Follow along the whole rewatch here!
WELL, the Season 6 finale is upon us, and with it a wave of angst, agony and depression. I don't think I could have made it through these two episodes without my finale comrade-in-arms, the woman who introduced me to Stars Hollow, one miss Mandy J (burningberry in the comments!):
So let's hop to, 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!
6.21 "Driving Miss Gilmore"
We open with Friday night dinner, as Lorelai and Rory argue over spaghetti and meatballs (evidently a recurring affair) and Emily and Richard announce that they've reconciled with Christopher since learning that he's now paying Rory's tuition. Emily also makes some noise about how she intends to set Chris up with some of the nice women in her social circle, an idea that Lorelai doesn't seem to quite love, to be honest. And the grandparents also announce that they intend to take the money they've saved on Rory's tuition and spend it on a building named after her! Rory is aghast and Lorelai's tickled - evidently they don't want to wait for Rory to graduate from Yale before slapping her name on one of the buildings, which is hilariously awkward.
Mandy: So, I know it’s controversial, but I love this era of Christopher. He deserves what is basically the truest chance he ever had. It was always “Sure, this would’ve worked out if Christopher had it together.” Finally, he HAS it together, so if it was ever going to work out, it was going to be now.
Meredith: I like Chris here, too! He's doing his best to make amends for all past mistakes in these episodes.
Lorelai sure doesn't like the idea of Chris being set up with anyone!
Mandy (simultaneously): She’s getting defensive about setting Christopher up. That’s...interesting. (jinx!)
Meredith: hee, Richard and Emily want to name the entire campus after Rory. "Forget it, kid. Grandma and Grandpa have gone bye-bye."
As someone who paid her own way through school, it always bugs me a little that Rory has so many people fighting to pay her tuition.
Rory's also got her hands full nursing Logan, and she's so cute as she sweetly bosses him around to ensure that he doesn't overdo it now that he's out of the hospital. These two have made up and then some, and it's adorable. But Rory's hackles are risen when she reads a profile on Mitchum in the Wall Street Journal in which Mitchum brags that he gave Rory Gilmore her first internship "and now she's the editor of the Yale Daily News." Logan does his best to calm her down, but Rory isn't having it - she calls the reporter to huffily demand a retraction, even though nothing in the article is technically untrue. She's a pretty big baby in this storyline, but it's hardly the worst thing she's done this season, and anyway, she's so cute with Logan this week that I don't mind too much.
This is the era of the “nice guys who just weren’t the one."
Meredith: I like Logan a lot. Some of the FYA readers just looooathe him but I think he's a good match for College Rory (but not Forever Rory).
Rory's so cute, mothering Logan and dealing with the doctor.
Mandy: It stressed me out when they were strained.
I’d like to have seen her rise above this Mitchum thing. Mandyism: when life throws a lemon in your face, don’t dignify it by smashing it under your shoe, because then your shoe gets all lemon-y.
Logan is right. Let it go. It’s a good thing that Mitchum said, who cares if he’s a jerk.
Meredith: Yeah, in a way he's admitting that he was wrong when he said Rory didn't have it!
Mandy: If it had been me, I’d have inwardly rejoiced because I’D know that he’d been wrong.
Oh, Rory... This is UNPROFESH!
Meredith: It's embarrassing.
Mandy: What if she works there someday!
Meredith: And she should know how annoying this would be for a busy reporter!
Mandy: She is being a CHILD.
Meredith: I like this reporter: "We can't print corrections to impressions. That would be chaos."
Liz drops back by Stars Hollow to announce to Luke two little bits of news - she's pregnant, and TJ left her. She's all zen about it, but Luke's furious, so he tracks TJ down to a bar to yell at him for abandoning his pregnant wife. But TJ tells Luke the truth: Liz panicked when she learned she was pregnant, and she kicked TJ out, telling him that he's not responsible enough to be a father even though TJ promised to read every book under the sun. TJ's pretty cute here, for the first time EVER, and Luke gives him good advice, good advice that Luke himself hasn't followed once this season: "That's the trick with relationships, believe me. Look, you have to try to tune in to what your partner means as opposed to what she's actually saying. They sometimes won't tell you how they're feeling, but your job is to try to figure out what she's saying from what she actually says." I'm sorry, Luke, I'm having trouble hearing you over the DEAFENING IRONY in that statement.
