Review: Gilmore Girls – Season 7, Episode 18 “Hay Bale Maze”



ADR’d Michele and Sookie fight over schedules and the placement of those schedules in the Spring Fling baskets. There will also be a hay bale maze because Taylor wants one. Instead of seeing Taylor beg the town for a hay bale maze, Lorelai recounts it to Sookie and Michele. In no way to I believe for a second that Taylor almost cried and recounted his childhood dreams of wandering unencumbered through a maze of hay…but if he DID I want to see it! I don’t want to hear about him clutching handfuls of hay and almost crying secondhand!

Side note – why would you have a hay bale maze during a spring celebration? Aren’t all things hay left for fall?

Smarmy is having breakfast over at Rory’s place and he commits the sin of finishing one of the five milk cartons hanging out in the fridge. Paris is very pissed about this even-numbered milk carton catastrophe currently affecting her fridge.

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Smarmy is also getting his mail at Rory’s place. Does he live with Rory now? Does he no longer have money? Was that part of leaving him dad’s firm – you can’t live in your place or have access to your bank account? Apparently he’s living there because his dad’s company was paying the rent on his apartment. I’m sure the assistants and grunts doing the actual work and janitors and mail room people aren’t getting their apartments picked up by the company. I’m sure they weren’t making a tenth of Smarmy’s salary, either.

Poochie is back in town and she’s brought with her a Rory Gilmore amount of reading material AND a Rory-like respect for KNOWLEDGE and LEARNING.

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Not one kid on this show is a C student who loves lacross? Ok…

Rory brings Smarmy to Stars Hollow. Apparently he’s never been? In all the years of dating she’s never taken him to Stars Hollow? He’s never seen her house? They’ve been together for two years and it’s not like they live on the other side of the country.

Smarmy wants to fuck in her childhood bedroom and Rory acts all shocked as if she’s never had sex in her twin bed before. “What? Here? Oh, I do declare Mr. Smarmy! I do declare!”

She takes Smarmy for some post-sex food at Luke’s where they run into Zach. We learn that the twins were named Kwan and Steve, which is adorable. Rory is freaked out because the lady she interviewed with hasn’t called her back when she said she would. That’s normal. Besides, who can worry when you have such a great outfit on?

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Smarmy is wearing a jacket that my father would wear. My father is a senior citizen.

Later, Lorelai tells Sookie that she still isn’t crazy about Smarmy. Same, girl. Same. But she’s a little hypocritical in her criticisms of him, which is unneccessary because there is so. much. to. hate. about Smarmy. She doesn’t like that he did a business deal that lost millions of dollars behind his dad’s back. Meh. I don’t really care about that considering that Poppa Smarmy probably did that and worse to his own father. Then she says that she doesn’t like that he quit his job and moved in with Rory. Rory’s been unemployed since, what, season 5? She got kicked out of Paris’s apartment after winning the editor job at the Yale Daily News and had to move in with Smarmy, where she didn’t pay a cent in rent. She’s used Smarmy’s New York place like a hotel whenever she needed to be in the city. That’s all ok, but Smarmy living with Rory after hitting some “hard times” (in quotes because we all know Smarmy isn’t going to have a bank account  with a balance under the high seven figures for long) is somehow not ok. She acts like Smarmy is just another one of those dudes who mooches off his girlfriend for decades while he tries to find himself. For all of Smarmy’s faults, he’s not a mooch. He’s spent a lot of money on his friends and on Rory, he let her live in his apartment – RENT FREE – while he was in London, and he’s introduced her to people who can springboard her career. Lorelai forgets all of that because he’s committed the sin of being unemployed for 6 weeks.

At the town meeting, Lorelai says hi to Poochie without getting written permission from Proto Lorelai. I bet Proto Lorelai will burst a blood vessel in her eye once she learns of how many adults Poochie is around right now – ADULTS SHE DOESN’T KNOW!!

