Directing and writing credits:
“Partings” is directed by Amy Sherman-Palladino, who co-wrote the episode with Daniel Palladino. In their 2006 interview with Michael Ausiello, they insist the S6 ending was in no way a bitter sabotage. When Ausiello presses Amy, this is what she says:
"Everything we put in place this year, we put in place so that we could continue it next year. And that's just the bottom line. This entire story line was in place so that Dan and I could continue it next year. So, if anyone thinks that I threw something at the fans - and why I would want to throw something upsetting at the fans when all they've done is support the show - it's a little nutty. We threw the story line out there because we knew where we were going next year. Dan and I knew."
In the same interview, they emphasize the importance of complex storytelling and following the characters to places that feel "true." I was never one of those people who believed the Palladinos sabotaged the show out of spite, butttttt I do feel like they lost sight of the characters and how to create believable conflict by the end of S5. If they had stuck with the show through S7, how do we think they would have played this? Based on "AYitL," we know the season would have ended with Rory's pregnancy reveal, which tells us everything we need to know about the quality of ideas firing around at this point 🤮
Most batshit crazy outfit:
Truth be told, none of the outfits are as ugly as I want them to be. I hate to shit on Carolyn/Lynnie (Melora Hardin) because she's the only character in this entire fucking series with any semblance of mental health, but this dress isn't doing her tits any favors. I'm likewise unsure about what's going on with her hair. It's like she got Conair Hot Sticks for Christmas and hasn't yet figured out how to use them.
Most irritating Rory or Lorelai moment:
"Partings" contains various degrees of annoyance, but I'm focusing on minor offenses in this section. Once again, I wish Rory would stop inserting herself into Logan's family drama. The idea that Mitchum is "making" Logan spend a year in London is hilarious. Logan is an adult with free will. He weighed his options, realized he wouldn't fare well as a trust fund-less poor, and chose to go along with his dad's plan. No one is holding a gun to his head! Even if he decided to go it alone, he's still a Yale graduate with family connections. Dude could have easily gotten a high-paying job almost anywhere with minimal effort. The economy was still decent in 2006.
During the dinner scene at Emily and Richard's, my husband said, "Lorelai's whole personality is 'I know you are, but what am I.'" It's the perfect way to describe her and I'm mad he thought of it first. She is so fucking insufferable this season that everything she does is infuriating. She has diarrhea of the mouth when it comes to walrus dreams, but can't have a simple, mature confrontation with Luke where her feelings are logically expressed. All the therapy in the world wouldn't unravel this messy bitch's inherent contradictions.
Number of times Rory or Lorelai treat their BFF like shit:
Paris and Lane are MIA. The episode opens with Lorelai "sleeping" on Sookie and Jackson's couch as they rush around in the morning, loudly whispering about her mental state. I still can't believe that after a decade of friendship, Lorelai doesn't feel comfortable confiding in Sookie. If she hadn't bottled everything up, ambushed a random therapist (who has obvious boundary issues, BTW), and made a string of rash decisions, maybe she could have salvaged her relationship ... or at least her dignity.
Best literary or pop culture references:
Let's all take five minutes to think about how the fuck Lorelai would have reenacted this scene from "Purple Rain" (1984).
Stars Hollow weirdness:
Much to Taylor's chagrin, the streets are littered with troubadours, singing about beavers, perfume, and Volvos. After the OG troubadour is "discovered" on the streets and asked to open for Neil Young — who Kirk thinks is "one of the Monkees" — all of the transient East Coast musicians flock to SH in hopes of being discovered. This is one of my favorite townie plot lines, mainly because it features cameos from Sparks, Yo La Tengo, 1/2 of Sonic Youth, Joe Pernice. Dave Allen, Marry Lynn Rajskub (AKA the girlfriend from "a film by kirk"), Daniel Palladino, the real Dave Rygalski, and Sam Phillips also make appearances.
Miss Patty, who had been taking care of Paul Anka in Lorelai's depression-induced absence, declines a coffee invite because she has to prepare for a 10AM cardio striptease class and needs to "make sure those poles are screwed in tight." I'm now picturing Mrs. Cassini in a sparkly, hot pink leotard and platform lucite heels, flying off the pole and breaking a hip. I imagine this is the incident that led to Patty's fastidiousness with the poles.
Sharpest insult or one-liner:
When Luke shows up unannounced at Lorelai's house and grills Patty on her whereabouts, she expertly uses Mikhail Baryshnikov (Aleksandr Petrovsky) as a diversion.
