Gilmore Sounding Board no. 152

The Pre-Game Show

Welcome to the Sounding Board, Gilmore Fans! Tonight’s episode — “Unto the Breach” — is the second-to-last Gilmore Girls we’ll ever get, ever.

Before we dive in to the usual festivities, let’s take a few minutes to get caught up on what’s been happening behind the scenes recently.

As you know, Warner Bros. and The CW jointly announced last week that Gilmore Girls will end its seven-season run with the airing of the May 15 episode, “Bon Voyage.” (Yes, I realize that’s next week. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.)

TV Guide’s Michael Ausiello posted this interview with Lorelai Gilmore herself — Lauren Graham! — on Sunday night. In the interview, Lauren talks about some of the thoughts and feelings that built toward the (almost last-minute) decision to make this season the show’s last.

Lauren’s responses are thoughtful, smart, bittersweet and funny. (As if I needed more reasons to start planning the wedding.) However! Though she doesn’t reveal how the final episode ends, she does shed some light on where it ends. So if you’re avoiding reading anything about the finale, don’t read her response to, “Were you happy with the show creatively this season?”

One of my favorite parts of the interview is her response to Ausiello’s question about her favorite memories from doing the show. “There was a real kind of high — that’s the only way I can describe it — when we’d get these big athletic speeches and then nail it after 35 takes,” she told him with a laugh. “And that is a feeling that I really haven’t had with another part. To do that language all systems have to be go; you have to really have a lot of concentration. And that feeling was really exhilarating.”

(For what it’s worth, Lauren, it was just as exhilarating for those of us watching at home.)

She also talks about working with new/current show-runner David S. Rosenthal — who inherited the shambles Team Palladino had left of Stars Hollow last season — to make sure all the characters got a chance to shine in the finale. Lauren finally got a producer credit this season, after all, and it’s nice to know she treats the responsibility as more than just a fancy title.

Yep.

I think I might like her. :)

Anyway, the interview is there now if you can’t wait. My suggestion, however, would be to wait and read it after next week’s episode has aired. That way you’ve still got something kind of new to look forward to when the show’s over.

Where were we again? Oh, yeah. “Unto the Breach,” which airs tonight.

Here’s what The CW has to say about “Unto the Breach”:

On the eve of Rory’s (Alexis Bledel) graduation, Emily (Kelly Bishop) and Richard (Edward Herrmann) throw her a party and perform a song in her honor. At the party, Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Christopher (David Sutcliffe) are reunited for the first time since their separation, and both are relieved to find they can still be friends. Logan (Matt Czuchry) surprises everyone at the party by proposing to Rory, but she is too shocked to give him an answer and begs Lorelai to help her decide what to do. On graduation day, Rory and Paris (Liza Weil) receive their diplomas, and Rory finally gives Logan her answer.

Meanwhile, Lorelai is embarrassed about her karaoke serenade to Luke (Scott Patterson) the night before, and Luke is hurt when he overhears her saying it didn’t mean anything.

Melissa McCarthy and Sean Gunn also star. Lee Shallat Chemel directed the episode written by David Babcock & Jennie Snyder.

Other Gilmore goodies on The CW’s site include a trailer for the episode here, a Director’s Cut clip from the episode here, a Gilmore-inspired pop culture quiz and — in case you haven’t taken it yet — Kirk’s video tour of Stars Hollow.

You can also enter the Kirk’s Town Tours sweepstakes if you want, but the grand prize is a trip to the set, and since filming is now finished forever, I’m not sure how that’s going to work out. Oh, well. I entered it, and I think you should, too.

(And here’s a fun bit of trivia: Sean Gunn, who plays Kirk, is the brother-in-law of Jenna Fischer, who plays Pam on The Office. That’s a lot of funny for one family.)

