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We’re officially at the halfway point of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, which could have you feeling excited (still two episodes to go!) or sad (oh man, only two more left!), or both! And man, was this one a doozy. We got the Stars Hollow musical, a Rory-Lorelai fight, THE RETURN OF JESS (!!!!), and that’s not even getting to what happened at the end. Let’s get to it..
“Summer,” fittingly, starts with Rory and Lorelai hanging by a pool (Sidenote: Has there been a pool in Stars Hollow this whole time?), debating the merits of even going to a pool to cool off on a hot day (not to mention the chemicals and unmentionable bodily fluids in there — “kid pee,” Lorelai helpfully specifies). By now, word has gotten out that Rory is back home and everyone in town is talking about it — but anytime it comes up, she bristles. She’s not back, she stresses. She’s just… here right now.
Also here right now: April Nardini, back home for a visit after graduating from MIT and professing her love for both chemistry and metaphysics (and not getting Lorelai’s Annie Hall references — she only watches German silent films, because of course she does). Her post-grad plans? She’s taking the summer before grad school to travel with friends to canvass for pot legalization. (“It’s about civil liberties,” she says, telling her dad she doesn’t smoke pot. Later, she admits to Rory that she totally does. Well, she did it once — and ate so much cheese after.) April is also feeling a bit panicky about seeing Rory back home again in her childhood bedroom. “It’s like a postcard from the real world,” she says.
Luke and Lorelai, out in the living room, are also discussing April – how she’s also planning to visit Germany this summer on a trip funded by Luke, who Lorelai points out has paid for part of her college and now grad school, too. She offers to chip in, but he brushes her off. “April’s mine,” he says, and he’s got it. (Watch this space, this idea of keeping this separate comes up in a big way later on.)
After that not-so-uplifting talk with April, Rory goes outside and calls Logan, suggesting that since she’s not really doing much of anything these days, maybe she’d come out and visit him soon. Like, tomorrow? But there’s a minor hiccup with that: His fiancée is in town. And moved in with him a couple of weeks ago. Rory’s unsettled by this (and also by Logan’s suggestion that she could hang out in a hotel until he can come see her), but he says they can keep their arrangement the same… that she can come out in a few weeks, like they’d originally planned, and they can figure it out then. “I’m looking forward to it,” he says. “Me, too,” Rory replies, but definitely doesn’t sound like it.
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At the latest town meeting — where, shocker, there’s air conditioning now! — Babette introduces Rory to the Thirtysomething Gang, a group of kids around her age who’ve all tried their hands in the “real world” and are now back in their childhood Stars Hollow bedrooms. Needless to say, it’s not a group Rory wants to be a part of. Taylor also makes the big announcement that they’re going to do a Stars Hollow musical, with lyrics by Taylor himself (naturally) and music composed by a very forlorn looking newbie named Nat Compton. They need volunteers for a musical advisory committee to watch rehearsals for the show and give suggestions, and Lorelai gamely volunteers — as does Babette, Gypsy, and Sophie (welcome back, Carole King!). Oh, and there’s one other town update: The Stars Hollow Gazette is shutting down after 89 years because its editor, Bernie Longbottom, has retired.
After walking past the line of hopefuls auditioning for the musical (Claudia, Lorelai’s therapist, is among them) and hearing the actress who landed the leading role sing (Sutton Foster, best of the best), Rory laments that there isn’t a paper to cover all these developments… so she goes to Taylor and volunteers to run the Gazette herself. Her salary? $0. Her staff? A whole team of two: the dour-looking, deadpan Esther, and the very old, often sleeping Charlie.
But even with that crack team at her disposal, Rory puts out her first edition of the paper, which she and Lorelai then have to deliver around town themselves (to the tune of Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots are Made for Walking.”) People complain that Rory didn’t include the traditional poem on the front page, Doyle calls and gripes that she cut down his review of The Jungle Book (everybody’s a critic, am I right?), and Lorelai narrowly misses getting cornered by the parents of the Thirtysomething Gang, who gather to compare their kids’ résumés and trade jobs tips.
NEXT: Stars Hollow: The Musical