'Gilmore Girls' Season 7, Episode 16: Will You Be My Lorelai Gilmore?

'Gilmore Girls' Season 7, Episode 16: Will You Be My Lorelai Gilmore?

Directing and writing credits:
“Will You Be My Lorelai Gilmore?” is directed by David Paymer and written by Gayle Abrams and Gina Fattore. This is Paymer's first and only episode of "GG," although he directed two episodes of "Bunheads" and plays Susie's mentor, Harry Drake, on "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." Since I live in Ann Arbor, I feel compelled to mention that he graduated from The University of Michigan in 1975 (Go blue, blah blah). He's not at Margo Martindale's level of character actor recognition, but you know his face.

Paymer was on "The Good Wife" with Matt Czuchry.

Abrams previously wrote "'S Wonderful, 'S Marvelous," the one where Christopher pulls out all the stops to convince Lorelai he's worth boning again despite the glaring red flags. Fattore previously wrote "The Great Stink," an episode with dialogue so bizarre it makes every character feel like they've fallen prey to an "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" situation. I have no news on Abrams, but Fattore is a writer on "Monarch," a Fox show with Susan Sarandon that I didn't know existed until just now. It sounds like one of those soap opera-esque "Hart of Dixie"-style country shows I imagine is favored by middle America and/or people living in Florida. I won't be watching, but congrats to Sarandon for cashing those paychecks. It's tough in these streets for older actresses, even ones with multiple illustrious awards to their names.

Most batshit crazy outfit:
Who does Lorelai think she is, Dionne from "Clueless"? You can only get away with a lightweight crochet number in the dead of winter if you live in southern California. And you already know how I feel about her thyroid warmer.

I'm giving very pregnant Lane a pass, but please know that I gagged when I saw her wearing an oversized empire-waisted sack dress layered over a black turtleneck and paired with light blue tights. The entire outfit is almost more offensive than Mrs. Kim's desire to control everything and everyone in her daughter's life.

Nothing creeps me out more than that ruffly bassinet in the background.

Most irritating Rory or Lorelai moment:
Rory's innocuousness is now starting to bore me. I wish she would do something that lands her in jail again, like commit arson or stab Mrs. Kim in the throat with a crudités fork. Instead, she tells lame jokes during Lane's baby shower speech (which everyone laughs at, I assume out of pity) and patiently listens to Logan's work woes. She's a healthier character this season and I know this is contradictory, but I miss the dysfunction.

Lorelai gives Lane disturbing advice about how to placate Mrs. Kim with technicalities. I realize she's playing peacemaker so Lane can enjoy her party, but I don't think it's a good idea to discourage someone who is trying to set reasonable boundaries with a parent. If Mrs. Kim wants to be in her grandkids' lives, she needs to learn how to mind her own business when it comes to religion, fried shrimp, sandboxes, etc. She has no right intervening unless Lane and Zack try to do something truly crazy, like tattoo their children or feed them lead paint.

The only sophisticated thing about Zack is his palate for lead paint.

Number of times Rory or Lorelai treat their BFF like shit:
Rory abandons Lane's shower preparations for coffee with a bald New York Times writer. I can't judge because I would have done the same, especially considering Lorelai's offer to finish the work. Now that I think about it, I feel like Rory's worst transgression is not inviting Paris to Lane's party. Did she forget about the time they all got blackout drunk together? They're bonded for life, baby.

Lorelai harrasses Sookie about shower favors when all she wants to do is get lost in the petty gossip of In Touch Weekly. Let the woman catch up on her Brangelina news before she's hit with an avalanche of diapers. Nobody with a newborn (and two toddlers) has time to sleep let alone deep dive into Britney Spears' antics.

Best literary or pop culture references:
I can't find a photo of Anthony Quinn in a onesie, but here's a little something to get Miss Patty's motor revving:

Quinn specialized in playing Gaston-style brutes. Here he is as Zampanò in Federico Fellini's "La Strada" (1954).

One fun fact about Quinn is that he flipped the fuck out upon learning his first wife, Katherine De Mille, wasn't a virgin on their wedding night. It was apparently chill for him to impregnate four mistresses over the course of their relationship, but how dare she get some pre-marital Clark Gable dick.

Stars Hollow weirdness:
I could get published in The Paris Review and I wouldn't speak about it with as much enthusiasm as Kirk, who describes his classified ad for a "barely chipped" dinette set as "Hemingwayesque." Even for a mediocre white man, this unearned confidence is stunning. Combined with his newfound boat ownership, I'm afraid we're only moments away from Stars Hollow's first hate crime.

Babette, Patty, Lulu, and Gypsy are tits deep in baby onesies and unrequited crushes (Dean Martin, Gil, the aforementioned Quinn). The townie highlight is probably the guy in the diner (Gary Riotto) who enthusiastically educates Zack on the difference between rolled oats and steel cut oats. He seems like a great match for Michel and his twelve daily walnuts. Going forward, I'll be operating under the assumption that this is Frederick, Michel's unseen husband in "AYitL."

This man deserves someone who will jizz over the health benefits of whole grain with him.

