Friday Night Dinners: A Gilmore Girls Digest, Volume IV

Welcome back, Gilmore fans! This week:

Episode 119: Emily in Wonderland

Rachel: Living here is like being under a microscope. Everyone's just waiting for you to screw up. 
Lorelai: That's not true. 
Rachel: Miss Patty? 
Lorelai: Oh, well, yeah. 

The conversation at Friday night dinner revolves around Lorelai's large head as a child. Poor woman, I can relate. When conversation turns to Emily’s new antique chairs, Rory invites Emily to Stars Hollow to see Mrs. Kim’s antique store. They stop by the Independence Inn to see Lorelai at work, and when Emily sees the pottery shed that she and Lorelai lived in when Lorelai ran away, she can’t handle it. She fixes up Lorelai’s old room for Rory, which doesn’t make sense to Lorelai, because her mother never did anything half as nice for her. Of course, Emily is equally hurt that Lorelai chose to live in a shed rather than with her own parents. Again, Lorelai apologizes for her 16-year-old mistakes. 

Meanwhile, Rune, of all people, is back. He may be the only guy in Stars Hollow worse than Dean. Sookie asks Lorelai to do her a solid and give Rune a job AND a room - in the aforementioned pottery shed. Then, as if Lorelai didn’t have enough to worry about, Luke and Rachel seem to be getting serious, which is getting under Lorelai’s skin. In fact, Rachel shares with Lorelai that she’s ready to get serious with Luke, and mentions that if Lorelai can put in a good word on her behalf, it would help a lot. She obviously doesn’t love the idea, but does it anyway. She tells him she thinks Rachel is here to stay this time. He believes her, and gives her a drawer in his apartment for her stuff. Things seem to be looking up for the two of them.  

Episode 120: P.S. I Lo...

Lorelai: Hey, love the enthusiasm. Hey, does Up With People know about you?

At Luke’s, Lorelai and Rory play a game about finding their future husband. When Dean walks by, things get awkward. Lorelai tries to change the subject but it’s too late. She drowns her sorrows by teasing her mother about whether or not Luke is husband material. He IS still wearing the blue cap that Lorelai bought him…

But when Rory finds out that Lorelai and Max are talking again, after he checks in on her at school, she gets really mad. Obviously she’s partially upset about the state of things with Dean, but she takes out Lorelai’s secrets on her. The two fight, and Rory runs away to her grandparent’s. Of course, Lorelai starts freaking out and asks Max to come and help. Emily calls and half-gloatingly rubs it in Lorelai’s face that Rory came to her, which doesn’t make Lorelai feel any better. 

Then Max starts in on about how, if Rory didn’t know about the two of them getting back together, who else doesn’t? Lorelai says she’ll start people right away, as soon as things are good between her and Rory again. But first, she goes to Doose’s to ream out Dean for dumping Rory. Dean defends himself by explaining that he didn’t dump Rory, he told her he loved her. And he’s sick of everyone treating him like the bad guy. Lorelai is shocked over the true story, and makes up with her daughter by sharing with her that she doesn’t want Rory to turn out like her - afraid to love. 

Episode 121: Love, Daisies and Troubadours


Lane: Have you been listening to a word I'm saying? 
Rory: No. 
Lane: I resent that. I'm a witty conversationalist. 

Luke shows up at Lorelai and Rory’s house at odd times to fix things for them, and Lorelai suspects that it may be because he’s avoiding Rachel. She encourages him to make things work with Rachel. Rory finds the box of Dean mementos that her mother left in the closet, and uses her newfound encouragement from Lorelai about being unafraid to love to give a cryptic speech at the Town meeting about following one’s heart. Said speech is not lost on Dean, the obvious intended recipient. Huh, boy. Here we go. The break from Dean was nice while it lasted, wasn’t it? 

But things seem to be looking up for both Gilmore girls; Lorelai and Max’s relationship continues to chug along. Unfortunately, for Luke, things are not so good. He comes home to find Rachel packed and on her way out again. He thinks its just Rachel being Rachel, but she corrects him and says that this time, it’s because of his crush for Lorelai. Of course, Luke adamantly denies there is anything there. 

