No, I’m not about to launch into a Danzig or Pink Floyd song. I also didn’t write the word because it’s part of some offensive slang burned into my wallet. (That was a Pulp Fiction reference, in case I’m being too oblique.)
It’s just that it’s the specific word that occurred to me while I was thinking about writing this article. Mainly because, when I reviewed the first season of Gilmore Girls, I confidently stated that this series was about the relationships between mothers and daughters. I believed this statement when I wrote it.
I’m no longer as confident as I was then. It’s still about mothers. And daughters, I suppose. Relationships as well. But, not necessarily just the relationships between them. As the series has progressed, the world of Lorelai and Rory Gilmore has gotten much larger, and the interpersonal relationships have grown exponentially. While the relationship between our two main Gilmore Girls remains central to everything that happens in the show, there’s a whole lot more going on here. A diagram of relationships on the show begins to look like a fractal image, a dramatic snowflake.
As we left off in Season 5, Rory had been arrested for stealing a yacht with Logan, after allowing Logan’s father, Mitchum Huntzberger, to destroy her confidence in herself. Afterward, Rory announces she’s quitting Yale and moves in with Emily and Richard. An emotional Lorelai asks Luke to marry her, but we’re left with a cliffhanger for his answer.
Which, as Season 6 begins, is “Yes,” of course.
More on that in a moment. Back to the topic at hand. Mother. Or, to be more precise, mothers, in the plural.
There are a lot of mothers on this show. Lorelai Gilmore is our main character, always: Our main mother, so to speak. Everyone else on the show intersects with Lorelai in some manner. Then there’s her mother, Emily Gilmore. There’s Mrs. Kim, the mother of Lane Kim, Rory’s best friend. Sookie St. James, the co-owner and chef at the Dragonfly Inn, Lorelai’s workplace, is now a mother of two. Anna Nardini, one of Luke’s old girlfriends, is mother to 12-year-old April, a daughter Logan never knew about. Liz Danes, Luke’s sister, is also Jess’s mother.
I’m sure I’ve left others out. This is a mother-heavy show.
This gives you some idea of what the call sheet must have looked like back with the show was in production, because each of these mothers had other characters in their lives. And so on. And so on. Just like that old shampoo commercial.
Lots of stuff happens in this season. A lot of it emotionally manipulative. I stopped watching This Is Us during its second season because it was blatantly manipulating my emotions. But, I’m going to finish watching Gilmore Girls even though it’s guilty of the same thing. When I asked myself why, I came up with an answer that satisfied me. I like the characters on this show more than I like the ones on This Is Us. I feel more invested in these characters, and care about what happens to them more. Of course, if Luke Danes dies after inhaling too much smoke while rescuing Lorelai’s dog in a house fire, I’d probably stop watching this, too.
Because you know that drama requires complications, some of what happens is predictable. Even so . . .SPOILERS.
Lorelai and Luke do not get married this season. Here’s the way things play out. Since Lorelai and Rory are fighting as the season begins, a stressful situation for everyone involved including the viewer (me), they decide to delay the marriage until mother and daughter reconcile. The reconciliation doesn’t take place for around five months, but then things are complicated because Luke has discovered that he has the aforementioned daughter, April, a fact he hides from Lorelai for a couple of months. I anticipated complications, but April was just as much a surprise to me as she was to Luke. Even though they had set a wedding date, Lorelai and Luke postpone it while he’s getting to know his daughter. Lorelai tries to be okay with this, but she isn’t. During the season finale, she gives Luke an ultimatum to elope with her. He needs time to think. Lorelai ends up in Christopher’s bed that night.
Oh, Lorelai also gets a dog during the season. He has many psychological problems, and she names him Paul Anka. He’s not rescued from a house fire.
Rory, meanwhile, in addition to dealing with her problems with Lorelai, has to serve her 300 hours of community service for stealing the yacht. And, she has to deal with Emily and Richard Gilmore as she lives in their pool house. She takes a job Emily gets for her at the DAR. Eventually, she has a falling out with Emily, gaining a fuller understanding of her mother’s own relationship with Emily, and moves out, returning to Yale and reconciling with Lorelai. She lives with Paris Gellar and her boyfriend Doyle for a while. Then later moves in with Logan, with whom she has the predictable on-again, off-again, on-again relationship. She also has a brief falling out with Paris after taking her place as editor of the Yale newspaper. Late in the season, Logan gets seriously injured pulling some stupid, drunken stunt and she nurses him back to health in time to see him graduate from Yale and, in the season finale, leave for a year in London.
There is one wedding this season, though. Lane Kim marries her bandmate Zach after they, of course, break up and make up again. I like Lane Kim and her band, Hep Alien, which features Sebastian Bach, who is a decent actor, it turns out, as long as he’s playing a wannabe rock star.
This season ends on a downer. Lorelai has cheated on Luke with the father of her only child. Rory has said goodbye to Logan Huntzberger, her One True Love.
One more season to go. Then the Netflix reboot.
But, seriously, folks. This is a great show. You should watch it.