P.S. I Lo…
Season 1, Episode 20
Original airing: May 3, 2001
My Rating: 54
In preparation for the season finale, this episode draws together several storylines. Lorelai learns why Rory and Dean broke up, Rory learns Lorelai is back together with Max, and a new dynamic evolves amongst the Gilmore clan when Rory chooses her grandparents’ company over Lorelai’s.
These are things that needed to happen for the show to have a conclusion to its major arcs in this season. But that’s about the best thing that can be said for how it was handled (See the Bad).
The most successful plot in this episode was the subplot for Lane. Pairing her with Dean for a science project was a very natural way to drive a small wedge between Lane and Rory. It was easily healed, but their encounter at the bus station was beautifully acted and very emotional.
I also really enjoyed the scene with Mrs. Kim, Dean, and Lane. She was the perfect overbearing mother and her presentation was hilarious.
The reason this episode wasn’t entirely successful is fully upon the preceding episodes. The storylines have been there, but they’ve been practically ignored in large fashion. Lorelai and Rory’s stories depend entirely upon Max and Dean and when they aren’t in the episode, the show has a way of pretending they don’t exist.
It’s difficult to buy Lorelai’s joy and being back with Max when she spends every other episode hovering around Luke. Last episode, in the back room of the diner, she basically suggested that he might be having trouble with Rachel because he’s interested in Lorelai. Even in this episode she was dressing him and being fairly intimate.
It’s difficult to remember Rory is so upset about her breakup with Dean that she’ll run away from home when ever other episode she seems completely fine and happy. This episode suggests that she has been finding the entire town incredibly oppressive because of Dean’s presence. While this is a fine concept, we haven’t seen anything to support it since the breakup three episodes ago.
The show set up these storylines then ignored them and that made the whole of this episode feel highly disjointed.
Seeing Lane and Rory fight was a surprisingly effective storyline. I teared up when I saw Lane waiting with coffee to meet Rory’s bus. I imagine that despite them being teenage girls, they don’t fight very often.
The Bottom Line:
This episode was necessary to prepare for the season finale, but the stories hadn’t been supported in the past episodes. So Rory’s rather sudden freak out and the surrounding effects seemed unbelievable. The show has been struggling with supporting their storylines across episodes all season, so this is something I hope to see improve.