Directing and writing credits:
“Knit, People, Knit!” is directed by Kenny Ortega and written by David Grae. Ortega started directing episodes for the show in S3; sadly, this is his final one of the series. Here are his previous credits:
"They Shoot Gilmores, Don't They?" - Miss Patty goes full drunk Ron Swanson at the dance marathon.
"A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving" - Claude and Monique definitely have a sex dungeon in their house, right?
"Face-Off" - The only thing I like about Zack is his utter disregard for religion.
"A Family Matter" - I've ended several meaningless relationships by texting "We've got to end this — now" and then disappearing forever. Thanks to Paris Geller for teaching me how to be an unbothered bitch.
"Written in the Stars" - This episode marks the last time I was sexually attracted to Luke. Once he and Lorelai bone for the first time, it all goes downhill.
"You Jump, I Jump, Jack" - Luke goes golfing in denim and gives approximately ten middle-aged WASPs immediate heart attacks.
"Emily Says Hello" - I'm annoyed that we don't get to see Emily go on a date with a weasel.
"Come Home" - Kirk's hustle makes Kim "get your ass up and work" Kardashian look like a lazy bitch.
"Let Me Hear Your Balalaikas Ringing Out" - Donald Sutherland does not have jowls! Or if he does, we'll never know because of his lush facial hair.
"He's Slippin' 'Em Bread... Dig?" - "What are you going to do without a college degree? Drive a forklift?"
"Friday Night's Alright for Fighting" - It's hard to choose a favorite Paris Geller meltdown scene, but I will always have a great fondness for her ripping up someone's article and throwing it into the air like confetti.
This is the first and only episode written by Grae, who has worked on shows like "Joan of Arcadia" and "Madam Secretary." If you're interested in learning more, check out this interview with him on the 88 Cups of Tea podcast.
Most batshit crazy outfit:
Taylor looks most like which of the following:
a) The blueberry girl from "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" (1971)
b) A crafty lesbian on her first trip to Vermont during leaf-peeping season
c) Someone who got drunk and fell prey to reject Eileen Fisher on the Macy's clearance rack
There is much to say about Lucy's 2002-themed twenty-first birthday bash but for now, I just want to point out Uggs have been a long-standing wardrobe staple for Rory throughout the Yale years. In the very next episode, she wears Ugg La Jolla boots to the dining hall with Logan. Her feet were not "so much more comfortable in 2002."
I love Paris' general Y2K look here, but this sweater isn't doing her any favors; however, I'm inclined to forgive it because I love the idea of her being a cat person.
And finally, Anna's outfit is giving grandma at the nursing home, ready for her daily dish of rice pudding.
Most irritating Rory or Lorelai moment:
After Marty refuses to engage with Rory beyond a monosyllabic grunt during party prep, she calls Lorelai to vent and is given this horrible advice:
Lorelai: Is he still acting all cold and weird?
Rory: Beyond cold and beyond weird.
Lorelai: Well, you're a hard one to get over, kid, you know. He probably just feels bad. When guys feel rejected, they act all cold and weird.
Rory: Yeah, but I rejected him, if that's even what happened, years ago. I mean isn't there a statute of limitations for being a jerk?
Lorelai: Well, Marty just probably feels awkward. Maybe you should try to be nice.
Rory: He's not exactly being nice to me.
Lorelai: Well, you have to be the bigger person.
At no point do either of these women consider forcing Marty to confront the cold/weird dynamic he's created. Although still unacceptable, I can wrap my head around socially clumsy Rory struggling with the idea of talking to Lucy, but Lorelai, who is almost forty fucking years old, should understand it's the right move.
Number of times Rory or Lorelai treat their BFF like shit:
Paris includes a provision in their new lease that accounts for Logan/any other paramours who might run up the utilities. Instead of getting mad about it, Rory finds her parsimonious antics amusing. I often think about Luke's comment to Lorelai in S2 before she calls off the Max engagement: "I guess if you can find that one person, you know, who's willing to put up with all your crap, and doesn't want to change you or dress you or you know, make you eat French food, then marriage can be all right. But that's only if you find that person." More than with anyone else in her life, Rory loves and accepts Paris for who she is without trying to exert undue influence.
