Directing and writing credits:
“Farewell, My Pet” is directed by Jamie Babbit and written by Jennie Snyder Urman. Babbit last directed "To Whom It May Concern," the episode where Jackson cements himself as the most disgusting man in Stars Hollow. She recently directed the pilot for a new show called "My Lady Jane," based on a YA book about real life historical figure, Jane Grey. It sounds like a romanticized fantasy of her life and not like something I would watch but 🤷🏼♀️ I could be wrong.
Urman was previously credited on "Introducing Lorelai Planetarium," the one where Rory lets her inner Paris out to play via a hypocritical article about how much rich people suck. Along with Sober Companion, she has a few other upcoming shows in the works but in my bitchy little opinion, none of them sound good. Don't think I'm hating on Urman, though. She gave us top-notch Paris dialogue in this episode (along with "Jane the Virgin") and for that, I salute her.
Most batshit crazy outfit:
The print on Lorelai's dress is very '80s Laura Ashley and not in a cool way (e.g., the recent Batsheva collaboration). It's like a printed tablecloth that some tacky person would use for their Thanksgiving dinner. It would have been still ugly but less offensive if the print was only on the skirt and not the strangely wide-set lapels. Mary Jane heels weren't the right shoe choice, either. Even an American Girl doll wouldn't wear this ensemble. It belongs on one of those weird porcelain dolls with the eyes that blink in a stroke-like fashion.
Most irritating Rory or Lorelai moment:
Rory breaks her streak of inoffensive behavior by telling Logan about her crush on Tucker (Cameron Bender), the TA taking over Richard's economics class. I know Rory is supposed to be paranoid after the whole Marty debacle, but I don't understand why she's acting like one awkward conversation about Isabel Allende is equivalent to sucking another man's dick. She's always been a sheltered nerd, but I never would have pegged her as the type of person who says, "I let my guard down, and this beast emerged." Has she forgotten about the time last year when Logan fucked all of those bridesmaids? Granted, he thought they were broken up, but still ... the guy who goes on a sad sack rando sex streak isn't going to judge his girlfriend for what most people wouldn't even constitute as flirting. If he did, that would put him squarely in "dump his ass" territory.
In the midst of their breakup, Lorelai tells Christopher, "I need you to know ... that you're the man ... I want to want" in a way that suggests she means it as a compliment. In reality, not only does it feel untrue, it's a cloaked way of telling him that he's good in theory, not in practice. A simple "I fucked up by jumping into a serious relationship before I was fully over my last one" would have sufficed.
Number of times Rory or Lorelai treat their BFF like shit:
Paris is amazing per usual and while Rory is grateful, she's not Lucy-level in awe of the
energy Ritalin required to kick ass and take names on a daily basis. In Rory's absence, Paris sorts her mail and hides all the required reading for their "History of Feminism" class at the bookstore. She understands the horror of being forced to buy a used book with "some idiot's comments in the margins." (You don't know true pain until you've skimmed some frat bro's musings on "The Second Sex.") And how does Rory repay her for these acts of service? By going to laugh at her belly dancing attempts with Logan. At least Paris is embarrassment proof/would not give a shit.
Lorelai confides in Sookie about her marital problems and for once, actually listens to her advice. Even with Luke completely out of the picture, it becomes obvious that Christopher just isn't "the one." The two also band together to asshole their way through Michel's extensive dog funeral plans. Part of me doesn't blame them for cycling between blasé indifference and visible irritation, but vulnerable Michel is such a rare occurrence that they could have done a better job faking concern.
Best literary or pop culture references:
When Paris gives Rory a copy of her notes from "History of Feminism," there are large sections of redacted text, prompting this conversation:
Rory: What's with the blacked-out section?
Paris: Well, I'm happy to share the things the teacher said to the general public, but I'm not about to share my insights into the material.
Paris: Don't give me that look. If there's one thing I learned in that first lecture, it's that there's not room for many women at the top.
Rory: Gloria Steinem would be so proud.
Paris: Whatever. The facts speak for themselves. Nadine Strossen is the head of the ACLU, not Nadine Strossen and her very best friend.
