”Gilmore Girls”: True feelings come out
An obscenely large part of me wanted to spend this entire TV Watch reliving Lorelai’s deeply moving karaoke night. Remember the way she switched her gaze from Rory to Luke and the tone of the song changed completely and how that spoke volumes about her adult life? Remember when her voice kind of frogged a little when she got to the line ”I’m not what you ne-ee-ee-eed”? Remember when she looked like a darted deer at the end before scooting off the stage and how in the audience it looked like Liz Torres the actress and not Miss Patty the character had to clutch at her heart in disbelief? It was that powerful, people! It’s hard to believe that even Lauren Graham could squeeze something fresh out of Dolly Parton’s ”I Will Always Love You,” but it was the YouTube moment of the whole season. And for those of you who haven’t yet watched the episode, I know that you’re probably a little sniffy at the idea of using such a predictable song. But see, she started off singing it to Rory! She was drunk and was using drunken jazz hands. And then — and then! — Luke walked in, and he was half smiling?and okay, in the light of day, after the wine has worn off, I see that maybe my enthusiasm might seem a little overwrought. But Graham’s face was doing that vintage crumbly chin thing and she really can sing and Luke’s jaw went all clenchy and she wishes him joy and happiness.
Get it together, Karen. Don’t make this recap like the one after Richard’s heart-attack scare, when people accused you of having your period. (Low blow, message boarders!)
Circling back to the beginning, Rory was in her yellow backpack at prep school. Oh, I loved that yellow backpack and everything it symbolized. I wish that my whole life still revolved around a bag stuffed with books, a couple fun pencils, and a Capri Sun. But in this dream sequence, the backpack’s powers had been neutralized. Rory was bumped from Chilton, Lorelai was off for Hawaii, and Paris was cooking dinner for Doyle and their two kids in Rory’s kitchen. Not to niggle, but wouldn’t Doyle be the man in the apron in this scenario? Can you really ever picture Paris preparing anything for dinner other than a couple PowerBars and a Chunky candy because that’s what she ate during her SAT break and three-course meals are for wimps. Anyways, Rory woke up alarmed and looked kind of dopey.
We finally had the return of Friday Night Dinner, but it was a strictly ”meh” affair. Richard’s down 11 pounds, and Emily didn’t have any good lines. The grandparents did talk about buying a pied-à-terre in New York City and letting Rory live there rent free. Thank you again, writers, for that rejection letter from the Times! The internship she’s always dreamed of and a free apartment on the Upper East Side? Rory’s soul was dangerously close to being destroyed. In just six months she would have been in New York wearing boots above her jeans, casually bemoaning the state of Middle America, and dating Salman Rushdie. While Rory was moping about her loserdom, Lorelai rightly pointed out to her what an easy ride she’s had so far in her life and that — okay, I would have slapped Lorelai for this — ”a setback is really just a setup for future accomplishment.” That type of saying reminds me of the time a friend got a wedding-shower present from her future mother-in-law, a pillow with stitching on it that read, ”Stressed Is Just Desserts Spelled Backwards!” Or when I lost my camera two hours before leaving for vacation and my grandmother said, ”A place for everything, and everything in its place!” Not cool! But it was fun watching Lorelai try to buck up Rory while reminding her that she was kind of due for a little life smackdown.
Luke and Lorelai are back to their old diner-banter routine. And — better news! — Luke has ditched that old bowling ball of a baseball hat. Sookie had a nice moment when she admitted that that ill-fitting monstrosity had ”a slightly more menacing quality.” And by ”menacing” she meant ”’douche-baggy.” Lorelai looked flibbertygibbety about the gesture and wanted to reciprocate. Sookie suggested she throw on a flannel shirt. Oh, Sookie — Jenny McCarthy’s cousin, everybody! I’d like Hollywood to promise me that if indeed this is the last season of Gilmore Girls, some wise, woman-loving power that be will snatch up Melissa McCarthy and put her in something worthy of her comedic talents. And please, just because she’s on the pillowy side doesn’t mean she has to be a cook or a best friend. And speaking of pillowy women, Babette and Miss Patty hadn’t moved from their table at the diner since the last episode. I was going to bemoan how underused they continue to be when they sent Lorelai out of the diner with a nice little synchronized Sound of Music goodbye and then had a great cabaret moment later in the episode. Babette really was giving me some fevah. Well played!
At first I was glad when Lane popped up on screen. But, unfortunately, she has been lobotomized. The writers, who really have given her crap to work with all season, have replaced acidic, tough, guarded Lane, the Lane who as we all know has only had sex once and hated it, with a beaming, uncomplicated, magnanimous new mother who will happily send her new husband off for two months on a rock tour. No, no, she’ll stay at home with the babies and he should go and have a good time. I love Zack. I love Lane. I love Mrs. Kim, and I love the fact that she’s helping out so much with the kids. (Would have loved to see a shot of that!) But I can’t help being a little resentful that this whole plotline was so casually put together and given such short shrift throughout the season. And the climax of it all is that Lane is not the Lane we ever knew and we’ll probably never see or hear from her again. Lane is going to seriously crack up one of these days — she’s only had sex once and now she has twins and Zack is in Cincinnati! — but we will never know. Maybe Rory will come to her rescue? Lane, you’re a goner.
So then, oh God, we got to karaoke night. You’ve heard it all before. Lorelai can belt with the best of them. She’s one of those actresses whose emotions don’t just cross their face; they kind of tunnel under their skin. They started doing that again when Logan showed up, fresh from successful San Francisco job interviews — ”I really feel this venture has a bright future, and I’d like buy Rory from you” — and slowly but surely built up to asking for Rory’s hand in marriage. Lorelai’s face started going bubbly, and then it looked like it was going to just slide off onto the sofa by the time the screen went black.
But what about you? Did you grasp at your heart during Lorelai’s karaoke night? Did you grasp at your heart during Logan’s announcement of his intentions? Did you know that Alanis Morissette dated Dave ”Cut It Out” Coulier? And do you hope for another season or think it’s time to put the girls out to pasture?