Review: Gilmore Girls – Season 2, Episode 18 “Back in the Saddle Again”

My first instinct upon seeing the title of this episode was to post Aerosmith’s “Back in the Saddle Again.” But it’s played out! It’s been done! It’s totes over! So I’ll link to the Aerosmith song that 12-year-old Jen would listen to on repeat for hours once the object of her affections (unrequited, of course) got a girlfriend:

I think most people my age had an Aerosmith phase. If you didn’t, that means you are better than me.

Why is Edward Herrmann always billed as “Special Appearance By…” in the credit sequence? It must have something to do with his contract but it’s more fun to pretend it’s a tinfoil hat conspiracy, like the Illuminati or aliens or the Alien Illuminati.

The girls go to Luke’s and harass him about his “new special.” Once every 18 years Luke decides to change shit up. I hope this doesn’t mean he’s uncreative in bed. As much as I would like Luke and Lorelai to fuck, I don’t think she’d be happy with utilitarian missionary every other night precisely at 8:45 p.m. (What if he didn’t take off the baseball hat? Perfunctory hat-clad boning? Ick.)

As they discuss the sign, Rory tells Lorelai that the handwriting on the chalkboard is Broody’s – she knows because he borrowed her book and wrote things in the margins. Every teacher I’ve ever had has recommended writing in the margins of books – it’s supposed to make you a more careful and attentive reader. I’ve never been able to do it because my handwriting is terrible. I spend more time trying to decipher my previous margin note than I do reading the book.

Floppy shows up and you have never seen a girl more excited to see her boyfriend. Except not. Rory is all “I’M NOT THINKING ABOUT BROODY AND I DEFINITELY DID NOT HAVE A DREAM ABOUT SLEEPING WITH HIM IN THE BACK OF THE CAR FLOPPY BOUGHT ME!!!!”

At school, Rory works with the same group of Chilton students that she always works with to come up with a product for an upcoming business fair. No wonder Lorelai had to borrow money for her tuition – there’s like 7 kids in the entire school. It’s not very cost-effective. They also need a business advisor and it can’t be a mom because, like, MOMS don’t WORK! EL OH EL, SILLY!! WORK IS FOR MEN AND KITCHENS ARE FOR WOMEN!! Only people with vaginas can enter home kitchens! If a guy walks into a home kitchen it’ll be like that scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom where the big boulder is set loose and almost flattens him.

“I just wanted a Sprite!!” 

They decide to ask Lorelai for her help. I hope her ovaries don’t make her forget math.

Rory asks Lorelai to help and Lorelai is all, “…but I have a vagina. You know who doesn’t? Your male grandpa and his business-enabling penis.”

Rory asks Spacey Grandpa for help but he says no. Then there is yelling by Judgy WASP Mom. It’s dumb because we all know he’s going to come through in the end. Rory said the word “business”! That’s Richard Gilmore’s Bloody Mary-esque summons!

Then there’s some more “Rory pulling away from Floppy” stuff but I’m too distracted by the really tall building in the background of the shot to care.

Spacey Grandpa does indeed show up to advise Rory’s group. He doesn’t seem very excited about the meeting, but he’s just playing coy. He loves business. He’s Bob Executive!!! And he doesn’t disappoint when he falls head over heels in love with Paris’s first aid kit for teens. This moment may be one of the best performances by Edward Herrmann in the show so far. It’s so simple and understated but he speaks volumes about his character with nothing but tone of voice and limited movements. He uses a “are you kidding me?” tone to ask Paris if she really thinks her product will attract teenagers. It’s the same tone so many executive men use – confident, clipped, straight to the point – and then, just like those men, he turns it on a dime to show that he was just making sure she had thought the idea through because he loves it. Richard Gilmore knows his shit and you really believe he’s spent decades in boardrooms. It’s very well done and it speaks to Hermann’s talent as an actor that he got that much out of such a basic moment.

At home, Lorelai is reading Motley Crue’s The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band. I worked at a bookstore when this book came out. We had a million copies and had to send 98% of them back to the publisher…only to have them return as bargain books we couldn’t sell.

I bet she's reading about Tommy Lee's monster dong.

She’s reading about Tommy Lee’s monster dong.

Floppy has left a million messages for Rory but she can’t understand why he’s acting the way he’s acting. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that she’s pulled away from him and is giving him the coldest of cold shoulders. Later, Lorelai finds Floppy washing Rory’s car while she’s off doing school work. Lorelai makes him sit at a kitchen table he barely fits at and gives him the “BACK OFF FLOPPY” lecture. He doesn’t get it. This poor, poor boy. He needs his girlfriend’s mom to lay out the “I need space!” groundwork. And really, this is a conversation Rory needs to have with him. Not Lorelai. It’s not her place even if she means well.

During the finals for the school project, Spacey Grandpa gets very into the project. They lose and he freaks, taking it so far as to yell at the Head Master.

Everyone is embarrassed. Lorelai goes as far as to suggest that he needs therapy. Judgy WASP Mom won’t hear it as she comes from the generation that doesn’t believe in therapy. They are also the generation that would benefit the most from it.

Spacey Grandpa isn’t embarrassed, though. He knows that he needs Business. It is his one true love and he decides to go into business for himself. He needs to feel productive, just like all retired people. Good for you, Spacey Grandpa.

Rory gets a page (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Pagers.) from Floppy but she doesn’t bother trying to call him back. I’m not a huge Floppy fan but my heart breaks for this kid. She doesn’t realize she’s dragging his heart through the mud (or why she’s doing it) and all he can do is sit there and hope it’ll pass. (It won’t.) Rory goes to Lane’s and Lorelai is left to deal with the emotionally devastated teenage boy sitting awkwardly on her front porch. He’s finally figured out that Rory likes Broody and I’m overwhelmed with the urge to hug Floppy. This upsets me.


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