Gilmore Girls, Episodes 2.01-2.04
“Sadie, Sadie…,” “Hammers and Veils,” “Red Light on the Wedding Night” & “The Road Trip to Harvard”
Original Air Dates: Oct. 9, 16, 23Emma: We’re back! And we’ve taken a much longer break than I intended and this has been in part to do with how busy this last month has been. But my excuses aside, I am very glad to get back to talking about all things Gilmore.
When we last talked Lorelai had been semi proposed to by Max with a buttload of flowers in a scene that if you have the sound off plays more like a horror movie than a rom com. Luke realized he had feeeeeeeeeelings for Lorelai (well, duh) and Dean and Rory declared their love for each other (snore). And we pretty much pick up the action right where we left off, which is rare for a show of this kind as they tend to do the skipping the summer to coincide with the air date.
The first episode deals with Lorelai’s proposal choice – does she want to marry Max or not? Well we know the actual answer to that by the end of episode 3, but right now she is swept up in the romance of it and getting to experience something she hasn’t necessarily considered would be something she would experience. We see her peaking at wedding magazines and the grandness of Max’s gesture also goes some way in getting her caught up in this moment.
Other big news in this episode is that Rory is in the top 3% of her class, which isn’t really a surprise but it does lead to a very awkward celebratory dinner. Rory is allowed to bring a friend and instead of making the sensible choice with the soon to be departed Lane or evening trying to make up with Paris this way, she chooses Dean. Which also makes sense seeing as they’re back together.
What this does is give an insight into the kind of father Richard maybe was when Lorelai was younger because boy does he not like Dean (I get you, Richard), but even Emily is taken back by how rude he is. So what this feels like isn’t so much a snapshot of what Richard was like when Lorelai was young, but rather a reaction to what happened with Lorelai and Christopher. And Lorelai says as much explaining that Rory is the great white hope of the Gilmore clan and Richard just had a vision of the ghost of pregnancy past. It doesn’t excuse Richard’s rudeness, but it does explain it and I love that we get to see this side of him every now and then. He’s not just the fun grandpa.
Julie: I do love that the show jumps right back in after the season premiere. More shows should do summer episodes, like 90210 did back in the day. Those were the best.
Since we’re in season two, it’s time for the writers to start getting deeper with the characters, and the one they start with this year is Papa Gilmore, Richard. He is such an interesting character to me. There’s a lot more nuance to him than I think we saw during season one. He’s not just the bumbling grandfather. He’s not just the mean, rich daddy. He feels like a real character who has real emotions, even if those emotions sometimes get overlooked by the women in his life, who are so deep inside their own heads that sometimes they forget about him. In a lot of ways, I think he sees Rory as a do-over, or maybe he sees her potential success as a way to make everything right. If Rory can grow up to be amazing, maybe he can finally get over Lorelai getting knocked up when she was a teenager.
But I am CERTAINLY Team Richard when it comes to dealing with Dean. He read that guy perfectly from the start. Go back to your hole, Dean.
Now, the Lane thing. I’m not sure what all this was about. Do you know? I’ll spoil it for you (because the actress coming back for the Netflix series)–Lane doesn’t stay in Korea forever. (Did you already know that? Does she come back in the first four episodes?) It’s such a weird thing and has no real repercussions. Was Keiko Agena not available for part of the season? Were they trying to write Lane out, but decided against it? They really have given Lane short shrift so far, and she was starting to take a back seat to Paris at this point, so I’m just wondering.Emma: I agree very much on the Richard thing and it is interesting to see how both Emily and Richard view Rory as their second chance. This is a lot of pressure to put on a teenage girl, but it is natural that they will see this as their time to correct their parenting mistakes too. And I agree with being Team Richard on the Dean front and in the next episode Dean gets annoyed at Rory because she wants to concentrate on her extracurricular activity to help get into Harvard and not hang out with him. I would much rather build houses with an angry Paris (who is still upset about the whole Tristan stuff).
Dean is the worst.
And Lane returns in episode 4 and it transpires that they bought her an open ended ticket to save money as they didn’t know exactly which day she would be back. Which is what I figured and for someone so smart Lane’s fears that they were sending her to Korea seemed way over the top. But hey at least she got some good bootlegs out of it. But you’re right that it does seem a little out of nowhere.
At the end of the first episode Emily finds out via an invite from Sookie to the engagement party/wedding shower that Lorelai is engaged and it goes down as well as expecting and the tears in Emily’s eyes shows exactly how hurt she is by hearing about it second hand. What I love about this relationship is that it could easily feel like they are having the exact same fight on repeat, but it never does and they somehow make each new deep cut as raw and different as the one before it.
