TV / Gilmore Girls

'Gilmore Girls' Season 1, Episode 5: Cinnamon's Wake

. 7 min read . Written by Lindsay Pugh
'Gilmore Girls' Season 1, Episode 5: Cinnamon's Wake

Directing and writing credits:
Written by Daniel Palladino, directed by Michael Katleman. As a director, I hate him, but as a writer, Daniel Palladino is pretty solid. He's actually penned some of my all-time favorite episodes:

  • "The Bracebridge Dinner" - Season 2, Episode 10
  • "Lorelai's Graduation Day" - Season 2, Episode 21
  • "A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving" - Season 3, Episode 9
  • "A Tale of Poes and Fire" - Season 3, Episode 17
  • "The Festival of Living Art" - Season 4, Episode 7

And there are many others I could include on that list. Generally, I prefer his writing style to Amy Sherman-Palladino's and really appreciate his affinity for the townies of Stars Hollow. Daniel Palladino does have a tendency to overwrite dialogue a little bit (ASP is much better at this, which is why I think they make good writing partners), but there are many worse offenses committed by writers during the duration of "GG," so I feel it's pointless to dwell on this tiny one.

Michael Katleman is a "GG" veteran who has directed 7 episodes over Seasons 1 & 2. He's also done a lot of other random shit that I don't find terribly interesting, but based on his credits, he seems to be the type of tv director who is able to jump in and seamlessly match the style of the show. With a show like "GG" that is not exactly what I would call cinematic, I think this is as much as anyone can expect out of the directors involved.

(There is one episode of "GG" in season 6 that is phenomenally directed and totally elevates the material. I'll talk more about it when we get to it).

Most batshit crazy outfit:
The ugly runs deep in this episode, but the gold medal goes to Lorelai (as it usually does). Her bake sale outfit is... special.

She's wearing a gross, long black leather blazer, paired with a gauzy white button-down with (I think?) brown Eiffel Tower embroidery on the right tit. She's left some of the buttons unbuttoned and layered it over a brown camisole. As a cutting-edge styling decision, Lorelai took the gauzy shirt's lapels and flipped them over the leather blazer's lapels. So fashion, much wow. She tops the whole look off with a thin gold chain necklace, diamond stud earrings, a low, frizzy bun with a side part, and oh yeah... FROSTED LILAC EYESHADOW and lipstick with brown undertones. Did Emily Gilmore teach you nothing? It's a good thing I'm not Max Medina, because my lust would have melted away as soon as I saw this train wreck of an outfit.

I also need to call out the green, wide leg chinos that Rory wears to Cinnamon's wake. They have flap pockets on the ass and make her entire lower body look like a sack of potatoes. BURN THEM. BURN THEM WITH FIRE, RORY.

Most irritating Rory or Lorelai moment:
Everything that goes down after the botched Max Medina date is extremely weird and co-dependent. First, how did Lorelai forget about their date? Buy a planner if you're so absentminded. Leave yourself a post-it message. Grow up and learn how to be a fucking adult. For someone who claims to care so much about her daughter's feelings, Lorelai obviously wasn't too stressed over how to broach the topic with Rory. If she was, she wouldn't have completely spaced.

After Max shows up, Rory is weirded out and Lorelai tries to explain the awkwardness away by claiming that it wasn't an actual date:

Lorelai: "So -- um -- he and I were going to sort of hang out together."
Rory: "On a date."
Lorelai: "No, on a -- something that could appear like a date to the untrained eye."

Lorelai... no one is buying your bullshit and I give your sad attempt to gaslight Rory a C- at best. All of your explanations and justifications are pathetic and Rory has every right to feel irritated. I'll talk more about this interaction later, but consider this a primer.

Number of times Rory or Lorelai treat their bff like shit:
Sookie makes a freakin' swan out of a watermelon for Rory's bake sale, along with multiple tables of delectable treats, but we never see Lorelai thank her. This slight is pretty minor, but one of the first signs of the ways that Lorelai completely takes Sookie for granted.

Best literary or pop culture references:
"It's like a scene from a kitty version of 'Valley of the Dolls." - Lorelai, while Babette is sorting through Cinnamon's prescriptions, post-death

Lane: Philadelphia.
Rory: Philadelphia? If you could live in any city in the world you'd pick Philadelphia?
Lane: M. Night Shymalan lives there.
Rory: Who?
Lane: The guy who directed 'The Sixth Sense.'
Rory: But what would you do there?
Lane: Hang out with M. Night Shymalan.

Uhhh... I thought Lane was supposed to have good taste? Why the fuck does she want to hang out with M. Night Shymalan? I guess this was before he blew up his career with dumpster fires like "Lady in the Water" and "The Happening."

Stars Hollow weirdness:
Babette and Morey truly are couple goals. If my boyfriend really loved me, he would build our cats a covered wagon and go on passeggiatas with us. Actually, my boyfriend probably would do this. I'm going to ask him to do this right now.

