Season 2, Episode 7
Original airing: November 13, 2001
My Rating: 42
I was not a fan of this episode overall. Most of my review will be under The Bad.
I did like Lorelai being pulled in to the school a bit more. Headmaster Charleston makes a good point that she could be more involved with Rory’s education and that everyone has busy schedules. It showcases again that she’s a good mother when she swallows her pride and not only gets involved, but does an excellent job of it.
I wanted to like this episode, but in the end, I found myself irritated and annoyed at the show for pulling shortcuts and tricks I expect from shows with poorer writers. This episode felt incredibly awkward in story, character moments, and physical presentation.
The idea of Rory not being social enough for the school is fine, but the bluntness of the observation by the councilor seemed bizarre. Francie’s immediate devotion to Rory was also strange. Rory doesn’t really do anything except babel in their presence. Why do they find her fascinating? Why do they invite her to join their society after two days? The about face on the opinions of Paris because of Rory’s comments are also too quick. Finally, the staging in all of these scenes was awkward as Paris oh so stealthily lounges two inches from the table. Overall, the plot was rushed and unsupported.
The lead up to the ceremony was very cute with Lorelai warning Rory to be ready, but the ceremony itself was pretty poor. It’s difficult to believe that girls have been sneaking in to the school for decades and never gotten caught. Why is tonight the one Headmaster Charleston chooses to lie in wait with armed security guards?
The biggest problem I have with the “Rory is a loner” plot is how nothing has changed in the end. Of course, it’s great to see Rory stand up for herself amongst this ridiculous situation, but it’s hard to believe that her tirade actually changes Headmaster Charleston’s opinions of her. He’s been on the receiving end of Lorelai and Rory before and never blinked.
I can’t help but wonder about the rest of the girls. Are their academic lives now in jeopardy? Is Paris going to be even more upset with Rory, despite the fact that this is not Rory’s fault? Is this the end of the Puffs and if so will this make Rory’s social standing even worse than when she began?
For our other Gilmore girl, I liked the idea of Lorelai getting involved and found it believable that she would completely take over and stage an excellent event. Unfortunately, the event itself was cheesy and terrible. This was one of the worst moments in terms of TV shortcuts. The other women each get four seconds to walk up and down the runway, then Lorelai and Emily come out and not only walk, but dance and pose in a manner that seems partially prepared and partially spontaneous. And that’s apparently it. The whole fashion show is two minutes long, because the next shot has everyone in the same outfits they were just wearing. This is unbelievably lazy and makes the event feel trite and pointless. It’s disappointing considering this is presented as being a big moment for Lorelai and Emily doing something together. Their smiles are huge and afterwards Emily is smugly proud of Lorelai. As a viewer, I’m just rolling my eyes at the idea of a two minute fashion show being the big fundraising event of the season. It’s another example of the show saying and doing two different things. Everyone goes on and on about how great the fashion show was, but the viewers just saw it was actually pretty sad.
I was really proud of Luke for calling Lorelai out at the end of the episode. Her request is incredibly rude and inappropriate and I’m glad he stood up to her. We’ve seen Luke drop everything in his life in the past to do whatever Lorelai wants or needs him to do. So I liked that at least once he pushed back on her selfish attitude.
The Bottom Line:
Other than Luke standing up to Lorelai, I felt the rest of this episode was a waste. A non-existent problem is presented and resolved in under forty minutes. And I didn’t even feel like the ride was worth the time. If the problem had been unique, interesting, or presented well, I would have been able to enjoy the episode for what it gave me. But as it was, I was quite disappointed.