Thursday, October 6, 2016

Podcast #88 - S4E17 - Girls in Bikinis, Boys Doin' the Twist

Hello! Welcome to Return to Stars Hollow - a spoiler-free, retrospective podcast about Gilmore Girls! This is the podcast for Season 4, Episode 17 - Girls in Bikinis, Boys Doin' the Twist.

You can direct download the episode here: S4E17 Podcast
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The next podcast will post on Thursday, October 20th or 27th, 2016 for Season 4, Episode 18 - Tick, Tick, Tick, Boom.


  1. Tick Tick Tick Boom ....

    Hey ladies , I have been missing from the comments for months but finally I have caught up on the pod casts and episode watching :)

    OMG ... I can sit and re-watch Kelly Bishop saying " her car is just like Barbie's" all day !! Its one of my top 5 favourite moments of the whole show.

    Then the EGGS ... oh so good to see the town out for the hunt. Nothing better than a SH town debacle. Plus Luke finally finding the last ones for Kirk. Luke really has a big heart.

    Rory really does not have any right to be that terrible to Dean about school and his life. She stepped out of it, he is now married..... Butt out Rory!

    I always end this episode in shock not at Digger's father move to sue but Richard double crossing.

    In Other News
    In past weeks you mentioned the Love Is cartoons. These were huge over here (UK). For valentines you still get the Love Is cards.

  2. My first watch, I was convinced the whole season that Jason was going to turn out to be doing some kind of corporate espionage or something, so I was waiting for the shoe to drop the whole time - so I was surprised when it didn't quite turn out that way. Good storytelling, in my opinion. It was organic and made sense, but not predictable (to me, anyway). Emily's discomfort and reticence of having him be in business with Richard was the foreshadowing all the way back in the early season 4 episodes.

    Now, I was sad that I missed on commenting on Girls in Bikinis, Boys Doing the Twist, because I have LOTS of thoughts on Nicole and Luke. I think that episode is extremely important and couldn't be skipped in a watchthrough for a lot of reasons, but mostly because we are learning a lot about Luke, how he deals with relationships, and about how Lorelai feels about Luke. I don't know exactly how far in advance Amy was thinking, but she has mentioned in interviews that she really has a handle on who exactly these characters are, and here she is giving us great insight into what kind of man Luke is. All season long, Lorelai has been almost waxing poetic about what a great guy Luke is, about how he doesn't deserve to be treated this way, that he's one of the good ones -- "He's definitely one of the good ones. Maybe THE good one." -- but what we've been seeing is that maybe Luke isn't perfect. He's self-righteous (Jess), he's judgmental (TJ), and he's emotionally distant (Nicole). But so far, Lorelai is only serving to reassure him that he's wonderful. I can't really go into more detail because of spoilers, but I guess we can tie it all up together later. But yeah, I think this episode is super important because of that.

    Now for a reading-between-the-lines bit, I think a couple of sentences could have cleared up the Nicole fight thing and made it less abrupt and seem more logical, story-wise. This is a lot of extrapolating that I admit wasn't in the show but could tie everything together. So, last Nicole was mentioned was when Luke gave Lorelai the 30k, and he insisted she didn't have to know. I'm guessing she figured it out and was pissed, and that was what the fight was about, and he didn't want to discuss it with her because he isn't committed to the marriage. Nicole thinks that he is emotionally (if not physically) cheating on her with Lorelai, so she goes and bangs some guy because a) her pride is hurt and b) she wants to hurt him. She leaves the evidence (socks) in plain sight, because otherwise, how did Sock Man's laundry end up with Luke's? If she wanted to hide it, she would have. Nicole is a lawyer, she isn't stupid. She wanted him to find it, she wanted to hurt him. This might just be my head canon, or maybe Amy thought we could read between the lines and get it, but it seems to make the most sense.

    We've seen this pattern with Luke before, when he had a hard to letting Rachel back into his life. At that time, it seemed logical, because she had left before and didn't originally see herself in Stars Hollow, but Luke made a big deal about milk placement in the fridge because he is used to living alone and not sharing his life with anyone. Ugh, I could go on, but I won't.

