Directing and writing credits:
"You've Been Gilmored" is directed by Stephen Clancy, written by Jordon Nardino. Clancy has worked on the show as a steadicam operator since S1, but these are his previously directed episodes:

"The Incredible Sinking Lorelais" - The sexual tension between Lorelai and Dean is off the charts. Seriously, did Lauren Graham and Jared Padalecki ever hook up?
"We Got Us a Pippi Virgin" - Luke is most attractive when he's either wearing sweatpants or watching "Pippi Longstocking" in rapt fascination.
"Just Like Gwen and Gavin" - Doggy Swami's fortune to Lane says, "You will sing songs of gemstones" but I wish it said, "Your ex-boyfriend will die of a dental abscess."

This is Nardino's first and only episode of "GG." I spent ~15 stoned minutes looking at his IG, which I recommend if you want to waste time on a deep dive. Here are three things I can tell you from my perusal: he is gay, identifies with Bonnie on "Big Little Lies," and once thought his lost his favorite pair of sunglasses only to discover that they were in his friend's fanny pack.

Most batshit crazy outfit:
Michel obviously saw, and was very inspired by, "Garden State" (2004). I assume there's a room at the inn where he can effortlessly recreate this scene sans jacket:

I should also note that while I'm happy to see Rory rewear this purple sweater for the third time, I don't like the frumpy plaid school uniform skirt and patterned fishnet tights she's paired it with.

Her hair is the only thing suppressing my gag reflex.

Most irritating Rory or Lorelai moment:
For an early aughts network TV show, "Gilmore Girls" was progressive in so many ways, but its portrayal of sex and relationships now feels incredibly dated. After Paris evicts Rory, she decides to move in with Logan for lack of better options. When she discusses this decision with Lorelai, who has already heard the news from Christopher, she's shocked by the positive reception. She muses, "You didn't call me Hester Prynne once" to the woman who birthed her at 16. Even Lane "I have to wait 'til I'm married" Kim lived with Zack before the whole Hep Alien fiasco. This is hardly a controversial decision for anyone raised outside of a religious cult.

The conversation gets even more disgusting when Lorelai throws in her two cents She tells Rory, "There's that whole thing about the cow and the milk's free." If you've never heard this idiom before, the misogynistic translation is that a man won't marry a woman if he can get all the "benefits" of marriage for free. It assumes that women are desperate for a ring whereas men only care about sex and someone to clean up after them. Lorelai's tone is jokey, but outdated gender stereotypes just aren't funny to me. This feels like the type of lazy writing you'd hear on "The Big Bang Theory," which isn't unexpected coming from a man who says he writes for "your girlfriend's favorite TV show." (Did you seriously think that I was going to let that one slide?)

I'm glad Lorelai didn't lose the monkey lamp in the remodel.

Number of times Rory or Lorelai treat their BFF like shit:
I don't blame Rory for accepting the editor position, but she probably should have told Paris ASAP to prevent her from hearing it through the grapevine and dumping all of her possessions in the hallway for the doo-wop group to pilfer. She's lucky that Paris merely ousted her from the apartment instead of going full Bernie (Angela Bassett) in "Waiting to Exhale" on her ass.

Sookie isn't in this episode, but she does come up during the insurance coverage freak out after Luke and Lorelai dine with the Gilmores. After hearing Emily and Richard's many cautionary tales, they start spiraling about how everyone connected to them, including Sookie and Jackson, could eventually lead to their financial ruin if certain mistakes are made. After making plans to talk to them both about their policies, Lorelai changes her mind and declares, "Forget Sookie and Jackson. They're responsible people."

Responsible is not the word that comes to mind when I think about Sookie trying to force a vasectomy on Jackson because they can't agree on the number of children they'd like to have, but sure 😂

Best literary or pop culture references:
When Christopher asks Lorelai for her "take" on Logan, she says, "Hey, for me, the jury's out on all you guys. You can thank Brad Pitt for that one." I'm guessing this episode was written after Jennifer Aniston's Vanity Fair interview where she famously said that Pitt is missing a "sensitivity chip." The interviewer, Leslie Bennetts, had asked her a question about Pitt's W Magazine feature with Angelina Jolie, which hit stands before the divorce with Aniston was even finalized. I somehow missed this at the time, but Pitt conceptualized the entire spread and maintained international rights so that he could profit off of it, which feels even more fucked up.

The photos are some of the creepiest shit I've ever seen. There is one with Brad, Angelina, and five random children holding hands and praying around a dining room table. It's like "Mad Men" cosplay, complete with a midcentury-modern Palm Springs house and several poses that indicate overindulgence in drugs and/or alcohol. I feel like Hunter Harris would have something interesting to say about this whole situation.

Meanwhile, Aniston has been forced to endure 2+ decades of this insanity.

Stars Hollow weirdness:
The SH denizens are absent. I imagine they're all at Babette and Morey's, sitting around with the cats and gossiping about papa Luke over cigarettes and highballs.

Sharpest insult or one-liner:
Lauren Graham's line delivery is spot-on during this exchange with Michel:

Lorelai: Got a little snack there, Michel?
Michel: These are not a snack. They are my 12 daily omega-3 walnuts.
Lorelai: Aww, I hate to see you binging like this.

