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The GILMORE GIRLS Rewatch Project: The Very Worst Luke

I'm talking punch-worthy here, and Logan's not much better. On the bright side: best wishes are in order for Lane!

The GILMORE GIRLS Rewatch Project: The Very Worst Luke

Follow along the whole rewatch here!

Last week, on Gilmore Girls...

We're at Week 50 of the Gilmore Girls Rewatch Project, and to thank me for devoting fifty weeks of my life to this show, Gilmore Girls gifts me with my most hated episode ever. I truly believe "A Vineyard Valentine" is my least favorite ep of the entire series - there are worst-written episodes, and more pointless episodes, and episodes that end on a crummier note than "A Vineyard Valentine," but none that upset me so much. 

So let's get it over with, but first! A reminder of our drinking game rules: 

The Gilmore Girls Drinking Game Rules

Drink once every time:

Lorelai or Rory drinks coffee.

Emily gets flustered by Lorelai's bizarre sense of humor.

Sookie is controlling about food.

Paris is controlling about anything.

Michel snubs a customer.

Luke is crotchety.

Taylor has an absurd scheme for Stars Hollow.

The girls acquire massive amounts of food and then fail to take even one bite.


Drink twice every time:

Kirk has a new job.

You see a town troubadour.

Emily gets a new maid.

On to the episodes!

6.15 "A Vineyard Valentine"

AUGHH OKAY. Luke has been extra jerky lately, and Valentine's Day is upon us so Lorelai is feeling glum. Logan - who is so adorable about how much he misses the super busy Rory - invites everyone out to his family's house on Martha's Vineyard for the weekend, and Lorelai cajoles Luke into going. She has to cajole him, because the idea of spending time with his beautiful fiancée and her charming daughter whom he supposedly loves, at a legendary vacation spot for FREE, sounds like a chore to Luke.

LUKE IS A COMPLETE ASSHOLE ABOUT EVERYTHING. He complains about the cold, the waves, the raccoon, the food, the house, the plumbing. Logan is nothing but kind and accommodating to Luke and Luke treats him like crap. Lorelai is clearly feeling unloved and Luke's too wrapped up in his own stupid shit to notice. This is the reason I hate "A Vineyard Valentine" so much - because it takes a beloved character and makes him loathsome. Luke has always been crotchety - I mean, that's why we have the drinking game rule - but he's been lovably crotchety, and he's always, always been sensitive to Lorelai's feelings. He's acting like a complete menace here, just a hateful crybaby, and I can't believe I ever liked him. 

OKAY. It gets better. Lorelai finally snaps at Luke (after exhibiting superhuman patience), and he finally FINALLY starts to notice something's wrong. He of course didn't buy her a Valentine's Day gift (the kind of thing I personally don't care about, but Lorelai obviously does so he should make an effort), and Logan wins him over by offering one of the two pieces of diamond jewelry he bought Rory and making up a story about how he and Luke sneaked out and bought the jewelry together. Luke is introduced to the glory of lobster and finally cheers up, and he and Lorelai end up having a great conversation over breakfast in bed when Lorelai is at last honest about her feeling that the wedding is never going to happen.

Luke starts to win me back somewhat by telling her: "Look, I know I've been preoccupied. I don't like that about myself. It's just who I am. I get in my own head, and I forget about the people around me...You know I love you, right?" Lorelai replies softly, breaking my heart, "I really need to hear that once in a while." (WHY DON'T YOU EVER TELL HER YOU LOVE HER, YOU IDIOT?) Luke: "I love you, and I'm going to marry you, and at our wedding, we are having lobster." They talk about eloping, and Lorelai seems so hopeful and so touched. It would be a nice moment if we didn't know what's coming.

