Review: Gilmore Girls – Season 2, Episode 4 “The Road Trip to Harvard”

Dear TV Jesus:

I am a simple woman who does not ask for much – Everyone looking beautiful and utterly destroyed by life in Mad Men, actual dragons on Game of Thrones, BabyBruce and BabySelina sharing a smile in Gotham. I am easy to please. Today I break my prayer silence to ask that this episode of the Gilmore Girls be the last episode featuring the ridiculous Discount Braff wedding plot line. I will not spend time talking about how this plot line is a desperate attempt to keep Luke and Lorelai apart while the writers work out an actual story arc for Luke’s character. I will not mention how this plot line is a stunt that really should have been pulled in a later season in a desperate attempt to keep fleeing viewers from jumping ship. And I will certainly not point out, again, that Discount Braff is one boring motherfucker who I can barely picture having coffee with Lorelai let alone doing God’s Naughty Twerk with her.

In Broadcasting’s Name We Pray,

A-Mad Men.

Lorelai and Rory are driving aimlessly up the eastern seaboard in an attempt to get as far away from anything wedding as possible. Lorelai calls Sookie to tell her the wedding is off and the way she says it indicates that she has already informed Discount Braff. I find it odd that the viewer was not privy to this scene, so I choose to believe that Discount Braff is unaware of this development.

The girls end up in Portsmouth, New Hampshire at a B&B called The Cheshire Cat. I am usually 100% on board with anything cat-themed, but B&Bs weird me the hell out. Too many floral patterns and old teacups for my liking. Lorelai agrees with me because she nearly vomits when they get stuck in The Room That Time Forgot. It’s like the Victorian era puked out wallpaper.

While trapped above the B&B’s cocktail hour, Rory asks Lorelai why she called off the wedding. Lorelai yells at Rory about how she doesn’t want to talk about it instead of saying “BECAUSE IT IS A DUMB IDEA!” Really, they could have saved so much time if they just would have come into the future and asked me what I thought.

The girls try to escape the black hole of forced friendliness that is a B&B knicknack storage area (aka lobby) but they are pulled in. Lorelai runs from over excited people making scones to call Sookie and check to see if everyone in Stars Hollow has heard the news. They have. Except for Luke. Sookie tells him and Luke is so happy he gives everyone free coffee. That’s the equivalent of Luke doing this:

Back in New Hampshire, Lorelai saves Rory from the creepy B&B trolls and asks her what she wants to do. Rory, who has been dreaming about Harvard since she was like 5, doesn’t say “go see Harvard because it’s only an hour away.” Are you sure you’re Harvard material, Rory? Lorelai thinks of it because all her higher brain functioning has come back now that Discount Braff is gone.

Once at Harvard, the show has to jump through many hoops to attempt to make things look like Harvard (Harvard doesn’t allow TV or movies to film on its campus and hasn’t since 1970.) Having lived in Boston for several years and spending a lot of time at Harvard (not for school – I am dumb), I can say they do a pretty good job.

Some brodude hits on Lorelai because he can’t tell that she’s 35. Granted, she looks good as fuck. But she doesn’t look 20. When the girls encounter other Harvard students (after somehow getting into the dorm without a key), those students don’t realize Lorelai isn’t 20. They don’t even ask her if she’s a grad student. Harvard students are dumb as fuck on this show.

So, let me tell you what Lorelai and Rory would actually do if they went to see Harvard:

  • Walk through Harvard Yard and touch the toe of the statue of John Harvard. Touching his toe is lucky, which is why it’s still shiny:

  • Probably look at the Freshman dining hall that has been around since the Civil War. You can’t get into the dining hall part of it, but if you could, you’d be all, “This literally looks like something out of Harry Potter” BECAUSE IT DOES.
  • Look at the library. Again, you can’t get into it, but if you could you’d get to see a Gutenberg Bible. If I remember correctly that particular bible was either saved from a sinking ship or donated by some guy who survived a shipwreck. I can’t remember exactly.
  • They’d go into Harvard Square and eat somewhere. May I recommend Pinocchio’s Pizza? (It’s the best pizza I’ve ever had and I am so sad I cannot eat a slice RIGHT NOW.) Or if you aren’t feeling pizza, try Mr. Bartley’s burger place. All their burgers are named after famous people.
  • You can’t go to Harvard without stopping by the independent Harvard Bookstore. Checkout the basement for an INSANE collection of bargain books! (Please note that this is not the bookstore where kids buy their textbooks, that’s the Barnes & Noble bookstore.)

Damn. I just made myself sad writing all of that. Sometimes I really miss living in Boston.

The girls pop their heads into a class. It’s being taught by a black man, which brings the total number of people of color who have appeared on this show to about 7. Rory takes a seat and starts contributing to the class in a way that no one who has ever attended one of those giant 101 college sessions would ever do. She decides she loves Harvard and her & Lorelai buy every dumb licensed product they can find to celebrate her love.

Back home, Judgy WASP Mom asks why they decided to go out-of-town so soon before the wedding. Lorelai then has to tell her that there is no wedding. She then makes this face, which I think is a requirement of all mothers:

Screen shot 2015-04-12 at 4.37.12 PM

After they escape Judgy WASP Mom, they go home to find that Lane has returned from her open-ended visit to Korea with about a million bootleg CDs. Lorelai goes to Luke’s and tells him that she is going to take the plunge and open an inn. Opening the inn is really just something for Lorelai to focus on while she tries to avoid thinking about the future, when Rory will be in college and she’ll still be living in Stars Hollow. Luke is adorable and flirty and all, “if you want to talk about what it’s like to be a business owner maybe we can talk about it over dinner and sex.” Lorelai thinks that sounds awesome.

YAY! We made it to the end! Thank you TV Jesus for ending the wedding plot! No more Discount Braff! No more dumb wedding! No more! Oh happy day!

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