Then, of course, the big plot twist is that the walnuts are candied. I agree with Michel: the real ones do taste like cardboard.

Books mentioned/books Rory is reading:
As Rory sits amongst her possessions outside of Paris' apartment, she laments, "My books look sad. Can books look sad?" Yes, bitch, maybe it's because you never read them. They are lonely and missing human touch. Her reference to Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter" is the only reminder of her former literary prowess.

As Emily and Richard run through their list of friends who have been negatively impacted by insurance mishaps, Lorelai says, "Oh, my god, the two of you have more stories than Somerset Maugham." When she and Luke are outside having their post-dinner anxiety fest and discussing what they learned from the friends' misfortunes, he asks, "Hey, which one was Somerset Maugham?" Sometimes simpleton Luke's comedic timing is inadvertently amazing.

I doubt Lorelai has read any Maugham, but she's seen all of the adaptations.

Best song of the episode:
I guess they had to conserve the music budget for the final 1/3 of the season.

After last episode's Friday night dinner smackdown, the Gilmores continue to make tiny dents in their decades-long mountain of emotional repression. The opening scene of "You've Been Gilmored" is a good demonstration of this subtle shift. As everyone tries their damndest to stick to light, inoffensive topics, frustrations bubble up to the surface. When Richard asks Rory how things are going at Yale, the resentment over Christopher's financial involvement is difficult to subdue. Lorelai tries to bring everyone back to harmless small talk, but it takes a concerted amount of effort (and repetition) to get there. My favorite moment is when Richard, in an attempt to change the subject to something positive, screams, "I LOVE SHRIMP. WHO ELSE LOVES SHRIMP?"

When the conversation turns to Lorelai and Luke, Emily is eager to hear more details about their upcoming nuptials, including the date. To avoid continued questioning, Lorelai blurts out "June 3rd!" as Rory gives her a skeptical look. It's always two steps forward, three hundred steps back with these people. She should have just told (an edited version of) the truth but instead, she decides to let future Lorelai deal with this brewing shit storm. In a moment of masterful manipulation, Emily manages to leverage the supposed closeness of the wedding date as an excuse to have Luke at the next Friday night dinner.

June 3rd? Sure, Jan.

Lorelai breaks the news of this coerced commitment to Luke as he does free handyman labor for her at the inn (much to Michel's distaste). The most relatable part of their relationship is the way they negotiate dreaded familial obligations.

Luke: Maybe we could skip the drinks, have the dinner, and be done.
Lorelai: Skip the drinks! Luke, you don't skip the one activity that makes the rest of the evening miraculously tolerable. The drinks fortify us. The drinks give us strength. The drinks get us drunk.
Luke: But they take forever, and then I got to sit there and talk to your dad about stocks and literature and watch it dawn on him for the umpteenth time that I don't know anything about stocks or literature. How many times can two people have the same awful conversation?

Surprisingly, dinner isn't as bad as either of them expected it to be. This time, there are no passive aggressive digs about nitwit juice or unwanted tips on how to franchise the dinner. Although Emily and Richard spend the night scaring the piss out of them with stories about men who lose everything and end up suicidal (or worse, working class), it weirdly feels like they've accepted Luke as part of the family. When Emily mentions June 3rd, it's a sad reminder that this nice moment is only temporary. Once news of the wedding postponement arises, any positive feelings the Gilmores had toward Luke will surely disappear.

"You ate shrimp at a pancake house? Well, of course your stomach's unsettled."

When the topic of April comes up, what the elder Gilmores have to say is not wholly unreasonable. The idea that she and Anna are running some kind of long con is laughable, but Luke probably should get a DNA test done by someone with credentials more legit than "once stood next to a microscope." After dinner, Lorelai brings April up again when she and Luke are winding down from their collective panic attack. Lorelai says that they shouldn't worry about April, but that she knows "nothing about her mother." Luke assures her that Anna is "very down to earth, very un-materialistic. I trust my gut, and my gut says there's nothing bad there."

It feels like the show is setting up the potential for a love triangle between Luke, Lorelai, and Anna, but it's just a red herring. Instead of making Anna a romantic rival, she's written as an unreasonable bitch who garners sympathy by playing the single mom card. The situation sucks, but Lorelai isn't helping matters by hiding her true feelings from Luke. This would have been the perfect time to express desire for involvement in April's life, yet Lorelai says nothing. As someone who repressed and compartmentalized their emotions for ~twenty-eight years, I can tell you that this is a trash strategy with unpleasant repercussions.

Why don't any of the men on this show wear clothes that actually fit?

Lorelai's B story involves a disgruntled Michel who just wants to hang out with her like they used to before Luke's free handyman services rendered their meetings pointless. He misses the times when they would eat red velvet cake while gossiping and making insane to-do lists for the inn. When Michel finally admits that this is the source of his hostility, Lorelai reinstates the meetings. Previously, I might have commiserated with Luke over the chocolate brown vs. cocoa brown contact paper bullshit, but I have no longer have sympathy for his trifling ass.