Except when he shows up at Lorelei’s to get his toolbox, Max is there, taking Lorelai out. The two of them face off over who is more important in Lorelei’s life, which leads to a fight between Max and Lorelai. There must be something about men in Connecticut trying to end fights by proposing, because that what Max does. But it didn’t work out so well for Christopher, and it really doesn’t work out well with Max. She insists that proposals should not be during disagreements, but big spectacles, with 1,000 daises. You know, as an example. Not like she’s thought about it or anything. Tristan is still giving Rory a hard time at Chilton, but she’s trying to avoid him. He lies to Paris about taking Rory on a date, creating a new rift between Paris and Rory. As he follows Rory out of school, bugging her about going out with him, Rory sees…Dean waiting for her. Dean thinks that Rory and Tristan are together, and is about to leave in disgust, when Rory tells him that she loves him. They very quickly get back together, including their mouths. 

When Lorelai goes into work, Michel and Kirk are fighting over a flower delivery. Michel insists that the order, for 1,000 daises, must be wrong. Lorelai, always quick to catch in, walks into the lobby, covered by flowers. She is flabbergasted. She calls Max and he repeats his proposal, telling her that he doesn’t want an answer right away, but that she should think about it. 

The first season ends with Lorelai and Rory ecstatically jumping up and down in the town square over the reinvigoration of their love lives. 

Episode 201: Sadie, Sadie...


Rory: So, what kind of dress are you thinking of? 
Lorelai: Um, the one Stephanie Seymour wore in the Guns N' Roses video. 

The next day, Stars Hollow, awash in daises, seems to have an air of love over it. But Lorelai hasn’t yet given her answer to Max and everyone is waiting to see what she’ll say, and when she’ll tell Luke. Rory tells her mother she has to do it now, at breakfast, because of the torch Luke carries for Lorelai. Her mother emphatically denies any torch-carrying, officially making Luke and Lorelai the only two in town unaware of their love for each other. 

But she does tell Luke, and he gives her a hard time about how well she really knows the man she’s marrying. Lorelai tries to not let it get to her, but it does. She calls him in a panic, asking where they will live, what will they do about work, does he want more kids, and on and on. Max asks hopefully if this is her accepting his proposal, and she confirms that it is, continuing Lorelai’s streak of not fully thinking through decisions. 

Rory has mad the top 3% of her class at Chilton, and Richard and Emily wish to celebrate with a special dinner. Emily tells Rory she can invite a special guest, and of course who does she pick, but Dean. At dinner, Emily’s frosty reception of Dean is matched only by Richard’s, who at first doesn’t look at or speak to him, and then grills him on his intelligence and his future. Since Dean has neither of these things, Richard makes it clear that he is not fit to date Rory. At last someone is saying this out loud. Since Rory doesn’t see this yet, she gets into her first fight with her grandfather, and storms out. Later, Lorelai points out that maybe, just maybe, Richard’s disappointment is more about Lorelai throwing her future away than it is about Rory’s choice of companionship. 

That night, Sookie calls Emily to invite her and Richard to a surprise engagement party for Lorelai and Max. There’s just one problem: Lorelai hadn’t gotten around to telling her parents about the engagement. Distraught over the fact that her own daughter didn’t tell her she was getting married, Emily demands Richard apologize to Rory. She doesn’t want to lose her granddaughter the same way she lost her daughter. 

Episode 202: Hammers and Veils

Luke: Yep, there’s nothing like a wedding to screw up a family. 
Lorelai: Or, in my case, there’s nothing like a family to screw up a family.

Rory decides it’s time to add some community service experience to her resume, so she signs up to build a house. Paris is also building said house, and is still giving Rory a hard time over Tristan. Neither one of them budge, so it seems as if they’re both going to be building a house together. 

At dinner, Rory warns her mother that if she doesn’t tell Richard and Emily about her engagement in two weeks, she’ll tell them herself. Of course, Emily already knows and hardly speaks a word to Lorelai all evening. Things get even more awkward when Richard asks to speak to Rory in private, so he can apologize for losing his cool over Dean. Taking the moment alone, Lorelai finally gathers the courage to tell her mother she’s engaged, and Emily reacts by saying that she’ll see if she is in town that weekend. Ouch. Later, after dinner with Max, Lorelai makes him drive her to her parents’ house, where she lays into Emily for being so cold, without getting much answers. 

Everything becomes clearer back at the inn, where Lorelai discovers the treats for her surprise party and Sookie reveals that yes, she did call Lorelai’s parents about it. Now Lorelai understands why Emily was so pissed, and she laments not telling Emily earlier. The party goes off beautifully, and the entire town comes out for it, except one person. Lorelai asks Luke if he’s going to make an appearance, as it’s a big night for her. He eventually does, without getting too close to the actual festivities. 

