The scene continues with Lorelai asking again how much time is left and Emily barking at her. This was torturous. It was slow, unfunny, and painful, both in how slow and unfunny it was and because there was no love at all between Lorelai and Emily. And then Emily guilts her into returning the following week. This isn’t even reflective of their normally flawed relationship, when the vitriol obviously is shielding the vulnerabilities of two very stubborn but somehow lovable women. Instead, they seemed like annoyed strangers who got in a fender bender trying to settle the claim with a really bad attorney. Their therapist is played by Kerry Butler, who I adore from Broadway, but despite my adoration, she is so poorly cast. She has always played adorable ingénues and her adorableness was completely and utterly wasted as a stern boring character who does not sing.
Up to this point, a good 10 minutes in, it all felt so wrong and off the proper track, like when I pulled the bottom drawer of the dishwasher too far last night and couldn’t get it back in the groove. Despite how much better the next scene felt, with Stars Hollow having a bright and cheery international festival, that opener threw me off so much that I couldn’t really enjoy this next scene. And, sadly, it was a sign for the entire episode to come. This episode was even more askew than Season 7. At least Season 7 was mostly enjoyable.
It’s really a shame that Spring didn’t open on the pretty great festival, when it’s representative of what we love about the Hollow and this show – the comforting feel of the town and the camaraderie between the characters we know and (usually) like. Get us in the groove and all. Kirk and Taylor scamper about trying to manage the problems that arose, like how for a festival supposed to represent all 195 countries’ cuisines, only about 15 showed up. (It is the whitest town in New England and thereby the whitest town in the world; what did they expect?) They run around to each stand and instruct the befuddled cooks to start adding other countries to what they’re cooking, with no regard for how impossible or impractical that would be. Israel gets ordered to start cooking for Papua New Guinea. And “Italy! Add Slovenia, Tibet and the islands of Kiribati!” Now, listen, Kirk pronounced it as written, Kiribati. Phonetically. Yet it was not the focus of that moment, but kind of thrown away. Kirk was speaking quickly and we were already moving away from him as he finished this line, so I truly don’t think it was supposed to be a joke about how he was saying it wrong. It just happened to be one of the countries chosen for that joke, and he said it that way. So, we need to take a beat to talk about how often people told me I was saying it wrong when I said in that same way. For years I’ve tried really hard to remember that it’s Kiri-bas, Kiri-bas, not –bati, because I did not want to be shamed SHAMED ever again by mean old elitists with their education and what not. Well. Joke’s on all those people who thought I was dumb, because once I realized that Kirk’s pronunciation was not meant to be the joke, I realized that Kirk is the smartest person on this show and I’m going to take all my life advice from him. I’m never saying Kiribas again. I am reveling in this shit. Watch me revel. Watch me nay-nay.
I loved Rory and Luke arguing about how one of them had to stay and supervise Lorelai’s eating, since as we all know she cannot be trusted in such matters. Their relationship remains really cute, and so much sweeter than Rory’s and Christopher’s ever was. As for Lorelai’s babysitter, Gypsy will do, they all agree. Gypsy would be so happy! I adored Lorelai’s questioning what country the compost heap represented! Sure she was just so hungry that she was losing it, but that’s the kind of food I like so I was in there with her.
Rory decides to spend some time ‘in Korea’, which we know means Lane’s table…but does that mean we’re finally going to see Mrs. Kim??!! YES IT DOES! MRS. KIM! She quickly marches in a group of young Koreans, Von Trapp-style, members of her incredibly terrible new choir. They are painfully bad, but when Mrs. Kim shouts to one of them, “Sing out, Louise Peng!” it is all worth it. I love a good “Gypsy” reference! No not that Gypsy, the Sondheim one! This is where I’d put 3 dance dance emojis.
I honestly don’t know how I feel about Mr. Kim being shown. That’s right, MISTER Kim, Lane’s dad that we never ever saw or really heard about for the entire 7 seasons. He’s clearly included as a joke, as a nod to the millions of unnecessary ‘Where’s Lane’s Dad?’ questions that the creators and actors were asked over the years. But like, dumb.
We also get our first Jackson sighting of the revival! I used to adore Jackson, until season 7, when he faked his vasectomy and got Sookie pregnant again. I would have sent him to jail at best. He looks the same. Why isn’t he home taking care of his extra children, hmm? Ass.