I'd like this episode, despite the way it begins, if it ended on this note, but it doesn't. First, Mitchum storms into the house, looking for Logan and screaming at him in front of everyone - evidently Logan is supposed to be on a business trip to London, and we learn that Mitchum intends for Logan to spend a year in London as soon as he graduates in a few months. Logan and Rory are so sad as this ruins their plans for a summer trip to Asia, but Logan promises that he's going to find a way out of it. Everything still seems good between Luke and Lorelai, who continue to be cute and flirty once they get back to Stars Hollow - until Luke hears that April has left a message for him, confirming their plans for the following day, and he immediately shuts Lorelai out again, and she looks crushed as she heads home to hear a litany of messages on her answering machine congratulating her on her June 3rd wedding. Because of course Emily has put an engagement notice in the paper, since Lorelai never told her the wedding's been postponed. Lorelai almost starts to cry as the credits roll. I HATE THIS EPISODE. 

How many times do I have to drink?

22.

How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?

4.

Flirtation quota:

Logan and Rory are so unbelievably adorable this entire episode. Rory tells Lorelai: "It just hit me. These could be the ones," and Lorelai looks wistful - but later, she and Luke are awfully cute in bed. Too bad it doesn't last.

Best/most dated pop culture reference:

Lorelai, talking about the bands she was auditioning for the wedding: "I was going to audition them, and a Dixieland combo, and Led Zepagain, a Led Zeppelin cover band."

Sookie's best dish of the episode:

She's panicking over the Valentine's Day prix-fixe menu, mad at herself for going the traditional route with oysters. I want oysters, Sookie! Don't be so hard on yourself!

Lorelai's craziest outfit:

This is a bad coat, an army jacket embroidered with a big flower:

Outfit MVP:

This is a good coat, the kind of coat a grown-up might wear:

Kirk insanity/Michel madness:

Nope.

Best Gilmore Gal witticism:

Ugh, the opposite, another thing I hate about this episode. Lorelai (who, to be fair, is just trying to fill the blank silence provided by a crotchety Luke) tells a series of unfunny gay jokes related to the attractions around Martha's Vineyard, culminating in this complete idiocy: "I wonder if there's a connection between the shape of lighthouses, ferries, spermaceti and Gay Head." She slaps her knee even though THAT JOKE IS NOT A KNEE-SLAPPER. It's a forehead-slapper. This is vintage Daniel Palladino, who has never quite gotten a Lorelai babble session down right.

Random observation:

I know I'm too hard on this episode - there's some great, fun, funny stuff, like when Lorelai and Rory are getting massages at the gym (undercut by scenes of Luke acting like a pissant on the basketball court with Logan, however) and Lorelai's awe at seeing Rory in the kitchen: 

Still, watching it this time I became convinced that no other episode of Gilmore Girls actively upsets me the way "A Vineyard Valentine" does. I guess I get really sensitive about Luke. 

4.16 "Bridesmaids Revisited"

When the big breakup episode feels like a pick-me-up, you know I hated "A Vineyard Valentine." Actually, "Bridesmaids Revisited" is a pretty fun ep, all things considered. 

It starts with Rory in the newsroom, being treated with utmost disrespect by a still-angry Paris. Doyle gives Rory some good advice, former editor to current editor about ousted editor, telling her not to give Paris special treatment just because Paris is mad. Rory's invited to join a college journalism panel, and she looks smoking hot for the occasion. Logan really wants to go (and he tells her over and over how great she looks, that charming rascal), but he's forced to go to Honor's wedding rehearsal instead. Christopher and Lorelai both attend the panel (Lorelai gives Luke a heads up that Chris will be there, like the adult she now is that he no longer deserves), and everything seems friendly and normal between them again. Rory of course destroys the panel, and they're both so proud. 

Later, Chris mentions that he's been having trouble getting Gigi into a private preschool, and also offhandedly says that his nanny quit. Lorelai offers to babysit, which is a very friendly gesture that she grows to RUE, because Gigi is a monster. This three-year-old massacres Lorelai's house, throws hourlong screaming fits and behaves in a way that can only be described as "criminally violent." She pours chocolate milk on Paul Anka! SHE MUST BE STOPPED. When Lorelai tries to tell Chris that Gigi is spoiled and needs some discipline, he gets really defensive and yells at her - but immediately calls to apologize, admitting that he just can't tell Gigi "no" because he feels so guilty that her lousy mom abandoned her. Lorelai promises Chris that it's not too late and says that she'll help him with Gigi, which is quite a generous offer considering Gigi is truly, truly terrifying.

