The episode open with Lorelai and Rory stumbling into Richard and Emily having a disagreement with raised voices. This is the first time we have seen Richard and Emily together since the night that Lorelai announced her engagement, back in June. Apparently things haven’t been going well since then.
Richard has always been shown to be very preoccupied with his job, and even had an angina attack from the stress. Since then, he hasn’t slowed down, and has spent a lot of time travelling for work. Now it’s seemingly taking up so much of his time, he is unable to escort to Emily to her many charity events. I’m not sure why Emily is unable to go alone, or with a friend. Perhaps it would excite gossip that her marriage was on the rocks or something.
This has left Emily not only out of the loop socially, and no doubt lonely and bored, but feeling deeply unappreciated. Richard refers to her charity work as “social engagements” – which they are – but to Emily they are so much more. They are her life’s work, and her power base, which she has worked on achieving just as hard as Richard does at his job. For Emily to keep skipping events would be like Richard missing work, and you can feel her fear of her life slipping away from her.
It turns out in this episode that Emily sits on the boards of so many organisations that it seems unbelievable it has never caused any conflicts until now. In fact, it’s quite an unbelievable amount of boards in itself, to drive home the point that Emily Gilmore is one of the people who “run” Hartford.