What’s that? You need even more Gilmore goodness to help you through the day? Well, you’re in luck. My buddy Katy has an archive of amazingly written Gilmore reviews that are bristling with thoughtfulness and bursting with heart right here on her slam-dunk dazzler of a blog, For the Record. Her Gilmore reviews are the best you’ll read anywhere, and you can take that to the bank.

And! Big thanks to Melissa for sending me this link to Lauren Graham’s appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show today. And she sings! It’s ridiculous how much I love this woman:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqOqvVQrRig]

Hey! Lauren! I’m single! Pick me! Pick me! Somebody get me on the phone with Ellen DeGeneres — we’ve got to make this happen.

Anyway, it wouldn’t be a Gilmore Sounding Board without a bonus photo of Lauren Graham for me to swoon on and on about:

Oh, Lauren Graham. SHAZAM! Somewhere out there in this big old universe, there’s a blue almost as bright as the light that starts on the inside and shines right on out through your eyes. I’ve still got that wedding to go to on Friday night right here in New Albany, and the invitation I made to you last week to be my date is still on the table. It starts at 7, and it’s okay if you show up late! It’ll give us something to laugh about over slow dances and cake at the reception.


Previous Gilmore Girls coverage:

Update: No more Gilmores!

Gilmores no more? Or maybe so? The latest (sort of) news!

Gilmore Sounding Board no. 151

Gilmore Sounding Board no. 150

Gilmore Sounding Board no. 149

Gilmore Sounding Board no. 148

Gilmore Sounding Board nos. 146 and 147

Gilmore Sounding Board no. 145

And that’s the end of this week’s pre-show events. Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll pop in later tonight to post my review at the end of this post. With only two episodes left, please try to watch it with friends and savor the last few moments of Stars Hollow goodness while you can.


The Review

I don’t have a lot to say about this one yet, because some of it’s still sinking in. What I do know is that I was hoping for just a little bit more out of the second-to-last episode of the series, though in all fairness they didn’t know the series was definitely going to be ending when they wrote it.

First, the good stuff. And there was a lot of it!

I loved Richard and Emily’s song for Rory. The lyrics were heartfelt, hilarious and even a little awkwardly sweet in the way that a homemade birthday card or Valentine might be, where all the little imperfections are the very same things that make it perfect. Between Richard’s rascally razzle and Emily’s debutante dazzle, it was definitely one for the history books. Rory’s reaction was sweet, and Lorelai being on the verge of tears was so moving.

I loved the town meeting, and how Lorelai could only sit there in shock as everybody started throwing out crazy (and funny) ideas for Rory’s graduation party. It was so sweet that everybody in town wanted to go to Yale for Rory’s graduation. With Rory having been in college for years, and with a whole world full of opportunities and possibilities now at her feet, it’s sometimes easy to forget just how much Rory Gilmore has been and always will be the pride and joy of Stars Hollow. I really felt that tonight, especially out of Babette. Sally Struthers has gotten some priceless material to work with over the last few episodes, and I love how Babette and Miss Patty have been our Stars Hollow eyes and ears on the Luke/Lorelai situation.

Over the course of the last few episodes, we’ve seen lovely little scenes that wrap things up for certain characters, like the Lane/Zack talk in last week’s episode or the Sookie/Jackson talk the week before. Both of those scenes — especially the one between Lane and Zack — were written and played so well, and they really treated the characters well, too. They were so good, in fact, that if you told me right now that I’d never see those characters again, I’d be okay with it because I’d know they walked into the Connecticut sunset in ways that were perfect and meaningful for those characters.

Tonight, I felt that moment with Paris Geller. (And while I was watching the show, I found myself wondering if Amy Sherman-Palladino had the foresight when she chose Paris’s last name to make it started with “G,” so that when she and Rory graduated from Yale they’d get their diplomas one right after the other. Was she looking that far ahead? I think she probably was.) When Paris told Rory that she knew Rory was going to do so many good things in her life, and then gave her a huge, totally un-Paris bear hug, and then turned around quickly to hide the tears she was only barely holding back from Rory, I felt one of several throat lumps I got while watching “Unto the Breach.”

