”Gilmore Girls”: Rory graduates, Logan proposes
After Lorelai’s gasp-inducing karaoke moment and then the 11th-hour news that Gilmore Girls was in fact coming to an end, I was primed for sentimentality. David Rosenthal & Co. had righted their leaking ship, and we were all going to sail into the sunset on a flood of tears. Last week a colleague came into my office, and we were mushing over Lorelai’s performance and trying to figure out if it was a salty, tender goodbye to Luke or a Well, hellooo there, Luke, my door’s wide open song choice. (Anybody’s who’s ever listened to the lyrics or is vaguely familiar with the ethos of country music, let alone the final scene of The Bodyguard, would wisely choose the former.) I then told my friend that whatever did or didn’t happen in the next two episodes, I was going to try to just enjoy Lauren Graham while I could and marvel at this gal’s chops. So I guess that’s why I begin this TV Watch blabbing on about last week’s episode. Because, let’s be honest, we were served some serious filler last night, which just seems especially cruel knowing it was the second-to-last chance to soak our girls up.
Regular readers of this column know that I think Logan is a smarmy tool. When he first showed up, he worked that seedy-sexy-rich-guy-with-hidden-depth thing for a hot second. But at heart he’s a careless snot who, worse, has become dull and self-indulgently earnest the last season. That said, didn’t the guy deserve a more careful goodbye than he got last night, as he grumpily waddled off campus in an ill-fitting suit?
Backing up a bit, the grandparents threw Rory a swanky graduation party where she surely collected serious congratulatory checks from the entire East Coast DAR. Christopher showed up, looking fine, and — hooray for the magic of sloppy TV writers! — everything was totally okay between him and Lorelai. You’d think there might be a little awkwardness between these two, who may or may not still be married. A splash of bitterness? A note of wistfulness? Nothing! Lorelai spilled that Logan asked her permission for Rory’s hand and Christopher looked blandly mopey about having missed another landmark moment in his daughter’s life. Oh well, champagne makes everything better!
Just when the episode seemed to be dragging along by its knuckles, Richard and Emily announced they were going to toast Rory with song. Here we go! But wait, Richard was crooning lines like ”No more school for you. There is nothing now that you can’t doooo.” While this was a perfectly sweet moment, it seemed like a massive missed opportunity. That’s the best they could come up with? It seemed like the type of song actual grandparents might sing at an actual graduation party. But boo, this is TV land, and you’re working with actors at the top of their game. Not nearly as fun as it should have been. Now did anyone really think there was hope for Logan when he took the floor in that clown tie, stammering in front of the guests that ”the past year I realize that I don’t know a lot more than I thought I knew.” In the crowd Lorelai looked like she had to choke back some champagne reflux and Rory looked like she wanted to dive into one of those giant vases of lemons. She pulled Logan outside, where there was a white carriage waiting (gross!), and Logan started in on his sales pitch. He’s got their whole life figured out and she’s going to love Palo Alto and remember how much she loves guacamole and with this ring she could share all of his hair products. Just sign here!
After the proposal debacle, Lorelai found herself in front of the diner, in the same spot she had once hurled an ultimatum at Luke that thudded onto the street. She and Luke had an angry, accusatory discussion about Rory’s hesitation and Logan’s certitude, but it was strangely unilluminating. Remember that pretty song? Just when the stakes had been raised for me and I was convinced that these two should grind their way back to each other, seeing them rehash their junk made me yearn for the simpler times. Bring her leftovers when she’s sick. Make him laugh in the morning. Move on.
Rory’s graduation was almost ruined by a dumb scene with Lucy and what’s her name. Are these two really her best friends? Shouldn’t this have just been a scene with Paris? There was a nice moment when Richard acknowledged that this day was as much about Lorelai as it was about Rory, and when her daughter finally crossed the stage, Lorelai’s face flooded and she stood up and cheered. After seven seasons, who among us didn’t get a little misty? (Quick question, though: Why were there only 25 people in the crowd?)
After the ceremony, the Gilmores gathered for family photos while Logan slunk around in the background, as he had done for most of the graduation scenes. He somehow was relegated to the status of the creepy guy who’s already graduated but can’t stop hanging around campus? I don’t like the dude, but sending him off like a fancy-pants Wooderson? Not cool. Rory bopped over to him and said she really loves him but she’s just not ready for marriage. The future is wide open, and right now an avocado tree isn’t enough to tie her down. Good girl! He demanded all or nothing, in a strained echo of Lorelai’s all-or-nothing moment from last season, but came up empty-handed. He looked grumpy at not getting what he wanted, Rory looked like she’d already moved on to what she should order for appetizers at graduation lunch, and that was that.
At the end of the episode, Rory and Lorelai finished packing up her apartment, and the two left the empty room through one of the three open doors. So many choices! Anything can happen! We deserved better! And then, just when I was really feeling stiffed, they showed scenes for next week and blew the climax. You better make me cry next week, Gilmore Girls! At this point, I’d settle for a clip montage with some tinkly indie rock in the background. When in doubt, focus the camera on Lauren Graham’s brimming eyes and quivering jaw! But you better make me cry.
What did you think, readers? Was Logan short-shrifted? Did the strange lack of tension between Christopher and Lorelai bother you? Did you come to this episode ready to cry and leave it just feeling kind of cranky and pent up?