Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life - Spring
By Felix Quinonez Jr.
December 12, 2016
And the sudden appearance of Tristan, her high school crush, throws Paris for a loop. Suddenly, old emotions come rushing to the surface and Paris has one of her famous meltdowns. Feeling vulnerable, she opens up to Rory about the fact that she can't connect with her children and that she misses Doyle (Danny Strong). It's a heartfelt and moving moment. But it's also a bit of a relief. Up until now the show only focused on the façade that Paris presents to the world. And although that's entertaining, it's also one-dimensional.
On the other hand, Rory's moment comes while she addresses a class full of students. The scene is powerful and conveys a lot without actually saying it. Although she does a great job and it's clear that she connects with the students, there is an undercurrent of sadness to her speech. It's as if being back in her old stomping grounds has reminded Rory how bright her future once seemed. Now 32, she realizes that her life hasn't turned out the way she hoped it would.
But unfortunately, it doesn't take long for Rory to squander any goodwill she earned from that scene. After several postponements, she uses her connections to set up a meeting with Conde Nast that sticks. She had been talking about this for a while, so it was clearly important to her. But she bafflingly shows up completely unprepared. It's hard to decide if she's really naïve or egotistical. But at least part of the blame has to fall on Bledel's performance. She comes off more like a nervous high school freshman interviewing for a spot on the school paper than someone who has been working for almost a decade. In fact, her interviewers do most of the talking, lavishing praise on her. It perpetuates the show's bad habit of telling the viewers what a great journalist Rory is without ever showing any concrete proof.
And it only gets worse for Rory when Naomi Shropshire's lawyer calls to officially dissolve their partnership. This leads Rory to impetuously tackle an assignment that was briefly mentioned at her meeting with Conde Nast.
Luckily for the viewer, this means a trip to New York City with Lorelai. It's always great to see Rory and Lorelai having fun together. Their chemistry and banter are reliably strong. Lorelai especially shines, and her enthusiasm and joy are infectious to those around her. The scene is also a reminder of the fact that the two of them have been apart for a surprisingly large portion of the first two episodes.
Unfortunately, the trip to NYC also serves as reminder that Rory is not a very good reporter. She falls asleep while interviewing someone and then later has sex with a guy she was supposed to interview. But at least she realizes she's messing things up, and it leads to a great mother/daughter moment back at their hotel.
As usual with Gilmore Girls, the pleasure is mixed with pain. The earlier scene shows the girls having a lighthearted fun time, but the hotel room scene is the dramatic, melancholy companion piece. Rory confides with her mother about feeling lost but more important, she finally comes clean about Logan.