Directing and writing credits:
Written by John Stephens, directed by Bethany Rooney. Stephens seems to specialize in teen shows that I weirdly love and have re-watched multiple times even though I'm an adult with self-proclaimed good taste. Please don't judge me. He's written 7 episodes of "GG," including "I Can't Get Started," which is one of my favorites, 4 episodes of "Gossip Girl," and one episode of "The O.C." (He worked as a writer on many episodes of the O.C., but only has one "written by" credit.)

I'm not familiar with Rooney, but her IMDB picture is great - the pose is very 90's senior yearbook with the hand under her chin and a piercing gaze. She's directed over 200 episodes of television and is also an executive producer on CW's "The Originals." I guess it's a show about vampires, which seems on-brand for the CW. Notable shows on her resume:

  • "Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman" - One of my childhood favorites. Sully was 🔥🔥🔥
  • "Beverly Hills, 90210" - My mom let me watch this even though I was way too young for it and always asked a ton of questions that were probably uncomfortable for her to answer.
  • "Ally McBeal" - I was really depressed when I first moved to Brooklyn and decided to let myself spend all day inside, watching old shows that I had missed during their initial runs ("Felicity" and "Mad About You" were also included).

Rooney also directed two other "GG" episodes in Season 7: "Lorelai? Lorelai?" and "That's What You Get Folks, for Makin' Whoopee."

Most batshit crazy outfit:
The outfits in this episode are kind of standard early 2000s ugly. Anyone who used to shop at Delia's has likely worn an outfit similar to Lorelai's hospital ensemble. I definitely owned a bunch of those stupid graphic t's touting fake locations and I probably circled all of these in my catalog, so who am I to judge?

Delia-s-Catalog

Just this once, I'm going to give everyone, even Rory and her fugly side ponytail, a pass.

Most irritating Rory or Lorelai moment:
Lorelai is too emotionally stunted to go into her dad's hospital room and tell him she loves him. She really should have a therapist on speed dial.

Number of times Rory or Lorelai treat their bff like shit:
Miraculously, none. Rory is definitely one of those friends that makes every conversation about her, but that's pretty standard and I'm sure Lane is used to it.

Best literary or pop culture references:
Instead of best, I'm going to go with the most annoying pop culture reference, c/o Lorelai:

Rory, there are only two things that I totally trust in this entire world. The fact that I will never be able to understand what Charo is saying no matter how long she lives in this country - and you.

Umm... Charo speaks 5 languages (Spanish, English, French, Italian, Japanese) and is a legendary badass. IMO, her English is quite good. Sorry if you have a hard time understanding accents because everyone in your town is white and boring. Try a little harder, Lorelai. If you can't understand Charo, it's your own damn fault.

Stars Hollow weirdness:
The town is staging a Christmas pageant, which is weird. I don't get the sense that any of these people are religious and I would personally be uncomfortable if my town, not a church, was hosting a religious event. Are my tax dollars going toward that shit? Do I need to file a lawsuit? Instead of looking for baby Jesus's missing arm, these are the questions Rory should be asking Taylor.

Books mentioned/books Rory is reading:

  • "Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka - This is the book Rory buys Dean for Christmas. Lane basically tells her it's a dumb gift choice, and I agree; I can't see Dean (even cool Dean) reading and enjoying this book. He'd be like, "Wait, so he's a bug now? What happened? That's crazy!" Rory is setting herself up to deal with a ton of dumbass questions.

Best song of the episode:
"Thanks for Christmas" by XTC. I hate Christmas music, but XTC can do no wrong in my book.

Thoughts:
This is a boring episode and TBH, it took a lot of effort to stop myself from multitasking while watching it. As soon as they step foot in the hospital, my eyes glaze over and I find myself longing to online shop while Lorelai works through her daddy issues. I also started "Top of the Lake: China Girl" a few nights ago and now it's all I want to watch, so... I'm having a hard time justifying re-watching episodes of "Gilmore Girls" for the millionth time. But you know, I'm a matyr... I do it for my readers. I have tens of them, after all 😜

A bunch of annoying things happen in this episode. As previously mentioned, I don't care for any of the Jesus-y stuff. It gives me church flashbacks that I've been suppressing for years. In middle school/early high school, I went through a short-lived Jesus phase where I was very involved with Sunday school and youth group. I went to Relient K concerts. I wrote my sins down on a piece of paper and lit them on fire. I read "Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul." I was Mary in the Christmas pageant. In other words, I was a complete moron. Sorry, am I isolating readers? Whatever. Anyway, all I'm trying to say is that I don't care for religion and I hate whenever it creeps up in places I normally wouldn't expect to see it.

I'm also over the Rory/Lorelai fight. It's completely ridiculous. When Miss Patty asks if anyone else in town is knocked up, the tension between Rory and Lorelai is palpable. If Lorelai really did think that Rory might be pregnant, she should do the responsible thing and buy her a pregnancy test. If Lorelai knows Rory isn't pregnant and feels shitty about wrongfully accusing her, she should apologize. In order to prevent this awkward ordeal from occurring again, she should have a frank conversation with her daughter about reproductive responsibilities. Teach her about her options! Take her to Planned Parenthood. I know this show aired on the WB, but goddammit... it is just so puritanical and downright irresponsible sometimes. If I had a daughter, I probably wouldn't watch this show with her because there are way better options out there at this point.

