TV / Gilmore Girls

'Gilmore Girls' Season 1, Episode 18: The Third Lorelai

. 6 min read . Written by Lindsay Pugh
'Gilmore Girls' Season 1, Episode 18: The Third Lorelai

Directing and writing credits:
Written by Amy Sherman-Palladino, directed by Michael Katleman. There are no inappropriate gay jokes in this one, but it's clearly an ASP episode. No one packs in the pop culture references quite like her.

Michael Katleman you should remember from these previous episodes:
"Cinnamon's Wake" - a lot of people show up for a cat's funeral and it gives me renewed hope for my future.
"That Damn Donna Reed" - Oh, the things high school girls do for the boys who don't deserve them.
"Christopher Returns" - Christopher tries to buy a dictionary and fails, but Lorelai still has sex with him.

Most batshit crazy outfit:
Paris's outfit during the early morning school meeting somehow manages to be both bland and horribly offensive at the same time. The pants are a light checkered print and look like something Patrick Bateman's secretary might have worn. Paris is tiny, but these pants make her ass look long, wide, and flat. She should burn them with fire and murder the Ann Taylor salesperson who talked her into the purchase.

Although the pants are bad, they pale in comparison to the beige, collared leather jacket (blazer?) she pairs them with. Any blondes out there should know that this color is best avoided unless you want to look like Laura Palmer. The seaming is horrible (it has darts!) and it's obviously way too big for her because the sleeves are horribly wrinkled at the elbows. The costumer probably fit the jacket to her chest and just said, "eh, fuck it," when it came to the arms and shoulders. The whole thing makes me sad. Paris deserves better.

Other wardrobe notables:

  • All of Sookie's scarves (they make her tits look sad/droopy).
  • Everything Trix wears. Black velvet, silk, and lace...sign me up. She has the classy older witch look down to a science.
  • All of Lorelai's patterned work shirts. Her style is 50% Sabrina Spellman, 50% Lizzie McGuire, 0% appropriate for a woman in her 30s in the year 2000.

Most irritating Rory or Lorelai moment:
Rory buys doughnuts in the shape of clowns with the expectation that people will actually enjoy them?! No. 1,000 times no, Rory.

There are obviously other irritating moments in this episode (the way Lorelai handles the Trix trust fund offer and Rory's attempt to set Paris up with Tristan), but the clowns trump all.

Number of times Rory or Lorelai treat their bff like shit:
None. Sookie and Lane are barely in this episode.

Best literary or pop culture references:
Louise: Those who simply wait for information to find them, spend a lot of time sitting by the phone. Those who go out and find it themselves, have something to say when it rings.
Rory: Nietzsche?
Louise: Dawson.

Louise, don't ever change.

Stars Hollow weirdness:
This episode is all Chilton/Gran drama and the townies are on sabbatical. Luke doesn't even make an appearance, which is bullshit.

Sharpest insult or one-liner:
Lorelai: Hey - [looks at Sookie’s watch] Aw! No! I’ve got to go home.
Sookie: Why? What are you doing?
Lorelai: I have to change and go to tea with Gran and the cast of "Gaslight."

I forgot all about "Gaslight" and now I can't wait to rewatch it this weekend. Ingrid Bergman is SO GOOD in this movie and it also features a stellar performance from teen Angela Lansbury!


Books mentioned/books Rory is reading:
Rory isn't reading anything (that we know of) this episode, but Gran quotes a line from "Hamlet" when she tells Lorelai how distasteful it is to borrow money from Richard and Emily for Chilton.

Trix: You know Shakespeare once wrote 'Neither a borrower nor a lender be.'
My boyfriend: [imitating Gran] And I would know... we had a fling when I was a teen.

Best song of the episode:
The only song we hear is "It's the Life" by Grant Lee Buffalo (aka the Town Troubadour). It plays when Lorelai and Sookie walk past the flower shop. It's fine, but not one of my favorites.

Lorelai: One minute it’s ‘pass the pot roast’ and the next minute it’s ‘hey, have a pile of money’. Things are never boring at the Gilmore house.

