A Meathead Watches Gilmore Girls (“Love, Daisies, and Troubadors”)
*I’m making a face like I just ate 57 lemons*
“Love, Daisies, and Troubadors”
I should have known something awful was coming when I was talking to one of the people who most enthusiastically recommended Gilmore Girls to me – I was busy calling “Love and War and Snow” the worst episode I’d ever seen and she simply said, “Yeah.” And then an ominous pause. And then, “Yet.”
I made it to the end of the season with that hanging around in the back of my mind. And were there bad episodes? Yes. Absolutely. But nothing so egregious as to make me go, “That was the ‘Yet’ episode.” So when there was only one left, I knew. I knew.
Perhaps we should acknowledge the good first. Rory gets back together with Dean. She finally has the stones to say what she couldn’t earlier, that yes, she loves him too. It’s all the better that Rory’s pursuit of Dean seems oddly rushed and frankly awkward. She’s a teenager. So is he. This is supposed to be halting and difficult. But that moment wherein she finally gathers the courage necessary to say that she loves him – she says it at Chilton in an almost defiant way, no doubt encouraged by being in front of classmates who have just finished a long year of being impossibly dickish to her by somehow cranking that volume to eleven – is easily believed. This is romance done right.
And now, a breather, before we get to Lorelai. By a show of hands, how many Gilmore Girls fans had, at literally any point during this season, ever even once cared about the Stars Hollow troubador? Yes, he was around occasionally, and yes, it was weird, and yes, it took the town’s twee to levels that scientists to that point had been incapable of theorizing the existence of let alone measuring. But how many people had genuinely wondered what was going on with the troubador? None, right? Like, not a single viewer, ever, even briefly? Good. That’s what I thought. I just wanted to be sure.
Lorelai runs into Rachel, who observes that Luke is spending an awful lot of time at the Gilmore residence. Lorelai says its nothing but it’s clear just from looking at her that Rachel isn’t buying it. And perhaps she shouldn’t be, especially when Lorelai later arrives home to find Luke in her home, having broken in after discovering a broken lock. Lorelai sees this as an opportunity to sit Luke down for a heart-to-heart in which she condescendingly tells him that he has to give Rachel more of a shot, even though we know – we know – that Rachel has repeatedly hurt Luke. Oh, and also that Luke might be pining for Lorelai.
He closed the diner when Lorelai’s father fell suddenly ill. He agreed to repaint the diner and withstood Lorelai’s callous no-show. He was there immediately when Lorelai needed helping catching a stray animal. He has repeatedly made repairs at Lorelai’s home. And yet, Lorelai ignores all of the evidence and suggests that he try harder with Rachel. Luke agrees.
He later gets home after a town meeting and Rachel’s bags are packed and she is leaving. She emphasizes that she knows that she can’t compete with Lorelai and encourages Luke to tell her how he feels. Then she’s gone. There was a real opportunity here to let Luke off the hook. If the show’s creators had added a line wherein Rachel acknowledged deserving her fate for having hurt him so many times before – something simple like, “I should have gotten you when I had the chance…” – her leaving would have been more poignant. But no. Everything is left at Luke’s feet.
Luke ends up at Lorelai’s. So does Max. He’s there for their big date, their first since publicly getting back together. Luke and Max each try peeing on Lorelai’s leg, because men, and eventually, Lorelai wonders what their behavior was all about. Meanwhile, Max plays Rachel, observing the same Luke-Lorelai dynamic that everybody else on planet Earth has also noted. Lorelai and Max fight and then, BECAUSE TELEVISION, Max inexplicably asks Lorelai to marry him, marking the second time this season that Lorelai has been proposed to in her own home. (Rory’s father proposed in an earlier episode.) Lorelai demurs, saying that marriage proposals shouldn’t be like this be more substantive, and should include a man arriving on horseback and candles and a “thousand yellow daisies.” Max agrees and we cut away.
But guess what’s happening at work the next morning? There’s a delivery guy arguing with Michel about a delivery. He’s insisting that the man on the phone was very specific about the number of items he was supposed to deliver to one Lorelai Gilmore. Can you guess what he’s delivering? Can you?
That’s right – he’s delivering one thousand yellow daisies. Most of them are already inside, literally on every single surface of the inn, as well as spread out on the floor, because the inn isn’t a place of business where Lorelai the professional woman worked her way up from the bottom to become the boss, but rather, because Max Medina, the most boring man in the world, purchased one thousand yellow daisies and had them sent to that place where Lorelai is occasionally. Because she needs to know that he was very, very serious about that marriage proposal.
And she loves it! BECAUSE TELEVISION!
Just in case Luke hasn’t taken enough damage in this episode – lectured by Lorelai, left by Rachel, outgunned by Max – Lorelai comes to the diner, refuses the coffee he offers, and gives him one of the yellow daisies before refusing to tell him why it is exactly that she’s so ebullient. Luke’s response doesn’t seem to cross her mind.
But whatever. She’s in love. She leaves Lukes and finds Rory and they hug and they twirl and the camera pulls away and season one is over.
I’ll say simply that I’m sitting here hoping Season Two is better but having much less faith in that possibility.
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