in Shocktober

Gilmore Girls – “Twenty-One is the Loneliest Number”

Season 6, Episode 7
Original Air Date:
October 25, 2005

In case you were wondering what my methodology was when it came to choosing my Halloween specials this year, it was simply googling “Halloween specials” and scanning the listicles and Wikipedia article that came up. I had to go back and check, but this episode of Gilmore Girls really was featured as one of the “best Halloween episodes” by Time, Cosmopolitan, and Insider. Which is absolutely bullshit because not only is this episode impossible to watch for a newcomer, it also barely has anything to do with Halloween.

I was really looking forward to finally checking out Gilmore Girls because I really don’t know much about it. I’ve heard its a witty dramedy, but I don’t know what the premise is. I know a lot of people I’ve heard of – Melissa McCarthy, Edward Herrmann (from The Lost Boys), Milo Ventimiglia, Sean Gunn, and Danny Strong to name a few – were part of the show. I know it launched a popular podcast that maybe 50 years from now I’ll have time to check out. But I don’t really remember hearing anything about it when it was on or know anyone who’s (openly) a big fan. It wasn’t a sure thing, but I was kind of thinking Gilmore Girls would be my next binge. Watching “Twenty-One is the Loneliest Number” didn’t really tip the scales in either direction.

Like ER, this particular episode of Gilmore Girls is smack dab in the middle of a serialized plot and therefore devoid of an introduction or conclusion for transient viewers like myself. It begins were the previous episode had ended in a cliffhanger, with Lorelai (Lauren Graham) having a heated discussion with her father, Richard (Edward Herrmann), about her daughter, Rory (Alexis Bledel). Apparently Rory had dropped out of Yale and moved in with her grandparents and is bumming around, which has Richard worrying she’s throwing away her potential and turning into a socialite like her grandmother. But Lorelai’s not hearing it because Richard had apparently undermined her authority when Rory announced she was dropping out, so now she’s relying on tough love. I should say that according to my research, this is the one and only big fight between mother and daughter in all of Gilmore Girls and is considered an extremely unpopular storyline.

The focus shifts to Rory’s twenty-first birthday, which is now up in the air since she won’t want to follow her original plan of going to Atlantic City with Lorelai. Emily (Kelly Bishop), Rory’s grandmother, decides to throw a party for her. But tensions rise between them when Emily and Richard realize Rory has been sleeping with her boyfriend, Logan (Matt Czuchry). Meanwhile, Lorelai mopes around but is supported by her fiance, Luke (Scott Patterson). As a means of coping or distracting herself, Lorelai decides to kick her Halloween decorations up a few notches this year, including a mad scientist skit she tries to convince Luke to participate in.

As you can tell, there’s a lot more going on in “Twenty-One is the Loneliest Number” than Halloween. Lorelai’s neighbors apparently always go all-out and they show off how they’re going to scare kids this year with a mock hanging. Also Lorelai meets up with Melissa McCarthy to pick the best kind of sausage to use as Luke’s “guts.” That’s about it though. Which is perfectly fine for a serialized drama that is trying to tell a story. I liked this episode well enough and like I said, I might still watch more of the Gilmore Girls. I just don’t understand how anyone could put this on the same list as the likes of “Stevil” and The Great Pumpkin. There’s nothing “special” about this.