Sharpest insult or one-liner:
This is one of the rare times I laughed out loud in S7:

Lorelai: Look ... There are times when you have to put those differences aside. Like, you know Joseph, from the Bible, and how his brothers got all mad at him about that dreamcoat.
Mrs. Kim: Yes, and so they sold him into slavery.
Lorelai: Yeah. I don't think that was in the musical.

Despite her sizable collection of cross necklaces, I suspect Lorelai zones out as soon as religion enters the chat. If she saw the 1999 movie, she would remember the slavery plot solely because of the bizarre editing choice at the end of this song:

Books mentioned/books Rory is reading:
Lorelai references "A Beautiful Mind," but she's probably thinking of the movie, not the book by Sylvia Nasar. Kirk invokes Dickens during his drunk on power newspaper speech. Lane continues reading "What to Expect When You're Expecting," a book that probably takes a while to finish considering the body horror of pregnancy. I'm not having kids, but even I needed a few months to recover after learning about rectal prolapse. Women already deal with enough bullshit and the fact that this is possible is proof there is no god.

Best song of the episode:
Lane's baby shower features a bunch of good music, including Smoosh's "I Would Go." In 2012, the band, which consists of sisters Asya and Chloe Saavedra, changed its name to Chaos Chaos. In an interview with Vice, Chloe says,

We changed to Chaos Chaos. Mostly because Snooki stole our name. There's a South Park episode about it that basically destroyed Smoosh. They even have a song called “Snooki Wants Smoosh Smoosh” on Spotify, so Snooki people were coming over to Smoosh’s site and commenting like, “Oh I’d smoosh that.” They were obviously not Smoosh fans. They got confused and we definitely don’t want people to be confused, or to be at all associated with Snooki.

People may know them from "Rick & Morty," which features their song "Do You Feel It?" in epic fashion.

Thoughts:
This is as close as "GG" gets to a Lane-centric episode. Every so often, the writers throw Keiko Agena a bone and give Lane a more substantial storyline, but it almost always revolves around her relationship with zealotic Mrs. Kim and/or the flaming bag of shit she calls her husband. Watching Lane rail against everything her mother stands for is enjoyable, but I wish the show wasn't hellbent on glossing over the toxicity of her upbringing. With Emily, there is acknowledgement of complex personality flaws and their negative impact on Lorelai; with Mrs. Kim, the show plays her strictness for laughs, never fully recognizing the detrimental effect it's had on Lane. I hate this episode because it celebrates the problematic lessons Lane has internalized and will likely pass on to her own children (who are already at a disadvantage c/o flaming turd's DNA).

When Lorelai shows up at Kim's Antiques to retrieve some baby photos of Lane, Mrs. Kim brattily reveals her plan to boycott the shower. Here's some advice: If your parent is this fucking fragile and manipulative, stop talking to them. They will never change and their behavior will only ever hurt you. I understand that they can provide free child care in the future, but do you want this type of person influencing developing brains?

Lorelai: Not going to your daughters baby shower, why not?
Mrs. Kim: Lane knows why.
Lorelai: Oh, there's a problem between you two?
Mrs. Kim: Yes.
Lorelai: Maybe you could put it aside for one day?
Mrs. Kim: No.
Lorelai: It's that big a deal?
Mrs. Kim: Yes.
Lorelai: Well, is there anything Lane can say or do that would make you change your mind?
Mrs. Kim: Yes.
Lorelai: Does Lane know what it is?
Mrs. Kim: Yes.

This is the last we see of Mrs. Kim in S7 and THANK FUCKING GOD.

If you translate Mrs. Kim's narcissistic, monosyllabic drivel, what she's really saying is, "Lane pissed me off and until she changes her behavior and does exactly what I want, I'm going to do everything in my power to make her feel like shit." No one gave her the memo that children are not puppets, but autonomous beings capable of living their (adult) lives as they see fit, even if their decisions go against parental preference. Lorelai, who probably sees glimmers of her relationship with Emily, is desperate to close the gap on this budding mother-daughter estrangement. I think she's probably coming from a good place and doesn't want to see Lane hurting on what should be a joyous occasion, but her intervention is still annoying.

On the surface, the rift is about something stupid: Mrs. Kim doesn't want her grandkids eating fried shrimp. Lane could have lied to keep the peace, but Mrs. Kim's attempts to exert control are so triggering that she spirals and starts listing all the other verboten activities her kids will enjoy. Mrs. Kim is hurt because she sees Lane's differing opinions as a personal rejection; Lane is resentful because Mrs. Kim refuses to respect her individuality. Instead of discussing these feelings, Lorelai brokers a truce that requires compromises Lane shouldn't have to make. As if that weren't bad enough, bed rest Lane reveals that although she may not force her kids to hide their real lives under floorboards, she will give them a guilt complex about having a mom who gave up her own happiness to take care of them.

I hate how our society values this mother-as-sacrificial-lamb bullshit. Mothers deserve their own lives and pleasures outside of their children. No human should have to live solely to serve another. It isn't healthy and when it happens as a product of necessity, it's sad and not something to place on a pedestal. The show wants us to view this as a sweet moment when in reality, it's depressing as fuck. If Lane adopts this martyr mentality, she better prepare herself for a lifetime of unhappiness or a gnarly midlife crisis when her kids grow up and leave. Of course, Mrs. Kim is touched by this display of antiquated ideology and not only agrees to attend Lane's party, but demands that Lorelai find a way for them to have it without violating her doctor's orders.

