By all appearances, this should be a classic episode:

Friday Night’s Alright for Fighting. While Luke deals with the reality of having April in his life, Lorelai tries to pretend she doesn’t mind the repercussions the new situation is having on their engagement. Rory’s concern over Paris’ lack of management skills at the Yale Daily News finally reaches a crisis point when most of the staff quits in protest. With Logan’s help, Rory makes a valiant attempt to get the paper out on time. Meanwhile, Lorelai breaks the news to Richard and Emily that their money will no longer be needed for Rory’s education, and the resentment starts to build. The subsequent Friday night dinner erupts into an emotional confrontation where all four Gilmores finally get their issues out on the table. Written by Amy Sherman-Palladino and directed by Kenny Ortega.

12 thoughts on “GilmoreGossipCircle”

  1. For my part, I did like the episode, if only for the fact that we finally have the glorious resurrection of the much-beloved Friday night dinners. More than that, this miracle was wholly the work of Lorelai herself! Huzzah!
    In one of the featurettes on one of the Gilmore Girls DVDs (yes, I’m that far gone that I am quoting the featurettes), one of the directors talked about how the Gilmore house was shown very presentationally, very statically, as opposed to Stars Hollow, where the camera was a lot more fluid in order to emphasize how comfortable the main characters are there. That’s what I was thinking of during the entire dinner scene, as the camera was swooping around the dinner table, and as jump-cuts plopped us from one confrontation to another. It took me by surprise, and I wonder how successful other people thought it was: that sort of style is so different from what we usually see on Gilmore Girls that I found myself wondering how Rory went from sitting at the dinner table to standing beside Lorelai. It did manage to give the impression of how chaotic and confusing (and cathartic) the evening was for everyone, and I was extremely pleased that Richard and Emily actually seemed to be treating their daughter (and, to some extent, their granddaughter) as an adult. It was also good to see Lorelai suddenly acting as the means for her family’s cohesion, a role that she has never been willing to play before. Maybe she recognizes that, as much as it galls her, she wants her parents in her life; at the very least, she wants her parents in her daughter’s life. Maybe the fact that the Friday night dinners are no longer the result of extortion on her parents part will change the nature of the dinners. I really missed Emily.
    I was pleased that Logan actually was able to help Rory. Originally I thought that maybe ASP was setting Rory up to take Paris’s place as editor, but after Logan swooped in, I find myself wondering if maybe he will take her place. Surely Paris can’t be allowed to continue, if only for her own sake. I was also surprised that Paris didn’t immediately attack Rory for going over her head to finish the paper.
    I still don’t know what to say about Luke and his daughter. At least the door was left open for the wedding to go on as scheduled.
    And what is with the previews for next week?

  2. I could have done without the initial swooping handheld camerawork at dinner, but it was effective in shaking up my sense of the Friday night dinner as static, like Bill says. And then as soon as they started skipping from moment to moment, with different combinations of Gilmores going at it? I LOVED this. Love love loved it. This was the antidote to all those episodes where tensions lie seething and everyone is too repressed or careful or afraid to say what they really think. Finally, they’re letting loose! Also, utterly hilarious.
    And it’s largely thanks to Lorelai. She’s really coming into her own here as an adult. She’s always taken on the disruptive role in her family, shattering the facade of things being fine, but for so long she’s been stuck in the kid-role, distancing herself from the situation, that she hasn’t been capable of taking the next step of sticking around to build something better. This fight feels to me like a culmination of something she’s been making moves toward for years but has been too stuck in her old family dynamics to really bring about. We’ll see how long it takes for someone in that family to start pushing forward to something better.
    Maybe it’s just me liking a good fight, but I thought this was the first time the Gilmores felt like a real family. As long as they can take things from here to a new level of honesty. It may turn out that Emily and Richard are so horrified by what happened that they retreat for a while. But I think ultimately this was a big step forward.
    I don’t think they’re messing with us in the previews — I bet Logan and Rory get engaged. Which would set in motion so many strange dynamics between everyone around them…
    I’m not seeing it lead to an actual marriage, though. Logan can be wonderful in the short term but over the long haul his bad qualities will show up again sooner or later. And it would be interesting if he and not Rory ends up getting Paris’ job, because she’s the one who deserves it, but he’s the kind of guy who people think of as an obvious candidate. That right there may be the seed of Rory having to choose between doing the work she loves or being a Huntzberger wife. What with her anger over being kicked out of the DAR (!) it seems that world does still hold some appeal for her. It might seem like there’s no reason she couldn’t be Mrs. Logan while running a paper, but I think we’ve seen that as good as he is when wooing a girl, ultimately, being with Logan means being his subordinate. It’s just how he’s wired.
    Last week I didn’t like it but this week the awkwardness between Luke and Lorelai made sense; I could see where both of them are coming from and it’s nobody’s fault, just a tough situation that they’re both handling in character. Props to ASP for making all the conflicts in this episode feel like real and understandable problems between intelligent people. Even Paris, as over the top as she is, elicited some compassion from me this episode. I winced at her behavior and wanted to smack her but I have to admit I also recognised myself in her, just as I recognised myself in the characters reacting to her. That’s some good writing right there.

