Identity Crisis

*Warning: This post contains spoilers to CW’s Arrow Episode 3.16, “The Offer.”*

When I first learned the season three theme for Arrow would be about identity, I did not expect it to become such a mess. However, the writers must have believed the characters would only be able to figure out who they really are, and what they stood for by making them out of character this year. The season has now aired sixteen episodes, and I am only starting to see a glimpse of why I fell in love with the show in the first place. The fact of the matter is the theme fits because the show itself lost its identity this year.

The majority of last week’s episode was a right out mess, but it finally showed us a bit of why I came to love Arrow in the first place with the help of John Diggle and Felicity Smoak. Oliver actually does toy with the idea of becoming Heir to the Demon, and we were able to get some great scenes between the partners on why Oliver became Arrow in the first place. We finally get a glimpse of the man who does not make speeches on top of vehicles to crowds. Instead we get Oliver leaving the police station not expecting a thank you from Quentin Lance.

Oliver has lost focus on why he started his crusade in the first place, he didn’t start to to receive thanks or hero worship.

One of Oliver’s greatest fears is losing the ones closest to him, and Ra’s al Ghul knows it. Oliver has been trying to control everyone’s life around him this season because he believes only he can protect them. However, it has been backfiring on him. He has forgotten to stand by his family and friends instead of in front of them. He needs to support them and not try taking control over their lives thinking it is for the greater good.

The truth is Oliver would only lose his partners if he took Ra’s up on his offer. Luckily Diggle and Felicity are there to give him some cognitive recalibration.

I miss the show I fell in love with, and truly wish for the show to get its act together.

 

Other Observations:

*I will always be grateful for Quentin Lance. He is the only one who has been able to stay in character even though he is trying to remember who he was.

*Yes to the Nyssa and Laurel friendship. Nyssa has only known her life with the League of Assassins, and it would be interesting to see her explore who she is when she is not under her father’s command.

*While Walter may not always be on screen the writers need to include him. He was and still is a father figure to Thea. Yet the show seems to forgotten about how Walter helped raise Thea during her adolescent years.

*Diggle talked to Felicity about the offer. I’m glad these two confide in each other even if it is offscreen.

Gilmore Girls Retrospective: 1.19, 1.20, & 1.21

1.19 “Emily in Wonderland”

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Emily is on the hunt for antique dining chairs, and Rory pipes up with the suggestion to visit Kim’s Antiques, which is in Stars Hollow! Emily has never seen the town before, so Rory decides to make a day of it by giving Emily the “grand tour” while Lorelai is incredibly relieved that she has to work all day.

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It’s an odd day for Emily, who has to wear jogging shoes and ends up making unlikely friends in Mrs. Kim (one of the best scenes of the series is their haggling match) and Michel. Everything is going smoothly until Rory, bless her heart, proudly shows off the potting shed that she and Lorelai had lived in for the first seven or so years of her life. Emily is horrified, and I will always believe that she felt a good deal of guilt when she saw the place, but mostly she felt hurt and bewildered that Lorelai would rather live in a potting shed at the edge of someone else’s property than stay home with Emily and Richard.

She decorates a room in her own home specifically for Rory, which is sweet, and not nearly as manipulative as Lorelai believes it to be. They end up in a fight over it, with Emily getting worked up over Lorelai choosing to live anywhere but at home, and it results in a frosty dinner and some unresolved feelings between mother and daughter.

In Stars Hollow, everyone’s getting used to Rachel being around. It’s a big adjustment for Luke in particular, who can’t bring himself to believe that she’s going to stick around this time. There’s one big reason why I could never bring myself to dislike Rachel, and that is because her photographs are what clued Lorelai (and later Sookie) in to the existence of the Dragonfly Inn. The Dragonfly storyline is my favorite of the show — I love the mechanics, the set, the props, the actual plots around it, and the fact that it’s Lorelai’s pride and joy. I just love every bit of it. And if it weren’t for Rachel, Lorelai might not have seen the Dragonfly to file away for future plans. Thank you, Rachel. You rock.

Lorelai ends up in a wonderland of her own when Rachel invites her up to Luke’s apartment to look at some film negatives. It’s a good bonding moment for Lorelai and Rachel, but they both notice how edgy it makes Luke to have Lorelai on this side of his metaphorical diner counter. Lorelai confronts Luke with her questions head-on, while Rachel retreats in on herself. Luke listens to Lorelai’s advice and offers Rachel a sock drawer and her own set of keys, for which Rachel thanks Lorelai profusely. At the end of the episode, Rory sips some of Luke’s coffee and asks Lorelai, “Does it taste different to you?” Yeah. It does.

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One of my favorite scenes is Rory and Lorelai sitting on a blanket in front of the Dragonfly, watching Sookie run around the property and freaking out about floor space for ovens and plumbing.

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Other notable quotes and moments:

– Rune, who is good in small doses, is hired on as the handyman for the Independence Inn.

– One of the greater injustices of my teen years was enduring the scene where, when given the choice between 98 Degrees, NSync, or the Backstreet Boys, Rory chose NSync. I don’t want to start any circa 2001 fangirl wars here, but c’mon, KTBSPA. (We all know who can stay out of this though.)

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“Just jump in and believe her! Unless, you know, there’s some other reason you don’t want to.” / “Like what?” / “Like… I don’t know.” / “There’s no other reason.” Just another bit of loaded dialogue between Luke and Lorelai that made them so great.

“You hated us that much? You had to take that little girl away, that was bad enough, but to that? To live there? In a shed, like a hobo? I saw it, I saw that horrible little pit you so proudly ran to, I saw what you chose over your own family. You would’ve lived in a gutter, in the street, in a cardboard box, anywhere, as long as you didn’t have to be near us, isn’t that true?”

“Can I ask you a question?” / “Yes, I would date Steven Tyler.” / “Can I ask you a question whose answer won’t horrify me?”


1.20 “P.S. I Lo…”

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Things are still progressing between Max and Lorelai, in case you forgot during the last Luke-filled episode. Lorelai seems like she’s forgotten a little bit, because on the same day she agrees to an in-person date with Max, she’s running around buying gifts for Luke under the guise of buying a birthday present for Rachel.

She returns with a veritable brand new wardrobe for Luke, along with the perfect gifts for Rachel. She browbeats Luke until he relents and tries on some of her purchases, and that’s when Rachel returns to the diner to find Lorelai trying to adjust Luke’s belt. It’s awkward. It’s also funny because I think a lot of this stuff ends up being what Luke wears in later seasons for more formal occasions.

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Lane has been keeping a pretty huge secret from Rory — she’s been cheating on her with Dean! Not true cheating, she’s just his lab partner, and she’s actually pretty great on Rory’s behalf. She admits to Dean that Rory avoids the supermarket, and asks if they’ll ever get back together again, but that’s when Rory comes in unannounced and things go awry.