In other words, these girls have come a long way from, “What’s up? What’s up, Quippy?”

As much as Paris has always tried to be The Dragon Lady, she’s always been so fragile and vulnerable underneath. And you know that Rory Gilmore has always been Paris’s hero. If that hug is the last I ever see of Paris Geller on my TV, I’ll be okay with that. Liza Weil played that moment so well that it immediately won a place beside some of my other major emotional highlights from this season, such as Lane and Zack asking Luke to be the twins’ godfather, Lane asking Rory to be her Lorelai Gilmore, the photo of Lane and Rory as kids that we got a glimpse of in that same episode, Luke standing up to Anna about April, and the triumphant Lorelai/Luke bickering about whether her bike needed a bell, and if it did, she wanted a horn.

I always appreciate the little things, like Richard offering to take the photo of Rory accepting her diploma so that Lorelai could see the moment with her own eyes. And how much more Lorelai could you possible ask for when she jumped up with tears in her eyes and yelled, “Yay, Rory!” There were lots of little moments in this one where Lorelai was moved to tears, and Lauren Graham plays that kind of thing with such beauty. (I’m sure she also picks her nose beautifully; I’ll admit that I’m a little biased.)

Even during the moments I dislike Christopher, I’ve always enjoyed David Sutcliffe’s portrayal of him. He was sort of relegated to just being “there” in this episode, though I’ve no doubt that Christopher felt plenty hapless after things fell apart with Lorelai. Not to mention the fact that he’s got to know that it wasn’t his influence or support that got Rory this far. It was Lorelai’s. I really don’t have a lot to say yet about Christopher’s presence in this one.

Part of me also thinks they played Luke a bit too stiff, but then when I look at it in the bigger picture, it makes sense. Of course he was stiff with Lorelai, because you know he’s been getting his hopes up and it had to take the wind out of his sails to hear her telling Babette and Miss Patty that her serenade didn’t mean anything. And of course it meant something — and I loved how excited Sookie was at the prospect of Lorelai opening herself back up to her feelings for Luke — but I guess Mr. Rosenthal is doing his best to keep them off the same page until next week. I did like how feisty Lorelai was getting when the talk she and Luke were having about Rory’s potential engagement began to mirror their own foiled nuptials. It was a good scene, but it felt a little like a step backwards from the level of goodness we’ve been consistently getting the last few episodes. (Though I’m sure next week’s finale will make me forget all of my grumblings.)

But for all the things I loved about this episode — and even the things I’m still a bit uncertain about — I can’t believe how poorly they handled that last scene between Rory and Logan. And I suppose the argument could be made that it went down the way it did because it was all so abrupt and unexpected, but that still doesn’t excuse how awkward (and really, kind of awful) that scene was. I keep thinking back to all the great Logan moments we’ve gotten over the last few episodes, and how much he’s grown up as a person and, most importantly, how much he truly sees, understands and appreciates what a good influence Rory has been on his life, and how much he loves her, and how much he wants Rory Gilmore to be the sun that lights his skies every day for the rest of his life.

And I can see how Rory might not be ready to marry him, and good for her for listening to her heart, but I still think the scene was really poorly done. He gives up way too easily, dismisses her way too quickly, delivers a terse “Bye, Rory,” and that’s it? That’s how we say goodbye to Matt Czuchry and Logan Huntsberger? I think both Matt and Logan deserved something way better than that. I need to watch it again to see if my feelings about it change or if there was maybe another layer to it that I’m missing. All I know is what my initial, gut reaction was, and it wasn’t good. The next scene, where Rory and Lorelai talk about it, also felt hollow, and the soft little sigh Rory let out when she looked at her apartment for the last time had more impact for me than the entire Rory/Logan breakup that preceded it.