Okay, I could have done without the pig roast front and center on our screen for so long, but it was shaky-okay to see Kirk realize that it doesn’t make any sense to have a pet pig that he loves and keep eating bacon. We all know the Palladinos have no regard for vegetarians let alone the importance of vegan beliefs (and the fact that we are saving the planet YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT I’M RIGHTEOUS ABOUT IT) but aside from the visuals, this was a good connection for Kirk/possibly some viewers to make, finally. Shaky-okay like my piano teacher used to give me on my homework. I was sad that Luke didn’t seem to care but he is not the most sensitive person. And he’s not hot anymore so whatevs.
Although the festival was so nicely done that it almost brought us back to a nice even keel after the huge negative ditch the therapy scene dropped us down, we too quickly are dropped back down into that chasm by the horror that is SandeeSays. I do not need this bullshit. This tiny tween who is the CEO of an online magazine is trying to lure Rory into working for her, and the way she talks makes me nauseous. God who describes food as being good enough to make love to without getting punched in the face? Why didn’t anyone near her punch her in the face? I want to punch her in the face. She has plans to overtake the Huffington Post by next year? In what sense, of who pays their writers less? I hate everything about this girl, especially how haughty and insincere she is. She refuses to take no for an answer from Rory, instead promising to resume the condescending arrogance at a later date. Gah, please don’t make us watch more of her. I really have so much hatred boiling inside of me for her and I cannot control it. Is she next for Toilet Emoji’s cabinet or something?
Well another 3 minutes have passed, which means it’s time for Rory to hop another flight to London! Seriously she is better off buying her own airline with this level of frequent flying. Does her belly always hurt? My belly hurts when I fly. These are fun facts. Rory is at that same club with former teen queen Miss Shropshire again and Jesus HC she is a trillion times more annoying than she was before. Like, before it was mostly that she was a capital C Character but now her entire physicality and personality and every single thing about her is infuriating. They are really selling these new characters! I know we’re supposed to dislike her by this point but they don’t have to make it so unpleasant for us to watch. Rory clearly cannot stand her. Once Naomi stops talking about how Rory’s cheeks are white apples (couldn’t think of anything else to compare them too, okay), she suggests they drop the biography and write a children’s book instead. Her entire persona gives me such agita. If I had sciatica she would be agitating my sciatica. Just when we think we’re at the pinnacle of possible hatred for her, she mentions that she is voting for Brexit ‘just as a protest vote it’ll never happen.’ Throw her and SandeeSays in a sack, toss it in the river, walk away.
I’m sure she is saying it right but I don’t like how Rory says Conde Nast. But there’s no time to think about that, because when Rory is at lunch with Logan (who I actually like in this revival? what’s happening?), Mitchum Huntzberger walks over and plops himself at their table. Logan is unruffled, as the family owns this particular restaurant (cool story bro) but Rory becomes a ball of anxiety, worrying that Mitchum would suspect their affair. Logan doesn’t seem to care, and even if Mitch does figure it out he’s not going to call Lorelai (who Rory is STILL lying to about where she stays in London!). You know, Mitchum might be a dick but he’s not the worst character on this show by far. He’s not even the worst Huntzberger we’ve met. He’s like the 7th worst Huntzberger we’ve met! (That’s the best one.) Just as he offered Rory that sophomore year internship at the Stamford Eagle Gazette or whatever shit name that newspaper had, he now offers to call Conde Nast and book her a meeting that sticks. And just as Rory naively denied the internship because of her ‘pride’, only to ask for it later when she realizes that everyone relies on connections to get ahead in every business, so too does she now decline his nice offer, only to ask for it later on, through the conduit of Logan, which is not only naïve but also unprofessional. Just say yes to nice offers that help you in the business world Rory and you might avoid needing your ex-boyfriend to ask his dad for you because you were too dumb to accept in the first place. Dammit Rory.
