Directing and writing credits:
"Always a Godmother, Never a God" is directed by Robert Berlinger, written by Rebecca Kirshner. Berlinger previously directed "A-Tisket, A-Tasket," the S2 episode where Dean and his puka shell necklace throw a hissy fit after Jess outbids him on Rory's basket. Kirshner was last seen in S5:
- "Emily Says Hello" - Emily goes on a date with Simon McLane, aka fake Charlie Rose from "The Royal Tenenbaums."
- "How Many Kropogs to Cape Cod?" - The elder Gilmores bone out over Logan's lapels, taste in scotch, and general douchebaggery when he accompanies Rory to Friday night dinner.
I don't have any general news for you, but I'm setting a goal for myself to finish these "GG" recaps by the end of the year so that we can move on to something new. I know it's annoying that I can't stick to a regular posting schedule, but please sign up for emails if you want to be notified when something new is on the site. If you have suggestions for what I should write about next, let me know in the comments. My current frontrunners are "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," "The Golden Girls," and "Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23."
Most batshit crazy outfit:
Almost every outfit is lowkey bad: Sookie and Lorelai's baptism dresses (complete with tiny shrugs), everything Jackson and Beau wear, and Zack's disgusting t-shirt with an upside-down microphone. My least favorite is Lorelai's mauve top with flutter sleeves and a long neck tie.
I might be able to give this top a pass if she paired it with dark wash denim, but the grey pleated slacks are unforgivable.
This is how my husband dressed when I first met him. He had a bunch of graphic t-shirts from Banana Republic that he would wear under wrinkled button-downs. It's a wonder my vagina ever self-lubricated because that shit was tragic.
Most irritating Rory or Lorelai moment:
Rory sucks in this episode. I hate the way that she treats the maid who is tasked with updating her wardrobe for the fall season. She was all chummy with Esperanza but can't even be bothered to learn this new woman's name. The rack of summer clothes the nameless maid removes from the closet are like a Rory Gilmore greatest hits collection. There's the dress she wore when she lost her virginity to Dean, the dress from the male Yale party, the blouse she wore from Robert asked her to the dumb Tarantino party, and several other callbacks. We'll get into the rest of her annoying antics later.
Lorelai is mostly fine, although she does interrupt Martha and Davey's baptism to grill Rory on her new phone number. I'm 100% with her on the number change, though. Who the hell goes through the whole rigamarole of a new number after losing a phone?
Number of times Rory or Lorelai treat their BFF like shit:
Paris is MIA, but the scene with Rory and Lane bums me out. It's obvious that they've drifted apart and no longer have the type of close relationship where they share everything with each other. They make a pact to "never go this long without talking again" but I know firsthand how hard it is to keep that promise when you stop sharing the same experiences with someone. Their conversation is honest and Lane gives Rory good advice, but it all feels very awkward.
Aside from the interrupted baptism — and really, who cares because religion is stupid — Lorelai is a solid friend to Sookie. She puts up with Beau's misogynistic bullshit and makes room at the inn for Jackson's disgusting family. I assume they burned the sheets after that band of red-state rednecks vamoosed.
Best literary or pop culture references:
I love everything about Lorelai's insane collection of home-recorded VHS tapes, including the following: a 1981 episode of "Knots Landing" masquerading as a 1986 episode of "Magnum, P.I." and the first season of "21 Jump Street." Luke wants her to buy the DVDs so that she can save some space, but Lorelai refuses because she doesn't want to lose out on the original commercials. Even though I find her personality damn near intolerable sometimes, this is why I love her.
Stars Hollow weirdness:
Kirk treats the baptism like a wedding and asks Rory to define the Martha and Davey sides of the church. He says some standard offbeat Kirk shit, but this exchange is my favorite:
Rory: You look nice today, Kirk.
Kirk: Thanks! This is the suit they buried my dad in.
Are we to believe that Kirk dug up his father's grave to steal this suit or ...?
Sharpest insult or one-liner:
The most I've ever liked Jackson is during this "whose family sucks more" argument with Sookie. After she mercilessly insults the Belleville clan, he retorts,
"Oh, like your family is so easy! What about the time we had to see your stuttering cousin Odell in the worst production of "Nicholas Nickleby" known to man?! That was like nine hours of pure hell! And did I get to fake a heart attack during intermission? No!"
I would do pretty much anything to avoid spending time with my husband's family, so I understand the impulse to fake a heart attack to avoid them.