Okay, so let's talk about that pile of money for a second. Lorelai loves to act like she's self-sufficient and struggling hard to provide for her and Rory, but the truth is, she has a permanent safety net available whenever shit hits the fan. The Gilmores are constantly coming into unexpected money and it makes me rage harder than any of their actual character flaws.

Rory needs money for Chilton? Emily and Richard make it rain private school dollars and Lorelai has the audacity to whine about Friday night dinners. Hey Lorelai, you know what would happen to a normal (or gasp poor) person in this situation? They would have to tell their kid, "it's great that you got into private school, but I can't afford it." Lorelai's house gets eaten by termites and she can't get a loan from the bank on her own? Emily co-signs. It's Lorelai's 35th birthday and what does does her dad give her? $75,000 because he made a small investment on the day of her birth.

Lorelai is able to put her kid through private school and an expensive Ivy League university (thanks to her parents' neverending supply of 💸💸💸 and then later, Christopher's unexpected windfall) AND buy the Dragonfly Inn. At one point in time, she's a little strapped for cash, so she cuts back on takeout and premium tv channels. BOO HOO. Life is hard. WAH.

But I have to say that I understand Lorelai's hesitation to tell Rory about Gran's trust fund offer. And actually, Lorelai's initial desire to raise her child outside her family's influence also makes complete sense. Maybe Lorelai actually is in therapy or self-aware enough to realize part of the reason she's such an asshole is because of her privileged upbringing. How could a kid grow up with maids, trips to Europe, private school, and lofty parental expectations and not turn into an adult with a litany of problems?

Lorelai tries to raise Rory differently, but it's hard when life starts to throw her curve balls and she remembers that Richard and Emily are waiting in the wings, ready to swoop in and offer financial assistance whenever things get too complicated. As shitty as it is that Lorelai and Emily ruined Rory's great financial opportunity with their bickering, it's probably for the best.

Had Rory been given access to the trust fund at 16 she would have started the downhill slide to complete assholery in Season 2 instead of Season 5. By the time we hooked back up with her in "A Year in the Life," she either would have been married to Logan but cheating with the gardener (cousin Marilyn's fantasy) or having the drug-fueled, Cat Marnell downhill spiral that she somehow avoided in high school.

Actually, the "How to Murder Your Life" scenario is preferable to the floundering, spoiled, selfish moron we have to contend with in "AYitL," but that's a conversation for much later.

(At this rate, it's going to probably take me until at least 2019 to get through all of these episodes because work is taking away my will to do anything but sleep. What have I done to myself? Is it too late to quit? I'm talking about life in general and these "GG" recaps specifically.)

Random observations:

  • As you might remember from "Kill Me Now," Trix is supposed to be dead. I guess the writers changed their minds and thought no one would notice. They couldn't possibly have predicted that losers in the year 2017 would be able to stream this show on a neverending loop thanks to Netflix. There is one "in" joke I appreciate, though. Richard says, "My mother is a very special woman isn’t she?" and Trix responds, "You talk about me like I’m dead."
  • Paris drinks decaf coffee with soy milk? Yeah, I guess this feels right.
  • I love that we get a shot of Richard and Emily's wine cellar in this episode. I wish I had their money. I would quit my job and tell everyone to fuck off forever.
  • I love the Chilton cardigan sweaters and would buy one if they were available somewhere.
  • ASP loves the Marx Brothers and David Mamet, both mentioned in this episode and multiple times throughout the series.
  • It's beyond sad that Paris comes to RORY for fashion advice. In this episode, Rory rocks a green and pink striped knit hoodie with a navy blue headband best reserved for pulling hair back while removing makeup.
  • I think this exact same thing whenever someone says they "swear to God:"
    Paris: Really? You’re not just saying that?
    Rory: I swear to God.
    Paris: Are you atheist?
    Rory: Excuse me?
    Paris: Because that affects the validity of your swearing to God.
  • Gran obviously buys Emily fish lamps and dog statues just to fuck with her, right? Gran is the best 💘