Another person who deserves all of the bad shit coming their way is Paris. Once the Howell Raines-ing at the Yale Daily News is complete, Rory volunteers to tell her since she is the only one who can do it without chuckling. As Paris heats up a can of soup on a hot plate in her windowless, fire hazard of a bunker, Rory does a respectable job of sandwiching the bad news with enough praise to soften the blow. The next time I face a professional setback, I'm going to channel Paris' self-confidence and become my own hype woman.

Rory: And this job, Paris, being editor, you don't need this, this hassle. You're gonna be a doctor.
Paris: Surgeon.
Rory: And a lawyer.
Paris: Judge.
Rory: That's a hell of a workload.

I would much rather work in Paris' bunker than in an open office.

After Paris crawls out of her spider hole and makes a calmly delusional resignation speech, it's only a matter of time before her signature pettiness emerges. During the meeting to elect a new editor, Rory, who wasn't even initially in contention, swiftly clinches the nomination. Everything is aces until she arrives home to find all of her possessions unceremoniously tossed into the hallway. Paris dove straight into conspiracy theory mode as soon as she heard about editor Gilmore without stopping to consider that Rory is far too vanilla to "set the putsch in motion." Against my will, I am now imagining what a relationship between Ye and Paris would be like.

In a fit of faux despair, Rory calls Logan and explains her predicament. Without hesitating, he suggests that she move in with him. She already has two dresser drawers at his place (which is more than S2 Carrie Bradshaw can say) and for a limited time, he's willing to throw in three more. Colin and Finn, who are apparently at Logan's 24/7 beck and call, arrive to fetch her things and the problem is instantly solved. Somehow, Rory also manages to squeeze a Christopher visit into this whirlwind day. There must be a wormhole in Connecticut because time has no meaning there.

This makes me think of the woman in S2 who is like "I don't talk to anybody. People annoy me."

Lorelai, who should learn to mind her own fucking business, encouraged Rory to invite Christopher to Yale for a tour of the campus. Instead of letting him write the tuition checks and then telling him to piss of, I guess the plan is now to "make him feel daddy-ish." It's no wonder Rory is a goddamn mess in her 30s after dealing with decades of mixed messages and over-involvement in her parents' relationship. I don't trust ASP to do a good job with it, but I would totally watch another season of "AYitL" if it revolved around Rory as a mom, trying to unravel all of the damage that Lorelai did to her in therapy.

Nonsense aside, the Christopher visit is fine. Rory is hesitant to show him her apartment since she hasn't had a chance to tell Lorelai about the change of address yet, but Christopher thankfully doesn't give a shit. There is some initial awkwardness over the incident at the vow renewal, but all of that melts away once Christopher realizes how "cool" Logan is, what with his Xbox 360, plasma TV, and bad boy private school antics. Christopher is an adult in the same way that Bagel Bites are pizza.

At best, Logan's apartment looks like a mid-range Hyatt.

After an onion brick at Rich Man's Shoe, Christopher calls Lorelai to tell her about Rory's new living situation. I guess it's good that he's trying to channel the spirit of a responsible, involved parent but Rory is twenty-one now, so he should probably just stay in his lane. Lorelai, the perfect example of an over-involved parent, is happy to be informed of this new development. She fakes enthusiasm when Rory tells her about moving in with Logan, but it's pretty obvious that she isn't thrilled. Aside from her internalized misogyny, she handles the conversation relatively well. As a parent, I imagine it's difficult to balance advice and support once your kid is old enough to make their own decisions. Lorelai might not do this flawlessly, but at least she tries to find some kind of balance. What can I say? My bar is low.

Random observations:

  • NGL, I checked our renter's insurance policy after hearing the story about Brian Hunter and the marijuana cigarette house fire. If I lose everything I own at this stage, I'll have no choice but to pull a Hubert Lansing and off myself with a track and field starter's pistol. "On your mark, get set, die awkwardly."
  • Rory and Lorelai's post-dinner snack consists of an untoasted Pop-Tart palate cleanser, mini pizzas topped with pepperoni and tater tots, and apple and cherry turnovers. When's the last time these two got any blood work done?
  • I don't believe for one second that Yale didn't make sweatshirts for dogs in 2005. Their mascot is a bulldog FFS. Is he supposed to run around naked?
  • Judith Miller was released from prison at the start of this season, so Paris' name drop was very topical. Miller was jailed for contempt when she refused to name Scooter Libby (who you might remember is friends with Richard) as her source for the Valerie Plame leak.
  • Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like the elder Gilmore house looks like it's permanently prepared for a wake? Everything about it screams "funeral home."
Whoever put together these floral arrangements needs to be fired.
  • I empathize with Luke as I, too, must take 5 quick shots smoke weed in the driveway before hanging out with my husband's family. Maybe I'll fake an attack of food poisoning next time.
  • I love when Michel sassily tells Luke that he isn't qualified to give someone directions to the post office. The shade of it all!
  • I love that Bill moves Paris' magnet when she leaves the newsroom after her resignation speech. I never noticed it before.
  • I couldn't help but wonder ... would the rest of this season have been better if April and her mother were grifters?