Mother and Daughter in Parallel Lives

This episode is another one where we see Lorelai and Rory in parallel situations. In “There’s the Rub”, both Lorelai and Rory have their personal boundaries disrespected.

Lorelai thinks she is being offered free vouchers to a luxury spa, only to discover what she’s really getting is a weekend away with her mother – who books every single activity for them at the same time, even a couples massage!

Meanwhile, Rory thinks she’s getting the house to herself for an evening. Paris tries to guilt trip Rory into letting her come over to study by reminding her how lonely and neglected she is. When Rory sensibly but kindly resists, Paris just turns up anyway. Then Jess arrives with food, unbidden, and invites himself to dinner, so that Rory has to ask Paris to stay the night as a chaperone. Then Dean decides to stick his nose in, despite being explicitly told to stay away. (Dean is the only character who doesn’t manipulate his way in, because he already feels entitled to Rory’s company).

If everyone had respected Lorelai and Rory’s boundaries, Lorelai would have received two vouchers for a spa weekend, and taken Sookie, and Rory would have been free to do laundry, eat Indian food, and fall asleep in front of the TV in her pyjamas. Which would be nice for them, but not exactly compelling television.

Luckily, both Gilmore girls end up gaining something by allowing others to force their way into their lives – if only the knowledge that people really do want to be closer to them.

(Note that the boundary-pushing continues even in the penultimate scene, when Kirk tries to take their table from them in the diner before they are ready to leave. After everything they’ve been through, the Gilmore girls are hogging that table, no matter what!).

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