Ah springtime. When things bloom, and new life returns to the Earth. Stars Hollow is no different, so without further ado, here is the spoiler-laden recap for Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, Episode 2, “Spring.“
The episode cold opens with Lorelai and Emily sitting on a taupe couch. You almost expect to hear a record scratch with a voice-over saying, “I’m Lorelai Gilmore. Let me tell you how I got here.” Instead, Lorelai starts with an open apology before getting shut down by Emily. Oh the joys of family therapy. Claudia, the new therapist, assures both Gilmores that everything is allowed, short of physical confrontation. Both Lorelai and Emily are concerned with who is winning, while poor Claudia has to play referee while taking notes in her confidential notebook. (Although I can’t be the only one who would love to read that book.)
Welcome to spring in Stars Hollow.
Cut to Luke, Lorelai, and Rory walking through Stars Hollow and an International Food Festival. Taylor is upset because out of 195 countries, only 15 showed up. Poland didn’t give Kazakhstan a ride, Brazil’s niece had a soccer game, and 127 countries never responded. Rory heads to the Korean booth, where balbi, sikhyi, bibimbap, and bulgogi are being offered. Mrs. Kim shows up with a quintet of new Korean choir singers, attempting to whip them into shape before heading out on the circuit (remember, Mrs. Kim is who arranged Hep Alien’s first real tour).
Rory gets a call from Sandee Martin, the editor at the SandeeSays website, who has plans to take over Huffpo and needs Rory to do it. Rory is clearly not interested, but is distantly polite.
Cut to Lorelai and Luke bidding on the annual basket tradition, where Lorelai bids on a basket (against herself, even). We zip back to Rory, where we get a glimpse of Mr. Kim, making his on-screen debut. Jackson has a booth at the festival as well, but there’s still no sign of Sookie.
Across the pond, Rory is dealing with Naomi Shropshire, who wants to forgo a biography and write a children’s book about a whale and a rabbit. Watching Alex Kingston chew her way through this part is huge fun. After a fun business lunch, she heads over to have lunch with Logan. Mitchum Huntzberger appears and graciously offers to help Rory nail down her meeting with Condé Nast. Mitch then casually drops the bomb that Logan is engaged to a girl in another country. And Rory is still seeing him. Didn’t she learn anything about these kind of affairs in Season 5?
Back in Stars Hollow, we get to sit in on the first Town Hall of the year. After a joke about a gay pride parade that doesn’t quite work, we get to what’s really troubling Taylor. The neighboring town of Woodbury has a movie filming there, and all of the A-listers are staying there, while Stars Hollow and the Dragonfly are playing host to all the B-listers. This means that Stars Hollow is missing out on the added revenue.
Someone else who hates the B-listers is Michel, who raises the point that the Dragonfly is smaller and doesn’t have suites or mini-fridges or a spa. Michel thinks that the Dragonfly has peaked, and Lorelai isn’t sure if there isn’t something to that. Luke assures her that this isn’t the case and that if something is good, why change it?
Fast forward to next week’s therapy session, where we see a snippet of Lorelai and Emily laughing and bonding over someone named Trombone Stan. After that brief moment of levity, Emily reveals that she’s still angry about Lorelai getting pregnant and running away, and brings up other issues that Lorelai thought were resolved or insignificant. Emily then brings up a letter that she believes that Lorelai wrote to her mother on her birthday. Lorelai says that she has no recollection of this and tries to storm out of the therapy session, even though it’s already over.
Later that week, the town attends a movie at Kirk and Lulu’s Black, White, and Read theatre, which also screens Kirk’s second short film, “a second film by kirk.” During the movie, Luke’s cellphone rings with a call from Emily, who invites him over to a dinner.
There’s a cute interlude where Lorelai spends a moment bonding with Rachel Ray over “sammies,” and about Michel possibly finding a new job in New York. A final moment that ends as Lorelai fires Rachel (again, because she’s no Sookie).
Then it’s dinner time with Emily. Emily gives Luke some surprising news. Before Richard died, he set up a trust for Luke with more than just a little money in it. There’s a typical Gilmore-catch, however. The money can only be used to franchise and expand Luke’s Diner. Luke seems shell shocked and is quickly bowled over by Emily’s forceful personality into agreeing to see some properties with a real estate broker.
