Thursday, June 15, 2017

Podcast #117 - S5E20 - How Many Kropogs to Cape Cod?

Hello! Welcome to Return to Stars Hollow - a spoiler-free, retrospective podcast about Gilmore Girls! This is the podcast for Season 5, Episode 20 - How Many Kropogs to Cape Cod?

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The next podcast will post on Thursday, July 6, 2017 for Season 5, Episode 21 - Blame Booze and Melville.


  1. There is so much happening in this episode, it almost feels like they realized they only had one episode left before the finale and needed to wrap up or move along all of these storylines. To keep this somewhat short, I'm going to focus on Rory.

    Obviously, objecitively, I don't support Rory's decision to steal a yacht, but I think from a storytelling perspective, it's great.
    I wish Rory had reacted better to Mitchum's criticism, but I can't guarantee I would have taken this any better. Though I can guarantee you that I would not have stolen a yacht, and not just because there aren't that many yachts where I live. But this has been Rory's dream for her whole life and she was feeling very good about this internship and thought she was doing great. And we see that she's good at her work and getting along with everyone in her earlier scene. We know it's very important to Rory what authority figures think of her, even though she might not care that much what people her age think. So when Mitchum, a guy who should know what he's talking about, tells her she hasn't got it, she's not good at it, of course she's crushed. And she does a stupid thing.

    I really like the conversation Rory has with Logan at the docks. I can see a lot of people in the audience, as well as Lorelai and maybe even Rory herself, blaming Logan for Rory's actions here. And I do think that being involved with him and around this world and these people who do and take whatever they want and are having fun doing it, has influenced Rory. I can't see season 1 Rory doing this. But they make it very clear that this is Rory's decision and Logan points out that it's not their yacht to take but of course he goes along with it despite that and I wouldn't expect anything else from his character.

    The one.. not really a problem, I have is that I can't really read Mitchum. He doesn't seem like he's purposefully setting out to be cruel and wanting to destroy Rory. I think he really is being honest and saying what he's thinking. And from what we've seen, he's not necesseraly wrong because Rory does behave like an assistant. But as far as we know, this wasn't really a "journalistic" internship. We see her running around the office, delivering and filing papers, getting coffee and stuff, but she's not writing anything, is she? (Or did I miss anything there?) She's not going after any stories because that's not her job. And maybe Mitchum is right that she should have been doing that and offering more, but I totally get where Rory is coming from when she says she's just an intern and she doesn't know what she's supposed to do and thinks it's not her place to do that, because same. I think this is a complicated situation and the show doesn't really make it clear which interpretation it's leaning towards here and, at least for now, I rather like that.

    I didn't realize that we don't know where Rory is at the end or what happened (because I know). It's really fun though to end with this phone call seemingly out of nowhere saying Lorelai should pick Rory up. It reminds me a little of Rory's call from the hospital after the car accident with Jess.

  2. I've got a continuity headache. Last episode, Emily was snubbing Lorelai at dinner with Logan, and this week they're cheerfully eating fondue? Three episodes back, Lorelai was refusing to talk to Emily at all.

    I could easily believe that the Gilmores are the type of family who sweep conflicts under the rug and just pretend that everything is fine -- but Lorelai is really not like that at all. If she had decided to do that I would have liked to see her make that decision.

    But the continuity headache was worth it for the meta-joke of Mikhail the dancer being (rightfully) offended over Lorelai's Stalin joke.

    I watched this episode when it first aired, and I remembered Mitchum's critique of Rory being really harsh and cruel. Rewatching it now, I'm struck by how measured it is. (Maybe this is the perspective of being an adult who has endured many performance reviews at work, and given them to interns.)

    I can understand why Rory is so upset by it, but I wonder if she misunderstood the purpose of her internship as Mitchum intended it to be. At the beginning, she's "shadowing" him as he runs the paper. By this episode, she's jumped into an office-management role, but it doesn't seem like he, or anyone, told her to take that on. And she's very good at it. Based on the critique, it seems like Mitchum expected that she would instead try to jump into a junior-reporter role where she would be writing and hustling and getting into the publication side of the paper, as opposed to the business/administrative side. He may have been expecting Rory to have that kind of aggressive personality based on the other young reporters he's known.

    But Rory's not like that. She respects hierarchy, and she likes to impose order on chaos, and she's very young and very pretty, and I think all those things worked against her being seen as "hard-charging cub reporter." I think perhaps Rory herself hadn't thought through what she wanted to get out of this internship; if what she wanted was a summer writing job, then she shouldn't have been spending any time at all worrying about whether there were plants in the conference room. And because she's Rory, when he says "I may have done you a favor," she actually THANKS him.

    Thought experiment: if Rory had responded to his critique with, "I can see why you think that, but you're wrong about me. Here's a packet of articles I've written and I think you should hire me as a summer intern here too," would he have changed his mind about her? Was the critique partly a test to see if Rory would stand up for herself?