Directing and writing credits:
“Introducing Lorelai Planetarium” is directed by Lee Shallat Chemel and written by Jennie Snyder Urman. This is the second episode in a row directed by Chemel, so I won't bore you with another rehashing of her previous "GG" credits. This is the first "written by" credit for Urman, who seems to specialize in shows from the '90s — "90210" and "Charmed" — that received tragic reboots in the 2010s. She also wrote the screenplay for "Something Borrowed" (2011), a film I'm 95% sure I've seen but remember nothing about, and created "Jane the Virgin," which I loved and David S. Rosenthal executive produced. She must enjoy working with Rosenthal because she has a new comedy pilot in the works with him and Gracie Glassmeyer called "Sober Companion." I can't remember the last time I enjoyed something on CBS, but good luck to them.
Most batshit crazy outfit:
My biggest criticism of S7 thus far is that the outfits aren't ugly enough. Where are the bedazzled dog t-shirts and corduroy skirts of awful length and proportion? Did Lorelai donate her kooky hat collection to Goodwill? Someone better wear something truly ugly soon because I am in desperate need of an outlet for my rage.
Lorelai shames Christopher for owning a peach shirt, which is not surprising considering she wouldn't shut the fuck up about the green balloons at Sherry's baby shower. Far be it for me to defend Chris, but Lorelai should let him wear his frat bro Easter button-down in peace. I'm sure it's tragic, but at least the man puts thought into his appearance.
Rory wears a plum v-neck sweater that is inexplicably belted at the waist with a shiny ribbon. It looks stupid, but such was the era.
Most irritating Rory or Lorelai moment:
In a shocking turn of events, I find Rory much less annoying than usual. She actually expresses her emotions in a way that feels honest and apologizes for upsetting Logan with her "Let Them Drink Cosmos" piece. She never acknowledges the hypocrisy of skewering the wealthy without mentioning her own complicity, but it would honestly be shocking to see her go from oblivious to self-aware in a few hours. Her worst offense is probably comparing herself to Fran Lebowitz and Tama Janowitz, but I, too, had a lofty, unearned perception of myself at age twenty-two. I'd pull out my 2011 journal and share some gems with you, but I can't stomach that kind of embarrassment right now.
Lorelai is the absolute worst per usual, but I especially hate how she bombards Rory with phone calls and voicemails when her "Sorry I got married in Paris without you" apology isn't immediately accepted. It sucks when someone is mad and doesn't want to talk, but forcing them into it when they aren't ready is never the move. It reminds me of post-vow renewal when Lorelai refused to respect Luke's wishes for time alone to think. Her desperate ultimatum at the end of S6 likewise comes to mind. She's the type who wants everything done on her schedule and can't accept that other people have different needs.
Number of times Rory or Lorelai treat their BFF like shit:
The only friends present are Lucy and Olivia, who refuse to sugarcoat the bitchiness of Rory's article even though she tries to coax them into believing it's "fun, frothy, lighthearted satire." Olivia says it's "Sort of Lynn Hirschberg meets — I don't know, someone really mean," which makes me sad we don't get to hear more snippets. Hirshberg is the journalist who wrote this brutal profile on Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain. If Rory's "roll around the bra strap" ballerina story was any indication of her journalistic integrity, I could totally see her going the Hirshberg route and becoming a controversial figure who gets off on outrage. Current Rory is too much of a people pleaser, but she might break away from that mentality if positive feedback came from the right places.
Best literary or pop culture references:
Chris jokes about buying a Big Mouth Billy Bass to go with the flat-screen TV in the living room. Queen Elizabeth II, who just died on September 8, reportedly kept one on the grand piano at Balmoral Castle circa 2000. Did someone tell her it was a priceless artifact a la Jackie Daytona?
Stars Hollow weirdness:
The townies are completely absent, so we'll focus on Luke and his paternalistic policing of April's sexuality. I don't know why he's so concerned that someone is going to "juggle" with her at Sabrina's boy/girl party. She needs to grow out of her screeching phase before there's even a slim chance of that happening.
Sharpest insult or one-liner:
The fight between Rory and Logan is one of my favorites of the series because for once, the grievances aired are legitimate. What I find most annoying about Rory is her desire to have it both ways. Depending on the social circumstances, she'll either present herself as the daughter of a scrappy single mother who didn't go to college or as someone whose "ancestors came over on the Mayflower." She's no different from the guy who doesn't want to say he's a Rockefeller but needs to know that you know he's a Rockefeller.
