Screenshot: Gilmore Girls (Below photo: Warner Bros./Delivered by Online USA/Getty Images)

“The Long Morrow,” season seven, episode one, originally aired 9/26/2006 

Remember when we talked about Christopher a few seasons back and he had his defenders? I respect that, it’s (still) a free country. But I defy any Christopher fans to defend his heinous actions over these few episodes. Your childhood friend and ex that you will always be in love with comes over distraught in the middle of the night, and you take advantage of the situation and sleep with them. I get that Lorelai was desperate to break away from Luke and wanted to do something that would make that break permanent. But a real friend, to say nothing of a gentleman, would just have offered her the couch and put her to bed. Christopher though, is so excited about this rebound booty call that he wants to make Lorelai breakfast, barely lets her escape from the bedroom, and is already planning dinners. He even calls Lorelai to talk about it after she specifically says she doesn’t want to talk about it, while she is going through a mighty big breakup, but with this guy it is all about him, always. In conclusion, Christopher is the worst, forever and ever, amen.

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So I am basically steeling myself for what I know will be a Christopher-centric season over the 20 episodes that follow this one. In the meantime, let’s see how the folks behind the scenes are doing in this sole Palladino-less Gilmore Girls season. And most seem to have had some GG experience at least: Season seven showrunner David S. Rosenthal (who is currently tearing it up on Jane The Virgin) wrote “The Long Morrow”; I hope you guys like Rebecca Rand Kirshner (scribe of “Emily Says Hello,” and a few others before this one) because “Makin’ Whoopee” is the first of her many season seven episodes.

So I believe there was a concerted effort by Rosenthal and his writers’ room to mimic the Gilmore Girls style, but instead they came up with these conversational babbles that are insufferable, several just in episode one: Sookie going on and on about her wrist strength for over an entire minute. Rory’s weird Fast And Furious ramble. The rocket man revelation went on forever.

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But of course, there’s only one key moment in this episode, and it’s not when the Gilmore Girls try and fail to play racquetball. Or Kirk smashing a car through Luke’s diner, although that is pretty great. It’s almost like a giant middle finger to the GG seasons that came before it: We can smash whatever we want, so what? Sets can be rebuilt. Writers’ rooms can be refilled. We’re still in Stars Hollow, and this is still Gilmore Girls, goddammit. I could be overthinking (surprise) but that diner smash struck me as symbolic. As well as hilarious.

But the moment even bigger than that car crash is Luke’s big romantic play, his boombox over his head that turns out to be a packed truck (were there bikes in the back? Can you picture Luke and Lorelai riding bikes together?) to give Lorelai the elopement that she wants/demanded. Of course, the Christopher revelation (god, he really does ruin everything) makes all of that disappear, so we’ll never know how things might have turned out if Lorelai hadn’t gone over to Chris’ house that night. But as irrevocable breakups go, it’s an effective (and effectively devastating) method.

“That’s What You Get, Folks, for Makin’ Whoopee,” season seven, episode two, originally aired 10/3/2006 

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Yes, there’s an Asian wonderland in this episode, and a few L/L showdowns, but my main takeaway from “Makin’ Whoopee” is that Lane’s horrible first sex experience just makes me sad. Zack, as we saw pre-Lane, was a pretty experienced guy; there’s no real reason for that to have gone down as terribly as it did. (Although, Zack being Zack, Lane totally should have taken over the honeymoon travel planning, probably with some help from her uber-researcher friend Rory.) For young Lane to then get pregnant on her first terrible sexual experience just adds unnecessary insult to injury to this character who deserves so much better.

On the other hand, I am obviously down for all Christopher shade, whether that’s Luke punching him in the face, or Luke telling Lorelai in regard to Christopher, “you can date whoever or whatever you want.” I even appreciate Rory’s rage over her parents sleeping together, but I’m also glad that her conversation with Lane reminds her that mothers are fallible people too.

But Luke’s throwing Lorelai’s proposal back in her face on their first encounter is pretty terrible. I get that he’s mad and he apologizes soon afterward. It’s one of those moments that if I was in a relationship with that person, I would still have trouble shaking it years later (I know, pity my poor husband).

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But I appreciate both those encounters: Luke and Lorelai standing in the literal middle of the road, seemingly forever at odds with each other, then later facing off under the flourescent lights of the frozen food section. I like the latter one in particular because it brings up what Luke always believed: He never thought he was good enough for Lorelai, that he didn’t fit into her world. It’s what the “Wedding Bell Blues” fight was about way back when. Christopher fits into that, and he doesn’t, which is why Lorelai sleeping with Christopher brings all of Luke’s worst fears to light. But what Luke doesn’t get at this point is that Lorelai has no desire to fit into that world; she only wants to fit into his. Which is why she falls apart immediately afterward, and the episode ends as it should, with a distraught Lorelai (where did all those Asian decorations go?) comforted by Rory.

Stray observations

  • Lorelai’s hair is starting to resemble the giant extensions of the end of season four.
  • Props to the Sylvester Stallone arm-wrestling movie shoutout in Sookie and Michel’s match, but it was pretty dumb overall.
  • This week in Gilmore entitlement: Rory and Lorelai thinking that now would be a perfect time for Rory to visit Logan in London, when he’s kicking off his brand-new job. Fortunately, even Rory gets it eventually.
  • How does Luke know where Christopher even lives? And how close is Boston anyway?
  • Best Gilmore Girls outfits: The Gilmore Girls know how to rock a summer dress. Really liked Rory’s white appliqued dress with the black straps.
  • Worst Gilmore Girls outfits: Remember dresses over jeans? Bad look, Rory.
  • “The one time I feel like cooking, there’s no ice cream to fry!”
  • Next week: Michel takes Lorelai to a cotillion, so something to look forward to!

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