Phew, nothing like a Stars Hollow town meeting to get my blood pressure down!! Or…or is it going to get worse. It is, isn’t it. Hey where is Miss Patty? Why has there been pitifully little of Miss Patty? (Speaking of, she looks like a completely different person!) But she was always the second in command to Taylor, sitting behind him on the dais. Now two total strangers are seated behind him. I don’t want new townies! I want Miss Patty and all our good old townies! What the heck. Taylor talks about how Stars Hollow will be putting on its first Gay Pride parade! That’s awesome! He says it coincides with Liza Minnelli’s birthday: “That’s Liza with a ‘Z’”, he jokes. I am loving the musical references! However, there’s a hitch in this giddyup, because apparently there are only three gay people in Stars Hollow. Um. Why can’t the straight citizens decide to march in the parade too in a show of solidarity? What the hell? They argue about borrowing ‘gays from Woodbury’ for the parade, and the citizens pointedly ask Taylor if there’s anyone else who could march, meaning him, trying to out him. It’s really actually infuriating that all these idiots refuse to march with Sam Pancake and act as allies while actively being the opposite of allies trying to out someone against his will. Damn the Palladinos really have no regard for vegans or gays. This whole scene feels like it would have been tired even back in 1997. Now it’s feels kind of offensive.
It doesn’t get better. Taylor’s next order of business after canceling the parade because of these horrible no good people who refuse to stand with pride is to question the guest list at the Dragonfly, because a) that’s his business totally and b) that’s not confidential or anything. He’s concerned because A-list movie stars are staying in Woodbury while they film a movie there, but the B-list supporting cast is staying at the Dragonfly, and that’s not good enough for him. Jesus FHC. They’re paying the same rate, aren’t they? I had such high hopes for this town meeting to revive this episode after the barefoot English brute and the 11-year-old CEO but noooo.
Aw Michel brought his own handweights to an inconsiderate jerk of a guest who was upset there wasn’t a gym at the Dragonfly. Michel is the best. Ohh but now Michel is bringing up the same idiotic issue as Taylor, with the B-listers staying at their Inn and not the A-listers. It’s a lot more tolerable from Michel, though, because he is so over the top that it somehow cancels out the ridiculousness of the argument and makes it just enjoyable. “Jennifer Lawrence is never going to stay here! What’s the point of living if we’re never going to bag Jennifer Lawrence?!” Decent question.
When we go back to Lorelai’s house, Luke’s on the phone with Liz and T.J. Are we going to see them? I hope so. T.J. shouting “I’m in escrow!” is probably in my top five favorite things in the history of television. I’m in es-ca-row! It seems that Liz accidentally joined a vegetable cult? This is dumb. Oh my god, I am calling right now that Sookie is somehow involved in this cult. All we’ve heard about her so far in two episodes is that a) she left to live in the woods and grow weird vegetables in weird settings, and b) she didn’t go to the festival because Jackson said she was examining some weird stuff that was growing at their house and wanted to see if it was edible. Sookie is so involved in this cult, isn’t she? Either way, this is a bad storyline.
Lorelai confides in Luke that she’s worried that Dragonfly isn’t enough for Michel and he will leave soon, and instead of recognizing that couples are supposed to be able to talk about their concerns and provide support for one another, Luke barks at her. He says she shouldn’t care what ‘a guy like Michel’ thinks, which troubles me in its phrasing, and that he ‘can talk to him’ (in a threatening manner) if she wants. Luke just completely shuts down her concerns, not in a good way by, for example, saying she has nothing to worry about because she’s a great boss and it’s a wonderful place to work, but in the worst way – saying she shouldn’t care if Michel leaves because, essentially, fuck him. It’s clear that Luke is subconsciously trying to stop Lorelai from worrying about there being enough in her own life, and he’s scared that she’s going to realize she wants more than what Luke can provide or is willing to give, but man, Luke has not improved one iota at communicating or understanding other people, let alone his partner. This scene makes me really dislike him, which I dislike. He is so frustrating, which when they were still will-they-or-won’t-they was kind of a test, and kind of acceptable. But now, they’re supposed to be building a lasting life together, and it’s actually just sad that they can’t talk.