One of the weirdest S7 writing decisions is to rob the viewer of Sookie's reaction to Lorelai's elopement. Maybe she told everyone, not just the elder Gilmores, via awkward answering machine message. Despite the often surface-level nature of their relationship, Lorelai is at least able to straightforwardly ask for support when she needs it. Considering the lukewarm townie response to their quickie marriage, she's keen to use Jackson's clout (lol what) to boost Christopher's reputation. As dumb as this plan is, Sookie offers to facilitate it without judgment.
Best literary or pop culture references:
I hate that we never got to see Babette's bride of Chucky Halloween costume. This movie must be a writers' room favorite because it's mentioned here, too.
Stars Hollow weirdness:
In preparation for the knit-a-thon, Kirk walks around screaming, "Free needles," prompting Lorelai's pithy, "Who says Stars Hollow's not progressive?" After witnessing Luke and Lorelai's town square stroll, Luke declares the diner a knit-free zone, which I guess is better than serving fishy-tasting bacon and throwing an adult temper tantrum. When Patty and Babette fail to greet Christopher with sexual harassment, Lorelai understands that he isn't yet welcome in town. In an attempt to elicit good will, he makes an uncomfortably generous bridge restoration donation that ends the festival before everyone has a chance to wrap Taylor in yarn.
These shenanigans are worse than what Daniel Palladino typically throws at us, so congrats to David Grae for topping the master of annoyance.
Sharpest insult or one-liner:
Emily laments that by eloping, Lorelai and Christopher have prevented her from properly celebrating their marriage. To this, Lorelai says, "Hey, if you and dad want a party, it's fine by me. Buy some forties, rent an inflatable bounce house."
It's not her most clever retort, but I must give Lorelai props for conjuring this perfect mental image. I'm picturing Emily and Richard wearing matching tracksuits a la Chas Tenenbaum with bottles of Olde English duct-taped to their hands as House of Pain's "Jump Around" plays.
Books mentioned/books Rory is reading:
During her move back into Paris' apartment, we learn that Rory has two copies of "The Norton Anthology," which also popped up in "French Twist." Chris calls Lorelai Madame Defarge when he walks downstairs to find her knitting on the couch. I don't believe for a second that he retained the name of the antagonist from Charles Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities." I was an English major and still had to Google that shit.
Best song of the episode:
This is a tough one because Paris and Doyle scorch the floorboards to two tracks, but I prefer Pink's "Get the Party Started" because it's not tainted with rape allegations.
You know the episode is going to suck when it has a generic title devoid of puns or references (see also: Secrets and Loans, A Vineyard Valentine, and nearly all of S7). There are some good moments, but I have a hard time feigning interest in Lorelai's anxiety over the town's lack of Christopher enthusiasm. It makes me sad to see an adult woman desperate for outside approval because deep down, she's aware that her recent decisions are a cry for help.
Remember when Lorelai flipped out on Emily for her lack of enthusiasm regarding the Max Medina engagement? She should be thrilled that even in the wake of her crass answering machine announcement, everyone toasts her good news with champagne and terrifying art acquisitions. The elder Gilmores want to throw her a massive celebration at the Harbor Club and even offer to make it black-tie optional so the scumbags of Stars Hollow can comfortably attend. Lorelai isn't even ready to let Christopher accompany her into town to buy knitting needles, let alone celebrate her love for him at a fancy soirée. Chris should (and probably does) sense that something is wrong when Lorelai's guest list for the prospective party includes only three of her friends, but it's a bit of an "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" situation with him.
During their first townie appearance together as a married couple, Christopher receives the most subtle, passive aggressive snub ever witnessed outside of Richard and Emily's house. Everyone is outwardly nice, but the "Fuck you, interloper" energy is palpable to those in the know. Already insecure about the marriage, Lorelai's slowly mounting freak out intensifies and she begs Sookie to arrange a "man date" between Christopher and Jackson. I'm not sure when Jackson became Stars Hollow's Miranda Priestly, but his opinion can apparently make or break a person in this town, which she idiotically tells Chris.