Things get a little worse for Rory when Max talks to her about her recent breakup with Dean, which is news to Rory because she had no idea that Lorelai and Max were talking again. She ends up taking out her anger on Lane and Lorelai in that order, and she kind of acts like a brat in these scenes. She’s a teenager, so I’ll give her leeway, but at the end of the day, she’s angry that her mother and best friend care too much.

So remember that lovely room Emily decorated specifically for Rory in the last episode? Well good thing it’s there, because that’s exactly where Rory goes after her fight with Lorelai. It hurts Lorelai beyond words, but Emily is actually pretty great. She went to great lengths to make sure Rory would have everything she needed in this sort of scenario, and she’s very accommodating. Richard is downright gleeful that Rory chose tonight to appear — it gets him out of a boring benefit that he never wanted to attend.

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Lorelai, cut off and confused, chooses to vent her frustrations on Dean. Dean, if you remember, is not totally blameless in this, since he sprang that “I love you” on Rory and expected an answer, but he’s still not the villain that everyone thinks he is. Rory has been accidentally running her own manipulations by staying silent on the subject and letting everyone think the worst of Dean, but at least things finally make sense to Lorelai after Dean explodes at her. She goes to comfort Rory and tells her not to be so scared of commitment. It’s not exactly a trait she wants to pass down to her daughter.

In the end, Rory apologizes to Lane, and mother and daughter return home reunited. Lorelai also recommits herself to Max. That’s gonna go really well, you just know it.

Other notable quotes and moments:

– The episode opens with Lorelai and Rory playing a game of 1, 2, 3, He’s Yours — one points out three eligible bachelor-strangers and the other has to choose one to marry, no takebacks. It ends cutely for Lorelai, because Kirk pops up just in time for #3, but it ends sadly for Rory, whose #1 is Dean.

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In a cute bit of symbolism, or perhaps foreshadowing, Luke actually appears at the table right after Rory points out bachelor #2. Technically, he would be Lorelai’s third option… if only Rory had chosen him.

– The Kims are adorable; Lane says she invited Dean over to work on their science project, and Mrs. Kim leans in and threateningly asks, “Reproduction?” and Lane, without missing a beat, replies, “Spores, molds, and fungi.” There is no greater scientific mood killer.

– Dean, about Mrs. Kim: “Has she seen Patton?”

– Lorelai, to a crabby Rory: “Hey, does Up with People know about you?”

– Richard thoughtlessly offers Rory a cocktail, which is just hilarious to me, especially because Emily is scandalized by his lapse of judgement.

“Everything is going to be fine! Richard, say something encouraging.” / “Uh, Rory, I’m sorry you’re upset, but I applaud your timing.”


1.21 “Love, Daises, and Troubadors”

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Oh this episode. It’s iconic, really. It’s got Luke in rare form, Max at his worst and his best, and those dang Gilmore girls running around all crazy. It’s the season finale, and I can’t believe it’s already here!

Lorelai is startled awake by Luke hammering on her porch, because he can’t stand being trapped in his diner and apartment with Rachel, but he doesn’t want to admit it. Lorelai screams at him about the ungodly hour, which ends up waking the whole block, but he disappears before anyone else sees him. It’s cute. He ends up hanging around the house a lot, fixing shingles and porch railings, and Lorelai doesn’t really think about it until Rachel says something to her. Lorelai tries to talk to Luke about it, and he admits that he’s having a lot of trouble with the expectations of being in a couple. He even accidentally lets it slip that in his mind, he’s sort of settling for Rachel.

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Max attends his very first town meeting, and he’s thrilled to watch the spectacle as troubadors argue with each other, Lorelai bickers with Taylor, and Rory stands up and makes a speech. His antenna goes up when Lorelai throws a fry at Luke and offers him her extras.

Luke returns to the diner to find Rachel surrounded by her luggage. She tells him she’s leaving because of Lorelai, because his heart wasn’t in the relationship, and he can’t even finish his sentences as he tries to argue with her. She pauses at the door, and — this is so great — she tells him not to wait too long to tell Lorelai how he feels. And he heeds that advice.

He visits Lorelai the next night to tell her that Rachel left, and we know that he’s going to confess his feelings to Lorelai, but Max shows up for their date and Luke gets all caveman on him, talking about how he fixes things around the house and such. Max fails to rise above it, and it’s pretty embarrassing to watch, and Luke even forgets his toolbox. Lorelai and Max end up fighting over it as Max becomes a little unhinged, talking about how much he dated around while they were broken up, and Max thinks the only way to break their vicious cycle of making up and breaking up is to get married.

“[A proposal] has to be planned! It should be magical! There should be music playing, and romantic lighting, and a subtle build-up to the popping of the question! There should be a thousand yellow daises, and candles, and a horse — and I don’t know what the horse is doing there unless you’re riding it, which seems a little over the top — but it should be more than this!”

Rory finds her Dean box, the box of Dean’s stuff that Lorelai had promised to throw away but had secretly stashed in the hall closet that is sometimes a bathroom. She gets up the courage to go into the market on a day that Dean usually works, but he’s not working, and instead she gets harassed by Taylor who believes she is shoplifting. (Lane later points out, “You have shoplifted there!”) Rory later appears at Dean’s house and scares the crap out of his sister, Clara, who points Rory out at the town meeting after Rory stands up and starts yelling about love and not being able to express it.

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Tristan aggressively asks Rory out by buying tickets to PJ Harvey and, when she says she can’t date him, saying “I give you permission.” He looks a little dejected as she walks away but there’s no amount of lovelorn looks he can give her that will excuse his behavior when he smugly tells Paris, Madeline, and Louise that he’s taking Rory to the concert. This of course puts Paris on the warpath once more, and poor unsuspecting Rory has no idea. She’s bewildered when Madeline and Louise start icing her out and calling her “Mary” once more (“Not virgin. Typhoid.”) and then Paris levels Rory with what she believes to be the truth. She promises to make Rory’s junior year a living hell, both in school and on the newspaper. She pauses with her girl group in a truly amazing shot, and says, “Have a really good summer.”

On the last day of school, Tristan gets downright nasty to Rory, telling her he’s irritated because he believes she’s stringing him along. He steals her books and tells her she can have them back when she agrees to go, and she is so over it that she tells him to keep the books. She walks out and sees Dean standing there beside his truck, but he misreads the situation as he sees Tristan carrying Rory’s books. Totally understandable, it does look bad. But Rory’s so happy to see him that she goes running up to him and asks him why he’s there. She begs him not to leave, and he asks why, and she yells, “Because I love you, you idiot!” and a thousand teenaged hearts were set aflutter.

Lorelai gets to the inn to find it filled with yellow daisies. She’s teary as she calls Max, who… still proposes to her over the phone… but it’s better than what he did the night before! He’s good with words, talking about literature and being a teacher, it’s all very flowery (ha!) prose, but he doesn’t want an answer now. He wants her to think about it.

In her zest to tell Rory, Lorelai runs into Luke, who asks her why she’s so excited. She goes on and on about big news and big things and I think he already knows in that moment, but she can’t tell him before she tells Rory. She leaves him with a single yellow daisy before she runs out of the diner.

