1.19 “Emily in Wonderland”
Emily is on the hunt for antique dining chairs, and Rory pipes up with the suggestion to visit Kim’s Antiques, which is in Stars Hollow! Emily has never seen the town before, so Rory decides to make a day of it by giving Emily the “grand tour” while Lorelai is incredibly relieved that she has to work all day.
It’s an odd day for Emily, who has to wear jogging shoes and ends up making unlikely friends in Mrs. Kim (one of the best scenes of the series is their haggling match) and Michel. Everything is going smoothly until Rory, bless her heart, proudly shows off the potting shed that she and Lorelai had lived in for the first seven or so years of her life. Emily is horrified, and I will always believe that she felt a good deal of guilt when she saw the place, but mostly she felt hurt and bewildered that Lorelai would rather live in a potting shed at the edge of someone else’s property than stay home with Emily and Richard.
She decorates a room in her own home specifically for Rory, which is sweet, and not nearly as manipulative as Lorelai believes it to be. They end up in a fight over it, with Emily getting worked up over Lorelai choosing to live anywhere but at home, and it results in a frosty dinner and some unresolved feelings between mother and daughter.
In Stars Hollow, everyone’s getting used to Rachel being around. It’s a big adjustment for Luke in particular, who can’t bring himself to believe that she’s going to stick around this time. There’s one big reason why I could never bring myself to dislike Rachel, and that is because her photographs are what clued Lorelai (and later Sookie) in to the existence of the Dragonfly Inn. The Dragonfly storyline is my favorite of the show — I love the mechanics, the set, the props, the actual plots around it, and the fact that it’s Lorelai’s pride and joy. I just love every bit of it. And if it weren’t for Rachel, Lorelai might not have seen the Dragonfly to file away for future plans. Thank you, Rachel. You rock.
Lorelai ends up in a wonderland of her own when Rachel invites her up to Luke’s apartment to look at some film negatives. It’s a good bonding moment for Lorelai and Rachel, but they both notice how edgy it makes Luke to have Lorelai on this side of his metaphorical diner counter. Lorelai confronts Luke with her questions head-on, while Rachel retreats in on herself. Luke listens to Lorelai’s advice and offers Rachel a sock drawer and her own set of keys, for which Rachel thanks Lorelai profusely. At the end of the episode, Rory sips some of Luke’s coffee and asks Lorelai, “Does it taste different to you?” Yeah. It does.
One of my favorite scenes is Rory and Lorelai sitting on a blanket in front of the Dragonfly, watching Sookie run around the property and freaking out about floor space for ovens and plumbing.
Other notable quotes and moments:
– Rune, who is good in small doses, is hired on as the handyman for the Independence Inn.
– One of the greater injustices of my teen years was enduring the scene where, when given the choice between 98 Degrees, NSync, or the Backstreet Boys, Rory chose NSync. I don’t want to start any circa 2001 fangirl wars here, but c’mon, KTBSPA. (We all know who can stay out of this though.)
– “Just jump in and believe her! Unless, you know, there’s some other reason you don’t want to.” / “Like what?” / “Like… I don’t know.” / “There’s no other reason.” Just another bit of loaded dialogue between Luke and Lorelai that made them so great.
– “You hated us that much? You had to take that little girl away, that was bad enough, but to that? To live there? In a shed, like a hobo? 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 a gutter, in the street, in a cardboard box, anywhere, as long as you didn’t have to be near us, isn’t that true?”
– “Can I ask you a question?” / “Yes, I would date Steven Tyler.” / “Can I ask you a question whose answer won’t horrify me?”
1.20 “P.S. I Lo…”
Things are still progressing between Max and Lorelai, in case you forgot during the last Luke-filled episode. Lorelai seems like she’s forgotten a little bit, because on the same day she agrees to an in-person date with Max, she’s running around buying gifts for Luke under the guise of buying a birthday present for Rachel.
She returns with a veritable brand new wardrobe for Luke, along with the perfect gifts for Rachel. She browbeats Luke until he relents and tries on some of her purchases, and that’s when Rachel returns to the diner to find Lorelai trying to adjust Luke’s belt. It’s awkward. It’s also funny because I think a lot of this stuff ends up being what Luke wears in later seasons for more formal occasions.
Lane has been keeping a pretty huge secret from Rory — she’s been cheating on her with Dean! Not true cheating, she’s just his lab partner, and she’s actually pretty great on Rory’s behalf. She admits to Dean that Rory avoids the supermarket, and asks if they’ll ever get back together again, but that’s when Rory comes in unannounced and things go awry.
