Gilmore Girls S7.E10 “Merry Fisticuffs”
Drinks Taken: 21
Cups of Coffee: 5
In last week’s comment section, one of our readers Kiki said that we’re now “through the worst part – season 6/episode 10 through season 7/episode 8.” I think we can all agree that it’s been a rough patch in Gilmore Girls‘ illustrious lineup, and I’m happy to have made it through with you guys. Now it’s smooth sailing until the (sniff) end!
So let’s get to sailing, 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!
7.9 “Knit, People, Knit”
Lorelai, Rory and Chris are attending one of the cutest Friday night dinners yet, as Emily and Richard are so thrilled that Lorelai and Chris are married. Less thrilling is the way Lorelai informed them of said marriage, via breezy answering machine message that Emily spitefully plays for the room. But they give the couple a gift (a terrifying sketch titled “Wolf Girl” because, as Richard informs them, “All young couples should cultivate an art collection.”) and Emily, naturally, insists on throwing the newlyweds a party. She asks Lorelai for the guest list, and Lorelai’s list includes only Rory, Chris, Logan, Sookie, Jackson and Michel, and she turns Emily down when Emily suggests inviting some of her other Stars Hollow friends. This, coupled with Lorelai’s insistence that Chris stay at home while she runs errands, makes it clear that she’s nervous about how Stars Hollow will accept Chris as Lorelai’s husband. She wants to give everyone time to adjust to the marriage, but Chris talks her through it (“They’re not gonna adjust if they never see me”), so they go for a Stars Hollow stroll – and when Luke sees them walking hand-in-hand, he acts crotchetier than ever with his poor diner crowd. That’s what you get, Luke!
The townies are very cordial with Chris, which he sees as a good sign but Lorelai, and later Sookie when Lorelai confides in her, knows that means they’re treating him like an outsider. Sookie says it’s because everyone loved Lorelai with Luke (AMEN), but Lorelai makes a good point when she says: “Frankly, I don’t see why I should have to go around feeling bad that my life didn’t turn out the way everybody wanted it to.” Sookie acknowledges her point, and then Lorelai adds, “And, look, I understand that you liked Luke and you’re not so sure about Christopher, but, Sookie, you’re my best friend. I really need your support here. I mean, Christopher is my husband, and it would be great if you would just get on board.” Sookie promptly becomes fully on board, because she’s the best, and then she and Lorelai set up a man date for Chris and Jackson because, as Lorelai puts it to Sookie’s great pleasure, “Jackson’s lousy with clout,” and if he likes Chris, the rest of the town will, too. They make hilarious attempts to plan this man date for their fellas.
So Chris and Jackson go on their man date, and at first it’s a little awkward, until Jackson gives a cute speech and Chris totally gets it and gives the right answer, to Jackson’s satisfaction:
Jackson: “You know what I love about farming? The commitment. No shortcuts, no quitting. You have got to be there for your crops morning, noon and night. I mean you can have the greatest soil and perfect seeds, but if you are not 100% committed, you might as well pave over those 32 acres and build yourself a strip mall. You know what I mean.”
Chris: “It’s a lot of responsibility.”
Jackson: “It sure is.”
Chris: “It sounds like you really love farming.”
Jackson: “I do. Sookie and I, we both do.”
Chris: “Me too.”
After that, Chris is IN. Lorelai’s made plans for him all over town with fellow clout-havers, and everything seems to be going well. Until the knit-a-thon to save the bridge (I love that this is now the FOURTH episode that features a fundraiser to save the bridge, which is apparently in constant need of repair – first in “Concert, Interruptus,” next in “Nick & Norah/Sid & Nancy” and then in “They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They?“). Everyone in town is knitting for hours to somehow save the bridge (it’s unclear), and even though they’re all complaining about their numb fingers and the stupid plan, everyone is VERY displeased when Chris donates $7,800 to save the bridge and end the knit-a-hon. He thought he was doing something sweet, but it only serves to establish how much he does not understand Stars Hollow. They need their stupid festivals and charity marathons and Civil War re-enactments, Chris! Anyway, Chris later tells Lorelai that she doesn’t have to worry about getting the town to like him – he’s likable, and he’ll win them over on his own. “And you know why people in Stars Hollow are gonna like me? Because I love you. And I’m gonna be here, loving you.” Not bad, dude.
