called Rory out in season 6 for abandoning her dreams and principles. Jess is not going to let the people he cares most about get away with excuses for not pursuing them! Sounds a lot like St. Paul, hmm.
6. Jess is looking for somewhere to belong
Whether he realized it or not, Jess was always looking for somewhere to belong, be it in a real family, with Rory, or finding his place in the world finally with the publishing house. The need to belong and be accepted is a huge part of Jess’s story arc and one we only just started to see resolved when his tenure on GG ended. Come on home to Rome, baby. We have endless books, lots of places to just be, and sometimes even cookies. 😉
What will the revival series reveal about where our beloved Jess has been and what he has accomplished? I’m fairly certain they won’t say he converted to Catholicism, but a girl can dream. 🙂