Lorelai and Rory run to each other and embrace as they excitedly tell each other their good news. “Our Little Corner of the World” plays over their little reunion, a neat little bookend to the end of the pilot episode.

Other notable quotes and moments:

– Michel is suffering from a terrible medical condition known as ennui. Well, he calls it “severe ennui.” Poor guy, I don’t know how he will cope. Lorelai: “Websters defines ‘ennui’ as a lazy soon-to-be-out-of-work French concierge who won’t answer the phone.” Actually the whole exchange is great. “So you’re sleepy?” / “It’s a metaphysical angst.” / “So you wanna go beddy-bye?”

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– Unfortunately Michel also told Sookie about ennui and she thinks she has it too. This is just like last week when Lorelai had to convince Sookie that she doesn’t have a prostate. And to round it all out, “What’s the opposite of ennui?” / “Off-ui. Oh, hey! I’m cured!” If you don’t love Sookie, I don’t know how to talk to you.

– Max is so sweet, buying candy rings for Rory and Lorelai before the town meeting. “The diamonds are actually candy, so you can eat it!” They also adorably trade each other behind his back.

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– Rory and Lorelai named Luke’s toolbox. It sounds dirty, but it’s not. His name is Burt.

– After Max and Luke face off with their grunts and such, Lorelai says, “Just wanted to make sure you two were finished swinging those things around.”

– I love that they kept Chad Michael Murray in the background of the Rory/Dean reunion scene, it was a nice touch to have him back there watching the scene unfold as he held onto Rory’s books. Let that be a lesson to all men. #YesAllMen

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“Am I or am I not the head man in charge of floral deliveries?” / “Yes, and one of the few men I know who would proudly declare that fact.”

Only six more seasons to go! Are you enjoying the ride?

Jemma vs Jemma

There are two Jemma Simmons out there in the Marvel universe: the TV show, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Jemma and the comic book, S.H.I.E.L.D., Jemma.

 

The comic book was inspired by the TV show, but there are differences between the two of them. The first being Skye is not part of the team, and while I greatly miss Skye I found the first issues enjoyable. One of the main reasons why I found them enjoyable is the way Jemma has been portrayed in the comics.

In the first issue Jemma is going on her first field mission as an operative. She still has her mad science skills, but Melinda May has also been training her in combat. As soon as I saw these pages, I greedily ate them up. This is what I have been wanting from the show. I don’t necessarily need May to be the one who trains her, but I firmly believe Jemma already needs to start training as an operative. She has already gone undercover with Hydra, and has handled a gun a few times on the show.

 

The problem is no one has been teaching her. While the show has been taking the time to train Skye, they have not taken the same time to train Jemma or Fitz in the basics. The pilot made a point to mention both Jemma and Fitz were not ready to go into the field, but nothing has been changed about this situation. I do not think Jemma and Fitz should always be in the field, but the two of them cannot always stay in the lab. They need basic training to defend themselves. Someone needs to teach Jemma how to properly aim a gun. If she is going to be carrying one to protect herself, someone needs to train her. May approved of Jemma shooting Raina, but the fact remains Jemma missed keeping Raina down. May did not mention anything about Jemma needing to practice. Jemma does not need to be with guns blazing, but she does need to be properly trained.

 

One of my hopes is Bobbi Morse will teach her. Of course with the two different S.H.I.E.L.D.s it may be a pipe dream, but Bobbi has already befriended Jemma. I welcome scenes between the two of them because Jemma doesn’t have a mentor on the show.

Another wish fulfilled I got by reading the comics is getting a glimpse of comic Jemma’s background. They reveal who her father is and part of her personal life. This Jemma has a family. She has a father, mother, sister, and brother. We learn how hard it is for her to keep her S.H.I.E.L.D. life a secret, but she has a sense of who she is.

Season one gave us a Jemma like this, and we did find out early in the series she does have parents. However, Jemma changed when Hydra came out of hiding. After the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D., we have seen a lost Jemma, one who is not sure of what her real purpose is anymore. It is one of the reasons why she went undercover with Hydra because it did give her a purpose. Protecting the ones she loves gave her a purpose, but the mid season finale has again highlighted a lost Jemma. Trip was her responsibility after the collapse of S.H.I.E.L.D., and she wasn’t there to protect him. Jemma has always had this instinct to protect the ones around her first with jumping out of the bus, and then by jumping on the supposed grenade on the train in season one.

Now she is at a loss, she doesn’t know how to protect the team. When she does, she goes about it the wrong way leading Fitz and Skye keeping secrets from her. The impact the mid-season finale has caused a fracture which needs to be mended. The whole team is suffering, Jemma included.

The rest of the season will probably remain with the dark tone it has taken especially when Avengers: Age of Ultron comes out. However, it should not be an excuse not to build on Jemma’s character. For the most part we have mainly seen Jemma’s reactions to what is happening to those around her. The stories have been great where the rest of the characters have been concerned, but it feels like Jemma is suffering where the rest have been strengthening.

While I may be in love with what the first two issues of S.H.I.E.L.D. has done with Jemma, I know the reason why I love it so much is because of my love for Agent Jemma Simmons on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Without Elizabeth Henstridge’s portrayal of Jemma Simmons, I would not be so deeply invested in the comic character.

 

Gilmore Girls Retrospective: 1.17 & 1.18

1.17 “The Breakup, Part II”

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Last week, Rory and Dean broke up. He told her he loved her, and Rory wigged out and didn’t say it back, and next thing we know, Rory’s telling Lorelai that they broke up. Lorelai tries to figure out what happened, but Rory shuts down as she packs up everything in her room that’s even remotely related to Dean. Lorelai refuses to throw the box away, despite Rory’s express wishes.

After the credits, Rory does something truly unforgivable: She wakes up Lorelai at six o’clock on a Saturday morning. It hurt just to type that. She’s already rearranged the living room and made lists and oh man, when the first love of my life broke up with me, I was NOT this productive. But at the same time, my sofa still faces my TV, so maybe that was a win for me. Lorelai is definitely alarmed as Rory continues to refuse to wallow or talk about the breakup.

She gamely goes along with Rory’s insane logic of sneaking through alleys in order to avoid Dean at all costs, and it bears pointing out that Lorelai is desperate to get to Luke’s, ostensibly for coffee, never mind the fact that Rachel is back and Rory is going through a significant emotional upheaval. Anyway it goes great because of course everyone already knows, somehow, and it ends with Luke accosting Dean on the sidewalk and Lorelai putting her misplaced pining on Max.

Rory remembers Madeline’s party invite, which she’d initially turned down, and Lorelai thoughtfully suggests she bring Lane to the party with her. While they’re gone, Lorelai gets to thinking about Max and runs to borrow Sookie’s car so she can go see him. It goes about as you’d expect. She tells Max that she never really got over him, but as we come to find out next season, I think it’s really because she didn’t feel enough for Max. He’s great, and he made her happy enough, but maybe she never wallowed over Max because she didn’t need to. Anyway, they decide to try to take things slow… after they sleep together, of course.

