Review: Gilmore Girls – Season 4, Episode 19 “Afterboom”

Judging by the title of this episode, we’re about to see how everything shakes out after underhanded dealings of Spacey Grandpa and Distant Dad. I can only hope this means Lorelai and Digger, A Sack Full of Spoiled Edamame Shells, are officially over.


Luke runs into Lorelai on his way to get his divorce papers notarized. Lorelai is appalled that someone would do something as significant as sign divorce papers in a mailbox store. Lorelai, you conceived a person on a balcony. Significant shit can happen anywhere.

At Lane’s, she’s fallen into the role of surrogate caregiver for her roommates/bandmates, which just happens to have a huge gender role component to it. They aren’t “reliable” enough to manage the guest list, so that’s her job. They forget to go shopping for food, so that’s her job. These things become her job because she’s a woman. I’m not saying this was done maliciously – in fact, I’d wager that her roommates consider themselves rather progressive and would say they see Lane as an equal. I’d guess that herself Lane doesn’t even realize what’s just happened. She’d probably agree that her roommates are just “unreliable” without realizing they’re unreliable because men are allowed to be unreliable about insignificant household-related things. Women are not – we’re expected to remember to go shopping and manage the lists and do all the other logistical stuff that makes life operate. If we don’t, someone (usually another woman!) will criticize us for not being “responsible” or whatever.

This is how gender roles, and by extension the patriarchy, are perpetuated. Guys get to “forget” to do something that needs to be done (which just happens to be something no one actually wants to do), that task falls to a woman because women are trained to place the needs of others before their own. This task becomes “woman’s work” and is seen to hold no value (because a woman is doing it), so men don’t do it because they think it’s beneath them. Since men won’t do it women pick up the slack because the task needs to be done and if they don’t act they’re guilted into. Rinse and repeat.

Lane, step one in the Small Steps to Smashing the Patriarchy handbook – DO NOT RUN OUT AND BUY FOOD FOR YOUR ROOMMATES IF THEY FORGET. They forgot? Man, sucks to be them. Step 2 – since your roommates have a pattern for “forgetting” to shop, only buy food for yourself. To prevent them from eating your food, keep it locked in your room. Invest in a mini fridge for said room. People are going to call you mean and selfish and cold and a bitch, that is ok. You aren’t trying to be mean, you are simply tying to make something that affects all of you (yet, somehow, seemed to be  only your problem) their problem too. They’re grown, able-bodied men who are quite capable of feeding themselves. You are not their mother. Do not allow yourself to become the house caregiver.


The insidious thing about getting designated as the person who runs the household is it’s a time suck. All that time you now need to spend cleaning or shopping or managing lists is time you cannot spend on getting better at drums or writing songs or networking with clubs and other musicians. All that time you’re spending facilitating your roommates home life is time they get to spend working on things that actually matter.  Take that time back, Lane.

Of course, had she taken my advice she wouldn’t have been able to see her mother doting on Lane pt. 2, which she could have seen for any other reason besides “buying menfolk food” (like, walking to work? Shopping for herself, buying that mini fridge I mentioned? Going to meet Rory at Luke’s for coffee?)

Digger, A Kink In a Garden Hose, drives to the Inn to tell Lorelai that her father is a huge dick. Lorelai is all,


He’s completely fucked Diggy D over and his reputation is ruined. At the moment I truly dislike Richard Gilmore, King of Capitalism, but I’m not holding him 100% responsible for Digger’s shitty reputation. The guy comes off underhanded and slimy – I’m sure most people whose names don’t start with L can figure that out for themselves.

At Yale, Posh McBookington is giving a reading of his new book and a bunch of young, impressionable girls have turned out to swoon. Paris thinks the dedication in his book is about her, but is so vague it could be about anyone as long as they identify as female. Paris, honey, you aren’t going to want to hear this but – that description is intentionally vague because he wants to be able to walk up to any woman he knows and say “This dedication is about you.” It is the “You’re So Vain” of book dedications.




