'Gilmore Girls' Season 2, Episode 11: Secrets and Loans

'Gilmore Girls' Season 2, Episode 11: Secrets and Loans

Directing and writing credits:
Directed by Nicole Holofcener, written by Linda Loiselle Guzik. It's such a bummer to me that this is the episode they gave Holofcener. She's a talented, capable director, and some of that certainly shines through in "Secrets and Loans," but it's a hard episode to like because Lorelai's spoiled, bratty attitude is impossible to ignore and hard to stomach. Holofcener has worked on a bunch of TV shows - "Sex and the City," "Six Feet Under," "Enlightened," and "Parks and Recreation," to name a few. She's also known for writing and directing some wonderful films, like "Enough Said," and collaborating with Catherine Keener.

Guzik has written three episodes of "Gilmore Girls" and none of them are great. You might remember her from "Emily in Wonderland," an episode co-written by her and John Stephens. She has one more writing credit in Season 2, for "Back in the Saddle Again," and then she drops off the map.

Most batshit crazy outfit:
This cheapo polyester shirt that looks like a pajama top is standard Lorelai Gilmore fugly, but the headband is a new and horrible accessory for her.

And of course, we can't forget Jackson's humiliating picture pajamas.

They're actually kind of cool, tbh, but I hate Jackson, so I'm including them.

Most irritating Rory or Lorelai moment:
Everything Lorelai does in this episode is irritating, but I especially hate her whole 'I'm an adult and you need to trust me' speech to Rory.

Rory: I'm sorry I told Grandma about it.
Lorelai: Aw hon, listen, there's gonna be a time in our lives where occasionally I'm gonna make a mistake. It hasn't happened yet, but it might.
Rory: Sure.
Lorelai: But I have earned the right to make that mistake, and I have earned the right to fix any problems without interference.
Rory: I just thought that they could help.
Lorelai: But I didn't want their help
Rory: But ...
Lorelai: Rory, have you ever been without food or clothes or books or book covers for that matter or anything else you ever needed?
Rory: No.
Lorelai: No, and see, the reason for that is me. I have a pretty good track record for keeping you alive.
Rory: Yeah, you do.
Lorelai: So when I tell you I can handle something, you need to respect that, especially since you have no evidence proving I won't. Understand?

Bitch, you can't even get a $15k loan without a co-signer, but you spend $25k on takeout and Hello Kitty stationery every year. Rory has every right to distrust you because you're irresponsible and stupid.

Number of times Rory or Lorelai treat their bff like shit:
Lorelai calls Sookie ad nauseam because she's afraid to sleep in her house since she can allegedly hear the termites chewing. Grow up, Lorelai.

Rory: Are you sure Sookie was up?
Lorelai: Yeah, she answered the phone.
Rory: After how many rings?
Lorelai: I don't know, twenty or thirty.
Rory: Mom, she was sleeping.
Lorelai: No, no, she's just deaf in one ear.

Rory is a jerk to Lane whenever she finds out that she's a cheerleader. This seems like a pretty standard high school fight and I really can't judge Rory too harshly for it. I probably would have reacted the same way as her, unfortunately. And she does apologize at the end of the episode (without using the word "sorry," though, which Meg has pointed out is sorely lacking from many apologies).

Best literary or pop culture references:
Rory on Mrs Kim: And then she chased me halfway down the street with the hose. It was like a scene from "Silkwood."

Mike Nichols RIP.

Stars Hollow weirdness:
It's bizarre to me that so many people show up for a high school basketball pep rally, but I guess there's not much else to do in Stars Hollow.

Oh, and Kirk is the exterminator who diagnoses Lorelai's termite problem. He mispronounces "joist," thus destroying his credibility in my eyes.

Sharpest insult or one-liner:
Lorelai: I swear, one of these days, Alice. Pow! Right to the moon.

This line is from "The Honeymooners."

Lorelai and Rory are really up on their TV and movie references in this episode. Lorelai also steals a line from "Gone with the Wind," ("I'll think about it tomorrow, at Tara"), and mentions "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," plus "Coyote Ugly." Rory name drops John Waters and as previously mentioned, "Silkwood." I enjoy this high/low mix of references and it's the main reason why I continue to watch "Gilmore Girls" even though it's fucking ridiculous most of the time.

Books mentioned/books Rory is reading:
Rory reads a book at lunch while Paris harasses her about PSAT scores. I think it's that Gore Vidal book of essays from a few episodes ago, but I'm not 100%. She also flips through "The Big Takeover," an awesome music magazine, while she waits for Dean at Chilton.

Louise references Nancy Drew and Lorelai gives a nod to Robert Benchley.

Best song of the episode:
"One Step Beyond" by Madness. Although "Que Sera, Sera" gets stuck in my head all the time because of this episode, and I wander around my house, singing it at the top of my lungs while my cats judge me.