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Madeline is thrilled to see Rory, but it’s Paris who ends up talking to Rory and Lane the most. She complains about being the French soda monitor as Tristan chases his girlfriend, Summer, around in the background trying to talk to her. Paris and Rory agree that Summer is kind of awful, but Lane gets the attention of Henry! Sweet Henry Cho! Oh Henry. She ends up dancing with him for the rest of the party, and Rory is perfectly content to sit in a corner with her book. It beats sitting at home trying not to think about Dean, right?

They kinda look like they're about to throw down with a rival gang here.

They kinda look like they’re about to throw down with a rival gang here.

She’s attempting to read when she accidentally witnesses Summer dumping Tristan, who, for all of his faults, seemed to really like her. She later finds him sitting alone at a piano, as all rich white kids are wont to do after they’ve been dumped, and he tries valiantly to pick a fight with her, but Rory is Rory, and she breaks through his defenses pretty easily. She ends up admitting that Dean dumped her, and Tristan calls him an idiot, which might be the nicest jackass thing he’s ever said. He displays a respectable amount of empathy for Rory, even apologizing for being such a jerk to her at the beginning of the year.

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Of course, Rory being Rory, it completely surprises her when Tristan kisses her… then she dissolves into tears. This can only mean that he’s really bad at kissing. Send him to Orange County!

Rory goes home, changes into pajamas, and digs into a gallon-sized Ben & Jerrys on the sofa. When Lorelai gets home, she says she’s ready to wallow. If only they were facing the TV.

Other notable quotes and moments:

– When Lorelai promises Rory she will throw away the Dean box: “Hey, it sleeps with the fishes.” Yes, I will make note of every single Godfather reference on this show, that is your warning.

– Points to Lorelai for attempting to add “wallow” to Rory’s list. “What? It’s on the list! You have to do it if it’s on the list!”

“You pull me out of bed at six in the morning and then you say no to Luke’s? Don’t you know how dangerous that is?”

– The town shows its affection for Rory in a way only the town could: Luke attempting to murder Dean in the streets, Patty passing along a hug, Kirk apologizing to Lorelai for not voicing his concerns about that “floppy-haired jerk,” and Babette attempting to comfort Rory with the story of how she was once pushed out of a moving car. It’s all very Stars Hollow and it’s sweet.

– Jackson is trying to cook a nice dinner for Sookie, which is stressing Sookie out to no end. We also learn that she has an orange Le Creuset, that’s fun!

– Paris’s “No glove, no love,” comment to Louise will always make me laugh.

– Outkast’s “Miss Jackson” is always a welcome addition to any TV show that took place in the aughts. We should be adding it to more TV shows, really.

“You do that so good,” Lorelai says, to the English teacher, who very politely does not correct her.


1.18 “The Third Lorelai”

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This is it — the big one. If you think Lorelai Gilmore is a big personality, well then, you haven’t met Lorelai Gilmore. Oh, that might be confusing. Turns out the Lorelai we know and love is not the first Lorelai — she’s named for her grandmother, Richard’s mother, aka “Trix.” And as delighted as Richard is that his mother is coming to visit, Emily is freaking. out. You know you’re in for a treat when Emily starts spinning out of control before the music from the credits has even started.

Trix makes Emily scamper everywhere, insulting her and taking jabs and generally making Emily crazy. It’s sad to watch from Emily’s point of view, but this early in the show’s run, it’s kind of fun to see Emily on her heels. Lorelai certainly gets a lot of entertainment from it.

The next night at dinner, which Rory has to miss due to school, Trix offers Lorelai a trust fund to pay for Rory’s school, because borrowing money is so low-brow. Emily, sensing her loss of control and the potential end to Friday night dinners, proceeds to freak out Lorelai over giving that amount of money to a sixteen-year-old. Unfortunately, it works — Lorelai doesn’t tell Rory about the trust fund, and she and Emily end up bickering about it right in front of Trix, who rescinds the offer. It’s for the best, in the long run, and Lorelai and Emily end the episode on good terms, so there’s that.

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The Chilton crowd is also in rare form in this episode. Tristan is staring moony-eyed at Rory while Paris tries to screech her way through creating a new Elizabethan-based government. She snaps at Louise, “Lady-in-waiting is not a political office!” to which Louise replies that “They get all the sex,” with a suggestive glance at Tristan. He, of course, looks at Rory and it’s all so amazing and awkward as Paris tries to just do the work. I’m a little upset that Rory wouldn’t let Paris have her manifesto, though. Maybe because I like Paris best when she’s prone to tyranny.

Rory talks to Tristan about the kiss, and she actually believes that he kissed her out of some kind of rebound thing. She completely misses the obvious crush Tristan has on her, and instead, she tries to set him up with Paris. It sounds like a great idea except it’s not. I kept telling Rory that this was a bad idea but she never listens to me.

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Tristan asks Paris out on a date, and she’s over the moon for about an hour, then she shows up at Rory’s house and has a meltdown. In news that would surprise no one, Paris has never dated, and she didn’t want advice from Madeline and Louise because they’re not so good at talking down Paris from the ledge. Rory and Paris chat about Dean and first kisses as Rory raids Lorelai’s closet, and it’s such a great scene for both of them. That’s pretty much when you know that it’s about to hit the fan.

Well, at their meeting the next morning, Tristan does the whole “we are great as friends!” thing to Paris, which just crushes her. He also lets it slip that the date was Rory’s idea, which sends Paris on a tear, and she ends up screaming at Rory. Their brief friendship is over, at least for now, and Madeline and Louise give Rory withering looks as they follow Paris out of the room.

Rory rounds on Tristan, who finally tries to tell her that he likes her: “Is it better that I keep dating her even though I like someone else?” But man, Rory’s really good at the denial thing, attributing his feelings to Summer once more, but she finally picks up a clue or two when Tristan sort of rolls his eyes and shakes his head.

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Oh, Rory. You beautiful, naïve, sophisticated newborn baby.

If you’re feeling bad for Tristan right now, enjoy it while you can. They humanized him for a whopping two episodes, but we don’t see much more of his squintiness after this.

Other notable quotes and moments:

– Never forget this iconic banter:

Emily: You were on the phone.
Richard: Long distance.
Lorelai: God?
Richard: London.
Lorelai: God lives in London?
Richard: My mother lives in London.
Lorelai: Your mother is God?
Richard: Lorelai —
Lorelai: So, God is a woman. And a relative, that is so cool! I’m gonna totally ask for favors.

– There’s also a hilarious bit in the basement where Lorelai keeps addressing the dog statues, prompting Emily to shout, “Stop talking to the dogs!” I can’t convey the hilarity in texts — this is one of those rare times I will implore you to actually watch the clip.

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“What would Miss Manners say about this?” “If she met your grandmother, she’d understand.”

“You’re a Yale man! Your father was a Yale man!” / “Well we want Rory to be whatever kind of man she wants to be.” / “That’s enough jokes for this evening, Lorelai.”