While the man date with Jackson goes well enough, Lorelai isn't satisfied. She arranges for him to go bird-watching with Morey, play darts with Andrew, and coach peewee little league. No relationship is worth this much effort and part of me doesn't blame Christopher for throwing some money at the problem and wishing for success. If I had to choose between spending my free time teaching random children how to play baseball or making a charitable donation for $7,800, I would happily write a check. I wonder if it's tax deductible.
Unfortunately, Chris' act of generosity doesn't go over as planned and everyone is disappointed to see the knit-a-thon end early. On their walk home, Lorelai has the audacity to tell Chris that he doesn't have to try so hard to get people to like him. Instead of chopping her in the hyoid, which is what I would have done, Chris calls her on her bullshit and explains that he's not worried about people liking him ... that just like with Jackson, they'll come around when they see how committed he is to Lorelai. It's a gross, simplistic way to end what is clearly a snowballing problem in their relationship, but there are thirteen episodes left in the season and the writers must milk this budding conflict for all it's worth.
For once, the writers give Luke a storyline that doesn't involve blustering around like a fool while calling April "sweetie" ten million times. When Anna shows up at the diner and announces very matter-of-factly that she and April are moving to New Mexico, he is initially sad but empathetic. Those feelings quickly dissipate when he realizes that Anna has no interest in how this move impacts his relationship with April. When Doula, Liz and TJ's daughter, is born, Luke is inspired to fight for his rights, kickstarting a custody battle that should be interesting but is actually extremely dull because this show is not "The Good Wife" and April is the world's least covetable prize.
As for Rory's storyline, I can't believe we're still dealing with the idiocy of Marty pretending they were never friends. He treats her like trash until she breaks the ice (thanks for that advice, Lorelai) at Lucy's party by ordering an absurd fake drink while he's tending bar. Later, when they're both drunk, he embarrasses himself by talking about his gym gains and creepily complimenting her beauty. When she brushes him off, he finds Lucy on the dance floor and makes out with her in front of Rory. She needs to expose his lying ass so that Lucy can move on and spend her time with someone who does not resemble the abusive ex-husband in every Lifetime movie.
If not for Paris and Doyle, the party would be a low energy flop. They have so much confidence that they walk into a room where they know almost no one and instantly start humping each other, drawing everyone into their carnal web. It's hard to exert so much raw sexuality in double-pleated pants, but Doyle has never let fabric (or his recent scoliosis diagnosis) slow him down. Maybe the pleats actually aid in Paris' pleasure, much like a ribbed condom. OK, now I'm just being disgusting. I will show myself out.
- "Wolf Girl" is right up Lorelai's alley. It goes perfectly with her creepy baby picture and Samuel Miller print.
- I bet Doyle is secretly thrilled that Rory is back in the apartment. Without her there, his sex life with Paris ratcheted up to an unprecedented level of danger. They had swings, catapults, machetes ... now it has to revert back to an environment that won't terrify Rory. He couldn't admit to Paris that things were going too far because if he did, she would have retaliated by revoking his safe word.
- I wonder if child Lorelai said she wanted to marry Tip O'Neill in an early attempt to piss her Republican parents off.
- Logan can't attend Lucy's birthday party because he's busy racking up his dad's tab at Nobu with some business bros. I wonder if he got one of the coveted booth tables and/or another write-up in Page Six.
- TJ says that if he drinks fast enough, bubbles have the same effect on him as alcohol. My husband says, "That's called an air embolism. He looks like he's experienced many in his day."
- Christopher might be an asshole, but even he does not deserve a pre-licked root beer-flavored Dum Dum.
- The lighting is so weird in this scene. It looks like it was shot on green screen.
- Someone at the knit-a-thon is offering five-minute hand massages for $1. Last year, Marge pulled a tendon in her purling finger. It looked like a lightning bolt. She’ll never purl again. That’s why you must stretch before the knit-a-thon. Heed Marge's warning.
- They should have saved the money spent on the knit-a-thon goat and alpaca and used it on the production design for Lucy's party. I wanted more than some streamers and little cutouts that say "2002."
- According to "The Gilmore Girls Companion," costume designer Brenda Maben knit Taylor's blue sweater and hat. A bunch of the crew — including warbrobe's Maben and Valerie Campbell, along with director Lee Shallat Chemel — got very into knitting BTS, thus inspiring the knit-a-thon.