When they do finally make up, this is how it goes down:

Lorelai: You just have to understand the major panic factor that went on there.
Rory: I do, I really do and I’m so sorry. Nothing like that will ever happen again. I swear.
Lorelai: Don’t swear.
Rory: Why not?
Lorelai: Because you are your mother’s daughter.
Rory: What does that mean.
Lorelai: It means things can happen, even when you don’t really mean for them to happen.

Yes, Lorelai, that's true...unexpected things can happen sometimes. But if you're smart, you can decrease the chances by being proactive. Here's what she should have said to Rory:

Lorelai: Rory, I'm so sorry I flipped out on you. I was a jerk. I do trust you and I want you to know you can come to me with any problems or questions you might have. I believe you when you say you're not having sex with Dean, but I do think we should talk about steps you would take to prevent an unwanted pregnancy whenever you do decide you're ready.

Boom. How hard would that have been?

Since I shat all over this episode thus far, here's something positive:

Emily: No! I did not sign on to your dying. And it is not going to happen. Not tonight, not for a very long time. In fact, I demand to go first. Do I make myself clear?

I love this. Richard has his faults - he can be kind of misogynistic, and mean to his wife and daughter - but his relationship with Emily makes me smile. Those two make a legitimately good team and the episodes where Richard is in the hospital are always kind of sad since Edward Hermann is now dead.

The way Lorelai reacts to this health scare proves how much she needs therapy. She can't even be alone in the room with her dad because she has no idea what to say to him. She loves him, but she doesn't know how to communicate it because their relationship has been fucked for so many years. There's a ton of built-up resentment and a fundamental lack of understanding, but there are also positive memories/associations. Richard is a good grandpa to Rory. He's very analytical, but he obviously cares for Lorelai and is only harsh on her because he wants what he thinks is best for her. My relationship with my dad is kind of like this, so trust me when I say I know what I'm talking about.

It's lucky that Luke is at the hospital with Lorelai. If he hadn't been, I think she might have had a complete breakdown. He really is a calming presence and forces Lorelai to admit she's afraid and to think about why she's having such a difficult time talking to her dad. Luke is the fucking best in these early episodes. He has his own problems with emotional vulnerability, but he tries hard to do what he thinks is right and it's obvious he wants to grow as a person.

I love his conversation with Emily at the hospital. She's way more perceptive than anyone thinks and recognizes early on that Luke and Lorelai have the hots for each other. Emily even tells Luke they're both idiots for claiming to be just friends and not admitting to each other how they actually feel. For the show's sake, it's a good thing that it took so long for Luke and Lorelai to get together, though. Obviously, the writers had no clue what to do once they were officially in a relationship. But more on that later.

Random observations:

  • Rory mentions that she bought Michel a cardio salsa tape for Christmas. In season 3, Lorelai gifts Rory a cardio salsa tape:
    Rory: Cardio Salsa.
    Loreali: Yeah, they play the Miami Sound Machine and you dance around, you get a really great workout.
    Rory: Why would you buy me this?
    Lorelai: Because I’ll feel stupid doing in alone.
    Is this a re-gift? Or did Michel somehow convince Lorelai that cardio salsa was the way to go?
  • All of the Michel fairy/Christmas tree talk seems like a veiled gay reference, but they always portrayed him as straight until "AYitL," so maybe I'm overthinking it.
  • I would like it if someone delivered a pizza to me on a Razor Scooter.
  • Lorelai's bagged salad with Ranch Dressing makes me sad. Aside from at Friday night dinner, this is probably the most Lorelai ever fucks with vegetables.
  • Is it just me, or is there a ton of sexual tension between Lorelai and Dean? Did Jared Padalecki and Lauren Graham sleep together in real life or what is the deal here? There's a strong vibe when he knocks on Rory's window and then later, when she talks to Luke about Dean: "He is not trouble! He's 6'2"...he's beautiful and he's completely in love with my daughter." But if he wasn't in love with your daughter and she met him in a dark bar, I think Lorelai would totally jump his bones.
  • Who makes the baked goods at Luke's Diner? Does he bring them in from Weston's Bakery or does he make everything in-house? His carrot cake looks dope.
  • Richard was wearing a Brooks Brothers tie? This brand seems a little beneath the elder Gilmores.
  • I like the way this episode ends: with Lorelai and Luke, looking out the window at the town madness from the comfort of the diner
  • This is the only Christmas episode until that super shitty one in Season 7 where the child actor who plays GiGi totally fucks everything up with her incompetence.
  • Lane: You have to look at what a gift says to the other person, not to you. Remember two years ago, I got my mom that perfume?
    Rory: Yeah.
    Lane: Ok, to me that said, ‘Hey mom, you work hard, you deserve something fancy’. Now to my mother, it said ‘Hey mom, here’s some smelly sex juice, the kind I use to lure boys with’ and resulted in me being sent to Bible camp all summer.
    After seeing this episode, "smelly sex juice" completely replaced "perfume" in my lexicon.
  • Jane Lynch makes a fantastic cranky nurse.
  • "We're not here. Speak if you must." - Lorelai's answering machine. This message is fine, but there are better ones in later episodes.