Meanwhile, Luke is sad because April’s back with her mom and he misses Lorelai. (This isn’t made explicit, but c’mon. We all know what’s up.) When Anna arrives to tell Luke that she and April are now moving to New Mexico to be near Anna’s mom full-time, he’s heartbroken. Then he sees how devastated April is about the move, so he tries to work it out with Anna: maybe April can stay with Luke until the end of the school year, or come back to visit on spring break? Anna is typically insane and over-reactive about these perfectly fair requests:
Anna: “You have no right making promises to my daughter! I don’t want you talking to her about this again. Are we clear? Listen, these are MY decisions. I’m not gonna have you going behind my back, making promises to April that I can’t keep. I am saying I’m not ready to make decisions. And they are my decisions to make, not yours, Luke. Now I’m gonna go.”
I HATE ANNA SO MUCH. My level of hatred for her is possibly unreasonable.
Later, Liz has her baby (via home-birth, naturally, and named Doula, naturally), and Luke is holding her and gazing down at her with the sweetest, most loving smile, and we see it dawn on him that he’s not going to lose his daughter. So he goes to Anna’s house and gives a possibly unwise but totally fist-pump-worthy speech:
Luke: I know I wasn’t around for all those years. But, you know, that was your decision. That was your choice, Anna. And, frankly, it was a damn lousy one. I didn’t get to see her born or take her first steps or take her to her first day of school — none of it. And I can never get any of that back. It’s gone! That’s not gonna happen anymore. That, I can guarantee you.
She’s my kid, all right? She’s OUR kid. She’s not just yours. And I’m not gonna let you treat me this way. I’m her father. God, why do I even have to say that? I mean, April and I, we have this relationship, okay? And you can’t just decide things. That’s not how this works, okay? I mean, we have to make decisions together, decisions about April. And I will fight you. I will fight you for that, Anna, if I have to. I have rights. I’m her father, and I have rights.”
Yeah!! Of course, this isn’t going to end well, but I hate Anna so much that I just like seeing her yelled at, regardless of the consequences.
Finally, it’s Lucy’s 21st birthday and Rory, Olivia and Marty are throwing her a party themed 2002 for no reason at all. This really makes me laugh. Also making me laugh: Paris and Doyle’s sweet 2002 hip-hop dance moves. (Oh yeah, Rory moved back in with Paris and Doyle, after her conversation with Logan last week.) Anyway, Marty’s still being awful and awkward and bizarre around Rory, and still pretending to Lucy that he and Rory have never met, and Rory finally calls him on it. “You’ve put me in a really difficult position, and the least you can do is not be a jerk about it.” Marty concedes and apologizes, and he and Rory start getting along like old times again, until he gets drunk and tells her too-earnestly that she’s “more beautiful than ever.” Rory looks super uncomfortable and tells him he should go dance with Lucy. Marty walks over to Lucy and starts making out with her really deliberately in front of Rory, and guys, Marty is GROSS. Gross gross gross. This is what happens when you reject a Hello M’Lady type. (Please watch that video if you haven’t yet – so good.)
How many times do I have to drink?
How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?
Chris and Lorelai are great the whole episode, and their conversations about getting the town to adjust to Chris are honest and mature. I also love when Lorelai makes Chris change his entire ensemb for his man date with Jackson.
Best/most dated pop culture reference
And why does she want Chris to change? Because his first outfit is “very Joaquin Phoenix at the Oscars.”
