Monday, February 23, 2015

Podcast #26 - S2E4 - The Road Trip to Harvard

Hello! Welcome to Return to Stars Hollow - a spoiler-free, retrospective podcast about Gilmore Girls! This is the podcast for Season 2, Episode 4 - The Road Trip to Harvard.

You can direct download the episode here: S2E4 - The Road Trip to Harvard

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The next podcast will post on Monday, March 2, 2015 for Season 2, Episode 5 - Nick & Nora/Sid & Nancy.


  1. As with Dean I will try not to let Future!Jess influence my opinion on Present!Jess and I'm not saying if that would be positive or negative.
    For now, I'm excited that he's here. It's an interesting dynamic to have a character in Stars Hollow who is not completely charmed by it and who probably couldn't think of somewhere he would want to be less. He's bringing out new facets in Luke's character as well as Luke and Lorelai's relationship and he seems to be into Rory which should be interesting since we know Dean has some jealousy issues.
    I like that Lorelai tries to bond with Jess when they're on the porch but it doesn't really work for me. Jess was just basically rejected by his parents, who knows where his dad is, his mom shipped him off because she didn't want to deal with him anymore and from what Luke says, Liz doesn't sound like the most reliable person or the best mother, so we don't know exactly what Jess' childhood was like but we can imagine that it probably wasn't the greatest.
    Lorelai on the other hand more or less rejected her parents. She was the one who left them and yes, they never understood her and never agreed on what would be best for her but it's clear that they always wanted the best for her. So when she compares her situation to his or what she assumes about him, it just doesn't really work that well.
    And yes, Jess is incredibly rude to everyone except Rory but given his situation, I can understand that, for now. I think it's funny that he's also a bit dorky, with the "Okeydokey" and the magic trick which maybe you wouldn't expect from this guy.
    Luke pushing Jess in the lake is one of my favourite moments but I feel sorry for that poor book in his back pocket.
    The one thing I really hate though is that Jess steals Rory's book, puts his commentary in there and then gives it back to her as if she's supposed to appreciate that. So apparently I can deal with the surly teenage bad boy behaviour but this attitude is where I draw the line.

    I like the conversation between Rory and Max when she interviews him, they're both very sincere and I think it works as a nice closing to their relationship, assuming we won't be seeing much of Max from here on out.
    I kind of want to read that parking lot piece Rory wrote.

  2. This is my first time through the series, but so far this episode is the only one to give me a definite sense of unease. Jess' arrival shakes up the show in a way that makes this feel like a season premiere. In Stars Hollow, talking is basically currency, so to have Jess show up and say almost nothing was pretty unsettling. I think the actor did a great job though, and I believed right away that Jess could be a real person.

    "Jam Hands": by far my favorite Luke rant to date. What a hilarious masterpiece.

    I'm interested to see where the Jess-and-Rory potential goes. And he writes unprompted commentary in the margins of her copy of his favorite book? He sure knows the way to her heart. Somebody tell Dean to take a third crack at Anna Karenina and start prepping for the cage match.

    1. I agree, the jam hands rant was awesome, and definitely true!

    2. "someone tell Dean to take a third crack at Anna Karenina and start prepping for the cage match"

      omg exactly what i was thinking!

  3. Hmm... Kirk's jobs would be another fun thing to keep track of :)

  4. At the beginning of the episode as Rory and Lorelai drive around aimlessly in their jeep, Lorelai mentions "We're being guided by fate!". Then when Rory leaves the Harvard lecture she's been sitting in on, she shouts (in my favorite moment of the episode) "I love college, I love Harvard, I love fatalism!" at the exact moment Lorelai takes one last look at the wall of valedictorians. Fatalism is basically a philosophy that says events are predetermined and the outcome cannot be changed. I think this ties together the whole picture-- Lorelai thinking about missing out on college, how Rory's existence and being Harvard bound was because lorelai missed out on college, but in a way that doesn't place guilt or regret on Lorelai, but more just pondering about what fate has in store for her next-- leading to her taking steps toward her own Inn later in the episode. I thought it was a great detail that really tied everything together for me.

    Also I have to disagree with you about Lorelai's conversation with Luke. I think its too far off for Lorelai to be thinking about what she's going to do without Rory, since its an entire year away still. I think the feelings she experienced during the Harvard trip (and conversation with Luke) wasn't about "what will my life look like when Rory leaves" but rather "Fate led me to this moment, to this great opportunity to send my daughter to Harvard, even if it came at the expense of this being MY destiny, so what IS my destiny? whats in store for me?"

    Anyway its my first comment but I hope to comment more in the future, I love the podcast and really appreciate your points of view and how in depth you get into the material. I also really like how you both often use two different analyzing points of view: How does this work for the storyline, and how good were the actual scenes and individual moments. There are lots of episodes that the storyline doesn't work at all but has so many great moment-to-moment lines and expressions and humor and I appreciate being able to hold a nuanced opinion that values and critiques both aspects (and can still value one aspect if the other is lacking).