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'Gilmore Girls': The road to recovery

April 18, 2007 |  8:34 am

Gilmore For any long-term relationship stuck in a rut, getting that magic back isn’t easy.

Invested "Gilmore Girls" fans this season have been burned one too many times, yet we keep coming back for more, even when most of it has been watching two once-strong women unravel into love-hampered know-nothings.

Viewers return time and time again — note the series’ increasingly strong ratings on the CW — because as out of character as Lorelai and Rory have been acting, Lauren Graham can still turn a phrase better than most actresses working in TV comedy. And despite the absence of creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, the dialogue has managed to come within spitting distance of her signature pop culture-laced, tongue-twisting witticisms.

Now there’s more reason to hope: Tuesday’s episode felt like a big first step on the road to recovery.

The story centered on new beginnings, set against the start of spring and the construction of a celebratory hay bale maze in Stars Hollow — an obvious but choice metaphor for a show that’s lost its way.

Everyone find their way out of it -- literally and figuratively.

Lorelai and Luke finally — finally — bury the hatchet over Lorelai’s impulsive decision to marry Christopher. Now they can proceed with the inevitable getting back together. They exit the maze separately, but happy. Sure, it’s been coming since they broke up, but at least it makes sense.

Rory and Logan decide to stick together whether or not Rory stays local or takes a faraway journalism job. They make their way through the hay hand-in-hand.

One could quibble with Lorelai’s oddly-timed questioning of Logan. The moment arrives a couple seasons late; he and Rory have been together for some time now, and he’s been a jerk for about that long.

One could really quibble about the exclusion of Emily and Richard, always the high point of a "Gilmore Girls" episode, in an otherwise solid installment that involved most of Stars Hollow’s quirky denizens and the return of a strong-minded mother-daughter team.

Now that the writers have resumed treating these ladies with some respect, the rumors that the show will indeed return for an eighth season might not be a bad thing.

-- Denise Martin

(Photo courtesy The CW)