Monday, February 15, 2016

Podcast #69 - S3E21 - Here Comes the Son

Hello! Welcome to Return to Stars Hollow - a spoiler-free, retrospective podcast about Gilmore Girls! This is the podcast for Season 3, Episode 21 - Here Comes the Son.

You can direct download the episode here: S3E21 Podcast

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The next podcast will post on Monday, February 22, 2016 for S3E22 - Those Are Strings, Pinocchio.


  1. This is another one of my favourite episodes of Gilmore Girls, it's got everything I love about this show. I have a few nitpicks here and there but nothing really bothers me And there are no scenes here that I don't enjoy and a lot that I love.

    I'm still unclear about the money situation, especially after you pointed out that they have to pay for the Europe trip, too, which somehow I never thought much about. I'm not convinced that the show knows exactly what it's doing here either, but it bothered me more last episode. I understand why they don't mention any concrete numbers, but it's very confusing overall. How much is Chilton? Yale? The Inn? How much of the 75.000 is left? I just go with it now and so the solution Rory comes up with works for me and everyone gets what they want. But damn, how lucky is that girl to have rich grandparents? I like that she doesn't want to take the money as a gift though and is very specific about how and when she's going to pay them back.

    The call between Lorelai and her parents about the car is a little surprising. I wouldn't have expected Lorelai to be fine with such a huge gift, even if it is for Rory. Richard and Emily's reaction when they hear that it's technically a great gift for Lorelai, too, is also a little weird. It seems like that's one of the last things they wanted.

    Rory's speech always makes me cry. It's so great. Although from a realistic standpoint, I don't know how these things go in the US, but it's a little weird that she talks this much about herself and the people close to her at the beginning, no?
    They could have done a simple retread of Lorelai's graduation with the proud parent looking on, but I like that they undercut that here with their cute stupid faces. Though by the fifth time Lorelai does it, it is too much.

    The scene between Luke and Lorelai after the graduation is really awkward because the will they/won't they has been on the backburner for a while now. Luke is happy with Nicole and Lorelai had the stuff with Max and Alex. Which reminds me, poor Alex was just completely dropped. He wasn't even worth a line about how they're not seeing each other anymore. There haven't been any meaningful flirty moments between Luke and Lorelai in a while so when he asks her if there's any reason he shouldn't go on the cruise it just seems randomly shoved in there.
    I like that we get a little throwback to the season premiere with Luke's dream. It doesn't really work though because it's placed right in the middle of the continuing Rory and Lorelai scenes so that jump to Luke's is very jarring. I think it would have worked better had it come earlier in the episode and that way, his question to Lorelai wouldn't seem quite so out of the blue, too.

    I love that Jess called as promised, even if he couldn't say anything, and I love what Rory tells him. I'm excited to go into next season with Rory not involved with any guy. We haven't seen that since the very beginning of the show, but now she's set to get over Jess and is apparently fine with the idea of Dean getting married. I'm looking forward to that.

    Oh, and about the Wizard of Oz, I roughly know the story but I have actually never seen the movie. I started once but I have this thing about people in old-timey costumes (I don't know how to say that better). So the munchkins really freaked me out and by the time the tin man appeared, I was out.

  2. As for the season as a whole:
    I didn't realize before this rewatch that Lorelai doesn't have a real overarching storyline for much of the season. She's mostly dealing with whatever random thing the episode throws at her, Stars Hollow moms, crazy neighbours, Jon Hamm. Then there were Alex and Max and there wasn't really anything more impactful until the Independence Inn burned down and Fran died and she had the fight with Emily. Now that they've got the Dragonfly, I assume she will have more of an arc next season instead off bumbling around for this long. I sure hope so.

    I also think they kind of mishandled the Jess stuff, at least in how they structured it. They knew, I assume, pretty early in the season that they wanted to get him out of town but they also wanted him to be with Rory. So he had to be great with her so the audience would root for them, as well as this big screw up who would leave town. And I do believe both of those things are in him, but they didn't do a very good job overall integrating and developing that. It also makes the character look like a total idiot. Basically since coming to town he wanted to get with Rory and I loved him in that period, but when they finally got together over a season later he turned around almost immediately and treated her terribly. They also did the Dean thing with him (pulled a Dean? We need a verb) where he was kind of flip flopping around depending on what the story needed him to be. So one week he would lie to Rory and not call her and the next, everything would be going great - offscreen - so Jess could tease Luke about Nicole. I think the problem here was mostly that there just wasn't enough time left to let this progress in a more organic way before everything came together and then blew up in Keg!Max!

