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April 23, 2014

Gilmore Girls: Let Me Hear Your Balalaikas Ringing Out

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 9th 2005 8:37AM
Gilmore Girls - Rory and JessI used to think that I was the only male fan of Gilmore Girls in the entire U.S. of A. But since Esquire's A.J. Jacobs came out and declared it "The Best Show for Men" (part of that article is shown here), a few more guys have come out of the woodwork to admit the same, even in sports-related articles (look under item #6 in this article). I've been a big fan since Season Two, mainly due to a unrequited crush on Lauren Graham, so I was happy to see some other guys reveal themselves in print (where it can never ever be taken back -- right?).


Anyway, being a fan for so long, I've noticed that something's been amiss this year, and it mostly has to do with Rory. It's not just Alexis Bledel's storyline, which has turned Rory from a pop culture-spewing, alterna-cute wunderkind to a brooding, spoiled, younger version of Emily Gilmore. It's also kept Bledel away from the crackling chemistry that she had with Graham, who as Lorelai has been faring better this season, playing off Scott Patterson's Luke very well. Bledel's performance has suffered by comparison; right now, she's emoting about as much as a block of cheese. Suffice to say, I've been aching for them to get back together for months, and the Palladinos have been taking way too long to get mother and daughter to reconcile.

Thank God for Jess.

What's that you say, longtime Gilmore fan? Jess was an annoying hellion who wasn't good enough for Rory? That he spent too much time being a pain in the ass to become a developed, much less likable, character? I agree with you; I hated Jess with a passion when Milo Ventimiglia was a regular. But his return in this episode is as welcome as a heated car seat on a cold winter morning.

The essentials of this episode: Rory's being squeezed by Emily. She doesn't trust her granddaughter, see, thinks she's gonna go off with that ne'er-do-well Logan and do the nasty. Rory's starting to feel like something's gone terribly wrong; she's gone from Yale genius to chauffeur for a bunch of drunken douchebags. Logan's feeling the heat from his dad to join the family business and is taking it out on Rory. She misses her mom and her old life.

Magically, along comes Jess. Seems like he's found a life in Philly and has actually written a book (Rory mentions how she read about the new "cool" Philadelphia in The New York Times. I cringed when she said that. I read that article; it called an entire city the "sixth borough" of New York. Condescending crap). A day after he comes back, the two plan to go out and catch up, but Logan comes back early from a business trip and intervenes. The three go out and Logan jealously challenges Jess at every turn, actually making Jess look like a decent guy, which is tough to do.

He storms out, and Rory goes out to apologize. Jess unloads on her, asking her what happened to the girl he used to know, that what she is now isn't that girl. Yes, it's really looking like the Palladinos are merely using Jess as the metaphorical slap in the face and nothing more, but who cares? Rory needed it. She goes back in, argues with Logan (and to an extent, with her "other" self), and is left alone with cab fare. She eventually crashes at Lane's -- are we down to one Lane scene per week now? -- and confronts Emily at a DAR tea, which ends the episode, setting the stage for a big reunion next week.

Oh, and there's the obligatory "Lorelai and Luke biding their time until the reunion" plotline, where Lorelai frets over paint colors for the house, helps Luke sponsor a super-violent girl's soccer team, and tends to the canine Paul Anka's sickness. Only one part of the whole subplot shows an insight into the ongoing storyline; near the end of the episode, Lorelai finally opens Rory's room to let Paul Anka sleep there. When Luke finds her there in the morning, she starts to cry, saying that she's a bad mother; she tried her best to keep things from happening the way they did, but it went that way anyway. She was talking about the sick dog, but I just get the feeling -- call it a "hunch" -- that she was talking about Rory.

So next week's the big reunion. Everything's all well and good. But - gasp! - there's a deep secret that might jeopardize Lorelai and Luke! Of course that was bound to happen, now that Rory's back in the fold. Can't these writers multitask?

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Alba

I Love GG! And its look like not too many people like Jess but i DO!! I love rory/jess relationship, they had something to talk about not like rory/Dean. i know that he was a jerk but everybody make mistakes.. i would like him to come back again after this episode and be again with rory because i dont like Logan at all and it seems like Jess is a very nice guy now. Anyone agree with me?

December 10 2005 at 12:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kate

Am I the only one around who thinks Rory should get back with Dean? I liked him. He cared for her and she pushed him to do better. I know he's on a new show now but one can dream. I am also someone who hated Jess but his appearance on this last show was brilliant. Just what Rory needed. I'm excited that things are going to start picking up between the mother and daughter now, it seems like this season has been dragging up until now.