“I have my mother’s voice in my head! It’s like that annoying Cranberries song!”

– No Luke in this episode, sorry shippers.

Here are some fun Gran-isms:

“Gilmores don’t have headaches! Our heads are perfect.”

“I’ve ordered a car. Women shouldn’t drive.”

“I shall die soon, you know.”

“Raising your voice during high tea, whoever heard of such a thing? It’s like Fergie all over again!”

Next week is a three-parter! Emily visits Stars Hollow, things with Max do not move slowly, and Rory loves Dean, you idiot!

Gilmore Girls Retrospective: 1.15 & 1.16

The Gilmore girls are in for some heartache this week, but that won’t diminish our enthusiasm!

1.15 “Christopher Returns”

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Before I really get into this episode, I just have to do a little preface on Christopher. He’s a bit polarizing in fandom, especially among Luke/Lorelai fans. I never had a problem with Chris, especially in the early seasons when he wasn’t much of a roadblock for Luke and Lorelai (Luke was his own roadblock) and when he was more focused on being a father for Rory. His relationship with Lorelai was turbulent, but it was clear that she was always, always the be-all end-all for Christopher. His biggest crime was loving her as much as Luke did/does, but not really understanding what she was all about. Lorelai is never blameless in that triangle, because she habitually went back to Christopher for that familiarity and comfort, but it seemed to always be a way to escape some other aspect of her romantic or personal life.

I think it’s nice that there are so many loud proponents for Christopher/Lorelai, because that means the writing team did a great job of showing how Rory even came about in the first place. But this show went to a pretty unforgivable place late in the game regarding Christopher, and it’s sort of tarnished the innocent and sweeter moments of the early seasons.

It’s Christopher’s first time in Stars Hollow, and we get a glimpse of Lorelai’s conflicted feelings for him. She’s pretty hard on him in this episode — he says he’s tying up the loose ends in his life, and her reply is “Do they make enough string?” — and puts up her walls to resist his obvious charms. Christopher has that boyish, almost aw-shucks-ish way about him that clearly gets under Lorelai’s skin, in that she both likes and loathes that about him.

Rory, for her part, is thrilled that her dad is in town. She’s sixteen, she loves her dad, and she’s only known him as a transient her whole life. It’s clear Lorelai has worked hard to normalize this concept for her daughter over the years, but as the seasons progress, we see Rory slowly come to some realizations that maybe Lorelai let Christopher get away with too much. For now, though, she takes him through town and to meet Dean, and she’s very forgiving when Christopher’s card is declined at the bookstore.

Emily has an amazingly terrible idea to get both families together for Friday night dinner. It might be the most misguided thing she’s ever done. She thinks Christopher’s parents will be thrilled to see Rory for the first time since she was a baby. Unfortunately, it turns out that Christopher is the best Hayden of the lot. Straub and Francine are haughty and rude, attacking Lorelai and emasculating Christopher in front of everyone, and worst of all, they have no interest in getting to know their granddaughter. It’s an interesting contrast to Richard and Emily, who only ever wanted to know and provide for their granddaughter to the best of their abilities. And it’s unspeakably sad for Rory, whose life is on an upward trajectory into Yale and beyond, to suffer this sort of personal rejection at such an impressionable age.

Richard and Emily remain civil and polite until Straub starts in on Lorelai’s wild and destructive ways, blaming her for the way Christopher’s life derailed.

“I don’t care about how good a student you say that girl is! Our son was bound for Princeton! Every Hayden male attended Princeton, including myself, but it all stopped with Christopher. It’s a humiliation we’ve had to live with every day, all because you seduced him into ruining his life. She had that baby, and she ruined his life!”

That’s when Richard grabs him and demands he apologize to Lorelai. He’s ready to throw down in fisticuffs before Christopher intervenes, and then he kicks Straub out, still yelling about Lorelai’s successes and the fact that Straub owes her an apology.

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Lorelai thanks Richard for defending her, but Richard isn’t feeling amenable. He claims he was saving face, defending his family because it was the honorable thing to do, but the reality is that he’s just as devastated and humiliated as Straub feels. It’s a great human moment for Richard, a rare glimpse into the pain he’s still feeling over his daughter’s mistake and subsequent rejection of them, but it hurts Lorelai beyond words. Chris finds her crying on the balcony, and because she’s reeling and vulnerable, they end up having sex.

Emily, meanwhile, has one of her best moments of the whole series when she talks to Rory in the kitchen.

“Rory, I know you heard a lot of talk about various disappointments this evening, and I know you’ve heard a lot of talk about it in the past, but I want to make this very clear: You, young lady, your person and your existence, have never ever been, not even for a second, included in that list.”

Aww Emily, you sentimental ol’ broad.

But hey, remember last week when Lorelai basically strongarmed Luke into repainting his diner? And they had that plan to paint it after her dinner on Friday night? Well. Guess who forgot about that? She springs out of bed and is sitting on his front steps in her pajamas when he gets there in the morning. She’s full of apologies, but Luke cuts right to the core: She forgot because she was with Christopher.

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She gets home still upset about last night and standing up Luke, and it unnerves her to find Christopher still there in her kitchen, and she starts freaking out. Things snowball when Christopher says he wants to get married. They get into a fight about maturity and parenting and the truth about Christopher’s business, and in the end, he accepts that Lorelai just doesn’t want to get married. Rory questions this later, asking why it would be so bad, and Lorelai asks her to just trust her judgement on it.

One morning in the not-too-distant future, Luke arrives at the diner to find it completely repainted, with a gleeful Lorelai standing paint-splattered in the middle of it. He’s pleased even as he grumbles about breaking an entering, and honestly, the diner really does look a lot better.

Other notable quotes and moments:

– Sookie and Michel are seen giggling together, which is a rare sight, at least until Lorelai ruins it by pointing it out.

– Lorelai, after Sookie hands her a biscotti: “What do I do with this?”

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– The town freaks out Christopher just by showing their avid interest in him, but no one is as bad as Jackson, who takes off running when he realizes Christopher has overheard him describing his “money nose.”

– Richard: “I’m a Chuck Barry man, myself.” It causes Lorelai to snort into her martini.

“I’m a rat! I need cheese!”


1.16 “Star Crossed Lovers and Other Strangers”

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Stars Hollow celebrates its founding with a love story that’s built into town folklore. It’s also Rory and Dean’s three month anniversary, and Dean’s planned a big thing for Friday night, which means Rory needs to get out of Friday night dinner. Everyone is shocked when Emily actually lets Rory off the hook.

Lorelai is grumpy about all of this love and happiness in the air, to the point that she bursts out in anger right in the middle of Luke’s diner. He feeds into her grumpiness until none other than Rachel, THE Rachel (wait no, not THE Rachel, that would be Rachel Green) walks into the diner with a “Hey, how’s it going?” He looks like he’s been physically punched as she talks about how she ended up here, and Lorelai is just sitting there uncomfortably, a bit intimidated by Rachel and very thrown off by how deeply she affects Luke.

