Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Cordia's Review of S2E20 - Help Wanted

Help Wanted
Season 2, Episode 20
Original airing: May 7, 2002

My Rating: 60

The Good:
I really enjoyed seeing Lorelai and Richard’s interactions this week. Lorelai stepped in to help her father and he got to see a whole new side of her. Their interactions in the office were entertaining, to a point. I did get a little annoyed when Richard started to treat Lorelai as an employee. But I do think it fit with Richard’s personality to put himself in charge and be hurt when Lorelai pushed back on his assumptions. It was nice to see them make up at the party and have this not be a two steps forward, ten steps back storyline.

Lane’s discover of her passion for drumming is a good thing. I found it kind of strange in retrospect that she’s never tried playing drums before. I suppose it has to do with starting to be more and more comfortable rebelling against her mother as she gets older. Of course, it only goes so far; it’s extremely cute when she asks Sophie to turn off the lights so she can play in the dark. The best part of this storyline is how natural it feels for Lane to start playing rock and roll. It suits her perfectly.

It was a small scene, but really funny, when Kirk tried to get a job at Sophie’s Music. He’ works everywhere else in town! He probably just assumes he’ll have good references.

I also thought the scene of Lorelai annoying Michel was pretty cute. You can tell he’s planning to never return to that diner ever again.

On Rory’s side of things, I liked her standing up for herself. She’s trying to take responsibility for her part in the accident (it was her car and she chose to let Jess drive it), but no one will let her take ownership of her choices. It was great to see her exert her own agency. She’s a young woman now and she can be held responsible for her actions. She wasn’t driving, but she was part of the situation.

The Bad:
I was really disappointed with how the show handled telling Dean about the accident. I thought the letter was a weird choice and having Dean read it while Rory stood there watching him was extremely awkward. It felt to me like it was intended to be a humorous scene with Dean’s constant “Whats?!” but it fell really flat for me. I would have vastly preferred to see an actual conversation between them where we got to see what Rory chose to tell Dean and what details she chose to hold back.

While I appreciate the touch of having a musician play Sophie (the theme song writer, Carole King!), it didn’t really work well. The character seemed strangely written and it all just felt disjoined. She went from insisting Lane keep her hands to herself to insisting Lane sit down at the drums in four seconds flat. And she caved at the end rather abruptly as well. In the end, I just didn’t feel like Sophie and Lane played off each other very well.

The biggest disappointment in this episode was the general lack of pop. It felt like the whole thing was missing the spark that makes a Gilmore girls episode really engaging throughout. A lot of the humor fizzled for me and the drama surged past too quickly.

Favorite Moment:
I really liked the final scene where Rory and Luke were able to connect on a simple level. After being crushed under the weight of expectation all day by the town, Rory is able to rather simply express herself to Luke and he acknowledges her. It’s nice to see the only two people in town who cared about Jess bonding together.

The Bottom Line:

This wasn’t a bad episode, but it wasn’t great. There were plenty of strong stories, but there were several general things that just didn’t fall in to place.

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