Directing and writing credits:
Written by Amy Sherman-Palladino, directed by Lev L. Spiro. In an attempt to find an old interview with ASP, I stumbled across this behind the scenes documentary from Season 1 (it was a special feature on the DVDs). Check it out if you have 20 minutes to kill, because it is delightful (and you'll also get to see Lesli Linka Glatter speak). Ed Hermann's rationale for doing "Gilmore Girls" makes me smile:

I'd realized that I was getting on and half of my audience was dying or dead... and so I thought, well... WB is where to go, because it's young, it's hip.

Damn straight, Edward Hermann. Except for the part about the WB. I mean, maybe that was true at the time. We'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Like David Petrarca, Lev L. Spiro also worked on "Popular." He directed 4 episodes, along with 2 of "Dawson's Creek," 2 of "The O.C.," and the original pilot of "Summerland." There's better stuff than the aforementioned on his IMDB ("Orange is the New Black," "Arrested Development," "Weeds"), but I'm loving the director overlap amongst these early 2000s teen shows. I guess once you have one on your résumé, the world is your oyster.

Most batshit crazy outfit:
If someone put a gun to my head and said, "choose," I don't think I could. Lorelai was all about monochrome ensembles in this episode and wow, did she make some shiteous choices. I can't be certain, but I would bet she got her style inspiration from "Sabrina the Teenage Witch":


Sabrina Spellman was in love with matching eyeshadow, silk shirts, and feather accessories - all things Lorelai Gilmore worships.

In the header image for this post, you can see one of her awful mint green looks, complete with frosted green eyeshadow. You might think, "ugh, how can it get worse than that?" Fast forward to the final scene in Luke's Diner, but don't look unless you have your eclipse glasses (or makeshift cereal box) at the ready. If viewed directly, the hideousness of this outfit may blind you; don't say I didn't warn you.

Lorelai wears a cherry red (p)leather jacket with seaming and features you would expect to see on denim - buttons, flap over chest pockets, etc. Underneath, she has what looks like a cross between a mock turtleneck and a cowl neck top, with a green and red paisley print. It simultaneously reminds me of a picture from "I Spy" and knock-off Ralph Lauren bedding. She pairs this look with fire engine red dress pants that are slightly too large for her, an orange, gauzy scarf, and a ponytail with one of those tortoiseshell covers. She's also decided to carry a red, studded little bag that is even more impractical than her black, fuzzy date bag. 🔥💩 = is the perfect emoji description for most of Lorelai's outfits.

Most irritating Rory or Lorelai moment:
I do like that Lorelai tried hard to be a good, supportive friend to Sookie, but she really should not have allowed Rune to continuously say rude shit without consequence.

Number of times Rory or Lorelai treat their bff like shit:
None. Lorelai let Sookie wear a dress printed with birdhouses holding hands (?) on her first date with Jackson, which would be an unforgivable offense for someone with good taste. Sookie's updo is very similar to Kat's at the prom in "10 Things I Hate About You," but I guess it was of a time, so we'll let it go. Jackson was into the whole vibe, but Sookie obviously didn't feel very comfortable. I'll give Lorelai credit on the makeup, though. She did a much better job on Sookie's face than she's ever done on her own.

Best literary or pop culture references:
Lorelai: [turning back] Who the hell is that anyways?
Rory: Claudine Longet.
Lorelai: The chick who shot the skier?
Rory: Uh, sure, why not.
Lorelai: Wow - renaissance woman [turns and leaves]

Claudine Longet's trial was on par with OJ Simpson's, only it took place in the 70's. The skier she allegedly shot was Spider Sabich, a boyfriend she lived with in Aspen, CO. If you'd like to know more, this is the best overview I could find. She was convicted for negligent homicide, but only had to pay a nominal fine and spend 30 days in jail. "Claudine" by The Rolling Stones is about her.

Stars Hollow weirdness:
This episode is sans townies, but I do love that there's a line snaking outside the Black & White & Read Bookstore for Nathan Juran's "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman."

Sharpest insult or one-liner:
After hearing Lane's convoluted plan to lie to Mrs. Kim without technically lying, Rory tells her, "I say to hell with governor, you run directly for president." Hah. You tell her, Rory.