The next day, Rory heads back to Chilton with Paris. There’s plenty of nostalgia, and we get a striking look at the difference between the two as they speak to separate classes. Rory tells an amusing story about “stealth electives,” and how a music composition course made an impact. Paris reduces half of her class to tears. Along the way we see Francie, who rubs it in Paris’ face that she wasn’t Puffed, and Tristan, who Paris still has a flame for. Headmaster Charleston tells Rory that she has an open offer at Chilton to teach whatever subject she likes (except musical comp).
After a short glimpse into Paris’ home life where she lives in a five-story New York townhouse and a cameo by Doyle, Rory breaks down and calls Logan to take Mitchum up on his offer to set up the meeting with Condé Nast. Of course, the cute interlude is made worse by the presence of someone in Logan’s bed and Logan’s constant glances backward to make sure they aren’t waking up. After a short meeting with the head of GQ, Rory’s future seems to be looking up.
Cue a Lorelai segment where she shows up to therapy, but her mother isn’t there. Despite some misgivings, Lorelai sits down and tells the story of how Richard died. He had a big heart attack and never recovered. His last words were an angry, “Get the hell away from me!” directed at the nurses. Lorelai mentions that neither she, nor her mom got that Lifetime movie moment of connection.
Emily shows up at the diner with her real estate agent in tow and drags Luke out on a tour of properties for his eventual expansion and franchisement. Along the tour, Emily mentions that she isn’t going to therapy anymore. He seems a little bewildered that Lorelai didn’t tell him about that and asks her how therapy with her mom is going. Lorelai lies to him, telling him that everything is still going the same, with Emily still dominating the conversations. Lorelai asks about the nice shirt he’s wearing, and Luke says that he went to the bank. And just like that, there’s a new April-sized hole in their relationship.
Cut to Rory back at Paris’ townhouse. Naomi Shropshire has her lawyer call Rory to dissolve their book contract and request that all of her notes get returned. That call makes Rory call GQ and offer to write a piece for them purely on spec. One that’s going to knock their socks off about people who stand in lines. She then calls Lorelai and invites her up to New York to spend the day together, throwing in some stress tap dancing to boot.
A day of standing in lines follows with Rory interviewing people standing in line for a cro-dough-cake, tennis shoes, limited-edition toys, and some people standing in line for absolutely nothing. Along the way, there’s a reference to the infamous zombie McDonalds and a guest appearance by Mae Whitman (who played Lauren Graham’s daughter in the television show, Parenthood.) Lorelai heads back to the hotel, leaving Rory in line for the toys.
Later that night, she returns to Lorelai and starts ranting about how she had a one-night stand with a Wookie. That was her first one-nighter, and she feels left behind. She then confesses to her mom that she’s seeing Logan, and admits that she’s flailing without a list or a clue. And her lucky outfit has been sitting in Lorelai’s closet this entire time. Along the way, she decides that maybe she should take the interview with SandeeSays; having something steady would be nice.
The interview with SandeeSays doesn’t go as well. During a meeting with the CEO, Sandee, Rory gets asked to pitch herself. Rory is caught flatfooted, and much like her mother, doesn’t respond well when she doesn’t have time to prepare. While there’s no stories about her grandfather, she does fumble enough that Sandee fakes an emergency text and cuts the meeting short.
On her way out, Rory gets a call from Sandee telling her that they’ve decided to go with an internal promotion. A hilarious argument ensues, with Rory’s final comeback being, “Get….Shorty!”
The final shot of “Spring” shows Rory pulling all of her belongings back into Lorelai’s house, exclaiming, “Moving home!”
Fade to black with the chorus of Anita O’Day’s version of “Pick Yourself Up” playing in the background as Lorelai ponders what exactly is happening.
“Spring” isn’t the strongest episode in the quartet of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, but it serves as a very strong bridge between the nostalgic euphoria of “Winter” and what’s to come. Much like many episodes written and directed by Daniel Palladino, this episode sets up a lot of powder kegs that are just waiting to blow.
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life is currently available to stream on Netflix.
[Featured Image by Netflix]