Monday, January 18, 2016

Podcast #65 - S3E18 - Happy Birthday, Baby

Hello! Welcome to Return to Stars Hollow - a spoiler-free, retrospective podcast about Gilmore Girls! This is the podcast for Season 3, Episode 18 - Happy Birthday, Baby.

You can direct download the episode here: S3E18 Podcast

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The next podcast will post on Monday, January 25, 2016 for S3E19 - Keg! Max!


  1. Got something for your "actually" segment, haha! The pizza was not CGI, it was a practical effect. The crust wasn't food (can't recall exactly what it was made out of) but the cheese and sauce were real.

    I also assumed that since Warner Bros owned the copyright to Happy Birthday until recently, that their own shows could use the song for free or at least for substantially less money. I've also read that they had a sliding scale for how much they would charge for it depending on the individual use.

    As for Keg! Max!, I really enjoyed the episode, mostly because it seemed like things were actually happening that were important to the on-going plot. Lane getting drunk and admitting all of those things to her mom will be a game-changer going forward, and Jess and Dean finally throw some punches after they've been threatening to for the past season and a half or so. I do have to wonder how Lindsay feels about all of it though, it probably would be very upsetting to find out your boyfriend got into a fist fight with his ex-girlfriend's current boyfriend.

  2. I enjoyed a lot of this episode, but I feel like it was doing a lot of set up, so I'm interested to see how the next one plays out. Just how is Mrs Kim going to react to that drunken phone call? I don't imagine she will be too pleased, and how will this impact on Lane's future involvement with the band and her plans to go to prom with Dave? How will Lane get rid of Young Chui? How will Luke react when he finds out Jess has flunked school and is Jess telling the principal he can't wait to leave setting up his exit from Stars Hollow? What state is Rory and Jess' relationship in after what happened at the party? So many questions I can't wait to see addressed!

    The scene in the inn with Lorelai, Luke and Nicole was the most awkward thing to watch - even surpassing Rory making small talk with Lindsay - I know that was the whole point, but my God!

    I was excited to see the band's first real performance, even if they can't decide on a name yet. Anything that either Zack or Brian say is hilarious, and it was interesting that we finally saw Dave's patience begin to wane a little. I liked him getting along with Jess at the beginning and I was really looking forward to seeing the four of them go to prom together, but it looks like that mightn't happen now, which is a shame.

    Honestly, I'm kind of surprised that the inevitable fisticuffs between Jess and Dean took so long to come to fruition, they've practically been threatening it since the first time they interacted. Wouldn't it be ironic if Jess ended up with a black eye from fighting Dean like Rory thought he did back in 'Swan Song?' The fight itself looked over the top and obviously choreographed, but I suppose it did its job in 'exploding longstanding animosities' as the Netflix description says! All the Stars Hollow youngsters we were introduced to at the party were really awkward to watch, special mention to the guys discussing Lord of the Rings round the keg, and the girl who yelled 'rock and roll!' at the band. I cringed hard.

    Max seemed rather unhinged in the classroom scene and I wonder if this really is the end of his character. He seemed to be writing himself out with the 'I think we should stay apart and never see each other again.' It would make sense seeing as Rory is leaving Chilton soon, but I did find it funny when they ran into each other almost immediately after. Closure? What closure?

    Finally, was anyone else really surprised by Rory's 'the bastards!' line? It totally caught me off guard. She looks too sweet and innocent to be saying such things!

  3. To start with the important thing: Chin-Chin and Paw-Paw are here! I'm always surprised how long it takes until Michel gets the dogs. It's funny because when you look at him, he doesn't seem like a dog person at all, and he did tell that story about how he was totally not involved in the disappearance of his neighbour's dog (which I found kinda funny but also really dark and horrifying at the time). But then it makes total sense for him to get the chow puppies.

    It pains me to see how afraid Max is of being physically close to Lorelai. She really hurt him. I'm not sure what Lorelai is expecting here. Earlier she says she needs to know what Max is thinking to figure out what she's feeling, but she clearly wants something to happen here. Or is that just her ego? She really doesn't come across very well in this scene and is very inconsiderate of his feelings. Max is making it very clear that he wants and needs to stay away from her and she's literally chasing him around the room until she finally accepts what he's saying. If this is indeed the last we see of Max, I hope he finds a nice woman and can be happy again. I like Max.