    Last thing -- Lorelai definitely has issues with giving keys to boyfriends/partners because she and Max got into a big fight because he wanted his key to the house and she kept refusing to have one made for him.

    Sorry I went on so long. Last thing, swear this time, my author username on both fanfiction sites is Meags09 if you want to find me. I've already given some recommendations to people who found me on Twitter, but I'm always up for it. There are some extremely well-written fics coming out right now in anticipation of the revival, so even if you've never read fic before I would highly recommend checking some out.

    1. I am spot on with you on your interpretation of Luke! Especially at the beginning of the series I had no trouble understanding why Lorelei thinks Luke isn't into her. He's gruff, he's mean, as she herself says he seems to hate everything about her. He's an utter misanthrope, and okay, he can oftentimes channel that into being a charming misanthrope, but that sort of thing is way more enjoyable in short segments. In this last season especially I've seen Luke be really adorable and really vulnerable to where I can understand why Lorelei starts to fall for him. But in season 1? No. She thinks there's nothing there, and I totally understand that.

    2. I am putting in a second to Meags suggestion to look into the recent fan fiction before the Revival drops. I read all of Meags work first, and it was really well written and fascinating, as well as... exciting . Very imaginative and fluid, reading like it would fit smoothly into the Gg world. I am reading good quality fanfict to stay open-minded and flexible regarding what may happen in the Revival, vs my own precious fantasies. Thanks, Meags, for the other recommendations, too.

  3. Man, this episode is DARK.

    The show usually doesn't engage with the details of business, but it does a pretty good and subtle job of setting up how the Jason/Richard arrangement will come crashing down. On a less quality show, Floyd's villainy would come out of nowhere. But throughout the episode, the show reminds us not just that Floyd and Jason have a tortured relationship, but that the insurance business (as portrayed in GG) is a dark, nasty environment.

    During the first golf course scene, there's so much casual cruelty to Jason, even from his business partners. Jason has to operate by being self-deprecating all the time, which can really take a toll on a person's self-esteem. Richard tells the cigar story, and Jason says to no one in particular, "wow, I just love these stories" in a way that makes it clear he's privately appalled by Richard's petty revenge. Jason's mother is chit-chatting with Emily over brandy...until she puts the glass down and calmly walks out, and you realize she knew this was coming.

    So when Floyd finally drops the bomb, it's not coming out of nowhere, and he's not an Evil Villain Preying on Poor Innocent Richard and Jason. In the context of his business, and the way these men treat each other, it makes sense (albeit in a horrifying, sociopathic way). Even the wives and children are weapons to use against each other: Floyd wants Emily to hear that Richard's finances are in jeopardy, and inserts extra personal turmoil by telling them about Lorelai and Jason.

    it's very ironic, because Richard knows what it's like to have a complicated, tense relationship with his child...but he didn't recognize that his version of "tense" has nothing on the Stiles family. Richard would never, never take revenge on Lorelai that way, and Emily would certainly never participate.

    In the same way that meeting Trix told us a lot about Richard, meeting Jason's mother tells us a lot about Jason. She's showing pictures of Jason holding her grandchild, knowing that her husband is planning to ruin her son's life...not just knowing about it, but actively participating in lowering everyone's guard so that Floyd's announcement will hit extra hard. With parents like this, is it any wonder that Jason's pretty messed up?

    If Rory's storyline was just, "Rory is judgmental, accidentally hurts someone's feelings, realizes she was being a jerk, and apologizes," then I'd say, hooray, Rory is maturing!

    Unfortunately, Dean is involved in this storyline. The show has been stretching this out for almost the entire season and apparently it's not going away. I would have liked seeing an entire season about Rory working on her college paper, or adjusting to Yale academics, or making friends with different types of people and expanding her world. It's like the show missed the point of sending her to college in the first place.

    Favorite part of the episode: Jackson. I often find him a little annoying, but his sudden parental protectiveness worked.

  4. In Gilmore Girls world all wealthy people except Richard and Emily are total a holes. Christopher's parents, Paris's parents and now Jason's parents. I guess it is to show us that Richard and Emily are good, even though they are horrible a lot of the time.

  5. Hey girls!

    I've been trying to catch up to your podcast for the last month - I started a Gilmore Girls rewatch just because, why wouldn't you really? And then I found your podcast and had to catch up so that I could start participating in the conversation!