Things get a little worse for Rory when Max talks to her about her recent breakup with Dean, which is news to Rory because she had no idea that Lorelai and Max were talking again. She ends up taking out her anger on Lane and Lorelai in that order, and she kind of acts like a brat in these scenes. She’s a teenager, so I’ll give her leeway, but at the end of the day, she’s angry that her mother and best friend care too much.
So remember that lovely room Emily decorated specifically for Rory in the last episode? Well good thing it’s there, because that’s exactly where Rory goes after her fight with Lorelai. It hurts Lorelai beyond words, but Emily is actually pretty great. She went to great lengths to make sure Rory would have everything she needed in this sort of scenario, and she’s very accommodating. Richard is downright gleeful that Rory chose tonight to appear — it gets him out of a boring benefit that he never wanted to attend.
Lorelai, cut off and confused, chooses to vent her frustrations on Dean. Dean, if you remember, is not totally blameless in this, since he sprang that “I love you” on Rory and expected an answer, but he’s still not the villain that everyone thinks he is. Rory has been accidentally running her own manipulations by staying silent on the subject and letting everyone think the worst of Dean, but at least things finally make sense to Lorelai after Dean explodes at her. She goes to comfort Rory and tells her not to be so scared of commitment. It’s not exactly a trait she wants to pass down to her daughter.
In the end, Rory apologizes to Lane, and mother and daughter return home reunited. Lorelai also recommits herself to Max. That’s gonna go really well, you just know it.
Other notable quotes and moments:
– The episode opens with Lorelai and Rory playing a game of 1, 2, 3, He’s Yours — one points out three eligible bachelor-strangers and the other has to choose one to marry, no takebacks. It ends cutely for Lorelai, because Kirk pops up just in time for #3, but it ends sadly for Rory, whose #1 is Dean.
In a cute bit of symbolism, or perhaps foreshadowing, Luke actually appears at the table right after Rory points out bachelor #2. Technically, he would be Lorelai’s third option… if only Rory had chosen him.
– The Kims are adorable; Lane says she invited Dean over to work on their science project, and Mrs. Kim leans in and threateningly asks, “Reproduction?” and Lane, without missing a beat, replies, “Spores, molds, and fungi.” There is no greater scientific mood killer.
– Dean, about Mrs. Kim: “Has she seen Patton?”
– Lorelai, to a crabby Rory: “Hey, does Up with People know about you?”
– Richard thoughtlessly offers Rory a cocktail, which is just hilarious to me, especially because Emily is scandalized by his lapse of judgement.
– “Everything is going to be fine! Richard, say something encouraging.” / “Uh, Rory, I’m sorry you’re upset, but I applaud your timing.”
1.21 “Love, Daises, and Troubadors”
Oh this episode. It’s iconic, really. It’s got Luke in rare form, Max at his worst and his best, and those dang Gilmore girls running around all crazy. It’s the season finale, and I can’t believe it’s already here!
Lorelai is startled awake by Luke hammering on her porch, because he can’t stand being trapped in his diner and apartment with Rachel, but he doesn’t want to admit it. Lorelai screams at him about the ungodly hour, which ends up waking the whole block, but he disappears before anyone else sees him. It’s cute. He ends up hanging around the house a lot, fixing shingles and porch railings, and Lorelai doesn’t really think about it until Rachel says something to her. Lorelai tries to talk to Luke about it, and he admits that he’s having a lot of trouble with the expectations of being in a couple. He even accidentally lets it slip that in his mind, he’s sort of settling for Rachel.
Max attends his very first town meeting, and he’s thrilled to watch the spectacle as troubadors argue with each other, Lorelai bickers with Taylor, and Rory stands up and makes a speech. His antenna goes up when Lorelai throws a fry at Luke and offers him her extras.
Luke returns to the diner to find Rachel surrounded by her luggage. She tells him she’s leaving because of Lorelai, because his heart wasn’t in the relationship, and he can’t even finish his sentences as he tries to argue with her. She pauses at the door, and — this is so great — she tells him not to wait too long to tell Lorelai how he feels. And he heeds that advice.
He visits Lorelai the next night to tell her that Rachel left, and we know that he’s going to confess his feelings to Lorelai, but Max shows up for their date and Luke gets all caveman on him, talking about how he fixes things around the house and such. Max fails to rise above it, and it’s pretty embarrassing to watch, and Luke even forgets his toolbox. Lorelai and Max end up fighting over it as Max becomes a little unhinged, talking about how much he dated around while they were broken up, and Max thinks the only way to break their vicious cycle of making up and breaking up is to get married.