Sookie’s best dish of the episode
She makes balls of spaghetti yarn with breadsticks sticking out like knitting needles for the knit-a-thon.
Lorelai’s craziest outfit
This dress is unflattering, the pattern is bleh and she’s too old for those tights. Sorry, girl, ILU:
Olivia is serving some legit 2002 realness here.
He’s very particular about the knit-a-thon countdown, since his watch has “atomic clock time.”
Best Gilmore Gal witticism
As Lorelai knits on the couch, she and Chris have a typically witty back-and-forth:
Chris: “Well, good morning, Madame Defarge.”
Lorelai: “Good morning, Mr. I Remember Stuff From English Class in High School.”
Chris: “Can I ask how long this Mr. Long Sentence of Words Strung Together thing is gonna last?”
Lorelai: “I’m not sure, Mr. Doesn’t Understand The More Annoying You Tell Me a Bit Is, The More I Want To Do It.”
Oh, Chris and his grand gestures. Simmer down, fella. WE ALL KNOW YOU’RE RICH. You don’t have to keep reminding us.
7.10 “Merry Fisticuffs”
The episode opens with Chris and Lorelai trying out the hominess of a new house by faking a domestic scene in the kitchen. Lorelai concedes that the house (near Stars Hollow but not IN Stars Hollow) is perfect in every way, but Chris knows her and can read her expression: “You want to stay in your house. You don’t want to move at all.” Lorelai admits it, and Chris seems okay with it – but we’ll soon learn he isn’t. Meanwhile, Emily is so excited about planning the wedding party for Lor and Chris, and Lorelai remains typically uncooperative about it.
The next day, as she and Chris shop at Doose’s, Lorelai heads outside first and runs into Luke, who’s watching baby Doula for Liz. The two of them share the sweetest moment as Lorelai coos over Doula, and Chris sees it and grows jealous and suspicious. That night in bed, Chris says the grossest thing: “Let’s make a baby.” (Okay, maybe it’s not that gross, but it always makes me think of Keanu in The Devil’s Advocate). Lorelai sort of wigs at this out-of-nowhere proclamation from Chris, and he immediately goes to The Pouty Place. “Do you not think we’ll work? Because if that’s what you’re thinking, I mean, it’s a little late.” Lorelai maintains that it’s just too soon, and he once again pretends to be fine – but later, as they meet up with Emily and her party planner, the dam breaks.
Emily says she’d like Lorelai and Chris to say their vows at the party, and Lorelai balks because they’re already married. So then Chris throws the biggest hissyfit in front of Emily and the party planner:
Chris: “I don’t even know why I’m here. It’s not like my opinion really matters. You’re gonna do what you want to do. House, wedding, kids – it’s all your call, right? What’s the big deal? You planned a huge wedding with that diner guy.”
Of course Emily pounces on the idea that Chris and Lorelai are talking about kids, and Chris just storms off before Lorelai can make up with him. Goddammit, Chris, what is the matter with you? He heads straight to the bar and drinks himself blitzed, and as he’s exiting the establishment, he sees Luke and just starts marching over, ready to fight. Luke’s ready, too, and they both lose a couple of layers and then just start pounding on each other like a couple of jackasses, rolling around among the Christmas decorations in the middle of Stars Hollow square. (Wait a minute – why are there Christmas decorations but no snow? Is there no fake snow budget for Season 7? I NEED SNOW IN STARS HOLLOW, PEOPLE.)
Later, Lorelai heads home from a late night of
inventory at the inn conflict avoidance, and she sees her mom on the porch. Emily’s arrived to give her one hell of a speech:
Emily: “I’ve come to talk to you about your marriage. I’m concerned. I don’t like what I’m seeing, and I’ve come to offer you some friendly advice. Christopher is immature, often foolish and a little lacking in common sense. He doesn’t always make the best choices. I’m saying he’s your husband, Lorelai, for better or for worse. I like Christopher. I think he’s good for you. But it’s not going to be perfect. He’s not perfect, and god knows you’re not perfect. But marriage is not about always being happy, and often it’s about not being happy at all. It’s about compromise, which is not your strong suit. Marriage is about swallowing your pride sometimes, about doing what he wants. It’s not about winning an argument, which may make you sad, because that’s what you love. But I don’t want to see you ruin this. Marriage is serious business, Lorelai, and if you don’t take this very seriously, then this whole thing could fall apart faster than you could possibly imagine. And he’ll be gone, and you’ll be alone again. A ring is no guarantee.”
