Monday, June 15, 2015

Podcast #40 - S2E18 - Back in the Saddle Again

Hello! Welcome to Return to Stars Hollow - a spoiler-free, retrospective podcast about Gilmore Girls! This is the podcast for Season 2, Episode 18 - Back in the Saddle Again.

You can direct download the episode here: S2E18 - Back in the Saddle Again

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The next podcast will post on Monday, June 22, 2015 for Season 2, Episode 19 - Teach Me Tonight.


  1. I like the moment where Lorelai stands outside the hospital deciding: "should I get myself some coffee and calm down while Rory's getting another x-ray? I really should...Nope. To hell with that, I'm going to go lose my damn mind." It's really good acting.

    But Lorelai is making a conscious decision to lose it; at this point, she knows Rory is going to be just fine -- and there's no way she'd leave Rory at the hospital if she didn't know that. It's normal for Lorelai to be freaked out that Rory got hurt. It's completely in character.

    But wow, she is COLD to Luke during that fight. Lorelai actually doesn't know what's become of Jess --- Rory just says he's ok and called her the ambulance, but for all they know, Jess collapsed in a ditch right after Rory left. When Luke is asking Lorelai about it, she makes it very clear she doesn't give a damn. Then she rants about Luke not fulfilling his responsibilities to Rory and the town, and honestly, there's nothing more hurtful you could say to Luke Danes than saying he's not living up to his obligations. Combine all these things and the message is very clear: "my flesh and blood matters, yours does not. You have to care about Rory, but I don't have to care about Jess." (Telling Luke Danes that his family doesn't matter is probably the second-most hurtful thing you could say. This episode actually fits quite well with "Dead Uncles" because that episode was all about Luke feeling obligated to do things for his family -- it's his core principle.)

    Lorelai's freakout would be more forgivable if she had just flown off the handle before she saw Rory -- but this way, you get the impression that she had been wanting to yell at Luke about Jess for awhile, and she grabs the opportunity with both hands. It's painful to watch, but in character, and a great scene.

    Favorite moment of the episode: when Luke finds Jess on the bridge. Is this the first time we've seen Jess smoking since he moved there? I assume it's a stress-relief thing because he's freaked out about hurting Rory. They sit on the bridge (wearing matching jackets), both clearly upset, and they don't need to say much. On a talky show, the silences matter.

    Close runner-up: Kirk's movie.

  2. Hey guys. It's been awhile, but I had to leave some feedback for this episode, because it's one of my favorites. I credit Teach Me Tonight with being the episode that really launched me into becoming a full-fledged, hardcore, Gilmore Girls fan. It has so many great moments.

    First, I have to sing my voluminous praises to Lauren Graham once again. In that one phone call scene, she transitions from goofy Lorelai organizing takeout menus to freaked out mother who just learned her kid is in the hospital so effortlessly, I'm always just in awe of that scene. Also, that completely silent scene when she walks into the hall while Rory is getting X-rays and mentally decides she's going to find Jess, the gradual shift in facial expression is a work of art. While the big fight with Lorelai and Luke is sad for any fan of their relationship, it's so well done in terms of acting. It sort of reminds me of the Lorelai/Emily fight after Rory's dance last season. It's just as powerful. Right down to the moment where Lorelai sees Rory's smashed car and bursts into tears. Really, Lorelai's entire arc this episode is fantastic and Graham portrays it perfectly.

    The scene with Luke and Jess at the pond after the accident was a really sweet Uncle/Nephew moment. Despite Jess' rebellious attitude, Luke genuinely cares about his nephew and believes he has the potential to be a good kid, even if no one else believes it. That fact really shines through in that moment.

    Luke asking Rory to tutor Jess is adorable and awkward. It has been shown before, but again, in that moment, you can tell Luke has a great deal of respect for Rory. That fact makes the events to follow this scene all the more tragic.

    Rory and Jess' conversation in the car is sweet and reminds me of why I love them together. Rory, like Luke, believes Jess has more to offer than he lets on, and she doesn't let him off the hook when he jumps into self-pity mode. What's great is that you can tell he respects her for it. Love them.

    This is one of the few episodes in which I actually like Christopher. He comes through for the girls, and the talk he has with Lorelai in the kitchen is a sweet moment. It's nice to see him stepping up as a father.

    Other thoughts:
    -Kirk's film. I'm not sure there are really words for my feelings on that.
    -Stealing baseballs. Haha. Oh, Jess.
    -"Since I just ate half a bag of marshmallows, 6 pop tarts, 4 bagel dogs and a really stale cheezenip, yep, it's brownie time." Used to have that monologue memorized, and quoted it all the time. Haha
    -Jackson singing to his fruit.
    -Also, for the record, the Yearling is a horrible movie. I watched it specifically because of this episode, and it was the most depressing movie I have ever seen. Literally any other movie in that list would have been better. I couldn't even make it all the way through.

