Who is this guy and why is he messing everything up?
Screenshot: Gilmore Girls (Below photo: Warner Bros./Delivered by Online USA/Getty Images)

“The Big Stink,” season seven, episode five, originally aired 10/24/2006 

Okay, all you people who said Gilmore Girls season seven was better than season six: When does that happen exactly? Because so far I’m surprised by how much I’m hating S7. Every week I watch two episodes with little-to-no redeeming favors at all.

Cases in point: This week is a downright snooze with the pointless “The Big Stink” and “Go, Bulldogs!”, which is up there with a certain Martha’s Vineyard trip as one of the worst GG episodes ever. But we’ll get there, let’s start with two relationship fights and a giant pickle spill, because that sounds like fun, right? Actually, it’s the better of the two. Not saying much, but there it is.

Chris proves once again that he is an idiot and almost completely childish by thinking that sending 4-year-old Gigi off to Paris with a nanny to hang with the mother she hasn’t seen in years is somehow a good idea. His decision-making on this is so idiotic that that should be enough for Lorelai to dump him right there on that park bench. This is a person who has no business adulting. And then as he sulks throughout almost all of Friday night dinner, it boggles the mind that Lorelai ever thought that returning to Chris was a good idea. The only fun part is what a nicer time Emily was having when Lorelai wasn’t speaking.

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Sure, Chris gets points for showing Lorelai the Sherry letter right away and actually discussing his child with her. This is appealing to Lorelai due to the extremely low bar set by Luke. Thanks a lot, Luke! Blaming you for getting us into this mess.

The thorny dialogue problem continues to be an issue, as Lorelai and Rory’s “pickles train conductor” conversation proves. Not to be outdone, Rory also sucks this episode by getting jealous over Logan’s new co-workers and their glee over purchasing of a company. She should be happy that Logan is finally being responsible after all of those freewheeling years with the Life And Death Brigade, and actually appears to be enjoying himself. Instead she goes off on a jealous tirade, taking up a high proportion of the mere 26 hours Logan has in town. This is after, mind you, the elaborate rooftop dinner surprise he prepared for her! In our second relationship squabble of the week, why Logan sticks around is also a mystery.

In other news, there are pickles. Actual dialogue: “Pickles, pickles, pickles, smell, pickle train conducting.”

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“Go, Bulldogs!”, season seven, episode six, originally aired 11/7/2006 

Sometimes I’ll post something in the stray observations called “this week in Gilmore entitlement.” These remarks usually feature Lorelai, who believes the universe entirely revolves around her, so that she should be able to take over Luke’s Diner to go over plans with her interior designer, for example. But in all these many episodes, I would have a hard time comping up with a more petulant and annoying example than Lorelai in the dreadful “Go, Bulldogs!”, whining and complaining over her parents’ involvement with Rory at this annual event that she has never even attended before.

After all, Emily and Richard paid for Rory’s Yale tuition for three years, so why shouldn’t they go to parents’ weekend? Lorelai trying to split hairs over it not being grandparents’ weekend is just ludicrous. Then, she is so incensed that her parents are at this event—again, that she has never shown any interest in—she calls her only child a brat and books lunch reservations at the same restaurant where Emily and Richard and Rory will be having dinner just to spite them.

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Possibly more painful than that, though, is Christopher attempting to make up for years of absentee parenting in a single afternoon by boasting about ski chalets and taking all of Rory’s newspaper colleagues to lunch, plying them with wine and dessert promises (I never want to hear the words “crème brûlée” again after this episode). It’s so painful and awkward and obvious and of course ends in disaster when the news team has to head out to late-breaking story and everyone’s hammered, thanks to Christopher.

Again, there is a single redeeming factor, and it’s Lorelai somehow ably predicting Rory’s quarter-life crisis (well, third-life crisis) in the revival. But “Go, Bulldogs!” only shows the character (unsettlingly written by new showrunner David S. Rosenthal and frequent season writer Rebecca Rand Kirshner) in the worst light, which does not bode well for the rest of this rocky season. Emily and Richard are worth a thousand “Bulldog” Lorelais.

Stray observations

  • The shot of Chris “groovin’” to the song on the car radio made me want to wash my eyes with bleach.
  • Did Lorelai and Christopher actually end up watching The Three Stooges?
  • When did Chris and Sherry get married exactly?
  • The less said about Luke’s disastrous date with the swimming instructor, the better.
  • Vanessa Branch, who played the indeed stunning Bobby, was once a spokesperson for Orbit gum.
  • Best Gilmore outfit: The patterned sweater dress Lorelai wore to the disastrous parents’ weekend was kind of cool, with the advantage of featuring the Yale colors.
  • Next week: Look, the sooner they get married, the sooner they can start getting unmarried.

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