Thank god for another Real Paul Anka dream to cut all that tension though! Why doesn’t doggie Paul Anka sleep in their bed?! Put the doggie in the bed! Doggie so cute! Lor talks to Rory in London and the pacing is just weird. This whole episode is so unpleasant! UGH and then we’re given another therapy session blarghhhhhhhhhh. They sit in silence, then they are suddenly laughing and singing for a minute, and then Emily brings up Lorelai leaving at 16 and pregnant only to run back to her parents when she needed money. Jason and the BLARGanauts. She’s really hashing up this again? Then Emily mentions ‘the letter’ that Lorelai once sent her that was so nasty, and Emily says she will never forgive her for that. But Lorelai denies ever writing it, and instead of trying to figure out what the hell is going on and who might have sent such a letter, Emily just keeps repeating ‘Well I say you did write it!’ This is infuriating. And also worthless. This is worthless fake storytelling. I hate how so much of this episode is written and directed just to make us feel impotent rage. You know in Black on Broadway when Lewis Black talks about how coach seats on airplanes were ‘designed by a guy with scoliosis who is really fucking pissed’ and wants everyone to be as miserable as he is? That is the airplane seat equivalent to how Daniel Palladino wants us to feel watching this episode. Is this strange mystery letter ever going to be mentioned again or was it just mentioned in this scene to make me very angry and then never get resolved?
Oh joyful joyful, another Naomi Shropshire scene. She yells and screams at Rory for not understanding her or having the right humo(u)r for dealing with her. If by ‘humor’ she means ‘prescription drugs’ then yes, a sober Rory is not properly equipped for dealing with this lunatic.
I love how Rory is kind of upset that Logan’s fiancée Odette (jfc is she a dancing swan) is coming to town so she has to leave. DOES SHE NOT REALIZE THAT SHE IS ALWAYS THE OTHER WOMAN?!
Ah finally, a familiar scene. We go with pretty much the entire town to the Black, White, and Read movie theatre, where Kirk is pretty amazingly done up as Tim Burton. I love it. He makes an announcement about how outside food is not allowed – and not only does every single person have a full meal with them, but Babette and Maury are grilling. It’s so funny. Kirk premieres his new short film for everyone. Remember when he showed his first film in Season 2, “A Film By Kirk”, the one that ended with him dancing? This new film is nothing like it. It’s about Petal, his pig, being hit by a car. WHAT THE HELL, DAN. This is not funny, or interesting. This is just awful. Meanwhile, while this horrible movie plays in the background, Luke’s cell phone rings. When they realize that the number calling is Emily’s, he just doesn’t answer it. Not only does he not answer, HE DOESN’T TURN THE RINGER OFF. It just rings and rings 13 times in a movie theatre. Guys. I loved Luke. Like love-loved, throughout seasons 1-5 and through most of 6-7, even when he was being a dick. But this episode’s Luke is so far beyond his worst from the main series that he’s pretty much ruined in my eyes. I think I hate Luke. Oh my god.
Luckily, the next scene cuts to the Dragonfly Inn, and we see a lovely sight that I’d been eagerly anticipating – the Gilmore Guys!!! When Lorelai walks into the dining room in that orange shirt, the two guys in the back on their phones are Kevin Porter and Demi Adejuyigbe, the hosts of the Gilmore Guys podcast! I love that they got to be on this, even though they seem to be absolutely sick and tired of this show. Such a cute cameo!
Guys I cannot with Rachael Ray. We get like a full five minutes of her overusing her hands while she talks and shortening words, and no Miss Patty? Not more Michel? Shit, give me more Taylor. This is unnecessary and unwanted. Chill with the celebrity guests trying to fill in for Sookie. Instead of filling the space with something enjoyable, they make it all the more noticeable that Sookie is missing.
Emily invites Luke, just Luke, to a dinner, but of course Lorelai tags along, not evil enough to send him to the wolf alone. It turns out Emily wanted to talk to him about a) having a will and b) Richard’s will. Richard left Luke a bunch of money for the sole purpose of using it to franchise his diner. I mean. This bullshit again. This whole episode is about rehashing old bullshit! More than ten years ago, Richard told Luke he should build his diner empire, and Luke didn’t want to. He still doesn’t want to. This is dumb. Oh and P.S., I know it’s a tv show, but why wasn’t there an executor of this will? Emily seemed almost surprised that Luke didn’t know he was bequeathed money in the will. Um maybe if you were doing this correctly and an executor was in charge, then Luke would have been informed of this bequeathment SEVEN MONTHS AGO. Man alive. I mean that’s a terrible time for me to use that phrase but man alive.
