Gilmore Girls: The Long Morrow (season premiere)
(S07E01) I decided to watch this episode a second time, just to see if my early assessment of it was correct. I wanted to make sure that I wasn't just so damn happy to have Gilmore Girls back, that I missed some fundamental change, something that would tell me that new EP David Rosenthal was going to completely screw up the transfer from Team Palladino and turn this show into something different than the one I came to know and love.
And, you know what? It is different. But those differences weren't due to the transfer in power. No, this show started changing while Team Palladino was still around, and I'm not sure if it's ever going to go back to what it was.
I will say one thing for this whole Lorelai/Luke/Christopher storyline; at least Lor wakes up the next morning and immediately starts regretting what she did with Chris the previous night, to the point where she uncomfortably leaves the "scene of the crime" and later tells him over the phone "let's not make more if it than it was." Chris was heartbroken when she told him that, but I have little sympathy for him, since he's taken every opportunity possible to screw up Lorelai and Luke.
But seeing Lorelai mope around for an hour, doing yet another relationship post-mortem (throwing everything away that reminded her of Luke, including the sheets and pillows: "The third stage of grief is making piles, she says") is starting to get old. Where does she go, lovelife-wise, after Luke, her best friend and the love of her life? This isn't just another Max or any of the other doofuses she's gone out with. But for some reason, she makes no effort to hear him out when he comes to see her the next day. Remember her ultimatum was only the night before, and Luke is such a lunkhead, he didn't realize that Lor was dead serious. We find out later that Luke isn't good under pressure, as he's given too much to think about after Kirk drives Taylor's T-bird into the diner.
Yes, you heard me. That was the cute "Stars Hollow" plot; Taylor puts in a red-light camera in front of Luke's, and Luke, who's understandably upset for other reasons, overreacts to it. During the ceremonial first "red light run," the camera flash goes off and makes Kirk drive the vintage care right into the diner. When a tow truck driver asks him whether he wants the car out or he wants to wait for the insurance folks, Luke snaps: "I do not like being pressured. It's not one or the other. I need some time to think!" Not very subtle, huh? But it does make it look like Lor put the kibosh on things a little early. Though I'm still undecided whether Lor gave him enough time or made a fatal mistake not realizing that her boyfriend can't function when given ulitmatums. You'd think she'd have known that about him.
When Luke comes by Lor's at the end, truck packed and ready to go anywhere she wants and elope, you know he's a doomed man. As Lor tries to stop him, you're sitting there, waiting and waiting for her to drop the bomb that you know is coming. Luke's reaction is immediate and swift, and it doesn't bode well for the rest of the season. He hates Christopher, and knew that his presence was a threat to their relationship. This isn't going to be a two-episode fix; it wouldn't ring true if Rosenthal decided to make a reconciliation that quick. But the result isn't a happy one: everyone who wants to go through the last season with tension between Luke and Lorelai raise your hand. No one? Hm. Thought so.
Ok, on to Rory. These are the only scenes where Lorelai lights up and is her usual chatty self (she even greets her with the title to one of last year's key episodes: "The prodigal daughter returns!"). I liked it when they went to go "racquetballing," and all they did was sit on the court and talk rocket gum. I also liked their discussion on what to do so they didn't have to talk; that was the type of conversation that showed me Rosenthal had a good grasp on the classic GG dialogue style. So was the rant Paris gave a customer to her new SAT prep business: "I don't particularly like to take on such meek, diffident cases. Do you know what diffident means? Don't worry, that knowledge isn't needed in the retail donut distribution industry."
But the Rory/Logan storyline was overwhelmed by the Lor/Luke storyline. Yes, he sent her a rocket, which took her a while to figure out: it was a reference to his favorite Twilight Zone episode, the explanation of which took way too long. She wants to go to London right now to visit him. But the little twist, where he says they're all set up to reunite at Christmas, was a good one, like a punch to Rory's emotional solar plexus. If I were her, I'd get on a plane now and go anyway. Lord knows what'll happen between now and Christmas.
More Lorelai: Describing the reasons why she's ending it: "It was him not fighting for me," and that if their lives together were a car, she wouldn't be in the passenger seat and she'd "have to hold on to the bumper," getting hurt along the way, were nice lines. But I just wish AS-P didn't go down this road, blowing up Lorelai and Luke, right before she left. Not that they shouldn't have had their problems, but throwing Christopher into the mix isn't quite the same thing as disapproving in-laws or even a long-lost daughter. The only thing more depressing than tension between Lorelai and Luke is tension between Lorelai and Rory, and we all know how torturous that was. If this is the last season of GG, it looks like it's going out on a big down note.