Lorelai then stops by Emily’s again, and apologizes for not telling her sooner about her engagement. She confesses that she’s not sure how to talk to her mother. Emily thaws just a bit and suggests that instead of a veil, Lorelai wear a tiara at her wedding, because that’s what Emily did. It’s not a full truce, but Lorelai accepts it. 

Episode 203: Red Light on the Wedding Night

Lorelai: God wouldn't smite us? 
Luke: I don't think so, plus God probably has to get a license from Taylor to do any smiting on the weekends, so I'd say you're safe. 

The town is in a tizzy about a new spotlight Taylor is having put outside of Luke’s. Everyone except Luke, that is. Luke thinks it’s a ridiculous idea. At the Gilmore house, Lorelai, Max, Dean and Rory go on a double date. When Max has an issue with how late Dean and Rory are staying out, Lorelai tells him to relax. This prompts a discussion about what role Max will have in Rory’s life. Lorelai isn’t sure, it’s always just been her and Rory. Max doesn’t love that answer, but the proclaim a tentative truce. 

Luke doesn’t help things by openly ridiculing the idea of marriage in front of Lorelai, and Michel doesn’t help things by inviting Emily, of all people, to Lorelai’s bachelorette party at a drag club. The girls start sharing stories about their significant others, but Emily makes everyone weepy when she talks about how excited she was to marry Richard: she put on her wedding dress every night the week before the wedding. The attendees get up to make phone calls to their partners, and Lorelai follows suit by calling….Christopher. Wait, what? Yep, Christopher. They talk like the old friends they are, and it’s clear that Lorelai is having second thoughts about the wedding.  

Luke, meanwhile has been making Lorelai and Max a chuppah, a secret project he’s been working on for her. As they (meaning Luke and Lorelai) talk about weddings and chuppahs, the camera shows them both standing under it. SYMBOLISM?! I think so. 

It’s unclear what prompts what happens next. It could have been the phone call to Christopher. It could have been the chuppah from Luke. But for whatever reason, Lorelai wakes Rory up the next morning (the day before the wedding) and tells her they’re hitting the road. Rory, confused, asks if Lorelai is still planning to get married. When Lorelai says no, Rory asks why. She thinks her mom is just running out on things again, but Lorelai explains that she didn’t want to put her wedding dress on every night the week before. She doesn’t have with Max what even her parents had. Rory seems to understand and goes along with it. The two run out of town, stopping briefly at the new town stoplight, located conveniently….outside of Luke’s. Symbolism is everywhere! 

Episode 204: Road Trip to Harvard 

Lorelai: We can't be lost, we don't where we're going.

When Lorelai and Rory come across a bed and breakfast they stop and stay in the ugliest room in Connecticut. Also, the people there are creepy. In their room, Rory wants to talk about what happened with Max, but Lorelai decidedly doesn’t. They have a fight about who is the mother and who is the child. Back at Stars Hollow, Sookie tells Luke about Lorelai’s wedding being off. He practically dances around the diner. 

They finally escape the B&B, and Lorelai knows just where to go: Harvard. Rory has never seen it, and they tour the campus and even crash a class. As Rory holds her own in a college course, Lorelai tours the halls and sees portraits of the classmates that would have been her own. 

Both women learn something: Rory learns that Harvard is definitely for her, and Lorelai learns that she is ready to take the next step in her life. She’s ready to open the inn with Sookie. When she gets back home, her mother takes the news of the wedding being off rather well. She’s just concerned about returning her gift. Lorelai makes it official when she tells Luke she’s ready to open her inn. What does poor Max think about all of this? We don’t know. 

Episode 205: Nick & Nora/Sid & Nancy

Lorelai: There have been very few moments in my life where I have actually wished I had one of those enormous creme pies you can just smash in somebody's face. But this is definitely one of them. 
Jess: Well that's not very neighborly. 

You guys, finally. Everything is going to be okay. Jess is coming. Luke is in a tizzy about his sister Liz sending her son to Stars Hollow to see if Luke can straighten him out. He’s been causing too many problems. Luke isn’t happy at all but he’s going to take him in because he’s Luke. 