Luke: No, she's not at the inn, I tried the inn.
Miss Patty: Well, uh, I-I don't know. You know, half the time people speak to me, I'm thinking about Baryshnikov. Did you see "Turning Point"?
Books mentioned/books Rory is reading:
Lynnie, who is a psychologist, suggests Lorelai's walrus suffocation dream could be the result of reading "Alice in Wonderland" too many times. I'm surprised Lorelai doesn't mention how much she detests that book.
Best song of the episode:
Teen Lindsay lost her shit when Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon, and their daughter, Coco, popped up in Stars Hollow playing "What a Waste." I can't find any good quotes from Kim (who I am 100% loyal to post-divorce) about the "GG" experience, so I will reluctantly leave you with one from Moore:
"They invited us to be on their final episode. And so we took Coco out of school – she was in high school – and flew her to L.A. to do this. And Coco had to, by law, have a tutor on the set. But when she was on the set and seeing all the iconography that she had seen on TV, like the mailbox in the town square, she was just in seventh heaven. It's funny, at the same time, she was also very much into this show called Freaks and Geeks that was happening. And so Coco was coming of age at that time where she was also very much relating to the young woman in Freaks and Geeks who always wore an army jacket on the show. So Coco actually got a green army jacket because she was relating to that character, to the extent where she was wearing this army jacket. So when we were performing on Gilmore Girls, she wore that jacket. So Coco was kind of referencing Freaks and Geeks in the context of Gilmore Girls."
It may have taken me almost an entire year, but we've finally reached the end of S6. In the time it took me to write about this season, the US has experienced an insurrection; Trump's second impeachment; crackdowns on voting rights; many mass shootings; an ongoing global pandemic; attacks on people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, and women; politicians using their unfettered power to either do nothing or make themselves richer; countless other horrors that I've partially repressed. As the situation continues to worsen — because believe me, it will — I hope these recaps can remain a fun, temporary distraction from the shittiest realities of life under a rising theocracy.
Unfortunately, "Partings" is a downer episode where Lorelai makes a string of bad decisions that showcase her desperate need for therapy. After waking up on Sookie's couch, she trudges home to find Miss Patty pinch-hitting as Paul Anka's caregiver in Babette's absence. When Luke shows up unexpectedly, Lorelai begs Patty to tell him she's not there. I understand the impulse to avoid this interaction, but Lorelai is doing herself a disservice by bottling up her feelings. Her patience with Luke has reached a breaking point and it's time to have a conversation with him where she clearly articulates her feelings. It could be as simple as, "Luke, you’re not meeting my needs right now. We can either work through some shit or break up." Instead, she waits until emotions are heightened and all semblance of logic is lost.
Lorelai is surprised to find Christopher at Friday night dinner, although I'm not sure why. While Emily responded kindly to her "my life is crumbling" news in the previous episode, we all know that bitch is not one to mind her own business. This time, instead of blatantly shoving a drunk Christopher in her face, Emily is savvier with her approach. She acts like she wants nothing more than to introduce Christopher up with Lynnie Bates, her old college roommate's daughter who has recently moved back to Connecticut. She spends the entire night complimenting Lynnie's wit and baking skills. Lorelai looks bored and perhaps in need of a stronger martini, but not exactly heartbroken by the prospect of Christopher dating someone.
I guess one could argue that Emily genuinely thinks Chris and Lynnie might be a good match, but we all know that's not how she rolls. She would never fix up Lorelai's perpetual benchwarmer with another woman. The show doesn't exactly play it this way, but it all feels very strategic considering past behavior. Emily knows Lorelai is primed for a rebound, and who better to rebound with than the person she always rebounds with. Stoke a little jealousy, plant the seed of an idea, and then it's wham bam thank you ma'am. Emily is surely no stranger to the amount of seed that's been spilled on her balcony (sorry, that was gross).
Once Chris follows Lorelai to the bathroom and begs her for help derailing Emily's matchmaking attempt, the night takes a kooky turn. Lorelai starts asking Lynnie countless dumbass questions and generally behaving like someone who smoked too much marijuana and then tried to counteract the effects with crystal meth. Chris watches it all happen, basically giggling behind his hand like a toddler watching his best friend poop between the couch cushions. These two morons consistently regress into sixteen year olds when they are together. Do you believe for a second that Christopher is successful in the computer software business? When this came up, my husband was like, "Wait, he has business? I thought he just had the head injury settlement. I thought he was caring for his hell spawn while relearning basic motor skills."