Books mentioned/books Rory is reading:
Rory reads "The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath" while she waits for Dean on a bench. They have this cute little exchange:
Dean: Is there anything in there about me?
Rory: I don’t know. You name wouldn’t be Lithium would it?

Like Dean knows a) who Sylvia Plath is or b) what Lithium is. Tick tock, Dean. I'm ready for you, and your fleece vests, to get gone.

Best song of the episode:
"Holding on to the Earth" by Sam Phillips plays in the background while Rory and Lane get ready for their dates. This song always makes me think of Victor Nuñez's "Ruby in Paradise," a forgotten Ashley Judd movie from 1993 that I highly recommend watching.

The Sookie/Jackson dynamic and date drama all highlight what an antiquated (traditional?) show "Gilmore Girls" is. Take this conversation between Sookie and Lorelai, for example:

Lorelai: Alright, let’s say it is his turn, you can spend a lot of time sitting around waiting for him to realize it’s his turn, or you can just run with the wolves and make it your turn again.
Sookie: I don’t want it to be my turn again.
Lorelai: You just wanna let this opportunity pass?
Sookie: I wanna be the girl.
Lorelai: You are the girl. That’s why we’re having this very confusing conversation.

What exactly does it mean to "be the girl?" Also, Sookie and Lorelai are in their 30's, so they are women, not girls. I never thought Lorelai, champion of gender normativity, would be the one pushing someone else to defy conventions, but good on her. I know conversations like the one above are pretty par for the course, but I still think they're worth pointing out and noting as problematic. It's important to teach women and girls to be more assertive. If you're interested in a man, tell him! Don't wait around for him to make all the moves. If I waited for my boyfriend to do everything, I'd be waiting for fucking ever because he's the world's biggest procrastinator (and also a doctor, so I guess he's busy saving people's lives or whatever). Your time is valuable; don't wait around for the dude.

If Rory were a good friend, she would tell Lane to actually talk to Todd before deciding he's the perfect guy based solely on a Fugazi t-shirt. And actually... if Lane were a true Fugazi fan, this t-shirt should raise a red flag. Fugazi never actually licensed any t-shirts and Ian MacKaye has stated on the record, "I just don’t give a fuck about T-shirts." As a litmus test, Lane should have approached Todd and said, "Cool Fugazi t-shirt. Did you make it yourself?" If he said "yes," it would have cemented his coolness. If he admitted that it was his sister's or that he had bought it somewhere, it would have proved he understands nothing about the band and probably shops at Hot Topic. Lane should dump Rory as a bff and come hang out with me; I would never treat her like shit or lead her astray.

I do like that we see Luke almost ask Lorelai out on two occasions: when she's sitting at the counter during Sookie and Jackson's date, then again when Rory and Lorelai are in the diner for burgers. He chickens out, but it sets the stage for future romantic tension and potential, which is smart. When these two finally get together at the end of Season 4, the writers are clueless about how to keep the relationship interesting and we're subjected to stupid, contrived shit (see 5.13, "Wedding Bell Blues," and every episode with that little troll, April).

Random observations:

  • Bands/artists Lane mentions: Meat Puppets, Blondie, Kraftwerk, Young Marble Giants, Claudine Longet, Grandaddy, Beck, The Foo Fighters, The Velvet Underground, Nico, and Fugazi.
  • Lane's hair looks so thick and luxurious in this episode. She does awful things to it (rhinestone barettes), but it doesn't even matter.
  • The waiter at Chez Fleur is played by the same actor (Joe Fria) we later see as Joe Mastoni ("Oh my God, Joe! Joe! Joe from the Deerhill Lodge!") in 3.11, "I Solemly Swear."
  • Rune's disgust with Lorelai makes absolutely zero sense. Also, he's the fucking worst. He tries to get Jackson to abandon Sookie so they can go bowling. BOWLING. Get a life, Rune.
  • I like the little lamps Luke puts on all the tables in the evenings. It's a touch I would never expect from him.
  • "They’re at the movies. There’s no drugs there. They don’t even have the real red vines."
  • Rory: Not the guy for you huh?
    Lane: Not the guy for anybody who can read, write, talk or function on a basic human level.
  • I think this is the only episode that starts with a montage set to music. There's no dialogue until after the credits, which feels weird for this show (although I don't hate it).
  • For the record, I 100% agree with Lane on Yoko Ono: "[She's] A very misunderstood artist and The Beatles would have broken up anyway."