    Somewhat origin story - I watched Gilmore live uncomittedly - this was the time before DVRs after all ... and I was about the same age as Rory. I rewatched the whole season in my last trimester for my first child last year when I was huge and exhausted and just waiting for pregnancy to be over. So add me to the list of women who watched this show as they became, or prepared to be new mothers! So interesting to find that as a common thread. Now my son is a little over a year old, and I felt that I had so much pregnancy brain at the time that I had to watch it again.

    So I gather that many people are not really enjoying Jason, but I rather do. He's quirky and weird and I think it's clever of them to put someone like that with Lorelei. I particularly liked him in this episode. The actor was really nailing his scenes I felt, and I enjoyed all the moments with him, his dad and Richard. However, I thought it was completely unbelievable that neither Jason nor Richard had any inkling of what was coming from Floyd. Especially after Richard was so paranoid about him at the rare manuscript fundraiser. As an audience member you KNEW what was coming. And I felt preemptively crushed for Jason.

    The house plant dying was pretty heavy handed though, no??

    I wanted to comment more broadly on Rory's arc starting with her behavior in the Sinking Lorelais. I'm enjoying the slow decline she seems to be on - I see the Dean plot as a continuation of her "sinking" for sure. I'm relating to it as well because I was that high pressure, competitive high school kid too - although mine was definitely parent driven. I was directly told by my parents that they wouldn't be proud of me unless I went to Harvard. Well, when I attained my Ivy League ambitions, I just basically couldn't hack it and didn't want to anymore. It was crazy making, I felt like I didn't know who I was, or what I wanted, and I had somewhat of a nervous breakdown - which I felt was what was implied in that episode, and which I feel we're going to be seeing more of now with Dean being the next step on that road. For me it ended with me dropping out, finding myself, and ending up at a less competitive, less expensive college that allowed me to experience the freedom of failing!

    I think Rory's totally inappropriate obsession with Dean going to college is just a manifestation of her own insecurity with how she's doing at school, and her refusal to admit that a person can fail at school, and it can be okay! For Dean and also for herself. Of course Dean is not the school type - any boy who can build a car from scratch while in high school can find a much more rewarding career for himself without the effort and loans of college.

    1. I sometimes think there are a lot of parallels between Dean and Luke, except Dean is bitter about how small town he is and Luke is okay with it.

  6. I love the C-story here. It's funny and random, but also ends up being really touching and quite sad when Taylor is disappointed in Kirk. And then Luke steps in and saves the day even though he doesn't want to do it. It's great, unlike Taylor's toupé though that makes for some good jokes, too. Don't you need flowers for a flower show though? I don't see any anywhere.

    So, I guess I can no longer completely avoid talking about the main characters' relationships.
    I'm not a fan of the way they're painting the wives as the bad guys here. When Luke and Nicole's marriage fails, it won't matter how Luke behaved, it will be Nicole's fault because she cheated.
    Similarily, Lindsay is the terrible wife who forces Dean do drop out of college because she wants a house without working for it herself. It's very understandable that she wouldn't want Dean hanging out with Rory anymore. I liked your discussion about what we're supposed to think about this marriage and about Lindsay and what she's doing all day. Sadly, I don't think the show is interested in exploring this or even in Lindsay as a character and the reasons why she's playing house like this. So I'm afraid, if something happened between Rory and Dean, and they seem to be going in that direction, they're going to portray it as justified because Rory is so much better for Dean and she encourages him to go to school and do great things (which I never felt what was Dean himself wanted anyway, that was only because of Rory). And the fact that Dean is in love and pining for his ex-girlfriend and meeting her behind his wife's back will be sweeped under the rug. So apart from the fact that I don't want this to happen because I don't like Dean, depending on the way they portray it this could turn out to be completely terrible or at least somewhat interesting, at least from Rory's perspective, because I like what Sarah said above and I'll have more thoughts on that at some other point.

    Thank you for explaining the banana eating contest. I think it could have counted as an external reference anyway. And I was afraid it would be something like that but I didn't want to google it.
    How was your trip to germany, Cordia? I hope you had fun.