After almost a decade of being off the air, it's safe to say that fans had a lot to take in during the Netflix debut of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. But now that the dust has somewhat settled, I'm sure many of you (like myself) have taken some time to revisit the episodes in order to catch things you may have missed the first time around. And by doing so, I've noticed one Gilmore Girls revival moment that no one is talking about and many viewers may not have picked up on through no fault of their own. (Like I said, there was a lot going on throughout all four episodes.)
I'm referring to the "Summer" installment, which featured Emily, Rory, and Lorelai visiting Richard's grave. Because while that scene may still bring a tear or two (or 10) to your eyes, there was a surprise appearance that may have been overlooked due to your overwhelming grief. If you recall, Emily was having a terrible time with Richard's gravestone since the company she was working with never seemed able to get it exactly right. The man in charge of these changes was Stanley, played by George Anthony Bell, who we saw appear at the gravesite to meet the Gilmores.
What's so strange about that, you may ask? Well, nothing other than the fact that we've seen this actor on the series before, but if in a very different role. Back on the original show, Bell played one of Rory's teachers at Yale, Professor Bell (a fitting character name, I know). Now, it's unclear what Professor Bell's first name was, so it's hard to say whether or not this is supposed to be the same character or not. Maybe he retired from teaching and started doing this as a part-time job. But considering how he and Rory didn't seem to recognize each other, I think it's safe to assume this was intended to be a brand new person played by a familiar face — kinda like how Rose Abdoo played the dual roles of Gypsy and Emily's maid, Berta.
It's a very brief cameo and one that doesn't add too much to the narrative other than highlight the stresses of gravesite maintenance (and forcing us to once again sob uncontrollably over Richard's death). But it was still a fun addition to throw in for diehard fans who could appreciate the connection. He may have played someone else entirely, but it felt like a callback to the original series that made the revival even more enjoyable to watch.