Sunday, April 09, 2006

3. Emily/Lorelai Essay Part 2

A Look Inside Emily:

Emily’s baggage is so sad. It’s the feeling like “I lost her.” We’ve seen Emily express her fears of ‘losing’ her daughter (again), countless times, whether in little moments or big ones. It’s heartbreaking, remembering that, for 15 years, Lorelai had almost completely cut contact from her own parents. We are reminded of the fact that Lorelai’s behaviour had made both Richard and Emily feel they lost their daughter; in retrospect, for fifteen years, they really did. If Lorelai had not needed the money for Chilton, they still would feel that way.

Episode 1.01

EMILY: You took that girl and completely shut us out of your life.

Episode 1.15

GRANDPA: And then you run away and treat us like lepers. Your mother couldn’t get out of bed for a month. Did you know that? Did you?


GRANDPA: We did nothing to deserve that. Nothing to earn that!

Episode 1.19
EMILY: You hated us that much?

EMILY: I saw it. I saw that horrible little pit you so proudly ran to. I saw what you chose over your own family. You would've lived in the gutter, in the street, it a cardboard box, anywhere as long as you didn't have to be near us, isn't that true?

Even through the show’s running, it hurt Emily so much that her daughter was always out of her reach-always wanted to be farther away from her. Emily tried to buffer that by making family dinners obligatory and stalking Rory’s high school life in the meantime. But the baggage underneath is tough-although Emily tries to keep hold of Lorelai, she knows, and feels, that she really doesn’t have that control…The saddest expression of her worst feelings and baggage is in 6.09-the everything she says about Rory, the way Emily was so hurt by it, you could feel that Lorelai’s past behaviour hurt her just as much, if not more. But the absolute worst feeling for Emily is that feeling that, no matter how hard she’ll try, and not by anything she does deliberately, she still lost her daughter, and whatever strings she currently has to keep Lorelai within her grasp are only temporary.

Episode 1.09
EMILY: You're going to lose her. You're going to lose her just like I lost you.

Episode 1.18

GRANDMA: She’ll never come back here you know…Lorelai.


GRANDMA: If she gets that money, Lorelai will never come back here. She won’t have to.

Episode 6.09

EMILY: The way she talked to me, you would have been very proud..
EMILY: Oh, yes. She looked at me just like you used to. With that defiant, "who are you to be telling me what to do?" sort of look. Then she left. Packed her things and moved out when I wasn't even there to see her go. No "thank you", no "goodbye". You would have been very, very proud…I lost her like I lost you. Feels remarkably similar to me.

In reality, Emily keeps getting her heart broken whenever Lorelai cuts her off emotionally, especially through the show’s run. From fights, to boyfriends, to proposals, to declining dinner invites.

Episode 2.01
EMILY: Our daughter is getting married. She's getting married and she didn't tell us. When Rory decides to get married, I'd like her to tell us. Call her tomorrow. [Emily leaves, starts to cry]

Episode 2.02

LORELAI: Do you know how it felt for me to tell you that I was getting married and to have you just brush it off like that? Do you know?

EMILY: No, I don't, I don't know! Possibly very similar to finding out from a complete stranger that my only daughter was getting married and had told every other person in the world before she bothered to tell her own mother. Possibly it felt something like that. Now if you'll excuse me, it is late, and I am going to bed.

And don’t forget that for several episodes in season 6, Lorelai had cut all contact from Emily, making Emily feel worse, as if now, her worst fear of losing Lorelai has re-emerged, and leading to the emotional breakdown on the plane. (Honourable mentions: 6.07-not telling Emily she was engaged, AGAIN).

In 6.09, ASP brings in the most touching, quickest, seemingly throw-away line (which nobody ever expected) which suggests, perhaps, that the baggage will pass over. And you didn’t lose me. Only with this, and following such, the re-instation of no-strings attached family dinners, does Emily feel closer to her daughter. She isn’t devastated when she learns the wedding date has been set without her (6.14), but merely follows through on her tasks to be involved. She plans to MOVE to Stars Hollow, figuring it’ll be okay. This is not the action of a mother, who feels a constant fear of losing her daughter…not anymore, IMO. This is a mother, who now feels closer, and more comfortable to, in Emily-style, get as involved in her daughter’s life as she feels entitled to.


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