At the next oh so joyful therapy session, Emily cuts Lorelai apart for not being married to Luke because marriage is the only important relationship that means anything. Why doesn’t Lorelai remind her mother that she was married once, and it didn’t last, so her logic is flawed? This is such a waste of time. We have so little time. Why Daniel? I hate this. Therapy with Lorelai and Emily could have been AMAZING. Also Kerry Butler is so miscast and it’s making me angry. I do agree with Emily that the therapist is a dolt. I want to use the word dolt more.
Thank the lord for Paris. It’s Chilton Alumni Day, and Rory and Paris have been asked to speak to the current class about success (? really Rory) and other things. It’s contrived, but anything to see Headmaster Charleston and all the teachers who are still petrified of Paris. Seriously give Paris the MVP award from this year’s Superbowl for how much she single-handedly saves this episode. The jokes just based on her having donated $100K to Chilton are stellar! I loved when she comes out of the Headmaster’s bathroom and mentions “A lava stone counter! French, right?” “It was there before me, Paris!” “Oh I believe you….So, when was the last time someone…audited your books?” I LOVE HER. “Now I’m not in the habit of quoting Joseph Stalin. The man was a psychopath and his policy of forced collectivization killed millions of his own people. But I found one thing he said to be quite inspiring…” Of course the kids who went to her talk had to get counseling afterwards.
Rory’s talk to the Chilton students was so lame I was cringing. Oh my goodness. I love that it was supposed to be showing how great she would be as a professor but noooope. It reminded me of when the family in “Still Alice” went to see daughter Kristin Stewart’s play, and she was supposed to surprise them as this fantastic actress, but she isn’t in real life so it just felt awkward. Samesies.
Wait so Paris is the owner of the most successful fertility clinic in the western hemisphere, right? And owns a 5-story Manhattan home and gave $100K to her high school like for funsies. Meaning, she is unbelievably successful and rich aquafaba. But she carries an empty briefcase? I don’t get it. She wouldn’t need to fake feeling important because she actually is incredibly successful and important! I don’t buy it. And I don’t buy that she flips her shit when she sees Tristan (btw it wasn’t Tristan, it was a double). It’s been what 15 years? Come on. And did we need a whole scene with Paris and Rory freaking out on Francie?! I mean at least Francie lets us know that not only is Paris a doctor but she also qualified as a lawyer (um what) and a dental technician but come on none of this was necessary. This episode continues to be absolutely infuriating.
I love that Headmaster Charleston continues the tradition of adults in this universe thinking Rory is a gift from god, a genius beyond all geniuses, expressing gratitude to her for her existence. He says if she wants to teach at Chilton, they would find a place for her in any department she wants. Just come on!
I just love Paris and Doyle complaining about how big their NYC house is. Cool guys.
When Rory sat with Paris’s kids in the park, I really expected Jess to show up. I just had a feeling. But instead, she calls Logan, who answers at 2am London time with his fiancée in the bed. Oh these people. There’s more talk of Rory’s lucky outfit that she can’t find. MAYBE YOU CAN’T FIND IT BECAUSE YOU SENT YOUR POSSESSIONS TO SIX DIFFERENT LOCATIONS YOU DOLT.
Dan Bucatinsky was well cast as a Conde Nast exec. I hope he doesn’t get shot in this. Rory is not a good interviewee. Did she not think they would ask what she was working on? And she stammered and said ‘well, I’m here…’ I liked that the execs continued the tradition of really bad journalism on this show. Rory was never able to think of a good story for any paper she was on (um remember the music downloading? what a winner) and now the writers can’t think of good stories for professionals to have. Lines?! Lines.
I think Lorelai’s ‘pop culture’ reference to Esa-Pekka Salonen marks this show’s jumping of the shark. I rolled my eyes so much. So much. That doesn’t even count as pop culture. That’s barely University Challenge.
I can’t even talk about Emily and her attorney Ida forcing Luke to look at franchise properties. Why on earth would this stranger Ida tell Luke to call Emily ‘Mom’? And Emily asks Luke if that’s the shirt he wears on business outings…when she just surprised him with this visit. I can’t stand her and I normally love her. Her evil was always clearly hiding a sense of love and care, and the meanness was at least sharp and humorous, but in this she just seems to be made of pure hate. It’s so different and wrong. She and Ida are so rude to the owner of the restaurant they visit it makes me sad. It all feels like the upside-down.