    From Rory's perspective I loved this storyline though. The girl with the "perfect" boyfriend falls in love with the bad boy and he hurts her. In the end, maybe everyone who warned her about him was right? That's great stuff.

  3. Rory getting the valedictorian position and making her speech so centered around her own family is, I'm assuming, very manufactured for TV, but in this case I don't mind, because I enjoyed her speech so much. It never fails to make me cry especially when we see her family and friends' reactions. I loved that Luke came to the graduation and he and Lorelai standing together with her afterwards makes them look like a little family, which is fine by me. Christopher who? I love that Paris' nanny and her children come to watch, that was so cute. Bonus points for Brad singing his graduation speech. It's so weird that we aren't going to be seeing Chilton and its students anymore. After all, Rory getting accepted was the catalyst for all the events of the series and the image of her in her blue uniform has become such a quintessential element of the show.

    I'm excited going into the next season, especially as this episode was setting up a lot of exciting things; Rory's going to Yale, Lorelai and Sookie are beginning work on the Dragonfly, Friday night dinners are back and the long talked about Europe trip is finally going ahead. I'm also interested to see Rory without a boyfriend going into the next season. Since she met Dean way back in the pilot and then Jess came along in early season 2, it'll be interesting to see her be single. On rewatching this season, it has surprised me how little time Rory and Jess were actually together, and a lot of what we saw from them was far from perfect. I always remembered them as having a much longer, happier relationship. I like Rory's speech to him, though it was sad it didn't work out even though she said she loved him. We know it's a big deal for her to get to that point. Star Crossed Lovers and Other Strangers anyone?

    I've given up trying to work out the money issue by this stage. Do they have some left over from paying back the grandparents? Again I'm surprised that they never consider putting off the Europe trip especially when Rory says she'll skimp. I did like her going to Emily and Richard and Richard's deal is fair. I'm looking forward to seeing Friday night dinners again, especially with how excited the grandparents looked at reinstating them.

    I'm a little sad we never got to see the Stars Hollow prom and even though Lane had a huge bag of pictures, we didn't even get to see one! After all the drama with Dave, I would have liked to see them together, even if Rory didn't get to go.

    Finally, random point but the town meeting was funny and Kirk's totally serious suggestion of 'Not guns...wolves' to solve the deer problem was hilarious. It was nice to see most of the town in the season finale.

  4. I agree with the previous commenters: I've thrown up my hands on the money issue, since even the show doesn't seem to know how much Lorelai has at any given moment. It does lead to one of the more self-aware moments for Lorelai: "just once, I want for you to get what you want, and me to get what I want, and them to get NOTHING." At least she's owning her selfishness.

    I was distracted during the scene at the Independence Inn by Mia's absence. Where is she? It was almost funny seeing her son's reaction to Lorelai; she's ready to start reminiscing about how important the Inn was to her life, and he's just not interested. When someone would rather talk to insurance adjusters than listen to you, they REALLY don't like you.

    This episode also demonstrates that rule of TV where characters get away with doing things that in real life would be considered abominably rude. Lorelai and Rory start the episode by: plowing over the troubadour, dumping their backpacks in the middle of the diner, threatening to take off their hiking boots in the diner, and then leaving their backpacks behind for Luke to deal with. Then you've got Sookie crawling over people at graduation (though at least she acknowledges she's being inconsiderate), and Rory opening her graduation speech by telling everyone how awesome her family is. Yuck. Brad's speech was hilariously awful, but at least it was focused in the right place.

    Lorelai's bit at the end about wanting to carve their initials in the wall really rubbed me the wrong way. If Paris and Madeline and Louise had suggested doing this with Rory, I would have viewed it as a cute (albeit destructive) way of them commemorating their time together. But Lorelai says that the two of them need to show Chilton that "WE were here." There is no "we"! Lorelai didn't go to Chilton! Rory's high school years are her experience alone and I find it more than a little weird to hear Lorelai trying to absorb her daughter's life this way. Lorelai's exposure to Chilton was no more pervasive than Richard's; if Lorelai wanted to commemorate her experience of being a Chilton parent, she could have carved her initials in the Gilmores' dining room table.

    Favorite moment of the episode: the look on Richard's face during the graduation. The English language lacks a precise word for that emotion; fortunately, there's a Yiddish word, "nachas" (pronounced with a hard CH) which means "overwhelming joy and pride in the accomplishments of your children or grandchildren." Richard's got such nachas in Rory, and Edward Herrmann is awesome.