Monday, February 2, 2015

Célèste's Review of S2E2 "Hammers and Veils"

“Hammers and Veils”
Season 2, Episode 2
Original airing: October 9, 2001

My Rating: 78

The Good:
  • There were so many great small moments such as:
    • Madeline forgetting to be mad at Rory
    • Richard's apology
    • The "pretty" hammer and Rory explaining that her mother isn't insane, she just sounds it
    • Paris's resume: "At 10 I lead my first study group. The youngest person in the group was 12."
    • Lorelai's lunkhead Dean impression 
    • Rory reporting that the gazebo seems structurally sound
    • The look on Kirk's face when Lorelai takes his megaphone
    • Jackson shouting, "I mean it! I'm moving in!
  • There were also a lot of great shots, particularly Rory and Dean turning and storming off at the same time and Luke sitting next to the tiny brides. 
  • Jared Padalecki is the best he's ever been here. While the conflict between Dean and Rory isn't that interesting, it does feel natural and clear, much more natural and clear than say their fight about The Donna Reid Show.
  • The conflict and resolution between Lorelai and Emily is really smart and really strong, largely because of the performances, which are flawless in both the fight scene and the makeup scene. However, the story construction deserves some credit too. I love that Lorelai creates a self-fulfilling prophecy by postponing her announcement, which creates exactly the reaction she dreaded in the first place. As awful as Emily can sometimes be, it's important to remember that she's not the only flawed person in this relationship. 
The Bad:
  • The central plot, the engagement, still doesn't carry any weight, and I can't take something seriously that characters on screen aren't taking seriously. There wasn't a lot of Max in this episode and he wasn't used very well when he was on screen. He felt completely tacked onto the date scene. I know the focus here was on Emily and Lorelai, but he didn't contribute anything, which made his presence strangely counter-productive in terms of showcases his importance as a character. 
  • In the various engagement party scenes, when the camera pans around the crowd, I'm more interested in Rory and Dean's relationship, Rory and Lane's relationship, Jackson and Sookie's Relationship, Lorelai and Sookie's relationship, and Lorelai and Luke's relationship than I am in Lorelai and Max's relationship. That's a problem. 
  • I like, and completely relate to, Rory's Harvard freakout. However, I find it slightly implausible that having attended a prep school for a year and having grandparents who went to an Ivy League, she wouldn't have already understood the importance of extra-curricular activities. 
  • On a similar plausibility-problem note, how did Sookie think she was going to keep Lorelai out of the kitchen all day?

Favorite Moment:
The final scene, particularly Kelly Bishop's incredibly vulnerable delivery of the line, "That's what I wore." The images for my episode reviews and quickly becoming a series of Kelly Bishop headshots. 

The Bottom Line:
Here's all that good season opener energy that was missing from "Sadie, Sadie"! A superb episode filled with great shots and images and many, many wonderful comedic and emotional moments, only brought down by a few plausibility problems and the fact that I'm not invested in the upcoming marriage at all. However, the fact that I loved this episode despite not caring, even a little, about the upcoming marriage is almost a strange testimonial to how good this episode manages to be on its own. 

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