By 2022, Paris has definitely written a ruthless leadership book about how to succeed by flame-torching everyone who dares stand in the way. Steinem abhors it; Strossen supports it (but only from a free speech standpoint); Sheryl Sandberg writes a glowing endorsement on the back cover.
Stars Hollow weirdness:
Kirk is a volunteer at Grayson's Flower Shop but still expects a tip for his delivery to the inn. Industrious, profit-minded motherfuckers like him never give away any work for free, so this storyline feels wrong. Even with tips, Kirk won't be able to save his first million from odd jobs unless every second of labor is monetized.
Sidenote: Did Luke put Gabby's Flower Shop out of business after he bought the building next to the diner?
Sharpest insult or one-liner:
Sookie tells an anecdote about Chin-Chin that turns out to be about Paw-Paw and the subsequent exchange between her and Michel is very Palladino-esque:
Michel: I was standing right there. That was Paw-Paw who ate your sandwich. Chin-Chin didn't even like barbecue.
Sookie: Oh, well, still.
Michel: Still what?! Are your two sticky little children interchangeable?
I'm not one of those people who think of their pets as children (if they were, I wouldn't want them), but a good friend should make a valiant attempt to remember important details. With that being said, I struggled to tell my friend Ali's cats, Gus and Stevens, apart for years. Eventually, Stevens' paw alopecia saved me from looking like a jerk.
Books mentioned/books Rory is reading:
Judith Butler's "Gender Trouble" (1990) is one of the books on Rory and Paris' women's studies syllabus. A guy (long-time readers may know him as Tank Top) once took me on a first date to see Butler give a lecture at NYU. I thought it was a good omen, but he ended up being a douche. Then, in 2018, Butler signed that stupid letter defending Avital Ronell, which made me question everything I thought I knew about her.
Other titles are visible in the background of the bookstore scene, but the most notable is "The Midwife's Apprentice" (1991) by Karen Cushman of "Catherine, Called Birdy" (1994) fame. As Paris details her complex covert alphabetizing system, another woman pulls it off the shelf behind them. In the same scene, Rory runs into Tucker, who is holding a copy of Isabel Allende's "Eva Luna" (1987). Impressed, she comments that although everyone loves "House of the Spirits," (1982), she believes this is Allende's best work.
Best song of the episode:
At Michel's request, Zack plays an acoustic rendition of Céline Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" at Chin-Chin's funeral. During their discussion about possible song options, Lorelai advocates for something dignified, like Bach or Mozart, whereas Zack wants to play David Bowie's "Diamond Dogs." In an "anything but Céline" Hail Mary, he also suggests something by Elton John, Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven," or even Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You," which Lorelai ends up singing later this season at karaoke night.
After half a season of denial, Lorelai and Christopher's doomed union finally comes to an end. As much as I've hated everything involving Chris this season, the breakup is handled relatively well. The acting is strong enough that it almost successfully manipulates me into feeling sad about something meaningless, so kudos to Lauren Graham and David Sutcliffe.
Aside from sending a floral arrangement to the elder Gilmores, Chris has been MIA since his brief appearance in "I'd Rather Be in Philadelphia." When he randomly shows up at the Dragonfly, he explains that he came to the hospital as soon as he heard the heart attack news via voicemail, but couldn't bear to stay long because of Luke. From Lorelai's perspective, this is a lame excuse and confirms her long-standing fear that when she really needs him, he won't be there. This is the first time in their revamped relationship when it feels like she's being honest about her emotions.
Later, Lorelai discusses the situation on a phone call with Rory. It's slightly less egregious now that she's older, but I still find Rory's involvement in Lorelai's personal affairs problematic. Over the years, she's watched her mom make countless questionable romantic decisions. Lorelai accepted not one, but two marriage proposals from men she didn't love and sabotaged multiple relationships by neglecting to share the truth — either about her feelings, actions, or limitations. In retrospect, it makes sense that adult Rory would date some guy she can't even remember while carrying out a lengthy affair with Logan in "AYitL."