Mandy: Oh, interesting story in this one: all the Daneses are sabotaging their relationships.
Meredith: So true - this is a great parallel for the Luke/Lorelai story.
Mandy: TJ... He’s often annoying, but this is actually funny.
Meredith: Yeah, I actually like this plot. TJ's pretty cute here.
TJ, don't take Luke's advice on relationships! This idiot evidently has no idea how to keep a woman happy. His advice is so hypocritical!
Mandy: Yes! Do NOT listen to Flannel McBallcap.
So Luke goes back to the diner and finds Liz quietly freaking out among a support group of angry single mothers, until he shows Liz that he brought TJ along - TJ, who's standing nervously outside, hoping for a chance to reconcile. Liz runs out to apologize, and the two goofs make up adorably in the street, as Luke looks on, smiling.
Meredith: Liz is so cute, I really like her. She was just scared!
Mandy: I would panic barf DAILY if I ever got pregnant.
Meredith: That's probably what morning sickness actually is, just sheer terror made physical.
I've been mad at Luke all season, but it sure is cute that he got Liz and TJ back together, especially considering how much he doesn't actually like TJ.
Mandy: He’s like me: he has great advice for OTHER people, but fucks it up when it’s his turn!
Meanwhile, Lorelai's been avoiding Luke like he's the IRS. She isn't answering his calls and she invents reasons she can't see him. Ever since last week, when she made her last-ditch effort by trying to convince Anna that she and Luke are the real thing, it's clear that Lorelai believes it's over between them.
Meredith: oh man, Lorelai's been avoiding Luke. So sad. She is so heartbroken. I think she's already given up.
Mandy: She definitely has. It makes me sad that she has given up, but she can’t ACTUALLY give up. That’s such a sad spot to be in. I blame Luke. There isn’t one episode this season where I’d say “Hey, you handled THAT well, Luke!”
Meredith: Which is what drives me nuts - he used to be the most accountable man on the planet, and he's just turned into this shiftless, careless jerk.
Mandy: I’d say he’s sabotaging, but he’s just not thinking anything through.
Meredith: This whole arc is the most infuriating thing, and I really blame the writers - they just gave up on their characters. On OUR beloved characters.
Fortunately, avoiding her boyfriend leaves her lots of free time, because Emily had a Lasik surgery go south and Richard's in boring-ass (according to him) South Dakota on a business trip, so Lorelai has to help a temporarily blind and extra-melodramatic Emily run her errands.
Mandy: South Dakota IS the most boring state.
Meredith: haha! "As I was flying in, I swear I saw one of the heads on Mount Rushmore yawn." Richard, you card.
Mandy: Emily is acting like I act when I’m hungover! I’m DYING! Someone HELP! I’m going to be like this FOREVER!
Meredith: LIFE AS I KNOW IT IS OVER. I'M BLIND AND WAITING.
Lorelai drives her around all day and spends most of it complaining, because she's Lorelai and she can't help herself, but the final errand takes her and Emily to a real estate office. She has no idea what's going on until she admits to Emily that she thinks the home they're considering is beautiful, and then Emily tells her that she and Richard want to buy this house for Lorelai and Luke.
Emily is so sweet and matter-of-fact here: "Now, before you get your nose out of joint and accuse me of interfering, hear me out. I think your house is very nice. I know you've put a lot of work into it. But Lorelai, it's too small for the two of you, especially when you have children - if you have children, I mean. A man needs his own space and room, and Luke does not have that at your house. Also, I know you've always wanted horses, so I thought something with a little property might be nice. Now, I know it's not actually in Stars Hollow, but it's right on the border. It's only an extra ten minutes to the inn and an extra five minutes to the diner. Plus I did a little nosing around, and I heard that if you grease the palm of the Stars Hollow zoning commissioner, a man named Taylor Doose, you can get him to change property lines, so we can give you a Stars Hollow address if it's really important to you." GAHHH.
Of course, the entire time Lorelai's face is dropping, and it's the saddest thing we've ever seen. Finally, tearfully, she admits to Emily, "It's not going to happen. Luke and I, the wedding...it's not going to happen." As she cries, Emily just silently places a supportive hand on her daughter's shoulder, and Mandy and I try not to sob.
Mandy: Oh, this scene. Such a beautiful house...
Meredith: So beautiful. I would kill to live there. I could really see Lorelai and Luke there - or I could have, once.
Mandy: ...and Emily was REALLY and SINCERELY trying to do something wonderful.
...and that’s when it dawns on her. That house, that marriage, it’s not happening.
Meredith: Devastating. Right when her parents finally started to truly support the relationship, too.
Mandy: Look at her face!
She’s so moved and grateful and sad and oh man...
I’m tearing up...
Meredith: HEARTBREAKING. She loves it so much. This is killing me. Emily is so thoughtful of Luke needing space, and Lorelai wanting horses, and thinking how close it is to the diner and the inn. SO THOUGHTFUL.
Mandy: And you know what, though? Look at Emily... She puts a hand on her shoulder and, oh man...
Meredith: Emily doesn't say a word for once - she just comforts her. It breaks my heart.
Mandy: Even selfish moms sometimes just get it when you’re really and truly heartbroken.
Meredith: And no mom wants to see her daughter like that.
Mandy: Emily says the exact right thing by not saying anything at all.
How many times do I have to drink?
How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?
Logan and Rory are too precious as she grows increasingly over-protective of his well-being and he just seems relieved that she's not mad at him anymore. I also love how unnerved Richard gets when he hears that Emily's Lasik doctor is supposed to be super hot - "He's jealous of Dr. Handsome," as Lorelai puts it.
Best/most dated pop culture reference:
Emily on the car she's rented for her post-Lasik errands: "I ordered it specially. It has the darkest windows available. They say it's the car Jay-Z uses when he's in town. I assume that's an entertainer of some sort. The windows are bulletproof. They kept saying that as if it's a selling point. I told them I was not paying extra for bulletproof windows. I haven't been strafed in years."
Mandy: Jay-Z was already a thing then?
Meredith: Jay-Z's ALWAYS been a thing. Like God.
Sookie's best dish of the episode:
Sookie and Jackson find a bunch of weed that previous employees once grew on Jackson's property, and getting rid of it becomes a whole dumb, wacky plot - until the end of the episode, when a shattered Lorelai heads to their house after her real estate appointment, and sits in the living room silently before asking, "What's that smell?" Sookie solemnly responds: "68 pounds of marijuana."
Mandy: Oh! I think this is the oddest B-story. Jackson and the weed...
Meredith: Yeah, I don't care for this silliness.
Mandy: I feel like they had a notebook of funny B-stories, and realized that they only had one more season, so they started shoving a bunch in. Michel accidentally drank fatty milk! Jackson found weed! Emily had Lasik!
Meredith: This is a Daniel Palladino episode, huh? It feels like a DP episode. He loves doubling up on wacky B-plots. (NOTE: Turns out ASP and DP wrote this ep together.)
Mandy: Yeah, I would bet so. Jamie Babbit directed, I know... She gets lots of the slapstick ones.
Couldn’t he maybe mulch the pot?
Meredith: That is a LOT of weed.
They should sell it.
Mandy: Their kids’ college would be SET.
Ha! That whole dumb storyline was worth it just for that. “What’s that smell?” “68 pounds of marijuana.” “Huh...”
Lorelai's craziest outfit:
Nope, we're giving this one to Emily:
Mandy: I think, by default, Emily wins for weirdest outfit.
Meredith: For sure, she looks nuts! Well, since she's rich, I guess we should say that she looks eccentric.
Rory's cute-ass dress.
Mandy: I need to express how much I like Rory’s season six hair. I love her with bangs.
Meredith: man oh man, she looks great.
Kirk's growing a beard that looks like exactly nothing because "Last weekend, I accidentally wrote all over my face with a Sharpie, and Lulu thought it looked kind of sexy. That's where I got the idea."
