“Richard in Stars Hollow"
Season 2, Episode 12
Original airing: January 29, 2002
My Rating: 62
- Dean's good twin seems to be back to stay. He was charming in this episode and even delivered some great silent reactions.
- Kelly Bishop and Edward Herrmann are both at the top of their games here. Emily's desperate call is definitely a highlight, as is Richard's oblivious way of stating things like, "That's a lot of coffee early in the morning," and then humming to himself.
- Michel was also in full force this episode and very entertaining.
- It's interesting to see Paris come face to face with characters like Luke, Jess, Taylor, and Kirk.
- I like that the show has really committed to showing Richard's movement toward and through retirement. Sometimes the subplots with supporting characters can be really episodic (as is often the case with Lane's subplots), but here they've really taken the time to build Richard's journey piece by piece over the course of the whole season.
- There were some small logical gaps and some bigger ones, and not every moment was executed with the precision that it could have been. For example, how can Gypsy thoroughly check the car several times in one evening? It seems like inspecting it even once would take a few hours.
- Overal the censorship subplot was not very interesting. I had some trouble believing Rory would suggest Kirk move Showgirls to a higher shelf considering it doesn't actually have nudity on the cover (anymore than a lot of movies do), but I had even more trouble understanding how Jess's prank would undermine the censorship campaign. Plus, I don't see how, if Rory had a problem with kids seeing the Showgirls cover, she would approve of them seeing whatever Jess had slipped into the Bambi and Dumbo cases.
- It's interesting to see Richard criticize Lorelai's life and to see Lorelai stand up to him, but his response doesn't really make sense in the context of their argument. The connection between Richard feeling obsolete and Richard being a controlling person just isn't there. Both things are true, but the show fails to connect them in any way.
Emily desperately asks Lorelai to take Richard off her hands for a day
The Bottom Line:
This episodes has some great moments and Edward Herrmann's performance is on point throughout, but the connections and conflicts between characters weren't always as precisely structured as they could have been.