In Lorelai's second interaction with Chris, he acknowledges that he rushed her into something she wasn't ready for because the timing finally seemed right. He isn't angry with her, only disappointed with himself for colossally misreading reality. Instead of seizing this opportunity to bail, Lorelai insists he has it all wrong and wants to keep working on the marriage. At the inn, the dreaded "I'm going to cut Luke out of my life" idea arises, but Sookie presses her to consider whether this drastic action is worth taking. The writers could have forced us to watch several episodes where Lorelai avoids Luke as Christopher glowers in the corner but thankfully, our sanity is spared.
On the heels of Chin-Chin's surprisingly emotional funeral, Lorelai finally concedes to her inevitable divorce. No matter how much time passes, she'll never love Chris the way she loves Luke. It's a shitty moment that could have been avoided if the people involved weren't damaged teenagers masquerading as adults, but such is life for the therapy-resistant.
As her parents' marriage crumbles, Rory revels in her newfound stability with Logan. Against all odds, they've managed to keep their love alive sans (known) cheating scandals or drug overdoses even when it was intercontinental. As Paris notes, "Between the women and the drinking, that kid was on the Colin Farrell freeway about to pull over into the Robert Downey Jr. rest stop." These days, he's on the Elon Musk/Mark Zuckerberg tech bro douchenozzle trajectory, which doesn't leave much time for getting blackout drunk and making dumb decisions. When Paris suggests she and Rory have broken their "wild stallions" and now have the power to make them do anything, it spurns one of the most embarrassing, but thankfully short-lived, storylines of the entire series.
I'm not exactly sure how we're meant to read the subsequent events, but it seems like Paris' comments kickstart a weird anxiety that makes Rory self-conscious about how far she can push Logan. Of course, since Rory is Rory, "pushing" him entails taking mild interest in another man and then immediately confessing to it. The takeaway from this cringefest is that Rory and Logan trust each other and have a healthy, stable partnership. Good for them! I hope they enjoy it before the Silicon Valley avocado tree tears them apart.
In "The Gilmore Girls Companion," A.S. Berman mentions Chin-Chin's death as an idea Yanic Truesdale floated to Amy earlier in the series. Apparently, a reporter asked him about his most emotional moment on the show and he realized he didn't have one. Berman quotes Truesdale as saying, "Most of the time, things were happening to other people and [Michel] would comment on what was happening. But that's why we need to have stuff happening to him, so we can learn more about who he is and see different sides of him." As an actor, I can see how it would be frustrating to work on a show where the ancillary characters are only there to serve as comic foils for the leads. As a viewer, I'm so conditioned not to care about them in this way that an entire episode centered mostly around Michel is strange. The writers mostly make it work by using it as a catalyst for Lorelai's relationship epiphany, but it certainly adds to the strange, slightly off tone of the Palladino-less "Gilmore Girls."
- Sookie's baby #3 cravings are relatively tame compared to her Martha pregnancy. All she wants this time around is chili with cayenne pepper and extra onions, plus a side of cauliflower.
- I guess Logan's "second-semester senior survival kit" is a nice gesture, but I hate when people buy me shit I'm never going to use. Either put some legitimate thought into it or fuck off with your box of garbage.
- This is the flatscreen TV Chris has been jizzing himself over? He'd need binoculars to watch basketball on it from the couch. It's giving strong Michael Scott vibes.
- I would love to read Paris' notes from the Sigma Chi party where she learned how to identify a beer funnel.
- “Crudités! If your child died, would you serve crudités?"
- More evidence that Lorelai is a horrible boss: she forces inn employees to attend an after-hours dog funeral. By now, she and Sookie should have lost the Dragonfly to a hostile workplace environment lawsuit. The same lawyer who won a $3M settlement for Emily's former maids could represent them.
- Since when does Rory end phone calls with "Peace out, yo"? Who told her this was OK? And while we're on the topic of weird choices, why is "Wolf Girl" in a basket on the floor with a baby doll?
- Wasn't Chin-Chin only four years old? How did he die? I imagine Michel's neighbor poisoned him in retaliation for the dog disappearance incident in S3.
- Doyle should get a "Paris forever" tattoo on his right bicep. For Logan, I envision an ace of hearts tramp stamp.
- I can't remember if I mentioned this before, but Michel's chows are named after Martha Stewart's, hence the header image.