Thursday, August 25, 2016

Podcast #84 - S4E13 - Nag Hammadi is Where They Found the Gnostic Gospels

Hello! Welcome to Return to Stars Hollow - a spoiler-free, retrospective podcast about Gilmore Girls! This is the podcast for Season 4, Episode 13 - Nag Hammadi is Where They Found the Gnostic Gospels.

You can direct download the episode here: S4E13 Podcast
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The next podcast will post on Thursday, September 15, 2016 for Season 4, Episode 14 - The Incredible Sinking Lorelais.


  1. A little over two years later, here is my origin story.

    Short version: This podcast.

    But the longer story is that I was watching this with you guys, episode by episode, until we got to Keg! Max! Then I watched the rest of season 3 one evening. Then with the dream where Lorelai asks Luke not to get engaged -- and I was like, OMG I need to see these two get together, I can't take it anymore! So over the next two weeks, I binged the show. I would stay awake until 2-3 am every night after my kids went to bed and just went to town on Gilmore Girls. I ended up finishing season 7 when I was sick with a very bad cold and stuck in bed for a couple of days. And it didn't end there, my friends. I finished the show in February of this year, and then I started reading the fan fiction. Oh my. I've read so much Luke and Lorelai fan fiction that I sometimes get confused about what events happened in the show and what is fic! And then!! And then, I started writing my own fan fiction. Yep, I went total Gilmore Girl dork. One of my fics got so popular, it was being recommended on, which I thought was pretty exciting. There is a LOT of Gilmore Girls fic out there, so if anyone wants any recommendations, please find me on Twitter @meags and I will happily point you towards some great ones. I'm not so up on non-Luke and Lorelai pairings, but I do know a few good ones that are Jess/Rory.

    One of the fun things I've learned about the Gilmore Girls fandom from all the fic reading/writing is the interesting ship names. Luke and Lorelai is Java Junkie. Rory and Jess is Literati. Dean and Rory is Narco (ha!!). There's a lot more, but those are the pairings relevant to where we are on the show.

    I just want to thank Celeste and Cordia for starting this podcast. My introduction to Gilmore Girls has had a net positive effect on my life and I'm so grateful. I've met some wonderful fic writers and readers from my interactions there, I've tapped into a hugely creative source that gives me great joy, and I've discovered characters that just make me damned happy. THANK YOU!!!!

  2. Okay, so on the TJ topic. I don't hate the character as a character, but I don't really categorize TJ as a good person. He's not terrible, but he's certainly not someone I would want dating my sister, however eccentric my sister might be. I can see how he's a leg up over the guys Liz has dated previously, but if I were Luke, I would have trouble envisioning having a pleasant relationship with TJ in the future. Yes, the "patriarch gives hand of young woman to man in marriage" thing is problematic, but I feel strongly that this isn't what Luke was doing. All he says is "it's okay with me." This is a phrase sometimes used in giving permission, but not exclusively. If the cafeteria decided to serve grilled cheese with cheddar instead of American, I could say "it's okay with me" even though I obviously have no power over that decision. So I don't see how that warrants judgment on Luke. As far as the "I thought you were like the others but you're not," sure, it's not especially tactful, but I see this as Luke being really straight with TJ and trying to give him a compliment. I would expect a truly quality guy to take the compliment for what it's worth. Is Luke being kind of condescending. Yeah. But he's being honest, and seriously, TJ just spent however long taking over Luke's place and eating and drinking Luke's food. Perhaps it's also a function of how repulsive I find the line "you're a dick," but this line makes me dislike TJ immensely. I don't see it as TJ standing up for himself, but rather as TJ not giving Luke a tiny break, and as being willing to be nasty to Liz's brother despite Luke being (though not perfect) on the whole pretty welcoming of TJ. I do also feel like TJ's being depicted as really stupid. Not necessarily as a bad thing, but definitely not very with it. I'm trying hard not to be biased by my knowledge of future events, but I do agree that TJ is fairly well formed and introduced here - and I'm not fond of him. I don't mind him as a match for Liz, but he's someone I would avoid at gatherings even as I was happy to talk to Liz.

  3. Trivia question: is this the first episode of Gilmore Girls where Rory and Lorelai are never in the same room? It's a high-wire act to separate the two main characters and prevent them from relying on each other, while having parallel storylines. For me, it works about 50%. As in, the Lorelai side of the story is great. The Rory side, not so much.

    Two reasons for this: Lorelai is confronting really serious problems -- I think the most serious things we've ever seen her deal with so far, with her professional future and dreams on the line, topped with a load of humiliation in front of her parents and her boyfriend.

    Rory's problems are rightly smaller in scope but they're also self-inflicted and entirely normal for a college student. (How naive is she, thinking that her roommates will be cool with Lane living there indefinitely? Why does Richard's class schedule from 40 years ago matter to her?)

    When Lorelai breaks down at the end, it's totally earned; when Rory breaks down, it feels like she needs a healthy dose of perspective.

    The second reason: Lorelai breaks down in front of Luke and it's a great character moment for both of them.

