Monday, November 17, 2014

Cordia's Review of S1E15 - Christopher Returns

The unexpected face of compassion.
Christopher Returns
Season 1, Episode 15
Original airing: March 1, 2001

My Rating: 77

The Good:
This was a surprisingly powerful episode with some wonderful character and background story development.

The show did a great job with Christopher. His character is charming, self-effacing, and confident. It’s easy to see why Lorelai is continually attracted to him. It’s also dramatically painful to watch him come in to town and slowly have things fall apart, despite his best efforts. There are many moments in this episode which hurt to watch including Christopher’s declined credit card, the entire Friday Night Dinner scene, and Christopher proposing to Lorelai. Things spiral more and more downhill and I find myself, as a viewer, wanting them to pick up again.

I’m completely torn between Luke and Christopher. I wanted things to go well with Christopher’s visit because he is so likeable and Rory is so happy he’s in Stars Hollow. But my heart shattered when Luke was stood up. And I certainly understand his unwillingness to forgive Lorelai.

The entire scene at Friday Night Dinner was masterful. I love Rory’s awkwardness with these long-unseen grandparents. And it feels quite right that all the madness would come up again. How could they expect to have a pleasant evening where no one mentioned what happened? Richard throwing Straub out was excellent and the scene afterwards between him and Lorelai was a great follow up to their scene in “Forgiveness and Stuff” (S1E10). They don’t resolve anything, per se, but Richard does make the point that Lorelai doesn’t know the whole story of how the rift in their relationship has affected Richard and Emily. It’s nice to see some dimension to the recurring fact of their shattered family life.

I greatly enjoyed the town busy bodies. Miss Patty wiping out her cell phone immediately made me laugh out loud. This mini-story was capped off perfectly by Jackson running away when he was caught gossiping about Christopher.

The Bad:
My only real complaint is the scene on the diner steps between Luke and Lorelai. While I thought Scott Patterson nailed it with his cold replies, I was disappointed by the writing for Lorelai. I don’t understand why she lied to Luke. It undercut her sincerity and ruined the moment.

Favorite Moment:
I was surprised and touched by the scene in the kitchen when Emily tells Rory she’s not a disappointment. It was exactly what Rory needed to hear and I think it was extra powerful to have it come from her very proper, very strong willed grandmother. It definitely brought me to tears.

The Bottom Line:

This was a really good episode with lots of character and story driven drama. Everything felt completely organic, which made it all the more engaging.

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