Books mentioned/books Rory is reading:
In an attempt to defend her lack of religion, Rory tells Reverend Skinner about reading C.S. Lewis' "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe." There are also a bunch of books pictured in the pool house and the Dragonfly Inn, but I can't make out any titles.
Best song of the episode:
After Rory's DAR mixer, she walks into the pool house to find Logan, Colin, Finn, and Katrinka (Ailsa Marshall), the Dutch milkmaid, listening to "Twin Cinema" by the New Pornographers. This is the only song in the episode and thus, wins by default. I don't understand the character of Katrinka and am flummoxed that none of the writers spent one minute Googling Dutch culture to see if this characterization was even remotely accurate.
Lorelai desperately misses Rory and wants to repair the relationship, but becomes immediately insecure when an attempt to reach out doesn't go as planned. At the start of the episode, we see Lorelai organizing her VHS collection in the midst of her home renovation. As she lands on "Riding the Bus with My Sister" (2005), she comprehends that it's the type of film she would normally watch with Rory. I saw this movie when it came out and remember it being trite at best, offensive at worst, but sometimes that is exactly what you need. If nothing else, it features the delightful Andie MacDowell, and "Angelica Huston directed it. Maerose directed it," so I understand the appeal.
After suffering through Sookie and Jackson's baptism argument at the inn, Lorelai settles in for a movie night with a plate of Chinese food and lands on "Riding the Bus with My Sister." Without giving it much thought, she picks up the phone to call Rory and is hit with one of those operator messages about a disconnected number. Her face falls as she realizes that she no longer has the ability to easily get in touch with her daughter. Were I in Lorelai's position, I would probably anxiety spiral and assume that Rory had blocked me or changed her number just to avoid me. I would definitely take it personally and spend the rest of the day feeling shitty about it.
The next day at the inn, Lorelai checks in on Jackson's clan of halfwits with a level of professionalism that I couldn't muster if someone held a gun to my head. Apparently, Rune, Jackson's disgusting cousin, told Beau, Jackson's other disgusting cousin, that Lorelai is "a horn dog." From the moment Beau steps into the Dragonfly, he oozes creepy, entitled, mediocre man vibes. To their credit, Sookie and Jackson apologize profusely, but that doesn't diminish the trauma of watching Beau "seductively" lick his room key.
Sookie, who is clearly still obsessed with setting a wedding date, shows up at the diner with a vintage cake topper. As Luke eyes her grouchily, she points to the topper and exclaims, "His butt. It's your butt. It's your butt, Luke. It's your butt!" Luke reminds her that despite what Miss Manners says, he and Lorelai won't be setting a date for the wedding until Rory is back in the picture. Again, I understand that Sookie wants her friend to be happy, but I can't condone her meddling, obnoxious behavior. There are times when I wish I could control someone else's actions, but that isn't how life works. Sometimes you have to sit by idly as a friend makes bad choices. As tempting as it is to intervene unprompted, it never works out well.
When Sookie asks Lorelai to be Martha's godmother, it's a nice gesture ... until she reveals that she is also planning to ask Rory to be Davey's godmother. It's a totally transparent ploy to bring mother and daughter back together again, which Lorelai instantly realizes. As she later explains to Luke,
Look! I know what she's doing. And she knows what she's doing. But no one else knows what she's doing, so on the slight chance that she's not doing what I think she's doing, which is actually just doing what she wants to do, then I will be the jerk who wouldn't be the godmother to her best friend's baby 'cause she thought something was happening that wasn't. And that will be the story everyone remembers, understand?
Luke doesn't care or understand, but I think Lorelai's reasoning is actually pretty sound. I often struggle to figure out what is reality vs. my own paranoia, especially in situations where the person trying to manipulate me has legitimately good intentions. Lorelai doesn't want to get thrown into this manufactured situation, but it's not worth avoiding on the off chance that Sookie is somehow clueless about the optics.
At the baptism, Rory and Lorelai are immediately thrown together when Reverend Skinner pulls them aside to discuss the responsibilities of being a godparent. One aspect of "Gilmore Girls" that I've always enjoyed is the lackadaisical (or downright hostile) treatment of religion. When the reverend asks about their religious affiliations, Rory and Lorelai try to justify their beliefs with consumerism.
Lorelai: I can't speak for Rory, but I have a strong belief in good...you know...over evil. I mean, if I was asked to choose a side...
Rory: I read "The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe".
