Monday, July 13, 2015

Podcast #44 - S2E22 - I Can't Get Started

Hello! Welcome to Return to Stars Hollow - a spoiler-free, retrospective podcast about Gilmore Girls! This is the podcast for Season 2, Episode 22 - I Can't Get Started. 

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The next podcast will post on Monday, July 20, 2015. We'll be recapping all of Season 2 - the best and the worst!


  1. I guess I'm the only one, but I do like Christopher and Lorelai together. I think they have good chemistry, and I almost think the reason that things weren't working out between him and Lorelai was because she had that awful speech to him and he thought maybe there would be a chance for the two of them.

    1. Sorry, I meant things weren't working out between him and SHERRY. Kids were climbing on me and I got distracted.

  2. For those watching via Netflix and not on DVD, here's a link to a deleted scene from the season 2 finale. Fun to watch for the sake of an extra feature, but it's really kind of a bizarre scene and I'm really glad it didn't end up in the final episode cut.

  3. Since there was so much discussion of him in the last podcast, here's my Grand Unified Theory of Christopher: he's impulsive, unable to handle complicated situations, and therefore he's an "all or nothing" kind of guy. Examples:

    -- when Lorelai got pregnant, he was ready to marry her and raise Rory. Lorelai nixes the idea and he flies the coop --- he doesn't continue the relationship with her (which might have led to marriage as they grew up) and is a very absent father.

    -- when we first see him in season 1, he comes back for a visit and the minute he and Lorelai have sex, he's proposing marriage. She again turns him down, he again leaves town and apparently hooks up with Sherry --- even though, again, if he had tried to develop a relationship with Lorelai more gradually, it might have led somewhere.

    -- in season 2, he's with Sherry. So when Lorelai puts the moves on, he rejects her rather than dumping Sherry and trying to work things out with Lorelai.

    --when he and Lorelai hook up in "I can't get started," he's fully invested in starting that relationship and joining the family, immediately. (I personally think that Chris thought he and Sherry were broken up in all but name by the time he sleeps with Lorelai.)

    -- he was an absentee father for years, but once he gets started on coparenting, he's calling every week and showing up when Rory gets her cast removed.

    --Therefore, it makes sense to me that when Sherry gets pregnant, he views this as an "all or nothing" proposition. For him, if he's not with his child's mother, he's not there at all (because that's how he was with Rory). Trying to parent the baby while staying with Lorelai would undoubtedly be complicated, but Christopher cannot handle complicated.

    Chris is kind of a sad figure because he has so little belief in himself; he thinks that being with Lorelai means he would automatically neglect Future Baby. And I think he truly feels guilty for being such a rotten father to Rory and doesn't want to repeat that mistake. He wants to see himself as a Guy Who Does the Right Thing for Once in His Life, and here's his chance to do it, regardless of whether it will actually make him happy.

    Lorelai is a very different personality; she distrusts easy solutions and needs time to make decisions, but she can roll with the punches. It's no wonder she and Christopher have never been able to work it out, their timing never matches up.

  4. One of the running puzzles of the first two seasons is, who is Dean? Is he the smart cool guy who reads books, or is he a dunce? Here's my Theory of Why Dean Became a Lunkhead: he was always a lunkhead, he just pretended to be something else to attract Rory.

    Before he officially meets her in the pilot, he's seen her around school, so he probably knows that she's the pretty girl who reads a lot of books, gets good grades, and listens to cool music with Lane Kim.

    Since Dean is a 16 year old boy (and therefore makes dumb teenager decisions), he decides that the way to impress the pretty girl is to read a couple of books and pretend he likes the same music. It actually works for awhile, but of course he can't keep up the pretense and it becomes obvious, to the audience at least, that he's just not that guy. He likes sports and working on cars and doesn't read that much, and there's nothing wrong with that --- it just means he's not compatible with Rory.

    Related to this: I think Lorelai thinks Dean is so terrific is because she's not around for the conversations where the audience sees him being a jerk. Rory tells her, "Dean's going to the dance with me," but maybe doesn't tell her that Dean initially turned her down. I think Rory knows that her mother likes Dean, so she instinctively presents him in the best possible light because she wants to protect him and wants Lorelai to be happy. And then it becomes a feedback loop where Rory starts to feel like she shouldn't tell Lorelai the negative things. (I really want to know if Rory told her mother what happened when Dean came over with the ice cream and found Jess and Paris there --- I'm betting that Rory made it sound a lot pleasanter than it was.)

    I like this explanation because I find it interesting when people accidentally get the wrong impression --- I don't think Rory has ever deliberately lied about Dean's behavior, but Lorelai has a mental picture of him that is very different from what the audience sees. This is more interesting to me than attributing it to crappy writing or acting.

  5. A propos deleted scenes, here's one from There's the Rub that I wanted to mention earlier but then forgot:
    (It's Paris and Rory watching tv) I think it's really interesting that they wrote and filmed this and then decided to take it out. I really like it for the Paris/Rory friendship. Paris notes here that Jess likes Rory and I like that, even though she's terrible with people, Paris is not completely oblivious to what's going on and she sees and understands things.
    I'd like to know if they took this out simply for time or if there were other reasons. I think it makes a lot of sense to not have this scene. They play with Rory being oblivious to or ignoring the fact that Jess likes her and that maybe she like likes him, too, for so long and they couldn't really do that, or at least it would look really weird, if someone had directly pointed it out to Rory.

    I'd say the fact that Alexis Bledel and Milo Ventimiglia were dating in real life definitely helped with their chemistry, especially compared to her dynamic with Dean which rarely seemed that natural.
    I think any love triangle has a hard time really working if one side has great chemistry while the other has none, which is often the case with Rory and Dean. I'd say most of the audience will just naturally root for the couple that has more chemistry and in this case, it may lead to us being able to ignore some of the jerkier things Jess does, like when he's messing with Dean or inserting himself in this established relationship.
    But this lack of chemistry also maybe works on a story level. Dean is the comfortable, safe option, not only for Lorelai, but also for Rory. There is no great passion, there are no rash decisions or spontanous actions Rory wouldn't normally do. We saw how she reacted after skipping school and going to New York, she declared herself insane.

  6. This series finale is definitely my favorite episode so far in the series. Although I think that ultimately Luke & Lorelai are better suited for each other, I also completely understand the magnetism between Christopher and Lorelai. I myself have a relationship similar to that in my life-- a guy that I dated on and off throughout high school and will sometimes still go back to because our chemistry is so great and we have this history and connection, but the timing is never quite right for us. I feel for Lorelai SO much in this episode. I thought the scene where Chris and Lorelai kiss was so well played by Lauren Graham. The way she moves her hand over her face and neck as she stands up and considers whether or not to sleep with chris is so meaningful. This is so different from her hook up with Chris on the balcony of her parents house. She really is considering how serious this is, and allowing herself to fully give in to being vulnerable and opening herself up to be hurt by Chris, which must be so hard considering how many times she's done this before and been let down. It made the let down at the end so emotional for me. I definitely cried for Lorelai in that moment at sookie's wedding. I loved how at the teaser they're listening to Ella Fitzgerald's song and Lorelai says "its a song about a woman who cant make her relationship work, who's life is full of emptiness, regret and pain" . Then we hear this song again at the very end and suddenly the song seems to perfectly describe Lorelai's situation. I also thought the scene between Rory and Jess was absolutely perfect in delivery and gives me butterflies every time. Team Jess for life.