  3. It’s a little intimidating to jump into the Circle after such cogent analysis (and having only been a fan of the show since Sept. – thank goodness for ABC Family repeats!) but I just have to say I absolutely loved the ending. The camera work and acting work was perfect – angry and funny with Lorelai being the voice of reason. Great stuff.

  4. Can I just say? When Emily busted out with “I never realized how spoiled you are!” to Rory, I almost cheered out loud. Finally!
    Having been a college newspaper editor, I have been loving this season’s newsroom debacle. I’m delighted by the Paris Shanty of Corrugated Power.

  5. Welcome, Justin!
    You guys are right on the money, as usual.
    I couldn’t help wondering how ASP can stand to watch episodes written by other people. She is truly the ONLY person who manages to really nail each and every character and they are so particular to her created universe. It must be almost as painful as it is for us. So write them all, ASP! Here endeth my plea. (And she is the only person who can write Sookie at all — I loved that little character line at the beginning about how the kid who looks like Jackson’s voice even goes up at the end of sentences.)
    I agree that both Luke and Lorelai’s behavior are completely understandable, but I still want to smack Luke. He’s just not getting it. And for Lorelai’s part I actually do wish she’d tell him she doesn’t want to postpone.
    Do we think Rory’s pregnant? I was guessing elopement, but it could be both.
    Love, love, loved the Friday night meltdown.

  6. Oh, and yay, on the newsroom debacle. I loved Paris’s little bunker. And yeah, I have “Girl Friday” concerns about how things are going to play out with Rory and Logan. It’s just not believable that Logan has actually changed so much just from his break-up with Rory. I am very much still remembering his jerkhood, even though it’s hard when he is being cleverly made likable again.

  7. Paris Shanty of Corrugated Power! Awesome.
    Yeah, I am ready for Luke to snap out of his befuddlement too, but I do think that his confusion (at least as written by ASP) is in character. Kids have always made Luke kind of frazzled. And I suppose it’s in character for Lorelai instinctively to think of a parent-kid relationship as something private between two people.
    I had the weirdest reaction when everyone ooh’d and ahh’d over how Luke had a kid who read: I found myself getting mad on Jess’s behalf. Whatever his other flaws, Jess was a great reader! But only Rory saw it.

  8. I agree with Gwenda that ASP is the only one who seems to be able to write for Sookie: I loved the bit at the beginning. So often Sookie seems really shrill and obnoxious when she’s written by the other writers. When ASP writes her, you realize why she’s Lorelai’s best friend in the first place.
    In retrospect, I wasn’t entirely pleased that Rory’s moment of proaction was essentially co-opted by Logan. I didn’t like that he essentially donned the mantle of leadership. I think it would be interesting if Rory became editor, but then she might not have as much time to interact with the rest of the cast.

  9. It’s Logan’s way. He’s very capable, but whatever he does, it’s minimum effort for maximum glory. Even if he does become editor, Rory’s still going to end up doing all the work…

  10. I loved the episode, and especially loved seeing the Friday dinner meltdown. Seeing Lorelai’s parents go through all the various emotions was priceless!
    Logan’s sweeping in and saving the day was a bit predictable and reinforced my belief that he’s more flash than substance….short-term but not long-term.

  11. Ditto everything said here. It was a fantastic episode, and the Friday Night meltdown was a phenomenal combination of excellent writing, acting, editing, and camera work. We need more episodes like this one.

  12. Bit o’ trivia: the guy at the newspaper office who put his hands to his head “Scream”-like and said “Computer crashed again!” is my roommate’s former co-worker. Supposedly he tops his one line this week with four next week. Excitement!

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