Lorelai, who I would argue has always been a better friend to Lane than Rory has, comes up with the genius plan to roll bedridden Lane through the streets of Stars Hollow a la "The Monkees" opening credits. A makeshift ramp gets her into Miss Patty's and the final party funeral begins. It's nice to see so many people decorating onesies and supporting Lane and Zack. I don't typically think of baby showers as fun events, but this one doesn't seem bad until Zack starts singing "Hush, Little Baby, Don't Say a Word." I even like the scene where Lane asks Rory to be her kids' Lorelai Gilmore. When shit was especially bad with Mrs. Kim, the Gilmore house was always a safe place where Lane could go to receive love and acceptance. It's touching to see how much she values this and understands that her own kids might benefit from a similar relationship.

Mrs. Kim's shower outfit is very "That Girl." I'm into it.

Other notable events are Logan's rich boy regression in the face of setbacks. To some extent, I don't blame him for skipping Lane's shower in favor of a booze-filled Vegas trip with his idiot friends. Unlike Luke — who hid a whole-ass child from Lorelai and only came clean when directly confronted — he confesses his fuckup to Rory unprompted. It's concerning that he didn't tell her when it happened on his birthday, but he was probably in shock, believed he could fix things, and didn't want to ruin the activities she had planned. The temporary secrecy isn't a huge red flag; I'm actually more concerned with Rory's passive, unexpressed annoyance with him that she should be able to just express in the moment. There's no fucking way I would have offered to make my boyfriend the world's most pathetic sandwich after he ignored my calls and showed up wasted at 3 a.m.

As far as I can tell, this sandwich is white bread, American cheese, iceberg lettuce, and mustard.

Rory once again mentions the Reston Fellowship and networks with The New York Times bro, but there's not much else to say about her. If memory serves, her storylines are more compelling throughout the rest of the season (six episodes left 🙏🏻).

I hate to give Liz and TJ credit for anything because they're the ice-nine of stupidity, but their overstepping serves Luke well. Without asking, they place a wanted ad for his boat in the paper. These insouciant motherfuckers want to use the garage where it's stored as a jewelry studio and even have the audacity to suggest that Luke reinvest the boat profits in their business. It's a shitty thing to do to someone but upon consideration, Luke realizes that getting rid of it and starting fresh isn't the worst decision he could make. He sells the boat to Kirk for six hundred dollars, buys something newer/nicer, and plans to use it for summer trips with April. When Luke conveys this information to Lorelai at Lane's shower, she's surprised to see him make such a big decision without agonizing over it for ages. It's undoubtedly progress, but nothing dramatic enough to inspire a romantic rekindling.

Congrats on surmounting one of your debilitating mental illnesses. Only ten more to go!

It's been a while since I've seen the upcoming episodes and I'm curious to unpack Luke and Lorelai's trajectory. I honestly can't remember how the writers justify bringing them back together, but I'm primed for disappointment.

Random observations:

  • I agree with Lane: Pretty Girls Make Graves broke up way too soon. "Sad Girls Por Vida" is one of my favorites and I never even got to see it live.
  • Rory goes from preparing for a casual coffee meeting with A.J. Abrams to showing up for a Sandy Says job interview without even a single half-assed pitch. We need a flashback episode to show where it all went wrong.
  • No kid is passionate about religion of their own accord. Even animated vegetables don't have the power to make that shit interesting.
  • Rory rewears her brown Cynthia Steffe coat during the opening scene stroll with Lorelai. My favorite Nanette Lepore brocade coat appears to have finally released its chokehold on her in S7.
It's not as good as the brocade, but I don't hate it.
  • Finn would be friends with George Maloof, who coincidentally has ties to Britney Spears. After her 2004 Las Vegas marriage to Jason Alexander, her manager Larry Rudolph showed up at Maloof's house in hopes of procuring an attorney to prepare annulment papers. I'm not sure if Maloof had anything to do with her 2013-2017 Las Vegas residency, but it seems like the two have been linked to each other for decades at this point. What's the story, Saul?
  • In a nod to Scott Patterson's minor league baseball career, Luke wears a Connecticut Defenders hat. I wonder if he April took him to Lids before she moved to New Mexico.
  • Gil is no Dave Rygalski, but I understand why the women of Stars Hollow are collectively crushing on him. Check out his onesie art:
Babette's style has been on point the last few episodes. Gf looks good in glasses.
  • I thought maybe the Bush twins got kicked out of Argentina for a fun reason (i.e., drugs), but it seems like hyperbolic reporting related to a purse snatching incident that happened under the Secret Service's watch.
  • Gil's reaction to the computer generated Van Gerbig kids is perfect. No notes.
  • I was delighted to read (in "The Gilmore Girls Companion") that Rush's Geddy Lee is an extra at Lane's baby shower. His daughter Kyla, also in the scene, was a big fan of the show.
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