She leaves, and Lorelai looks thoughtful.
So other than wailing on Chris (actually, I’d say it was a draw), what’s Luke up to this week? Oh, just making an appointment with a custody attorney after Anna makes it clear that she has no intention of letting Luke see April again after his scene of last week. Poor Luke, gah. No wonder he was ready to fight Chris. But it wasn’t the wisest decision, as the lawyer tells Luke, in no uncertain terms, that this is going to get nasty, and asks Luke for dirt on Anna and to ‘fess up to any dirt of his own. Luke tells him about the time he beat up that dude’s car, and the attorney tells Luke he might want to take anger management classes to show he’s making an effort. Instead, Luke gets in a fist fight. (Sure, Chris started it, but one of you idiots has got to be the bigger man eventually, right?)
In other Boys Being Stupid News: Logan’s in town, and when he and Rory run into Lucy and Marty in the cafeteria, Logan learns of the weird deception that Marty, and by inadvertent proxy Rory, are pulling on Lucy. He’s jealous, though he won’t admit it, and when the four of them share a terribly ill-advised double date later, Logan tells Lucy everything. Lucy runs off, so upset and baffled that Rory and Marty were freshman pals and never told her, and Logan and Rory are now in a fight. Rory heads to Lucy’s room to apologize, and Olivia answers the door and tells her that Lucy doesn’t want to see her – and neither does Olivia. She closes the door before Rory can explain, and Rory starts to cry.
How many times do I have to drink?
How many cups of coffee do the Gilmore girls drink?
Good lord, that scene between Lorelai and Luke. I really can’t blame Chris for being jealous when he sees them together, because it is hot.
Best/most dated pop culture reference
Lucy, whom I love: “I would give you a proper hug, but my pockets are full of Apple Jacks. I have art history in a few minutes, and my professor sounds like Garrison Keillor on Quaaludes, so I need a constant intake of sugar just to stay awake.”
Sookie’s best dish of the episode/Michel madness
Lorelai’s craziest outfit
Lucy is so much better at crazy than Lorelai lately.
This dress is hot.
He’s started a competing wrapping paper business (drink!) to give the elementary school charity wrapping paper ring a run for their money. He and the kids end up getting in a territory war, of course.
Best Gilmore Gal witticism
Emily, on vows: “They can be traditional, or you can write your own, which seems to be the style nowadays, although if you ask me it’s rather garish. Cecily Pendelem’s daughter actually promised to cook her husband lasagna once a month. Who wants to hear the word ‘lasagna’ at a wedding?”
Here’s the thing – Chris isn’t wrong about a single thing he said. (He is 100% wrong in the WAY he said it, in front of Emily and the party planner without talking it through with Lorelai first.) It is always about Lorelai – she makes these unilateral decisions about the house, about the wedding, about kids. She’s selfish with Chris in the same way she used to be selfish with Max and Digger. But she was never that way with Luke. She tried really hard to be fair and selfless and a partner to Luke, because she wanted so badly to make it work. In a way, I think that since that relationship fell apart even though she did everything right, she just feels like she might as well go back to doing everything her way.
That’s it for this week! Meet me back here next Wednesday morning as we cover “Santa’s Secret Stuff” and “To Whom It May Concern.”
And I leave you with a question, dear FYA readers: is Rory a victim of an awkward situation created entirely by Marty, or did she get herself in this mess by not speaking up first?