As much as I liked everything else about this one, that scene really left me cold. They needed a goodbye on par with the Chris/Lore parting of ways in “Farewell, My Pet,” and it needed to end with Logan hugging her and saying, “See you around, Ace.” That’s what I needed.

Oh, well.

And so we bring the second-to-last Gilmore Sounding Board to a close. Sorry to end this one on somewhat of a sour note, BUT! Did you see the preview for next week’s finale? If that didn’t get your heart racing, then I quite frankly don’t know what else to do with you.

In the meantime, thank you so much for stopping by and please share your thoughts on “Unto the Breach,” as we wait to see how things in Stars Hollow turn out on May 15.

Despite the nearly unforgivable Rory/Logan stumble this week, I have a feeling that next week’s bon voyage — “Bon Voyage” — will truly be something grand indeed.

0 comments

  1. Katy says:

    Oh, John, you’re too good to me!

    Lauren, woman to woman, you had better not let this guy fall in love with a different girl on Friday night. :)

    As always, you’ve got my heart racing with Gilmore excitment. And I can’t wait to meet you back here tonight for the joy I always find when I take in a John Bierly review, especially a Gilmore one.

    I’m not touching that interview until the season’s over, but I’m glad you told me where to find it! Oh, and am I allowed to read that CW blurb up there or is that off limits too? (However did I let you get so much control over me? :))

    See you tonight!

  2. John says:

    “However did I let you get so much control over me?”

    THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!

    Okay.

    You can read this week’s CW teaser, which doesn’t tell you anything that last week’s teaser at the end of the episode didn’t already say.

    Next week’s, however, will not even be provided to help you avoid the temptation to read it. It doesn’t give away too much, but it gives away enough that I think it’s easy to connect some dots that shouldn’t be connected in the best interests of it being as fresh as it can be.

    Can’t wait to read what you’ve got to say about it! I love the angles you take and the perspectives you bring to the table. Can’t wait to see what happens tonight!

    See you then. :)

  3. Katy says:

    “But for all the things I loved about this episode — and even the things I’m still a bit uncertain about — I can’t believe how poorly they handled that last scene between Rory and Logan. And I suppose the argument could be made that it went down the way it did because it was all so abrupt and unexpected, but that still doesn’t excuse how awkward (and really, kind of awful) that scene was.”

    EXACTLY. I absolutely needed a hug and a “See you around, Ace.” Chris walked in for that scene, and having not seen any other part of the episode, said, “That was an easy breakup.” It’s rare that I agree with anything he has to say about the Gilmores, but he was exactly right last night. And he shouldn’t have been. There’s just so much I didn’t like about that situation!

    For one thing, Rory, you mean to tell me you’ve been dating this guy and saying “I love you” for all this time and you haven’t given any serious thought to marrying him? I’ll always love you. But I’m disappointed in you. You at least could’ve drawn up a decent pro/con list about it during sometime in the last few years. Sheesh. That right there shows me you aren’t mature enough to get married. When we first met Logan, I never thought I’d say this, but that boy has grown up and surpassed you.

    That’s not true in every way, but it is in regard to relationships. I agree, John, that I’m glad she listened to her heart, and I’m not saying she should’ve said “yes.” But I am saying that after all the good growth we’ve seen in Logan and in Rory in her interactions with him, I expected more from her. Poor Logan. It should’ve never come to this. If by two years in you can’t say, “I really want to marry this guy,” or at the very least, “I really think I could marry this guy,” it’s not fair to stay in. And her final response to him about wanting to keep her life wide-open and not being able to do that if she married him? In other words, “I like being with you, but I’m not willing to let you stake any claim in my life. You’re nice to have around, and I like the feeling of being in love, but really, can’t we just keep things open?” Good grief. Logan had a right to be mad. And I’m with him on the “all or nothing.” Maybe if she had said, “I love you so much and I want to marry you, but I just don’t think we’re mature enough yet,” they could’ve kept going. But even that would be hard.