    Rory breaks down in front of Dean and I want to throw things. Has Rory made any friends at Yale so far? There's not a single person on that campus she can go to when she has a crappy day? It has to be Dean?

    By making their stories parallel, the writers are inviting us to compare them and Rory's just doesn't measure up. (Also, though I don't often criticize Alexis Bledel's acting -- she does not compare to Lauren Graham's ability to cry on cue.)

    That said, the Lorelai side of the story is great! Terrific acting all around: her fight with Sookie, Jason being terrified of Trix, Lorelai grinning at Emily when Trix goes off on a rant, Emily sending the maid back to the kitchen so Richard can finish yelling at Trix, Emily standing up for Lorelai when Trix says she's failing.

    And there's actual payoff to the "Lorelai's having money problems" hints that have been dropped in the last few episodes! Continuity, yeah!

    Honorable mention goes to Tom the Contractor. That is some A plus casting, people. I know quite a few contractors and Tom is an extremely accurate representation of the breed. "Check around back. She likes to surprise guys who are using nail guns."

  4. I never realized they made a Rocky reference regarding Jess. That made me laugh because Milo Ventimiglia later played Rocky's son in Rocky Balboa. Apparantly Milo was cast because he and Sylvester Stallone have similar mouths that kind of crooked on one side.

  5. I really like the idea of this episode, but like Ellie, I had some problems with Rory's story.
    First off, the episode automatically loses points to me when Dean and Trix are BOTH involved. Ugh. Go away.

    Lorelai's problems were very realistic. I am glad that the show is addressing her money problems and not just blowing over them again. I'm sure this is not an uncommon situation for new businesses, and it's good that the show is finally devoting sufficient time to the long, long buildup of Lorelai having money problems. I really enjoyed this storyline, however, I was a little mad that Lorelai hid the problems from Sookie, then yelled at her over it. Yes, Sookie needs to be responsible as a co-owner, but Lorelai cannot hide such important details from her business partner. Still, Lorelai's struggles are very real, and it's very human to handle them imperfectly, so I still very much enjoyed this story line.

    Rory struggling with school is a believable plot line, but we didn't get to the "sinking Rory" part until over halfway through the episode! By that point, it seemed very rushed, like they had to just sneak something in with Rory because she's a main character. I really don't think the show knows what to do with Rory when she doesn't have a boyfriend. Please, ASP, please let her be the strong, independent woman we want her to be, and don't have her go crying to Dean of all people!
    The first half dealt with Paris and Jana's feud, and while I like to know what's going on with Paris, I did not like that Jana's boyfriend was a focal point when there are other stories I care about. Like Lane. Her living situation seemed to be important in this episode, but we got no depth. I would have much preferred all the Paris/Jana/Klee time to have been redirected to diving into what's going on with Lane.

  6. I like this episode a lot and I agree with the other comments here that Lorelai's part of the story is better. I like that they finally deal with the money problems and acknowledge that this is a bigger problem that can't be fixed with coupon clipping. Though seriously, before you completely ruin yourself financially or before asking your friend for 30.000 dollar, just drop the horses. You can get them later, when you're actually earning money.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: I hate when Lorelai and Sookie fight and when Lorelai yells at her. But she's right here. Yes, Sookie has a baby and yes, she didn't know about it when they made their plans, but they are business partners and it's not fair to drop all of the responsibilities on Lorelai. And this is Stars Hollow, Sookie could find someone to watch the baby for two hours and not kill it. I mean, she was willing to give it to Michel, few people could be worse than him. I also really don't understand why Lorelai didn't tell Sookie that they're out of money. She should know about that kind of stuff.

    Another thing I like is they keep talking about how terrible Lorelai's hair is at the moment, and it really doesn't look too great. It's just a detail but I appreciate it. I would have been very jarring if her hair looked like it always does.

    I didn't even mind Trix too much here. Her presence is already worth it for her interactions with Digger. She's not having any of whatever it is he's offering. Richard is as oblivious as ever about how Trix is treating Emily, but it's great to see him finally talk back to her and Emily's gleeful reaction to it.

    As for Rory's part of the episode, I enjoy that too. It makes a lot of sense that her and Lorelai's problems are completely different in scope. We've seen throughout the season that Rory is struggling at Yale, even though those episodes weren't great and always had a happy-ish ending. I choose to believe all of those instances are adding up now, plus the whole Jess thing, even though they could have done more to tie that in to her break down at the end. Her failing academically, coupled with the fact that she can't talk to her mom, is basically the straw that breaks the camel's back. The last time this happened was in season one when she started Chilton, and Gilmores don't fail, especially not Rory, and especially not at school. So I can understand that she would have a meltdown. I also very much relate to her vision of the future with darkness and possibly some dragons.

    They do a good job of keeping Lorelai and Rory apart throughout the episode. It might have been even more effective if this was also something they had built up to a little over the last few episodes. So, if they already had more seperate storylines and Rory wasn't hanging out in Stars Hollow all the damn time.

    And a few questions about US colleges: Do these four have their own bathroom? What's the situation with that in the dorms? And how much work is one class? Four classes sound like too much?