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She finally admits to Rory that she misses Max, and it’s nice to have his name mentioned again. Then that night, it turns out Emily has taken the absence of Rory as an opportunity to set Lorelai up on a blind date… with the most boring man in existence. We’ll call him Actuarial Chase. He’s so boring that even Richard is jumping out of his skin by the end of dinner.

This might be my favorite Richard episode.

This might be my favorite Richard episode.

Lorelai sneaks up to her old room after dessert and is halfway out the window in her escape when Richard catches her. After the fight they had last week, she spews apologies and begs him not to rat her out. Richard is so annoyed by Actuarial Chase that he very sweetly lets Lorelai sneak out the window. Aww! She ends up at the Firelight Festival and finds Luke brooding alone on a bench, and they end up talking about Rachel. She’s clearly a little sad that even Luke has found someone now, and she’s still alone, Max-less and Christopher-less and getting set up with Actuarial Chase.

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Rory and Dean go on an adorable date to an Italian restaurant and then to a junkyard because, surprise! Dean is building Rory a car. They sit in the unfinished car and giggle and kiss and then Dean ruins it all by telling Rory he loves her. Then he has the gall to expect Rory to say it back. It’s so unfair and entitled and he doesn’t seem to understand the hangups Rory has — I mean just last week, her dad left again despite how much he obviously loves her mother — and then Dean goes on to insult her pro-con lists and the way she has to sort through her own feelings. When she brings up Lorelai’s situation, he gets downright awful when he mutters, “You don’t get pregnant saying ‘I love you.’”

The episode ends with Rory coming home, shell-shocked, and telling Lorelai that she and Dean have broken up.

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Other notable quotes and moments:

“I thought you were in the Congo, or Philadelphia.”

– Lorelai references Lady and the Tramp when Rory tells her about the restaurant she’s going to, and Rory thoughtfully asks for a to-go meatball at dinner because “it’s a mother-daughter thing.”

– Lane has a barely-even-a-storyline storyline about being set up with yet another Korean prospect at the Firelight Festival. Lane’s awesome, she’s consistently my favorite, but I dislike how directionless the writing for her character was before the music shop opened up.

“Didn’t anyone ever tell you, it’s not nice to keep fifteen prospective Korean in-laws waiting.”

– I never got the hilarity of this exchange until I learned about scotch: “Chase, can I get you a drink?” “Scotch, neat.” “Glenfiddich?” “Fine.”

“So, Lorelai, are you a member of the D.A.R?” “No, I’m not. D.A.R.N!” Hahahaha that’s one of my favorites.

– Every year, the bonfire for the Firelight Festival is delayed because no one thinks to bring a lighter.

– They play John Lennon’s “Oh My Love” over Rory and Dean’s scene in the junkyard, which is so melancholy in melody that it kind of foreshadows the way the date eventually tanks.

– Rachel asks Luke about his “deal with Lorelai,” and he’s not exactly smooth when he tries to explain his feelings about her.

– About Rachel: I love her as a character. She was fascinating to me, especially as a photographer with a wanderlust, and I might’ve been interested in her returning to Stars Hollow on occasion. That being said, I never quite understood Luke/Rachel. There’s a distinct lack of chemistry that goes beyond the fact that Luke has mentally moved on. Juxtaposed with Chris/Lorelai from last episode, there’s no compelling groundwork that there was ever any love or even mutual attraction there. Moreover, Rachel herself just doesn’t seem like Luke’s type. It’s a bit of a headscratcher.

Next week: Rory refuses to wallow, and we meet the Reigning Lorelai. Good times are ahead! Unless you’re Emily Gilmore, of course.

Gilmore Girls Retrospective: 1.13 & 1.14

This week, we’re exploring two episodes with throwback themes — The Bangles and that damn Donna Reed.

1.13 “Concert Interruptus”

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I have to admit that this episode is not one of my favorites. I know it’s kind of iconic in its own way — the concert in New York, the Chilton girls coming to Stars Hollow for the first time, Paris finally being vulnerable and human to Rory — but every time I rewatch it, I feel like it gets bogged down in the Bangles of it all. I don’t hate the Bangles, I even like some of their music, but along with other key WB/CW shows, it seems like they were contractually obligated to donate x amount of screentime to the featured band. It also never seemed plausible to me that Madeline and Louise, with all of their money and rich worldliness, would really be all that interested in a Bangles concert. For that year… Backstreet Boys, maybe? Britney?

It’s rooted in a very Stars Hollow-esque storyline of a rummage sale that Lorelai, in her very Lorelai-esque way, volunteered to organize. She’d soon come to regret it, as her house is filled with donations including two bags from Luke, who is finally participating in a dumb town thing. Presumably it’s because he saw an opportunity to get rid of some of his old stuff, but we also like to think it has something to do with the organizer. Rory herself even thinks Lorelai had a bit of influence, since Luke allowed her to hang a sign in his diner. Oh, Luke.

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He goes nuts, of course, when packrat Lorelai turns up at the diner wearing an assortment of terrible donations, including a rhinestoned jacket that turns out to have belonged to Luke’s ex-girlfriend, Rachel. Lorelai is unnerved by Luke’s extreme reaction, and she’s even more shaken later when Miss Patty and Sookie recount the sad tale of the Luke and Rachel saga. Not only was Lorelai unaware of Luke’s past, but she seems to be the only one in town who didn’t know about her!

After ruminating on it all weekend, Lorelai finds Luke at the rummage sale and gives him the sweater back, saying she doesn’t think he’s ready to let it go. He gruffly thanks her, but makes sure she knows he’s not pining — he’s just remembering. There’s a difference. And he wants Lorelai to know that.

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At school, Rory gets grouped with the three meanies on a group project, and because of circumstances, they have to work in Stars Hollow. Louise finds Lorelai “fascinating,” they all question Rory’s relationship with her and whether she regrets having a baby at sixteen. Lorelai recognizes that they’re doing some bonding, so she suggests giving her ninth-row Bangles tickets to the girls while she and Sookie buy nosebleed tickets.

Madeline and Louise find boys to flirt with (including — ugh — Brandon Routh, who I guess I shouldn’t hate on principal, but Ray Palmer) which sends Rory on a spiral when they leave the concert with the strange boys. Paris, on the other hand, is very zen about it all. When a school deadline isn’t being threatened, Paris can be remarkably laid back.

She and Rory end up bonding even further, talking about Tristan (with Rory dropping heavy hints that she thinks Paris can do better — so sweet) and Paris’ home life as Lorelai rampages around the city, knocking down doors until she finds those two idiots. She worries that she may have messed up Rory’s chances of making friends at school, but Rory reports that Paris let her split the debate time — which basically means they’re BFFs now.

Other notable quotes and moments:

– When we later meet Rachel, the ugly rhinestone jacket doesn’t make a lot of sense. Miss Patty and Sookie seemed to paint her as a bit of an eccentric with a wanderlust, but Actual Rachel seems to be more utilitarian with a wanderlust. She wears corduroy and turtleneck sweaters, she carries old worn leather camera bags, she’s beautiful but she’s not, as we believe here, Luke’s Original Lorelai.

