The beloved series with a mother and daughter who act more like sisters, Gilmore Girls has returned as a four part event on Netflix. This long-awaited return to Stars Hollow is a welcome treat for fans. What’s been going on in the Gilmore Girls lives since last we’ve seen them in 2007? How much did Lorelai and Rory change? And are the residents of Stars Hollow still as quirky as ever?
The Miller Twins and The Nerdy Girl Express writers Stacy and Tracy Miller discuss the events of each season themed episode. What do these sisters have to say about the characters, actors and plot? Read on as we journey back to Stars Hollow and Gilmore Girls. You can come home again.
This article contains spoilers so if you haven’t seen Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life Episode 3 “Summer” please do not continue reading.
The Gilmore Girls may be relaxing pool side as “Summer” begins in Stars Hollow, but before the season is over, our favorite mother and daughter will find that these lazy, hazy days have cooked up even more turmoil in their lives.
The third episode of the revival could as easily been titled “truth and consequences” as various revelations are made and several characters are forced to deal with the fallout. All of this personal drama is against the backdrop of the Stars Hollow musical which also leads Lorelai to make an important decision about her life.
We know that Lorelai and Rory are at a crossroads in their lives as “Summer” so clearly illustrated. Lorelai is still reeling over Emily’s indictment that Luke and Lorelai are more like roommates with an expendable relationship than romantic partners whose love will weather the test of time. Of course, it doesn’t help that both Luke and Lorelai are dealing with their own insecurities as they keep secrets from each other: Luke never told Lorelai about Emily coming to Stars Hollow to look at possible franchise locations while Lorelai didn’t share with Luke that Emily stopped attending their therapy sessions. Once the couple reveal to each other that they already knew each other’s secrets, an argument ensued. Luke tells Lorelai that he went along with whatever she wanted these past nine years; the implication is that he didn’t have any input in the direction of their relationship. What this says about the strength of their union isn’t good.
Meanwhile, that quintessential overachiever, Rory Gilmore tries desperately to convince the town that her move back home is temporary. Of course, the citizens of Star Hollow believe that Rory “doth protest too much” and they are not buying the whole temporary move back home thing. For them, Rory has alot in common with “The ThirtySomething Gang”, a group of highly educated millennials who succumbed to the harsh realities of the outside world and now returned to the comfort of the family abode. Rory is livid. There is no way she wants to become a member of this club.
In addition, Rory’s new job as an unpaid editor of the Star Hollow Gazette does not lead to creative fulfillment the way her published piece in The New Yorker did. Consequently, she is feeling despondent over her future. Enter Jess Mariano who has become the voice of reason and insight to jumpstart Rory in her times of doubt. What emerges from the former couple sharing some alcohol and Rory venting about her life is that Jess suggests that Rory write a book about something she’s passionate about.
“Summer” also gave viewers the return of April, Luke’s now twenty-two year old daughter. The MIT student sports a nose ring and smokes pot. Seeing that Rory moved back home and is living in her old room causes April to wonder if her future will mirror Rory’s. April has an anxiety attack.
When Rory tells Lorelai that she is writing a book about their lives, the usually supportive Lorelai isn’t happy with the idea. Lorelai doesn’t want the world to know her life story. I’m on Lorelai’s side on this one.
The other pivotal plot point in “Summer” was devoted to the Stars Hollow musical. That was my least favorite part of this episode. I did like the final song in the musical that struck an emotional chord with Lorelai. Returning to her house, Lorelai tells Luke that she needs some clarity in her life. She is leaving Stars Hollow for a Wild adventure.
It’s summertime in the city. Well, actually in the town of Stars Hollow. And you know what summer means? Relaxing by the pool. Lorelai and Rory partake of this activity and even managed to get two young boys to wait on them and carry their stuff. Gotta love our Gilmore Girls! But enjoying summer only allows a temporary release from responsibilities as life continues to beckon for Lorelai and Rory.
For Lorelai, it’s taking part on the advisory committee for Stars Hollow: The Musical, which is a history of the town in song. Taylor hopes that this project will bring in more tourists and revenue for Stars Hollow. Lorelai is less than thrilled that her therapist is an aspiring thespian and wants a part in the musical. How can she take anything this medical professional says seriously now? I guess this means the end of therapy sessions for Lorelai. The songs in the Stars Hollow: The Musical have a whimsical feel to them and are as quirky as the town itself. While watching the musical scenes, I almost hoped for a Crazy Ex-Girlfriend crossover with Rebecca Bunch singing lead. I also found it amusing that everyone seemed to refer to the lead actress from Kinky Boots as Kinky Boots. It’s interesting that the usually fun-loving Lorelai didn’t like any of the songs until a more serious ballad came along. A highlight of the musical scenes was the cameo by Carole King.
At the town meeting to discuss the musical is where Rory learns that the Stars Hollow newspaper, The Gazette is closing after 89 years due to poor circulation. Rory offers her journalistic talents (free of charge of course) to Taylor as the new editor. She hopes that her experience working at a newspaper (from her days at Chilton and Yale) will help save The Gazette. The townspeople are less thrilled with the articles, they miss the daily poem. In addition to the responsibility of The Gazette’s content, Rory learns that she also has to deliver the newspapers to the town’s businesses and other subscribers. It’s mommy to the rescue as Rory enlists Lorelai’s help. The whole “you take the east and I take the west” was so funny as both Rory and Lorelai seemed unable to determine which direction was which.
Lorelai had a labor issue when Michel advised that he would have to pursue other employment opportunities if The Dragonfly Inn didn’t expand and give him more challenging responsibilities. This moment was lightened by the ‘hiding’ of the secret bar as Taylor walked by the location. I tipped my hat to how quickly everyone sprung into action, picking up the tables and chairs and turning out the lights. I think I need to re-watch the scene and time how long it takes to close a bar so to speak.
Even helping The Gazette doesn’t given Rory career fulfillment. Fortunately, Jess arrives in town to see Luke and stops by The Gazette. He and Rory (who seems to have developed a ‘Lou Grant’ drinking problem) talk about it and Jess suggests that Rory write about something she knows. So, Rory decides to write her and Lorelai’s story. But when she shares this information with her mother, Lorelai is less than receptive. She tells Rory that as she spent years only revealing what she wanted the town to know about her life, she doesn’t want to lose the control of information. Lorelai doesn’t want Rory to write the book which leads to a mother/daughter rift. Unfortunately for Lorelai, this isn’t the only rift she faces in “Summer.” Emily tells Lorelai about her trip with Luke to shop franchise locations and learns that Luke never mentioned this to Lorelai. What kind of relationship do they have when Lorelai and Luke keep secrets from each other? When Lorelai confronts Luke about this, it leads to an argument.
The episode concluded with Lorelai deciding to go on a Wild inspired hike for a few weeks. Lorelai obviously needs to clear her head but how will this effect Luke and Lorelai’s relationship? Find out in Episode 4 “Fall.”
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