[7.3/10] So much of show’s like Gilmore Girls come down to execution. There’s something about the “coincidence” that Rory and Lorelai both happen to be going on double dates on the same night that instantly makes me roll my eyes. And yet, even if the premise is contrived, the show uses that structure to create fun scenes and tell compelling stories to where, by the end of the episode, I’d essentially forgotten how the constructed quality of the premise annoyed me.
On Lorelai’s side, it helps that she and Sookie make for a wonderful comic pairing, Sookie’s relatable anxiousness about going on her first date in years, and Lorelai’s smart remarks and support make for a great mix. The actual date was pretty silly, and the rudeness of Jackson’s cousin Rune was too broad, but it had a good throughline. Sookie is out of practice and worried so she’s scared to be assertive. Lorelai nudges her, and it gets Sookie to not only nail down a date with Jackson, but ask him to stay at Luke’s when Rune wants to go. It’s a small arc, but a satisfying one, that sees our dear Sookie being understandably nervous but standing up and going after what she wants.
(As an aside, it’s shocking to me that the show is reputed to play “will they won’t they” with Luke and Lorelai forever because they push that button pretty hard here. Still, I can understand the show trying to stretch the romantic tension as far as it will go because the two of them have fantastic chemistry, and it just exposes how tedious the whole deal with Max was.)
I like the premise of the Lane-focused half of the episode that Rory’s enmeshed in. The idea of “loving” someone from afar and then realizing they’re not for you once you actually talk to them is a very sixteen-year-old epiphany. That said, like Rune, Todd is a little too exaggerated as a dumbo for my tastes. Plus, Rory’s affrontedness when Dean is leery about setting them up perturbed me a bit, but as my wife pointed out, it’s probably an accurate reaction for a teenager.
But what really bumped the episode up a notch is the story with Lorelai and Lane’s mom. It went with a familiar tack that I really like on Gilmore Girls -- Lorelai stands on principle with one person but then gets to the heart of the matter with another. In the episode with Rory’s dance, Lorelai told her mom that she shouldn’t pressure Rory to go, but in private with Rory, Lorelai encouraged her daughter to give it a chance. It’s a nice way to show that Lorelai understands what’s right in terms of “procedure” for lack of a better term, but isn’t skimping on the substance of the issue.
The show returns to the same move here. When Lane’s mom catches her daughter out with boys, she drags Lane away, and Lorelai, while not quite so fiery, takes Rory to task over her being selective with the truth in describing their outing with Dean. I loved Lorleia’s exclamation that Rory is truly her daughter after realizing that she left out details so that Lorelai wouldn’t have to lie to Lane’s mother and break the “mom code,” and her affirming that she wouldn’t lie to Lane’s mom for that very reason.
But then the episode follows it up with a great scene between Lorelai and Lane’s mom, where Lorelai affirms Lane’s mom’s right to raise her daughter the way sees fit, but implores her to see that she’s already done a great job with Lane and that she’s a good and responsible young woman. There’s some comedy in bridging the philosophical divide between the two women, but it’s a nice back-and-forth that gives both sides some solid points, understandable concerns, and frank admissions.
That’s one of the best things Gilmore Girls does -- take wacky sitcom premises like a daughter’s reluctance about going to a dance or a coincidental double double date (quadruple date) and turn it into a heartwarming than harrowing exploration of the generational relationships among mothers and daughters, or potent reflection of the unspoken camaraderie between moms (even moms with starkly different views on parenting), or the universal anxieties about impressing someone you like and standing up for getting to spend time with them. Nice to see the execution outstrip the premise here.
8.6/10. A really well-balanced episode in several respects. For one, I loved the show's use of Ted and The Mother's first date as a frame story, and the way that it used that as a device to tell stories within stories (e.g. Ted telling her the story about when he was at the wedding telling the story about how he met Gary Blauman.) One of the deftest strokes of Season 9 is how it filled in the gaps of Ted and The Mother's future together little bit little to where by the time they meet, we get a pretty complete, if abbreviated picture of who they are. The two of them continue to be cute together, and the fact that Ted didn't blurt out an I love you (among other callbacks to the pilot here) and the way it led to Ted and The Mother's first kiss was well done and downright heartwarming.
But it wasn't all warm fuzzies! I often complain about the broadness of the show in its later years, but I have to admit, as exaggerated as it was, I loved everyone milking the reveal as to whether they were going to say "love" or "hate" (or some variation) when it came to how they felt about Gary Blauman. The various flashback stories about him were fun (especially all the dorky Teddy Roosevelt jokes between Ted and Gary), and Marshall's impromptu courtroom bit was a fun touch as well.
The show also found a really nice way to give closure to a wide swath of its secondary and tertiary character without it feeling forced. Many of them were cute or clever (Scooter ending up with Stripper Lily and Jeanette ending up with Kevin were oddly perfect) and the fly-by device gave everyone a moment without overcrowding the episode. On top of that, tying those little updates with the theme that friends drift apart and if you care about someone, you have to hold onto them, and having that pay off in the story of Ted and The Mother's first date (with The Mother making the move!) was a really neat way to handle it as well. Overall, a nice lead-in to the finale.
Batman (1989) was bad and helped me to appreciate just how great the Dark Knight trilogy was for comic book movies. The plot was simply uninteresting and the action was dull. I wasn't a fan of the production design either, too much goddamn smoke everywhere, plus the special effects and sound effects were just so bad. I'm not entirely sure what people mean when they say the movie's "dark". Sure, aesthetically it is, but the actual content isn't really that dark. I guess everybody was just comparing it to Adam West. Keaton seemed so mechanical as Batman, and barely seemed to have any personality at all as Bruce Wayne. As if to compensate though, everybody else's acting was so over-the-top; this wasn't even just Jack Nicholson (though how anybody can think he's better than Heath Ledger is beyond me), everybody's performances were overly theatrical and exaggerated. The whole movie just lacked subtlety. The musical cues and camera movements were all so obvious. Did you see that facial expression he made? Did you notice this was a dramatic moment?? Did you?! It's like a movie reenactment of a stage production of Batman.
I can’t believe this was the last time we’ve seen Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth. I’m not ready to let her go yet.
Claire Foy has described this episode as her favorite of the season. And I totally understand why, it’s a great episode.
This was so emotional and you could see how much Isak loves Even and ahh, i'm not ready for the finale.
imagine having a bae who accepts you for who you are and listens to you and runs on frozen pavement just to embrace u what a life
It's so refreshing to see things from a different perspective. I believe it's even more interesting now that we see the version of a real couple with their real struggles instead of the versions of lovebirds. I paid attention to everything I could knowing how things can change from one's perspective. Helen's a really dark one. Noah's still playing hero on his head, as when he was so worried about his son's stomachache (in Helen's version it wasn't even commented) and when he shows up to the mediation meeting with a nosebleed (in Helen's version he was just fine). A few other things are interesting and differ a bit more than they usually do (as when Helen goes to the police station bringing Noah a good lawyer and when on Helen's version both Noah and the mediator sit in front of her - and the camera shots intend to show how confronted and alone she is in this).
It was definitely one of the show's best episodes so far. MUCH MORE MATURE than season one. Much darker as well. I'm really hoping next week we get to see Allison's Vs. Cole's version! For those thinking you can't really tell a long story about an affair, that was a good slap in the face.
GREY'S hasn't been a consistent show for years now, but when they get it right, they really do it. Best episode of an already great season so far.