Logan: Wake up, Rory. Whether you like it or not, you're one of us. You went to prep school. You go to Yale. Your grandparents are building a whole damn astronomy building in your name.
Rory: That is different, okay? It's not like I live off a $5-million trust fund my parents set up for me.
Logan: Yeah well, you're not exactly paying rent, either.
Rory: Screw you, Logan.
Logan's parting comment perfectly illustrates the hypocrisy of Rory pretending she's morally superior just because she doesn't shout her wealth from the rooftops like annoying Tortola dude.
Books mentioned/books Rory is reading:
Logan mentions William Kennedy's "Ironweed" (1983), which was turned into a movie with Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson in 1987. I haven't read the book, but the movie is middling at best despite decent performances. It's always a crapshoot when an author tries to adapt their own material into a screenplay (see also: most Stephen King projects).
Best song of the episode:
Jane Birkin and Françoise Hardy ate up the budget in "French Twist," so it's nothing but indistinguishable house music at the pre-launch launch party. Weirdly enough, I don't even think there are la-las.
Lorelai is riddled with anxiety after her unrealistically impromptu Parisian nuptials. The episode begins with her calling Rory and leaving an insane voicemail about how critical it is for them to see each other that day. If one of my parents did this, I would automatically assume they have cancer. Rory, who has been subjected to Lorelai's shenanigans her entire life, doesn't even call back until 1 p.m., completely unfazed. While she initially tries to reject it, she gets roped into a dinner commitment that evening under the pretense of perishable snails. This is another solid incident for Rory to bring up in future/hypothetical therapy ... the time her mother used escargot to soften the blow of yet another questionable life decision.
It disturbs me that although the snails were just a ruse to lure Rory to dinner, Lorelai follows through by buying and cooking them. I'm not sure why anyone would consume questionable food prepared by a woman whose cooking skills don't extent past toasting a Pop-Tart, but c'est la vie. Christopher made the mistake of eating one and now he's at the vet getting dewormed.
Upon hearing the marriage news, Rory poorly fakes enthusiasm until Chris excuses himself to
projectile diarrhea those snails look for a bottle of champagne. As soon as he's out of earshot, Rory voices her anger, telling Lorelai she won't go into detail in front of her dad. She obviously has a much closer relationship with Lorelai, but it's depressing that she's still not comfortable enough around Chris to broach disappointment with him.
The first time I saw this episode, I assumed Rory was angry that Lorelai rushed into marriage so soon after her broken engagement with Luke. I can see how it would be tricky to express those criticisms in front of Chris without hitting a nerve; however, she later reveals she's only mad because they got married without her. Just when I think Rory is making strides toward emotional maturity, I'm reminded that she's still very much a twenty-two-year-old who hasn't yet processed her dysfunctional family dynamic.
Rory goes from this awkward Stars Hollow dinner to the Orchid Room in New York City, where Logan and his business associates are hosting a party in celebration of ... using their generational wealth to acquire more generational wealth? I'm still not sure what their jobs entail, but buying knockoff Facebook somehow warranted the launch of a new company based in Manhattan. Logan's stint in London is coming to a close and he'll soon be just a train ride away. I hope he's able to bring his secretary, Stephen Moneypenny, with him to the states.
At the party, Rory immediately gives off strong "let's get drunk and steal another boat" vibes, but Logan is oblivious. He offers to step outside so they can talk privately, but Rory insists it's all fine because, little-known fact (lol), she's an excellent compartmentalizer. Along with the Rockefeller and Tortola douche, attendees include a couple named Boykin and Celery; someone who thinks canary diamonds are only appropriate for tacky bitches like Paris Hilton; and Hugo Gray (Lance Barber), a journalist who has just started an online magazine he describes as "Slate meets New York Times lifestyle section, before they sold out."
When I'm at parties like this, I always take the Hugo and Rory route of finding the most palatable person there and desperately clinging to them until it's appropriate to leave. It's often a good move because instead of forming a shallow connection with a bunch of randos, you actually get to know someone well enough to elicit a job opportunity. By the end of their conversation, which involves lightly vilifying the other wealthy attendees, Hugo invites Rory to submit a piece on the party for his website. In standard overachiever fashion, she stays up all night and pumps out a judgmental screed fit for flop era Jezebel. She's conciliatory when Logan expresses his antipathy, but this attitude only intensifies his anger.