  3. Also, since I mentioned the Rory's Dance fight, here's a clip I found of Lauren Graham reenacting part of that memorable scene on an episode of Watch What Happens Live. Obviously they're not taking it seriously, but just her reciting the dialogue brings back all the memories of that scene.

  4. I get torn between my appreciation for the attempt at realism and just bored of the ongoing tension between Rory, Dean, and Jess. I know in real life things are less soap opera-like and more of a slow burn, but this feels like it's dragging for me. Because of my current life crazy (kids on summer break, y'all) I can't binge watch but it's so tempting just to get past this slog.

    Elements of this season I'm interested in: Jess and Rory, Luke and Lorelai, Emily and Lorelai.
    Things I'm not interested in: Everything else.

    Maybe the current trend of well-planned out seasons of TV have really spoiled me, but it feels to me like the writing team either had no idea where they planned to take these characters, or they were just filling in the 22 episode season with padding because the story they wanted to tell wasn't complex enough.

    I think my favorite part of Teach Me Tonight was Christopher's inclusion, and his obvious deflection whenever Sherry is mentioned. I'm assuming next episode we will find out that they have broken up. Also, Christopher and Lorelai have so much history and it is very well communicated in their scenes together. (I forgot to mention this ages ago, but you guys mentioned that Sherry/Journey was a reference, but the song Oh Sherry was actually sung by Steve Perry after he left Journey! Minor quibble.)

  5. There is some excellent flirting and intensly looking at each other going on between Jess and Rory here, so that's great. I still find Jess's magic tricks highly amusing. I also can't really picture Rory as a foreign correspondent but Jess' offer to scream at her in foreign languages is great. I like that it's explicitly Rory's decision to keep driving. She has the opportunity to stop this but chooses not to, which seems to be a step further than what we've seen in previous episodes where it was more Jess forcing certain situations and Rory going along with it.

    I don't even know what that little discussion is that Rory and Lorelai have about Dean. Rory should just not be doing anything Dean wouldn't be fine with? Because sure, that sounds like a healthy relationship.
    Are we all convinced that Dean would have kept driving straight ahead and ran over the animal? (Yes, I am ignoring that that's probably what you're supposed to do in most cases)

    Lorelai is really unlikable in her fight with Luke and I'm totally on his side in everything he's saying. It'll be interesting to see in future episodes or when they're talking to each other for the next time, if the show makes it clear that Lorelai was wrong or if it agrees with her behaviour. We've seen them fight before, like when Jess arrived, and they somehow didn't acknowledge that Lorelai wasn't right in her position.

    I'm not sure I believe that Lorelai would leave the hospital to search for Jess and scream at him when she's so concerned about Rory, even though her injuries are not that bad. That's her whole point for the rest of the episode, how Rory was hurt, so would she really leave her even if there's nothing she could do for her in the moment?

    I love the moment between Luke and Jess at the bridge and especially Jess' little voice when he says he made sure Rory was okay.

    I like that Lorelai and Christopher's fight is still an issue here and how they resolve it at the end. It makes sense that Rory getting into an accident would be something that brings them back together. It's nice to see Chris in full dad mode. His comment about Stars Hollow being one big outpatient mental instituion is perfect.

    We'll see if I add anything to my list of least favourite Dean episodes. But I'm much clearer on my favourite Kirk stories and if I'm not completely forgetting something right now, A Film by Kirk is my most favourite thing Kirk has ever done or will ever do (spoiler on my personal preferences?).

    Is it plausible that Stars Hollow has its own hospital? Maybe this is going to be like Sunnydale and it'll keep magically growing until they have their own airport by season 7?

    I like how serious the principal is about the tennis balls. Very different results.

    And on a completley unrelated note: I don't think learning english is that hard, compared to other languages. But then, I'd also say I wouldn't want to learn my own motherlanguage (german), so maybe everyone think's that? (Now, please don't tell me my english is terrible)

  6. Well I note no one has mentioned ... JESS IS GONE !!! OMG ... 50% of the eye candy left on a bus.
    Most of my other points are covered in the other comments above so will not repeat ....
    But did anyone else spot how bad the actor playing Jess was this week at pretending to drive a car. Although I loved the conversion I was distracted by how obvious is was they were in a static stage with a blue screen scenery going on behind...

    Lorerlia's rant at Luke
    Jess and Rory's car conversation
    A film by Kirk .... My happy thing this week

    Also was sad this week ; watched Perception after its mid season break and Edward was there in one of his last roles, playing a character much like Richard Gilmore !!