Stopping by Stars Hollow: A Critic’s First Watch of 'Gilmore Girls' - Season 2, Episode 4
"Mom, the flowers on the wallpaper are not growing or reproducing."
We have another long day of gardening in front of us, and hopefully it keeps the churning seas of anxiety and depression at bay. The job front is looking grim not matter how much I keep applying but I have to remain positive. So I’m going to write this into existence: I will get a job before October 2018. I will move out of my parents’ house before October 2018. I will do well at my job and be able to feed my cats before October 2018. I can do this. I will succeed. And so will you.
Now with a positive mental attitude, let’s stop by Stars Hollow and get what we deserve.
Season 2, Episode 4 “The Road Trip to Harvard”
This episode is our foundation episode for Lorelai’s character arc the rest of the season, which is great because this episode just shows how much emotional turmoil Lorelai has gone through and will continue to go through throughout the series.
In season one, Lorelai’s character was indeed dynamic, with a rich character history and a nuanced mother/daughter relationship. Her emotional state, however, seemed to consist of just three modes: exuberantly excited, spitefully mad, and motherly concerned. Lorelai’s reactions were predictable, entertaining still because of Lauren Graham’s energetic nature, but nothing surprising. This worked fine for season one as it served as an area of stability for the audience while other values such as family history and relationship dynamics were fleshed out.
Now with season two, as we’ve been well immersed in Stars Hollow, The Gilmores, and all their quirks, Sherman-Palladino is now able to create emotional turmoil in a stable environment. This is important as having too much drama at once could cause an audience to be confused and disinterested in the plot as a whole. However, now that the establishing nature of season one is over, Sherman-Palladino can get into the nitty gritty of Lorelai and Rory’s world and this episode does an excellent job at it.
Lorelai’s character is defined even further than just a quirky young mother with her own maternal issues. In this episode we get to see a new side of Lorelai: impulsive, afraid, and self-loathing. Every moment of this episode is informed by one of these emotions, making it a beautifully cohesive portrait of Lorelai’s mental state. We get to see her lash out at Rory because for the first time in a very long while, Lorelai feels vulnerable and doesn’t know what to do about it.
The resolution of this conflict is beautiful too with her sitting on the porch talking to Luke, the only person she feels safe being completely vulnerable around because even with Rory she is slightly guarded. Luke’s presence is like a lighthouse during a storm in this episode, a symbol that everything will be alright with Lorelai. Her romance with Max may have dealt some damage, but she will survive, and has learned something new about herself in the process. At the end of this episode we see a wiser Lorelai. A Lorelai who will curb her impulsive tendencies and spend more time learn to love herself by doing things for herself.
Now all we need is for Rory to become as complex a character, instead of her having petty fights with Paris and Dean under the excuse of being hormonal and irrational teenagers. But hey, you win some and you lose some… let’s just hope that this season continues to be a win.
Now with a well defined, emotionally complex with a dynamic and tumultuous past having Lorelai let us see where these character developments take us, Maybe a romance with Luke? Maybe the opening of her own inn? We’ll just have to wait as we move…
Onto Season 2, Episode 5 “Nick & Nora/Sid & Nancy”