“So… she was Wonder Woman?” “She was to Luke.” Again, when we finally meet Rachel, we will see that things have changed… that he no longer looks at Rachel as Wonder Woman…

– Sookie and Lorelai are so fun to watch in the nosebleed section of the concert as they giggle at how bad their seats are.

– Lorelai finds herself thinking about Luke (and Rachel) during “Eternal Flame.”

“I never pictured Luke with an Elle MacPherson-kind of pretty?” “No? Pictured him more with a Lorelai Gilmore-kind of pretty?” Sookie: the first Luke/Lorelai shipper.

“I wonder if I went missing, if my mom would come looking for me like that?” “Paris, you know she would.” “Yeah. Or at least she’d send somebody.”

– Lorelai calling Brandon Routh “Skippy” gives me perverse joy.

gg113_03- Paris, after Lorelai rips Madeline and Louise new ones: “You know what? I think this is the best night I’ve ever had.”

– They got Lane a Bangles tour shirt! Aww!


1.14 That Damn Donna Reed

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Dean Forester doesn’t know who Donna Reed is. That’s okay — not everyone could grow up with Lorelai Gilmore (or my dad and his love for old TV shows) — but he makes the mistake of saying that he thinks the Donna Reed premise of being a doting wife seems “nice.” He might make some good (albeit clumsy) points about how some women might like doing that sort of stuff, but he makes those points to Lorelai and Rory. You’d think he’d know better by now.

Rory fixates on the fact that Dean thinks the Donna Reed lifestyle is appealing. He’s more into the idea of a wife cooking for her husband, but Rory takes it a little more literally. Dean’s realizing it’s a TV show, an aggrandized version of that kind of life, but that the concept seems nice, while Rory is talking about the real women that the show represented. He accuses her of having strong views only because her of her mother, and her response is pretty genius: If she has no opinions of her own, she must be the ideal woman to Dean.

Babette asks Rory to housesit for her since she and Morey got a brand new kitten, and Rory takes the opportunity to dress up like Donna Reed and cook dinner for Dean. She’d done a bunch of research on the real Donna Reed, who (and I knew this before I ever saw this episode — again, thanks Dad!) was actually pretty kickass and feminist. She dons pearls and a Donna Reed dress and cooks for Dean, who is amazed and happy but very clear that he never wanted Rory to be Donna Reed. This might be Dean’s best moment of the series.

Lorelai gets it into her head that the diner needs painting. A “spruce,” if you will. She’s aided and abetted by Taylor, which shouldn’t help her case, but such is the influence of Lorelai Gilmore that Luke somehow still agrees to it. She runs through a bunch of color schemes and ideas before settling on an actual spruce — the same existing colors, but a little richer. This pleases Luke. He ends up talking to Lorelai about his dad and how he was the last one to paint the place, which impresses upon Lorelai the importance of this decision. He even shows her a section of wall where his dad took a phone order when he ran out of paper, and Lorelai suggests that they leave that section unpainted.

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They have a very charged moment, grinning and glowing at each other, but they’re interrupted by the town council knocking at the door. They hide behind the counter, and they have another moment where Luke thanks her in very close proximity, and she scurries out of the diner. But she gets home and realizes that Rory’s homework — a tiny chick that Lorelai’s named “Stella” — has escaped from her cage. She calls Luke in a panic to come help her, but when Luke gets there and hears the chirping, he says, “Wow, you really do have a chick loose in here.” He breaks a lamp and runs around the house after the chick, finally capturing it, but Lorelai is bothered by that statement, and Luke doesn’t do a very good job of stammering his way out of it.

Luke and Dean run into each other as they take out the trash, which brings out Lorelai and Donna Reed-Rory, which earns some guffaws from her mother. “Oh my God. I just saw the pearls.”

When she recounts the night’s events to Sookie the next day, Lorelai gets agitated, like really angry, when Sookie makes the point that Luke probably thought it was… a booty call. Later, when Rory is telling Emily and Richard about the chick and lets it slip that Luke found her, Emily fixates on the same thing: that Lorelai had called Luke in the first place. She pushes in her very Emily way to get Lorelai to finally admit that she might have feelings for Luke. For one breathless moment, Emily looks happy to finally have the truth… Then her expression hardens and she says, “Now we can discuss what on earth you could possibly be thinking!”

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The episode ends with Lorelai helping Luke unload the paint supplies in preparation for painting on Friday night after her Friday night dinner. She and Rory go shopping at the market, but they pause when a loud motorcycle speeds through the square. They humor Taylor’s rant about it until the biker stops and calls to Lorelai, “Nice shirt. Take it off.” He takes off his helmet with a grin and she mutters, “Christopher.” Rory’s happy to see her dad, Lorelai’s not as thrilled, especially as she watches her daughter speed off with the stunt man standing in for Christopher on the motorcycle. Thus we finally meet the polarizing character of Christopher Hayden.

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Other notable quotes and moments:

“You come bearing pizza?” “I’m not an idiot.”

- “Grab your brush and grab your rollers, all you kids and all you… bowlers! We’re going painting today!” I still sing this when I paint, and I hate that about myself.

“Mmm. Kickass wine.” “How poetic.” “It’s got a nice smell. Earthy. Vibrant. You can taste the Italian’s feet.”

– The grandparents always go to the Vineyard in the spring, but they didn’t secure their rental, so they’re stuck in their boring mansion. I feel so bad for them, those poor rich people. (It’s okay — they secure a rental from a dead guy at the end of the episode. Those crazy kids.)

“You know Mom, when I go off to college, I’m gonna be gone every night. What will you do then?” “Well. I’ll go with you. I will sleep on the floor in your dorm, next to your bed.” Remember this for the beginning of season 4.

– I still get a kick out of seeing giant Dean in Babette’s house.

– Sookie refuses to make Michel an egg white omelet, citing her culinary artistry, but after he’s gone, Lorelai says Sookie makes a good egg white omelet. Sookie: “I know.”

Next week: the Christopher of it all, plus Rory and Dean’s relationship hits the skids. Spoiler alert?

Gilmore Girls Retrospective: 1.11 & 1.12

Welcome back! This week, we deal with breakups, double-dates, groundings, and Proust! All the makings of a rollicking party.

1.11 Paris is Burning

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Things are going really well between Lorelai and Max. They spend a fun night together eating leftovers, flirting, making out, and loaning out Prousts, and when she gets home at one in the morning, Rory tells Lorelai that she looks happy. “I am, kid.” She says it a little hesitantly, like she isn’t unhappy, but she’s not totally sure how she feels.

Rory gets upset when she has to let Max into the house on his next date with Lorelai, but Max works to make it less awkward, offering to let Rory call him “Max” when they’re not in school, but she’s weirded out by that, too. That’s when Max has the adorable idea to have them call each other different, non-Chilton names. He says he’ll call her “Rebecca,” then prompts, “And you’ll call me…?” and all she can think of is “Norman,” which breaks the ice as Max teeters between amusement and feeling insulted.