Lorelai: I have a Bible. Although I may or may not have accidentally given it to Goodwill, because I'm remodeling. But Goodwill is a religious organization ... I think. But even if it's not, good will. It's in the ballpark.
Rory: I buy tons of Girl Scout cookies.
Lorelai: I have two "Mary is my homegirl" t-shirts.
During the ceremony, Lorelai can't stand the tension between them and pulls Rory outside to ask about the phone number change. It's all very tense and nothing gets resolved. Before she leaves the after-party, Rory approaches Lorelai and offers up her new number, but Lorelai is too proud to take it. At the end of the episode, Lorelai finally watches "Riding the Bus with My Sister" alone and mutters to herself, "It's not the same." At this point, it seems like Lorelai wants things to go back to normal but is too stubborn to apologize. She's committed to her tough-love approach and won't change tack until Rory is back in school; however, her resolve is starting to weaken.
Rory continues to annoy me with her whole DAR robot schtick. I feel like she's steadily morphing into Emily with the way she handles the maid and smiles silently as Logan exhibits trash behavior. When Emily, who is in Helsinki, asks her to cover the DAR event with the curators of the Gilbert Stuart Exhibit, Rory is hesitant but gives it her all per usual. She's all "Darla, does the pearls council know about you?" and "Garnish. You just can't get away from it, huh?" I understand catering to your audience, but there's a way to do it without being fake as fuck. It always freaks me out when people are able to morph their personalities to suit specific social situations. Part of me is jealous because it's a useful skill to have, but the other part is troubled when it seems effortless.
When Logan shows up at the elder Gilmores' house and finds the event in full swing, he's a monosyllabic dick to Nancy Osgood (Dorothy Constantine) and Lucy Faxton-Field (Olivia Tracey). I understand being annoyed about unexpectedly walking into a hoity-toity social situation; however, he could have handled it better. He tells Rory, "I'm just not in the mood to deal with this type of thing right now, these type of people." She tells him to go hang in the pool house until she's done with the event. When she walks in, she finds Logan and his dumb friends drinking Grey Goose to excess, insulting Katrinka, and trying to find more women to fuck. How Rory can stand being in the same room with them is beyond me.
On the morning of the baptism, Rory wakes up and goes through the whole "Which [dress] goes better with a baby?" spiel that Lorelai similarly enacted with Luke. The off-white piece she chooses is better than Lorelai's low-cut peach slip dress, but I don't love the seaming on the bodice. Before the ceremony, she stops over at Lane's to stiffly catch up in her amazing bedroom, complete with shag carpet and John Vanderslice poster on the wall. Lane's big drama this episode is that Brian and Zack went behind her back and used the tour money she saved to purchase audio equipment they haven't researched. Lane needs to make some female friends who don't suck and start and start a band with them.
After all of the baptism shenanigans, Rory receives a call from Logan as she's driving back to Hartford. His father is forcing him to get his shit together and graduate on time, hence his grouchy attitude during the DAR event. He proposes that Rory meet him at the airport so they can take a helicopter to New York. They'll spend the weekend at the Pierre and will go shopping instead of packing luggage. I would have definitely found this appealing at age twenty, red flags be damned.
- I love that Lorelai chooses the peach dress for the baptism even though Luke says he likes the green. I feel like she asked just to remind him that his opinions don't matter.
- Other tapes in Lorelai's collection: the special Florida edition of "America's Castles" and seasons 2 and 4 of "Please Don't Eat the Daisies." She also jokes about "The History of Paper," a fake 7-hour documentary that she tells Luke is directed by "Ted Burns, distant relative of Ken Burns."
- I wanted to buy one of those "Mary is my homegirl" t-shirts from Gadzooks in middle school, but my mom said no (thanks, mom).
- I love the way Kelly Bishop says, "Just picture that snake doing the splits."
- I agree with Sookie: a baptism is nothing like taking a bath! "When you take a bath, there are candles and water-warped entertainment weeklies to read, and soap. There are not people standing around praying over you, at least not when I take a bath."
- The delightful Nora is in this episode, placing an order for a vodka tonic, "no ice and light on the tonic." Someone get this woman on a season of "The Real Housewives." She and Ramona Singer would be lethal together.
- Luke is at his best when he's hanging up on Zack, who decided to use the diner phone without permission to leave an inane "ah ah ah oh oh oh oh oh" message on his home answering machine.
- "Potato salad" and "duffle bag" will forever sound dirty.
- I'm not sure why Jackson feels like he has to tell his mother about his (fake) vasectomy. Why is that any of her business?