On ''Gilmore Girls,'' Friday's meal comes with drama: Rory has a tough time with Logan's colleagues; Lorelai and Christopher argue over Gigi

By Karen Valby
Updated October 25, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

”Gilmore Girls”: Bad Friday-dinner dates

First, a tip of the hat to the great Lauren Graham, who guest-starred this week on Studio 60. In what was an otherwise tepid episode, Graham and Matthew Perry shared a terrifically funny scene. Perry’s harmless cad of a character hit on Graham, referring to her TV gig on ”uh, Calico Gals?” and then gave her his phone number to share with ”the girl on your show who plays your daughter.” And though Graham clearly thought he was a worm, she took the number anyway. Now, if only Graham could host the real Saturday Night Live

On to the show! Luke and Lorelai fans should consider sending out the DEFCON 3 signal, because things with Christopher have escalated to the point where even Paul Anka is spending the night at his house. Sookie, who’s still relegated to scenes in the kitchen, wears her disapproval like her apron. And as much as I’m cheering on Christopher, Sookie’s anxiety makes me nervous that Lorelai really will emerge from this in tatters.

Meanwhile, Logan fans, who threw pancakes at me from the message boards last week for doubting him, had half an episode to rejoice. At Yale, Rory got a call from him to hit the roof so they could watch a meteor shower together over the phone. Sucker! He was up there himself, surrounded by twinkly lights and a table of tapas and wine and some blankets for them to banish the memory of awkward text sex. Well-played, sir. He was in town for a business deal, and they had 26 hours before he would head back to London.

At Christopher’s, Lorelai commandeered the TiVo, questioning his taste for The View, Girlfriends, and Sábado Gigante. ”Who controls this thing, Pedro Almodóvar?” (On a side note, do check out his new movie, Volver. Good stuff.) Christopher fessed up to recent correspondence from Sherry, who ditched him and little Gigi years ago to practice positions with her yoga instructor. She’s back in the picture and wants to get to know her daughter, so Chris was thinking of sending Gigi off to Paris with the nanny as a chaperone. Wha? Lorelai got a curdled look on her face but held her tongue.

Speaking of sour, Stars Hollow is holding its nose because of a train spill of pickles and brine. Taylor calls a town meeting to address the stink. (Luke has the cojones to show up; Lorelai doesn’t.) And here we come to a major shortcoming in the show’s new regime: They’ve yet to prove that they can seamlessly blend the foibles of Stars Hollow’s townsfolk into the natural rhythm of the show. A red-light camera? A pickle spill? Surely this small town deserves better.

Rory couldn’t make Friday-night dinner because she had only a few hours left with Logan. If I heard correctly, he was taking her to dinner in New York to celebrate closing the deal. (I’ve yet to go to a Manhattan restaurant with lush foliage on the front patio.) Her romantic evening took a downward turn when she met Logan’s business pals: two annoying British dudes (who would make excellent personality matches with Rory’s annoying art-exhibit friends, by the way) and one snotty British gal with great gams. The gang had clearly already guzzled their way through a few bottles of champagne, and Rory sat mute through much of the meal. Afterward, outside on the mean streets — when will Hollywood tire of the sad puff of dry ice on a city set? — Rory complained about sharing their last meal with drunken colleagues, and Logan gave her a nice kiss and reminded her that ”last night was just us.” Rory, you can do better.

At the Gilmores, Emily was beaming with happiness over the reunion of Christopher and Lorelai. She wanted to make foursome dates for tennis and bridge, and in her excitement, she missed the tension between Rory’s parents. Christopher was pissed that Lorelai told him it was a half-baked idea to send vulnerable Gigi off to Paris with just the nanny, and Lorelai seemed peeved that she once again was being completely shut out of her significant other’s parental decisions. But on Richard and Emily crowed about the couple’s long history, dating back to when they were just a couple of teenagers getting hammered off a bottle of wine on the back porch. ”They were derelicts, it’s true,” said Richard, in one of the best lines of the night. ”And now they’re all grown up and drinking very nicely out of glasses.” Sick of sulking over salads, Lorelai and Christopher excused themselves to the powder room to hash it out. What a relief to see a couple on this show actually voicing their displeasure with each other instead of letting it stew and marinate until it boils over and someone does something stupid like sleeping with her ex when she’s only been broken up with her fiancé for an hour! Over after-dinner drinks, Christopher cut Emily off mid-chatter and admitted he wasn’t thinking clearly about Sherry. Emily, with perfect comic timing, was baffled and thought he wanted sherry instead of port. Lorelai and Chris made up, and now that they were once again a united front, Lorelai told her mom that they would all meet for bridge on the ”12th of never.”

What do you think? Am I still giving Logan too hard a time? Are Stars Hollow citizens being properly served by the writers? And do you agree with me that while this season is picking up narrative steam, no single episode has yet been a treasure in and of itself?