This is a feast of adorable Lorelai patterns, a surprise pair of striped shoes on Rory, and a cameo from Lauren Graham’s other TV daughter Mae Whitman. It’s not really a spoiler to tell you that this is what they SHOULD have done with her, and with their Ann Veal proxy Paul: Have Rory and Lorelai bump into Rory’s long-forgotten sadsack boyfriend in New York, only to find him out with a totally besotted Mae, so that Lorelai can look at Mae and go, “Him?!?” There’s your cameo, your Arrested Development tie-in, and a happy ending for a dude who really just wanted to bring Rory flowers and give Luke antique tools. WHAT DID PAUL EVER DO TO YOU, PALLADINOS?
Ahem. Most of the plot commentary is below. Same rule applies as with the “Winter” recap: I will not spoil the future two installments, so please try not to do that in the comments, either. Not everyone is a binger. Thank you!
Lorelai & Emily: They’re attending therapy together, except apparently Emily’s chosen doctor is really bad at it. Because she doesn’t talk, and therefore they don’t talk. No questions are asked, no probing analysis is made. She should be sued and made to pay back her hourly rate. Eventually, Lorelai’s nervous humor turns to glibness, and Emily’s emotional manipulations (“I’m a raw nerve appealing to my only child to help me through this period”) turn to impatience… with her daughter, not with her incompetent mental-health professional. No sane person would have stuck it out with a therapist that doesn’t find ways to goose conversation and charges you by the hour to, essentially, take a vow of silence. Suing the pants off her would be great mother-daughter bonding, though.
Luke & Lorelai: They’re keeping secrets. Emily blows off therapy for good without telling Lorelai, who shows up for their session and then vents so hard that she decides to stay. This ends with her trying to convince herself, “We’re happy. He’s happy. Luke and I are happy,” but the words ring hollow, for reasons that make a lot of sense to people who NEVER liked them together but which make way less sense for everyone else, given that we’re not really seeing any reasons for their sudden swerve into unhappiness. For some reason, Lorelai decides not to tell Luke that she’s going to therapy alone now, and instead lies that her mother was with her, and he figures out the deception… because Emily was with him. It seems Richard Gilmore is meddling even from The Beyond, and has left Luke a trust with money that can only be touched if he uses it to expand the Diner. Emily shows up uninvited with a Realtor and takes Luke to look at several locations. And because Luke is a grown man with the social and communication skills of a particularly placid infant, he somehow allows himself to be dragged along on this errand. Gilmore Girls is one of those shows that really loves to let its characters get stuck in situations that would be totally avoidable if said characters opened their mouths and said, “No thank you.” Or opened their mouths properly, period. One, Lorelai would not care if Luke accidentally offended her mother; two, Luke has never HIMSELF cared that much if his gruffness offended anyone; three, if I may borrow from language every parent has uttered once: JUST USE YOUR WORDS. How do Luke and Lorelai live together? Is it that she uses up their entire shared word allotment and he’s fine with that? Has ANYONE had an actual satisfactory and informative and coherent conversation with Luke in his lifetime? (Yes, I know there is at least one coming, but you feel me.)
Logan: Is now engaged to his French girlfriend, Odette, but is still sleeping with a fully aware and lightly codependent Rory. I suspect this is all about her trying to recapture her former glory, because once she lets go who she was when she and Logan first met, then she has to accept she must turn into something else — something that might not be the Christiane Amanpour 2.0 she expected. Staying with Logan is comfortable, and because he still calls her Ace, may still make her feel like a 22-year old on the doorstep of life instead of a 32-year old who is sneaking through the cat flap.
Paris: Goes full ninja on a bathroom door. It’s amazing. It’s easily the greatest thing I saw in any of these four episodes.
Rory: Is the worst, I think. She still has no job — which is fine; that happens to the best of us — but it’s how she handles it that’s making me bananas. She gets fired from Alex Kingston’s book project because Alex Kingston is deliciously unstable and needs a firm hand, and Rory’s idea of writing this book was very passive note-taking and a minimum of brainstorming. That doesn’t change elsewhere in her career either: She gets a meeting with GQ, and not only did she not prepare a very competent spit-shined spiel about her projects and prospects, but she doesn’t have any ideas to offer them either. They, inexplicably, are still impressed by her because of “Talk of the Town” (which, at this point, I was half-expecting to find out someone else edited the hell out of to the point where she barely wrote a word of it). THEN she decides to do one of their ideas, half-asses it, brings her MOTHER along with her, stumbles upon the perfect angle for that story, BLOWS RIGHT PAST IT, and bangs a random Star Wars cosplayer. I know. Eventually she agrees with Lorelai that maybe she should settle for the Sandee Says website that’s been recruiting her. But of course, Rory does zero prep for that meeting, either, so when Sandee totally reasonably asks Rory what her contributions would look like, Rory has nothing. NOTHING. And Sandee, again rightly, backpedals and withdraws the offer practically on the spot. I would feel a lot sorrier for Rory if she had handled herself like any kind of a freelancer who’s been in the game for FIVE years, much less ten. Guess what, Rory? A hefty percentage of the freelance life is the hustle: pitching, pitching, pitching, doing dumb stuff that you hope you can spin into something, pitching, pitching, and maybe writing one thing you like. If the Palladinos’ aim all along was for us to agree with Mitchum Huntzberger’s old assessment that Rory isn’t all she’s cracked up to be, then… I guess I’m Team Logan’s Dad.
CRANKYPANTS OUT. (Until next time.)