I have some anxiety about writing about this episode. It took me a while to finally sit down to do it.
In the aftermath of yacht-stealing, Rory feels like she needs a change, and not everyone likes the decision she makes. Lane feels her band is fading away, and she gets unexpected help.
SPOILER ALERT. I have seen all the seasons before, so I am reviewing with future events in mind. SPOILER ALERT
Grand theft boating
The episode opens with Lorelai being super awkward, worried and unimpressed, at the police station, waiting to pick up Rory.
Lor asks Rory what happened and then interrupts her to declare she knows what happened: Logan got her into this. Lorelai tells Luke and he declares the same thing: Logan must have gotten her into this.
While no one can deny that Logan’s rich kid shenanigans have influenced Rory in the general sense of *without him she would not have been around yachts to steal in the first place*, Rory was the one to suggest it. Not only that, but I am seeing a very clear parallel with when Jess and Rory got into a car accident in season 2 and everyone accused Jess 100%. Except in season 2, it was nobody’s fault. Here it was definitely Rory’s decision (not that Logan stopped her but it’s not his job, or in him, to do so). She was the one who acted like a rich, entitled brat throwing a tantrum. It’s not even that she stole a yacht (I mean, yes, you must have some privilege and money to know you can get away with it, but w/e), for me anyway, it’s why.
Rory tells her mom about why she did it, which is that she was upset about Mitchum telling her she hasn’t “got it” as a journalist. Lorelai, channeling me, tells Rory that Papa Huntzberger is just a man with a good parking space, just one opinion, and who the hell does he think he is. Not because he is definitely wrong or definitely right, but because Rory’s sense of self-worth and confidence in her career should not depend on one pretentious asshole’s opinion.
Lorelai is very chill and understanding at the beginning, to be honest. She is worried, but she is trying to keep her chill. Until Logan calls, and Lor tells him to thank his father for “all of this”. So passive aggressive, but okay. Logan asks Rory about this, so she tells him about what happened. While Logan tells Rory that he is a bully, he does not reassure Rory that Papa Huntzberger could be wrong in what he said. What Rory needs is reassurance that she can be a journalist, and that Mitchum’s words aren’t everything. Anyhoo.
Hep Alien isn’t doing so great
Lane notices that nobody in her band seems to care about, or have time for, the band anymore. She confronts them about it and they all tell her to calm down but it all just kind of confirms to her that the band might be over. She is quite upset, since she risked so much for it.
Lane: According to my mother, I’m going to hell for this. That’s commitment, my friends. Eternal damnation is what I’m risking for my rock’n’roll.
I’m also a little bothered by how condescending the three guys are to Lane, saying she is imagining what she is clearly not just imagining. I am very bothered by it, actually.
Anyway, seeing as the band is probably not working, Lane goes to her mom and tells her that she might be needing to move back. I don’t understand why, if she is paying rent and not living with strict rules, etc. That must have been hard. Mrs Kim, though, is not having it. She tells Lane that Kims don’t give up, and decides to help plan a tour with them. A tour of East Coast church theatres, but a tour regardless.
Not going back to Yale
Rory announces to her mom that she is not going back to Yale next year. She feels lost and like she doesn’t know what she wants anymore.
I have so many mixed feelings about this, that I don’t know how to write without writing a whole book.
On the one hand, a lot of us wanted to think of Rory as this super confident, smart, independent woman. What I see here, though, is a deeply insecure one. This is not as a criticism. She is 20 here, and a man she admires, who is famous in the field she aspires to be in, who she thinks has no other reason to want her to give up (which to me seems incredible but that’s because I am that kind of person to see the worst in people), tells her she is no good.
I do think that, at least the way it’s presented here, she took a whole 2 days to think about quitting Yale, which seems reckless or impatient of Rory. And then we have Lorelai’s reaction.
I get where she is coming from, because my dad would react the same way, but… My dad would react the same way. My dad and Lorelai should have zero in common. She is worried, and thinks this is the end of the world, but it really isn’t, and more importantly, her reaction is the opposite of useful in letting Rory find her own way around her feelings and thoughts. It is absolutely horrifying to see, to be honest. She sees her daughter, in her own words, floating, lost, insecure, and she shuts the door between them. Wow, in all previous rewatches I had been upset at Rory but now I’m really not. Like, yes, she fucked up with the yacht and she is turning into a brat, but the Yale thing? Nope. This is interesting.
Lorelai goes to Richard and Emily to tell them all that had happened and to ask for their support on triple-teaming (even that term makes me mad) Rory and getting her to go back to school. When will relatives and people in general understand that pushing someone who is falling is not gonna get them back up, it’s just gonna make them keep rolling downhill?
[Brief pause to talk about the shaking employee at the Gilmore house? Yes, please. Richard asks her something about his shoes and she seems panicked, unable to answer, shaking. THIS IS NOT OKAY. It’s played for laughs and Richard scoffs at her “incompetence” but, uh, hello? How are you treating them? Why aren’t you asking if she is okay?]
Friday Night Dinner time
Early afternoon Friday, Rory goes to her grandparent’s house and Richard is there. Rory starts crying and telling him she doesn’t know what to do, because everything is falling apart. There is still that little voice in my head saying, “Well yeah you fucked up but you need to deal” but I want that voice to shut the fuck up. Because she is 20, and she is clearly very lost and very stressed. She wants to breathe.
Richard and Emily discuss what Lorelai said, what Rory said, and decide to back Rory on not going back to Yale. Since Lorelai shut the door for Rory (as far as going back to Stars Hollow and working there or something), they offered Rory to stay in the pool house, and agree to discuss going back to Yale after things cool down.
Lorelai obviously does not calm down or think about it rationally like Richard suggests she does. She leaves the house in a huff, while Rory moves her stuff into the pool house.
I hate it when they fight.
Oh, but the episode isn’t over yet, is it?
Lorelai goes back to Luke’s to rant about what happened. Luke sounds supportive of Lorelai in a weird lets-kidnap-Rory way, and goes on and on, while we see something pop in Lorelai’s mind.
I’m done, too many emotions. Good night.