With spring come the vibrant colors, sounds, and sights of the whole world coming alive before your very eyes.
Spring – the second season of GILMORE GIRLS – brings a new energy into Stars Hollow and for all of our Gilmores. Every scene is bursting with bright colors (not to mention, gorgeous clothes) and visual delightedness, and everything gels together just a little bit better than Winter. It’s like the show found a fresh, new, even faster pace to match the restlessness that comes with the rapid growing and wanting and going of spring. After all, new beginnings inevitably require drudging up old wounds.
Lorelai and Emily go to therapy. In what has to be the longest stretches of silence I’ve ever seen on the show, they sit in a lovely therapist’s office, dressed up to match the season, and silently glare into space. And when they do talk, it’s a complete disaster.The sessions go so badly that Emily quits therapy altogether. But Lorelai opens up to their therapist, finally talking about Richard’s death and a relentless longing for a fully committed partner, a partner in marriage. And even when she insists that she and Luke are happy, the hint of wanting something more is plainly written all over her face (and in her kooky nightmares).
It doesn’t help Lorelai’s restlessness that she believes Michel is leaving the Dragonfly. After a passionate tirade about there being no point to life if they can’t “bag Jennifer Lawrence” (truer words…) and Sookie’s absence (Roy Choi and Rachael Ray just can’t compare), Michel is obviously antsy to make changes in his life. He’s even thinking about adopting a child with his husband. And yes, Michel is gay, and his sexuality is neither reprimanded nor celebrated. It just is.
When she’s not suffocating in silent therapy, Emily is almost back to her old self. For one, she’s not wearing jeans. For another, she’s trying to carry out Richard’s wish for Luke to franchise his diner. Richard even left Luke a trust fund in order to do so. And while Emily and Luke might be getting closer – even if it’s by sheer force – Lorelai and Luke begin slightly edging apart, as she lies to him about continuing therapy, and he lies to her about knowing.
Rory explores her career options after the book pitch she’s working on becomes a living nightmare and ultimately crashes and burns. She’s scouted by an online blog, offered a teaching position at Chilton, and takes on an article about waiting in lines for GQ that ultimately goes nowhere. But she’s aimlessly turning opportunities down for something, some big, elusive job that will validate all her years of hard work and academic success — that will validate her. Her relationship troubles continue as she heart-achingly “dates” Logan, who is engaged to a French heiress. It’s tough watching her so lost, especially when she’s totally in her element inspiring kids at Chilton during an Alumni event. It calls back to a time when everyone in Stars Hollow, and we, believed that she was an ideal, perfect pillar of achievement.
Neither is Paris that pillar, by the way, as she has a full-blown meltdown in a Chilton bathroom after seeing Tristan (not Chad Michael-Murray unfortunately) but ultimately about her impending divorce, lack of relationship with her kids and feelings of inadequacy leftover from her teenage years. She still loves Doyle, who we actually get to see in this episode, and he’s a perfect LA screenwriter stereotype (how very meta). Paris is always firing on all cylinders, so it’s easy to forget she’s longing for validation, love and acceptance, just like all of us.
Some bonding time for Lorelai and Rory is beyond overdue, and what better time than spring in New York? Lorelai visits Rory while she’s researching for her piece about lines (cue second best cameo of the episode: Mae Whitman as “girl in line”). The happy Lorelai-getting-free-things montage is rudely interrupted when Rory gets back to the hotel and admits that she slept with a Wookie – a random guy wearing a Wookie costume. And then Rory has the meltdown that has been building since Winter, coming clean to her mom about Logan as well. Rory absolutely freaks out, worried that she’s flailing in life with no career, no apartment, no real boyfriend and no plan. Her spring growing pains are finally making themselves known, and god, did this moment hit home.
Spring leaves us with Rory being rejected from a job with the online blog and moving back home. During a season of upheaval and change, both Lorelai and Rory are left wanting more. It’s only fitting that they’re both home for the summer.
This was a beautiful Gilmore Girls episode. My only gripe is that we spent so much time with Rory, yet we don’t see her drink nearly enough coffee or ever read (this is after ignoring Taylor’s tongue-in-cheek rant about “the gays”). But with a short film by Kirk about his pet pig, meeting Mr. Kim and the other nuggets of joy sprinkled throughout an emotionally fraught episode, this revival is really hitting its prime.
Season 1, Episode 2 (S01E02)
Gilmore Girls is available to stream on Netflix
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Wendy Chuong | Contributor