Monday, December 7, 2015

Podcast #60 - S3E13 - Dear Emily and Richard

Hello! Welcome to Return to Stars Hollow - a spoiler-free, retrospective podcast about Gilmore Girls! This is the podcast for Season 3, Episode 13 - Dear Emily and Richard.

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The next podcast will post on Monday, December 14, 2015 for S3E14 - Swan Song.


  1. This comment is a little late about Dear Emily and Richard.

    I remember initeally really liking this episode, despite young Lorelai's acting. This time, I found myself distracted through a lot of the episode. I know it's in a different part of the country, and in a different time period, but there were a lot of inaccuracies in the hospital (both with flashback Lorelai and Sheri). You don't go to the hospital when you first start having contractions, you don't get wheeled into the delivery room if your contractions are still weak enough that you can have a conversation as Lorelai did. Sheri doesn't seem to be in labor much, unless her water broke, in which case she would not have been allowed out of bed - not to squat, and definitely not to jog in place. I hadn't seen this episode in a long while, and recently having a baby has changed my perspective of it.

    I don't think Lorelai was being at all selfish by leaving her parents' house after having Rory, as some have suggested. Both of her parents still seemed to treat her as a child herself instead of as a mother. If she were actually selfish, she would have left Rory there at her parents' and disappeared. I've known girls much older than she who did just that. They wanted their lives back the way they had been before a baby. Lorelai wanted to be Rory's mom and to raise her in her own way. I feel bad for Emily and Richard, because I know that must have hurt their feelings and it must have been devastating to not be able to see their daughter and granddaughter. But if Lorelai wanted the freedom to be a mother to Rory, I don't know what else she could have done. If she had told her parents where she was going, they (especially Emily) would never have left her alone. I wish we knew how long it was before Lorelai told them she and Rory were okay and settled somewhere.

  2. I enjoy this episode, but I'm also annoyed by a lot of the Rory and Jess stuff. It's a problem that we haven't seen them together in the last few episodes. They mostly skip over the - presumably - happy times and show us the conflicts instead. That makes some sense, because that's more interesting most of the time, but I would have liked to see more of how this relationship developed over the last few weeks. There were much more scenes of Rory and Dean just hanging out or meeting up, even in episodes that weren't mainly about them.
    Jess' and Rory's main problem here is that they don't really trust each other and that's a pretty big one. In the beginning it's Jess who's suspicious, again questioning Rory in his weirdly controlling, passive-aggressive way what she was doing with Dean. And later Rory immediately assumes that Jess got into a fight with Dean, that must have been his fault because Dean is so great and wouldn't do that, and doesn't believe Jess when he denies it. Sure, Jess isn't helping by refusing to say anything on the black eye but he's still pretending to be the bad boy, cool guy and he's embarrassed, so I can see where he's coming from. Luke's reaction, despite being hilarious, is certainly not helping either. What Rory should really be questioning in the end though is where Jess found a buddy to play football with in Stars Hollow.

    I love Emily in this episode. She really is a saint towards Jess and Rory which is rather surprising. I love the moment when she then explodes at Lorelai and blames her for "letting" Rory date this hoodlum. Of course that would be Lorelai's responsibility in Emily's mind.
    I don't think Jess behaves that terribly towards Emily at first though. It's Rory's fault that the situation escalates because she won't stop questiong him and picking a fight in front of Emily while later blaming Jess for everything. Ok, so maybe I'm mostly annoyed with Rory here.

    I love Luke's scenes with Jess. Of course he knows what dating a Gilmore would entail. And he has memorized Lorelai's entire wardrobe. But no, he's not in love with her, Luke is just the type of person who would remember this about his regular customers.

    This episode really makes me wish there was a scene between Jess and Michel. That would be interesting and they could bond over their experience with vicious swan boybands.

    1. I'm sorry, I have more. I know I already rambled a lot about how annoyed I am, but I thought about it some more and I think I figured out why this bothers me so much. It's not that characters aren't allowed to make mistakes or only act a certain way. But oftentimes on this show, when Lorelai or Rory act in an annoying/irritating/rude/... way, nobody calls them out on it or challenges that behaviour. I think this episode is a pretty good example of that. There's Jess, who acts a certain way, Luke tells him what's what, and he acts in a slightly different way at the end. Rory meanwhile realizes that she should trust Jess and she wants to but she doesn't. It remains to be seen if that changes. But when Jess tells her at the end that he would have doubted himself, too, it gives me the impression that Rory's behaviour was right or justified. Nobody points out for example that Jess had one shot at making a not completely terrible first impression on Emily, which he only did because Rory wanted him to, and then she basically ruins that because she can't wait to confront him until they're out of the house. It reminds me a little of the Thanksgiving dinner where Lorelai made a scene in front of the guests over Rory applying to Yale. But at least there, even Lorelai herself acknowledged that that was insane.

      And I also like the last scene a lot and how they handle the idea of Rory having sex. It's different from a lot of other shows. I wasn't really surpised by Lorelai's reaction though. I think she's still a little freaked out about Rory growing up and making her own decisions and everything that comes with that. And even though I don't think Lorelai really believes Rory will get pregnant, she knows very well that that is a possibility. Also, she just really doesn't like Jess. She might have been more fine with it had it been Dean, but as you already pointed out on the podcast, that thought never crossed anyone's mind when they were together.

  3. Dean’s pleasant nature in this episode feels like the show has amnesia about who he used to be. Ironically, I think Jared Padalecki’s improved acting is partially to blame. Early-series Dean was rather stilted, mostly because Jared’s acting was that way. Current Dean is more relaxed and reasonable, and it seems like Jared is finally settling into the “Dean is great” character we’ve heard so much about. However, it’s late enough that it comes off like a radical personality shift. And, once again, it’s seemingly a case of the writers changing who he is so he can be a dramatic contrast to Jess.

    I’m baffled as to how Rory believed Jess’ football story, since two of the things he hates most are sports and people. But I’d argue that he chose it because athletic injury is something that would happen to Dean, someone who had the kind of success as “Rory’s boyfriend” that Jess now wants, also. Plus, getting attacked by a traditionally soft, gentle bird is a threat to his masculinity. Jess still has a hard time being vulnerable and it’s too bad, because patient and gentle Rory would be the perfect sounding board for him.

    I wasn’t sure why Lorelai seemed so thrown off about Rory considering sex. The girls have such a strong relationship that it seemed like the perfect time for her to make sure Rory was feeling happy and safe about whatever might happen. Maybe Lorelai is planning to do all of that the next time they talk, but why wouldn’t you take every opportunity to address any concerns? That being said, the final shot is such a knockout. It made me think about how we can have all the support from people who love us, but there are certain life changes that we have to go through alone.