“Santa’s Secret Stuff,” season seven, episode 11, originally aired 1/23/2007 

As we have been wallowing in the dregs of Gilmore Girls season seven, at last the light is beginning to break a bit. For example, in “Santa’s Secret Stuff,” thanks to winter break, we get to see Rory and Lorelai together for almost the entire episode, which is a solid reminder of what this show has really been missing for the past several weeks. It helps that Rory’s a bit of a crack-up for once, as Lorelai complains that her coffee only has the whisper of peppermint and Rory keeps whispering “peppermint.” It’s as if Alexis Bledel decided that hey, there’s probably only a few more months of this, so let’s have some fun with it.

Also, Rory is around to call her mother out on her bullshit, like hiding her Luke letter from her new husband. It adds a needed dimension to an episode that is really only about Lorelai trying to write a letter (with some Lane and April B-plot). As no one really learns anything in this show, Lorelai fails to realize that her efforts to keep Chris from her letter to Luke is only going to consequently blow up in her face (which it does, the very next episode!)

The timber of the show is still a bit off, as the writers attempt to add a lot of dialogue without actually examining what that’s all going to sound like—only a few notches above straight gibberish. Lorelai and Rory’s long list of Christmas demands, for example (which, after all, only highlight how much Christopher does not fit into their traditional plans), and Lorelai’s stream of consciousness as to why she can’t sit down and write the letter. Monkey monkey underpants? Okay.

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Still, Lorelai’s few scenes with Luke, as they’re meant to be, are so chemistry-laden that it’s clear (as if we didn’t already know it before) that Christopher doesn’t stand a chance. Lorelai’s immediately agreeing to writing Luke’s character reference letter before he barely finishes the question; her smiles at him at the Sharper Image store as she remembers how he’s always been there for her and her daughter. It was a little annoying how much Lorelai was complaining about having to sit down and write a letter, but the way she reached being able to write it was significant. Also significant even leaving the coziest domestic scene she’s ever seen in her house, it finally starts to snow as she send off her letter to Luke. We get it, show.

In other news: Poor Lane, again, has to be the person to get the band back together, even though her vast pregnancy makes that almost impossible. But the way Zack talked her off the ledge was very sweet, and a good indicator for their future life together. She’s right, though: Poor Lane only got about five happy minutes of being out on her own before the show slammed her with a twin pregnancy. That character really got the shaft.

Luke’s day with April showed exactly way Lorelai’s letter was so important: how much this smart, quirky child brings to his hermit life and how much he would miss having her around. Lord help me, I think April’s starting to grow on me. Maybe it’s her birdcalls.

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“To Whom It May Concern,” season seven, episode 12, originally aired 1/30/2007

If “SSS” is just about writing a letter, “To Whom It May Concern” is about even less. Rory finally makes up with Lucy. Jackson somehow never got a vasectomy, in a plot twist apparently designed to help out with Melissa McCarthy’s real-life pregnancy, but seems pretty dumb (also continues the Gilmore Girls theme of pregnancy being greeted with trepidation, if not outright horror). How would Sookie not know? I definitely noticed my husband walking around our house with a bag of frozen peas in his lap for a few days after his particular procedure. He complained, “Is this what your cesarian was like?” Yeah, buddy. On the inside.

But Jackson is far from the worst idiot male this episode. That title of course goes to one Christopher Hayden, who marries someone who is clearly on the rebound from a broken engagement only a few months prior, then complain when she still seems to harbor feelings for a man she only recently broke up with. I’d say, “What the hell were you expecting, Chris?” but know from his long rocky history that he was only thinking about the moment, never being smart about the big picture. His tirade is ridiculous: She married him and says that she loves him, what else can she do?

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The whole dumb Lucy/Marty plot is almost worth it for Paris’ impassioned speech about Rory’s friendship in the cafeteria. Almost. So long Marty, you deserved much better than to be depicted as a hard-working stalker whose apparent greatest flaw was to be middle-class. Lucy only shows up in two more episodes anyway.

Stray observations

  • Hey, Paul Anka. It’s been a while.
  • The best moment in these two episodes is Lorelai and Davy and the magic socks.
  • Krysten Ritter’s delivery of “Hey… Paris” is Olivier-worthy.
  • Why would you look up tree in the dictionary?
  • Christopher can’t even pick out a proper stocking. Those were hideous.
  • When I was pregnant with twins, almost no one dared to ask me if it was twins. Which was surprising, since I am about the same height as Lane and so resembled a small planet or offshore island. A few weeks before giving birth, I had to go to the Field Museum to do some research. I was walking across the main lobby, where the dinosaur and the elephants are, when one of the security guards yelled out, “Hey! Twins, right?” When I later waddled up to the Corner Bakery they had there, a cashier yelled at me, “Hey, Belly! Over here! So, weirdly, only place I was ever actually called out for being pregnant with twins was the Field Museum, even though I looked like I was about to give birth at about four months.
  • This week in Gilmore entitlement: It’s kind of annoying how Rory can’t stand that there’s one person on the planet who doesn’t like her and will not rest until she’s won her back over.
  • Best Gilmore outfits: The holiday sweaters were cute. And I really liked that purple dress Lorelai wore during her talk with Luke. Lauren Graham looks incredible in an extremely high number of colors.
  • A note about hairstyles: Granted, maybe I watch too much TV (maybe!). But sometimes it annoys me when I see a bunch of women on a certain show all starting to look the same, like the hairstylist was in a particular groove and just kept rolling with it. Like someone just decided to pull out the hot rollers for Rory and Paris in “To Whom.” Not saying they didn’t look amazing, however.
  • However, the prize for greatest hair in these two episodes of course goes to Sebastian Bach.
  • Lorelai didn’t even sign the letter, what?
  • Next week: Christopher is such an asshole.

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