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October 23, 2014

Gilmore Girls: Driving Miss Gilmore

by Joel Keller, posted May 2nd 2006 10:39PM
Gilmore Girls: Driving Miss Gilmore(S06E21) This season's going to end badly, isn't it?

I mean, we all see it now, don't we? Lorelai thinks that her engagement is kaput and Luke doesn't have a clue. Emily is hinting around at how much Christopher has changed, torturing Lor with a  matchmaking list of snooty society women that they both know aren't right for him (of course we all know who is, right)? She shows Lorelai the gorgeous house that she and Richard are buying for Luke and Lorelai, and Lor just breaks down (slowly, but still...).

So here we are. One episode left, and it doesn't take a spoiler to show us that the Palladinos are going to leave Luke and Lor in tatters, with Lor in the arms of Christopher. Not exactly the way anyone planned their exit, was it?

Really, most of the sub-plots on this episode feel tacked-on, even though they were entertaining. Michel mistakenly drinks 2% milk instead of skim, so he walks around doing calisthenics to burn the extra calories. Jackson (we never see him anymore, by the way) and Sookie try to figure out a way to get rid of three huge garbage bags of pot that Jackson's old farmhands grew on a fallow part of his land. Oh, and Liz is pregnant; she's so afraid she's going to screw up with this kid like she screwed up with Jess that she throws T.J. out of the house (she was just projecting a wee bit onto poor T.J.). Luke goes and finds T.J. and helps them patch things up.

About that scene: not so subtle, are you, Palladinos? After Luke threatens T.J., thinking he left his pregnant wife, T.J. explains the situation and the two sit down to a beer. Luke tells him that sometimes women say one thing when they mean another; sometimes they say nothing at all. It's T.J.'s job to figure out what Liz is feeling and support her. Sage advice, Mr. Oblivious. I wonder how many simultaneous anyeurisms Lorelai would have if she heard you say that?

The way Lorelai finds out about the new house was an hour-long tease, but a funny one. Emily goes to get LASIK surgery, but something goes wrong and she's left with compromised vision for a couple of days. Of course, she pulls a "Sarah Bernhardt", as Lorelai called it, and makes like she's blinded for life. She fires everyone Richard sends to help her and asks Loreali to driver her around for the day in this massive SUV that Lorelai calls "a rap video set". This is where Emily drops the hints about Christopher, and spills the news about the house in a real estate office. Even though it showed a nice funny banter between Lauren Graham and Kelly Bishop, one we haven't seen in extended form in quite a while, it really just served to set up Lorelai's heartbreak at the end. Emily's reaction to Lor's breakdown -- the tentative but sympathetic hand on Lorelai's shoulder -- was also great to see; I just wish it didn't have to happen under these circumstances.

Oh, the Rory plot: Logan's recovering, with doting help from Rory, even to the point where she has Paris and Doyle watch him as she works at the Yale Daily News. Logan's dad tells the Wall Street Journal that he gave Rory, who's not the Daily News editor, her first internship, implying that his largess helped her career. Rory is incensed, of course, considering Mitchum skewered her skills and sent her into a six-month downward spiral. A woman remembers these things. She tries to get the WSJ reporter to make a clarification, but doesn't get it (the statement is technically correct). Logan tries to assure her that this is a good thing and his father's an ass. We'll see how this plays out next week.

So for every Gilmore-ish moment in this episode -- the spaghetti and meatballs Friday night dinner that devolves into the inevitable meatball-poking argument about Ashlee Simpson, for instance -- there is a moment of sadness, angst, and heartbreak. Great acting job by Lauren Graham again, watching her slowly break down as she looks at the pictures of the house and realizes her and Luke aren't going to happen. But I just wish the season wasn't going down this road. A season of Luke and Lorelai blithely bantering through their first year of marriage as Rory graduates Yale would have made for a fine final season. Now we might be seeing another messy Lorelai/Christopher entanglement and Rory running away with Logan as he toes the Huntzberger line in Europe.

Good luck, David Rosenthal. Your bosses are leaving you a huge mess.

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