Look at them. Look at all those unknown adults that are around Proto Lorelai’s kid!

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Luke is obviously the worst father for not calling Proto Lorelai first and informing her that Poochie would be near this unkempt mass of humanity.

The meeting gets underway and Taylor admits that he spent the entire budget on the hay maze (which Taylor would never do. If there is one thing Taylor is, it’s a stickler for tradition.) Then this happens:

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Smarmy makes dinner for Lorelai. She wants an explanation for where he learned to cook, while I want an explanation for why his belt is like this:

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Rory gets the job at the Providence Journal Courier Independent Paper because there is literally nothing Rory doesn’t get. I like that her criminal record (only to be expunged 5 years after the end of her probation) doesn’t hinder her ability to land any job she wants. Rory, never happy with her success, is hemming and hawing over how maybe she doesn’t want the job and maybe she doesn’t want to live in a college town and maybe it’s not the best job she could get.


Lorelai and Smarmy argue over what is best for Rory (Smarmy may actually be right in this case just because Rory is so young and more able to bounce back from a bad decision.) Later, they run into each other in the kitchen in the middle of the night. They don’t act like two people who don’t like each other. No, they act like two people who are attracted to each other but are keeping their distance because they don’t want to hurt the person they both have in common. Smarmy tells Lorelai that he really is a solid guy and he just wants to do what she did when she turned her back on her family’s money and still ended up rich.

Everything is good between Lorelai and Smarmy and now Smarmy has to have a heart to heart with Rory where he comes off as a good dude. It’s like there’s a switch in his back and he’s either a complete asshole or a good dude depending on if the switch has been flipped or not. He tells her that she needs to make her decision based on what’s good for her and not worry about him. This is remarkably similar to the conversation my husband and I had before we both moved to LA. We weren’t married yet and we didn’t want the other to feel obligated to move to Los Angeles for the other. We needed to decided to stay in Boston or move to LA based on what was best for us as individuals. That conversation would be different today as we’re married now and we need to do what’s best for us as a couple, but when you’re not legally bound to another person you need to do what’s right for you. Even if it hurts.

Then we learn that this episode was written specifically to get this shot of Smarmy and Rory:

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The hay bales in the spring. Taylor spending the entire budget on hay. Rory and her choice. It’s all done so we can get this specific shot of these two characters. I don’t know how I feel about it. It’s good because everything in the story has been laid out to facilitate this moment. That’s textbook writing. But it’s also a little heavy-handed for the Gilmore Girls. And it’s obvious that this is probably the point the writer started from (“Rory and Smarmy at a crossroads!”) and then they worked their way back to fill in the rest of the story using familiar Gilmore Girls tropes. Again, this is good, especially if you’re a writer working on an existing show and you need to make your story fit into this pre-established world. Still, I’m unsure if this works for me. Maybe if I couldn’t see the writing framework it would work better?

Lorelai is having trouble finding her way through the maze. She keeps coming to dead ends! I’m sure this was in no way intentional to show us how she’s lost! Then she runs into Luke. Lorelai says she’s sorry, and then Luke makes this face:

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ROTFLMAO. Holy shit. This is the funniest moment of this show to date.

Lorelai says she’s sorry for banging C-Money. Luke apologizes for everything about Poochie and her continued existence in the show. Once everything is ok, that damn troubadour shows up to sing a cute little ditty about romance or whatever. I hate the troubadour. Yeah, I said it. COME AT ME BRO.





2 thoughts on “Review: Gilmore Girls – Season 7, Episode 18 “Hay Bale Maze”

  1. Hi Jen,
    I have been watching GG for the first (!) time during a rerun here in Germany. I discovered your reviews sometime during season 4 and have been enjoying them at least as much as the series itself since then. The first thing I do after watching an episode is check out your review. I was laughing out loud today at the comments on the belt and Luke’s expression at the end – your screen-shotting skills are awesome. Thanks for a good Job!

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