The Penultimate ‘Gilmore Girls’ – “Unto the Breach”

Well, last week came the tragic word that Gilmore Girls will be ending after this current season, which means that these final two episodes were filmed without knowing that it was the series finale. What does this mean? Well, it means that they won’t give us all the resolution we’re looking for.

However, I figure that these episodes are nonetheless important ones, so here at Cultural Learnings we’re going to recap both, and provide some coverage leading up to the finale next week. So, stay tuned for all of that.

In the meantime, “Unto the Breach” is the second last episode of Gilmore Girls ever. To find out how things went down after last week’s Karaoke Serenade, continue on. And read why, in the end, things appear to be heading towards a satisfying end, regardless of the premature nature of the proceedings. Also, learn who Milan Kundera is. Because I sure as heck didn’t know.

Previously on Gilmore Girls: Basically, the last episode in a nutshell. Luke wears the hat, Lorelai sings Karaoke to Luke, Logan asks Lorelai for permission to ask Rory to marry him.

We shift to Lorelai and Sookie planning out some form of graduation…thing. She has so much on her mind in terms of Logan and Rory graduating. Lorelai has to bring the cake, and champagne flutes, and then throughout the entire conversation she keeps intersecting with stories of Logan which are clearly more important.

Of course, on top of everything else, Lorelai notes that there’s a Luke thing, which Sookie was waiting for. Clearly something came up during the song, she says, but she doesn’t know if it was new or residue or, of course, cocktails. Sookie’s vote: it was a new feeling, she has first hand accounts from those there that it was smokin’ hot. Sookie even gets her to admit that it was a serenade, which is an issue for Lorelai.

Sookie, meanwhile, is trying to get them to memorize their list, and it’s yet another unsatisfying end to a cold open. One of the things I miss are those really witty breaks into the credits, and they’re basically non-existent now. And to think that we’ve only got two episodes left. I can only hope that the finale pulls together in this account.

Luke, meanwhile, is visiting Liz and TJ in their garage of some sort. Luke is actually fairly jovial in the process, and Liz wants to know why…ah, there it is. Rory is graduating, you see, and Luke wants to get her a gift. Of course, like everyone, Liz knows about the Karaoke (She was at Westin’s the other day…makes sense). Luke is on the same side as us on this one: she got plastered and wrote a sappy song. Liz thinks it is different, but Luke disagrees…and thinks he should reciprocate. With a gift of some sort. Which he conveniently notices. This is decidedly not subtle, but it’s working.

Paris, meanwhile, is gutting her apartment in preparation for their departure. She’s already sold the table, and is haggling with people over items over the phone. Paris and Doyle are preparing for a trip backpacking to India, and Doyle is questioning the amount of textbooks she is planning on taking. And then they make out some while Rory comes in being all “We’re going to graduate, I want to savour moments” while Paris is all “If you don’t spackle something, I will cut you..” And then Rory decides to take a picture of her packing, and then a picture of Doyle packing up the toaster. Man, am I this annoying taking pictures?

It doesn’t matter, because Lorelai has stopped by the Diner…and Miss Patty and Babette are more than a little bit excited about the karaoke, and Lorelai downplays its importance greatly…right as Luke comes downstairs. Needless to say, he’s a bit cold, and we learn that the entire town is basically planning on traveling to Yale for Rory’s graduation. Rory calls, as Luke has already exited, and Lorelai spends some time chatting with her. She’s worried that any call could possibly be the engagement call, but this is just mindless chatter. We learn that, sadly, the entire town can’t quite come to the graduation, and that Rory and Logan are spackling this afternoon. Aww, how romantic. They have some spackle wordplay, and then Lorelai sighs as she ponders Luke’s cold shoulder. We also learned that Rory’s four tickets are Lorelai/Christopher/Emily/Richard…so no Luke. Hmmm.

Town meeting time, as Taylor apparently slipped in the tub: “bathroom safety is a serious business!” Of course, it was actually a foot spa. Kirk, meanwhile, wants a performance art piece…sorry, Kirk in a Box, permit. The town is more than a little perturbed, meanwhile, that no one can go to Rory’s graduation. And by the town, I mean everything, so Taylor adds it to the agenda. Lorelai has no case to state, but Taylor says she drops the ball. Taylor claims she should have clearly taken advantage of orphans.

Babette insists that they need to do something…and basically the town begins to plan a new graduation ceremony in the town square with blown up photos, a complete re-enactment, and picture-perfect perspectives.

Rory is now at the other party being held for her, this one Emily’s at Yale. Logan steals her away from DAR folks, and Lorelai steals away from creepy old people to take a call from Christopher. They exchange pleasantries, and discuss the Logangate situation. He doesn’t know what to think, really, but is a little bit hurt that he wasn’t asked…but admits that it doesn’t work that way, at all.

Chris greets Rory and Logan, and now Richard is making a toast. I’m still confused why old people are at this party, which basically means they’re pimping her out, which is…odd. However, to make things better, Richard and Emily have written their toast in song form. It’s rather charming, in that it is actually not insanely well written, which actually then makes sense considering the situation. Which is a nice touch. Rory thanks them for their help, and Richard and Emily get their final big moment in the sun…honestly, that’s kind of touching.