Michel realizes he's accidentally, by virtue of a cap-color mixup, been drinking 2% milk for weeks while thinking he was drinking skim. So now he's forced to do a lot of insane cardio at every opportunity to make up for the discrepancy.
Meredith: Michel is cracking me up here. He is so angry!
2%, THE HORROR!
Mandy: Who can’t tell the difference between 2% and nonfat?
Meredith: "and now I find out I've been consuming an extra billion calories a week!"
Best Gilmore Gal witticism:
As Lorelai walks into Emily's living room and finds her draped over a couch in dark sunglasses, Lorelai: "Oh, I'm sorry. Mrs. Onassis, I was looking for my mother."
I think what bothers me most about Luke in these episodes is his obliviousness. Here he's giving advice to TJ on being aware of his partner's needs, and no one could possibly be less aware of his partner's needs than Luke. It's maddening.
GAHHH let's just get this over with because I'm too bummed to dawdle.
First, the town troubadour has gotten a gig on Neil Young's tour, so every troubadour on the planet descends on Stars Hollow hoping for the same chance, and of course Taylor goes batty and tries to dismiss all of them, telling them they're not as good as Pat Boone and trying to get the law involved. It's just the amount of levity we need in contrast with every other terrible thing happening this episode.
Mandy: I do enjoy this Taylor troubadour storyline.
Meredith: New troubadours! So many drinks with this storyline.
Yay, Dave Gruber Allen again! He's back!
Mandy: Taylor WOULD be into Pat Boone.
Meredith: I'd die if someone ever told me I don't have the talent of Pat Boone.
We're already up to 16 drinks, almost all troubadours!
If I recall correctly, all of these troubadours are some sort of in-joke casting
I can't count that high! How many is that?
Looks like 14 - jeez!!!
Mandy: Yeah, a bunch are famous singers...
It's Sonic Youth!
Meredith: So cool!
Mandy: I hate long hair on men, though. Ugh...
Meredith: EVERY now and then a man pulls it off, but that's rarer than plutonium.
Logan graduates, and Rory is so totally proud of him. The next morning he's supposed to leave for his yearlong trip in London, so he and Rory have plans to hang out super hard that night, but of course Mitchum with his stupid jerkiness is keeping them apart, dragging Logan around to lots of business meetings. At last, as Logan's finally free, Rory's stuck leaving for Friday night dinner, and she and Mitchum end up on an elevator together. She tells Mitchum off (again!), asking if he's sending Logan away just because he hates her, and Mitchum tells her very clearly that it's nothing to do with her: he's sending Logan to London because "It's time." It's time for Logan to quit it with the dumb Life and Death Brigade shit and to start acting like an adult. Rory seems to have trouble arguing with that point.
Meredith: Rory's so cute and proud of Logan! He looks like he's healed very nicely.
Mandy: Be a big girl, Rory. Get in the elevator.
Meredith: Go Rory! I like that she's not afraid of Mitchum anymore.
Mandy: This is immature. "Why are you taking him away from me?"
Meredith: Still, it's pretty cool watching her tell him off again.
But I like seeing this angle of Mitchum, too - he's not a total villain. He has good, if misguided, motives.
Mandy: Agreed. He’s just a more extreme version of Emily.
Finally, Rory's free of Friday night dinner, and Logan's arrived back from hanging with Colin and Finn, telling them cutely, "As of now, it's goodbye. I'm spending the rest of the night alone with my girl" - only to open the door to their apartment to discover that Rory's thrown a rollicking '60s British-themed party to send him off. IT IS ADORABLE. The party goes swimmingly, and then the following morning they wake up to give one of the hardest fictional goodbyes I've ever had to witness. Those of you who have mocked Alexis Bledel's crying performances in the past, take note: she cries WAY too convincingly in this scene.
Meredith: "I'm spending the rest of the night alone with my girl" SO CUTE!
Rory has the WORST British accent. I love that she threw him this party!! What a selfless thing to do - instead of insisting on getting him all to herself, she threw him this awesome party to say goodbye.
