Thursday, September 22, 2016

Podcast #86 - S4E15 - Scene in a Mall

Hello! Welcome to Return to Stars Hollow - a spoiler-free, retrospective podcast about Gilmore Girls! This is the podcast for Season 4, Episode 15 - Scene in a Mall.

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The next podcast will post on Thursday, September 29, 2016 for Season 4, Episode 16 - The Reigning Lorelai.


  1. Hey guys, I've been listening to your podcast since you were still on season 1. I have wanted to get in contact before, but I always listen to the podcast while commuting (with no phone signal) and keep on forgetting to do so.

    However, what's the hate towards hot lunches? hehehe I'm from Brazil, currently living in London, and here's "how many people eat a hot lunch": 200 million Brazilians and at least 3 million Londoners. Granted, it's much more common here in the UK than in Brazil to have a sandwich or salad for lunch instead, but MANY people still buy or bring hot lunches to work. Like, a lot of people. And I can tell you, they're all "normal".

    Besides, I think you're missing the point with the whole Dean/Lindsey situation. She is doing something really old fashioned because she, being an 18 year old girl, has absolutely no idea of what being in a marriage really means and she's taking all her cues from her old fashioned, overbearing mother. For me it's very clear that the scene was intended not to show how loving and amazing she is, but how much they were absolutely not prepared to be married. She doesn't know what to do, and that's her trying. They're both playing house. Yes it's weird, but it should be weird, they're not supposed to know what to do, and they don't.

    Anyways, I do love GG and the podcast. I've found you guys after I started rewatching Gilmore Gilrs with my husband and saw the other rewatch podcast on twitter. I listened to one of their episodes and decided to look for a podcast in which people actually liked the show, and that's when I found you! Anyways, keep up the good work, I might come back for more comments in the future. xx

  2. There are some great, great things about this episode.

    Richard finally choosing Emily over his mother: excellent. You can tell that he remembers Trix's letter, too, but he still thinks that Emily doesn't know about it and he's so glad he didn't listen to his mother that one time.

    His first conversation with Lorelai, where he tells her that Trix gave him the "life is a struggle" lecture when he was TEN YEARS OLD, tells us so much about how he was raised and why he's so closed off emotionally. And it's one of the few times we have ever seen him confide in his daughter.

    The stuff between him and Rory is great; we get to see Rory being awesome and compassionate, and his story about how he couldn't wear his first suit again is just heartbreaking.

    But can we all agree that the highlight of the episode is boozing, smoking, kimono-wearing Emily lounging with a good novel? I like to think this is how Kelly Bishop relaxes at home. (I own a copy of the same book and she is, in fact, reciting the blurb on the back cover.) If you guys ever add an Emily Doll to the line of Luke Dolls, this one should definitely be there.

    Strange to say, the one acting-moment of the episode I didn't quite buy was Lorelai buying underwear, where she starts to break down and talk about how Trix was just this wonderful woman. We've never actually seen Trix being wonderful to Lorelai; in fact, we've seen the opposite. We've never heard them talk about Lorelai being close to Trix when she was a child. Trix never bothered to meet Rory until Rory was in high school.

    It makes me wonder whether the show realizes just how awful they have portrayed Trix to be in this episode. It's not just the horrible letter and the overly-precise funeral instructions, they've also got her nearly killing a camel driver and mistreating local police officers who just saved her life! And these stories are presented as examples of Trix's amazing SPUNK and SASS and PERSONALITY!

    I like that they've presented Trix as a complicated woman who could be many things at once: she could be Richard's loving mother and Emily's nemesis. But through the way it presents her faults, the show seems to conclude that Trix being interesting and well-traveled and generous to strangers outweighs how terribly she has treated the people who are supposed to be her nearest and dearest, and those people should just get over their mixed feelings and admit that she was awesome. I can't get on board with that as a moral position. The whole thing just makes me shudder.

    And as for the Luke/Nicole fight: apparently the show cares so little about this pairing that they won't even show us what these two people are actually fighting about. Why not just have them break up off screen? We could have used that two minutes to see Richard give the eulogy, you know Edward Herrman would have knocked it out of the park.

