Title: Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life E03 “Summer”
Released: 2016
Series:  Gilmore Girls

Drinks Taken: 14
Cups of Coffee:

Read the “Winter” recap and “Spring” recap.

Oof. “Summer” was rough. The middle two installments of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, “Spring” and “Summer,” were both written and directed by Daniel Palladino instead of Amy Sherman-Palladino, and the DP episodes of Gilmore Girls always feel a little more manic and a little less organic than ASP’s. “Spring” was somewhat of a letdown after “Winter,” but compared to “Summer” it was a breeze. Let’s dive in.

Emily, Lorelai, and Rory Gilmore all with drinks in their hands

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.

Oh, Rory. She’s fully moved back into her mom’s home, but any time a Stars Hollow citizen dares to welcome her back, she huffs that she’s “not back.” That doesn’t stop her from taking over the non-paying editor’s job at the Stars Hollow Gazette to keep the small town paper open, but she doesn’t appear to get much joy from her new career move. She’s still cheating around with Logan, still hasn’t broken up with whatshisname Paul (THIS IS NOT OKAY) and still has no idea what to do with her life. That’s when Jess drops by to give her a little perspective, which is what Jess does best. He tells Rory she should write a book about her and her mom, and she gets inspired and starts looking at apartments in Queens to do her writing. (I assume Emily or Lorelai will be paying for this apartment.) But when she brings up the idea to Lorelai, Lorelai wigs – she doesn’t want her life story out there for public consumption. I don’t know that I understand Lorelai’s reaction, but Rory should probably respect her mom’s wishes, and instead they get into a terrible fight in the middle of a cemetery. Hey, but at least she finally gets it together to break up with Logan. Next up: whatshisname Paul. Seriously. Rory. BREAK UP WITH PAUL. 

Oh, Lorelai. She’s lost and reading Wild and it turns out she was right – Michel is leaving The Dragonfly Inn. So that just leaves Lorelai, running the dream she once shared with Sookie and Michel, but now she’s running it all alone. She’s not being a very good daughter to Emily, who needs her right now, and I don’t know that she’s being the best mother to Rory. She’s certainly not being a very positive member of the Stars Hollow: The Musical advisory committee. And after she and Luke admit they’ve been keeping things from one another, keeping their lives separate, she knows she isn’t being a real partner to him, either. But after one very beautiful, haunting performance by Sutton Foster’s Violet (Violet!), she knows what she needs to do: hike the Pacific Crest Trail. Luke reminds her this means bugs, sleeping on the ground, cooking her own food, boiling her own water – but Lorelai maintains it’s what she needs. “Because it’s never…or now.”

Oh, Emily. She’s depressed, sleeping until noon (Emily Gilmore! Sleeping till noon!) and possibly dating Ray Wise. Don’t do that, Emily. She’s also ordering six different gravestones for Richard’s grave, because nothing’s good enough for her husband. But she did get dressed for her DAR meeting, so all is not lost. 

How many times did I have to drink? 


How many cups of coffee did the Gilmore girls drink? 


No Kirk, No Paris

No wonder “Summer” was weak. 

Michel madness

He wears the tiniest ever shorts and tries his best not to sound like a child molester while he practices fathering, which will be a “looooot of pretending” for him. He also weeps with Lorelai when he turns in his notice, and it breaks my heart. Please don’t go, Michel.

What’s up with Stars Hollow this season? 

Stars Hollow: The Musical, about which the less is said, the better. Seriously, that was excruciating and endless. What a waste of Sutton Foster! Until that very last song, of course – and, okay, I enjoyed her face-off with Lauren Graham. And hey: the Secret Bar rules!

Best pop culture reference

“Whoa, give him a crystal sword, he’s a White Walker.”

Best cameos

Bunheads‘ Bailey De Young is among the “30-something gang.” I just realized Rose Abdoo, who plays Gypsy, is also Emily’s maid Berta. Carole King’s Sophie gets an abbreviated musical number, and it’s nice to see Andrew again. Every Lane scene feels like a cameo because they’re all so weightless. 

Oh yeah, and April

She’s an insufferable college student. I kinda like her. 

Lorelai’s best line

“To Noam is to love him.”

Rory’s best line

“Maybe Paris will let me be one of her surrogates. She’s always liked my teeth.”

Luke’s best line

“Sandra Lee’s had a tough couple of years and she doesn’t need to be embarrassed by you.”

Bootsie’s best line

“I wonder what Luke and the floatie hut’s kids are gonna look like.”

Onto “Fall,” which was written and directed by Amy Sherman-Palladino and will certainly be an improvement. Last one ahead!


Meredith Borders is formerly the Texas-based editor of Fangoria and Birth.Movies.Death., now living and writing (and reading) in Germany. She’s been known to pop by Forever Young Adult since its inception, and she loves YA TV most ardently.