Later, when Lucy and Olivia confirm the piece's nastiness, Rory has an epiphany:
Rory: Oh, god. I'm mean? I'm mean and judgmental, and I didn't even mean to be. I was just trying to sell an article. Well no wonder he's upset.
Olivia: Come on! He knows you. It wasn't intentional.
Rory: That's worse! I didn't even mean to be mean, and I was mean, mean and judgmental and insensitive. I really do hate everyone today, including myself. Great. The circle's complete.
Freshman year Rory probably would have defended her bad behavior to the death, whereas senior year Rory is able to listen to advice from friends, admit wrongdoing and apologize. That's personal growth, baby.
The apology conversation with Logan toward the end of the episode is nothing revelatory, but the way they handle conflict is impressive for two people from families that thrive on psychological manipulation. Rory's decision to move out of Logan's apartment could have come off as passive aggressive, but she doesn't announce it with any animosity. It's weird to see Rory and Logan handling their issues with open communication as their older counterparts use lame excuses to avoid reality.
As much as Lorelai tries to convince Rory (and herself) that her quickie marriage wasn't an impulsive decision propelled by a litany of mental health issues, her actions suggest otherwise. When Chris starts brainstorming ways to alter Rory's room for G.G., Lorelai has a mini meltdown, explaining that she's not ready for this kind of change. She admits that the mood turned sour as soon as he left the table at dinner and that they need to take things slow while "Rory" adjusts. Lorelai is desperate for everything to stay the same, even as she makes huge, life-altering decisions that impact multiple people. It's like her subconscious is telling her that what's happening is wrong but instead of addressing those feelings directly, she attributes them to Rory as her stand-in.
Lorelai was like this with other relationships, too. The first (and only) time Max Medina slept over, she woke Rory up in the middle of the night and made her listen to unhinged musings about how their lives were ending and nothing would ever be the same again. Rory comforted her, noting that things are going to change but they'll both get used to it. In these situations, Lorelai wants Rory to react negatively so she can use her as an excuse for backing away from the commitment. It was the same bullshit with Jason, only she used loyalty to the elder Gilmores as her faux breakup motivation. Luke is the only person she's dated who did not induce this fervent desire to escape change/the merging of lives. In that relationship, it was a total role reversal where Luke was the one erecting barriers to avoid closeness.
Speaking of Luke, he and Lorelai interact for the first time since "That's What You Get, Folks, For Makin' Whoopee." When April gets sick, he freaks out and calls Lorelai. who advises him to take her to the hospital in case she has appendicitis. It's a short, non-contentious phone call that might have absolved the tension between them if Lorelai hadn't shown up at the hospital and inadvertently revealed her marriage. After stopping by Rory's apartment, where she whips out her patented "Nothing's gonna change" line, she goes back home and embraces the mess she's created for herself. When Chris hears her moving furniture around in Rory's room at midnight, he comes downstairs and she updates him on everything (including the hospital visit). Witnessing Luke's stunned silence and Rory's hesitant but supportive reaction seems to make Lorelai realize she owes it to herself and those she's disappointed to give the marriage a legitimate shot.
- Fuck Lorelai for creating yet another idiotic acronym: STASAP, sooner than as soon as possible. This is something she and Chris (TPTDI) have in common.
- Who did Logan's team have to blow to get Page Six at their lame ass party? I love how deadpan unimpressed Rory is when Bobby announces their presence.
- I'm with Chris: It's weird that someone who loves movies/TV is so resistant to new technology. Does Lorelai even have a DVD player or is she still watching shit on grainy VHS?
- It was popular at the time, but I can't picture Rory buying herself a sweatshirt from the Victoria's Secret PINK line. Maybe it was a gift from Lorelai.
- Nothing is sadder to me than April wrapping Sabrina's birthday CD in newspaper and making sure a story about Darfur is on the front "to put things in perspective" in case she doesn't like it.
- The guy who plays Tripp Kavanagh (Steve Braun) really sucks the marrow out of the phrase "construction nightmare." It's giving Moira Rose.
- Lucy notes that the bookshelves hung by Marty are "fine for, you know, paperbacks." She should have called TJ.
- Everything involving Luke and April feels isolated and sad. If I needed to torture information out of someone, I would tape their eyes open and make them watch this scene on repeat: