Gilmore Girls S5.E22 “A House Is Not a Home”
Drinks Taken: 27
Cups of Coffee: 5
We’ve reached the end of Season 5, and of course that means something wonderful has happened and something terrible has happened. As always, my Gilmore Girls mentor and bestie Mandy J has joined me for the season finale!
(We’re dressed for a Pat Benatar party here. We’re not just, like, glamorous hobos.)
So let’s get to it, 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.
Onto the episodes!
5.21 “Blame Booze and Melville”
For a brief, shining moment, all of the Gilmore gals are getting along! This is mostly due to the majesty of fondue and to the fun everyone’s having helping Emily pick out a ballerina to sponsor at her home. She first brings home a sweet, dumb little thing named Paola, but then trades up for a hot, muscular, well-endowed Russian named Mikhail. While Lorelai’s visiting Emily and Mikhail, she brings over the magazine featuring her Dragonfly cover story and less-than-flattering remarks about Emily. It all makes me very nervous as Emily’s sweetly reading the story and expressing her pride in Lorelai for what a rave the review is…until she gets to the part where Lorelai calls her Stalin. Lorelai locks herself in Richard’s study and apologizes to Emily through the door, and amazingly, Emily forgives her for it! Pretty quickly, in fact. Mikhail, however, is not so amused by the Stalin jokes.
Meredith: eeeep don’t show Emily the magazine! aww and Emily’s so happy for her 🙁
Mandy: Lorelai was afraid to directly have the conversation, so she just lets Emily discover the magazine. Lorelai can be so immature in their relationship sometimes. This was entirely on purpose.
Meredith: haha “so immature” – you don’t say! She just locked herself in her bedroom like a good little teen! I’m glad this doesn’t become a huge blowup – it’s a pretty funny resolution, actually…So Emily never apologized for being an evil mastermind about the Luke thing, but I think choosing to forgive Lorelai for the magazine article is her way of apologizing.
Mandy: Oh, good point! I think she also realized that Lorelai WAS sorry.
In other fun, not-devastating-at-least-not-yet news (we take what we can get this week), Luke is one step closer to buying the Twickham house when he learns that there’s another offer on the table. An offer Luke can’t match – a quarter of a million dollars! Luke demands to know who’s edging in on his territory, and he’s agape to discover it’s Kirk. Kirk, who is suddenly some sort of a diabolical real estate magnate. When Luke asks where Kirk got that kind of money, we finally see what Kirk has been doing every time we take a drink for one of his new jobs: “I’ve been working for eleven years, Luke. I’ve had fifteen thousand jobs. I’ve saved every dollar I’ve ever made. That and the miracle of compound interest has created a bounty of a quarter of a million dollars. Again, just under. I don’t want to brag.” Kirk and Luke go back and forth fighting over the Twickham house, and they even go to the town elders, who are apparently a bunch of old men sitting around in a sauna, to settle this. The town elders vote in favor of Luke, and he gets the house! It’s his!
Mandy: I don’t want to watch about the Twickham house. 🙁
Meredith: It’s too sad. GAHHHH
Mandy: This is the best Kirk joke ever.
Meredith: HAHAHA! I forgot that Kirk’s the competing offer. THIS IS SO GOOD.
Mandy: One of my favorite jokes ever on this show. It’s such a long con! And finally Luke uses his curmudgeon powers for good, and not evil!
Meredith: ooooh, the town elders. OMINOUS.
Lorelai and Luke go to a party for her magazine cover and over-imbibe. They are so flirty in the cab on the way home! I mean, they are HOT. They make it back to Luke’s and have unprotected drunk sex, and Lorelai wakes up craving an apple and immediately decides she’s pregnant, because we all know homegirl doesn’t eat fruit. She’s probably being influenced by Sookie, who’s having little baby No-Name this week! Lorelai starts panicking, and immediately confides in Rory about her drunk sex with Luke, but after a while she stops craving the apple and realizes she’s not pregnant, after all. I’m not sure Lorelai understands how pregnancy works, to be honest.
Mandy: This is one of those times where I’m weirded out by Rory and Lorelai’s lack of boundaries.
Meredith: Yeah, every time they talk about sex I’m like WHOA SLOW DOWN LADIES…”I might be pregnant” – that’s a leap. Craving apples is super weird for Lorelai, but still, she is WIGGING with very little evidence.
Mandy: It’s psychosomatic. I wonder if she WANTS to have a baby…
Meredith: she totally wants to have a baby! LUKE’S BABY
Mandy: I’m not fluent in the way this works, but I feel like I’d be all “Yikes, well… Fingers crossed until my period.” and then either breathe a sigh of relief or call you to drive me to the clinic.
Meredith: Yeah, having a craving the NEXT DAY after unprotected sex definitely does not mean it’s time to say “I might be pregnant” TO YOUR DAUGHTER.
Finally, Rory’s really been working hard at her internship with Mitchum and loving every minute of it…and then it comes time for her performance review. Mitchum says the following to her in a casually brutal way: “You don’t got it. Now, guts can be wrong. Mine’s been wrong before. But not often. I just don’t really think that you have the drive to put yourself out there, to be honest. To get a story. To dig. I mean, just now in this meeting, I encouraged everyone to say whatever they wanted. You said nothing…I’m not saying you’re not competent. You’re smart. You’re terrific at anticipating needs. Actually, you’d make a great assistant…Hey, listen. I know this is rough, but I may have just done you a big favor.” GAH MITCHUM IS THE WORST. Rory looks devastated – she actually looks like she might faint. It’s dreadful.
Mandy: NO, not this part, too. Why do I always forget how much I hate this penultimate and finale episode(s)?
Meredith: I know, these two eps are ROUGH. I’m glad we’re doing this together! And poor Rory is so proud of herself here.
Mandy: She is on her game! Why is he such a prick about it?
Meredith: Because this WHOLE thing was just to destroy her. He pretends he’s giving her the internship to make up for the way Logan’s mom and grandpa treated her, but it was a treacherous scheme the whole time!
Mandy: I think his thing about Rory was that she was obedient and observant. He was also out to get her, but he’d have bought in if she’d shown her chutzpah.
Meredith: “You don’t got it.” PUNCH TO THE GUT
Mandy: I think he just honestly didn’t take her seriously on either front. She was just “some girl” to him, in terms of Logan being interested in her, and in terms of being a reporter. He doesn’t care that he’s hurting her feelings. Despite what he says.
Meredith: “You’d make a great assistant” – she does set herself up as his assistant here, but she was an intern! Interns should NOT force themselves to the front of the room and make everyone pay attention to them. Gah, her face. She’s killing me.
Rory then heads to meet Logan at Honor’s engagement boat party, and though something’s clearly wrong, Logan can’t quite get a read on what’s going on with her. Rory tells him she wants to take one of the ships out into the ocean: “You know the beginning of Moby Dick, when the narrator says that when he finds himself growing grim about the mouth and wanted to knock people’s hats off, he takes to the sea? Well, I feel like knocking people’s hats off.” Unfortunately, Logan’s yacht is currently host to Honor’s party guests, so Rory convinces Logan to steal a yacht with her. The episode ends with Rory calling Lorelai and sounding very grim indeed: “Mom? You need to come and get me.”
Mandy: If they’d been dating for another month, he’d have known something was wrong instead of going along with this.
Meredith: Great point! He doesn’t quite know her well enough for this yet.
Mandy: She’s off her game because of Mitchum. He’d also have known THAT a month from now…I often take to the sea when upset.
Meredith: OH DEAR.
Mandy: Dun dun DUNNNNN…
How many times do I have to drink?
How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?
Of Luke and Lorelai’s sexy cab flirting and coital bliss:
Mandy: “This goes in the flirty column. Mostly because it’s ACTUAL foreplay.”
Meredith: “WOO these two are so hot! Naked L&L! MAN she looks amazing wearing nothing but a sheet and bedhead.”
It’s also pretty cute when Logan tells Rory she’s working too much: “I miss you, Ace.” Aww.
Best/most dated pop culture reference
I love watching Kirk chuckling over the funny papers: “I know he wants the bone. I know there’s going to be a complication getting the bone, but Marmaduke still cracks me up every time.”
Sookie’s best dish of the episode
Mandy: “The only thing Sookie cooks in this one is the bun in her oven!”
Oh yeah, and she also cooks up a scheme to surprise Jackson with a vasectomy directly after the birth of Little No-Name. Poor Jackson. She really sprung this on him.
Lorelai’s craziest outfit
Meredith: I dunno know about this outfit for Lorelai, yikes.
Mandy: Is that…giraffe?
Meredith: Yeah, a giraffe-print dress OVER SLACKS. Her rack looks great, however.
Mandy: Well, the category is “best outfit,” not “best rack.”
Meredith: We SHOULD make a best rack category. (Spoiler: Lorelai wins every week.)
Mandy: Am I a perv to put in a word of endorsement for later years Rory? LEGAL years!
Meredith: Totally allowed. She’s smokin’!
Meredith: She looks great here! Love that blazer.
Mandy: The plaid-ish complements the shirt. The bedsheet still wins, though.
Meredith: OH, Kirk’s tummy.
Mandy: He’s built so odd!
Meredith: His whole body and face are just MADE for comedy.
Best Gilmore Gal witticism
Rory does NOT handle Sookie’s labor well – she’s really nervous and uncomfortable, much like she was when Sherry was in labor. When Sookie asks Lorelai and Rory if she’ll see them at the hospital, Lorelai: “You’ll see me.” Rory: “Yeah, I have to go back to Yale.” Lorelai: “Plus she’s thoroughly sickened by what’s happening to you right now.”
On Rory’s response to Mitchum’s feedback:
Mandy: This was actually a great lesson for her. Nobody’s opinion matters if YOU know what you want to do. You can’t let other people define you. She always has, what with being so into grades, and approval, and academic achievement. At some point, we all have to decide who we are for ourselves.
Meredith: Yeah, but that’s a really tough lesson to learn as the head-of-the-class student your whole life.
Mandy: She needed to learn resilience, even though it’s AWFUL to watch!
5.22 “A House Is Not a Home”
Lorelai’s headed to the jail to pick up Rory, and she’s a complete wreck at the idea of her sweet, innocent daughter being arrested. She picks her up and gets the story of what happened – of course she blames Logan, but Rory maintains very firmly it’s her fault. She then tells Lorelai what happened with Mitchum, and Lorelai’s furious. But Rory talks her down and the next morning Lorelai’s offering her own brand of “punishment” to a very contrite Rory: she tapes Rory’s mugshot to the fridge, forces Rory to talk to her through a prison phone and makes a lot of generally hilarious inmate jokes.
Meredith: “I don’t want you talking to him right now” – gah, Lorelai.
Mandy: I hate it when moms don’t believe you could do something wrong. It makes you feel defensive for your delinquent friend that they blame it on.
Meredith: I know, it’s Lorelai’s biggest weakness
Meredith: Lorelai taped Rory’s mugshot to the fridge! amazing!!
Mandy: She’s ready to cope with humor!
Rory goes back to Yale and everything seems like it’s going to be okay – and I’d like to give a LOT of credit to Logan for his reaction when he finds out what Mitchum said to Rory to inspire the yacht incident – but once she’s sitting in her final exam, she starts to stare off with a look of defeat on her face. Maybe it’s more than defeat – maybe it’s trajectory-disabling ennui, even. Yep, that’s right, as she later tells Lorelai in what she thinks is a grown-up and reasonable manner, Rory is dropping out of Yale to figure out what she wants to do instead of journalism. She’s not enrolling at another school, or changing majors – she’s just going to loaf around for a while. Lorelai, as you can probably imagine, is not pleased.
Meredith: “My father is a jackass. He’s a bully. He has zero interest in people’s feelings.” Aww, Logan! “You’re my girlfriend, Rory, he should have treated you better than that.” He’s so good here!
Mandy: He’s actually an amazing boyfriend. Once he decided to BE one…
Meredith: He really, truly, totally is.
Mandy: Pay attention to your final, Rory! Ugh, I want to be sympathetic and on her side, but…
Meredith: RORY. DON’T DO IT. JUST HALF-ASS YOUR FINAL AND MAKE IT TO SUMMER BREAK. I’m sympathetic but also think she’s being dumb. I’m just sympathetic because I’ve been dumb before, myself. Just float by doing the bare minimum like the rest of us!
Mandy: I’m sympathetic and have been dumb before, too, but I feel like Rory unravels at the first obstacle.
Meredith: She does – she’s so used to everyone falling all over themselves to tell her how amazing she is, she loses her mind at the first sign of criticism.
Mandy: Also, why can’t she just take a light course load and figure it out?
Meredith: Yeah, quitting completely is a really immature move. She’s so all or nothing.
Lorelai swallows her pride and goes to Richard and Emily to ask for their help getting Rory back on track. Richard and Emily are aghast when they hear about everything – Shira and Mean Grandpa’s disapproval of Rory, Mitchum’s cold-ass performance review, Rory’s arrest – and they promise to help Lorelai convince Rory to go back to Yale the following night at Friday night dinner. Emily says “Of course we’ll back you up!” and Lorelai looks like she’s about to start crying from relief. When they ask if she needs anything else, she smiles sweetly at them and says, “I just got everything I need.” GAH.
Mandy: I love this part!
Meredith: I hate this part because they betray her later.
Mandy: Well, it’s the Gilmore way. Do what’s best, whether it’s consensual or not. They’re such a team right here! That’s the sad limit of their relationship. They get to the verge of a family, and then scare away the puppy.
Meredith: yep – every single time.
And sure enough – the next afternoon Rory goes to her grandparents’ house and starts sobbing in Richard’s arms. Richard’s a big old softie (for Rory, at least), so he and Emily completely turn their backs on the plan with Lorelai. When she arrives the next evening, they sit her down and Richard says the following in a way that brooks no refusal: “Your mother and I have been talking about the situation. We have discussed the matter thoroughly, and we have come to a decision. Rory will be taking some time off from Yale. She will be moving into the pool house here with us. We will find her some sort of suitable job through one of our friends, and then after a suitable amount of time has passed, we will revisit the subject of her returning to school.” Lorelai is DEVASTATED – her parents have betrayed her, and her daughter’s dropping out of school and moving into the pool house like those rich young layabouts Lorelai never wanted Rory to become. She leaves, and pauses to watch Rory unpacking her books through the pool house window. Rory sees her standing there, and then turns her back on her mother. It’s really, really sad.
Meredith: god, this look between them. The fact that Rory doesn’t go out there to talk to her mom is AWFUL.
Mandy: I know! For someone who values her mother’s opinion so much, she sure doesn’t take ANY stock in her complete disapproval of her plan. And Richard and Emily made this whole thing a command. It should’ve been a conversation, not a command.
Meredith: They’re just jazzed at having Rory trapped under glass in their pool house so they can show her off whenever they want.
Mandy: I don’t think that’s necessarily it. They just think that they’re most capable of getting her back together. It’s all “WE’LL handle this. You can’t.”
Meredith: I think that’s what Richard wants, but I think Emily has always just wanted Rory to live with her (which is totally fair, since Lorelai left so early).
Mandy: I think Emily wants SOMEONE to like her best, and she’s close to that with Rory. Poor Emily. She tries, but she gets in her own way, and so she’s never anyone’s favorite.
Meredith: She’s Richard’s favorite!
MEANWHILE – Lane’s fretting because the band has been falling apart. They never practice anymore, the gigs have dried up, Brian’s taking a full-time job with Century 21. When she admits her failure to her mother, Mrs. Kim gets all fiery and tells Lane that Kims don’t quit! Then she STORMS into the apartment and shows the boys what she’s done: arranged a tour for the band! Specifically, a tour of CHURCHES, riding around in Gil’s tiny delivery van, but everyone’s pumped and the band is saved! Mrs. Kim is, as always, AMAZING.
Mandy: This is possibly my favorite Mrs. Kim scene.
Meredith: Kims don’t give up! This is a really great comparison to Rory’s storyline – they’re both giving up so easily, and neither of their mothers want them to, but Mrs. Kim actually manages to convince Lane and poor Lorelai doesn’t.
Mandy: I think it’s because of their prior dynamics. Rory has been allowed to make decisions for herself too much, so she hasn’t really learned when to listen to motherly advice. Lane, on the other hand, has almost always had to adhere to her mom, so when SHE tells her not to give up, she’s all “Well, she’s in charge, so I shouldn’t!” That, and Lane doesn’t WANT to give up. She just needs a reason.
Meredith: MRS. KIM!!! slamming that door open like a BADASS
Mandy: “DO NOT STAND THERE LOOKING STUPID. MOVE!!!”
Meredith: She planned a church tour! I love her so much!
Mandy: She’s so amped up to help! Mrs. Kim is amazing when she uses her powers for good.
Meredith: She’s unstoppable!
Finally – Lorelai, completely gutted, heads to Luke’s and tells him everything. He immediately starts pacing around and plotting a proactive (if slightly crazy) plan to support Lorelai and get Rory back in school. Let’s let the gifs tell the story:
God, Lauren Graham’s performance in this scene is incredible. She doesn’t say anything but you can see it all in her eyes – her realization that after she’s been let down again and again by her parents, and now even by her daughter and best friend, Luke is the one person she can always count on. It’s a breathtaking scene – and the episode (and season!) ends with Luke staring at Lorelai, completely staggered. “What?”
Mandy: I like that she’s gotten to the point where Luke is her “go to.” A little while ago, it would’ve been Sookie.
Meredith: I know, and he’s so great here. He’s very comforting and on top of it… THIS SCENE IS AMAZING. “She was supposed to have everything.” “I can help.” Luke, I love you so much. I love seeing it dawn on Lorelai that Luke has always been there for her.
Mandy: Oh, I know!
How many times do I have to drink?
How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?
WELL, LORELAI PROPOSED TO LUKE.
And really, Logan was wonderful with Rory once he heard about Mitchum. He’s a good guy.
Best/most dated pop culture reference
Lorelai, going through a gift basket she was given by Mike Armstrong: “oh my God. This is La Mer youth serum. Apparently you put this on before you get on a plane, and by the time you get off you’re Dakota Fanning.”
Sookie’s best dish of the episode/Michel madness/Lorelai’s craziest outfit
Let’s celebrate the last happy scene these two will share for far too long by awarding a tie! They both look great.
He’s working the town tow truck (drink!), trying in a typically inept way to move Lorelai’s car for an upcoming bike marathon organized by, who else, Taylor.
Mandy: So, is Taylor gay? He’s so hand gesture-y.
Meredith: hmmm, good question. I think he’s in love with Taylor. He’s self-sexual.
Best Gilmore Gal witticism
Lorelai’s crime jokes are so good: “Now, what’s on the agenda for today? I hear there’s a shipment of plutonium coming in at the docks, and I thought we could dress up as nuns and I could distract them with a fake stigmata, you could shove the plutonium under your habit, and…” Also, when Rory thanks her for letting her borrow the jeep, Lorelai: “Figured if I didn’t give it to you voluntarily you’d just heist it anyway.”
About Lorelai’s comment that it was “the plan” for Rory to have everything:
Mandy: Rory’s plan can’t be for Lorelai to ensure she had more than her. It has to be for HER, and if that is having something else, that’s fine. Granted, in this specific case, dropping out is a bad idea, but Lorelai is too tunnel vision here. SHE wanted things for Rory, and Rory doesn’t want those. At least right now.
Meredith: yeah, Lorelai’s preoccupation with making sure Rory’s life is perfect is part of what made Rory so easily damaged by criticism
Mandy: It’s, oddly, very Emily. They both had such vivid ideas of what their daughter should be that they forgot to ask her if that was what she wanted.
Meredith: The difference is, Lorelai really KNOWS her daughter – that actually is what Rory wants. Emily never really knew or understood Lorelai.
Mandy: I think Emily understood, but thought she could cajole her into something else.
Meredith: Or that it was just a phase, a rebellious phase
Mandy: You can’t make a duck a rabbit, Emily.
So that’s it for this week! Big thanks to Mandy J for joining us, and meet me back here next Wednesday morning as we barrel our way into Season 6 with “New and Improved Lorelai” and “Fight Face.” GET READY FOR SOME PAUL ANKA ACTION, Y’ALL!
And we leave you with a question, dear FYA readers: how do you feel about Emily and Richard’s actions here? Understandable, or unforgivable? Or somewhere in between?