Mandy: Agreed. She has been real up and down these last two episodes. Immature, then really selfless...
Meredith: Just like a real-life college student!
And gah, now this goodbye between Logan and Rory - what a devastating episode. And it's our goodbye to the Palladinos, too. TRAGIC.
Mandy: Aw, Logan.
Meredith: "If you come with me, I won't get on the plane"
Mandy (simultaneously): "If you come with me, I won’t get on the plane."
Meredith: Free rent for a year, score! [Logan told Rory that she's free to stay in that posh apartment for a year]
Alexis Bledel is really good in this scene.
"Say hi to William and Harry for me" "I love you, Ace" - SO SWEET AND SAD
Mandy: This is a bummer of an episode.
Meanwhile, Lorelai is privy to a blatant setup for Christopher - Emily invites him to Friday night dinner and also happens to invite a single, attractive woman she knows, played by The Office's Melora Hardin (Jan!). At first Lorelai sits idly by as Emily bulldozes her way through the matchmaking scheme, until Chris follows her to the bathroom to ask her how he's supposed to get out of this. Their scene here is oddly hot - they're standing very close and being much flirtier than they've been since Lorelai and Luke got together, and then Lorelai does her best to lighten the mood every time Emily attempts to make a love connection.
Meredith: Ooh! Ooh! It's Jan!
Mandy (simultaneously): Jan Levinson-Gould, I presume?
Meredith: Surprised Emily is trying to fix up Christopher after hearing from Lorelai that the wedding with Luke isn't going to happen. I figured she'd invite him here to hook him back up with Lorelai! Even more growth from Emily - the old Emily would have done that.
Mandy: Oh, this isn’t your first day with Emily. It’s a chess move. Give up the pawn to get the queen exposed.
Get Lorelai jealous so she’ll make a move.
Meredith: You're right! That sly, diabolical genius! I can't believe I fell for it.
Mandy: Your mom doesn’t think that way. I’ve got more experience than you.
Meredith: They are DEFINITELY flirting here. Lorelai has already moved on in her mind.
Mandy: It’s how all great divorces start.
VERY touchy-feely, Lorelai. Keeping that hand on him for a long time.
Mandy: I don’t know that it’s QUITE that she's moved on yet, but they have such a natural chemistry. I think after this dinner she realizes, hey... That was the first time I had REAL FUN with a good man in a long time.
Meredith: And the way he just rubbed her arm, and how long they're holding eye-contact - very sexy sexy.
They do have such great chemistry. (Not that I approve.)
Mandy: Am I too invested in this show that I sometimes worry that Lorelai and Christopher aren’t friendly “now”?
Meredith: I'm sure they are - they'll always be friendly, no matter what their history.
Funnily enough, Jan seems pretty great - if Chris weren't so hung up on Lorelai, Emily would have chosen well for him!
After dinner, Lorelai finds Jan in the Gilmores' driveway having an impromptu phone session with a client - Jan's a psychiatrist and is willing to give a session anywhere. This is convenient for Lorelai, who is going silently insane, still avoiding Luke and losing her mind over the endless stasis of their engagement and their relationship as a whole. Jan very sweetly ends up giving Lorelai a therapy session in the backseat of her car, and Lorelai breaks my heart talking about the moment she proposed to Luke: "I saw this guy in front of me who was a real...man. He was solid, and he was strong. He would protect me, but he...he got me. I knew all that when we started dating. But that moment, when I realized how much he cared for Rory, that was it. Suddenly I knew I was ready." Jan gives the soundest, wisest advice (even if this all ends TERRIBLY, I don't blame Jan's advice): "Only you can make you wait. Nobody else can. You need to decide what you want and what you're willing to give up to get it, and then you've got to be okay with that, or you've got to be okay with waiting."
Meredith: aww, Lorelai needs a sesh.
This Luke speech kills me - this is the Luke he USED to be, and he hasn't been that guy for most of this season.
"I really had myself believing it was gonna happen" GAHHHH. She's ready to get married, and she wants another kid, and now LUKE'S RUINING EVERYTHING
Mandy: "I’m not happy and I feel crappy ALL the time..."