Uh-oh. Logan has come forward. He’s been dating Rory for three years, wow? She amazes him, she let him know more, he’s trying to spit it out…and he doesn’t know a lot. But he knows that he loves her. And he wants to be with her forever…and then the ring pops out. And she’s a bit shocked. And Lorelai raises her eyebrows. “Rory Gilmore…will you marry me?” “Ummm…” They don’t start with Umm, Rory. Or “Wow?” She’s stammering, she’s surprised, she’s struggling, and she makes the smart move of dragging Logan outside for a chat instead of in front of old people. Meanwhile, Emily strikes up the pianist while Richard and Lorelai look concerned.

Rory doesn’t want to talk in front of the old people…and Rory spots the giant carriage. Rory isn’t upset about the stage, but rather the proposal; it’s awkward. He explains the job, the options, the California, etc. She’s having trouble with the sports part, but he’s done his research and has a whole little life planned. Rory is logical: Logan had time to think, and she didn’t at all, at least not in this way. It was always hypothetical before for her, but now he’s like “Why wait? Remember when we jumped off a giant scaffolding? Let’s do that again!”

Meanwhile, Emily is having trouble with why she didn’t immediately say yes. Rory, meanwhile, gives her mother a call, and she heads out alone without Chris who declines. We cut to Rory and Lorelai in the carriage, and Rory is shocked that Lorelai could keep the secret (She didn’t say yes yet, by the way). Lorelai, who has discussed her views with Sookie and Paul Anka at length, refuses to divulge this to Rory. Rory weighs the pros and cons (Where’s her list?), but wants her mother to make her view. Then there’s something about a flying turtle bird, as opposed to a turtle or a bird. Strange. Either way, Lorelai makes a suggestion: queen waving.

Kirk is suspended in his little box in town while Lorelai walks by…and Luke exits the diner. And wants to know why Lorelai is clearing her head, and Luke is more than a little disappointed to hear that it’s Logan and not him. Luke assumes she is leaning towards no, and he’s being all protective of Rory’s innocence as per usual. There’s an undertone here, I can’t really pick it up…something about leaps of faith. I don’t know how it could apply to Luke and Lorelai at all. Not at all.

Luke enters the diner, and grabs the earrings…but not the other gift. Lorelai thinks that it was nice of him to get her the gift, and there’s that continued sense of “get on with it already” that makes me ever so sad that there’s only one episode left in which to tease us. Rory, meanwhile, is more concerned with spackling (Now sans Logan, he totally bailed) and grabbing some cereal…which shall remain milkless since Paris has claimed the remaining milk for her own breakfast. Dry Cereal and mulling a proposal is a bad idea, and so is trying on the ring to see how it looks. She sits among the boxes and ponders.

Richard and Emily are spending some time talking about the frustrating guest speaker, Milan Kundera. or something like this. Lorelai is with them, and says they need to get good seats. She ponders whether Henry Winkler might have been better, while Emily worries about Rory’s decision-making issues.

The graduates, meanwhile, spend some time as Paris and Rory, and Lucy and Olivia, drink some champagne and discuss the party the night before. Rory doesn’t appear to be revealing the whole proposal thing, keeping the tone congratulatory and not overly dramatic.

This is basically the smallest graduation thing I’ve ever seen, is the class that small? That’s odd. Emily is worried about where they are, and Chris arrives to break the tie: seats are fine. Richard is discussing whether Bill Clinton might have been a better speaker.

Paris, on the other hand, is deciding between “Thank you” and “Thank you so much,” and Paris is…oh wait, her name is Gellar, hers is Gilmore, they actually should be next to each other, how strange. Paris wishes Rory luck, and announces that they’re “unto the breach!”

We return to Yale mid-ceremony, as Christopher has the bumper sticker all planned out. Emily is having chair issues…and says something terrible about Ray Charles. Richard wants her to remember this moment, and enjoy it, without arguing. The strummy-strummy la-la music picks up as both Lorelais tear up. And now here’s the photo session, always a popular one. On a related note: Logan is in the house.

They meet under a tree of sorts, and Logan is all awkward. He’s remembering his own tipsy graduation, and Rory says she’s sorry. She says she can’t marry him. She loves him, she loves the idea of getting married, but she just has so many things up in the air that…she kind of likes her wide open future. Marrying him would tie her down, and she suggests they try long distance. Logan is not pleased…and basically gives her an ultimatum. Which, uh, uncool Logan. All or nothing? Really?

Rory is taken aback, and says they could at least try…but Logan doesn’t see the point. Wow, this is a real downer. Rory hands the ring back to Logan, decidedly disappointed and crushed about just about everything, and Logan says goodbye.

Rory has one more trip worth of stuff in her apartment, and Lorelai is unpleased with the amount of labour. Rory feels awful, and sick, and misses him, and wishes that her happy graduation wasn’t a horrible, horrible thing. Lorelai says that one day she’ll find someone she won’t hesitate with (Once again, not very subtle), and inspires Rory to get all sorts of types of trees. She can have anything she wants, you see.

Rory closes the door on an empty apartment, and closes the door on that period of her life. What does the future hold?

Next Week on Gilmore Girls: Well, I didn’t actually get to see a preview of the episode, but I’m going to assume that we’ll get Rory’s graduation: Stars Hollow edition which actually might end up being a fitting end for the series considering it promises Luke/Lorelai goodness, Townie charm, and all of the characters we care about. For better or for worse, Gilmore Girls ends next week.

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