Monday, November 10, 2014

Célèste's Review of S1E14 "That Damn Donna Reed"

S1E14 That Damn Donna Reed

“That Damn Donna Reed”
Season 1, Episode 14
Original airing: February 22, 2001

My Rating: 58

The Good:
  • This is a big move forward in the ongoing will they/won’t they Luke/Lorelai dynamic. Highlights include the moment they share when Luke shows her the place where his dad took an order on the wall and the moment when Emily gets Lorelai to admit she might have feelings for Luke.
  •  This is the first cliffhanger the show has had, and it still surprised me to see Christopher show up right when he was the furthest thing from my mind.
  • If nothing else, the introduction of both the town troubadour and Lane’s floorboard storage system make this episode one not to be missed.
The Bad:
  •  The Donna Reed fight is set up as the primary focus and conflict of the episode, and it really fails in its duty. Not only is the initial fight lacking in depth, but the resolution isn’t satisfying. If we’re going to go there, we should really go there. How much better it would have been for this conflict to come from a true place rooted in character, such as the difference in Dean and Rory’s upbringings and the fact that she grew up with a single parent.
  • I like the idea of Luke misunderstanding Lorelai, but I don’t think it really makes sense. Sookie’s bat in the attic story seams plausible, in a way that making up a story about a chick doesn’t.
  • The Martha’s Vineyard subplot (if you can call it that) was anemic, and I didn’t like that the scene setting it up bore no relation to the rest of the episode. The morbid jokes later were amusing, but it wasn’t enough of a payoff to justify time spent on this C story.

Favorite Moment:
Years later, Christopher’s appearance still surprises me and makes me want to watch the next episode.

The Bottom Line:
The central conflict falls short of what it could have accomplished with more care, but there’s still a lot of good stuff in this episode.

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