Meanwhile, Lorelai and Spacey Grandpa get into an argument over Digger and how Spacey Grandpa basically destroyed his life. When Lorelai says Digger is talking about moving her father tells her to go with him, as if Lorelai’s career doesn’t matter as much as some greasy dude’s. He accuses her of not caring what happened to him or Judgy WASP Mom. This is myopic on Spacey Grandpa’s part. Yes, Lorelai cares. But her argument is that there were other ways to avoid destitute Gilmores than completely fucking over someone else. Spacey Grandpa, King of Capitalism, can’t (or won’t) see that, because to really succeed under a capitalist system you have to fuck over a whole lot of people.


When the girls show up to Friday Night Dinner (despite Lorelai’s repeated protests), the elder Gilmores are scattered and unprepared. The dinner is rushed and weird, and when the girls leave they catch Judgy WASP Mom  putting dry cleaning in her car and driving away. Lorelai wonders if this means that her mom isn’t staying at her house. She does some digging and discovers that yes, her mother did move out and is currently staying in a hotel.

This is masterful storytelling. The problems in the Gilmore marriage have been bubbling under the surface for awhile. This story has been allowed to grow under the surface of the show and we’ve only see glimpses of  it. It’s sort of an “Iceberg Story” – there’s a story you’re telling on the surface, but the real story is happening beneath the action. In the show, we’re seeing pieces of what lies beneath. It only bubbles up occasionally, but when it does the viewer can see how everything happening in the surface story is influenced by what’s happening underneath. Bravo, Gilmore Girls. Well done.

After Lane’s gig, she gets sad because no one is there to see her play. This turns her into a creepy stalker who enters a house at night to watch her mother sleep. I do feel for Lane as she feels like she doesn’t have anyone who cares about her. Rory is too busy and Mrs. Kim ordered another daughter off the internet. Poor Lane. Here, have a hug:


Later, as Lorelai and Digger, 19 Scratched CDs On The Floor Of A Corolla, talk about Lorelai’s parents, Digger announces that he’s going to sue Spacey Grandpa. Lorelai rolls her eyes and is completely over dudes who think capitalism is more important that people. What happened to Digger is bullshit. Suing Spacey Grandpa is not going to rectify this. So they break up. Or I HOPE they break up. He’s awful. BOO, DIGGER THE HUMAN TRASH CAN. BOO!


Other things that happen in this episode:

  • Lane runs after Lane pt. 2 and scares her.
  • Rory tells Posh McBookington that she better be earning her grades on her own merit and not because Paris is letting him borrow her vagina.
  • Rory body shames one of the girls from the reading by saying she has “fat thighs.” Nice one, Rory. I’m glad your immunity to calories makes you feel that you’re better than other people.

6 thoughts on “Review: Gilmore Girls – Season 4, Episode 19 “Afterboom”

  1. Although Jason is not my favourite character, I must say that I’m on his side this episode. What Richard did to him was horrible and totally without decency. If my father did something like that to a stranger I would be horrified, let alone to someone I am dating. Lorelai only seems mildly upset about the whole affair and let’s herself be gaslighted when Richard turns the blame on her and makes it seem like she is not supportive of her family. That’s typically what emotionally abusive people do whenever they are faced with any kind of criticism. God forbid that they should be held accountable for their actions.
    Then later Lorelai goes on ranting to Jason about how her parents are separated or whatever with total disregard of the fact that he might not care to hear about someone who screwed him over so recently. And when changes the topic to him and announces that he has decided to get out of victim-mode and try to salvage his losses, she completely abandons him. Way to go, Lorelai. Maybe suing Richard is not the best idea, but she doesn’t come up with any other helpful solutions either.
    I hope Richard has an aweful time back at his old firm.

    • Richard really was a terrible monster in this episode. I never felt the same way about him after this – he’s a jerk who didn’t really deserve the goodwill he garnered.

  2. just found your wonderful site out of a marathon re-watch of Gilmore Girls this weekend and a deep need to vent/connect/cocktail with other humans after this episode…old capitalist monster war on young capitalist off-spring and Lorelei’s need to dump Digger (yay!) but worst reason ever. thank you for these hilarious, beautifully written recap/reviews!!

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