Above screenshot: Gilmore Girls. Below photo: Warner Bros./Delivered by Online USA/Getty Images

“I’m OK, You’re OK,” season six, episode 17, originally aired 4/4/2006

Some commenters have mentioned preferring Gilmore Girls season seven over these days of season six, as at least those episodes were probably written by someone who gave a shit. With six episodes to go in season six, it is painfully obvious that the showrunners Palladino have checked out.

At this point I would have welcomed a Hep Alien spinoff instead (you could just call it Hep Alien, I bet people would have gotten it), featuring Gil’s life at the sandwich shop and at home with his beautiful wife, Brian’s job at Century 21, and the domestic bliss of Lane and Zack. As it is, Zack winning his girl’s hand with his songwriting skills is the absolute highlight of this stretch of episodes, give or take a Jess Mariano appearance.

First up: Logan wins Rory back in about two seconds by utilizing sadistic Jedi mind tricks. But unsurprisingly, this forgiveness doesn’t really take, so Rory passive aggressively avoids Logan’s phone calls instead of just dealing with him straight-up in a manner seemingly immature even for a 21-year-old. Instead, she hides out in Star Hollow and goes explicitly against her mother’s wishes by invading Anna’s store. I believe I read somewhere that Anna was supposed to be more of a third side in the Luke-Lorelai triangle (much like the mysterious, never-seen Mike Armstrong) and you can clearly see the setup here in this episode, with Lorelai dismayed over the fact that Anna sent Luke a bag. I wish I could say more about “I’m OK, You’re OK,” but that duffel bag is about the biggest plot point. It’s a terrible nothing episode followed by another one.

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“The Real Paul Anka,” season six, episode 18, originally aired 4/11/2006

You know how no one’s dreams are interesting except your own? Then why in the world did Daniel Palladino think that a dream involving the real Paul Anka would be interesting to anyone at all? Did Lauren Graham read the script, throw it across the room and yell, “A surreal dream sequence? Really?” I mean, she seems nice, so probably not, but she should have.

It would be hard for any episode to come back from that, but with Lorelai acting sulky, Rory being passive-aggressive on Logan, and Luke on a bus with April, it just sinks lower and lower. Just why. Even a Jess appearance doesn’t help much, because Rory chooses that occasion to be an idiot. Jess and his Truncheon Press friends are obviously leagues better than the Life And Death Brigade imbeciles, as they actually have jobs, and a plan. How can Rory turn down Jess in his Dino Jr T-shirt in favor of Logan and his dumb ragged jacket? It’s a disappointing ending to the regular Rory and Jess run, but at least he proves that he’s a standup guy now. And it’s heartening to see him show off for Luke and repay him that check from the car.

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The low point in this episode, actually, may be the elongated subplot about Richard and Emily moving to Stars Hollow. This is obviously never going to happen, so why even bother with it? I’ll tell you why: phoning it in. The only shred of positivity is when even Emily realizes that Luke’s refusal to let Lorelai into his daughter’s life is straight-up nuts. Just check out Lorelai’s devastation when Luke says that Jess is going to officially meet his daughter before she will, giving her a chance to bang that all-important bag around even more. Luke is being almost purposefully dense, but at this point, you can start blaming Lorelai as well, for not speaking up about wanting to at least get officially introduced to her fiancee’s daughter (Rory’s sullen silence with Logan did not come from nowhere). But we know how this is all going to end up, and it’s all just so painful to witness.

Stray observations

  • Gotta love Paris’ takedown of Logan: “If you were to disappear from the face of the earth tomorrow, the only person who would miss you is your Porsche dealer.”
  • What happened with Zack’s jealousy over Brian? Is that just forgotten in light of the engagement? “You got yourself a good women there.” What the hell is that?
  • I got so bored, I looked up New London on Wikipedia. Home of Eugene O’Neill!
  • What was the greatest 24-hour task to win the approval of Mrs. Kim: Reading the entire Bible (Dave Rygalksi) or writing a hit song?
  • “I mean, McCartney hasn’t written a hit in 20 years, but I’ll just sit down and crank one out.”
  • Mrs. Kim IS Yoda: “Don’t try. Do.”
  • Worst Gilmore outfits: Rory’s dumpy cream cardigan with inexplicable pom-pons. And I always hate Logan’s ragged jacket.
  • Also inexplicable: Rory’s three-minute rant about hot dogs. Honestly, if they were having such trouble filling the 40-odd minutes, why didn’t they just have people talk slower?
  • Speaking of, does Anna’s bright banter remind anyone of anyone? Isn’t she basically just Lorelai Gilmore, the Woodbridge version?
  • This week in Gilmore entitlement: Ragging on your kind friend who comes over with food for your parents’ dinner because she didn’t make the right kind of food. Also going to great lengths to try to avoid hosting said parents’ dinner, when they have had you over every single Friday night for years now.
  • Spider in the shower bit was already done in Annie Hall, guys.
  • Next week: At least someone gets married.

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