Back in the Saddle Again
Season 2, Episode 18
Original airing: April 23, 2002
My Rating: 51
I thought the Chilton storyline was an interesting continuation of Richard’s season arc. His retirement is not treating him well and it was good to see Emily point that out. He does seem lost and it’s nice to see him getting back on track with something he can sink his teeth in to. It was great fun having him working on the project with equally-invested Paris.
Madeline and Louise were a delight, as usual. Their silly back ground antics and looks of shared dismay were right on point. And Brad’s return was very good. Coming back to face his fear of Paris and the other intense kids at Chilton will hopefully result in more great moments, such as this week’s robot exchange.
I also enjoyed Sookie’s wedding invitation debacle. Deadlines are starting to approach and the regularly scattered Sookie doesn’t handle setbacks very well.
Michel’s mom coming to visit was particularly enjoyable. The two of them are truly peas in a pod and each scene of Michel and his mother lovingly sniping at each other was delightful.
Dean continues to disappoint as his personality is once again dictated by the needs of the story. Suddenly, he has become extremely needy and clingy. This is a pretty new development and comes across as quite excessive. Rory is obviously extremely turned off by his behavior, and I can’t blame him. He left fourteen phone messages in an hour? He won’t stop coming by her house just on the off chance that she’ll be home? This is legitimate stalker behavior and it’s not ok. It’s extremely painful to watch.
As Dean is recreated every week in to the person that episode needs him to be, I find myself less and less invested in him and his relationship with Rory. I’m ready for her to move on from him and start dating Jess. I think the show is trying to create sympathy for Dean and the apparent ending of his relationship, but all they’ve managed to do is drive me away as a viewer.
It also makes me question again and again Lorelai’s insistence that Dean is still the perfect boyfriend for Rory. She hasn’t been present for any of his anger explosions (that I can remember), but it’s quite clear that Rory is not happy with the current standing of things. And I think Lorelai has definitely picked up on Rory’s attraction to Jess, even though I still don’t think Rory is completely aware of it herself. It’s difficult to understand why Lorelai is still pushing for Dean and Rory when it seems blindingly obvious that her daughter is unhappy.
Finally, I was really disappointed in Lane’s scene. We haven’t seen her in four episodes and all she gets is a joke monologue. I want more Lane.
The physical comedy of Sookie flinging meringue across the kitchen when her wedding invitations arrived was fantastic. It was unexpected and exuberant and the large glob that landed on her shoulder was the cherry on top. I laughed out loud.
The Bottom Line:
This isn’t really a bad episode, but it’s not terribly engaging. The Chilton storyline was the best stuff but it’s painfully overshadowed by the ongoing terrible Dean usage.