For those not in the know, there is an explanation for why season seven, the show’s long-time final season, feels markedly different than those which came before. As season six inched towards a close, creator Amy Sherman-Palladino petitioned the WB network with the reasonable request of more staff writers and a director who she could train to be familiar with the visual language of the series for the following season. She was denied and thus she made the personal decision to step down as showrunner.
The WB-turned-CW network would end up having to hire the positions Amy had wanted anyway to maintain a seventh season without her.
The Long Morrow (7.01)
When Amy Sherman-Palladino was running the show, she was known to hand in scripts to the network as late as possible so that they wouldn’t be able to give notes on it for her to correct. It is plain to see that the new showrunner, David Rosenthal, didn’t continue her strategy. The CW was a new network that had the daunting task of both attracting and maintaining an audience. Thus its executives would have been more forceful than ever in their creative “suggestions” that made it to screen i.e. the way this episode feels vaguely like they’re reintroducing the characters and their plots, or how the references would have been more easily understood by the target audience with longer pauses in between dialogue.
Merry Fisticuffs (7.10)
Logan had no right to jeopardize Rory’s friendship with Lucy because he “couldn’t be a part of this,” as if he’s such an upright guy that he couldn’t bear to go along with the lie even for Rory’s sake. Considering he hid that he slept with an entire bridal party during a short hiatus-whether the viewer considers it a breakup or not- he has no moral high ground here in a situation about hiding an old friendship/crush from one’s friend/girlfriend.
To Whom It May Concern (7.12)
The reveal that Jackson didn’t follow through on the vasectomy that Sookie insisted on in season five’s “Blame Booze and Melville,” and didn’t even tell her about it because he “didn’t see the point,” is a game changer to the viewer’s perception of Jackson. I wrote in my fifth season review that Sookie making Jackson get vasectomy was coercion and a disregard for his personal autonomy, which I stand by, but what Jackson did was even worse because Sookie wasn’t aware of it. His mistake would be akin to if Sookie had gotten Jackson a vasectomy while he was unconscious. The background to the creative choice is that they needed a way to write in Melissa McCarthy’s pregnancy, but one can’t help but call bullshit on there having been no other, more respectful, way. As one of my favorite media criticism podcasters, Lani Diane Rich, is known to say: Reality is no defense for fiction.
I’d Rather Be in Philadelphia (7.13)
The cynical, Jess-loving part of me has always wondered if they titled the episode what they did to trick departed viewers into coming back, thinking that Jess was returning or that he would be hinted to in a romantic sense by Rory in some way. The viewers have been trained at this point to associate Philadelphia with him after all, and the episode title would have been released sans context a week or two in advance.
I’m a Kayak, Hear me Roar (7.15)
Emily commending Lorelai, “For all these years you’ve done very well without a husband” after being told that Lorelai and Chris split up is a fitting bookend to her preaching in the Pilot, “When you get pregnant, you get married. A child needs a mother and a father.” More than six years have passed, and Emily has since seen proof that’s not always the case as a result of her more active role in Lorelai and Rory’s lives.
Gilmore Girls Only (7.17)
Lorelai attempts to guilt trip Rory by saying that “It’s a shame to miss the wedding of a woman who meant so much to you.” Rory missed the wedding of the woman who meant the most to her, because of said woman’s spontaneous choices: her mother.
Are we to take from Zach’s comment about sex inducing birth that he and Lane have had sex again and that Lane actually enjoyed it this time? God, I hope so. Give the poor girl something.
The contrast between Emily and Mia is especially apparent in their treatment of their maids. Emily is known for firing multiple maids a week, while Mia has invited at least two of her ex-maids from the Independence Inn- Lorelai and Donna- to her wedding.
Hay Bale Maze (7.18)
April discusses her subject-to-change book mood the same way Rory does in season two’s “Like Mother, Like Daughter.” While I appreciate the show’s attempt to fill the void left by Rory’s dwindling shown appreciation for reading, it’s just not the same. There shouldn’t be a Rory substitute character when Rory herself is still present in the narrative.
It’s ridiculous that Logan is just now getting a tour of Stars Hollow, after being with Rory for more than two years.
Speaking of ridiculous, Logan makes Rory take the trundle bed while HE TAKES HER OWN CHILDHOOD BED.
I do appreciate the symbolism of choices made in the hay bale maze. After deciding that they would factor each other in any and all upcoming life/career decisions, Logan and Rory walk into the maze hand in hand, come to a fork in the road, look at each other, and go down a path together. Later, when Lorelai looks lost and uncertain about where to go in the maze, Luke appears and gives her directions that she doesn’t appear to follow through on. The device of the maze isn’t a subtle one, but is still impactful.
It’s Just Like Riding a Bike (7.19)
If it was any other couple than Paris and Doyle, Doyle’s refusal to obey Paris’ spoken wish to break up would feel concerning. As it is, the audience is confident enough in Paris’ ability to fight for what she really wants and not be steamrolled or manipulated (unlike Rory’s experiences with Logan) that instead the scene comes across as cute.