    Did enjoy Kirk's lip reading though.

  3. I love this episode. It really struck me again how funny this show can be while delivering some real emotions at the same time. And no Dean, so we all win! Elle has listed a lot of things that I also enjoyed so I won't go into too many details here.

    I like how all of the characters react to Trix' death in a different, very specific way, depending on what relationship they had with Trix. I think it's very interesting that, before she finds the letter, Emily tries to follow Trix' will in all its crazy details, despite the fact that she pretty much hated the woman and despite the struggles she's been having in her marriage. That says a lot about her.

    For me, the scene with Lorelai in the underwear store totally worked. It's always great to see how well she can handle a crisis, and this is definitively one and she does well. She doesn't even have time to figure out how she really feels about her grandmother's death and now she has to arrange the funeral and follow these insane instructions and then she just cracks and lets it all out in what I think is a great, very Lorelai speech. I don't think any of her words are meant to express that they had a great relationship, but that Trix was a great, tough, though not very nice woman who did a lot of things in her life. Richard told her some more about his mother earlier, as did Rory with her research, and I feel like Lorelai, being the independent, self-reliant woman she is, must have admired Trix in some way.

    I have to agree with Elle again though, the stories they tell about Trix make her sound like a terrible person. It kind of reminds me of the way the people of Stars Hollow talked about Luke's uncle after he died. Yes, he was horrible, but now they can laugh about it.

    I don't think this could be considered an official Gilmore first, or second, since I don't think it happens a third time, but it's a nice recurring detail that Richard calls certain dishes by the wrong name because that's what he thought it was called when he was a child. We had Johnny Machete, now the Turtleneck soup.

    And Gilmore Girls continues its slightly irritating habit of casting actresses in two different roles with Marion Ross playing both Trix and Aunt Marilyn. It's even weirder than usual here because, well, Trix just died and there is her face and voice again!

    1. I'm sorry, I wrote Ellie twice without the i. Reading/writing is hard.

  4. Ding dong the witch is dead! (too mean? too soon?)
    I am surprised at how much I loved this episode, because it focuses on Trix, one of my least favorite characters. But I can get over that because I like seeing the effects her death has on the other characters, especially Emily.

    Even though Emily is far from Trix's biggest fan, I think she likes handling the funeral affairs because it makes her feel like herself again. She is able to care for her husband in a major way here, and she likes feeling needed again. Still, I love the post-note Emily. This provides some movement, or at least consistency, from last week's episode when Emily really opened up to Lorelai about her insecurities in her life and marriage, and I appreciate that the Pennilyn Lott storyline has weaved its way through these insecurities. Emily has always tried to please Trix and she has been a good wife to Richard, it must hurt so bad for Trix to get one last punch in, with her disapproval of Emily and preference for Pennilyn Lott.

    I agree with Ellie as well, I love the final moment as well, when Richard finally chooses Emily over Trix. As glad as I am to see that moment, I do hope that we get a conversation between Emily and Richard about the tensions Emily feels in their marriage.

    Loved Lorelai's line that if Emily wrote the obituary, it would read "Yay!"

  5. I finally caught up to the podcast do I can comment on real time. Love it!

    I enjoy this episode, most especially the Emily stuff. I loved her performance every time she said Pennilyn Lott with a slight alcoholic slur. I also loved the Lorelai/Emily interactions.

    I also liked Richard telling Lorelai that you only get one set of parents. Richard calling his mother a saint over and over was a bit much, but we can chalk that up to grief I suppose.

    Speaking of Richard, how horrible to not only miss your wife's best friend's funeral but to do it so flippantly and without any regard for Emily's feelings. I felt Lorelai was a bit rude and insensitive in that scene as well. Emily was great though.

    At first I was glad we got some Luke/Nicole interaction but upon further thought I realized we didn't actually get anything. Aside from Nicole scoffing at Luke acting like they live together, we have no idea what they are fighting about.