Review: Gilmore Girls – Season 3, Episode 18 “Happy Birthday, Baby”

The episode opens with Spacey Grandpa serving everyone a big giant helping of “Johnny Machete.” It’s a bunch of crap in a bowl, like gruel or one of those horrible “dump dinner” things.

Good for that lady for making money, but “dump” dinners? Have you ever met a teenage boy? Or someone who has the mind of one?

Rory tells everyone that she’s decided to go to Yale. Spacey Grandpa and Judgy WASP Mom don’t react at first. It figures – last time the subject of Yale came up Lorelai ruined Thanksgiving. Once they’re assured that Lorelai isn’t going to flip a table or body slam anyone through a window, they celebrate the only way they know how – champagne and gloating to their friends.

Lorelai is trying to unfuck the Inn by holding a meeting with all the employees. The night manager walks in and he’s played by the guy from Kids in the Hall. Michele freaks out and says he can’t be in the same room with him. This is obviously because they are former lovers who had a very messy breakup.

They met when Tobin moved to town to take the night manager job – Michele showed him around, they went boating on the tiny lake, they ate scones from Westons. As the sun set over the strangely California-esque mountains lining the town, they shared a kiss full of passion and promise.

Then it all went wrong. Tobin was more laid back, more accepting of people for who they were while Michele derived his pleasure from snark and smarm. Tobin wanted a pug they could take to the park after brunch on Sundays, Michele destested animals due to their “body fur.” But the sex was amazing and it always seemed any differences could be overcome when Michele pressed his lips to Tobin’s jugular and entwined their fingers on top of the tangle of egyptian cotton sheets.

Finally, after too many fights and too little common ground, Tobin took his things – including the quilt his grandmother made him (and Michele hated) – and moved out. Hot tears scalded angry tracks down his cheeks as he moved his things into the ramshackle cottage behind the Inn. Sprawled on the sagging mattress, he vowed never to risk his heart so foolishly again.

At home, Lorelai is creating a “do this shit for my birthday” list for Luke. Luke, who is a sucker, gives Lorelai 5 free hours of handyman work every year for her birthday. The “free” part is hilarious – everything he does for Lorelai is free. She doesn’t even pay for her food!

Paris calls Rory. She hasn’t been back to school yet and she’s going crazy. Rory tells her to do something crazy, which to Paris probably means reading a romance novel or playing Tetris for the first time.

Maybe Paris will read these. (Disclosure – I found the first one at a Goodwill. I bought it. I read it. It was RIDICULOUS. AND THERE’S A SERIES????? OMG.) 

Spacey Grandpa schedules a coffee meeting with Lorelai for the next day while Rory runs out to plan a birthday party for Lorelai. Rory’s party planning includes the world’s biggest pizza and a four-foot chocolate cake with cupcakes on top of it and 19 pounds of frosting. Lorelai eats like Michael Phelps.

On the way out of the bakery, Rory runs into Broody. He’s rented Almost Famous for the 86th time and he’s going to Clockwork Orange Rory’s eyes and force her to watch it. Again. Broody then tells Rory exactly how far Stars Hollow is from Yale, and then he has to deliver the line “Do you Yahoo!?”

Milo Ventimiglia realizing him saying , "Do you Yahoo!?" was captured on camera.

Milo Ventimiglia realizing him saying , “Do you Yahoo!?” was captured on camera.

At the diner, Pretty Lawyer asks Luke to meet her parents. He hems and haws until Broody steps in to tell him to meet her parents. Broody tells Luke to go meet the parents. Broody. Suddenly he’s the one giving the advice that is sorely needed. Luke agrees to meet her parents and Broody goes to “school”. What he really does, and what Luke catches him doing, is pretend to go to school but then run to his car.

Aside – does anyone else find Pretty Lawyer about as exciting as Discount Braff? Maybe they should hook up, they’re both as interesting as boiled water.

Paris finally returns to school with a giant bandage on her face. She got her nose pierced but it didn’t go well. She should have read The Ghost and the Goth. Rory’s phone rings and Gideon from The Crow needs to tell her about her weird pizza plan. Looks like the pawn shop business wasn’t for him.

Luke arrives at Lorelai’s ready to fix all sorts of crap. He tells Lorelai about his upcoming parents lunch AND that he knows Broody’s been spending time at Wal-Mart. Then there’s a scene in town between Rory and Jackson but, except for the fact that the giant dolly full of soda cans is obviously a giant dolly full of empty soda cans, I don’t care. I can only take so much Jackson and he used up his allotment last episode. I need to recharge my Jackson Tolerance stores.

At the coffee meeting, Spacey Grandpa gives Lorelai a check from the sale of a real estate holding that he purchased when she was born. When he hands her the check she says “I get $75,000 for being born???” and every sociology major goes, “hey, what a simple example of privilege!”

When she tells Rory, they talk about how they won’t have to clip coupons or pick up loose change off the ground any more. Maybe they wouldn’t have had to do those things if they didn’t eat out for every breakfast, lunch, and dinner they’ve ever eaten? Thank God Luke doesn’t charge. I bet Al does, though. Al. What a dick. Gideon from The Crow calls again because he’s maimed Kirk. He probably got tired of being the one getting stabbed by the Crow and killed by that suave as fuck boss dude who dies on the roof of the church.

I’m the villain and I died at the end but I was so fucking awesome during the movie that you were kind of sad about it. 

At the parents lunch, Pretty Lawyer and her dad are arguing over surrogacy. Then they start grilling Luke about marriage and children. Luke, instead of smiling pretty, he loses his temper about Broody and his bullshit. Later, as Luke apologizes to Pretty Lawyer, Broody freaks out because someone stole his piece of shit car. No one stole your car, Broody. $20 says Luke put it somewhere to prevent you from going to Wal-Mart. And by his little smile as he closes the door, I’m going to say I’m right.

At Friday Night Dinner, Lorelai uses some of the money her dad gave her to pay back Judgy WASP Mom for Rory’s school. This infuriates Judgy WASP Mom because everything infuriates her. She thinks this means that Lorelai won’t be coming over anymore, which was never mentioned until she brought it up. Judgy WASP Mom uses money to make people do what she wants. And she doesn’t separate it out for family – she thinks money equals love. Money equals no abandonment by her daughter – she paid for them to have a relationship and she wants what she paid for. It’s sad that she doesn’t realize that’s not how family interactions work.

Lorelai makes the mistake of telling Judgy WASP Mom where the money came from. I paused it just as they both made these faces:

Screen shot 2015-08-09 at 8.50.09 PM

Back in town, Rory tells Lorelai that she had to have known that her parents would get pissed once she paid them back. Really? I’ve been pretty much binge watching this show since January and I didn’t realize they’d react that way. Maybe it would have been better if Lorelai had been making monthly payments, but there was never an onscreen conversation where the Gilmores told Lorelai Rory’s tuition money wasn’t a loan and didn’t need to be paid back.

As they round the corner, we see this:

Screen shot 2015-08-09 at 8.58.27 PM


RIP, Pizza the Hut. They will be feasting on your flattened remains for months.


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