Gilmore Girls Season 8 Episode 3 Review: Summer

Welcome back, Rory!

Although she swears she's not back, it's pretty clear in Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life: Summer that Stars Hollow is where Rory thrives best, even if she doesn't put the poems on the front page.

Rory's downward spiral seems to have stabilized thanks to a visit from an old friend, April makes her triumphant return, Emily's got a new man in her life, and Luke and Lorelai are headed for a break (up?).

Let's talk about how “Summer” treated the Gilmore girls.

The Gilmore Girls in Summer

The weakest, and most confusing, of the four seasons “Summer” is the season where Emily, Lorelai, and Rory move into place for their final bow in Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life: Fall.

Rory: I'd have to stay in a hotel?
Logan: Well...
Rory: She's in town?
Logan: Yes.
Rory: For how long? (silence) She's moved in?
Logan: Yes.

Rory and Logan are really stuck between a rock and a hard place.

While it seems pretty obvious that these two crazy kids are absolutely in love, it also seems pretty obvious that they're headed for heartbreak, that is, unless Logan ends his engagement.

I wish we knew a little more about this relationship from Logan's angle. Seeing it solely through Rory's eyes is making Logan look like that same womanizer we've always known and loved.

But if we look at it through Logan's perspective, it could be a sad story on his end that isn't quite playing out the way it could be. Maybe another point of view would make him more sympathetic.

For example, does Logan actually love Odette, or is this a marriage of convenience for his family? Do his parents still look down on Rory, and think that Logan is better off with a wife who is perfectly content to just be a wife?

Otherwise, why are Rory and Logan not just upfront about their feelings? There's information that's missing, and unfortunately without it, Logan just looks like a big jerk. Why can't he let go of Rory? That's a story I want more of.

There's still "Fall" I suppose.

Good news! We found our editor, and the Gazette is saved!


Rory has bigger things on her plate than Logan.

She's taken over as the editor of the Stars Hollow Gazette, a role that seems perfect for her, yet plays out to show how unfit she is for the job.

For someone who knows Stars Hollow in and out, Rory is really obtuse when it comes to knowing what the citizens of her town want to read in their morning paper.

Like poems, for example.

Side note: I want to hear these poems.

Rory can't seem to figure out what will make her happy. Writing for the Gazette isn't making her as happy as she'd hoped. She's lost, with no direction.

So it seems like the perfect time for a visit from Jess, Rory's own personal compass, her ex-boyfriend who always gets her back on track when things get tough.

Jess: You should write about you and your mom.
Rory: What?
Jess: It's a cool story. It's got a point of view. It's something only you can write.

Jess suggests that Rory writes a book, about a subject matter that she's more than familiar with: the story of her own life with Lorelai.

I love this turn of events for Rory. She's finally excited for one, and briefly, we see a spark of that old chemistry between she and Jess. She has purpose and she's passionate, more passionate than we've seen Rory yet in these new episodes.

This is why it's so jarring when Lorelai has an absolute fit over Rory writing their story as a book.

Lorelai has always been proud of what she accomplished as a single mother with Rory. It seems outlandish that she would suddenly have a huge problem with that information being published.

What is Lorelai so protective of?

Her excellent parenting secrets? The strained relationship between she and Emily? How amazing it was that she and Rory beat the insurmountable odds against them and managed to make a great home for themselves, complete with a successful career and great schooling?

This fight doesn't feel natural.

Lorelai: I'm going away.
Luke: You're going away?
Lorelai: And I might be gone for a while.

Lorelai running away doesn't feel natural either. She's upset about things changing, and unsure of how to handle that stress, but running away won't solve anything.

Running away to do hike DEFINITELY isn't the answer for Lorelai either. It just leaves me antsy about where this will leave she and Luke.

Not that Luke's totally deserving at this point.

He's just stuck, doing his same Luke thing.

April makes a quick return just to remind us that she exists and show us that all the science didn't totally work out for her.

But the bigger thing here is that April is going to grad school, and Luke is planning on taking on the payment on his own.

He shuts Lorelai out of it – again.

Cue my eye rolls.

Seriously? Why does Luke learn nothing about communication? Ninety-eight percent of this argument could have been solved with a long talk over coffee.

It's never or now.


I think the thing I found most frustrating about “Summer” was Stars Hollow: The Musical.

With only four episodes, to waste so much time on this confusing musical, that really only existed for the big pay-off song that led Lorelai to self-discovery, was a let down.

With songs that made no sense, even Sutton Foster and her cuteness couldn't save this story for me.

Also, are we to assume that Carole King just doesn't exist in this rich pop-culture saturated universe? I mean, I get the joke, but come on – it's Carole King.

And as for the thirty-somethings club? The joke went on for too long.

I'm not dismissing Richard by spending time with Jack. I'm not just moving on.


Emily's story is really the saving grace of “Summer.”

With some encouragement from Rory, she gets back to the club, and gets back in the saddle with Jack. They're not involved in a heavy romance. They're not overly lovey toward one another.

But they comfort each other.

And truth be told, I love Ray Wise. I would watch anything he was in and enjoy it. A spin-off starring him and Kelly Bishop might make my heart soar.

Lorelai's anger toward Emily over dating Jack is understandable and feels right. (One of the only Loreali reactions that comes across as authentic in this season.)

Emily's growing bond with her maid Berta is also a highlight.

In the absence of Richard, Emily not only keeps Berta throughout the year, but also takes in her family and cares for them. Emily's bond with Berta is very motherly, although they can't quite communicate.

Overall, the heat isn't very kind to the Gilmore girls. “Summer” just isn't their season. But with “Fall” just around the corner, the pieces are in place for an unforgettable ending to their year of change.

Was “Summer” good enough for you? Are you growing tired of Loreali and Luke's struggle? Is Rory right for the Stars Hollow Gazette? Is Jess right about Gilmore Girls being a great book? Why does Rory keep forgetting about Paul? Did the musical hit a high note for you? Sound off below!

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life is available for streaming now on Netflix.

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