    BUT! As mad as he deserved to be, I still say the Logan we’ve seen develop over the last few seasons would’ve responded differently. His terse, “Bye, Rory,” was a major step back for him. (I hope the writers didn’t give us that as a “reveal his true colors” moment in order to make us happy that Rory rejected him. Because I don’t believe it. And I’m not happy about it.) I understand that sometimes that’s the easiest way out. But my heart’s invested in these two. I didn’t need to see them stay together. But I needed to see them have a real, honest-to-goodness heartbreaking split. The Logan we know would’ve let his love prevail over his hurt feelings (although I guess he could still reappear in the final episode and give us what we’re longing for). How could there not have been a hug or a kiss on the cheek or a handholding with a slow pulling away? How could Rory have not shed a single tear? I don’t care how much she wasn’t ready to get married, if she really loved him at all, even if they had stayed together, she should’ve gotten teary-eyed telling him “no” because she knew how much it would hurt him. I would’ve.

    Gaaaahhhh!

    Okay. I have to take care of Caelyn. But! There were some things I really loved about this episode and about your review.

    “Between Richard’s rascally razzle and Emily’s debutante dazzle, it was definitely one for the history books.”

    “There were lots of little moments in this one where Lorelai was moved to tears, and Lauren Graham plays that kind of thing with such beauty. (I’m sure she also picks her nose beautifully; I’ll admit that I’m a little biased.)”

    “The next scene, where Rory and Lorelai talk about it, also felt hollow, and the soft little sigh Rory let out when she looked at her apartment for the last time had more impact for me than the entire Rory/Logan breakup that preceded it.”

    . . . To name a few of many. I just needed to get that frustration out first. Thanks for being there, John, as always. And, as always, wonderful commentary. :)

    Be back soon!

  4. Janey says:

    Katy, I totally agree with your assessment of the Rory/Logan breakup. Some kind of hug, or “see you around, Ace,” would have been good. The Palladinos always wrote Logan as a warm-hearted guy underneath all of his trouble-making, and for the new writers to suggest that he’d be that cold is a complete departure from a character that was wonderfully crafted by ASP.

    That breakup was beyond “poorly handled.” It was catastrophically, disrespectfully handled.

  5. John says:

    Thanks for dropping by, Janey!

    In all honesty, I’ve liked Logan more under Rosenthal than I did under Team Palladino, particularly over the last few episodes (with the exception of how pathetically and downright awfully the Logan/Rory breakup was handled). I loved his scene in the kitchen with Lorelai, for example, and his attempts to take responsibility for his own actions. He really was ready to build a life with Rory, and I’m sad that he won’t get the chance. I just wish that last scene would have been more consistent with everything that came before it. It was like watching another show, and it was no way for Logan Huntsberger to go.

  6. Katy says:

    Hey, Janey! Yay for jumping into the conversation!

    Glad John and I aren’t the only ones disgusted with the writing of Logan and Rory’s final scene together. Like John, I’ve enjoyed what Rosenthal and his writers have done with Logan this season . . . except for that gigantic step backwards we witnessed in “Unto the Breach.” Really, I feel he’s one of the few characters who emerged from the end of season 6 unscathed and went on to receive much screen time in the beginning of season 7.

    But while Rosenthal had the opportunity and the smarts to develop Logan into the responsible, admirable young man we’ve always known he could be, I do agree that ASP always wrote a heart of gold into his character. Under that playboy exterior, we were always supposed to have a soft spot for the guy. (This idea was showcased so well in Rory’s scene with Jess at his publishing company’s open house in which she tells Jess that she loves Logan, even though she doesn’t understand why. I think the writers intended that scene, on some level, to be a reflection of the viewers’ feelings too.) But I don’t think Logan came into his own and really earned our soft spot for him until this season. It’s just a shame we had to say goodbye to him in such an awful way. For me, that’s the one unforgivable character/relationship wrap-up executed by Rosenthal at the end of the series.

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