The Gilmore Girls are pool-side at the start of this episode. The scene goes on for a really long time–something I’ve noticed happening a lot in these reunion episodes. It seems like rather than fill the extra 40 minutes with plot, the show writers just decided to let Lorelai and Rory talk more. The two of them sit in loungers and talk about how disgusting outdoor pools are, and why fat people should not wear Speedo. Like this guy.

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His name is pat. Pat is fat. That’s the joke!

I remember one summer me and the other lifeguards made fun of this big fat German guy in a speedo. For two months we mocked him. We never learned his name. Instead we just called him “German Speedo”. On the last day of supervision German Speedo walked up to us and thanked us looking out for him and his family, then he gave us a box of Ritter Sport Chocolates. We felt awful, and we realized that by ridiculing “German Speedo” we were only masking the insecurities that we had about our own bodies. Then we ate the entire box of chocolate.

Speaking of lifeguards, look whose on duty.

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I just want to point out that Luke is not wearing a whistle. He’s also not carrying a rescue-aid or a barrier-device. If Pat were to start drowning in the deep end, and Luke were to jump in to help him, then this episode would be starting off with both Luke and Pat being taken away in body-bags. And what an episode that would make.

Don’t misunderstand me! I would not wish that fate on Luke or Pat. I just think that it would send a powerful message about the importance of being rescue-ready whenever you’re on-deck.

Luke has been assigned the role of Lifeguard because he built the pool’s “floaty hut.” At the beginning of this episode we learn that the floaty hut has been vandalized. The vandalism makes it onto the agenda at the Town Meeting which is really just an opportunity for Taylor to tell everyone two very important plot-points.

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The first is that Starts Hollow will be putting on a musical to increase tourist revenues. The second is that the 85 year old “Stars Hollow Gazette” will be shutting down. The musical will form the back-drop of Lorelai’s plot. The newspaper will form the back-drop of Rory’s. I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but Lorelai’s is more interesting. And that’s even with the return of Jess!

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Lorelai and Luke fall apart in this episode, and it has nothing to do with the fact that Luke is a shit lifeguard. We first see tensions arising between the two of them when, once again, Luke refuses to let Lorelai take part in raising April.

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Sound familiar to anyone?

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Also, do you guys remember April? She was introduced in Season 6 Episode 9, and if you’ve been reading this blog then you’ll know exactly how I felt about that.

HENRY WINKLER ON WATERSKIS

Of course, this thing with April isn’t what causes the rift, it’s just one sign that there’s trouble brewing. No, what brings on the big fight at the end of this episode is that both Luke and Lorelai have been keeping things from each other, and that lack of open communication can only lead to one thing–misunderstandings!

Incredibly, Luke sort-of accuses Lorelai of having an affair, which is absurd. What’s even worse though is when Luke ham-fistedly tries to articulate some sort of “Deal” which he always felt that he and Lorelai had with one another.

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Now, I’m not saying that this “deal” isn’t a good deal–I mean look what happened when Lorelai’s family meddled in her and Luke’s relationship in season 5.

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It also explains why Luke has always insisted on raising April without any help from Lorelai. The problem is that Lorelai never thought of this as a “deal”. Instead it was just the way things were–and had been since the end of season 7. But now Luke is acting as though this was some sort of official agreement, and that it was Lorelai who had established it.

This is a huge misread on Luke’s part. I honestly don’t understand how Luke can still be this stupid. He tells Lorelai all about the “deal” that she set up and this only has the effect of showing Lorelai how separate the two of them are from one another. After all this time the two of them have so much that they keep hidden away and the tension that this lifestyle has created blows up inside Luke’s Diner. The two end the conversation angrily. Then Lorelai gets inspired by a song in “The Stars Hollow Musical” and decides to walk the Pacific Crest Trail. There she will find herself. Just like in “Wild”.

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Wild is a novel written by  Cheryl Strayed and was adapted into a film starring Reese Witherspoon in 2014. We see that Lorelai is reading a copy of the novel at the start of the episode.

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I’ve always appreciated the pop-culture references in this show. I can easily see how people watching this show could get turned onto music, movies, television and books that they would never have otherwise come across if they hadn’t heard it mentioned by Rory or Lorelai. But none of these references ever really affected the plot in anyway. When Rory joked that Emily Gilmore was a cylon there wasn’t a scene where Emily asked “what’s a cylon?” followed by the two of them bonding over “Battlestar Galactica.”Then, whenever Emily would telephone Rory, she’d be like “what do you hear Rory?” And Rory could be like, “Nothin’ but the rain, Grandma!” “Good, now get your gun and bring in the cat.” And Lorelai would be like, “What the fuck are you two talking about?!”

What I’m saying is that these references have never had any significant impact on the plot of the episode. But now in the reunion Lorelai’s character defining moment is going to come about because she read a book that was popular during last year’s Christmas season.

Why? Because these episodes are lazy!

It gets me back to that first scene at the pool. It’s a great scene, but it doesn’t need to go on for so long. However, they needed to fill 90 minutes and so things get stretched out. And then the things that do move the plot along are often just recycled story-lines from the first seven seasons. And now this! What if Wild had never been written? Would Lorelai have picked up a copy of Walden and then decided to live like a hermit for a year?

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I don’t know you guys. I think I’m spending too much time on this show. Lorelai likes Wild. Let her do Wild. I’m cool with it. It’s cool.

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I am Cool.

Onward!

Rory is feeling very aimless at the moment, however she does not want to give the impression that she has moved back to Stars Hollow for good. She maintains that she is just staying for a short while and she refuses to be associated with the “30-something gang”–a gang of undergrads who are back in Stars Hollow after the wide-world had chewed them up and spit them out.

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Despite her best efforts Rory is becoming more and more embroiled in Stars Hollow life. For one thing, she is outraged that the Stars Hollow Gazette is being shut down and so she volunteers her time to get it back on its feet. There’s a really good scene where she and Lorelai deliver the newspaper to all the people in Stars Hollow. The scene is set to the tune of “These Boots are Made for Walkin'” by Nancy Sinatra. I liked this scene because “These Boots are Made for Walkin'” is a good song. If that song weren’t in there, then it would be just be another really really long scene where NOTHING HAPPENS.

One thing that does happen for Rory in this episode is that she receives a visit from an old friend.

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It’s Jess!

I liked this scene. We see that Jess and Rory have moved past any angsty  residue from their past relationship. We learn that Jess is still working for the independent press that he had started up with in season 6. Things don’t seem to have changed a lot in his life since when we last saw him. Except his arms. From what I can tell, the only things that are different about both Rory’s last two boy-friends is the fact that they got gym passes. But I’ll reserve my judgement on that until I see Dean. Maybe Dean really let himself go. Maybe Dean changed his name to “Pat.”

Anyway, Rory is in a rut and Jess is there to give her the advice that she needs to get her out of it. He tells her to write a book about her relationship with Lorelai. What would it be called? Maybe “The Gilmore Women”, or “The Stars Hollow Girls”, or “Talka-Talka-Talka: The Story of Lorelai and Rory Gilmore”.

And that’s about it! There’s also some stuff with Emily Gilmore experiencing ennui at one of DAR meetings. She decides to go to visit Richard’s grave and insists that the Gilmore Girls be there. Lorelai is hesitant, but Rory says that they’ll go and then there’s a fight and I honestly wasn’t watching that closely you guys. See you next Friday!