“French Twist,” season seven, episode seven, originally aired 11/14/2006
After enduring the horrors of “French Twist,” I went back and watched season one’s “Christopher Returns,” which interestingly, is the exact opposite of this episode. Lorelai greets with Christopher with disdain, as is appropriate (“What the hell are you doing here?”) and a healthy dose of dubiousness. He is, after all, visiting his daughter in the town where she lives for the first time in 16 years. Christopher rides his motorcycle in from Berkeley to talk big about some business venture that of course is failing so much his credit card gets declined. He recognizes that Lorelai has always left the door open for him to be with Rory, yet seldom takes advantage. Then he asks Lorelai to marry him, which 2001 Lorelai rightly recognizes as a crazy proposition. She tells Rory, “he wants things before he’s ready for them,” and from all accounts this still appears to be true.
The only thing that’s changed: He inherited a ton of money from his dead grandfather. That’s it. That’s why he’s successful now. So his big, heart-tugging gestures for Lorelai now are really not much more than making phone calls and throwing money at people, like those poor dozen waiters roused from a deep sleep in Paris. It’s not romantic. It’s Gilmore entitlement at its highest level.
Unless you like watching Lorelai and Chris have jet lag for what appears to be 100 hours, the only valuable part of “French Twist” (granted, you really have to look for it), is Rory’s breakdown (and cute pink hair). I guess it’s understandable that someone on such a straight-and-narrow path would be a but undone by the end of that path: It’s why she dropped out of Yale in the first place, and is such a mess in the revival. (I was so sick of people asking about post-college plans I went to England to become a bingo parlor hostess; when I finally got a job as an editorial assistant, it was for minimum wage with no insurance.) So Rory’s anguish rings quite true, even as Christopher and Lorelai’s romance falls flat despite the lights of Paris.
Of course, then Rory’s segment in this episode is practically spoiled by the reappearance of Marty as the horrifically title “Boyfriend.” We should be glad that Marty has done so well: gone from dorky to dishy, has a fun girlfriend, still works hard for everything he has. But unfortunately he is felled by the show’s belief that no man can cross Rory Gilmore’s path and not still be in love with her three years later.
“Introducing Lorelai Planetarium,” season seven, episode eight, originally aired 11/21/2006
The horror of the marriage kicks off almost from the get-go, as Christopher cackles over stealing Lorelai’s favorite T-shirt for several years and immediately wants to add a flat-screen TV and a waterfall to the Gilmore girls’ humble abode. Then he immediately starts throwing Rory out of her own home to make room for Gigi, with idiotic Christopher thoughts like, “She won’t care, she’s graduating from college!”
Rory is upset about her parents’ marriage, but not for the proper reason, which would be that it is a travesty of the entire nuptial institution. Rory-like, she’s just mad that she wasn’t there. But she and Lorelai both admit that if she had called Rory, her daughter would have been able to talk her out of it: which appears to be proof positive that no one except for the clueless groom seems to think this union is a good idea.
Rory has similar difficulty fitting into Logan’s post-grad life, which is a nice switch for the two of them: He’s the one on a clear path, and she’s floundering, skewering the entitled guests at Logan’s launch party in an article even as, he rightly points out, she’s as entitled as any of them. The Gilmore girls may both be romantically involved for once, but the seeds of these relationships eventually unraveling are everywhere.
- Christopher’s post-coital “Yeah… that’s what I’m talking about” is hands-down my least favorite line of dialogue ever on this show.
- Savvy Philadelphia Story viewers, the movie that Luke is watching in the hospital at the end of “Lorelai Planetarium,” will note that Katharine Hepburn’s character dumps her fiancee to get back with her longtime love, Cary Grant’s Dexter, at the end—a hopeful sign.
- Another old movie nod: Olivia describing Stars Hollow as a place where Professor Henry Hill would hand out musical instruments is a nod to the fact that the SH set was originally created for that movie, The Music Man.
- Helpful “French Twist” factoid from the IMDB: “This is the lowest-rated episode of the entire series.”
- I know it’s petty, but I think Luke finding out about Lorleai’s marriage at the hospital is appropriate punishment for his crack about her being the one who proposed.
- Guys: I have a ton going on next week for the holiday, so am taking my first break from this series, with only seven weeks to go. So we’ll see you back here on April 6 as Christopher ruins a knit-a-thon and Liz has her baby. Have a great week!