Meanwhile, Lane's decided that it's time to take control of her future, and she starts passing out flyers announcing her services as a drummer for inquiring bands. Zack sees the flyer and finally shapes up: he finds Brian and Gil playing "Hollaback Girl" at a Grease-themed bat mitzvah in one of the greatest musical cues Gilmore Girls has ever offered, and he tells them he's sorry and he wants to get the band back together. They both agree if Zack can get Lane to agree, and Zack does it up right: he goes to the diner, gives one of the all-time sweetest speeches and proposes to Lane. Lane, needless to say, says yes. Oh, these two! Thank you for providing some happy tears among all the sad ones!

Finally, Rory and Logan head to Honor's wedding, and Rory ends up in the bridal suite with Honor and all of her bridesmaids, whom Logan has referred to as "worthless idiots." They're definitely silly drunks, at best, but Rory seems to be having fun with them until they all start shooting off at the mouth about how they had sex with Logan over the holidays, when Rory still thought they were dating because Logan never got around to telling her he'd broken up with her. Rory is gutted, and when Logan finds her later she breaks up with him on the spot. Stupid Logan! Of course he maintains that it wasn't cheating because they were broken up, but I have to side with Rory when she says that BOTH parties need to be aware of the breakup for it not to count as cheating. 

Rory goes to a bar and gets super drunk, and she bumps into a super drunk Doyle who's there because Paris dumped him for siding with Rory in the newsroom. Drunk Doyle and Drunk Rory are my absolute FAVORITE THING EVER. 

"Because Logan had many, many blondes for Thanksgiving." So good! I also love when Rory gives Doyle her coat, and he takes it without hesitation. Thank god this episode is so fun after last week's misery. Rory and Doyle's hilarious and precious exchange is somewhat hampered when Doyle starts trying to kiss her neck, and they both flee awkwardly - Rory to Paris' scary apartment, where Paris welcomes her warmly and all is forgiven. 

How many times do I have to drink?

7.

How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?

2.

Flirtation quota:

Before Logan blows it, he's doing so well. After he leaves their apartment the morning of Rory's panel, all of a sudden he charges back in, walks over to Rory, lays one hell of a kiss on her and says, "You look incredible. Knock 'em dead," and then leaves again. He's downright swoonworthy here, and it makes the breakup an extra bummer. 

Best/most dated pop culture reference:

On Rory's sexy professional panel ensemb, Logan: "I see you went with Faye Dunaway in Network."

Sookie's best dish of the episode/Michel madness:

Nope.

Lorelai's craziest outfit:

This shirt has a different ugly pattern on it from every angle. 

Outfit MVP:

Although Rory's dress for Honor's wedding is amazing (see it in the episode header image), I have to go with Faye Dunaway in Network:

Kirk insanity:

He's on a juice fast and is going slowly insane(r) from hunger. He keeps sniffing Lorelai, claiming that his senses are heightened, and he eventually cheats on his juice fast by stealing the leftover toast crust from a stranger's plate at Luke's. It's gross.

Best Gilmore Gal witticism:

Lorelai's panel pep talk to Rory: "You're a natural at this kind of thing. And just remember if things don't go well, we will stop loving you."

Random observation:

Gilmore Girls has always skated the tonal balance between dramatic and funny, sweet and edgy, quirky and true to life. I think "A Vineyard Valentine" skews too far into unpleasant territory, so "Bridesmaids Revisited" - while dealing with a breakup between two principal characters, no less - had quite a lot of work to do to restore that balance. I think it does so with gusto! 

--

That's it for this week, so meet me here next Wednesday morning as we cover "I'm OK, You're OK" and "The Real Paul Anka."

And I leave you with a question, dear FYA readers: I've made it very clear what my least favorite Gilmore Girls episode is. What's yours?

Meredith Borders's photo About the Author: Meredith is the Editorial Director of BIRTH.MOVIES.DEATH. and the Alamo Drafthouse, and the Social Media Director for Fantastic Fest.
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