Great line: "Only you can make you wait."
Meredith (simultaneously): "only you can make you wait" - great advice.
It really makes Lorelai's future decision much more understandable - she HAS to make the one decision that will allow her to move on, definitely, no matter what.
Otherwise she'd pine over Luke forever.
Mandy: Yep. He’s making her wait because she’s allowing it to happen.
So Lorelai girds her loins and heads to Luke's to confront him once and for all - this is it. It's now or never. He either wants to marry her this second, or not at all. You can imagine how it goes. Luke doesn't like ultimatums.
Luke tells her he "can't just jump like this," and Lorelai replies that she's sorry to hear it. "And I have to go." IT IS TERRIBLE.
Meredith: God, Luke, listen to her!
She is making it so clear what she needs, and he's not listening, despite his advice to TJ last week.
"You weren't supposed to talk to Anna," UGH. Good for you, Lorelai, don't apologize anymore!
Mandy: April is an excuse.
She knows it, too.
Mandy: "I have to go..."
Such a sad line.
Meredith: He failed her here. He failed her so many times, but here more than ever.
Mandy: He failed this whole season, and this is the culmination. He’s a guy that doesn’t handle change well, and too many changes were happening too fast, so he fumbled them all.
Meredith: It's just so disappointing, after how long he waited for Lorelai, and then he finally got her, fully and completely, and he just blew it.
So Lorelai heads to Christopher's. And they have sex. She spends the night, and the next morning she wakes to hear that godawful Gigi blathering about, and Chris shoos her out and then crawls into bed with Lorelai and spoons her - all the while, Lorelai is making the most tragic face, because THIS IS THE WORST THING EVER.
Meredith: I can't imagine how much viewers must have been freaking out when they saw this scene when it originally aired. Were you dying?
Mandy: I was! I was sad at the time, because I didn’t like Chris until later.
Meredith: She looks so sad, but so resolute. GAHHHHHHHHH
How many times do I have to drink?
66 (mostly troubadour-related!).
How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?
Logan and Rory are SLAYING me here. Chris and Lorelai are quite flirty too. It all sucks.
Best/most dated pop culture reference:
On Rory's terrible British accent, Logan: "Kiss me, Mary Poppins." Rory: "Really? I thought it was more Gwyneth Paltrow, Shakespeare in Love."
Sookie's best dish of the episode/Kirk insanity/ Michel madness:
Lorelai's craziest outfit:
Well, she certainly wore her Bad Idea Jeans this week! (BURN! Way too proud of that one.)
Meredith: GAH that dress is so gorgeous
Mandy: Rory’s? YES!
Meredith: Twin knockouts!
Best Gilmore Gal witticism:
Christopher, on Emily's shanghai setup: "I can't believe Emily would do this." Lorelai: "You're talking about Emily Dickinson, right? 'Cause Emily Gilmore was made to do this."
We said it above, but to reiterate: I don't blame Lorelai for sleeping with Christopher here. She's been so patient, she's tried EVERYTHING, and she gave Luke one last chance - and Luke didn't take it. She felt she had to move on or she'd spend the rest of her life pining over Luke, so she did the one thing she knew he couldn't forgive. She did the one thing she had to do to ensure that she and Luke were finished forever. It's tragic, but I don't blame her for it. I blame Luke for letting Lorelai get to that point - and I blame the writers for letting Luke let Lorelai get to that point.
And a more pressing observation: bid farewell to the Palladinos, my friends. This is their last episode. There are so many rumors as to why that might be the case, but none of that backstory really matters; all that matters is that it's time to say goodbye to the people who created these characters we love so well. Whatever we think about their decisions in the latter half of the series, we're indebted to them, because without them, there would be no Rory, no Emily and no Lorelai.
So HOLY CRAP, that was rough. Meet me back here next Wednesday morning as we kick off Season 7, because we can do this together, you guys. Don't leave me out here all alone. We're covering "The Long Morrow" and "That's What You Get, Folks, for Makin' Whoopee."
And we leave you with a question, dear FYA readers: do you forgive Lorelai? And what's your favorite episode of Season 6?