In this episode, Lorelai finds out that termites are eating her house and it's going to cost her $15k to fix it. She tries to get loans from several banks, but is turned down everywhere. Based on the conversation with Miles Hahn, it sounds like she might have taken out previous home equity loans, so maybe she can't get another one. If I were her, I would try to get a loan from a credit union. She's employed, owns a house and a car ... unless she has super shitty credit, it shouldn't be that big of a hurdle.

Lorelai and Rory live way above their means. I estimate that they spend at least $300 on takeout/candy every week and Lorelai obviously has at least one credit card maxed out on shitty, polyester blouses, so it makes sense that there's no money for silly things like unforeseen expenses.

As a 30+ mom, Lorelai should really get her shit together. Sit down and make a budget. Tell Rory to get a fucking library card or a part-time job if she wants to keep buying mountains of books on the regular. Cook a few nights per week instead of ordering takeout and limit yourself to one snack on movie nights. It isn't difficult. And also, if we're being honest, it's sad to me that Lorelai doesn't have any savings. SHE HAS A KID. What would happen to her if she lost her job? She's monumentally irresponsible and I don't find it cute at all.

But of course, it's easy to be irresponsible and spend all your money on dumb shit when your rich parents are waiting in the wings, ready to swoop in and help even though you treat them poorly. Lorelai is absolutely awful to Emily and Rory in this episode and doesn't apologize to either of them. She confesses to Rory that she's been turned down by countless banks, but refuses to ask her parents for help. It's clear she's out of ideas and options, but she stubbornly declares she'll find another way to pay for the house repairs.

Rory, who is used to grandparent assistance when times get tough, ignores Lorelai's wishes and airs their dirty termite laundry at Friday night dinner. Emily first offers to write a check to cover the repairs, but Lorelai turns her down and chastises Rory for disobeying her.

Emily, who can certainly be a dick but doesn't want to see her daughter and granddaughter homeless, slyly sets up a meeting for Lorelai at her bank. But even the thought of using her parents' connections for a meeting drives Lorelai up a wall, and she reacts like a petulant teenager.

Lorelai: So you wrangled me a meeting at your bank?
Emily: I asked a friend for advice.
Lorelai: What else did you ask him for, Mom?
Emily: Lorelai, I simply asked a man to talk to you. What you talk about or what comes out of that talk is strictly up to you.
Lorelai: Well, thanks Mom, but I'm fine.
Emily: So you got a loan?
Lorelai: I got a lead.
Emily: A lead on a loan?
Lorelai: Yes.
Emily: How nice. Now if you could just get an actual loan.

I find it hilarious that Lorelai seems to think she's going to charm a banker into giving her a loan ... that if she just calls 3,000 times and is really persistent, things will work out in her favor. She needs to swallow her pride, be nice to Emily, and accept her help. I understand her desire to be self-sufficient, but I don't understand why she does nothing to push herself in the right direction. If she doesn't want to have to ask her parents for money anymore, she should start saving money. Take a personal finance class at community college, for fuck's sake. Ask Luke for tips! Luke has mad cash in the bank.

The tl;dr here is that Lorelai is privileged and has a permanent safety net. She never learned how to be financially savvy because she never needed to! She likes to project an image of herself as a badass, independent, professional, single mother, but her lack of planning and foresight make her inextricably connected to the wealthy parents she claims do not support her.

Random observations:

  • I love Paris's obsession with figuring out Rory's PSAT scores (740V, 760M).
  • Lorelai definitely would have spilled coffee all over herself had she been holding a cup with actual liquid in it when the porch collapsed.
  • I gotta give it to her - Lorelai looks great in blue. Her eyes are piercing in that turtleneck! I also don't hate her minimalist glasses.
  • Lane: I want you to rest assured that I remain me. I mean, Nico-obsessed, Exene wannabe with forty Korean bibles under her bed. I just bounce a little more.
    There really is no one cooler than Exene and this mention makes me want to go listen to "Los Angeles."
  • Lorelai calls Mr. Rygalski to ask about a loan. Could this be Dave's dad?!
  • Dean looks cute in this episode. Sometimes his hair is floppily adorable, the wardrobe department gives him a respite from puka shells, and I can kind of see why Rory would be into him.
  • Lorelai: Aw honey, it's not the amount of places that turns you down that matters, it's the quality of the place that turns you down that matters. And when you've got Jacko's Loans and Stuff not wanting your business, you know it's time to hang out with the Coreys.
Don't be so sure the Coreys would have you, Lorelai.
  • This episode made me want to eat Eggo waffles and drink Pellegrino water with a straw.
  • Fun fact: both Kirk (in Season 5) and Lorelai have played Tevye in "Fiddler on the Roof."
  • If your insomnia has ever led you down a Nick at Nite rabbit hole at 2AM, you probably recognize Miles Hahn (Richard Kline) as Larry Dallas from "Three's Company."
  • Carrie Bradshaw is like the big city version of Lorelai. She spends all of her money on materialistic bullshit and depends on other people for help when she needs to buy her apartment.
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