Here it feels like Emily maybe viewed their relationship as much stronger than it used to be, which is true and yet there is still a rift in how much Lorelai thinks she can tell her mother. When Lorelai does tell her in “Hammers and Veils” Lorelai takes Emily’s reaction of indifference about seeing if they’re free that weekend as confirming her worst fear. Instead this is Emily acting out about being told way after everyone else. This is meant to be a huge moment in a mother/daughter relationship and all it does here is bring out the worst in both of them. Emily is mean and Lorelai reacts with anger and it takes a huge blowup fight like this for either of them to admit exactly how they feel. For how good the Gilmore’s are at talking they are also terrible at explaining their actual feelings.
Lorelai wanted to feel good about this engagement and it is why she didn’t tell her mother as Emily’s words have a huge impact no matter how much Lorelai pretends otherwise. Which is why I am so glad they have the veil trying on moment, which includes a very Emily criticism swiftly followed by the touching tiara offer. Yes I cried because I always do with this pair.
What did you make of this new falling out/making up between Emily and Lorelai?
Julie: Yeah, the Lane thing was too short to be any big deal. It was weird. It’s not like we would’ve noticed if Lane were to have not been in two episodes. That’s not out of the ordinary for Gilmore Girls. Poor Lane. She deserves better. Like, maybe she should’ve been building houses with Rory and Paris! (And talking to cute Henry.)
As Lainey says, “Girl shit is the best shit,” and that’s what we get a lot of between Lorelai and her mother. But all of this goes so deep. I think there are several levels to Lorelai not telling her mom about her engagement — 1) The most basic, she has been estranged from her family for so long, they are not her first stop with good news. It was an honest oversight. 2) She subconsciously wanted to stick it to her mother, to make her feel bad, to reinforce that she and Emily are not close. 3) She knows her mom is a walking truth bomb, and she figured Emily would question her motives for marrying Max. I think it’s all of those things. There is so much depth to this relationship.
I pin most of the blame on Lorelai here. It would’ve have been very easy to just tell her mother about the engagement, and it would’ve saved everyone a lot of pain and trouble. Then, on a whole other level, by not telling her mom, Lorelai was able to start planning her wedding without her mother’s interference, which is not nothing. So messy! Which is why the moments of affection are so gut-wrenching.
Emma: It was definitely an easily avoidable situation and I agree that the ball was very much in Lorelai’s court and with every step forward they take something else causes them to revert to their original positions.
One thing I did love is the bachelorette party in “Red Light on the Wedding Night” which pretty much underscored what I figured would happen; the wedding would not go ahead. Over cocktails Emily tells a super romantic story about how excited/nervous she was to marry Richard and that she tried her wedding dress on every night in the lead up. It’s a great insight into Emily and Richard’s relationship and now I want a prequel series of young Emily and Richard. What this does is tap into Lorelai’s biggest Max fears in that she isn’t actually all that in to him. This is made even more apparent by her phone call to ex Christopher mid party when everyone thinks she has sneaked off to call Max.If this wasn’t a bad enough sign well then he still doesn’t have house keys and yeeeah this is one doomed relationship. It all happened so fast and while I’ve grown to like Max they do not have half the heat/chemistry of Luke and Lorelai. It is also worth mentioning that my notes from this episode include in all caps KISS ALREADY. This is after Luke has made the wedding chuppah and they have a moment while discussing the notion of the right person. The right person is standing in front of you, Lorelai.
For some reason Dean gives Max a lesson in all things Gilmore ladies. Another sure sign that this relationship is doomed and this time jump from the last episode would feel jarring if I didn’t already know that Max and Lorelai are not going to go the distance.
What is harsh is that when Lorelai flees with Rory in tow is that she hasn’t discussed any of this Max. Instead she is doing what she tends to do and that is run and while I’m so up for a Gilmore road trip she should probably tell him first.
Julie: Ooh! I love the prequel series idea. Maybe after the new Netflix series.
Did you think the Christopher call was out-of-the-blue? I did, but now I think I get it. He’s the guy Lorelai calls when she’s stuck, when she doesn’t know what else to do. I think there’s some thing safe for her about Christopher. Maybe it’s because she knows he’ll always be there, in some way, no matter what, since he’s Rory’s father. Calling Luke would mean, whoa, taking a big step, but calling Christopher is like taking a walk down memory lane.
The one I feel for most in the Max/Lorelai messiness is Rory. It was kind of shitty for Lorelai to jump into an engagement so quickly (with her daughter’s TEACHER), when she wasn’t sure. Plus, Max is great to Rory and they seem to get along so well.
To be honest, though, I really wasn’t sure what was going to happen between Lorelai and Max. I mean, I knew they must break up at some point, but I didn’t know if the show would pull a Friends and actually have them get married. The way Lorelai handled the actual breakup was terrible and childish and really highlights how she still does have some growing up to do. Max deserved better. He was a total stand-up guy.