    I'm pretty sure I change my mind about the Jess/Rory stuff here a little every time I watch this episode. I enjoy their interactions a lot, especially when he's pouty and she's teasing him and that little moment when he says he doesn't want to talk to anyone else, he doesn't like anyone else, which says a lot. And then it's very sad when it all goes to hell. Mainly I think I just don't want this to happen (but that's probably on me, not necessarily the show) and it would be great if Jess could deal with his problems and talk to Rory, but I can also believe that this is happening, it's not unrealistic or out of character for anyone involved. I'm very curious to hear what you guys and everyone else thinks about this story, and especially the bedroom scene.

    At least Lane and Dave are still awesome, fingers crossed her call to her mother doesn't change that. I wish they hadn't made Young Chui quite this pathetic though. It veers back into the "haha, weird koreans" corner which is never a good corner. And I don't think I believe this is the same guy who dated a girl behind his parents' back because they didn't approve.

    I still weirdly love the principal but boy, he's not very good at his job, is he? I mean, it must be hard to deal with these kids all day and apparently he tried to warn Jess and give him more chances which Jess ignored, but seriously, could he care any less in that scene?

    Is this turndown service a normal thing that is happening? Am I going to the wrong hotels? It seems incredibly awkward.

  4. Jess draws a lot of his self-worth from his ability to be above the school system, and here that system gets the best of him. Buying a crappy car and working a minimum-wage job are flimsy attempts to be self-sufficient, but maybe these strategies worked for him in New York when he was forced to live that way. He’s not equipped to see how those strategies should have changed, once he got a stable home environment. He also hasn’t learned his lesson from “Swan Song,” because his embarrassment and self-loathing are still keeping him from communicating with Rory. She does her best, but there’s only so much support she can offer if he doesn’t want to help himself.

    The fight between Jess and Dean was well-choreographed and felt genuine. I wonder how Lindsay will respond to her boyfriend defending his ex-girlfriend’s honor with all that punching.

    If the show wanted to give Max and Lorelai proper closure, I think the window closed a long time ago. We’ve gotten this far, assuming that Lorelai broke up with him off-screen, and only now do we learn that they both agreed (again, off-screen) that the breakup was best for both of them. Any remaining feelings clearly don’t matter, since we’re left with the same result. Rory is graduating at the end of the season; they have no chance of running into each other any more. Overall, this was a non-story.

  5. Happy Birthday Baby
    I agree with Cordia, the title is a bit weird. No one says "happy birthday baby" in the episode. Is it suppose to be like the audience is saying "happy birthday baby" to Lorelai? Cause that's still creepy.
    The Luke scene with Nicole's parents, was an odd beat. I think it ould have worked better if Luke had mentioned that he was raising Jess. Because the parents say something like he doesn't know hat it's like to raise kids. So if he had said, 'I raise my 17 year old nephew, and it's been a bit of a struggle' and then he goes into his rant. It might have worked better, and the parents might not thought he was so crazy. But ultimately, you're right, Nicole doesn't matter. I don't think Luke really thought about planning another meeting with her parents, in a couple months. Luke is just the kind of guy to assume they will be together cause he doesn't have plans on breaking up with her.
    The pizza joke was overdone. And doesn't even get paid off properly. Insted we get a far shot of a CGI pizza. I also didn't really like Jackson ranting about his vegetables. I totally thought it was appropriate for Rory to go to an actual Pizza maker, someone who makes pizza all day, every day, rather than go to Sookie. But she could have let Sookie in on everything and had her sort of cater the event.
    I hope we do see more with Lorelai's fall out with Emily over the money. For a moment I almost thought that Richard really did give Lorelai the money as a present, didn't tell Emily, only to have it backfire on him. That could have been better actually.

    Keg! Max!

    That's really the title? Ok, moving on. Not sure how I feel about this episode. I like all the stuff with the band and moving along with the Lane/Dave plot. But ugh, do we really need Dean and boring Lindsey? I do love the joke about Luke's butt, but did we need Luke and Nicole to be in this episode? It's not like Luke finds out that Jess isn't graduating? Which I totally forgot about. And it's nice to see that Jess was wrong. I knew there had to be a cutoff for how many days you can miss. In my school it was 10 days each semester.