“[A proposal] has to be planned! It should be magical! There should be music playing, and romantic lighting, and a subtle build-up to the popping of the question! There should be a thousand yellow daises, and candles, and a horse — and I don’t know what the horse is doing there unless you’re riding it, which seems a little over the top — but it should be more than this!”
Rory finds her Dean box, the box of Dean’s stuff that Lorelai had promised to throw away but had secretly stashed in the hall closet that is sometimes a bathroom. She gets up the courage to go into the market on a day that Dean usually works, but he’s not working, and instead she gets harassed by Taylor who believes she is shoplifting. (Lane later points out, “You have shoplifted there!”) Rory later appears at Dean’s house and scares the crap out of his sister, Clara, who points Rory out at the town meeting after Rory stands up and starts yelling about love and not being able to express it.
Tristan aggressively asks Rory out by buying tickets to PJ Harvey and, when she says she can’t date him, saying “I give you permission.” He looks a little dejected as she walks away but there’s no amount of lovelorn looks he can give her that will excuse his behavior when he smugly tells Paris, Madeline, and Louise that he’s taking Rory to the concert. This of course puts Paris on the warpath once more, and poor unsuspecting Rory has no idea. She’s bewildered when Madeline and Louise start icing her out and calling her “Mary” once more (“Not virgin. Typhoid.”) and then Paris levels Rory with what she believes to be the truth. She promises to make Rory’s junior year a living hell, both in school and on the newspaper. She pauses with her girl group in a truly amazing shot, and says, “Have a really good summer.”
On the last day of school, Tristan gets downright nasty to Rory, telling her he’s irritated because he believes she’s stringing him along. He steals her books and tells her she can have them back when she agrees to go, and she is so over it that she tells him to keep the books. She walks out and sees Dean standing there beside his truck, but he misreads the situation as he sees Tristan carrying Rory’s books. Totally understandable, it does look bad. But Rory’s so happy to see him that she goes running up to him and asks him why he’s there. She begs him not to leave, and he asks why, and she yells, “Because I love you, you idiot!” and a thousand teenaged hearts were set aflutter.
Lorelai gets to the inn to find it filled with yellow daisies. She’s teary as she calls Max, who… still proposes to her over the phone… but it’s better than what he did the night before! He’s good with words, talking about literature and being a teacher, it’s all very flowery (ha!) prose, but he doesn’t want an answer now. He wants her to think about it.
In her zest to tell Rory, Lorelai runs into Luke, who asks her why she’s so excited. She goes on and on about big news and big things and I think he already knows in that moment, but she can’t tell him before she tells Rory. She leaves him with a single yellow daisy before she runs out of the diner.
Lorelai and Rory run to each other and embrace as they excitedly tell each other their good news. “Our Little Corner of the World” plays over their little reunion, a neat little bookend to the end of the pilot episode.
Other notable quotes and moments:
– Michel is suffering from a terrible medical condition known as ennui. Well, he calls it “severe ennui.” Poor guy, I don’t know how he will cope. Lorelai: “Websters defines ‘ennui’ as a lazy soon-to-be-out-of-work French concierge who won’t answer the phone.” Actually the whole exchange is great. “So you’re sleepy?” / “It’s a metaphysical angst.” / “So you wanna go beddy-bye?”
– Unfortunately Michel also told Sookie about ennui and she thinks she has it too. This is just like last week when Lorelai had to convince Sookie that she doesn’t have a prostate. And to round it all out, “What’s the opposite of ennui?” / “Off-ui. Oh, hey! I’m cured!” If you don’t love Sookie, I don’t know how to talk to you.
– Max is so sweet, buying candy rings for Rory and Lorelai before the town meeting. “The diamonds are actually candy, so you can eat it!” They also adorably trade each other behind his back.
– Rory and Lorelai named Luke’s toolbox. It sounds dirty, but it’s not. His name is Burt.
– After Max and Luke face off with their grunts and such, Lorelai says, “Just wanted to make sure you two were finished swinging those things around.”
– I love that they kept Chad Michael Murray in the background of the Rory/Dean reunion scene, it was a nice touch to have him back there watching the scene unfold as he held onto Rory’s books. Let that be a lesson to all men. #YesAllMen
– “Am I or am I not the head man in charge of floral deliveries?” / “Yes, and one of the few men I know who would proudly declare that fact.”
Only six more seasons to go! Are you enjoying the ride?