Now, Dean, on the other hand, Rory could leave him in the middle of the night and we’d all be fine.
What have we missed?Emma: I figured she was going to ring Luke, but as you mention there is so much more there there. With Christopher it is the safe option and I also think she knows he will tell Rory and Rory will ask why. She’s dealing with her cold feet in a very long way round and this also matches how she bails on the whole thing.
There is all this talk of Lorelai running away from situations and this is the first time we’re getting to see her do it on a big scale. In a way she’s been a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy as this is exactly what she said would happen and it has. It’s no good marrying someone you don’t want to marry but there are ways of calling things off and this is not it. Rory is always Lorelai’s number 1 priority and it’s why she didn’t want to date Max in the first place, but she committed and now there are consequences and a random road trip is maybe not the thing to do. Rory calls her on her shit pointing out that they made plans – they made space in the closet – and it’s not just Lorelai in this relationship.
I am very much Team Rory when she confronts her mom in the very intense B&B about the running away and I get that they need mother/daughter boundaries but Rory is spot on here.
During this trip they do drop in at Harvard and this is pretty great. Rory gets all excited about learning and Lorelai gets wistful about the life she could’ve had. Instead of wallowing she instead decides to go all in on the inn she wants to open with Sookie. What did you make of this college visit?
Julie: As horrible as the Max situation ended up being, at least Lorelai seems to have learned something from the situation. She can’t keep running from life. Life goes on, no matter what. The people she should’ve graduated from college with have moved on. Eventually Rory is going to move on, too. Lorelai needs something just for herself. So, I love that she talks to Sookie about getting a move on with the inn.
I can’t imagine how surreal it must be to visit a college with your high schooler and know that he or she is going to leave you one day. I know I’ll be excited about it on a lot of levels, but I also totally get Lorelai’s wistfulness regarding the passage of time — her baby is growing up, and has she, Lorelai, accomplished everything she’d hoped to have accomplished by now. And in her case, since she never went to school, what did she miss out on? How is she going to be able to be there for Rory when college is completely foreign to her?
And now Lane is back and Lorelai has a chuppah in her front yard.Emma: There are so many layers to this college trip and unlike on The Sopranos no one gets killed. First of all there is the Max avoidance and then there is the growing up of Rory and what Lorelai didn’t experience. It also made me realize how Rory and Felicity Porter would be the ideal crossover besties.
It’s nice to take a moment to escape Stars Hollow as while I really like that town it can get super claustrophobic at times. As claustrophobic as the Cheshire Cat. I also love that Lorelai told Sookie to tell Miss Patty about the engagement getting called off because it would be the quickest way for everyone to find out and it works. Luke doesn’t find out until the next time Lorelai rings Sookie and his super shitty mood suddenly turns into being nice to Kirk and giving everyone free coffee.
When they get back and Rory sees Lane this gives Lorelai the chance to go see Luke, which she does and yep those feelings are back. And now I’m wondering when something will happen. It’s been a slow burn and I’m guessing it will still be another good 8/12 episodes before a smooch. At least.
I also love the moment when Emily finds out the wedding is off as it is far less devastating than when she found out about the engagement. At first Emily thinks Lorelai has eloped and she’s mad because she got a new dress and then when she finds out the real story her first thought is returning the gift, which is so Emily Gilmore. It’s a playful exchange between the two and I like this lighter dynamic.
There’s a lot of the usual aughts bad fashions but one thing I noticed was Lorelai’s Porn Star tee which is so 2000/2001. Any standout outfits for you?
Julie: This was a much safer trip than when Meadow went looking at schools. That’s one thing missing from Gilmore Girls–the threat of violent death. Perhaps that’s something the writers can add into the new Netflix series.
I could totally see Felicity and Rory hanging out. And I could DEFINITELY see Noel the RA hitting on someone like Rory. In fact, I think he’d actually work better with Rory than with Felicity. (But Rory would totally go for Ben instead.) Now I’d like to see this crossover universe. Where’s my Gilicity fanfic?
One thing I do love about this show is the cluelessness of both Luke and Lorelai. They’re standing right in front of each other, but they’re both too chicken to make the first move. It could (and should) get old, but for some reason it doesn’t. At least not totally.
That porn star T-shirt was so of the period. Everyone was wearing inappropriate, dirty stuff on their person in the early aughts. I had a tee that said “Hamme(red).” Which was fun because of my last name, but also advertising potential drunkenness. I also appreciated Lorelai’s pug tee and faux necklace tee.
I’m pretty sure I wore to Lilith Fair basically the same thing Rory wore to build a house. It was an attractive time.
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