    I do feel bad for Rory though. Pretty sure this is confirmation that Jess has had sex. He looked like he knew what he was doing. I didn't like fight scene really while I believe it would happen, I just rolled my eyes. Although I do love Dave trying to politely talk to Young Chui and then getting pushed into him.

    Well we finally get some information on what happened with Max. I wish we would have seen his reaction to Lorelai breaking off the wedding. It's been almost 2 full seasons! I feel like this is a bit late. I also don't like Max wandering around his classroom backwards trying to get away from Lorelai. He just seemed really childish. Also if Lorelai is trying to get back with Max, then did we really need that awkward scene in Luke's room? Make up your mind Lorelai!

    I love drunk Lane! Mrs. Kim is not going to be happy! Lastly, Sookie in the kitchen being embarrassed she grabbed Luke's butt was adorable! And this might be the best I've ever seen Melissa McCarthy look, I thought her outfit was really cute. The fact that Luke didn't say anything about her hand on his butt, is great. Apparently Nicole is slacking.

  6. Keg! Max!

    I loved every scene with Lanes band, follow them to the edge of the desert slash The Chops. They all have such great chemistry together and almost any scene with them is full of gems. I especially loved Zach lecturing Brian about his citrus intake as Brian is hunched over with his sandwich that Rory mentioned him having earlier, it was a nice touch.
    I don't believe that Lorelai still has feelings for Max. I believe that she just enjoys the ego boost of knowing somebody is in love with her. She thrives off this knowledge and loves to give the guys who love her little tidbits of affection or encouragement to string them along (cough cough Luke), even though she may never admit it out loud. She doesn't want to rekindle things with Max because she genuinely has feelings for him but because it would feel good to have Max back in her life as a source of flattery and passion directed her way. Its quite cruel to Max and I'm very glad that he put up a boundary and said what he said about her already getting her chance with him. He doesn't deserve that and if Lorelai had continued this any further I would be very upset with her. She was hurt by Max's rebuff not because of her own feelings but becuase she expected Max to be in love with her forever and to always pine after her. Its pretty showing of her personality so I'm glad they included this storyline in the episode, and i think it parallels things happening with her and Luke in this episode as well (like going on and on out how nice Luke's butt is… etc). I'd be lying if I said I didn't see a little bit of this aspect of her personality in myself…. I've got a pattern in my life of being best friends with people who are in love with me because it just feels good to have someone pining after you… and being in love with somebody tends to make you a more loyal and generous friend which doesn't hurt either. I've recently seen the light about how wrong and unfair this is, and I think Lorelai is guilty of this with both Luke and Max.
    The scene with Sookie describing her ill placed hand on Lukes butt has got to me one of my all time favorite scenes. The way she describes it with horror and amusement is so hilarious it makes me wonder why I didn't predict her career taking off sooner.
    Cringe worthy scenes included the girl saying "rock and roll" and the entire scene with Lorelai in Luke & Nicole's hotel room. I was practically screaming at the tv saying "get out of there lorelai!!" it was so awkward. She all but threw a couple of condoms at them when she told them to "have fun" that night.
    Then comes the scene with Jess that completely flips my entire perspective of him. For some reason this time around rewatching the series his borderline rapey scene with Rory hit me especially hard… I think I'm officially not Team Jess anymore. In fact, this retroactively colors my perspective of him across the entire series before now and I don't think I can ever see him the same way again. Not just because of him crossing boundaries with Rory and making her feel unsafe… but because of his entire attitude toward school and life. He really does feel entitled because he thinks he is smarter than others, and he doesn't realize that success in school and life comes from not just natural talent but hard work and good decision making.

    p.s. my name is pronounced like Gina :)

  7. Hi Cordia and Célèste,

    I'm almost caught up with your podcast and just wanted to thank you for "solving" a mystery for me. I used to play computer quest games as a teenager (the 80's...) and the name of the main character in "space quest" (a searies of games that's to computer games, like the equivalent of Frankenstein for horror books) he's this clumsy, dorky person who gets tangeled in all kinds of space adventures. his name is of course Roger wilco:)
    sorry if someone already mentioned this i looked on the blog and didn't find a reference.
    p.s my name is pronunced like Maya :).

    1. there's a "always sounded strange" after the parenthesis....oops