We first join Rory at Yale. She is writing for the Yale newspaper and currently working on a story about one of Yale’s secret societies called “The Life and Death Brigade.”
No one really knows who the members of this society are or what they do, but it is pretty clear that it’s a reference to Yale’s real -life Skull and Bones fraternity and the location of the camp-site that we’ll get to see in this episode has a very Bohemian Grove vibe to it.
Rory started to do some digging into the Life and Death Brigade and discovered that Logan’s grandfather and father were both members of the group. She deduced that Logan is likely in the group as well. She confronted him, but Logan acted like he didn’t know what Rory was talking about, but then Rory received a message form Logan telling her that he’ll get her the scoop.
How Exciting! Here’s a picture of what Dean was doing while all that was happening.
Meanwhile, Richard and Emily are still separated. In this episode both of them insist on meeting Luke. Naturally, Lorelai is hesitant, but Luke says that they should just get it over with. To avoid the Elder Gilmores would be to show weakness, and Luke will not appear weak. The first meeting is with Emily is at dinner time. The initial meeting goes smoothly. Luke puts his best foot forward and Emily’s treatment of him is highly reminiscent of the way she treated Dean when Rory took him to dinner in Season 2. However, Emily soon starts to indirectly criticize everything that Luke values, from diners to baseball.
Luke maintains his composure, and Lorelai watches, mildly amused, from the sidelines. She seems content to let the night play out, and is happy to know that soon Luke will view her parents in the same way that she does.
Things do not go better for Luke when he meets Richard for a game of golf. Of course, Luke does not play golf and so he embarrasses himself there. He and Richard also do not have the same taste in literature. While Richard reads classics like “The Iliad” or “The Odyssey”, Luke’s most recent read is a sci-fi novel written by “someone named Dick”.
My guess is that Luke has finished reading the work of Philip K Dick, the author of “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” a phenomenal book which has influenced pop culture all the way from “Blade Runner” to “West World.” Even if Luke could remember the author’s full name, Richard would only pretend to be impressed.
We’ve never seen such an outright display of snobbery from the Elder Gilmores. We see that the Elder Gilmores now have a common goal: Remove Luke, and get Lorelai with a man who is “worthy” of a Gilmore Girl. The Elder Gilmores are malicious planets, and Luke has been pulled into their orbit.
Also Lane and Zack go on a date.
It is late in the evening and Rory is in her dorm room. There is a message on her voice-mail. It is from Dean. As she listens Rory’s attention is redirected towards the window-pane where an envelope has been left for her. Inside is a letter telling her to be outside her dorm tomorrow at 4 O’clock and to be blindfolded. Dean’s message finishes and Rory realizes that she hadn’t listened to half of it.
The next day at 4:00 Rory is waiting with her blindfold on.
Logan directs her to a large SUV where the rest of his crew are waiting. I like this crew. “The Gilmore Girls” is famous for it’s fast paced back-and-forth dialogue, and it’s nice to have that kind of witty chatter being bounced off 5 people instead just between the Gilmore Girls.
Everyone in the group, and everyone who we are all about to meet are people who love to party. They also believe that a proper party should be done with some class and style. They are an anarchic collective of upper-crust youths and the joi-de vivre spirit is high among them. Rory is attending the event as a journalist and has no intention on taking part in the story. But, is this a story that Rory wants to remain on the sidelines for? Her first impression is of a cozy and tasteful camp-site.
“Let me guess what you were expecting: Sleeping bag, flashlights, keg, three boxes of half stale Triscuits, half eaten box of Oreos, some Doritos and a bong?” The Life and Death Brigade has more refined tastes. It is the kind of party that a younger and more hedonistic Richard Gilmore may have attended during his days at Yale.
“The Gilmore Girls” commentary on class is confusing. Richard and Emily are displaying upper class elitism in it’s worst form, but Logan’s crew puts a different, more charming face on it. However, the fact remains that this is a party for the upper-crust.
Would people like Jackson, Luke, Lorelai or Dean want to join the Life and Death Brigade? Maybe. Maybe not.
The more pressing question is or not they could join the Life and Death Brigade? Rory’s involvement with The Life and Death Brigade underscores the gap developing between her and Dean, but also between her and life in Stars Hollow.
And what a grand life it is! There’s a game of croquet being played by men carrying litters with women inside who hit the ball through the wickets. Everyone is dressed in period clothing and there’s a gramophone playing jams from Gatsby’s record collection.
There’s even human target practice with paint-ball guns..not that hardcore, but still a fun idea. Besides, crash-mats are always a good time. So why not add a paint-ball gun?
But the centerpiece of this event is the scaffold.
So far, Rory has been observing and taking everything in from a distance, but this time Logan will insist that she get involved in the story. Rory’s excuse of maintaining journalistic integrity is shut down quickly when Logan points out all of the great journalists who have gotten into the thick of it. But what this is really about is that Logan is trying to get Rory to come out of her shell. It’s a powerful moment culminating with Rory and Logan jumping off the top of the structure hand in hand.
“You did good,Ace!
“Once in a lifetime experience!”
“Only if you want it to be!”
This is a character defining moment in Rory’s life. If Rory had been in a shell, it was a shell that Lorelai and life in Starts Hollow had built around her. The best and brightest qualities of this new world are on full display with The Life and Death Brigade. The trajectory that this jump has launched Rory on will bring unavoidable conflict between her two worlds. Dean has always operated within the parameters of Rory’s Star’s Hollow Life, and the drama around Jess focused on the fact that he shunned this life, but was brought into it because of his love for Rory. Logan is the hammer and chisel that may break Rory’s Stars Hollow identity to pieces. Whether that is for the better or the worse can only be found out by joining me next time on Gilmore Girls Reviewed!