Sookie and Jackson come into the diner the next day arguing over squash blossoms, it’s cute because Jackson wants her to use his genetically-altered zucchini and Sookie just wants her squash, and eventually Jackson has to relent. When Lorelai comes in with her rusted and dull ice skates, Luke immediately offers to clean them and sharpen them for her, prompting Sookie to remark, “You get really good service here!”

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Lorelai starts wigging out when Rory says they should invite Max to go skating with them. She doesn’t like that Rory’s calling him by his first name, that she’s okay with him being around, and that she wants him to accompany them on fun outings. She expresses these concerns to a well-meaning Sookie, who points out that Lorelai usually bails on relationships around the two-month mark. Lorelai goes on the defensive, and after Sookie continues to tease her gently, Lorelai lashes out, “When did you become a relationship expert? You haven’t been in a relationship in years.”

She immediately apologizes and says she should never talk to Sookie like that, and Sookie is such a sweetheart that she takes the hit with grace. She even concedes that Lorelai is right, she hasn’t been in a relationship for a while, and it strengthens her resolve to ask out Jackson at the end of the episode! Aww! Sookie and Jackson!

Rory’s doing better at school lately — she even scores some friendly “hello”s from Madeline and Louise. But after Max mentions that he hasn’t seen her mother in a while, plus Lorelai trying to return the Proust through Rory, she gets upset that Lorelai is breaking up with Max. Lorelai, with every intention of breaking up with Max, ends up making out with him, and Paris spots them.

Paris, whose parents’ divorce is fodder for the gossip mill at school, gleefully spreads the rumor to take the heat off of herself. Rory explodes at her mother, but she also turns some of her righteous anger at Paris herself, lambasting her for bringing down the reputation of a teacher who has done nothing but support and encourage her. Paris looks properly chagrined, and the ice between her and Rory seems to be melting ever so slightly.

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Emily Gilmore finds out, of course, because she’s besties with Biddy Charleston, wife of the headmaster, and Lorelai ends up crying over her broken heart and her conflicted feelings over breaking up with Max.

The episode ends with Max deciding that maybe they should take some time apart after all, since he isn’t thinking straight. Lorelai puts on a brave face, but she’s crushed, and Rory finds her crying in her bed that evening. This is one of only two instances that Lorelai takes to her bed after a breakup. It’s telling.

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Other notable quotes and moments:

– This is the episode where we learn that Lorelai is not great at pet ownership. Luke warns the pet seller that she shouldn’t sell to Lorelai, and Rory agrees. Don’t worry — Lorelai gets better at owning a pet later in the series.

“I tell you what, he’s cute, but this punctuality thing has knocked ten points off the Dream Guy Quotient!”

“What are we, in high school?… Well I know we are in high school…”

“Can you figure it out before French class? Because I’d rather you didn’t make out with Mrs. Collins!” “Hey, no promises until I see what she looks like!”

“Kissing a teacher? In a classroom? On parents day?!” “Well, they wanted us to get more involved with the school!”


1.12 Double Date

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I love this episode. I pretty much love any episode that features Sookie, and this one is a true gem.

It starts out with a weird morning routine montage involving bowl-sized coffee cups, barely-toasted Pop Tarts, and a tacky hair clip, but after the credits, Lorelai is struggling to study for her business school class while Lane asks Rory to ask Dean if they can double-date with his friend Todd. Lane is in looooove and she’s determined because Todd is perfect… except he turns out to be not so perfect. He’s actually kind of a dud. And things get worse for Lane when her mother discovers that she’d lied about her evening plans, so she ends up grounded for a date that wasn’t even worth the lie.

Things are weird between Sookie and Jackson, thanks to Sookie’s open-ended invitation to date and Jackson’s failure to actually act on it. Lorelai encourages — nay, forces — Sookie to make a concrete plan with Jackson, but it backfires a bit. In her flustered state, Sookie accidentally ropes Lorelai into a double date with Jackson’s cousin, Rune. Rune is terrible, to the point that it’s hilarious, and he hates Lorelai on sight. There’s something about the idea of a man looking at Lauren Graham and being absolutely disgusted that cracks me up, because HOW? He’s mostly freaked out by how tall she is, but he is awful to her the whole night, which just adds to the awkwardness between Sookie and Jackson as they fail to break the ice.

This is Rune, and this is the face Rune makes at Lorelai all night. Tell me that's not hilarious.

This is Rune, and this is the face Rune makes at Lorelai all night. Tell me that’s not hilarious.

Sookie finally confesses that she’s too nervous and uncomfortable with the restaurant, her updo, her hair, and the whole situation, so Lorelai suggests a change of hairstyle and venue. And where do they go? Lukes! He’s always fun to diffuse an already awkward situation, right?

Luke is amazed that Rune is grossed out by Lorelai’s height. “Doesn’t he understand how great that is? You can get all the stuff from the top shelf!” Rune has an outburst about being on the double date and begs Jackson to go bowling. Jackson hesitates and looks at Sookie, and she tells him to stay since they haven’t even really started their date. Jackson finally tells off Rune, and Lorelai opts to hang out at the counter with Luke, who engages her in a card game with stars in his eyes.

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They talk about how great new relationships are, and Lorelai says she really misses that, and Luke seems to finally be coming around to maybe vaguely asking her out, and she has just enough time to look like she knows exactly what he’s about to ask when Mrs. Kim busts into the diner, demanding to know where Lane and Rory are. Busted. Luke looks a little dejected when Lorelai goes running after Mrs. Kim. He gets a chance to ask again a couple of mornings later, but he loses his nerve and it ends with a sort of half-hearted “Maybe we can do it again sometime.” This time, Lorelai looks a little dejected.

There’s also a great mother-to-mother scene at the end of the episode where Lorelai apologizes to Mrs. Kim and says that she hopes she will still allow Lane to come to their house. Lorelai tries to give Mrs. Kim some perspective about growing up in an oppressive household, and they both end up agreeing that they don’t want their daughters to end up like Lorelai, hehe. As a result, Mrs. Kim loosens the reins ever so slightly by allowing Lane into the yard.

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Other notable quotes and moments:

“Where did the Ruckers come from?” “Judging from their clothing, a town where high rubber boots and spittoons would be considered formalwear.” Oh Michel, never change.

“I’m a sexual harrasser!” “Well then, you need some false eyelashes.”

– In a nice little nod to the episode’s theme of tall women, the kids are going to watch “Attack of the 50 Foot Woman.”

“First I gotta watch a man walk out on you, then I gotta watch you eat alone? Nope, too pathetic.” “I’m not alone. You’re here.” Awwwww!

“If [Sookie] tells me the story of how Jackson cultivates his own mealworms to fertilize his plants one more time, I’m gonna Romeo and Juliet them both.”

Next week features two very different pop culture throwbacks: The Bangles and Donna Reed! See you then!