At Chilton, things are awkward for Rory. Paris is making her life hell at The Franklin, the school paper, assigning her a story on pavement, and she runs into Mr. Medina in the hallway and promptly runs away. When Rory impresses the school advisor on her story, Paris decides to make her life even worse by assigning her a profile on the students’ most popular teacher…Mr. Medina, naturally. Max, for his part, is a great sport about it. He doesn’t ask Rory about Lorelai and only expresses how much he would have enjoyed being her stepfather after she brings it up. He’s a good guy, that Max. But he’s not Luke, so. Moving on. 

Lorelai invites Jess and Luke over dinner, and Jess is his usual charming self. When Lorelai tries to tell him not to give Luke a hard time, he asks if they’re sleeping together. Lorelai is NOT impressed. She tells Luke off for Jess’ attitude and Luke gets defensive, saying Lorelai can’t be the best parent material either, getting pregnant at 16. Luke and Jess have a fight about his attitude the next day which ends with Luke pushing Jess into a lake. Luke tells Lorelai that maybe he does need his help after all. He comes down hard on Jess from there on out, insisting that he clean up his act. 

Later that night, Rory and Jess run into each other. He told her earlier that he doesn’t read books, but he definitely does. They flirt a bit, and exchange literary references. He’s such a better match for her than Dean. 

Episode 206: Presenting Lorelai Gilmore 

Lorelai: Yeah, well, if you find a girl who's good with dating a square in a Volvo, you do what it takes to keep her. 

Chris comes back into their life when Emily suggests Rory has a “coming out” ball for the Daughters of the American Revolution. Rory is into it, but Lorelai, perhaps wishing her own ceremony would have happened, knocks the idea. There’s only one problem: the father is supposed to escort the daughter. So Lorelai calls and asks Chris and he agrees to come. Lorelai sees a new side of Chris. He’s got his life together, his business really is doing well, and he can dance. 

Things aren’t going so well between Richard and Emily, however. They are constantly fighting, and at the ball it becomes clear why. Richard is afraid he’s being phased out at work. Emily doesn’t think that’s what happens, but Richard says he knows better. He used to phase people out all the time, and that’s what’s happening to him. 

Meanwhile, Lorelai is really digging Christopher this time around, and even gives him a kiss again, asking him to spend the night. He says he can’t and has to get back. “To work?” Lorelai asks. “To someone,” he says. He’s living with a woman, Sherry. Lorelai is crestfallen, but pretend she’s not. She goes to Emily and tells her mom that if Emily needs to talk about what’s going on between her and Richard, Lorelai is there for her. 

Episode 207: Like Mother Like Daughter 

Rory: Hey, I'm not looking for social contacts. I have friends, I'm fine. 
Paris: Well, how nice it must be to be you. Maybe someday I'll stumble into a Disney movie and suddenly be transported into your body. And after living there awhile, I'll finally realize the beauty in myself. But until that moment, I'm going to go in there, and I'm going to become a Puff. Now get out of my way! 

Rory is called out at school for not having an active social life. She reads by herself at lunch - shocking at a school - and doesn’t seem to have many friends. Headmaster Charlton points out to Lorelai that it may be because her mother is the same way. Lorelai isn’t very active at the school either. So Lorelai joins the Booster Club and Rory takes a new seat at lunch with a group of girls. 

The girls turn out to be the puffs - a secret sorority that Paris’ family was a part of for generations. Paris freaks out and demands Rory help her get in, which she does, because she’s Rory. Lorelai crushes it at her first Booster meeting by suggesting they host their fashion show at the Independence Inn. 

Rory winds up getting “kidnapped” in the middle of the night by the Puffs, who were supposed to take her to breakfast but actually take her to the Headmaster’s office, where they break in for a special initiation. Of course just as Rory’s turn begins, the Headmaster walks in. He mentions suspension, and Rory yells at him because all of this, her being more social, was his stupid idea. He thinks twice about being harsh on her social life. 

As a way to get back at Emily for chastising her lack of involvement at Chilton, Lorelai suggests Emily partake in the fashion show also. They are the mother/daughter act and Emily loves it. Lorelai gets high praise from the Chilton moms about her event, and Emily remarks at how nicely Lorelai fits in to the world she ran away from. 

When one of the moms starts hitting on Luke, who helped with the event, Lorelai doesn’t take it well. She asks Luke not to date a Chilton mother, and he does off on her, saying she doesn’t get to tell him to date and who not to date. Oh, these two. When will they see what everyone else sees?

Next Friday: Will Luke and Lorelai finally proclaim their love for one another? Will Jess ruin things for Rory and Dean? Does Tristan make a comeback? Stay tuned!