Sharpest insult or one-liner:
It's not a one-liner, but I do love the way Emily Gilmore trolls Lorelai about the Nazis.

Emily: Fine. (pauses) Oh wait -- Rudolph Gottfried.
Lorelai: Another cousin?
Emily: No, a Nazi that we knew. I'd forgotten. We stayed with him once in Munich. Nice old man. Interesting stories.
Lorelai: Mom you socialized with a Nazi? That's despicable! That's heinous!
Emily: No, dear, that was a joke.

Emily, you kill me. Never, ever change.

Books mentioned/books Rory is reading:

  • "A Room of One's Own" by Virginia Woolf. Rory is reading this book on the bus to Hartford when Dean shows up and scares her. Dean is so cool during this interaction. Let's all pour one out for cool, cute Dean, because he doesn't last long.

Best song of the episode:
"Time Bomb" by Rancid. Hep Alien plays a cover of this song in Season 4 that is weird, but oddly great.

Lorelai: (to Lane) Where does your mother think you are?
(Lane turns off the music.)
Lane: Oh, on a park bench contemplating the reunification of the two Koreas.
Lorelai: Not here, skanking to Rancid?
Lane: Wouldn't be included.

We've all been there, Lane.

Thoughts:
I like this episode for the townie weirdness, but hate it for the problematic Rory/Lorelai relationship dynamic. I'm also not a fan of Max Medina, if you haven't already guessed. His character is so one-dimensional and his interest in Lorelai makes absolutely zero sense. He pursues her far too aggressively and I find it hard to believe there's nothing in the Chilton handbook prohibiting teachers from dating parents. It seems like a major conflict of interest, especially when the parent in question is as overzealously involved as Lorelai Gilmore.

If Lorelai and Max truly felt like they were soulmates and needed to date (or at least fuck), here's how Lorelai should have handled it. Step one: explain to Rory that over several encounters, she's gotten to know and like Mr. Medina. Step two: be transparent about the fact that he's asked her out on a date. Step three: gauge Rory's reaction to this reveal. If she's cool with it, tell her the plan is to take it slow and see how things progress. If she's not cool with it and Lorelai actually cares about her feelings, she should offer to wait until he's no longer Rory's teacher. Why is that so difficult?

Lorelai tries to act like she has this amazing, healthy relationship with Rory where they tell each other everything and are total bffs. But then something happens that she doesn't want to tell Rory about because she's still a kid, so she hides it. Rory finds out, gets upset, and Lorelai does a 180 where she overshares and apologizes for her lack of transparency. I've said it once and I'll say it again: these people need a fucking therapist.

Don't believe me? Let's examine this exchange:

Rory: "You can go out with whoever you want."
Lorelai: "It's whoever we want."

Oh, whoever we want, Lorelai? Because that's not creepy and unnecessary. See what I mean about pulling a 180? Lorelai goes from not wanting to tell Rory anything about Max, to telling her that a) she gets to make the call on whether or not Lorelai dates him and b) from that point on, they collectively make decisions about Lorleai's love life. This weird, wishy-washy, 'can't-make-any-decisions-for-myself' behavior that Lorelai exhibits is part of what causes Rory to grow up into such a weird, stunted adult (see: AYitL).

And Max, if a woman forgot about a date with you because of a cat's funeral, you should probably just throw in the towel. Especially when it's not even her cat's funeral. No self-respecting person is like, "oh, it's okay that you forgot about me because your neighbor's cat died... this doesn't sound like a lame ass excuse at all!" Maybe take the hint immediately and save yourself the embarrassment of 1,000 yellow daisies and a last minute wedding cancellation.

Random observations:

  • In these early episodes, Michel really is my soul twin. Pretending to not know French to avoid speaking to insufferable people? Classic.
  • Lorelai tells Max she likes rap music. Because when I think of Lorelai Gilmore, I think of rap music [eye roll]
  • "Cinnamon's dyspeptic. So's Morey. Too many clams." - When will Stars Hollow's residents learn that it's a foolish move to order seafood from Al's Pancake World?
  • Doose's Market carries the weirdest assortment of shit. Remember those weird alien glow pops? They're on prominent display at the front of the market during this episode. I wonder if they paid for advertising.
  • "Try a plum. They're better than sex." - I'd like to make this my text message alert tone.
  • Kirk looks so young in this episode! It's also the first episode where he's actually called "Kirk."
  • Lorelai and Max's coffee shop banter is ridiculous:
    "I wanted some cream but that prompted a very elaborate foam conversation. And the look of disapproval I got when I said I didn't want foam, just cream, rivaled the one I got from my dad when I told him I wanted to be a teacher."
    You know a coffee shop is going to shame you for wanting cream when they have a neon "ESPRESSO" sign on the wall.
  • "I'm attracted to pie. It doesn't mean I feel the need to date pie." - Mum's the word on your pie fetish until you've been out on at least one date. I know from experience.
  • I hope this many people show up to my cat funerals