At the end of the night, Lorelai walks into the driveway to find Lynnie sitting in her car, finishing up a session with a patient. Are we sure she's a psychologist? Because conducting an impromptu session at ~10PM on a Friday night does not seem like the kind of choice someone with boundaries would make. I likewise doubt that any competent psychologist is offering to talk for free with a random person they met at an awkward dinner. But alas, Lorelai ends up in the back of this woman's car, revealing that she never loved Max Medina and wants to have another kid. The advice Lynnie gives her isn't bad, but she doesn't really understand who she's dealing with. When sane people hear "You won't get anything unless you ask for it," they don't run to their fiancé, demand an immediate elopement, and then go fuck the father of their child when it doesn't as planned.
I could dissect the Luke and Lorelai's discussion outside of the diner, but there isn't much to say. The worst part is when she tells Luke, "No, I don't wanna talk, all we've done for months is talk." Lorelai hasn't shared her true feelings a single time. She internalized everything, tried to gaslight herself into believing it was fine, and then had a complete fucking breakdown when she finally realized it wasn't all going to magically work out with minimal effort. Luke is a clueless dumbass who should have picked up on what was happening, but we all know that man has the emotional intelligence of a cat turd.
By the end of the episode, the whole fiasco comes to a close in a way that even Emily Gilmore could not have predicted. Unless ... What if this was her plan all along? My new "GG" conspiracy theory is that Emily invited the psychologist with the hopes that Loreali would talk to her about Luke, kicking off a domino effect of disaster that leads to a breakup and an old rekindling. Bow down to the puppet master!
Rory's life is experiencing a similar, albeit less self-induced, shakeup c/o Logan's post-grad yearlong stint in London. After clumsily confronting Mitchum and making the entire situation about herself, Rory seems to realize that this job might not be the worst thing to happen to her boyfriend, whose idiocy nearly caused his death mere weeks ago. I refuse to waste time on the UK-themed goodbye bash, but will say that Rory and Logan's tearful goodbye scene made me sad ... momentarily. But then I remembered that these two idiots haven't even discussed what their relationship will look like with distance added into the mix.
Considering how wet Rory gets for structure and organization, I find it unbelievable that she and Logan wouldn't have had several conversations about planned visits, monogamy, etc. Considering the Palladinos wasted nine episodes on Lorelai and Rory's stupid estrangement, it seems weird that there wouldn't be more lead-up to Logan's commitment abroad.
Where could Amy and Dan have possibly taken S7 that would have made up for this idiocy? I like the idea of Rory having a year alone to focus on herself and figure out what she really wants. In many ways, David S. Rosenthal makes that happen for her. But with Lorelai and Luke? Maybe they could have both separately embraced self help tapes and then come back together once they've developed healthier communication skills. I don't see either of those closed-off individualists seeking out and sticking with therapy, but maybe they're capable of recognizing the need for guidance. We could get split-screen images of them alone at their respective homes, listening to a cracked-out Ph.D (played by Jane Lynch) blather on about how listening leads to understanding.
I know S7 isn't the most riveting period in the "GG" pantheon, but I'll try my best to make the next twenty-two of these recaps as palatable as possible. Thanks for making it this far with me!
- This episode reuses a few jokes, which ... ok, fine, it's the Palladinos' last hurrah. This is the second time in S6 that someone has compared Taylor to the BTK killer. Lorelai jokes about waking up at Sookie's, covered in jam. There's also another reference to the rabbit from "Fatal Attraction."
- The Gilmores have lived in Hartford forever but somehow never driven ~three hours to Kennebunkport? I call shenanigans.
- I know many people probably associate Melora Hardin with "The Office," but she'll always be Jacqueline Carlyle to me.
- Emily wants Gerta to "eat something with sugar," yet she shat all over Consuela, the maid who loved sugar. You can't win with these people.
- Wow, that Clarence Thomas line aged poorly, didn't it? For the record, fuck that ignorant-ass motherfucker. Anita Hill warned us and we didn't listen.
- David Sutcliffe looks NOTHING like Cary Grant. How fucking dare they? At best, he's a discount Jude Law or James Van Der Beek's older brother. (I could have said dad but didn't because I'm respectful.)
- My husband just read this and said he disagrees on the Jude Law comparison and thinks I should add John Stamos.