Lorelai? Lorelai? (7.20)
Lorelai regrets getting rid of her Luke-related stuff, or Luke box if you will, just as she predicted Rory would regret getting rid of her Dean box at some point in the future when she was feeling nostalgic. I understand it’s two different sets of circumstances, but I still wish Rory had had the foresight to do for Lorelai what she had done for her then and had hidden the box away for when Lorelai would want to, at the very least, reminisce.
At karaoke night, Rory encourages Lorelai to have shots so that she can work up the courage to sing, but the last time Lorelai had shots was at Lane’s wedding reception right before making a fool of herself in front of everybody. Novel idea, but maybe shots don’t lead to the best decisions.
Unto the Breach (7.21)
After publicly proposing at Rory’s grandparents’ graduation party they threw for her, Logan defends himself by saying, “I’m sorry I know you said you were over big gestures, but that’s what wedding proposals are.” So, to rephrase, what he’s essentially saying is, “I know you said you were tired of big gestures, but screw what you want.”
Rory wanting Lorelai to tell her what answer to give Logan shows how much Rory puts stock into other people’s opinions of her life rather than going with what feels right to her. It’s the crux of her character and always will be.
Either a continuity flub or a girlfriend lie out of love: Logan says that he “did trip” at his Yale graduation the year prior, but in 6.22 “Partings” Rory tells Lorelai that “Logan looked very dignified. He didn’t trip. He remembered to wear pants.”
Worst Episode: French Twist
I believe to any Gilmore Girls fan, the words “Lorelai and Chris get married in season seven” are the epitome of their worst nightmare. Add to it that we see the immediate aftermath of their sex as well as hear multiple “I love you”s exchanged and you can practically hear viewers all around the world running away screaming, crying, and barfing simultaneously.
Yes, that seemingly overdramatic imagery accurately conveys how devastating the reality is.
An attentive viewer will realize that Christopher isn’t right for Lorelai in much the same way Logan isn’t right for Rory. They both solve their problems with their respective woman by throwing money at pretty superficial things they know Lorelai and Rory enjoy i.e. getting a restaurant to open early or hiring a coffee cart for the day. These acts may be sweet on the surface, but fall apart and become obnoxious when you realize that these men are taking advantage of workers’ desperate need for money. That’s not the kind of life we’re supposed to want for our girls. We’re supposed to want a selflessly handmade ice-skating rink and a chuppah, or intimate discussions of books and looking up the distance from Stars Hollow to Yale-little, deeper acts.
Best Character: Lane Kim
As this season is a culmination of the Tragedy of Lane Kim, the least I can do is present her with the title of Best Character for a season that doesn’t provide much fodder for competition. The poor girl had a horrifically bad first sex experience that immediately led to her being pregnant with twins before she was ready for them, is replaced in the narrative by her husband while she fosters said twins, then is forced to make the heart-breaking decision to step back from the possibility of living her life-long dream of being a rock-and-roll drummer so she can continue to take care of them. Yet, she manages to maintain a strength, grace, and humility in the face of such hardships that few others in this series can claim. She and her mother have a better relationship than ever before based in mutual respect and understanding. To summarize, the reasons why I love Lane the most this season can best be understood by the response she gives in 7.16 when Lorelai reassures her that mothers can have parties: “Not for themselves. They only do things for their children. She [Mrs. Kim] did everything for me. And…I’m…gonna be the same way.”
Best Episode: Bon Voyage
While I do have a few problems with how some things are executed in this episode-the biggest one being how rushed the Luke/Lorelai reconciliation feels, the smallest one being how Rory oddly buys post cards from Stars Hollow to send to Stars Hollow- how could it not hold a special place in my heart? For nine years, this was the last episode of Gilmore Girls. For a long time, this is what fans thought the ending had been. Rory had
dodged a bullet turned down Logan’s marriage proposal and let him walk away, allowing her the freedom to follow and report on Barack Obama’s campaign trail. Lorelai agreed to continue Friday night dinners at her parents’ house with no strings attached, and got back together with Luke. Emily had her family choose to return to her of their own volition the way she had always dreamed they would. All was well that ended well for our Gilmore girls.
At least until Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.
Best lines (in chronological order):
“My brain is a wild jungle full of scary gibberish. I’m writing a letter. I can’t write a letter. “Why can’t I write a letter? I’m wearing a green dress. “I wish I was wearing my blue dress. “My blue dress is at the cleaners. “‘The Germans wore gray. You wore blue. ”Casablanca’. “‘Casablanca’ is such a good movie. “‘Casablanca.’ The white house. Bush. “Why don’t I drive a hybrid car? I should drive a hybrid car. “I should really take my bicycle to work. “Bicycle. Unicycle. Unitard. Hockey puck. Rattlesnake. Monkey, monkey, underpants.”-Lorelai (“Santa’s Secret Stuff”)
“A business is like an ocean. You just got to surf it.”-Logan to Lorelai about his recent business failure. (“Hay Bale Maze”)
“Lulu can play Rory. She’s a great actress.”-Kirk (“Unto the Breach”)
“Dude, you’re who’s highly irregular.”-Zach in response to Taylor’s “You people are violating town ordinances left and right. This is highly irregular.” (“Bon Voyage”)
RANKINGS OF GILMORE GIRLS SEASONS:
- Season 2
- Season 4
- Season 3
- Season 6
- Season 5
- Season 1
- Season 7