November 15 2005 at 10:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andrew D

OMG i love gilmore girls!! I have been hooked since last year when they started showing gilmore girls and now i have seen every episode to date and mots twice. I think that logan is an ass and i hope rory breaks up with him because all they do is like drink and have sex. They had chemistry but the way logan treated rory after this episode that struck a wrong chord in me i now think of him as the wife abusing husband. Well i hope that lorelai and rory reunite bcz they are the best mother and daughter pair in years. well actually ever

November 14 2005 at 8:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rob

Chalk up another one for the male G.G. fanclub. I have never hidden the fact that I have enjoyed this show for the past three seasons. And now I've got my new wife hooked too. So here's my two cents: Rory and Logan are a good team. Despite all the boyish escapades that Logan goes on, he is still a respectable guy with honor in his heart. Sure he dares to push the envelope a little and has fun in the process, but shouldn't every guy? I mean,.. what kind of woman wants an emasculated shell of a man who is afraid of having fun? Of course Jess could fit this profile too,.. hence the conflict.

November 14 2005 at 4:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
amylee

The thing that I've liked about Logan is that he took Rory out of her comfort zone. He was the first boy she ever had to chase because Dean, Tristan and Jess all threw themselves at her feet. Logan is a good guy. Not perfect, but none of Rory's guys have been. This period of time has been Rory's rebellion. She was most definately a good girl in high school. And she was a good girl her first year at Yale (remember spring break?). A person has to break away to become their own person. Lorelei did it by rejecting her rich upbringing and striking out on her own. If Emily wasn't so overbearing and controlling, she probably would have gone back to the fold. Rory's break has been to embrace the life her mother rejected. And she's starting to see it for what it is. Frivolous. Logan's dad did a real number on her. This was the first time the Rory recieved real criticism from someone who counts. She has always been the golden child. She has always been the one to succeed at whatever she did. Suddenly, she wasn't good enough. It shook her deeply. This time has been spent trying to figure out who she is. I think she started losing herself when she had her affair with Dean. She was already on shaky ground when Logan's dad told she couldn't hack it. Being a journalist had been a life long dream and she saw it slipping away. She had already sacrificed a big part of herself to steal Dean away from Lindsay. Then she this being taken away. This past year and a half will only make her stronger. It will have helped her to discover who she really is and who she isn't.

November 11 2005 at 10:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Heather

to the note above, your not the only one who liked Jess. I loved him when he was on the show. It was good that he came back to slap Rory out of it. Like come on what a waste she's becoming. And Logan was totally right with yelling at her. he did not force her to do anything. She the one "finding herself". And for those who don't like Logan . . tsk tsk. Its like not liking Lorelei those two are obviously opposite. Logan living out the male version of lorlei old life. So I don't think he's going anywhere. Does anybody agree with me. Anywho, drama is coming no couple on tv has it easy wihtout somebody trying to mess it up.

November 11 2005 at 8:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sara

Last week's episode, cheered me up soo much. I love Jess and Logan is just a jerk. Jess up him into the right place after Logan has ruined Rory's life. Jess reminded her of what she had going for her. I just can't wait till next week when Rory finally goes home to her mother.

November 11 2005 at 5:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Karen

I like Logan, and still do after this episode Never been a Jess fan and I once was but after he treated Rory poorly in their relationship he can do no good with me anymore. nd I'm positive Rory and Logan will work out just like Rory and Lorelai will do now :)

November 11 2005 at 8:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lorna

I no longer think Logan is good enough for Rory after this latest episode. I am a Rory/Jess, or Literai, fan, and I still hope for a reunion before the series is over.

November 11 2005 at 2:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jackie

I really think that Jess's character has always been an interesting one to say the least. I have also always enjoyed storylines in general involving the redemption of a character. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a character like Jess evolve from a troubled-youth to making something out of himself in his published book. I would argue that Jesss transformation is as drastic as the transformation Rory had in the 5th and 6th seasons. It was so interesting to see the two of them again in these opposite roles. Rory was always the one to have her life together, not Jess. Hearing Jess ask Rory what was going on was Gilmore Girls at its best. I realize the powers that be will probably not bring Jess back into a substantial storyline again, but if they did I definitely would not mind. =) In fact, it makes me sad that we probably wont see Jess in another episode for a very long time.

November 10 2005 at 7:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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