”Gilmore Girls”: They drop a bomb on Rory
It’s good to be home. The writers of Gilmore Girls are still in dire need of that coffee they sent the intern to get, and the citizens of Stars Hollow are waiting for the house arrest, or whatever’s keeping them under lock and key, to be called off, and Emily and Richard must be six sheets to the wind on their living-room sofa, calling the maid for one more round of martinis before they accept that Lorelai and Rory just aren’t showing for dinner. But can we all agree that a subpar stateside episode blows that Paris debacle out of the water? And also, while Lorelai is still unrecognizable to many of us this season (and last), can we agree that Lauren Graham seriously brought it this week?
I’m going to jump right to the good stuff: that scene at the kitchen table where Lorelai and Christopher confessed to Rory that they got married. Who to feel most sorry for here? Silly Christopher, who so doesn’t get the intimate, exclusive bond between his daughter and her formerly single mother, who thinks all is right in the world and that news like this calls for champagne. I think David Sutcliffe played this scene just right. Chris was infuriatingly, grinningly oblivious to the aftershocks of the bomb they dropped and came out looking like a major boob for it. Poor Rory, who was rightly pissed, and who the writers rightly kept from expressing her fury in front of the father that she has a cordial, distant relationship with. I do wish that Alexis Bledel would stretch a little in her more dramatic scenes, and not go right to that tic of tugging and curling her hair behind her right ear whenever she wants to express confusion and anger. Take a couple cues from the pretty lady, whose magic bag of physicality was on full display here. As Lorelai geared up to spill, she looked alternately panicked and puzzled and vaguely amused and horrified. And as soon as her dopey new husband (who I like!) trotted out back to find some bubbly, she stripped off her mask of conviviality and spoke directly to her hurting daughter. Even if one doesn’t like the current turn of events, it’s hard not to marvel at Graham’s still-deft touch.
Luke and April are taking over the twosome department that Rory and Lorelai were once co-chairs of. Now it’s these two sitting around a table, stuffing themselves on burgers and chatting knowingly about the feuding girls in April’s class and the jean skirt hanging to dry in the bathroom and the prospect of making out at a boy-girl party. I really like April, but the writers had the young actress swim a little too far out of her acting depth when she shrieked at Luke for bringing up the prospect of kissing a boy. She melted down in such an awkward, look-away-from-your-TV-screen fashion that for a minute I felt like I was watching America’s Next Top Model. Turns out little April’s none-too-subtle grimaces and grips of her belly throughout dinner added up to, ding ding ding!, an acute case of appendicitis. And they also led to a scared, desperate Luke reaching out to Lorelai for the first time for some expert advice. I’m glad Lorelai showed at the emergency room to make sure Luke was hanging in, and I’m pleased that the writers threw in that incredibly uncomfortable moment where the doctor assumed Luke and Lorelai were a couple. But poor Luke — when he got an eyeful of his very recent ex’s wedding ring, he looked like he might need to be checked in to the hospital himself.
Meanwhile, Rory was pissed about the news of her parents’ surprise nuptials and fled to a fancy party that Logan was throwing for his thriving business. The golden boy is moving to New York, and he’s going to get a new apartment and all new stuff, and whee!, it’s good to be loaded. (Points to Logan for sweetly understanding Rory’s dismay at the news of her mother’s marriage, and then subtract half a point for his immediately offering her a drink. Is it just me, or are we headed for a very special episode where Rory has to confront Logan about his drinking?) At the party, Rory met a bunch of mucky-mucks, including a former New York Times writer who marveled at her gumption. Apparently our little girl interviewed Barack Obama a couple weeks ago for the Yale Daily News, and while she couldn’t get the charismatic young senator to admit to a 2008 presidential run, she did see a twinkle in his eye. ”But you can’t quote a twinkle,” the seasoned journalist warmly told her. ”But you can describe it!” she replied. And he looked positively tickled by this upstart young writer, who’s found a magical way to report the news. Bah! How about treating Rory like a 22-year-old young woman instead of a Dakota Fanning movie character who gets by on her creamy dimples and go-get-’em moxie. Rory ended up channeling all of her fury at her mother into a scathing article about Logan’s event, and the couple had a meltdown where Logan defended his class of trustafarians. Sounding a little too Waco for my taste, even if he was completely right, he sneered at the prep-school-and-Yale-educated, grandparent-funded, no-rent-paying Rory that ”You’re one of us!” The two eventually made up, after Rory apologized for the article and asserted her intention to move out of his place (finally!). They made kissy face, complimenting each other’s hair and teeth (gag).
Lorelai showed up — thank you, writers, for finally having Lorelai do something besides leaving ineffectual yammering messages — and confronted her daughter. She insisted that if she had told Rory about her plans to get hitched, Rory would have talked her out of it, or at least made her second-guess herself. But she wanted to make a leap of faith and throw caution to the wind and take the plunge and all of those clichés that never before had a place in our brainy Lorelai’s life. All was quickly forgiven, and Rory agreed that little Gigi (adrift somewhere in France, probably smoking opium and dancing the cancan by now) could take over her room. Lorelai insisted that she was not going to take Christopher’s name (does he know that?), that she’s first and foremost a Gilmore girl, and Lorelai Gilmore without Gilmore is Gil-less. Uh, right, Gil-less. That intern who was sent to Starbucks like six episodes ago is so unbelievably fired.
Now I get that it might seem silly for all of you TiVo, DVR, microwave-oven types to have this dinosaur moaning week after week about a mere promo spot. But indulge me this one last time. All I want for Christmas is to see one of the Aerie Girls tarred and feathered in the Stars Hollows town square. The sin here is not just that these little teenagers are ding-dongs dumbing down an already dumbed-down show. It’s the assumption that their little klatch after each episode is useful or illuminating, a relatable mirror of us silly viewers and the ”Dear Diary” quality of conversations we’re supposedly having at home on our own sofas. When one poor thing brought up the bland ”Gil-less” comment, those two nonsense words splashed across the screen like a Sesame Street reading device. And then another girl disagreed with her polyester-blend friend and said she thought all was well between Lorelai and Rory, and the two have never been a stronger unit. And then, and then, ”Gil Most” blurped up on the screen. Oh, Logan, can’t you pay someone to have these girls, and the brainiacs who conceived of them in the first place, taken care of? There’s a bottle of scotch in it for you.
What did you think? Is Rory right to move out and get her own place? Were you too pleasantly surprised that Lorelai was up-front with Christopher about meeting Luke at the emergency room? Did Rory forgive her mom too quickly? Gil Most?