This one is fun!
And here’s a summary: Chilton thinks both Rory and Lorelai are too anti-social – is there anything this school does not butt into uninvited?! – so Rory joins a not-so-secret secret sorority and Lorelai joins the Booster Club. Where she boosts (not sure what that means either, don’t worry.)
SPOILER ALERT. I have seen all the seasons before, so I am reviewing retrospectively. SPOILER ALERT.
Rory will have the worst back pain when she is not even 40, with all the books she carries.
So, Rory is not Ms Popular at Chilton.
I would ask the Chilton people a couple questions, mind you.
1) Can you blame her? All the kids seem to be rich little brats and the only kid who seems to be kind of like Rory hates her because she thinks Rory went to a stupid concert with Tristan the fuckface. (Although I refuse to believe they are the only nerdy smart kids in the whole school. Isn’t Chilton supposed to be an academically demanding school where you need, yes, money, but also smarts? And I also refuse to believe the only person who isn’t an asshole in that school is Rory. But I digress.)
2) Does she seem unhappy with things as they are? Like, I understand intervening if Rory was unhappy or bullied or doing badly in school as a result of this. But she seems to enjoy her books a lot more than she would enjoy conversations about those kids’ last vacation in the Hamptons.
3) A follow-up to the last question is, how the hell is it any of Chilton’s business? Like Rory points out near the end of the episode, she does have a life, but it’s outside of Chilton and outside of Hartford. The school doesn’t know her or bother to know her at all – for example, can we talk about the counselor? She “observes” Rory for like 5 minutes, talks to her for barely 10 and decides she is worried about her and that Rory should change the way she is? Get out, lady. As in, get out of your job, because you suck at it.
Then Rory socializes and…
Of course Rory would just stumble into a fancy secret sorority thing. She says hi and hangs out with the girls just fine, too, proving the counselor wrong on the whole “no social skills” accusation. Rory knows how to talk to people – perhaps not boys, but who does? -, she just selects who she spends time and energy with.
Paris shows us a bit more of her insecurities here. When it comes to academics, she knows she’s got it. When it comes to friends/social status, and dating, she doesn’t know what to do or how and she doesn’t like not mastering that too. I remember those days.
[Calling Paris insane cause she is determined even in her (failed) attempts at fitting in, Rory? Not cool.]
OH HI ANOTHER BONDING MOMENT. Rory tells the Puffs that Paris is smart and fun and gets her in. Be still, my heart. All of their tiny friendship-making moments make me so so happy.
Then comes the Puffs initiation
Of course the Puffs (the sorority) would get caught when Rory is being initiated. Does anyone think it is a huge coincidence that if this sorority has been doing initiations relatively frequently, this is the time they get caught? Or do they get caught often but because they’re rich and get good grades they are continuously forgiven? I don’t know. But also, does this (them getting caught) mean that the girls who were being initiated are not part of the Puffs anymore? Are the Puffs suddenly dissolved? We do see Francie again, but I would have loved to have the Puffs to have had a role beyond that episode. Why are Louise and Madelaine not interested in being a Puff? Or are they? What about the other sororities that Paris say exist? SO MANY QUESTIONS, AMY.
I think I have told you before that I don’t love Rory much in particular. She gets on my nerves a lot – although writing about Gilmore girls has given me new perspective on her, and I dislike her less now – but when she stands up for herself, man, I ADORE HER. And on this episode she stands up to the principal and calls him out on his bullshit and on the unfairness of the whole thing: This is unbelievable. I didn’t even wanna be here in the first place. Things were going fine: my grades were good, I joined the paper, my routine was down. And I have friends. I have a steady boyfriend, and my mother and I are freakishly linked, and Lane and I have been best friends since kindergarden. But you don’t see that because I don’t live in this town, and if you don’t see it then it must not be true. You call me in here to lecture me because I’d rather read at lunch than endlessly discuss the euthanasia of homecoming. You told me and you told my mother that I needed to socialize and if I didn’t, it would be frowned upon and it would hurt me getting into Harvard. So I did it, I sat at a table – a random table – and the next thing I know I’m being pulled out of my bed in the middle of the night and I’m blindfolded and before I know it I end up here with the Ya Ya Sisterhood reciting poetry and lighting candles. And now I’m gonna be suspended because I was trying to do what you told me? What’s fair about that?!
You tell ’em, Rory. And the way Lorelai reacts to Rory being busted for ringing a bell – which is, mocking her daughter – is so so much like my mother laughing at me for being called into the school counselor’s office for reading a Kurt Cobain biography. Those little parallels make my heart sing.
Lorelai doesn’t rub shoulders with the PTA…
Okay, okay, okay. Mr Charleston needs to really get the hell out now. Not all families have two parents and the luxury to have one of them not working and sitting around on their ass all day wondering what new social club to join to talk about their empty lives and how to best butt in other people’s lives. That is enormously presumptuous of him to assume Lorelai even has time.
Plus, Lorelai is super involved in her kid’s life, and her future. Chilton, again, doesn’t bother to even see that or ask anyone anything. They assume everyone should drop everything for their ridiculous activities when Lorelai is probably more involved and knows more about what goes on in Rory’s life than most parents they, or I, know.
But anyway, they do the runway thing.
I find parent organizations to be inherently cheesy. The fashion show was kiiiiinda fun, I guess. I like that Lorelai includes her mom, even if it is just to bug her. Lor knew that she would have to spend time with her mom, and yet she invited her. It was to make Emily uncomfortable, but in a juvenile way that most families do that kind of thing. Putting them together in a mother-daughter team was a nice touch too, especially given the episode is called “Like Mother Like Daughter”: it is about Rory and Lorelai being “busted” for not socializing with the Chilton world, but also about both Lor and Rory kind of fitting in in what is definitely Emily’s world. The difference is that neither Rory nor Lorelai actually want to. The fashion show also gave us one of my favorite Emily moments (and there are many):
And I mean. The point of the episode is exactly that. The Gilmore girls don’t want to fit in the world of Chilton. They just go through it because it is a step to take. But they could fit in it, they have the skills to do so, and especially Lorelai who grew up in that world, they can blend in just fine. I can also relate to that camouflaging that just ’cause you can do it doesn’t mean you want to. They’re happier and better in their own little world, in their own little town.
And Lorelai had no right to tell Luke that thing about who not to date. Like, get out.
Aaaanyhoo. That’s it today.