I’m wallowing in my hatred of this episode and then OH MY GOD I KNOW THAT VOICE! ZOOOOOUKS!!!!! My dearest Jason Mantzoukas! If I was surprised when Kevin and Demi were let on this show, words cannot even describe my shock at seeing Jason. I never in a million years expected to see him! Eee! Granted, his playing Naomi’s attorney who is informing Rory of the dissolution of their contract (please let that be the end of Naomi) is not nearly as good as the roles he repeatedly expressed his desire to play (the secret lover of both Rory and Lorelai, and, if he had his way, Emily, or in the alternative Al from Al’s Pancake World) would have been, but still, so nice to see! If you don’t know him, search the archives of Comedy Bang Bang podcast for the many he’s a guest on. Heynong man.
We all need a break from this episode, so we go to NYC with Lorelai and Rory so Rory can do research for this really, really terrible story on ‘lines’. Like it’s literally just people lining up for things, why? What’s the angle? Nope, this is not a story. But I really enjoy that Lorelai somehow keeps getting the thing everyone is waiting for serendipitously – first she gets the hot new cronut copy by going to the back door of the kitchen (I can smell the NYC alleyway from here), then she gets the new sneakers everyone is waiting for because her daughter sells them. No, not Rory, Mae Whitman (her???), her daughter from “Parenthood” (and also Ann Veal)!! Something in this episode finally felt right, because I loved that Lorelai would have such good luck in this way and make mobs of losers angry.
Poor Rory still doesn’t have an angle on this story. And it’s ridiculous that they are just walking around the city hoping to chance upon lines. One mob doesn’t even know what they are waiting for, and when the Girls investigate the front of the line, they find a few businessmen just eating their lunches on steps. One said man is Michael Ausiello, famous TV critic. Dude, like, he had a cameo in Season 5, why does he get another! It’s not fair! Put me in coach!
Rory comes back to their hotel and exclaims to Lorelai that, in the mere hours since she last saw her, she slept with a random guy dressed as a Wookie. Um. This was weird, guys. I know their relationship is BFFs but I still thought it was supes awks. I am grateful that this scene brought out the truth from Rory about her affair with Logan, though, and that it gave Lorelai the chance to tell her (yet again) that it’s wrong to cheat, and also that her affair with Logan is “way sluttier” than the one-night stand she just had. Excellent parenting, Lorelai, but it never seems to stick with this kid. What married guy is she going to sleep with next? Jackson? And she still hasn’t broken up with Paul. Awful.
I can’t talk about Rory’s visit to the HQ of SandeeSays without feeling actual pain in my chest. This shithead begged Rory to work with her, and when Rory finally goes to her, Sandee treats it like she’s the one doing Rory a favor by granting this interview. It’s infuriating. I’m glad her awfulness finally made Rory stand up for herself and sort-of tell this girl off. And I love that their phone call ended in the famous interlude music from the regular series, if only because I missed hearing it. The first music of the episode came at the last minute, cool. Guys I despise Sandee so much. She makes my skin crawl. And I hated Emily in this! and Luke! WHAT IS HAPPENING?! Is Summer better? Please tell me Summer is better because this hurts! Broken heart emoji.
Lorelai’s periwinkle flowered dress in the opening scene was so pretty! I didn’t love the short-sleeved cardigan she paired with it; it was too long for that dress. But still nice overall.
Rory’s tent tank and black pants that she wears to the festival is so wrong. Why isn’t she dressed more casually? They’re at a food festival! But also, that shape shirt doesn’t work for anyone, especially not with pants, even if you are Alexis.
Lorelai looks fantastic at the Friday Night Dinner she’s not wanted at. Beautiful!
I like that our two often strongest women, Paris and Emily, both wore pink suits (or suiting) in this episode. Emily had that super bright pink skirt suit that made me think of Hillz, and Paris had that baby pink really weird jacket at Chilton. I didn’t like the jacket but I do like pink.
Rory worried so much about not having her lucky outfit for her Conde Nast meeting, yet what she ended up wearing was nicht so good. It was like she thought, well, if I don’t have the perfect outfit, I might as well wear the dress I would wear to the State Faire to eat corn dogs in. Same for when she went to SandeeSays in that red belted dress. It just didn’t fit right or look appropriate. But this is all taking place in the Upside-Down so who cares!