First, the summary: Lor and Sookie are looking to move forward in their project of opening an inn, but a visitor makes that move nostalgic and stressful. Jess puts on a fake murder crime scene, because, well, he’s Jess.
SPOILER ALERT. I have seen all the seasons before, so I am reviewing retrospectively. SPOILER ALERT.
Mia, the owner of the Independence Inn, comes to visit Stars Hollow. I love Mia a lot! She is introduced as a sort of substitute mother figure Lorelai had when she moved away from her parents’ house. She seems to love the Gilmore girls and the town a whole lot too. She is just a lovely human I wish we saw more of in the show than we did.
Lorelai musters up the courage to tell Mia that Sookie and her are thinking of opening a new inn and when Mia tells Lor that that’s great ’cause Mia has been thinking of selling the place, Lorelai wigs out and takes it out on Sookie. And like, I get it, that the Independence Inn is a very personal place, like a home to Lorelai, and that separating from that place and not knowing what will become of it would be stressful. But the way she talks to Sookie is cruel and unwarranted. I really don’t like how Lorelai talks down to Sookie and treats her badly/like she is better than her a lot. Lorelai tells Sookie that she is unprofessional when the actual unprofessional thing there is to irrationally lash out on your business partner.
Sookie later asks Lor to promise her she wont wig out on her again, as she should. The Gilmore girls often forget they are not the center of the universe and that other people have feelings too. I love Sookie and I appreciate when she stands up for herself.
Mia: There was a phony murder?
Lorelai: Yeah, the town’s too dull to work up a real one.
Ah, the phony murder.
Is it a jerk teenage move? Of course. Is it funny? Absolutely. Stars Hollow, as charming and beautiful as it is, is pretty boring, especially if you come from NYC. Drawing up a body outline makes the town waste resources and time figuring out that it is fake (although, I mean, it doesn’t take that long to figure that out) but it is still pretty funny.
I love the conversation that Rory has with Jess outside the market. Rory calls Jess out on making the whole town hate him and Luke by extension and Jess kind of gets it now. He also trusts Rory and wants her to like him, which is interesting because Rory is such a goodie goodie. This is not to say that Jess is better than Rory (they are both flawed in different ways) but he is definitely more interesting, at least up until that point.
Also, and this is a bit of a sidetrack, they come from very different perspectives and lives. Jess is assumed to come from a working class childhood in New York with a junkie, unstable mom and a father who skipped on them. Rory grew up struggling a bit but totally sheltered and supported by her mom and by the entire town, which is also basically a bubble. I will probably talk more about Jess and class stuff later, but they are definitely very very different.
Almost at the very end, Emily visits Mia at the Independence In and my heart stops. What is happening? what are they going to say? I am going to cry, arent I? That conversation is so important.
Mia: When Lorelai showed up at my porch that day, with a tiny baby in her arms, I thought to myself, “What if this were my daughter and she was cold and scared and needed a place to live. What would I want for her?” And then I thought, I’d want her to find somebody who would take her in and make her safe and help her find her way.
Emily: That’s funny. I would’ve wanted her to find someone who would send her home.
I understand Emily. I cannot imagine being a mother to a 16yo who just had a baby and have her leave a note and not come home. I would be terrified. Even after knowing where she was or that she was okay, I would be worried sick, and very upset. It is interesting to see Mia’s take though, because that is what Lorelai needed. Lorelai needed a caring mother figure who treated her like an adult and treasured her independence. I still think that Emily’s heartbreak is not addressed enough, by Lor in particular.
This episode ends on a Rory/Jess note with Jess fixing Luke’s toaster and looking at Rory, which leads into the theme of Rory helping Jess be a better human and care about others which is going to be a thing for a while. But also a part of me thinks that Jess shouldn’t get a cookie for being a decent nephew once in a while, y’know? And then again, he is 17 and hates everything so… to each their own as far as giving Jess cookies for trying to care.